Each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it.
–1 Corinthians 3:13
What difference does a future Heaven make in our lives today? Focusing on Heaven motivates us to live pure lives. Not long ago, I traveled to preach at a Bible conference, and while I was there late in the afternoon I had to tape a national television interview. All day, I was concerned about how I was going to keep my suit, my tie, and my shirt clean throughout the day until I did that interview. The bright lights and the HD television camera lens pick up on the tiniest piece of fuzz or dirt, so if I had anything at all on my suit, millions of people would see. I wanted to keep my clothes clean. That is a good example of why we want to keep our lives clean. The Bible says one day our lives, which the Bible compares to spiritual clothes, are going to come under the harsh glare of God’s judgment, and He and everybody else is going to see our lives for what they really are. The Bible says, “Each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it” (1 Corinthians 3:13). The Bible often uses clothing as a metaphor for our spiritual lives, and we do not want our lives to become stained by sin and disobedience. Let’s face it: It is hard to keep our lives clean in a polluted world like this one, isn’t it? One of the best motivations for keeping your life clean before God is focusing on Heaven and our future reunion with Christ.
Focusing on Heaven also places suffering in perspective. One of the questions I am often asked as a pastor is, “Why does God allow suffering and evil in the world?” Interestingly, the Bible never answers the “why” question of suffering. But it does help us put suffering in perspective. In 2 Corinthians 4:17-18, Paul wrote, “Momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” Paul said his suffering was momentary compared to the eternity of blessing God had planned for him. And the same is true for you. You may feel as if you are in a situation that will not end. You pray, “God, why don’t You stop this?” God understands what you are going through. He says, “Whatever you are going through is momentary compared to eternity and the blessings I have planned for you for ages and ages to come.” Whatever problem you are facing is real, and it is heavy to you. But the Bible says that compared to the weight of the blessing God has planned for you for all eternity, it is light. Focusing on Heaven does not eliminate suffering, but it does put that suffering in perspective.
Although God’s promise for Heaven is still future, it should impact the way we live every day, for what we do in this life echoes in the halls of Heaven forever.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “What Difference Does A Future Heaven Make In My Life Today?” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2016.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. (www.lockman.org)