By Bruce James
Oh how we need more heaven-centered minds! Many have forgotten that this world is not our home and that we’re just passing through. Carnal-mindedness is rampaging across our land and it has even filtered into the Lord’s body. So many are so wrapped up in the cares and affairs of this life that they have made little or no preparation for the next life.
The Holy Scriptures constantly emphasize the need for heaven-centered thinking and living. Paul said, “Seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Col. 3:1, 2). The Colossians needed to revamp their thinking to be more heaven-centered rather than earth-centered. A similar admonition fell from the lips of our Lord in his Mount Olivet discourse, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt and where thieves do not break through and steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matt. 6:19-21).
In spite of the plain declaration of the preceding passages, a mad dash to accumulate earthly treasures has relegated laying up heavenly treasures to a place of secondary importance. When will we ever realize the futility of setting our affections upon a place that is temporal in nature? Peter reminded his readers of the certainty of Christ’s coming and the attendant consequences. When the day of the Lord comes, the heavens will pass away with a great noise, the elements shall melt with fervent heat, and the earth and all of its works will be burned up (2 Pet. 3:10). Peter then asked a question that we would do well to soberly examine. He said, “Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness. . .?” (2 Pet. 3:11). In other words, since the earth and all within it is going to someday be annihilated, should you be earth centered or heaven-centered in your thinking?
Oh how we need to emulate and imitate the heaven-centered thinking of the heroes of faith chronicled in Hebrews 11. They confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth (v. 13). They desired a better country, that is, an heavenly country (v. 16). They realized that here we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come (v. 14). Abraham looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God (v. 10). It was heaven-centered thinking that prompted Moses to choose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season (v. 25). Heaven-centered thinking explains why some were tortured, not accepting deliverance that they might obtain a better resurrection (v. 35ff).
Likewise, heaven-centered thinking will enable us to remember to love not the world, neither the things that are in the world (1 John 2:15). Let us never forget that the world passeth away and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever (1 John 2:17).
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