Heavenly Minded – Jeremy Austill
Heavenly Minded

“You’re so heavenly minded that you’re no earthly good.”

Have you ever heard that one? It has to be one of the most misinformed quips in the human arsenal.

I know a lot of people who are so earthly minded that they are no heavenly good, but I have yet to meet a heavenly minded person who is not profound in the earth.

But I digress…

Moving on from this pithy expression, can we all agree that the preceding few months in our nation have felt…tumultuous?

I am not so dense to assume our American experience, though encumbered at the moment, is in any way comparable to the suffering many experience daily around the world. Some people groups were “born into trouble” and all they’ve known is varying degrees of trouble. Aside from those who have endured great sickness at the influence of COVID, or worse, have experienced the death of a loved one, can we each step back for a moment and acknowledge that though inconvenient, what we are enduring is minimal in comparison to millions upon millions around the planet?

Most of us wake up with clean water, multiple televisions, unlimited Wifi, and our health. In some ways, maybe we just need to toughen up a little.

Nonetheless, for many, the pandemic, racial tension, political toxicity, and overarching chaos gives us the unnerving sense that the world has gone mad. What do we do when the world around us is burning? Where should our thoughts center when the multitudes seem to be drinking from the springs of bitterness?

The Apostle Peter, in his epistle to the believers in the region we now know as Turkey, speaks to a collective who are experiencing the duress of a world turned against them. He pens encouragement and wisdom to those who are standing in the midst of a world gone mad. What sage advice did he offer those devoted followers of Christ? I’ll acknowledge he shared multiple nuggets, but I would like to focus on one for the duration of this piece.

“Now we live with GREAT EXPECTATION, and we have a priceless inheritance – an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.” (1 Peter 1:3-4)

At the beginning of his address, Peter reminds the believers to live with great expectation. He admonishes them to remember heaven…remember their great reward…remember where they will finish. He later talks about the struggle, and the necessity of remembering it is temporary…short-lived in light of eternity.

When I was a kid, we sang, talked, and preached about heaven frequently. I would bet not a service concluded without some celebratory or longing reference to the joy of seeing Jesus face to face and standing around the throne of God in a never-ending worship service.

Somewhere along the way we quit talking about heaven.

In part I think it was a response to a mentality of “escapism” which crept into the church. Rather than assertively being on mission, we started holding on for dear life. We also had a penchant for fatalism. The pervasive idea being that the world was just going to become so unbearably bad, what’s the point of trying…a pessimistic passivity permeated. Heaven was good. This world, hopeless.

I’m sure the above is only a minuscule fraction of the reason. I also understand there are differing opinions on eschatology…heaven…new earth…the rapture…etc.

Nevertheless, somewhere along the road, we somewhat stopped singing, talking, and preaching about heaven.

This would be a great time to start back up…

Peter felt it was a fundamental element to thriving in the midst of the chaos of this world. He wanted the people of God to project their thoughts into the heavens, because he knew it would empower them to stave off discouragement, disappointment, and defeat when this life brought difficulty to their doorstep. It was the constant reminder, if you can hold on and remain faithful, something far better awaits you…your soul should be forever flooded with the great expectation of forever.

Can you go there with me for a moment?

Can you tap into your imagination?

Can you peer with your mind’s eye?

In what has become one of my favorite passages the last few months, John the revelator says it this way…

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth…I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be His people. God Himself will be with them.

He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”

And the ONE sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!”

“It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega – the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty. I will give freely from the springs of the water of life.”

Friends, that’s just a small snippet of what it’s like to live in God’s Home…our Home. Instead of fighting over which news outlet is fake or followable, sink your heart deeply into the Good News, the report of eternity…that all this mess has an expiration date, but of His Kingdom there will be no end…

🎵 Oh when we all see Jesus, we’ll sing and shout the victory 🎶

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