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Sunday, April 16, 2017
Living for Heaven’s Sake BY RICK WARREN — APRIL 16 Sunday
“If they had wanted to, they could have gone back to the good things of this world. But they didn’t want to. They were living for heaven. And now God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has made a heavenly city for them”(Hebrews 11:15-16 TLB).
Heaven changes everything about how you live today. If you’re headed to Heaven (and after yesterday’s devotional, I hope you are), then that reality should impact how you live here on earth.
Your value system changes. Instead of living for the here and now, you’ll live for eternity. You can also live knowing your future is secure. No matter what happens on earth, you’ll spend an eternity with God in the most amazing place you’ve ever been.
So how do you live if you know your eternal destination is Heaven?
Don’t be distracted by temptation. “Dear brothers, you are only visitors here. Since your real home is in heaven, I beg you to keep away from the evil pleasures of this world; they are not for you, for they fight against your very souls” (1 Peter 2:11 TLB). You can be distracted by lots of things — both good and bad. Stay focused on what’s of eternal significance. Delay gratification, even though everything in society tries to get you to do just the opposite. Stay focused on what’s ahead.
Don’t be discouraged by trouble. The Bible says, “So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever” (2 Corinthians 4:18 NLT, second edition). When you live in light of eternity, trouble just doesn’t bother you as much anymore. You know troubles won’t last forever, so you simply don’t give up.
Focus your energy on what will last. “Let heaven fill your thoughts; don’t spend your time worrying about things down here” (Colossians 3:2 TLB). Fulfill the purposes of God in your life. Live a life of worship. Build relationships with God’s people. Invest your time in becoming more like Jesus through discipleship. Serve others with abandon. Tell people about Jesus. Those activities last forever.
You were made for Heaven. If you’ve made Jesus the boss of your life, you’ll spend eternity there. Let that truth sink in for a moment.
Then, let it change your life.
Talk It Over
What temptations distract you from maintaining an eternal point-of-view?
Sometimes even a good thing can distract us from God’s purpose. What are some examples of those good things that can distract?
What short-term troubles are causing you stress right now? How can focusing on eternity change your perspective on them?