Definition: Living our life with a focus on the future kingdom. Knowing heaven is real and forever while life on earth is fleeting.
Synonyms: Forever, Infinite, Never-ending
Read Psalm 39: 4—5
Solomon tells us that, “A wise person thinks a lot about death, while a fool thinks only about having a good time” (Ecc 7:4 NLT). This sounds morbid, but we avoid the reality of our mortality, and Solomon tells us that is not wise.
Life is a mere breath compared to eternity. What we do for the kingdom matters, but our worldly accomplishments are, for the most part, meaningless.
Do you ever visit cemeteries? Headstones are dull and uninformative in modern times; however, in older cemeteries, the marker is a tribute to the deceased. An afternoon walk through one of these cemeteries is intriguing. It is easy to lose yourself in the stories, imagining how the people lived and died. You can enjoy a walk down memory lane, despite never having known the people.
Epitaphs often reveal the character of those buried. What legacy did they leave? Is their faith mentioned? Were they ready for death? In other words, did they have an eternal perspective?
This week we will think about developing an eternal perspective before death is imminent. Although it seems morose to focus on death, anticipating eternity with Jesus brings joy to your life.
Thought or Action Step for the Day: What will your epitaph reveal about you?
Read Psalm 33: 6—9
We dream about worldly pursuits but never give a thought to eternity. Reading Psalms that reflect on God as Creator, guides our minds to focus on His power and majesty, and nurtures an eternal perspective.
The world we live in is a mere foreshadow of what is to come. Sure creation is beautiful, but we live in a fallen world that is also dark and dangerous. A year doesn’t pass that we don’t observe or experience hurricanes, erupting volcanoes, and earthquakes. War, poverty, and sickness are routine. But they aren’t normal in heaven, in fact, they are nonexistent.
Although there is much to enjoy about the world we live in, it cannot compare to the beauty, peace, and joy we will experience with Jesus.
Thought or Action Step for the Day: “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands” (Ps19:1 NIV).
Read Colossians 3: 2, 3
How often do you think about heaven? We tend to think about eternity when confronted with a death in the family or a serious illness. Or maybe when we visit a cemetery?
Recognizing our mortality is daunting. But should it be? Shouldn’t we anticipate a life with Jesus that is blissful; where perfect love, joyful living, and life without problems exist?
My mother intermittently spoke during her last hours. At one point she said, “I am going to Jesus.” Later she whispered, “It’s a joyous place.” Death brings to light what is important. As she died, her thoughts were of heaven and not her life on earth. Nurturing an eternal perspective will bring meaning and joy to our lives.
Thought or Action Step for the Day: “Teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom” (Ps 90:12 NIV).
Read Psalm 16: 4
You are hiking when you fall on an ant mound and break your leg. Ants are everywhere. You hear others talking as they walk the trail. Who would you ask for help, the ants crawling on the ground or the approaching people?
When you put other gods before the Almighty, you might as well ask the ants to assist you with your broken leg. A person with an eternal perspective focuses on the Almighty and doesn’t need the fake security offered by idols.
When David talks of chasing other gods in Psalm 16, he is referring to the gods of the nations that surrounded Israel. Entertaining these nations’ gods brought trouble to Israel. Marrying nonbelievers influenced the Israelites to incorporate pagan gods into their “religious” beliefs. The Israelites offended the Almighty when they turned to a false substitute.
We don’t put a statue on a table and pray to it, but we worship power, money, fame, sports, possessions, and celebrities. These gods provide a false sense of security or happiness, but in reality they are as powerless as the ants are to fix your broken leg. They are also just as offensive to God.
Thought or Action Step for the Day: What “other gods” do you worship?
Read Psalm 24: 1—4
Who may stand in His holy place? Do you quake at that question? The answer is no one, certainly not me! Knowing we cannot stand in His holy place should turn us to thanksgiving and praise for Jesus our Savior, who always had an eternal perspective.
An eternal perspective prevents wandering in the desert. When we focus on the eternal, we know what is important. Not that an eternal perspective is easy, but it is something to strive for every day.
Some suggestions that may help you develop an eternal perspective:
1. Check out Randy Alcorn’s books or talks on heaven. It will change your perspective. Alcorn generates excitement about our life after death, by delighting his readers with visions of heaven that are beautiful, awe-inspiring, and fun!
2. Set your cell phone timer for every hour or every two hours and when it goes off note your thoughts. Do this off and on for a month. You may be surprised what you discover. Retrain your mind to think more about eternity and less on this fallen world. It will bring joy into your life.
3. Read the following Psalms: 8, 33, 76, 90, 93, and 148. These focus on God’s sovereignty and majesty, which helps develop an eternal perspective.
4. Check out some older churches in your area. They often have cemeteries with interesting epitaphs. Imagine who these people loved, what they enjoyed doing, where they spent their time, and how they faced death. Did they have regrets or, like my mother, did they look forward to their eternal destiny?