Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Looking at Marriage and Singleness with Forever Eyes

Whether single or married, your challenge is to look with Forever Eyes at your situation. Neither marriage nor singleness will give any advantage in heaven.  Yet, how we handle our single or married status here on earth will matter, because it will demonstrate our trust - or lack of trust - in God.

Choose Your Mate Well

Marriage is a God-ordained covenant, and should be highly honored and respected here on earth. God told us that it was good for us to have mates and companions, to meet our need for earthly intimacy and support. God takes the marriage vows very seriously and expects us to as well. Looking at marriage with Forever Eyes should cause us to be far more careful in choosing a life mate. You need to consider the consequences of that choice in ten years, twenty years, fifty years. You will want to make sure that the partner you choose is God's choice for your life.

Singleness Through Earthly Eyes

If it's your natural desire to be married and have a family, singleness can sometimes seem like a prison or a punishment. It can be very difficult to look at singleness with Forever Eyes.
When you look at your singleness with earthly eyes, it can lead you to desperateness, to anger with God, to despair, to wrong choices, to sinful lifestyles, and to settling for less than God's best. This, then, becomes self-inflicted suffering. When you choose to see your singleness as a burden, you have chosen a life of dissatisfaction, restlessness and misery.

Singleness Through Forever Eyes

Marriage takes a lot of effort to make it work but brings many wonderful benefits. Yet, the grass on that side of the fence is not always green.

In speaking to some single women recently, the question came up about the role of women in a godly relationship and what God expects. Does the "submission" issue begin in the dating relationship, or only after the marriage vows are taken?

I reminded the young women that relationships are never easy. A good relationship - especially with someone as close as a mate - requires lots of dying to self. It is a never-ending challenge to put the other person first, to adjust to that person, and that means there will be lots of give and take.

Marriage Through Forever Eyes

When you look at your marriage with God's Forever Eyes, you are taking very seriously those vows, "til death do you part." Through Forever Eyes, marriage vows are of great importance, and preserving the marriage if at all possible should be the earnest goal.

We won't have a married or single status in heaven. However, we will recognize each other in heaven, so you will know your marriage partner on the other side of eternity. Paul said, "Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known" (1 Corinthians 12:12b). It must be of great comfort to those whose mates have preceded them into eternity. We will know each other and enjoy renewed fellowship and companionship in eternity.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Looking at Money and Possessions with Forever Eyes

Do you know that the Bible has more than two thousand verses about money? There is more ink in the Bible about money and possessions than there is about heaven. This tells me that God considers money and the things it can buy very important.

Money's Bid for Control
Jesus fully understood the power of money and its ability to quickly and easily make its way to the throne of our hearts. He said, "No on can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money". Matthew 6:24

Love-of-Money Griefs
Paul wrote to young Timothy, "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs." 1 Timothy 6:10

The Smell of Money's Control
Here are some of the telltale signs that money has burned a hole in your heart:
  • Money causes you a great deal of fear and anxiety.
  • You find yourself dreaming about somehow coming into a lot of money, and the things you would do with it.
  • You envy people who seem to have all the money they need.
  • You think of money as the solution to all your problems.
  • You look to money for security.
  • You evaluate people by their financial success.
 What if for some horrible reason you were left devoid of all financial security? Would you feel that life was over?  It's a telling exercise because we can see how much we treasure our possessions, and where our treasure is.

Rejecting the Lordship of Money
Jesus make it clear that in order to be His disciple, we must knowingly and consciously reject money as a god in our lives.

Jesus said, "Do not store up for yourselves treasure on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal".  Matthew 6:19-20

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Looking at Time with Forever Eyes

The Bible clearly teaches that there are two places where people will spend their hereafter lives--heaven and hell. Those are the only options we have, and before we leave this life, our decision about Jesus Christ determines whether we will transition from this life into heaven or into hell.

Numbered Days
The days here on earth are numbered for each of us, and each of us has a different number. We just don't know what that number is.

David wrote:

You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man's life is but a breath.   Psalm 39:5

It's not that earthly days are unimportant, but eternity is far greater. David saw his days on this earth as inconsequential because he compared earthly days to eternal numberless days. He looked at his time with Forever Eyes.

Messages From the Person You Will Be

I heard this great question from a television commercial a while back but it really made me think. The question was "If the woman you will be in twenty years could talk to the woman you are now, what would she say to you?"

The woman I will be in twenty years will be older and wiser. She will have a perspective that I do not now have. Would she have some of these messages for me?
  • You're wasting valuable time on many things that do not matter.
  • You're missing opportunities for service to God that will never come your way again.
  • You're throwing away energy and resources on things that will burn up.
  • You're living as though your days are numberless; they are not.
Recognizing that we don't know how many days we have left, we live every day as though it could be the last.

Living now in the light of eternity brings freedom, joy, and contentment that we'll never know otherwise. It is the gateway to a meaningful, intentional lifestyle.