Heavenly Minded, Earthly Good.
13 Someone in the crowd said to [Jesus], “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”14 Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” 15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
Remember a modern charge against the Christians? “Believers are often so heavenly minded that they are of no earthly good!” The charge assumes that even if the daily questions and the eternal questions of life are somehow interrelated, the daily ones are surely the most important of all. I think that’s the motivation of the person who came out of the crowd and challenged Jesus to answer an inheritance question. It’s as if he were saying, “Hey Jesus, I know that this stuff between God and me is important, but what about my inheritance? What about my brother giving me what I deserve right now? What do you say about that?” It’s as if he were saying, “I like the spiritual things you have been talking about, but now let’s deal with something that really matters.”
It’s interesting that Jesus doesn’t get sidelined by the question. Instead, in Luke 12:16-21, He tells a story about a man who has everything in place for himself this side of heaven. You might say that the man in Jesus’ story was too earthly minded because he had an abundance of what he needed. All was surely well for him, right? Now, people in Jesus’ day, like many today, tended to assume that wealth and prosperity were a sign of God’s favor. But Jesus refers to the wealthy man in His story as “a fool” (12:20). Jesus says that he passes away that very night and then God demands an eternal accounting of his earthly life. The implication of Jesus’ parable is that this man is found wanting concerning eternal things, and all his earthly abundance was of no help to him when it mattered most. Jesus warns, “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God” (12:21).
So, what’s the point? The point is that our eternal perspective on life should be both heavenly and earthly minded. Our faith in Jesus Christ, our receiving of His mercy and grace, aligns us again eternally with God and that eternal realignment affect show we live life here on earth too. If you understand the proclamation of salvation by grace alone through faith in Jesus, it changes everything, now and forever. Spend time with God in His Word, immerse yourself in His eternal perspective on your life, and I know that it will begin to change the way that you look at things here and now as well. Then things like family, friends, work, leisure, community, and service, begin take their proper place in our lives because our relationship with God is certain and sure. Knowing Jesus Christ by grace through faith is the key to it all. Trust Him and see.
PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, give me Your perspective on my life. Then teach me to value Your wisdom and guidance in both the eternal and the temporal things of my life. AMEN.
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