Quotes for Topic: Heavenward_focus
One of the best evidences that we are truly seeking Heaven is the possession of hearts that are weaned from this world. None will ever enter the Father’s House on high in whose soul the first fruits of heavenly peace and joy does not grow now. He who finds his satisfaction in temporal things is woefully deceived if he imagines he can enjoy eternal things. He whose joy is all gone when earthly possessions are snatched from him, knows nothing of that peace which “passeth all understanding.” And yet, if the auto, radio, newspaper, money to go to the movies, were taken away from the average “church member,” what would he then have left to make life worth living?
Reference: An Exposition of Hebrews, The Reward of Faith, Chapter 9, Heb. 11:15-16. Get this book!
A life once spent is irrevocable. It will remain to be contemplated through eternity… The same may be said of each day. When it is once past, it is gone forever. All the marks which we put upon it, it will exhibit forever… Each day will not only be a witness of our conduct, but will affect our everlasting destiny… How shall we then wish to see each day marked with usefulness! It is too late to mend the days that are past. The future is in our power. Let us, then, each morning, resolve to send the day into eternity in such a garb as we shall wish it to wear forever. And at night let us reflect that one more day is irrevocably gone, indelibly marked.
Reference: The Life of Adoniram Judson, Anson, Randolph & Company, 1883, p. 13-15. Get this book!
If we dwell on high with "that great Shepherd of the sheep" we shall care little for all the confused bleatings around us, but if we become "carnal, and walk as men," we shall have little rest if we listen to this, that, and the other which every poor sheep may bleat about us.
Reference: The Blind Eye and the Deaf Ear.
I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find till after death; I must never let it get snowed under or turned aside; I must make it the main object of life to press on to that other country and to help others do the same.
The books or the music in which we thought the beauty was located will betray us if we trust to them.... For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited.
The Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have begun thinking less of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this. Aim at heaven and you get earth thrown in; aim at earth and you get neither.
Reference: Mere Christianity.
Surely it is not wrong for us to think and talk about Heaven. I like to find out all I can about it. I expect to live there through all eternity. If I were going to dwell in any place in this country, if I were going to make it my home, I would inquire about its climate, about the neighbors I would have – about everything, in fact, that I could learn concerning it. If soon you were going to emigrate, that is the way you would feel. Well, we are all going to emigrate in a very little while. We are going to spend eternity in another world… Is it not natural that we should look and listen and try to find out who is already there and what is the route to take?
Heaven is not here, it's There. If we were given all we wanted here, our hearts would settle for this world rather than the next. God is forever luring us up and away from this one, wooing us to Himself and His still invisible Kingdom, where we will certainly find what we so keenly long for.
Reference: Keep a Quiet Heart .
Because the church doesn’t really have heaven on its mind, it tends to be self-indulgent, self-centered, weak, and materialistic. Our present comforts consume too much of our thoughts, and if we’re not careful, we inevitably end up inventing wrong fantasies about heaven – or thinking very little of heaven at all.
Reference: No Earthly Idea About Heaven taken from The Glory of Heaven by John MacArthur, copyright 1996, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois, 60187, www.crosswaybooks.org, page 47.
We don’t seek to escape this life by dreaming of heaven. But we do find we can endure this life because of the certainty of heaven. Heaven is eternal. Earth is temporal. Those who fix all their affections of the fleeting things of this world are the real escapists, because they are vainly attempting to avoid facing eternity – by hiding in the fleeting shadows of things that are only transient.
Reference: No Earthly Idea About Heaven taken from The Glory of Heaven by John MacArthur, copyright 1996, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois, 60187, www.crosswaybooks.org, page 51.
In one sense it is possible “to be so heavenly minded that we are of no earthly good.” But in a much deeper sense, it is impossible to be of any real earthly good unless we are heavenly minded. Only the heavenly minded will have the patience to continue faithful in God’s work when it becomes hard, unappreciated and seeming unending. There is no greater cure for discouragement, fatigue or self-pity than to think of being in the presence of the Lord one day and of spending eternity with Him. We should make no apology for being heavenly minded.
Reference: Hebrews Commentary, Moody, 1983, p. 331.
Christians whose faith does not extend to heaven will have their eyes on the things of this world and will wonder why they are not happier in the Lord. Nothing in this life, including God’s most abundant earthly blessings, will give a believer the satisfaction and joy that come with absolute assurance of future glory.
Reference: Hebrews Commentary, Moody, 1983, p. 334.
Don’t think such heavenly mindedness makes us pilgrims no earthly good. Don’t pooh-pooh it as looking at the world through pie-in-the-sky, rose-colored glasses. Sojourners who think the most of the next world are usually those who are doing the highest good in this one. It is the person whose mind is only on earthly things who, when it comes to earth, does little good.
Reference: Heaven: Your Real Home, Zondervan, www.Zondervan.com, 1995, p. 110. Used by Permission. Get this book!
And people who do not know the Lord ask why in the world we waste our lives as missionaries. They forget that they too are expending their lives...and when the bubble has burst they will have nothing of eternal significance to show for the years they have wasted.
