Our Eternal Rest

As human beings, we get the values of life and death backwards. We will sacrifice the quality of our life for the quantity of life. We often live years past our optimal health and spend more money than we have to suffer endless procedures and live off dozens of expensive medications. Yet, what is the Biblical view of life and death?

Paul said, “For me to live is Christ, but to die is gain (Philippians 1:21).” In other words, He was happy to serve the Lord on this earth for as long as it pleased the Lord for him to do so; but once his usefulness was over, he was ready, willing and able to go home to be with the Lord. That was where his hope and rest lay. That is where we all gain the eternal rest from our labors.

The wise Solomon recognized that the day of our death is better than the day of our birth (Ecclesiastes 7:1); yet we humans rejoice at a new birth and cry at a funeral. Of course, the tears at the funeral are more for our self than the deceased, because of our separation from our loved one; but if we realize that, in Christ, we will live in eternity with that same loved one, then we do not sorrow as those who have no hope (1 Thessalonians 4:12-18).

We toil all of our life to gain the things of this world, and then turn around and leave them all behind to people who do not value them as we did. They usually donate everything we worked so hard to attain to some charity resale shop to be sold at a fraction of what we paid for them. What is the sense in that? Why do we put so much stock in this world’s goods?

A home, transportation, food and necessary apparel with a hobby or two thrown in are enough for anyone. Yet, so many slave to have the best that money can buy. The entire focus of their life is to get that one more thing. Yet, nothing ever really satisfies their soul. Only a life dedicated to the service of God for His glory pays the real dividends that we are looking for in this life and in the next.

Prayer:
Father God, remind us to store up our treasure in heaven, where neither moth nor rust can destroy them (Matthew 6:19-24). Help us to use the wealth You give to us on this earth to help to lighten the load of those less fortunate than we are and also to help to further Your gospel to the far reaches of the earth.

Thought for the Day:
It is the simple pleasures of life that really mean so much and cost so little.

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Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ

As humans, we have a big problem. We do not practice the activities and habits, which we know is best for us, but we do the very thing we despise doing (Romans 7:15-16). We know better, but we do it anyway. We have a loving heart and good intentions, but we end up disappointing our self, our loved ones and our Father God. This occurs, because we are all born with a penchant to sin. These fleshly desires drive our behavior and we talk our self into sinning (Romans 7:17-21).

Sin simply exploits our weak will and carnality. Sin is sly, appealing and convincing. It gets us into all sorts of trouble because we are too weak to resist it. We are sin’s hopeless slaves (Romans 6:20; 8:1). Eventually, we come to the realization that we are wretched, we recognize our helplessness, and we realize that we need a Savior to free us from sin’s grip and to pay its penalty for us (Romans 6:12-13, 7:24-25). Jesus came to the rescue and both justifies and sanctifies us (1 Corinthians 6:11).

The good news is that we are not the sin we commit. We end up hating our sin, which drives us to the cross of Christ. He removes all condemnation for past sins. He regenerates our spirit, and sets us free from the Law of Sin and Death by the Law of the Spirit of Life found only in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1-8). Satan’s battle for our mind and body is also defeated by Calvary’s sacrifice. We no longer live a lifestyle of sin, because Christ dwells in us (1 John 3:8-10).

Our forgiveness and holiness come when we rely totally on the Lord Jesus Christ. It does not depend on our works. We accept Christ by faith, and we live by faith, not by our self-righteousness (Titus 3:5-7; 2 Corinthians 5:7). We do only those works, which He created for us before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 2:8-10). God works in us and through us, and He receives all of the glory for our accomplishments (Philippians 2:12-13). Our life in Christ is full or righteousness, peace and joy (Romans 14:17).

Prayer:
Father God, we thank you for sending Jesus to pay our sin debt for us. He control’s sin’s power over us as we wait on Him (Psalm 27:14). We know that You always give us a way to avoid the temptation to sin (1 Corinthians 10:13). Thank You for giving us the blessings of eternal life both on this earth and for all of eternity (John 17:3). We vow to walk in Your righteousness by walking in the Spirit from now on and no longer gratifying the deeds of the flesh (Galatians 5:16, 25).

Thought for the Day:
When we come to Christ though salvation, we are joined with Him in one Spirit. – 1 Corinthians 6:17