Living Your Most Abundant Life Now
I've written more than a few Daily Devos on the topic of the dangers of prioritizing the next life over this one.
And I've also said more than once that theology that purports the chief end of Christianity is simply "to go to heaven when we die" is not only poorly done, it's dangerous.
But there's more to be said on this, I think. Anthony de Mello spoke into this in one of his teachings on awareness:
Nobody seems to be grappling with the problem of: Is there a life before death? Yet my experience is that it's precisely the ones who don't know what to do with this life who are all hot and bothered about what they are going to do with another life.There are more than a few reasons why it is so important for followers of Jesus to not get too "other-worldly" focused.
To begin, there is much to be done right here and now to fulfill our calling as kingdom-bearers and bringers.
And along those lines, as Jesus-followers we ought to be acutely aware that the incarnation (God in the flesh) of Jesus is a sign and symbol that God not only loves the world (and us), but that God has not given up on here and now.
But there's another reason: Jesus' desire for his followers was that they live their best and most abundant life, and in order to do that, he knew they would need to be more present... in the present.
In Matthew chapters 5-7, we have the text from Jesus' greatest sermon: The Sermon on the Mount. In this text, Jesus outlines a way of living that is grounded in the now.
And here's the amazing outcome of living the kind of life that Jesus exhorts his followers to live---an outwardly-focused life that is justice-oriented and wholly devoted to intimacy with God:
When you live that kind of life, you experience heaven--right here, right now. You don't have to wait until you shuffle off this mortal coil, trip the light fantastic...
Or to put it less poetically, you don't have to wait until you die.
Take the time today to read Matthew chapters 5-7. Identify 2-3 ways that you could heed Jesus' teachings and begin living your best, most abundant and eternal life.
And then put them into practice--experience a bit of heaven on earth, right here, right now as you become more and more fully present in the present.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.