All is shadow here below! The world is a shadow; and it passes away! The creature is a shadow; and the loveliest and the fondest may be the first to die! Health is a shadow; fading, and in a moment gone! Wealth is a shadow; today upon the summit of affluence, tomorrow at its base, plunged into poverty and dependence! Human friendships and creature affections are but shadows; sweet and pleasant while they last, but, with a worm feeding at the root of all created good, the sheltering gourd soon withers, exposing us to the sun's burning heat by day, and to the frost's cold chill by night! Oh, yes! “Passing Away” is indelibly inscribed upon everything here below! Yet how slow are we to realize the solemn lesson: “What shadows we are, and what shadows we pursue!” Unconverted reader, what is your life but a vapor that passes away?and what are its pursuits but shadows; unreal, unsatisfying, evanescent? Your rank, your wealth, your honors, your pleasures, are but phantoms which appear but for a little while, and then are lost in the deeper shadow of the grave, and the still deeper and longer shadow of eternity! Oh, turn from these dreams and hallucinations, and, as a rational, accountable, immortal being, on your way to judgment, fix your mind upon your solemn, endless future! You are going to die! And, oh, when that dread hour comes, so real and appalling, how will your past life appear?
The glory of the star, the glory of the sun – we must not lose either in the other. We must not be so full of the hope of heaven that we cannot do our work on the earth; we must not be so lost in the work of the earth that we shall not be inspired by the hope of heaven.
When Jesus warns us not to store up treasures on earth, it's not just because wealth might be lost; it's because wealth will always be lost. Either it leaves us while we live, or we leave it when we die. No exceptions… Realizing its value is temporary should radically affect our investment strategy… According to Jesus, storing up earthly treasures isn't simply wrong. It's just plain stupid.
Reference: The Treasure Principle, 2002, p. 13-14, Used by Permission from Eternal Perspective Ministries, www.epm.org. Get this book!
When you leave this world, will you be known as one who accumulated treasures on earth that you couldn't keep? Or will you be recognized as one who invested treasures in heaven that you couldn't lose?
Reference: The Treasure Principle, 2002, p. 49, Used by Permission from Eternal Perspective Ministries, www.epm.org. Get this book!
Many Christians dread the thought of leaving this world. Why? Because so many have stored up their treasures on earth, not in heaven. Each day brings us closer to death. If your treasures are on earth, that means each day brings you closer to losing your treasures.
Reference: The Treasure Principle, 2002, p. 40, Used by Permission from Eternal Perspective Ministries, www.epm.org. Get this book!
He who lays up treasures on earth spends his life backing away from his treasures. To him, death is loss. He who lays up treasures in heaven looks forward to eternity; he's moving daily toward his treasures. To him, death is gain. He who spends his life moving toward his treasures has reason to rejoice. Are you despairing or rejoicing?
Reference: The Treasure Principle, 2002, p. 43, Used by Permission from Eternal Perspective Ministries, www.epm.org. Get this book!
As C.S. Lewis once said, “Whatever is not eternal is eternally out of date.” It is simple logic. Why not invest myself it that which will last forever and matter most in this life? Do I have the faith to believe that? Do I have a deep satisfaction for all that God promised me in Christ Jesus, beginning now? If so, I will value that which is really valuable. And in order for that to happen, I need the Lord to continually help me to keep my gaze in the right place because the things of this world oftentimes seem so right and attractive, don’t they? It’s so easy to worship the creation over the Creator, isn’t it? But God has designed it where ultimate fulfillment is only to be found in the eternal realm. So if we choose not to go that route we are programmed for failure.
Reference: Seeing the Unseen, 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, May 25, 2014.
Why are not our hearts continually set on heaven? Why dwell we not there in constant contemplation?… Bend thy soul to study eternity, busy thyself about the life to come, habituate thyself to such contemplations, and let not those thoughts be seldom and cursory, but bathe thyself in heaven’s delights.
A heavenly mind is a joyful mind; this is the nearest and truest way to live a life of comfort, and without this you must need be uncomfortable. Can a man be at a fire and not be warm; or in the sunshine and not have light? Can your heart be in heaven, and not have comfort? [On the other hand,] what could make such frozen, uncomfortable Christians but living so far as they do from heaven?... O Christian, get above. Believe it, that region is warmer than this below.
Reference: The Saints Everlasting.
A contemplative focus on the beauty of heaven: 1. Frees us from excessive dependence upon earthly wealth and comfort. 2. Enables us to respond appropriately to the injustices of this life. 3. Produces the fruit of endurance and perseverance now. 4. Exerts…purifying power on the heart. 5. Teaches us about the essence of true religion.
Reference: Excerpted from: One Thing, Christian Focus, © Enjoying God Ministries, 2004, p. 164-169, www.enjoyinggodministries.com. Used by Permission.
Not everyone thinks it helpful to focus on the future. They’ve bought into the old adage that people who do are “so heavenly minded they’re of no earthly good.” On the contrary, I’m persuaded that we will never be of much use in this life until we’ve developed a healthy obsession with the next. Our only hope for satisfaction of soul and joy of heart in this life comes from looking intently at what we can’t see (see 2 Cor. 4:16-18; Col. 3:1-4). Therefore, we must take steps to cultivate and intensify in our souls an ache for the beauty of the age to come.
Reference: One Thing, Christian Focus, © Enjoying God Ministries, 2004, p.163-164. www.enjoyinggodministries.com. Used by Permission.
It has pleased God lately to teach me more than ever that Himself is the fountain of happiness; that likeness to Him, friendship for Him, and communion with Him, form the basis of all true enjoyment. The very disposition which, blessed be my dear Redeemer! He has given me, to be anything, do anything, or endure anything, so that His name might be glorified – I say, the disposition itself is heaven begun below.
There is a way of ordering our mental life on more than one level at once. On one level we can be thinking, discussing, seeing, calculating, meeting all the demands of external affairs. But deep within, behind the scenes, at a profounder level, we may also be in prayer and adoration, song and worship, and a gentle receptiveness to divine breathings.
Reference: Testament of Devotion, Harper, 1941, p. 35.