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This article is NOT about American political parties and their platforms; it will not suggest how a Christian should vote. The purpose of this article is to encourage Christians to consider, personally and in community, how a citizen of God’s kingdom should be thinking about the election.

The short answer is “not like the world”. The vast majority of those reading this article know they have been called to a different perspective; we have the mind of Christ and are seated with Him in heavenly places. We hope you will consider this as a timely reminder and a tool to help others think like kingdom citizens.

The following includes a number of questions intended to facilitate group discussion. Some answers have been provided, but you and your spheres of influence will likely have your own (and most of those will be correct). Including God in the conversation will facilitate the hearing of faith for everyone involved.

Let’s start with some kingdom perspective. First, all Christians are citizens of two nations or kingdoms: An earthly nation (e.g., the United States of America) and the kingdom of God. Those who are not Christians are only citizens of America. They do not understand the kingdom of God.

  1. Christians have a relationship with both nations. As citizens of America we are responsible to be good citizens and, in turn, we receive certain rights and privileges. The relationship is described as a democratic republic.
  2. As citizens of the kingdom of God, we are bondservants of the King. We have no rights beyond those given to us by the King, but we do have many incredible privileges. What are some of those? Birthright (1John 3:9, Romans 8:16), kingdom knowledge (Matthew 13:11), perspective (Ephesians 2:4-6), and defense against our spiritual enemies (Ephesians 6:10-20) – just to name a few.
  3. Furthermore, as kingdom of God citizens, we have been given certain authority to act on the King’s behalf in the nation of America. What are some of those roles? Royal priesthood, ambassadors, and agents of reconciliation (2Corinthians 5:18-20).
  4. Still, we are sojourners (1Peter 2:9-12). This world is not our home.
Second, God relates and responds differently to His kingdom people than He does to America and its citizens.

Read the rest of this entry »

…it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given… blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear… Matthew 13:11-17

The children of God have been given eyes to see and ears to hear. Constrained in our earthly body, we tend to underestimate this gift and ability. We hope and pray the following will help provide a proper estimation and exercise of God’s grace – particularly as it relates to our relationships and fellowships.

Because of His great love, God has saved and seated us together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:4-7). From there, we might enjoy His perspective of all that is going on around us… or we might choose not to. It is our responsibility to observe, process, and respond to our environment and all its activity from the heavenly perspective. Doing so exercises the mind of Christ, which we have (1Corinthians 2:16).

To lay hold of this grace, we must first believe the heavenly perspective is available, and then we must choose it (an act of our will). Some may hesitate, fearing the temptation of haughtiness. Such a fear should not be ignored. We must not think that we are sufficient for these things, but reckon that our sufficiency is from God (2Corinthians 3:5-6). We must remain humble, and allow the Holy Spirit to deal with our flesh (another reason daily communion with God, who is a consuming fire, is important).

Indeed, those who know the grace of God from the perspective of God are not concerned with their personal rights, nor easily distracted by injustice done to them. They see beyond these things, into eternity. They have been set free from temporal matters and considerations. Read the rest of this entry »

Bible with Cross ShadowThis saying of Jesus, now in its third part, has gotten more attention that the previous ones, for a couple of reasons. Personally, this saying has been especially challenging in my life. I was raised to save for my retirement, and the world has only encouraged that approach for my future security.

God is using this bit of writing to test my heart. In it, I will be either convicted of sin, forgiven and made free, or I will find peace in my stewardship of His provision. I expect the former will lead to the latter.

Secondly, I have a responsibility as a disciple of Jesus Christ to make disciples through my writing. I am hopeful that He is using this to test and prove your heart; for Satan, the world and our flesh have deceived us in regards to this matter of laying up treasures for ourselves.

If you have not explored the “do not” of parts 1 and 2, you should do that before proceeding here. The process and its order are important. Once we have dealt with the deception of earthly treasures, we can turn our attention to the second part of this saying – the part we are to do.

Again, for our reference:

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21

An Eternal Perspective

One of the greatest inhibitors to our hearing and doing this saying is our lack of faith and perspective for eternity. Let’s face it: Most of us spend the greater part of our lives laying up wealth so we can enjoy the last feeble portion of our seventy or eighty years here on earth. We are so focus on investing for retirement that we fail to lay up for that portion of our life that is immeasurable in its duration.

Dare to think about that for a moment. It may be the most liberating thought you have ever had. Francis Chan gives a wonderful illustration of this in a video that has been posted on YouTube. Go ahead and take a look. It is only four or five minutes. Read the rest of this entry »

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