FOCUS ON ETERNITY

WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL

APRIL 17, 2024

TOPIC: FOCUS ON ETERNITY

BY T. O. BANSO. 

It is a wonderful thing to be alive! If a person lives to be very old, let him rejoice in every day of life, but let him also remember that eternity is far longer and that everything down here is futile in comparison” (Ecclesiastes 11:7-8 Living Bible).

The Bible says that God created man in His image (Genesis 1:27). He created man to live forever just like Himself.. God lives in eternity or forever. Isaiah 57:15a describes God as “The high and lofty One who inhabits eternity” (Living Bible). God says of Himself in Isaiah 43:13, “From eternity to eternity I am God. No one can oppose what I do” (Living Bible).

God made human beings for eternity. Man’s life on earth is not the end. Death is a transition to eternity. Ecclesiastes 3:11a says God planted eternity in the hearts of men. In other words, there is a consciousness of immortality in man, the expectation of something after death better than what life on earth offers, even if some people try to deny this consciousness. Nevertheless, not everyone allows the sense of eternity to guide his journey on earth.

No matter how long someone lives on Earth, he will die one day, and living several years on Earth is still incomparable with eternity. Ecclesiastes 11:7-8 says, It is a wonderful thing to be alive! If a person lives to be very old, let him rejoice in every day of life, but let him also remember that eternity is far longer and that everything down here is futile in comparison (Living Bible). It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this, the judgment (Hebrews 9:27). Eternity after life on earth is either eternity with God or eternity with the devil. Everybody determines now on earth where he will spend his eternity. This depends on his response to the message of salvation.

On earth, not everything will matter in a few years and the only thing that will matter after death is eternity. Therefore, everyone should focus on eternity now. Those who are not born again should give their lives to Jesus and focus on eternity, for nothing else will matter after death. Mark 8:36 asks what it will profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his soul. The answer is nothing. Revelation 20:15 says anyone whose name is not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. That’s where they will spend their eternity. The worm there does not die, and the fire is not quenched (Mark 9:44, 46, 48). 

Whoever you are and whatever you have, focus on eternity. The sinner must not be carried away by his accomplishments and possessions, and ignore eternity or live in denial of it. He must be born again and live, focusing on eternity. Those who are already born again, should not be distracted by anything in the Christian race. They must focus on eternity just as an athlete focuses on the finishing line.

Hebrews 12:1-2 says, Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (New King James Version).

As that scripture says, those who are running the Christian race must “lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. Weight and the sin that easily ensnares will slow down Christians and easily hinder their progress. Weight refers to an encumbrance, impediment, or hindrance. It does not have to be something evil or sinful. It may be something good but that is not good or right for you because it will not help you or contribute to your running well the Christian race to eternity.

Paul, speaking along this line, says, “You say, ‘I am allowed to do anything’—but not everything is good for you. And even though ‘I am allowed to do anything,’ I must not become a slave to anything(1 Corinthians 6:12 New Living Translation).

The phrase “the sin which so easily ensnares us” in Hebrews 12:1 refers to “the sin which so easily and cleverly entangles us” (Amplified Bible) or the “sin which clings so closely” (English Standard Version). To focus on eternity, you must get rid of every weight and the sin which clings so closely. You must set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.

Colossians 3:1-4 says,If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory” (English Standard Version). Note the phrase “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” Focus on eternity. Let nothing distract you.

1 John 2:15-17 says, Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever” (New Living Translation). Aim at living forever with God. Focus on eternity. Don’t let your temporary earthly life disqualify you from eternity with God. Don’t be like Demas who loved the world and left Paul because he loved the world (2 Timothy 4:10). We don’t know if Demas also left the Lord.

Don’t be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2a). Look unto Jesus the founder and perfecter of your faith. Don’t be distracted by the things of this world. You are a citizen of heaven and should wait eagerly for Jesus Christ to come from heaven (Philippians 3:20). As a temporary resident and foreigner in the world, you should abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul (1 Peter 2:11).

Focus on eternity even in the use of your God-given resources. Paul talked about the only safe investment for eternity. He said, Tell those who are rich not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which will soon be gone, but their pride and trust should be in the living God who always richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and should give happily to those in need, always being ready to share with others whatever God has given them. By doing this they will be storing up real treasure for themselves in heaven—it is the only safe investment for eternity! And they will be living a fruitful Christian life down here as well” (1 Timothy 6:17-19 Living Bible). Note the phrase “By doing this they will be storing up real treasure for themselves in heaven-it is the only safe investment for eternity!”

Storing up real treasure for oneself in heaven is the only safe investment for eternity. This is done by being rich in good works, and giving happily to those in need, always being ready to share with others whatever God has blessed one with. Focus on eternity. Your stay here on earth is temporary. Your life here is brief no matter how long you live. Where will you spend your eternity?

TAKE ACTION!

If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.

Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself.  I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.

I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.

PRAYER POINTS: I shall not be engrossed with the things of this world and not focus on eternity. Holy Spirit, help me to focus on eternity, and spend eternity with God, not with the devil.

(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).

T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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