Bible Reading: Philippians 3:8-21
“forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14)
Who has thought about eternity and heaven in this past week? I know with assignments and piling school work, it would be very scarce to think about eternity in my day to day life. Nonetheless, whether we like it or not, each day, we are creeping one step closer to eternity. Time does not stop, and the things of this earth are temporary. Have you ever stopped to think about this?
Even as Christians, often, we are scared to think of eternity. It’s frightening to stare death in the eye. Even though for those of us who are children of God, we know that heaven awaits us, the fear of the unknown still sends chills down our back. It’s uncomfortable to speak and think about death and eternity. Yet, there is no escaping because it is surely coming.
Paul teaches us about how we must view eternity.
First, “our citizenship is in heaven”. For children of God, the thought of eternity should be filled with comfort and joy because heaven is our home. True children of God long for it because there, our sinful bodies will be transformed into heavenly bodies, and there we will be with our God and see Him face to face. The true longing of a Christian is to know God and obey Him. In heaven, we will be able to know God in His full glory and obey Him perfectly in our perfected bodies. That is such a sweet joy to look forward to when we get to come home.
Does this ring with you? If it doesn’t, where does your true desire lie? Will it be waiting for you in eternity? Pray that God gives us all hearts that long for Him and Him alone.
Paul says, “many of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things” (Philippians 3:18-19).
Are we among those who set their minds on earthly things, or are we citizens of heaven?
Those who are in Christ will mature to have their gaze fixed for eternity. God will wean us from this temporary world and set our minds and joys on the things above. When we know our destiny and hope and joy are secure in God alone, our life on earth will be driven with purpose and zeal for God. We will know what our priorities are. Life will no longer be about enjoying temporary memories, making lots of friends, pursuing fame, riches and social status. As Paul puts it, “But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Philippians 3:7-8).
When our gaze is fixed heavenward, our life will be driven for one thing alone — to know God and obey Him. Then, our lives can be effectively used by Him, and we can live lives that are abundant and full of joy. The greatest thing is, when we die, there will be nothing to lose because, in heaven, we will be able to know God and obey Him forever and ever. Can we say with Paul, “for to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain”?
Lord, fix my eyes towards eternity. Teach me to think of heaven and to know that that is my end goal. Please help me and change my desires. Do not let me be content with this world but let me find true joy only in knowing You and obeying You. Make that the one and only longing in my heart. Thank You, God, for Your Son, who has brought salvation and hope for humankind. In Jesus name, Amen.