Saddleback Church pastor and best-selling author Rick Warren urges Christians to always keep in mind that their life on "Earth is just a temporary assignment," and to focus on the things that really matter.
Warren published a devotional Monday that focused on the Bible verse 2 Corinthians 4:18, as rendered by the Today's English Version.
"For we fix our attention, not on things that are seen, but on things that are unseen. What can be seen lasts only for a time, but what cannot be seen lasts forever," reads the verse.
The author of The Purpose Driven Life explained that "it's important to remember that life on Earth is just a temporary assignment."
"Knowing this truth should radically alter your values and fix your attention on the things that are eternally important," wrote Warren.
"When life gets tough, when you're overwhelmed with doubt, or when you wonder if living for Christ is worth the effort, remember that you are not home yet. At death you won't leave home — you'll go home."
Critiquing the prosperity gospel, Warren also noted that "a fatal mistake to assume is that God's goal for your life is material prosperity or popular success as the world defines it."
"Paul was faithful, yet he ended up in prison. John the Baptist was faithful, but he was beheaded. Millions of faithful people have been martyred, have lost everything, or have come to the end of life with nothing to show for it," continued Warren.
"The abundant life has nothing to do with material abundance. Faithfulness to God does not guarantee success in a career or even in ministry. Never focus on temporary crowns."
Warren's statements on the temporary nature of life on Earth bear resemblance to comments he made earlier this year about the enduring nature of God's family.
In July, Warren explained a devotional that the "family of God" will outlast everything of the modern day, from the United States to Microsoft.
"A thousand years from today, if there's still Earth here, there won't be a Microsoft. There won't be a Hollywood a thousand years from today. There won't be a United States of America, because no earthly kingdom lasts forever. There won't be all of the things we think are so great," Warren said.
"But there will still be the family of God. God's people last. It's the only thing that's going to last. … I make no apology in saying to you that maybe joining a spiritual family will be the most significant thing you do with your life."
Warren made this point when putting forth the argument that Christians "need to join a local church" for "it's going to outlast everything else you do."
"Because what the Church is doing in making a difference in the world is going to outlast your career. It's going to outlast your hobbies," Warren continued.
"It's going to outlast every other thing you do. It's the only thing that's going to last forever because it's about changed lives. There are only two things that are going to last forever: God's Word and God's people."
Lord, remind me of how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered, and that my life is fleeing away.
Psalm 39:4 ( NLT )
I am here on earth for just a little while.
Psalm 119:19 ( TEV )
Life on earth is a temporary assignment.
The Bible is full of metaphors that teach about the brief, temporary, transcient nature of life on earth. Life is described as a mist, a fast runner, a breath and a wisp of smoke. The Bible says," For we were born but yesterday. . . .our days on earth are as transcient as a shadow."
To make the best use of your life, you must never forget two truths: First, compared with eternity, lige is extremely brief. Second, earth is only a temporaty residence. You won't be here so long, so don't get too attached. Ask God to help you see life on earth as he sees it. David prayed," Lord, help me to realize how brief my time on earth will be. Help me to know that I am here for but a moment more."
Repeatedly the Bible compares life on earth to temporarily living in a foreign country. This is not your permanent home or final destination. You're just passing through, just visiting earth. The Bible uses terms like, alien, pilgrim, stranger, visitor and traveler to describe our brief stay on earth. David said," I am but a foriegner here on earth," and Peter explained," If you call God your father, live your time as temporary residents on earth."
In California, where I live, many people have moved from other parts of the world to work here, but they keep their citizenship with their home country. They are required to carry a visitor registration card ( called a "green card" ), which allows them to work here even thougj they aren't citizens. Christians should carry SPIRITUAL green cards to remind us that our citizenship is in heaven. God says his children are to think differently about life from the way unbelievers do. "All they think about is this life here on earth. But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives." Real believers understand that there is far more to life than just the few years we live on this planet.
Your identity is in eternity, and your homeland is heaven. When you grasp this truth, you will stop worrying about "having it all" on earth. God is very blunt about the danger of living for the here and now and adopting the values, priorities, and lifestyles of the world around us. When we flirt with the temptations of this world, God calls it spiritual adultery. The Bible says," You're cheating on God. If all you want is your own way, flirting with the world every chance you get, you end up enemies of God and his way."
Imagine if you were ask by your country to be an ambassador to an enemy nation. You would probably have to learn a new language and adapt to some customs and cultural differences in order ti be polite and to accomplish your mission. As an ambassador you would not be able to isolate yourself from the enemy. To fulfill your mission, you would have to have contact and relate to them.
But suppose you become so comfortable with this foreign country that you fell inlove with it, preferring it to your homeland. Your loyalty and commitment would change. Your role as an ambassador will compromised. Instead of representing your home country, you would start acting like the enemy. You'd be a traitor.
