Living with the end in view involves
If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. (Matt. 16:24–27)
Before I knew Christ, all my plans and labor were for the present life. I learned to think and plan for short-term gains, to value things that I would tire of quickly, and trust only what I could see, touch, and feel.
But when I went to work for Christ, I learned to work with a view to eternity, to work for rewards that I will never see in my lifetime. When studying the Bible and putting it into practice, I learned to put what I could see, touch, and feel on a lower plane. I learned that greater rewards will involve sacrifice and suffering. For instance, I have been shy. So I forced myself to go out to others in the church instead of remaining in my cocoon of shyness, and went on the street to share the good news.
In gaining one life (learning to live for Christ), I am losing another (learning to live for myself). “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross.” Bearing the cross is the painful surgery performed on ourselves wherever we find our self-centeredness growing in our soul like a cancer. When that surgery is never performed, our cares and worries grow rampant, and we lose our souls.
At an early age, I began losing my hearing due to several ear infections. Now I am almost completely deaf. I can become despondent in certain situations where my deafness gives me trouble. In those cases I must deny myself the complaints of the miserable: “I am handicapped, so I will not be able to do much for the kingdom of God. I am nothing. I am nobody. I am not worth as much as the person who can hear.” But, in truth, my handicap does not make me less of a servant. My negative attitudes, though, can turn me away from possibilities for serving God. You don’t have to be handicapped to know how negative, unbelieving thoughts can destroy your faith in God.
Living with the end in view means to acknowledge an enemy in a world that distracts us.
Steps of faith:
What personal sacrifices are necessary to pursue eternal rewards?