Thursday, May 4, 2017

Where is your mind? Heaven or Earth?

Sometimes we catch a glimpse of Heaven in nature.

One only needs to catch a glimpse of a few music videos to realize that the time is not long before Jesus makes his triumphal return to the world.  While sitting in Costa Rica, eating lunch, we were exposed to many songs with strong sexual themes.  Although I travel quite a bit, I have not really seen music videos in years, and I usually do not pay attention to mainstream music.  In fact, living in the Washington coast has allowed me to ignore a lot of that kind of thing.  However, what I saw in mainstream songs made me realize just how wicked things are getting.

Sadly, many have been so desensitized to it that they do not see it as one who does not look upon it for a long time.  I was not the only one who was disgusted by it.  My wife and our friend who we were traveling with also showed great disgust.  Yet, this is what the world wants.

The Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. 1 Sam. 2:3.

Today I was reading Maranatha by Ellen White and I came upon an entry that I read at least five times.  This struck me as such an important and sobering thing to read and I think that any Christian should keep this in mind:

I have seen an angel standing with scales in his hands weighing the thoughts and interest of the people of God, especially the young. In one scale were the thoughts and interest tending heavenward; in the other were the thoughts and interest tending to earth. And in this scale were thrown all the reading of storybooks, thoughts of dress and show, vanity, pride, et cetera. Oh, what a solemn moment! the angels of God standing with scales, weighing the thoughts of His professed children--those who claim to be dead to the world and alive to God. The scale filled with thoughts of earth, vanity, and pride quickly went down, notwithstanding weight after weight rolled from the scale. The one with the thoughts and interest tending to heaven went quickly up as the other went down, and oh, how light it was! I can relate this as I saw it; but never can I give the solemn and vivid impression stamped upon my mind, as I saw the angel with the scales weighing the thoughts and interest of the people of God. Said the angel: "Can such enter heaven? No, no, never. Tell them the hope they now possess is vain, and unless they speedily repent, and obtain salvation, they must perish." . . .

I saw that many measure themselves among themselves, and compare their lives with the lives of others. This should not be. No one but Christ is given us as an example. He is our true Pattern, and each should strive to excel in imitating Him. . . . I saw that some hardly know as yet what self-denial or sacrifice is, or what it is to suffer for the truth's sake. But none will enter heaven without making a sacrifice. A spirit of self-denial and sacrifice should be cherished. Some have not sacrificed themselves, their own bodies, on the altar of God. They indulge in hasty, fitful temper, gratify their appetites, and attend to their own self-interest, regardless of the cause of God. Those who are willing to make any sacrifice for eternal life, will have it; and it will be worth suffering for, worth crucifying self for, and sacrificing every idol for. The far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory swallows up everything and eclipses every earthly pleasure.
This struck me because I see how I have fallen short of this ideal.  I see myself enjoying time out in Nicaragua and Costa Rica, and the beauty of God's work is impressive, but I know that all of this pales in comparison to that of Heaven.  In Heaven there will be scenery so gorgeous that none of us can even imagine it.  No more extreme heat, cold, or fear.  No more sickness while traveling.  No more tears or sorrow.   I really enjoy traveling, but it can be hard.  In Heaven, traveling will be a complete joy - full of splendor.

Our thoughts should always be on Heaven.  Those who think more of this Earth truly have made the Earth their home.  Those who have their minds on Heaven look towards the place that is their true home.

But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:20-21

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