A Higher Perspective

    I want you to imagine for a second that you have one week to live. You've just found out that you will die in seven days, and now all that's left for you to do is decide what you will do with those seven days. What would you do?

    The thing is, for most of our life we spend a lot of our time chasing these goals we have that are supposed to make us happy and satisfied. Maybe it's a well paying job, a skill, a fit body, a perfect husband or wife, or popularity. Or maybe you don't care about goals, and you just want to be entertained each day. Whatever the case, this all changes with a week left to live doesn't it? When you have a week left to live, these things become a lot less important. Why? Because they are meant to make this life better. What these things don't do is offer any hope for a future, eternal life. 

    This world offers all sorts of things to try and make life better, but anything we gain here is only temporary. No matter what you find satisfaction in, the feeling never lasts forever. Everything is temporary, except God. 

    What God offers is an eternal life better than this one. God's offer provides true satisfaction. God forgives us of our sins and invites us into his kingdom when we choose to follow Him. When we do that we not only have a hope of a better life after death, but we also have a purpose in life right now. That purpose is to spread the hope and satisfaction that we've found to others. 

    So we have a choice: live to make this life better or live for things of eternal importance. Logically it makes sense to live for eternity right?  After all, eternity is a lot longer and more important than this  very short life on earth. So what exactly is living for eternity?

    Sometimes when I'm deep in thought, I ponder what I'll think of my life when I'm in heaven. Will I be proud of what I accomplished or regretful of all the opportunities I passed up? Don't misunderstand, there won't be regret in heaven, but look at life from that perspective for a moment. Money, possessions, looks, and fame will have no meaning after this life. When all this ends, what will I have accomplished? What will you have accomplished? 

    We see in Philippians chapter 1:21-24 that Paul has this same perspective on life: "For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. Now if I live on in the flesh, this means fruitful work for me; and I don't know which one I should choose. I am torn between the two. I long to depart and be with Christ, which is far better, but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for your sake"

    Paul actually says he would rather die because he would go be with Christ; however, he sees there is still work for him to do that compels him to stay. What I love about Paul's view of life is Paul viewed life as a mission. He didn't just enjoy life as a casual Christian, only serving God while on a church trip, and only talking about Jesus on Sunday. Paul lived his entire life as a Christian on a mission, a mission to spread God's message and follow God's plan for his life. He recognized that his time on this earth was limited and he needed to make the most of it, but along with that he recognized that the best way to make the most of it was to live for and spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

    I feel like this view of life is far too uncommon in many Christian lives. With so many distractions around us, it's so easy for Christian values to become secondary to other, less important, things in our lives. Christianity isn't an add on to your life. Christianity either is your life, or isn't. 

    Why should we care so much what we wear, what others think of us, how good of shape we are in, how impressive our grades, or how much money we make? At the end of the day life is going to end, taking all of those things with it. Only things with eternal importance such as our faith in God, the love we show to others, and our boldness in spreading the Gospel really matter. Plenty of earthly things are still important, but they can quite easily become distractions rather than tools for us to use. 
  Mark 8:36: "What good is it for someone to gain the whole word, yet forfeit their soul?"
    Don't get me wrong, God wants us to enjoy our life on earth; but he doesn't want us to prioritize our own enjoyment over the mission he has for us. We should be eager to show God our thanks for salvation by serving him however we can. In fact, the Bible states that as Christians we will be rewarded in heaven according to our works. 

Matthew 5:11-12a: "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad because great is your reward in heaven."

1 Corinthians 3: 13-15 "Each one’s work will become obvious. For the day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire; the fire will test the quality of each one’s work. If anyone’s work that he has built survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will experience loss, but he himself will be saved — but only as through fire."

    It's important to realize that living for eternity is more than just not doing bad things, it's about doing good things as well. God wants us to resist temptation and avoid sinful things, but more than that he wants us to go out and spread his message (Matthew 28:19-21). 

    God could just take you straight up to heaven when you become a Christian, but he doesn't because he has a mission for us here. God wants us to bring as many other people into his kingdom as possible. Our main purpose in life is to serve God, and we are rewarded in heaven according to how efficiently we do so.

    So how can we best do this? How can we live with this higher perspective in mind? Ask yourself a very stereotypical, yet very underused question: "What would Jesus do? " Would Jesus spend his money to get himself nicer things, his time to increase his fame, or his energy to improve his skills so he can impress others? Or would Jesus be generous with his money, compassionate with his time, and using his energy to serve others? 

    As Christians we have the opportunity to show the world the love of Jesus through our very own actions. We have the opportunity to share the soul-saving, life-altering good news of the Gospel with the people around us. When we say we follow Jesus, we take up the responsibility to reflect Him well. We are God's people, and we need to act like it. 
    Think about life from the Higher Perspective of God. Ask what would Jesus do. That's how you live for eternity. 


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