Oh how we need more heaven-centered
minds! Many have forgotten that this world is not our home and that
we're just passing through. Carnal-mindedness is rampaging across
our land and it has even filtered into the Lord's body. So many
are so wrapped up in the cares and affairs of this life that they
have made little or no preparation for the next life.
The Holy Scriptures constantly emphasize
the need for heaven-centered thinking and living. Paul said, "Seek
those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right
hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on
the earth" (Col. 3:1,2). The Colossians needed to revamp their
thinking to be more heaven-centered rather than earth-centered.
A similar admonition fell from the lips of our Lord in his Mount
Olivet discourse, "Lay not up for yourselves
treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt and where
thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures
in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt and where thieves
do not break through and steal: For where your treasure is, there
will your heart be also" (Matt. 6:19-21).
In spite of the plain declaration of
the preceding passages, a mad dash to accumulate earthly treasures
has relegated laying up heavenly treasures to a place of secondary
importance. When will we ever realize the futility of setting our
affections upon a place that is temporal in nature? Peter reminded
his readers of the certainty of Christ's coming and the attendant
consequences. When the day of the Lord comes, the heavens will pass
away with a great noise, the elements shall melt with fervent heat,
and the earth and all of its works will be burned up (2 Pet. 3:10).
Peter then asked a question that we would do well to soberly examine.
He said, "Seeing then that all these
things shall be dissolved what manner of persons ought ye to be
in all holy conversation and godliness. . .?" (2 Pet.
3:11). In other words, since the earth and all within it is going
to someday be annihilated, should you be earth centered or heaven-centered
in your thinking?
Oh how we need to emulate and imitate
the heaven-centered thinking of the heroes of faith chronicled in
Hebrews 11. They confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims
on the earth (Heb. 11:13). They desired a better country, that is,
an heavenly country (Heb. 11:16). They realized that here we have
no continuing city, but we seek one to come (Heb. 13:14). Abraham
looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker
is God (Heb. 11:10). It was heaven-centered thinking that prompted
Moses to choose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God
than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season (Heb. 11:25). Heaven-centered
thinking explains why some were tortured, not accepting deliverance
that they might obtain a better resurrection (Heb. 11:35ff).
Likewise, heaven-centered thinking
will enable us to remember to love not the world, neither the things
that are in the world (1 John 2:15). Let us never forget that the
world passeth away and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will
of God abideth forever (1 John 2:17).
Let us remember the astronauts of the Columbia
shuttle mission and their families following the tragic
events of Saturday, Feb. 1, 2003.
Get Us Into Trouble
The classic movie, A Christmas Story,
is a nostalgic look at growing up in Gary, Indiana, through the
eyes of a boy named Ralphy. One scene depicts a school recess in
the middle of winter. Two boys surrounded by their classmates argue
whether a persons tongue will stick to a metal pole in below-freezing
Eventually one of the boys succumbs to the infamous TRIPLE-DOG
DARE. Hesitantly he sticks his tongue out and touches it to
the school flagpole.
Sure enough, it gets stuck. The recess
bell rings. Everyone runs into the school building, everyone except
the hapless victim. When the teacher finally looks out the window,
she sees the boy writhing in pain, his tongue frozen to the flagpole.
While few of us have been in that predicament,
we all know what its like to have our tongues get us in trouble.
When we suffer the pain that eventually recoils upon everyone who
speaks boastful words, lying words, bitter and cruel words, hypocritical
or doubting words, we learn the truth of the proverb,
He who guards his mouth and his tongue
keeps himself from calamity (Proverbs 21:23).