Gilland: What does it mean to be eternally minded?

Man with beard and dog at sunset

In what most theologians would consider to be Jesus’ greatest sermon – the “Sermon on the Mount” – Jesus said the following:

19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Matthew 6:19-21

Here Jesus is speaking of two treasuries – one here on earth, and another one in heaven. He gave us clear instructions as to what to do – with the implication that we have the choice as to which treasury we are investing.

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Obviously, Jesus is encouraging us to choose the greater of two – that being heaven, which is to be our eternal home.

In his outstanding 1989 book, “Money, Possessions and Eternity,” Randy Alcorn talks about something that everyone today understands with a nuance that wasn’t as apparent when he wrote the book.

Alcorn writes that we all have a “default” mode when it comes to how we use our time and our finances.

Just like on today’s computers, we have to choose a default browser. If we don’t make that choice, we will be using the browser that the manufacturer chose.

In other words, that choice has been made for us, though we could change it, if we desire.

As humans, our default mode is never going to be choosing to make heaven our depository. It is coded into our DNA to want what we want and to lean into those directions.

In Chapter 7, Alcorn quotes theologian A.W. Tozer, who gives four questions to help us determine where our treasure lies—and thus, our heart as well.

Those questions are:

  1. What do we value most?
  2. What would we most hate to lose?
  3. What do our thoughts turn to most frequently when we are free to think of what we will?
  4. What affords us the greatest pleasure?

Tozer helps us have a way to better measure just where our heart is, as we ask ourselves these four questions.

If we find ourselves putting off reading the Bible, but we have to constrain ourselves from scrolling through posts on Instagram, then we have a pretty good idea what our “default” is.

Remember: Jesus gave us the ability to “lay up for ourselves” treasure in heaven.

Finally, Randy Alcorn wrote this: “Jesus invites us to choose our treasury. Will we invest our treasures on earth and lose them when we die? Or will we invest our treasures in heaven, where they will be ours for eternity?”

God help us all to change our default setting and way of thinking. And may we live our days in eternity mode.

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