Pointing Upward – Tyler Clutts
By: Tyler Clutts
June 9, 2017
Recently I’ve been going through the 50 Days of Heaven study by Randy Alcorn. Throughout this study Randy is painting this picture of what everyone hopes Heaven will be like. I picture Heaven to be a place of paradise, filled with happiness and a lack of suffering, but what I struggle with is the fact that I often get wrapped up in a deed-oriented mindset. I focus on the questions, “Am I good enough?” or “Have I done enough?”
It’s so important for us all to remember that no matter what we do, we do not change what Heaven is.
If we each have a relationship with Jesus Christ and have placed our hope in Him alone, we have no reason to worry or question whether we are good enough because none of us are good enough. Only Christ is. This is a really hard concept to accept in our works-based culture, but that’s exactly why we need to be constantly reminding ourselves that our eternity is not based on what we do.
It’s hard to picture Heaven because we are told that it is better than anything that we can imagine in this life. We cannot fully grasp how marvelous it truly will be! In a society that is so focused on instant gratification—we all want to make sure we are happy and have everything that will make us comfortable—we have to realize that our reality here on earth is only a small blip in our eternal existence.
Before I became a Christ-follower I called myself a Christian but didn’t really want to be one. I didn’t think that Christians had any fun or enjoyed life at all. I thought Christians were boring. But look at those who are in a great place in their faith in Jesus Christ; these are the greatest people to be around. They are the happiest people because they know what true joy is! This is all part of God’s great design—our joy in Christ and fellowship with Him is a small taste of Heaven itself.
“But our citizenship is in Heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,.” —Philippians 3:20
The idea that you can’t be a Christian and still enjoy life couldn’t be further from reality. When we invest our life today in our eternal future, living a life that reflects Christ instead of ourselves, we have the hope and joy that we will experience paradise with Him for eternity. I once saw an illustration that really stuck out to me. The speaker pulled out a long rope that stretched across the stage and then he also held up a tiny black string, which was barely visible. He told us to imagine that the rope was wrapped around the gym a thousand times with the tiny string hanging off the end. He explained that we are foolishly focused on the tiny string that represents our time on earth, when we should be thinking about our long-term, eternal reality.
Christians can be the best witness by daily living their lives with the joy and hope of eternity. Just like kids can sense when their parents are stressed out or in a good place, people notice when others have a sense of peace and purpose in this life. If we are chasing the immediate, instant gratification of this life, we are not experiencing the fullness of Christ. But when we are resting in His goodness, focused on our inheritance of eternity with Him, we have a contagious presence about us that others can’t help but notice.
When Jesus died and rose again, He canceled our need to strive and carry our burdens for ourselves. The burden of sin is too heavy for us; we shouldn’t take it. When we give it to Him, we can know and be an example of the peace and joy that God has provided for us. When others see the peace and selflessness of Christ in our lives, they will become attracted to that, turning their gaze upward instead of inward.
Tyler Clutts is a regular contributor to The Increase, providing monthly articles and opinions.
Check out Tyler’s Increase profile here: http://theincrease.com/author/tylerclutts/
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