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Archive for April, 2012

Our Eternal Home

April 30th, 2012

Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.

2 Peter 3:11-12

The world, along with its values, is passing away. The time will come when the planet Earth will no longer exist as it is today. Scientists tell us that upon every year of orbit of the Earth, a bit of distance is lost due to the gravitational pull of the sun, and one day Earth itself will be pulled too close and life will be consumed in heat. And the sun itself is burning out of its energy and one day it shall become dark and cold. These events are placed billions of years in the future, but the point cannot be denied that this earth is temporary.

But are we temporary? I dare to think not. I believe the Bible is correct when it states that the human soul and spirit continue after death. There is something about us that is beyond this mere physical existence; and for the believer, there is some One within us who is eternal – Jesus Christ Himself who lives within.

So where shall our hearts be? Shall our affections be solely invested in this world, in its economy, in its politics, in its lifeless things, in its mere worldly entertainments? Or shall we embrace the eternal things of God, and understand that these are what we are called to, and that with Him and in Him is our eternal home. It is not just the physical world that will pass away but the worldly distortions of truth, the corruptions of disobedience. Our hearts are to be set on the eternal things of God – on truth, on love, on hope, on purity, on Christ.

Can we speed up the coming of this day? This passage speaks to our emotional response to the end of the world and the coming of the Lord, that we should not merely succumb to its inevitability, but that we should look forward to that day. The Lord will come! Or in death we shall go to Him! Some of the last recorded words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer were spoken to a fellow prisoner as he was led to his execution, “This is the end – for me the beginning of life.”

We may debate whether we should say that eternal life begins at conversion rather than after death, for certainly the Bible tells us that those in Christ have the life of God today (1 John 5:11-12). Yet in this earthly life the fullness of God and the greatness of the gift of eternal life is in part hidden, but in eternity is the gift received in its fullness. Today we have a deposit; then we shall possess it entirely. So there is a point to desiring death so that we may go and be with Him, and longing for the coming of Christ and the end of the world’s worldly domination. “For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21). This is the Christian value and attitude until He calls us home. As long as He leaves us here we should seek the good of this place, we should seek to fulfill our earthly mission as His ambassadors, but our hearts should always be ready to go, and long for the eternity with God that is unencumbered by the world’s influence or by our flesh’s limitations.

And to think like this prepares us to live for Him each day and to enjoy by faith the victory we have in Him.

Prayer:

Lord, we are tempted by this world, and for some reasons that are contrary to logic we are lured by its values to forget You and our eternal home. Remind us, Lord, of what is truly lasting and eternal. Let us establish our hopes and ambitions in You and in You alone. Use us here as Your ambassadors of a better Kingdom, of a finer Place, of a Perfect Eternal Home. Amen.

Evening Devotionals ,

He Leads Me

April 29th, 2012

He leads me in paths of righteousness…

Psalm 23:3

The word “narrative” is essential to understand the Christian life. A narrative is a story, a tale with developments, with the twists and turns of life or of anyone’s personal history. Some compare the Christian life to a visit to a paint store where we select the paints that will color our lives, whether dull or bright, pure or impure. Certainly our choices are important, but the limitations of this comparison are too great, for it omits the dynamic of living life under the watchful care and Lordship of Christ. If we were to consider painting a canvas, and filling it with drama, relief, dazzling images – major and minors – and balance and symmetry, that would be better. But even then, paintings are only two dimensional, and life is much, much more.

I believe the Christian life is better compared to a journey on the way to a beautiful land, where as we go along we face hills, obstacles, valleys, deserts, and the possibilities of distractions. In our life, we do not choose all of the colors to splash on our canvas; many, if not most, are chosen for us – our birth, our mother tongue, our talents, etc. Even when we go astray, the hand of the Lord is there to guide us back to the path – the Scripture is profitable for reproof, correction, and training in righteousness, so that we may be perfect and fully prepared for every good work (2 Tim. 3:16-17). And when we walk the path of His choosing, we still have surprising adventures and spurts of growth along the way.

Your life as a Christian is a journey, a pilgrimage to a perfect world, and every day is a significant part of the adventure. As we walk with God, as we listen to His voice, as we learn His Word, and as we experience the fellowship of His Spirit, we learn the meaning and purpose of life. Courage is required to walk this path, for there will be more challenges than we can imagine. But hope is also a needed asset, for hope looks beyond the difficulties, beyond shame and embarrassment, even beyond defeats and the unkindness of the world, and sees the promise of God.

The psalmist wrote, “He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake,” and there is the purpose of life disclosed. We exist for His glory, and our journey is in some way or ways to give a testimony to His grace and kindness to us. Today, where has God led you, where is He leading you now, where will he take you tomorrow? As we walk with God a glorious future will unfold for us. “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. But God has revealed them unto us by his Spirit…” (1 Cor. 2:9-10).

Prayer:

Lord, this day, let us walk in the hope that is found in You. We did not create ourselves, nor did we map out our journey through life and into eternity. Let us walk in simple obedience and in fellowship with You. You are a good and kind God, gentle and patient, merciful and gracious, and we trust that You will encourage us and lift us up. Give us the courage today to face the challenges that confront us in these times, and to do so with hope and optimism, being blessings to others as well. Amen.

Evening Devotionals , ,