As people of God, we have a unique investment challenge in that we have a kind of dual citizenship. The writer of Hebrews explains that we are like foreigners in this life traveling to a heavenly city (Hebrews 11: 16). Negotiating our lives under these nomadic circumstances calls for us to look at life from two perspectives: temporal and eternal. “We look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Corin-thians 4:18, NAS). A temporal perspective places an emphasis on those things or values that will only last as long as the world. An eternal perspective emphasizes those values and things that belong to God’s eternal kingdom. There is nothing wrong with temporal values and things in and of themselves. For God created everything in the world for us to use and enjoy (1 Timothy 1:17). However, God wants us to avoid having temporal things as our focus. Rather we need to use God’s values, desires and will to govern and direct our decisions.
How then do invest our lives based on eternity-oriented decisions? Paul mastered this kind of thinking. Consider these two passages.
If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.
Whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him. Philippians 3:7 NIV
Our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ. Philippians 3:20 NIV
Questions for Appraising Your Life Biblically
If you evaluate your life as Paul did, what specific things would you consider to be losses as compared to the value of knowing Christ? How did Paul’s awareness of his heavenly citizenship affect the way he lived his life on earth? How can your life be more reflective of a heavenly citizenship?1
The final word on making the best investment for our lives comes from C.T. Studd, 19th c. British Missionary. “If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him.”
Pattie L. Harris
1Practical Christian Living Part 2, Campus Crusade for Christ, 2005, p.66