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July 24, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“As Jesus was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!’ ‘Do you see all these great buildings?’ replied Jesus. ‘Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.’ As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John and Andrew asked him privately, ‘Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are all about to be fulfilled?’”—Mark 13:1–4 (NIV)
Have you ever been in awe of a beautiful structure? Perhaps you’ve had the privilege of visiting some of the world’s most astonishing architectural artifacts such as the Hagia Sophia in Turkey, the Taj Mahal in India, or the Colosseum in Italy. Maybe you, like me, have not traveled that much but are still amazed by the skyscrapers in downtown Miami or even Calvary’s own facilities. Although admiring the beauty of structural art is good and fun, we can see from this instance, in addition to various other teachings of Jesus, that we must not allow the temporary to blind us from the eternal.
When one of Jesus’ disciples expressed his admiration for the beauty of the temple buildings, instead of expressing similar admiration, Jesus prophesied that those same buildings would soon be demolished. He didn’t give much details in that statement, though, so four of the disciples asked on behalf of the rest for more information. Instead of asking what He meant by that, they asked when these things would happen. If we continue reading, we see that Jesus’ response still lacks a direct answer to their “when” question because He sought to convey a different message. Though He was prophesying about the end times, the purpose for this in all the Scriptures is always to equip us with hope and perseverance rather than all the details. From the onset of that disciple’s comment, Jesus’ intention was to redirect their minds to the eternal.
If we don’t maintain an eternal mindset, the things of this world can cloud our minds and cause us to ask Jesus the wrong questions. We will worship the creation instead of the Creator. We will pray “Please give me this,” “Bless me with this,” “Tell me when and tell me all,” when instead we should be praying, “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done,” and “I may not know the details, but I trust you Lord, guide my next steps.”
Maintaining an eternal mindset means we set our minds on things above. We no longer see distinctions between people as barriers to their repentance and salvation. We no longer see the temporary as ultimately important, and we no longer define our purpose by worldly means. Our purpose is rooted in God’s re-identification of us as His new creation, His children, His ambassadors. Therefore, maintaining an eternal mindset will help us admire temporary luxuries or beauties with healthy boundaries, and it will help us ask Jesus better questions than just “when” as we trust Him to reveal the details in His perfect timing. Let’s cultivate an eternal mindset today!
Pause: Take a moment to consider how or where you’ve recently been fixated on earthly things rather than on heavenly things.
Practice: Whatever earthly thing that may be occupying your attention and stress, surrender it to the Lord today. Replace it with Scripture and with active investment in the eternal kingdom through even the smallest act of service today!
Pray: Heavenly Father, thank You that You don’t always give me all the answers or details. Thank You for being more interested in my faith and trust rather than my temporary concerns. I ask that You help me cultivate an eternal mindset today and see opportunities to invest in the eternal kingdom today! Amen.
Samy Rodriguez has been serving with the Calvary writing team since 2020 as a senior at Calvary Christian Academy. Before going to study communications, biblical studies, and intercultural studies at Palm Beach Atlantic University, she interned with the Calvary Communications Team and was a student leader in HSM (High School Ministry). She is passionate about communicating God’s Word and looks forward to continuing to serve in ministry after college.