Looking For The Life To Come
Ask yourself: in my marriage, how often do I get trapped into fighting over things that, in the end, don’t really matter? How many marital problems would be solved if couples would simply read the Sermon on the Mount once a month together?
This isn’t to disdain the things of the earth—no need to do that—it’s to exalt the things of heaven. Jonathan Edwards wrote like a poet: “Fathers and mothers, husbands, wives or children, or the company of earthly friends, are but shadows; but the enjoyment of God is the substance. These are but scattered beams, but God is the sun. These are but streams; but God is the fountain. These are but drops, but God is the ocean.”
All of this means we have to work at keeping our focus, our magnificent obsession; otherwise, we might put all our focus on lesser (but still important) aims—trying to improve our communication, get our finances in order, keep our romance fresh and fun, and so on. We have to remember that these are not the stuff of life, and they are not the end goal. After all, as Edwards reminds us, “
If our lives be not a journey towards heaven, they will be a journey to hell.”If you truly desire to live this out, talk with your spouse and/or a group of good friends on a monthly basis. Ask one another: “How is the hope of heaven influencing the way we love one another, the way we raise our kids, the way we spend our money, and the way we focus our time?”
For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to his name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. Obey them that have the rule over you and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you. Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly. But I beseech you the rather to do this, that I may be restored to you the sooner. Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. (Hebrews 13:14-21 KJVA)
For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. (Philippians 3:20-21 KJVA)
* How are you and your spouse daily living out your hope of heaven? If you were able to keep an eternal mindset, how would this affect your day-to-day life?