Monday, February 28, 2011

A Future Focus

How do we keep equilibrium in our lives in spite of unpleasant circumstances and the many distractions in the world? The “world” places the most value on what is temporal – here-and-now, while Christian Faith tells us to focus on what is eternal (2 Cor 4:18). It's a lesson in delayed gratification, but also much more. The whole perspective of the New Testament is that the present should be lived in the light of the future – what God says is to come (and rooted in what God has already done).

Christian Faith will create a distinctiveness (a practical way to understand holiness) among its people; Christians will think, talk and act differently than those who do not live in faith. Reflect on the implications of the following Scriptures:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to set us free from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father.... (Galatians 1:3-4)

For the present form of this world is passing away (1 Cor 7:31).

For here we have no lasting city, but we are looking for the city that is to come (Heb 13:14).

But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:20).

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly, while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ (Titus 2:11-13).

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed.

Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set ablaze and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire? But, in accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home (2 Pet 3:10-13).

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