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NTC: Challenge to Eternity

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Eternal Perspective

Perspective: Our Perception Becomes our Reality

New Dog…teaching him all sorts of new things.
Thought he was smart, but I couldn’t get him to go up stairs.
Then I looked at the steps from his point of view
Stairs...
Stairs...
Tailgate...
I”m not sure he thinks about what he is seeing, but I do know for us

What we think about what we know shapes - what we do with what we know.

What we think about what we see determines what we do with it.
Money…is there going to be more?
Food…does it make me happy?
Relationships…do people hurt me?
Jesus…did he save me?
life…is it long or short? Is there more after thiis one?

We

What we think about what we know shapes - what we do with what we know.

There is a problem with temporal living...

We can get caught up in living for today when we were created with a heart for so much more.
We were’t created to stress over the concerns of this world, but the things of God.
FOr disciples, part of the problem is that our hearts have been awakend by God’s spirit. We were created with a longing for eternity

God

We were created with a longing for eternity.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV84
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
We were’t created to stress over the concerns of this world, but the things of God.
FOr disciples, part of the problem is that our hearts have been awakend by God’s spirit. We were created with a longing for eternity
But how many of us are thinking eternally?
Marketers convice us.
advertisements that push us to focus on the here and now.
This flows over into our lives as disciples too. Just because we follow Jesus, we aren’t immune from getting caught up in short term thinking.
BUt as we approach the end of this New Testament Challenge we are reminded of the reality that this world does not last.
Revelation 22:12–13 NIV84
“Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.
Revelation 22:12 NIV84
“Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.
Revelation
There is an end coming, not just to our lives, but to this world as we know it.
And this week we had a reading that really challenged our thinking about the ending.
Turn with me to

Am I thinking eternally?

The letter of had a check for us all, that i’d like us to consider.
Turn with me to
1 Peter 4:7 NIV84
The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.
The end is near…so here is your check-in.
1 Peter 4:7 NIV84
The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.
First, be clear minded and self controlled as we pray. We are clear minded when our only distractions are the things of scripture and love. Self controlled in teh sens that we are intentiional in our prayer time. Do you plan to pray or is your prayer time only when it comes to mind? Do you have a focused prayer life?
I say focused
But our prayer life isn’t the only thing to consider.
1 Peter 4:8 NIV84
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
Time is short…so love each other…deeply. Just as Jesus’s love covered our sin, so when we love one another, we are able to move beyond our shortcomings.
In life we have all sorts of reasons to forget to love one another. You’re tired and come hoem to the house in a mess. Someone misses a deadline. Someone over reacts to a mistake. Sure these are imporatnt. But they are less important when we think about the reality that Jesus is coming back.
So ask yourself,
– Do I love others deeply?
Then we move to the third check in Peter’s letter.
1 Peter 4:9 NIV84
Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.
In Peter’s time, this referred to how they treated laborers for the gospel, missionaries. How they cared for and ministered to those who ministered to others. Was it an inconvinece? Same for us today. Is it an inconvienience to host others? Or do you look for ways to welcome others into your life?
When we think about Jesus becoming, we are more willing to open our entire lives to others in hopes that they might see Jesus alive in us. But when we think about our lives on this world, others do become an inconvenience at times.
– Do I practice hospitality without complaining?
1 Peter 4:10–11 NIV84
Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
– Do I use my gifts to serve others and glorify God?
Now if you are like me, there is room for improvement in each one of these. I can be more intentional in my prayer, in my loving others, in my welcoming outsiders and even in how I use my gifts.
We could all do these more consistently, no doubt, right?
Now, normally speaking, we might be ok with being ok. But as disciples of JEsus, we can settle with ok…but we don’t have to. Actually I believe that as disciples of Jesus, we long to bring glory to God....and in order to do that with our lives, we have an advantage.

We have an advantage.

what’s our advantage? God’s Spirit alive in us.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV84
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
Romans 8:9 NIV84
You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.
Romans 8:9–11 NIV84
You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.
Romans 8:8 NIV84
Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.

You

How do I develop an eternal perspective for your life?

Saturate myself in God's word.

Matthew 4:4 NIV84
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
– Power of repeatedly hearing god’s promise for us
– Power of repeatedly hearing god’s promise for us

Focus on the needs of others

Matthew 25:37–40 NIV84
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40 “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’
Matthew 25:31–40 NIV84
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40 “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’
Look for needs in others.
When you think about others and their needs, you think less about yourself…and more like Jesus…and develop an eternal perspective.
– You forget about yourself.
– You forget about yourself.

Separate myself from the noise of this world

Luke 5:16 NIV84
16 But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.
– Deaf Opera singer
– Deaf Opera singer
Matthew 6:6 NIV84
6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
When we live with an eternal perspective everything changes. The good things and the bad things.

An eternal perspective changes everything.

The Bad:

2 Corinthians 4:17–18 NIV84
17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
– Obstacles are oppportunities
– Obstacles are oppportunities
– Setbacks are Platforms

The Good

John 4:13–14 NIV84
13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
– Blessings are a preview
– Blessings are a preview
– Victories are proofs
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