We’ve all heard the old cliché about being so heavenly minded that we’re no earthly good. Some people use this idea to justify focusing their efforts and affections solely on this world—deluding themselves into thinking such a limited perspective is actually a virtue. But these people fail to realize the brevity of this life and the length of eternity.
As C. S. Lewis observed, the problem with most Christians is not that they think about heaven too much but that they think about heaven too little.
If you read history, you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. The Apostles themselves, who set the stage for the conversion of the Roman Empire, the great men who built up the Middle Ages, the English Evangelicals who abolished the Slave Trade, all left their mark on Earth, precisely because their minds were occupied with Heaven. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.
- Aim at Heaven, and you will get Earth “thrown in.”
- Aim at Earth, and you will get neither.
Here is the great irony: the more we think about the next world, the more effective we become in this world. I’ve seen that principle illustrated in my life every time I’ve been in the process of transitioning to a new church.
Whenever a new church has called me as its pastor, there has always been an intermediate time of about a month during which I’m wrapping up my work at my former church while at the same time thinking about my new church. Usually, those four weeks are the most productive of my entire tenure at the former church.
Why? I know my time is limited, I’m motivated to leave my work in good shape, and I am free to make what I believe are the best decisions for the church—after all, they can’t fire me since I’m already on the way out! What a liberating feeling.
The realization that we are headed to a new location called “heaven” should be great motivation for us spend our limited time on earth productively.
- No need to be concerned about piling up a large amount of money—we’ll leave it all behind when we depart.
- No reason to be fixated on what other people do to us or think about us—our calling to our new location is assured.
Instead, grasping the reality of that “place called heaven” that awaits us should liberate us to invest our few remaining years on earth as wisely as possible.
When you focus on heaven, you’ll focus on the eternal, and focusing on the eternal is the secret to maximum life impact. Today, make a conscious effort to focus on heaven and invest your time in what will last for all eternity.
Dr. Robert Jeffress is the best-selling author of 24 books, a nationally and internationally syndicated TV and radio host and the senior pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas, one of the largest and most influential churches in America Pathway to Victory, Dr. Jeffress’ broadcast ministry, airs daily nationwide on more than 900 radio stations and is broadcast live to 195 countries. His latest book, A Place Called Heaven: 10 Surprising Truths About Your Eternal Home, will release September 2017. He is an evangelical advisor to the president of the United States, Donald J. Trump.