A Heavenly Perspective
Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven. … For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:20–21
One of my high-school friends fastened a small plaque to the dashboard of her car, which read: “Don’t be so heavenly minded that you’re no earthly good.” The words, she said, reminded her to be God’s hands and feet in the world. Equally important, though, is the opposite viewpoint: “Don’t be so earthly minded that you do nothing of heavenly good.”
When Jesus came to earth, he emphasized the importance of “earthly good.” In fact, he said other people would know we are his followers by the love we show (John 13:35). But Jesus also talked a lot about heaven and why we should maintain a heavenly perspective.
First, Jesus made it clear that only those who believed in him would be able to enter heaven: “You believe in God; believe also in me … I am the way … no one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:1, 6). Before he sent out the Twelve to preach, he said, “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven” (Matthew 10:32–33).
Second, Jesus told his followers that their actions on earth would influence their life in heaven. “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal(Matthew 6:20).
How do we do that? Jesus told the rich young ruler, “Give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me” (Mark 10:21). In Luke 6:23–24, he said that those who remain faithful when faced with ridicule and exclusion will also reap eternal rewards. Verse 35 adds that the “reward will be great” for those who “love [their] enemies, do good to them, and lend to them.”
Part of doing God’s will on earth is maintaining a heavenly perspective. On what are your eyes and thoughts focused?
According to Luke 15:3–7, what occurs in heaven when a sinner repents? What does that suggest about a heavenly perspective?
Read John 6:37–40. Why did Jesus say he left heaven and came to earth? Do you think our purpose on earth is similar to his? Why?
You may also want to read The Rich Fool, based on a parable Jesus told about a man who didn’t have a heavenly perspective.
Denise K. Loock
This devotion is part of a series on heaven.