An Eternal Perspective
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11
How do you look at life?
Do you look at the here and now, at what can give you pleasure? Or, do you have an eternal perspective?
Jesus demonstrated the eternal perspective so beautifully and perfectly when talking with the Samaritan woman by Jacob's well in John 4:13-14, "Jesus said to her, 'Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.'" Jesus was explaining the beauty of a transformed life. It is no longer overly concerned with the day-to-day matters of this world. The eternal perspective trusts and knows that God takes care of all these things.
The widow in Mark 12:41-43 and Luke 21:1-3 who gave two small copper coins that equaled about a penny, exemplifies the eternal perspective, too. This was all the money she had to her name, and she gave it to the work of the Lord. She knew the One caring for her loved her more than the sparrows.
There are many others in Scripture and beyond who model this perspective well. There's something that an eternal perspective does to our thinking and, in turn, the vastly different way we live our life.
An eternal perspective eliminates fear--all but the reverential fear of God. Living beyond this earth takes away the fear of anything this world would or could do to us. If we are a follower of Jesus, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8).
An eternal perspective gives us courageous and repentant hearts. Isaiah 57:15 tells us, "The high and lofty One who inhabits eternity, the Holy One, says this: I live in that high and holy place where those with contrite, humble spirits dwell; and I refresh the humble and give new courage to those with repentant hearts."
Eternity set in the heart and mind helps us to live out our faith, passionately. Galatians 5:6 says, "And we to whom Christ has given eternal life don’t need to worry about whether we have been circumcised or not, or whether we are obeying the Jewish ceremonies or not; for all we need is faith working through love."
An eternal perspective cleanses us from selfishness. 1 Peter 1:22 encourages us with these words, "Now you can have real love for everyone because your souls have been cleansed from selfishness and hatred when you trusted Christ to save you; so see to it that you really do love each other warmly, with all your hearts."
Eternal thinking gives us an urgency for communicating the gospel with others and carrying out God's good work. John 9:4 tells us, "We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us. The night is coming, and then no one can work."
Once upon a time, there was an exile to earth for a brief period of time. That exile was given a task. The task was simply to love God and others well.
That exile is you.
"Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God." 1 John 4:7