Living With An Eternal Perspective

“Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.”- 2 Corinthians 5:1 (NIV)

We live in a world where nothing is permanent. All that we value and treasure, could be swept away at a moment’s notice. Houses easily fall prey to dilapidation and destruction. Wealth can be lost as dramatically as it can be gained. Time and separation can gently break apart friendships. Even our physical existence is only temporary and death comes to us all regardless of who we are. When we have invested so much of time and energy into these things, it is natural that we feel disappointed and mourn when the time comes for them to pass. But it is important to remember that to cling onto these things reveals who is really the master of our hearts. “Where our treasure lies, there our heart will be also”.

God has promised in His Word that He is preparing a wonderful place in heaven for those who have entered into a relationship with Him. It will be a place free from strife, calamity, pain, and every evil thing. In light of this eternal hope, why do we get so worked up over the things of this fleeting life? But does this mean that we should be indifferent and apathetic to the affairs of the world? On the contrary, we serve a God of excellence and a God who wants to see the world redeemed from sin and its offspring, suffering and misery. Likewise, as His representatives through whom Christ works, our actions should reflect these qualities. Yet when the affairs of the world take control of our lives, it is then we lose sight of God and His divine plan. It is only when we look to Christ and His eternity can we be of any substantial value to world around us. May we walk closely with Christ knowing that our security rests in Him and that He will give us the strength and wisdom to live in this world with eternity in mind.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Where Is Your Trust?

“Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf.”-Proverbs 11:28 (ESV)

Money can’t buy happiness. It’s a cliché that we are taught from the time we become aware of the presence of wealth and of its ability to be gained for one’s personal use. Yet it would seem that we ignore the warning and live as if the amassing of wealth was the sole purpose of life. Our materialistic culture has taught us that the more we earn and the more we buy, the happier we will be. Commercials, explicitly or implicitly, always say that their product will guarantee the buyer satisfaction and happiness. But how many times has that proven to be false? Yet in our stupidity we always search for a new product, a new material pursuit, only to be disappointed when the object of our desire outlives its use. Subsequently we foolishly place our hopes for happiness and fulfillment in a seemingly new and better material pursuit; imploring us to earn more money to pursue our new material fancy. Often if we step back and look at ourselves, it would seem that living a material lifestyle is like living as if one were a dog chasing its tail; never to be satisfied. One would think that humanity would learn. But sadly, the majority of us never learn from our mistakes.

At the end of the day, when all of us are dead and buried in the ground, our wealth and possessions will mean nothing. We will not be able to take with us anything we have gained under heaven. When we stand before the judgement seat of Christ, there is only one thing that will be of relevance to Him; have we served Him by accepting His lordship over our lives and in doing so have we pursued righteousness and purity in our lives and in the world. Before one thinks that pursuing righteousness and purity for Christ only pays in the afterlife, there are also blessings that will follow in the earthly realm should one pursue such a life. Consider how men with integrity and a sense of honour and justice are much better spoken of compared to the man who is wealthy and has all the material comforts of life, yet has forsaken his morals and honesty. Consider the health of the relationships of those who may not place a strong priority on accumulating wealth with those who always have money and status on their mind. God had asked King Solomon before his ascension, to make it known before Him any gift that he requested. Instead of choosing wealth or power, Solomon chose wisdom. For his decision, God was pleased and not only gave the new king wisdom, but wealth and power as well. Anyone who puts their trust in their own wealth will be sorely disappointed. But God will bless those who pursue righteousness and truth according to His standards. Such people will be far more satisfied and will find the secret of true contentment and happiness knowing that their hope rests not in fleeting thing; but in the eternal assurances of God.

Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Eternal Treasures

“Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity than a rich man who is crooked in his ways.” – Proverbs 28:6 (ESV)

When the wicked seem to prosper and have it all together, we often wonder why this is the case. Why do the unscrupulous, despite their decadent lifestyles and questionable ethics seem to get fame, fortune, and success beyond their heart’s content, whereas the honest and diligent end up with nothing but misery? In light of this reality, it often leads people to question whether God is blind to this injustice. However, He is not. The very fact that God does not include wealth in His requirements into heaven, rather faith and obedience to Him and His Son, is indicative of the fact that material prosperity is immaterial to Him. For all the wealth they may have gained in this present life through deceit, the wicked will not prosper. If they are not punished in this life, they will be in the life hereafter. Money cannot buy you into heaven and thankfully so. Otherwise, it would make heaven a very corrupt place.

However, this does not necessarily mean that living a moral life would get one into heaven either. No one can truly claim to live a pure life because all have sinned against God in some manner, be it in word, deed, or thought. The strict standards of God on what constitutes as sin contain no loopholes. Only through a relationship with Christ could man hope of entering into heaven. But it comes at a price. Once we enter into a relationship with Christ, we are obligated to serve Him and follow His ways and standards. Since it is hard to let go of our sinful nature, we constantly need Christ to help us in our decision to choose integrity over dishonesty. Thus, for the Christian, he should not be concerned over the material pursuits of this world. He should not use underhanded methods to gain profit. Rather, should he pursue integrity with Christ as his Guide, he will be blessed even in his poverty and these blessings will be far more satisfying than those of an ill-earned material lifestyle. The comfort of eternal rewards in heaven for his obedience of Christ should be enough of an impetus for the believer to pursue integrity and righteousness.

Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.