1634) Heaven Changes Everything

By Rick Warren at:  http://www.pastorrick.com

     Heaven changes everything about how you live today.  If you’re headed to Heaven, then that reality should impact how you live here on earth.

     Your value system changes.  Instead of living for the here and now, you’ll live for eternity.  You can also live knowing your future is secure.  No matter what happens on earth, you’ll spend an eternity with God in a place far more amazing than anything you’ve ever seen.

     So how do you live if you know your eternal destination is Heaven?

  1. Don’t be distracted by temptation.  “Dear brothers, you are only visitors here.  Since your real home is in heaven, I beg you to keep away from the evil pleasures of this world; they are not for you, for they fight against your very souls” (1 Peter 2:11 TLB).  You can be distracted by lots of things — both good and bad.  Stay focused on what’s of eternal significance.  Delay gratification, even though everything in society tries to get you to do just the opposite.  Stay focused on what’s ahead.
  2. Don’t be discouraged by trouble.  The Bible says, “So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen.  For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever” (2 Corinthians 4:18 NLT).   When you live in light of eternity, trouble just doesn’t bother you as much anymore.  You know troubles won’t last forever, so you simply don’t give up.
  3. Focus your energy on what will last.  “Let heaven fill your thoughts; don’t spend your time worrying about things down here” (Colossians 3:2 TLB).  Fulfill the purposes of God in your life.  Live a life devoted to God.  Build relationships with God’s people.  Invest your time in becoming more like Jesus.  Serve others.  Tell people about Jesus.  Those activities last forever.

     You were made for Heaven.  If you’ve made Jesus the Lord of your life, you’ll spend eternity there.  Let that truth sink in for a moment.

     Then, let it change your life.

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Hebrews 11:15-16 (TLB)  —  If they had wanted to, they could have gone back to the good things of this world.  But they didn’t want to.  They were living for heaven.  And now God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has made a heavenly city for them.

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.

Colossians 3:1-2  —  Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

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PRAYER FROM AN ETERNAL PERSPECTIVE:

Almighty God, have mercy on _____ and _____, and on all that bear me evil will and would harm me.  Forgive their faults and mine together by such easy, tender, merciful means as Thine infinite wisdom best can devise.  By thy grace, grant that we may be reformed; and make us saved souls in heaven together, where we may ever live and love together with Thee.  God, give me patience in tribulation and grace in everything, to conform my will to Thine, that I may truly say: “Thy will be done on Earth, as it is in Heaven.”
The things, good Lord, that I pray for, give me Thy grace to labor for.   Amen.

–Thomas More (1478-1535), prayer for his enemies after being condemned to death.

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