Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Timely Reminder For Today

Often change in our lives takes time, whether that is a change in attitude and action or a change in work and whereabouts. While God is absolutely able to bring about change instantaneously, this is not generally how He does it except as it pertains to our salvation. Salvation happens at the moment we place our trust in Jesus Christ for our salvation, admitting to God our need of a Savior and accepting His free gift in His Son, Jesus Christ. At that moment we become a new creation in Christ and set secure in His eternal hands. But even then, for most of us there was a process of our eyes being opened and our hearts being softened until we understood, believed, and accepted. Following our salvation and our becoming fully justified based upon the shed blood of Jesus Christ and not anything we did, we then began the process of sanctification in which we are continually growing more and more into the image of God’s dear Son. It is during this process of learning more and more of Him and seeking to follow Him more and more closely that He shows us areas of our lives in which we need to change, and then His Spirit enables us to make that change. This process continues until that moment when we step out of our earthly bodies into His eternal presence, whether that happens by death or the second coming of His Son when He meets us in the air in a moment, in a twinkling of the eye. It is then, as Scripture even tells us, that we will receive glorified bodies—bodies not made with human hands, eternal in the heavens.

Spattered throughout this statement there were numerous Bible verses that came to my mind and which I hold onto with all hope. Yet I imagine with each of us there are times when we may struggle with exactly where these verses are found. Last night was one of those nights for me, and while I am thankful that His truth stands forever, I was shaken by my inability to remember their location. As I sit back now and rest I do so in the assurance that His truth does indeed stand forever and is totally reliable, and I can even relax a bit as I open to those passages and read them anew.

All of us who have placed our trust in Jesus Christ for our salvation are in the process of growing and our God is committed to growing us. As such we need to be continually looking to Him, continually hiding His Word in our hearts, continually spending time in prayer, meditation, and listening. Today Sarah writes about the path that God has for each of us, a path which is totally unique and appropriate to each of us as individuals submitted to Him. This path involves setting aside old ways, growing in our knowledge and understanding Him and His ways, and putting on those ways that He sets before us. This path includes service and even being served. It includes being His ambassadors to a world that so desperately needs to know the salvation which He has called us to and given to us. And it involves, most importantly, us giving back to Him our entire being in worship as a response to His great love shown to us and in admiration of who He is.

“Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory. “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 15:50–58, NASB95)

“but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;” (1 Peter 3:15, NASB95)

“Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:1–2, NASB95)

Today in “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young (8/21)

Wait with Me for a while. I have much to tell you. You are walking along the path I have chosen for you. It is both a privileged and a perilous way: experiencing My glorious Presence and heralding that reality to others. Sometimes you feel presumptuous to be carrying out such an assignment.

Do not worry about what other people think of you. The work I am doing in you is hidden at first. But eventually blossoms will burst forth, and abundant fruit will be borne. Stay on the path of Life with Me. Trust Me wholeheartedly, letting My Spirit fill you with Joy and Peace.

O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below – you keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way.” 1 Kings 8:23

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 

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