Focused On The Future

Focused On The Future

Forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
–Philippians 3:13-14

Have you ever heard someone accused of being “too heavenly minded to be of any earthly good?” Let me tell you: there is no such thing as a person who thinks too much about heaven. In fact, the problem is not that we think too much about heaven but that we think too little of it. C. S. Lewis said, “If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next.”

That was the secret to Abraham and Sarah’s faith. They refocused their affection on the future. Hebrews 11:16 says, “They desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.” Their focus was not just on Canaan but on heaven, the new Jerusalem.

Before you will ever refocus your affection on the future, there is an issue you have to get settled in your heart: Are you living your life to please yourself, or are you living your life to please Jesus Christ? Is the focus of your life on acquiring as many possessions, achievements, and pleasures as you possibly can? Or is the focus of your life doing everything you can to build the kingdom of God? Your focus is one or the other–it cannot be both.

I am reminded of the story of John and David Livingstone, who were born in Scotland more than two hundred years ago. John Livingstone had as his life’s goal to accumulate as much money as he possibly could, and he accomplished that goal. But if you look up the name John Livingstone in the encyclopedia, the only thing you might find is that he was the brother of David Livingstone. David was a minister, missionary, and medical doctor who spent his life in Africa sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as possible. The plaque above his burial spot in Westminster Abbey says this: “For 30 years his life was spent in an unwearied effort to evangelize.” Why would somebody give their life to do that? Early in his ministry, David wrote, “I will place no value on anything I have or may possess, except in relation to the kingdom of Christ.” Livingstone was looking for that better, more lasting country. Like Abraham and Sarah, he believed that God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Going Without Knowing” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2020.

C. S. Lewis, “Mere Christianity,” in “The Complete C. S. Lewis Signature Classics” (New York: HarperOne, 2002), 112; David Livingstone, as quoted in William Garden Blaikie, “The Life of David Livingstone: Chiefly from His Unpublished Journals and Correspondence in the Possession of His Family” (London: John Murray, 1903), 116; “David Livingstone,” Westminster Abbey, https://www.westminster-abbey.org/abbey-commemorations/commemorations/david-livingstone.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org