Thursday, September 3, 2015

Eternity & Christ: The Promise of Life

Brothers and sisters of the promise found in Jesus Christ, I greet you warmly.  May the grace and peace of Jesus Christ be found among you always.  These are trying times.  Times are changing.  But God does not change.  His truth remains foundational, nothing changes it.  

God is good.  He is perfect.  He loves us, those of us who have received his son.  God is righteous, he presides over all things perfectly.  God is the apex of perfection.  He can't be shaken, he is never confused or surprised.  He is in fact timeless.  He has no beginning.  He exists outside time, and nothing made him.  He is the self existent one.  God has worked in human affairs for thousands of years.  He continues to do so today.  When we take a stand, he stands beside us.  Let us never be afraid to stand for the truth.  And let us never forget to speak the truth in love.

We are asked to accept the victory of Jesus Christ on the cross.  We know that through Christ alone we are perfected before God.  God sees Christ when he looks upon us, which is why we may come before him boldly and speak our minds.  But we must also remember to forsake all the ways of the world.  Have we been transformed?  Or are we still living like the world in many ways?  It's important to live in holiness.  We live in response to Jesus Christ who has restored our connection to God.  We live in response to his gift, and his victory.  We live in expectation of joining him in glory and perfection when our sin natures are removed in the next life. 

Many are willing to trade away their eternal lives for the modern worlds fleeting pleasures.  Don't be one of them.  They follow only what makes them feel good.  They blunder into deeper and deeper addictions and foolish schemes that strip them of everything they are, and then they blame God for their misfortunes.  The problem of evil is more simple than we think.  Don't be like them.  And don't be like the supposed "Christians" who simply "accept Christ" and continue living in sexual sin, greed, selfishness, and idolatry (service to themselves and their own interests).  Don't be like those false followers, but instead search your heart.  Ask God to search your heart, and to reveal to your ways in which you must change.  It is wise to grow in holiness before God. 

Let us remember to pray regularly.  Let us speak to God the Father in the morning, asking his presence with us throughout the day.  Let us not forget also to thank him at the end of the day, on our knees before bed.  Often we might pause sometime around lunch, and pray to him the blessed "Our Father" being careful to think about what we're saying, and expressing the words in worship.  

Don't worry too much about the news and media frenzies of this life.  They are meant to confuse you, upset you, and dishearten you.  Turn off the television, and switch off the news.  Exit from the Facebook trending screen, and instead seek the presence of God.

Always remember that the world will not like you if you stand for what is written the book of God.  Believe the Bible.  Trust the Bible.  There will be pressure.  You may even seem backward or hypocritical for following the word of God, but continue to do so.  You will be rewarded in the life to come if you stand firm.  Stand bravely and courageously against persecution.  Pray for those around you, especially your enemies and those who hurt you.  

Never forget to pause, and find the love within to present to those around us.  Jesus Christ's ultimate order was simple: Love.  Love your God.  Love all people.  There is a balance there.  Love and truth.  We want to encourage people with love, yet we must also stand for what is true.  I pray God will provide you with the perfect balance of loving mercy and truth to give to the world.

Wait patiently and remember: This life is very short.  You are laboring and gathering wealth for eternity.  Eternity is forever, life on Earth is 90 years.  Live in light of eternity.  Always know that God loves you, since you have embraced his son Jesus Christ, who sacrificed himself on the cross, and resurrected from death, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father.