Thursday, March 5, 2015


     Today's post should be interesting, since I really haven't planned what I'm going to say. I'm really just winging it and going with what comes into my head. Most of my friends are aware of my propensity for "winging it". Today is no exception.

    I was thinking several days ago about how we in the church and in Christianity generally tend to differentiate between our Christian life and our "everyday" or "normal" life. I know I've personally, to my shame, used both those phrases to describe my life away from church, not thinking about how unScriptural that is.

    What I hadn't realized and many still haven't is that reality, even stronger than the apparent reality I see around me with my human senses, is the eternal, spiritual realm. What we consider reality and "normal" life is actually the abnormal finite in a universe of an eternal spiritual war. Honestly, our fascination with our present world and finite possessions is a glowing testimonial to our own human ignorance.

    Jn. 12:25 says, "He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal."  Now, it's not my normal habit to say that Scripture doesn't mean what it says, but this will be the second day in a row when I've been forced to remark on the phrase "hate". Jesus obviously doesn't mean a literal hatred, since a hatred of life doesn't coincide with contentment and joy, something Paul speaks a lot about (particularly in Philippians) and reeks of unthankfulness for the gifts God has given.

    What I believe Jesus is speaking of here is the realization that this world is not worthy of any long-term focus and aspiration. Anything good I do here must be pointed instead to the glorification of Christ. All the things, no matter how seemingly "important" they are through worldly eyes, done in this world that do not point to Christ are pointless endeavors.

    I believe we have our phrases mixed up. "Real life" is not the number of attributes I share with other people on earth. It's a firm grasp on the reality of the eternality of the soul. I don't think we can dodge it. The joy of heaven and the pain and horror of hell are both in such shocking proportions that would make the vague joys and the slight pains we feel on earth pale in comparison. Real life, then, is focus on the reality of the spiritual war around us.

    For a Christian, "normal" or "real" life should involve Christ the same as our "church" life does. There should be no difference in lives, from location to location. Jesus Christ should be our focal point of all activity, not just at church or personal devotions. Instead, normal life should be a focus on eternity, since that is the period of time that really matters.

    C.S. Lewis once said, "Aim at heaven and get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and get neither." It reflects a really cool principle. When I begin to focus on heaven and eternity, my eyes shift back to earth. When we finally grasp the concept of endless joy and worship or endless pain and horror, we see the task God has set before us with greater clarity and importance.

    If I focus on heaven, then the other needs God has placed in front of me on earth will be addressed because of my focus on the eternal, which includes my future destiny and my God, whose love I reflect through my deeds on earth. If I instead focus on earth, I miss the focus on God and on the eternal, much more relevant sphere.

    So, my encouragement to anyone reading this is to force your mind to think on eternal matters, not just the earthly. Don't think of things in terms of earthly importance or relevance, but instead allow God to transform our minds to think as He thinks and behave as He behaves. That is becoming Christ-like. Focus our minds on the eternal. As I've said before, all the medals in the world will mean nothing before the throne of God. A million dollar check will seem awfully unimportant 10,000 years from now, standing before God's throne in heaven singing His praises or in hell, cursing His face. The things we spent time on here will be forgotten and burned up, except those done for Christ.


  1. This reminds me of a couple of blog posts I did awhile back! In fact, what you talked about in this post, actually touches the point of the favorite thing I have learned in my spiritual journey. -The fact that no matter how "bad" our life seems on earth, we know we have heaven to look forward to. But not only that, heaven gives us a hope that is CONSTANT, its not going to change based on our station in life. Heaven also gives us a sort of Christian freedom; that is, we can use our life on earth to its full potential for God, without having to worry about making ourselves "fleshly happy" in this life because we know that we will be in heaven for eternity!

    "These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them. ~Hebrews 11:13-16

    1. "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."

    2. Do you by any chance know who said that? It kind of sounds familiar, but I am not sure who said it.

    3. Paul in Rom. 8:16-18. This is one of the verses that meant the most during my time in Africa, so it has a special place in my heart!

  2. Ah, different version. That would explain why it sounded familiar but I could not quite put my finger on it. Romans is awesome! :D

    1. Ah, yes. I memorized in KJV, so I put it down as that instead of my regular NAS. That would explain it!

      And yeah, Romans is awesome! You've got deep theology, practical application, life principles, and strong gospel presentation all wrapped up in one book! What's not to like?