Waiting for Heaven – March 30, 2022
Pastor Steve Woods
Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Colossians 3:2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 1 1
1 John 2:15 Do not love the world or the things in the world.
The key to maintaining a proper perspective on Christ’s sufficiency, especially when dealing with turmoil and heartache, and difficult situations (like a pandemic) is to focus on our eternal inheritance. But that’s not an easy thing to do especially when living in a culture of instant gratification.
We want and we want it now. We have become self-indulgent and impatient. As a result, people have difficulty coping with life if they can’t instantly fulfill their every desire. Now Scripture responds with two concepts to repel that kind of thinking; heavenly-mindedness and delayed gratification.
Heavenly mindedness is taking our eyes off the world’s idea of fulfillment and focusing on God’s sufficient provision for our satisfaction. That’s why we’re told in Matthew “to seek first the kingdom of God”, that’s why Paul tells us in Colossians to “set our minds on things above,” and that’s exactly what John meant when he tells us “not to love the world or the things in the world.”
Delayed gratification is simply leaving it ALL to God’s will and God’s timing. This is in essence all about patience. Heavenly-minded patience. All of His promises will be fulfilled. His righteousness and authority will be fully realized. His Son and the saints will be fully vindicated – but all of it in His time, not ours.
Heavenly-minded patience includes looking forward to our eternal inheritance despite our present circumstances. Peter illustrates this principle in his first epistle, which was written to teach us how to live our faith amidst unbearable persecution and trials. The emperor Nero had blamed the Christians for the burning of Rome, as a result, the persecution of Christians became widespread, even as far as Asia Minor where the recipients of Peter’s 1st epistle lived.
He gave them and he gives us a three-fold word of encouragement; Firstly, remember your calling, “we are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession.” We have been called for a purpose; Secondly, remember to praise God. Peter writes, Blessed, be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is both a doxology and a command – Worship; Thirdly, remember your inheritance. This temporal world offers nothing in comparison to our imperishable, eternal inheritance.