Monday, April 25, 2011

1 Peter 1:3-4

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,"

Do you have an eternal perspective about your future?  Do you live each moment in light of the reality that you have a future inheritance, reserved for you in eternity?  Are you occupied each day with our resurrected Savior, Who will return in the manner Paul described in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17-"For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord." We should wake up each morning with the reality in mind that today could be the day our Savior returns to gather us to meet Him in the air.  How different would your perspective be if this was the case? As the culture around us places their collective hope on fleeting targets such as political elections, stock futures, and new energy technology our hope is in a future that has already been determined, one which we look toward not with cautious optimism but with absolute confident expectation.  How overwhelmed by joy and contentment should our perspective be considering the certainty and richness of our future!

Paul had this perspective when he wrote the letter to the Philippians while in prison, facing possible execution for his stand for the Gospel.  Paul's struggle was not based on worry about whether or not he would survive his circumstances but whether or not it would be for the better if he did. In Philippians 1:14 Paul acknowledges that "to live is Christ and to die is gain". He knew that his life as a member of the Body of Christ had an eternal purpose which was the furtherance of the Gospel.   He goes on to tell the believers in Philippi that while he desired to depart and be with Christ his presence was needed for their benefit and therefore he knew that he would remain with them to ensure their progress (1:23-24). Paul was torn, not because he feared death or wanted to use death to escape the physical punishment that likely awaited him but because he knew that if he died, he would be in the presence of the risen Savior but also knew that his work on earth was resulting in the spread of the Gospel.  Paul's priority was God and therefore people.  He wanted to endure in this life not because it would be better for him but because it would be better for the believers to whom he was ministering.  The more oriented we are to an eternal perspective the more time we spend thinking about others to the exclusion of ourselves as the center of our reality.

There is no justification for the worry and anxiety that governs our thoughts at times because of our temporal circumstances.  Whether our difficulties are related to finances, health, family, relationships or any other type of struggle, the reality of our eternal future should overwhelm our temporal circumstances.  Be occupied throughout your day with the inheritance that awaits you and live in light of it.  Dwell on our Risen Savior and his imminent return.  Look forward with confident expectation to a time when you will be in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. in a place where you will have unlimited access to Him.  As Moses sang in the ninetieth Psalm: "As for the days of our lives they contain seventy years, or if due to strength eighty years, yet their pride is but labor and sorrow; for soon it is gone and we fly away".  Our physical life is but a drop of water in the ocean compared to eternity for our purpose on earth is to live in light of our eternal future.  It is this perspective that should govern your thinking and overpower the worries of this world. 

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