(Hey Inspired Readers, please take note that I posted Matthew 11 a day early. Click here to read that post. In the meantime, here’s Matthew 10!)
“He’s so heavenly minded that he’s no earthly good.” You ever heard that one? If you have I hope you didn’t buy it. In fact, it’s impossible to be too heavenly minded. There is of course, a false spirituality that some people have, but this is not heavenly mindedness. It is pride or egotism, or even insecurity or a host of other sins, but it is not heavenly mindedness. That’s something you cannot have enough of. And having an eternal mindset is one of the great keys to living the Christian life.
C.S. Lewis put it this way in his writing, The Joyful Christian…
“If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this (the reality is that many of us are so earthly minded we are of no heavenly or earthly good). Aim at Heaven and you will get earth ‘thrown in’; aim at earth and you will get neither.”
According to Mr. Lewis, it’s all in what we are aiming at. And everything (finances, relationships, work, you name it) gets “fixed” with the proper target of heaven in our sights.
And so, as Jesus is preparing to send his disciples out on the great preaching journey of Matthew 10, He tells them to keep their eyes on eternity. Specifically, in verses 31 – 33, he says this will be the key to overcoming one of the great sins of the human race: the fear of man.
“So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.”
Matthew 10:32-33 (ESV)
There is coming a day, Jesus says, when you will want Him to identify you…by name. You will want Him to speak your name before His Heavenly Father. Think about that day, Jesus says, when the days on earth come that you are tempted to deny your association.
Outright denial is one thing, an action pointing to the fact that you are not really His. If that is your lot, then fear not, there is time to repent. Do so, now. But what if you look back on your life and realize that you have been imperfect in your acknowledgment of Jesus? What if there have been too many days when you have shrunk back from raising your hand as a Christian? Well, this is where another motivation for identification with Jesus comes in – for this preaching trip in Matthew 10 would only be the first of many for Peter and his brothers. In days to come, they would travel the world with the glorious gospel of substitutionary atonement:
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.
1 Peter 2:24 (ESV)
He has paid for your fear and weakness, and this is another reason to give it up for boldness in His great cause. That’s heavenly mindedness that will take you all the way home.
Friday: Matthew 12 – what after all is this unpardonable sin?