Today’s article for your consideration comes from the one and only “Bible Answer Man himself, Hank Hanegraaff. You can find out more about Hank and the Christian Research Institute by going to www.equip.org
If we are looking for the personification of an eternal perspective, we need look no further than our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He immersed himself in Scripture, sacrificed himself for the needs of others, and treasured fellowship with his heavenly Father. Like the Master, we are called to elevate our gaze from earthly vanities to eternal verities.
First, we develop an eternal perspective by saturating ourselves with Scripture. Jesus modeled daily devotion to the Word of God. In the ultimate spiritual battle, Jesus took up the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. He had mined, memorized, and meditated on Scripture. Thus, when the slanderer sought to tempt the Savior to turn stones into bread, Jesus was prepared. “It is written,” he said, “‘man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God’” (Matthew 4:4).
Furthermore, we begin to view this world with an eye toward eternity by focusing on the needs of others. As our Master sacrificed himself for the sins of the world, we must learn to live selflessly rather than selfishly. At the Judgment those who fed the hungry, gave drink to the thirsty, clothed the naked, cared for the sick, and visited those in prison will be rewarded as if they had done these things for the Lord himself (Matthew 25:31-40).
Finally, we develop an eternal perspective by saturating ourselves with Scripture, by focusing on the needs of others, and by withdrawing from the invasive sounds of this world so that we can hear the Dr. Luke tells us that “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed” (Luke 5:16). Unlike the religious leaders of his day he did not pray to be seen by men. He prayed because he treasured fellowship with his Father. If you too wish to develop the kind of perspective that leads to abundant living both now and for all eternity, “go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you” (Matthew 6:6).
For further study see, Dallas Willard, The Divine Conspiracy (San Francisco: Harper San Francisco, 1998); see also Hank Hanegraaff, The Prayer of Jesus (Nashville: Word Publishing, 2001) and Resurrection (Nashville: Word Publishing, 2000).
“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 moth and rust do not destroy,
and where thieves do not break in and steal.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”