“Eternal rewards aren’t the goal,” my friend insisted over lunch.
“You don’t believe in eternal rewards?” I asked skeptically.
“I absolutely believe in them,” he answered. “But I’m saying they aren’t the goal.”
“I think we can be so focused on eternal rewards that we lose sight of what we should really be focused on.”
“Jesus! You can be so focused on rewards, that you lose sight of Jesus,” he argued.
Maybe he had a point. “So what about rewards, then?” I asked.
“If you focus on Christ, then the rewards will take care of themselves. We should be occupied with Him, not with rewards.”
Over the last couple of years, God has kept bringing me back to that fundamental lesson, or maybe it’s a question—Where is my focus? And is it where it should be, namely, on Christ?
I love theology. But the danger of doing theology is that any theological concern, emphasis, or hobby horse can become a distraction from Jesus Himself. Whatever truth you happen to be focusing on—let’s say, eternal rewards, predestination, or the appearance of the Antichrist—can take up so much of your thinking that you stop thinking about Jesus, or, at least, you stop focusing on Him.
I’m certainly guilty of doing that.
So, God keeps bringing me back to the question: Where is my focus? And it is on Jesus? Jesus is all that I, and all that you, need. But do you know what you have in Christ? Evan H. Hopkins, an early leader in the Keswick Convention, put it this way:
“Perhaps you own thousands of acres of land, and yet you are a poor man because you cannot pay your way. Now if below the surface there were large deposits of mineral wealth, what would be needed in order to enrich you and set you free from your bondage and difficulty? No addition need be made to your property, but simply the discovery of what you already possess. Not something added to it, but uncovering the surface and seeing what is already there. So it is with Christ” (Evan H. Hopkins, “God’s Gift of Holiness.”)
You have Christ in you, but have you discovered all the riches that you possess in Christ? Do you know the wealth of benefits that belong to you because you belong to Him? Paul said it was his mission to:
proclaim to the Gentiles the incalculable riches of Christ (Eph 3:8).
Thought for the day: If you want riches in heaven, make sure you’re focusing on your riches in Christ.