The Bible says, "We are Christ's ambassadors." Sadly, many Christians have betrayed their King and his Kingdom. They have foolishedly concluded that because they live on earth, it's their home. It is not. The Bible is clear: "Friends, this world is not your home, so don't make yourselves cozy in it. Don't indulge your ego at the expense of your soul." God warns us to not get too attached to what's around us because it is temporary. We're told, "Those in frequent contact with the things of this world should make good use of them without becoming attached to them, for this world and all it contains will pass away."
Compared with other centuries, life has never been easier for much of the western world. We are constantly entertained, amused and catered to. With all the fascinating attractions, mesmerizing media, and enjoyable experiences today, it's easy to forget that the pursuit of happiness is not what life is about. Only as we remember that life is a test, a trust and a temporary assignment will the appeal of these things lose their grip on our lives. We are preparing gor something even better." The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can't see now will last forever."
The fact that earth is not our ultimate home explains why, as followers of Jesus, we experience difficulty, sorrow and rejection in this world. It also explains why some of God's promises seen unfulfilled, some prayers seem unanswered, and some circumstances seem unfair. This is not the end of the story.
In order to keep us from becoming too attached to earth, God allows us to feel a significant amount of discontent and dissatisfaction in life—longings that will NEVER be fulfilled on this side of eternity. We're not completely happy here because we're not supposed to be! Earth is not our final home; we were created for something much better.
A fish would never be happy living on land, because it was made for water. An eagle could never feel satisfied if it wasn't allowed to fly. You will never feel completely satisfied on earth, because you were made for more. You will have happy moments here, but nothing compared with what God has planned for you.
Realizing that life on earth is just a temporary asaignment should radically alter your values. Eternal values, not temporal ones, should become the deciding factors for your decisions. As C.S. Lewis observed."All that is not eternal is eternally useless." The Bible says," 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."
It is a fatal mistake to assume that God's goal for your life is material prosperity or popular success, as the world defines it. The abundant life has nothing to do with material abundance, and faithfulness to God does not guarantee success in a career or even in ministry. Never focus on temporary crowns.
Paul was faithful, yet he ended up in prison. John tha Baptist was faithful, but he was beheaded. Millions of faithful people have been martyred, have lost everything or have to come to the end of life with nothing to show for it. BUT THE END OF LIFE IS NOT THE END.
In God's eyes, the greatest heroes of faith are not those who achieve prosperity, success and power in this life, but those who treat life as a temporary assignment and serve faithfully, expecting their promised reward in eternity. The Bible says this about God's Hall of Fame:" All these great people died in faith. They did not get the things that God promised his people, but they saw them coming far in the future and were glad. They said they were like visitors and strangers on earth. . . . they were waiting for a better country—a heavenly country. So God is not ashamed to be called their God, because He has prepared a city for them." Your time on earth is not the complete story of your lige. You must wait until heaven for the reat of the chapters. It takes faith to live on earth as a foreigner.
An old story is often repeated of a retiring missionary coming home to America on the same boat as the president of the United States. Cheering crowds, military band, a red carpet, banners and the media welcomed the president home, but the missionary slipped off the ship unnoticed. Feeling self-pity and resentment, he began complaining to God. Then God gently reminded him," But my child,you're not home yet."
You will not be in heaven two seconds before you cry out, "Why did I place so much importance on things that were so temporary? What was I thinking? Why did I waste so much time, energy, and concern on what wasn't going to last?"
When life gets tough, when you're overwhelmed with doubt, or when you wonder if living for Christ is worth the effort, remember that you are not home yet. At death you won't leave home—you'll GO HOME.
THINKING ABOUT MY PURPOSE
POINT TO PONDER: This world is not my home.
VERSW TO REMEMBER: "So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."
2Corinthians 4:18 ( NIV )
QUESTION TO CONSIDER: How should the fact that life on earth is just a temporary assignment change the way I am living right now?
I guess every one of us knew that this world is only our temporary place to live in.We Christians believe that there is heaven and we were made to go there after our life here on earth, but what we did'nt realize is that all the things we did here from the day we were born til the day we face death, and from the smallest detail of showing our good characteristics to the people surrounds us is monitored by God and that same thing is the "proofs" to evaluate for oir eternity life..
As I have read this chapter I realize what I've said from the begginning on the first chapter...I am not satisfied, I am not yet happy though I tried to be happy ..it is because I am not made to be happy and contented here on earth...eventually there is more satisfaction for me in heaven :) ...Happy to assume that but for awhile I will do my best to make good things here on earth..with God's guidance...
nothing more to say guys...runnin out of english terms....lol
tomorrow promise taglish na tlaga...d na kaya ng power ni author heheh sorry guys trying hard lang ang peg!!!!
have a blessed day everyone until next day for the sevent day...