The Case for Being Heavenly-Minded

My wife is about to lose her Dad.  He is 88 years old and his esophagus closed up a week ago and there wasn’t anything the doctors could do for him short of major surgery which he did not want to do.  In his words, “I just want to see Jesus and Mommy.” Facing the death of a loved-one puts your faith and hope in God on trial.  The devil accuses, the Spirit defends in great amphitheater of your heart.

In this season we find ourselves, not surprisingly, talking and thinking a lot about heaven.  Not just with Daddy or with the kids helping them understand, but also to ourselves.  Personally, it motivates me to go all out for God.  Why strive for a life of comfort when there is a heaven to gain?  If we are going to spend eternity with Jesus, and with all the saints that have gone on before us, why would we ever say, “No, Lord,” or “I can’t Lord?”  To become heavenly minded, motivates me to search for and do the will of God with all of my heart.  And, I know, He knows how to reveal that to you.  Our striving to know can sometimes get in the way.

To truly “set your mind on things above” will result in positive actions here on the earth.  We’re not interested in heavenly escapism to avoid life in the real world but there are a number of Scriptures encouraging us to be heavenly-minded in order to live fruitfully here on earth.  Here’s one  from Paul’s defense before Agrippa in Acts 26:

“Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision…”

Your turn.

 

4 comments for “The Case for Being Heavenly-Minded

  1. Wilco vanKleef-Bolton
    May 30, 2014 at 6:20 am

    Keith,

    It is truly touching to hear of such devotion and commitment Cherith’s father has in final stage here on earth. His ‘Heaven-wards’ attitude and his strength in it is something we can all find encouragement in, to be more focussed on our Lord, His plan and the desire to be close to him. Also not to fear that final enemy, but to embrace the inheritance that is promised to us in so many scriptures. Whether it is ourselves or whilst supporting someone in there last moments on earth.

    After reading more on and around the scripture you quoted (Phil 1:21-24) I have to stand in awe of the attitude and faith Paul has in him living or dying. He knew that if he died he would have complete, concious, intimate and unhindered fellowship with his Lord.

    I pray that you and Cherith find strength and encouragement in her father’s strong faith till the end. That the sadness will turn in to a celebration of his faith while here on earth, knowing that he will claim his promised inheritance and enjoy fellowship with our Lord.

    • Keith
      June 1, 2014 at 6:21 am

      Thanks Wilco and welcome to the conversation! And thank you for your encouraging thoughts. Daddy went home to be with the Lord on Friday in peace and rest. “Absent from the body and present with the Lord”. Scripture says that “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.” We’re very grateful that Daddy is finally home, reunited with Mom and discovering the reality of heaven – The GREAT Adventure!

      There is sadness as we will all miss him and his graduation marks a new chapter beginning in our lives as well. But like a wave washing through our sadness comes the truth of Daddy’s current state, reunion with Mom and we find ourselves rejoicing in the Lord and for Daddy’s return home to the country of his citizenship.

  2. Mark McGrath
    Mark McGrath
    May 27, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    Keith,

    Sharing the final days with someone you love is a holy thing. Watching someone who has a strong relationship with God walk through the end of their earthly journey allows you to peak through the window into eternity. It does remind you that there is so much more to live for than the things we can touch, taste and see. It stirs your heart to want to live worthy of their example, and to keep seeking the things they now can clearly see.

    I have had the honor of being present when several people I loved moved from here to heaven. The sadness is real, but the sense of awe at the way they were welcomed to their Father’s house has left a lasting impression on me. My prayer for you and Cherith is that the sadness of losing her dad will be swallowed up in the holy presence of the Eternal One. Our prayers are with you and the family.

    • Keith
      May 29, 2014 at 4:45 am

      Thanks Mark! I have never been this close to the process. It is special to see Daddy praising the Lord as the end approaches. His main concern is for those who don’t know the Lord and for us – that we would know he isn’t suffering – just patiently waiting. But it is hard to see him wither away – death really is an enemy and the last one we face. But he is clearly facing it with the Lord and not alone.

      But it does make you think. I mean Paul writes about a man who was caught up into the 3rd heaven and saw things too wonderful for words. Most commentators think that was Paul writing in the third person. Was he shown things to strengthen his heart for the journey ahead? It clearly was near the surface and bubbles out when he starts writing to the Corinthians about visions and revelations (2 Cor 12). I believe the memory of the experience helped establish his heart and helped him persevere through all he suffered with a pure heart, a good conscience and sincere faith.

      Daddy is still with us but soon will know the truth of the verse,

      “For me to live is Christ; to die is gain.”

      Thanks for your prayers and love.

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