John 6:27 – “Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.”
On Sunday, one of the points of the message I preached called the people to think about eternity instead of only about their present circumstances. I also said that this is one of those points that they will hear regularly in a message, because it is a point that is found present throughout all of scripture. Well, in today’s reading from John, it shows up again.
Jesus here calls the crowds not to seek after food that perishes, but to seek after eternal life. This is not our Lord telling the people that they do not need to eat. Instead, it is Jesus telling them that there is something even more important than physical sustenance. There is something more crucial to your soul than what you eat, what you have, or what you wear. By far, the most important thing you can have is hope for eternity, hope that is genuine and assured. What you need is the guarantee of eternal life with Christ.
It is so very easy for us to get all caught up in this world and its toys. All the advertisements we see show us a model of living that would declare that if we do not have the right clothes, entertainment, or vacation destination, we have not truly lived. We can get sucked into that way of thinking if we do not keep our focus on what really matters, eternity. And so, it is our command to follow not to seek the pleasure of this world, but to set our minds on eternity.
Dear Lord, I pray that you will help me to think with an eternal perspective. When stresses and problems arise in this life, help me to view them in the light of eternity and not just in the light of the moment. When pleasures come my way, help me also to keep them in perspective. No pleasure in this life is worth more than eternity. No pain in this life will outlast eternity. I am made by you for eternal life. Help me to look in that direction, and to view all of life in the light of that perspective.