Nothing Really Really Matters!

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For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. Philippians 1:10

Asking “what really matters?” helps us live meaningful lives from a different perspective. Otherwise we only live from a perspective of the here & now, and from our past experiences, and not from heavenly values. 

In the letter to the Philippians Paul makes some serious perspective statements:

1:21 For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better.

He knew by dying he would be with Jesus, and by living he could keep preaching the gospel, and establishing the Church – the things that really matter.  So he was happy either way. Perspective!  Nothing else really really matters!

2:16 Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless. 

Our lives count.  They have a purpose we must discover and run in.

2:21 All the others care only for themselves and not for what matters to Jesus Christ.

3:8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.

3:14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.

Paul lived wholly from an ETERNAL PERSPECTIVE.  The bible tells us ‘God has placed eternity in our hearts’ – we’re wired to live from an eternal perspective.

An Eternal perspective : living, prioritising & making decisions now, based on what really matters eternally.  Living based on what really matters will:

  • help us determine Godly values on earth
  • help us discern between right and wrong, good and bad choices – we see more clearly
  • help us determine our prioritise more clearly
  • give us a true motivation for life
  • help us to see the finish line not just the starting blocks
  • effect how we grow, what we do, who we become, and what we value.

Lets imagine a very very long rope.  Imagine this rope to be an eternal timeline.  Now imagine a few centimetres of red tape wrapped around one end.  This represents our few short years here on earth.  The rest of the rope is eternity. 

Some people, all they think about is the red part – I will work hard, save, save, save so I can really enjoy the last few millimetres of the red tape.  The are consumed with it – am I going to get to travel at some point in my life?  Now what about the house we will retire in?  Now back to that 3 vacations/year desire we have. Life for them is about comfort now, am I ok now, in these few centimetres on earth!

That’s crazy!  When you think that how I live now determines how I am going to live in eternity. God wants us to invest our lives in what really matters, focussed on eternity.  Those other things don’t really really matter, when put into perspective.

We maybe building a life on earth, but are we building on into heaven?  What about your neighbour needing Christ, the vision of your Church to reach its city that needs funding, what about our condition when we cross that finish line?

In the end everything I do will bring either reward or regret – how I live, spend my money, and spend my time.   So an eternal perspective effects how we see our :

CIRCUMSTANCES

Understanding what really matters changes your perspective on things you go through.

*  So that house didn’t go through, I spilt the wine down my shirt, I lost the business deal… Perspective?  In the grand scheme of eternity God is working it all out for our good.

It doesn’t remove the pain of a difficult situation, but instead of asking “Why?” I can ask “What. What now?” & “Who. Who can I lean on?” – I can fully trust Him.

I don’t need to understand everything to trust God if I have an eternal perspective.

Paul said that “even my chains have helped spread gospel” – what happened to him was not as important as the outcome.  We don’t have to understand the ‘what’ to know the ‘who’.  Some need to hear this today, because of what been through.

In self-defence sports you are taught to use the momentum of someone moving toward you to attack and turn it into their fall.  Perspective.  What seemed for harm, was used to overcome.

2 Corinthians 4:17,18
17 For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! 18 So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. 

  • Even though others want to remind me of my past, I’ll live for my future.
  • When I see from a different perspective – I don’t see lack, I see plenty…
  • When your perspective is connected to your purpose and not your pain then you will live above

Nothing really really matters compared to the what really matters!

OUR TIME

Time invested is heavenly currency.  How we use our hours matters.

When I get to heaven do I think I’m going to impress Him with “Well I watched 7000 hours of movies” ?

What about a dinner party with my neighbours helping to bring them a step closer to Jesus.

I’m late but I enjoyed what I was doing, but not honouring those you are late for.

Paul is urging throughout this letter that the gospel, our lives poured out for others, living for Christ completely – these should determine how we use our time.

Nothing really really matters compared to the what really matters!

OUR MONEY

When I get to heaven am I really going to try & impress Him by “Hey look, look at all these things I bought.” “No really the latest …” 

When we realise what really matters we change our perspective on what we do with our money.

Matthew 6:19-21
19 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

I once lived for now, spent now, thought a little about tomorrow but not a whole lot.  My money was important to me, and what I could acquire. Now my money is His, I want to use all I can to spread the gospel, invest in the future, and make decisions based on reward & not regret.

Nothing really really matters compared to the what really matters!

OUR BEHAVIOUR 

When we see from an eternal perspective we realise that what we do, say and think now really does matter.  They are all seeds for future reaping – what do we want to be like when we cross that line?

Paul is going : “I’m doing everything now to pass that line well.”

  • Today is not simply about satisfying my need for approval, sexual gratification, impulse shopping, a 500g steak or new red shoes…
  • Drinking too much tonight sounds fun but tomorrow you live with a headache and a reputation. If I think of tomorrow, what I want to be known for, I decide on that today.

Development of my character, showing self-control, makes all the difference to what really matters.

For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. Philippians 1:10

Life change today is going to happen when you get a perspective shift.  Are you living just for the here and now or something that really matters?

* We must step over that line?

God has invested too much to stop half way.  He will finish the work of grace in us.  Let’s work with Him!