Learning to Live Your Temporary Life: By Focusing On Your Eternal One
Like most people, you may spend a lot of time thinking about your temporary life. But how about your eternal one? How much time do you actually spend pondering the life you’ll have once your earthly life ends? You’re not alone if it’s something that you don’t frequently think about.
In this post I want to talk with you about the eternal perspective. This perspective is the one we are called to embrace in our mortal vision. I admit, that’s not always easy to do. Eternity is something that can be hard to wrap your mind around. Eternity, after all… is eternal. That’s a long, long time. And it’s a bit intimidating. Yet we all have an eternal life whether we’re in Christ or not. So, it matters not whether you’re a believer. The only difference is that if you are in Christ, you’ll never be separated from God. Your eternity will be with Him, in perfect fellowship with the One who created you and saved you from your sin.
That is the life I want to talk about. That is the life I want us to focus on today, because it receives far too little attention.
Much like the tree in the picture, we all have our annual rings. Some of us will have more than others. And while we should endeavor to live a productive life which bears Christ’s fruit in abundance, we must understand that this life on earth is very temporary. It’s all subject to change, and in due time this life will end, as well as this world we live in, and we will be resurrected to new life with Christ in eternity.
As glorious as that will be, I don’t think most of us give it much thought (myself included). We may adventure there in some fleeting fashion, but I don’t think we ponder it seriously. And I certainly don’t think we live life from an eternal perspective. We give far too much preference and attention to this temporal life, which is rapidly fading. I believe we allow the temporal life to cloud our vision and dominate our perspective, which is a very limited and finite one.
Christ lived differently, and in doing so He set an example for us. While He cared deeply about life on earth, His mind was always focused on the eternal outcome – not merely the temporal one. If we are going to live life successfully in Christ, we must learn to do the same, regardless of how long our earthly lives may last.
Your annual rings may be few; they may be many. What Christ is looking for is substance in those years lived. And if you’re going to be fruitful for the kingdom, adopting an eternal perspective is paramount.
So, let’s talk about how that happens.
The Abundant Life
I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly, (John 10:9-10, KJV).
When we think of the abundant life Christ talks about, it’s commonly thought of in the context of our earthly dwelling. And although it’s true that Christ has abundance for us right here on earth, the context here is not about earthly riches – it’s something much greater: eternal salvation. Eternal life is the abundant life. It’s life lived in perfect fellowship with God, and it’s life that never ends. That is the abundant life Christ is referencing here.
When we think of abundant life, let us understand that many, many believers here on earth suffer cruelly. They endure hardships of every kind, and many are poor. Many are even martyred for their faith in Christ. Yet their true life is abundant. They are the ones whom Christ calls “rich” (see Revelation 2:9 and Matthew 5:1-12). Their eyes and hearts are focused on their eternal dwelling – not their earthly one. Such a perspective affords a rich inheritance in the kingdom of God, regardless of monetary wealth. We see an example of this in Hebrews chapter 11. This entire chapter speaks to the faith of our biblical forefathers who endured every kind of suffering for the sake of the promise which they did not inherit (see Hebrews 11:39). I encourage you to read this chapter in Hebrews in its entirety. It’s very sobering, and it speaks directly to the eternal perspective and the mindset believers should be ready to adopt.
In like manner, those who are wealthy and maintain an earthly focus instead of heavenly one, often forfeit their true inheritance in the kingdom through greed and the vain comforts of life which distract and give a false sense of security (see Revelation 3:17). We are warned against such a mindset in Mark 4:13-23 with Christ’s parable of the sower. We are told that such things of this world choke the word and it becomes unfruitful (see Mark 4:19). Is it wrong to have wealth and luxury in this life? Not if you can steward it properly. Again, it’s where our hearts are focused. When the Church begins to equate worldly wealth and monetary gain with true spiritual riches or as an indicator of our true spiritual condition, we’re in trouble. We’ve lost our focus and our hearts have gone astray. In Revelation 3:17 Christ gives us a glaring contrast here, which we will all do well to carefully abide and heed. Again, this is not about being wealthy or poor – it’s about where our hearts are focused. Where our hearts are, there will our treasure be also (see Matthew 6:21). So let us seek the abundant life Christ has truly purchased for us: the eternal one where He abides. For He has said:
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches, (Revelation 3:22, KJV).
The Eternal Life
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven, (2 Corinthians 4:17 – 5:2, KJV).
Whatever you’re experiencing right now – it’s going to pass. The day will come when it will be history, and you may not even recall it. So steward that time well in the LORD. Find out what your assignment is and endeavor to fulfill it. Live wisely and be led by the Spirit of God. Wait on Him and pursue His purpose – not your own.
I want to encourage you to begin renewing your mind. Take a moment and consider your eternal life. What do you see? What do you envision? Is this something you get excited about? Do you look forward to it? Because if not, you should. Your personal response to these questions should give you insight into how you view your life, both here and eternally.
When you are in Christ your eternal life begins the moment you accept Him as your personal LORD and Savior. Here’s why: From that moment on you are in Him, and He is eternal. Your life never ends – it will merely transition from mortal to immortal, from body to spirit, from earth to heaven.
For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the LORD endureth forever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you, (1 Peter 1:24-25, KJV).
And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek;) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof, (Matthew 6:28-34, KJV).
The Eternal Perspective in A Temporary World
For what or whom are you living?
Christ made it clear that all things will pass away. He is the only One who is eternal, and His word will never pass away. That is something we need to very candidly remember. We need to learn to think as God does and see things as He sees them. And He has made it very clear in His word that He sees things through an eternal lens. We are eternal creatures in a temporal body. Therefore, we must learn to think like God in adopting an eternal perspective, although we live in a world that is very temporal and finite.
Everything we see in its vast grandeur has been created by God. He created it through His word by speaking it into existence. That same word is what upholds the world in which we live, and our individual lives within it. When this world and all within it passes away, Christ and His kingdom will be what solely remains. The good news is, Christ will create a new heaven and new earth (see Revelation 21:5) . I pray that you are a part of His kingdom, because if you are, you will have that same eternal life granted to you through the work of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. And if you’re not part of His kingdom, I’d like to offer you an opportunity to accept Christ and become a citizen of Heaven.
And He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And He said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely, (Revelation 21:5-6, KJV).
For those of you who believe, I want to encourage you to begin living your life through the eternal lens of God. The eternal perspective is truly liberating. Please understand that all of this is very, very temporary when compared with the eternal life that awaits us.
And for those of you who do not believe, yet are curious or ready to make that decision, I want to give you an opportunity to receive Christ as your personal LORD and Savior. You can do that right HERE.
If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable, (1 Corinthians 15:19, KJV).
I thank God for the abundant life – the eternal life – that Christ has purchased for us. I encourage you to begin living it right now. The Word of God promises that you can do that successfully with an eternal perspective.
Cheers & Shalom,