By Randy Alcorn’s December 17, 2014 blog at: www.epm.org
Jesus said, “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness” (Matthew 6:22-23). He makes it clear that our vision is faulty. We need His help to see our life through different eyes—eyes focused on the eternal. Physical vision is used here as a metaphor for spiritual vision, or perspective—the way we look at life.
As believers in Christ, our faith gives us perspective. It tells us that this life is the preface—not the book. It’s the preliminaries—not the main event. It’s the tune-up—not the concert.
Just prior to this, in Matthew 6:19-21, Jesus speaks about storing up treasures in Heaven, not earth… something that requires an eternal perspective. I think of our lives in terms of a dot and a line, signifying two phases. Our present life on earth is the dot. It begins. It ends. It’s brief. However, from the dot, a line extends that goes on forever. That line is eternity, which Christians will spend in heaven. Right now we’re living in the dot. But what are we living for? The shortsighted person lives for the dot. The person with perspective lives for the line.
That’s the heart behind Eternal Perspective Ministries: investing in the things that will last for eternity. To learn more about living for the line, not the dot, watch this 90 second video:<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/112192201″>Live for the Line</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/randyalcorn”>Randy Alcorn</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>
Matthew 6:19-21 — (Jesus said), “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin 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. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
John 10:27-28 — (Jesus said), “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.”
II Corinthians 4:16-18 — Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Galatians 6:7-9 — Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good,for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
I John 5:13 — I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.
O Thou Creator of all things that are, I lift up my heart in gratitude to Thee for this day’s happiness:
For the mere joy of living;
For all the sights and sounds around me;
For the sweet peace of the country and the pleasant bustle of the town;
For all things bright and beautiful and happy;
For friendship and good company;
For work to perform and the skill and strength to perform it;
For a time to play when the day’s work was done, and for health and a glad heart to enjoy it.
Yet let me never think, O eternal Father, that I am here to stay. Let me still remember that I am a stranger and pilgrim on the earth. For here we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come. Preserve me by Thy grace, good Lord, from so losing myself in the joys of earth that I may have no longing left for the purer joys of heaven. Let not the happiness of this day become a snare to my too worldly heart. And if, instead of happiness, I have to-day suffered any disappointment or defeat, if there has been any sorrow where I had hoped for joy, or sickness where I had looked for health, give me grace to accept it from Thy hand as a loving reminder that this is not my home.
I thank Thee, O Lord, that Thou hast so set eternity within my heart that no earthly thing can ever, satisfy me wholly. I thank Thee that every present joy is so mixed with sadness and unrest as to lead my mind upwards to the contemplation of a more perfect blessedness. And above all I thank Thee for the sure hope and promise of an endless life which Thou hast given me in the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.
–John Baillie, Diary of Private Prayer, Day 21/Evening