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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The Majesty of God

Authentic children of God have a clear understanding of the satisfaction, significance, security and true success that comes to those who wait on God. A life in Christ brings deep fulfillment, peace, joy and unity with our triune God. Only as we follow God’s will for our life, can we actually, effectively reach His goals for us, because God works in us for His infinite pleasure (Philippians 2:12-13). The ways of God are beyond human comprehension, so we rely on His Spirit who is our guide.

God invisibly works in our life, leading us by His Spirit as we seek Him first, and acknowledge His will in everything we think, feel, say and do (Proverbs 3:5-6). God’s Spirit turns the ordinary events of life into extraordinary feats, which no human being could ever orchestrate. God uses the homemaker, the car mechanic and the door-to-door salesman as much as the world famous evangelist. The kitchen table, the soccer game and the boardroom are God’s pulpit.

God brings His grace and peace into every moment of our life as we keep our focus on Him (Isaiah 26:3; 2 Corinthians 1:2). He gives us His cavernous compassion and caring comfort for every aspect of our life; and He teaches us, by first hand experience, how to comfort others whom He brings into our life. As the family of God, we share in each other’s suffering, and we also share in one another’s joys (2 Corinthians 1:3-7), and we all set our hope on Christ in us (Colossians 1:27).

God calls His children to spread the sweet aroma of the wondrous blessings, which God has in store for us, to anyone who will give us time from their day. These people are perishing in their sin and shame, filled with conceit and satisfied in their rebellion and pride. They will certainly spend an eternity in the flames of hell, if we fail to offer them God’s gift of Salvation through Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 2:14-15). The time is short. Let us be about our Father’s business (Luke 2:49).

Prayer:
Father God, we trust in Your wisdom when we see the growing depravity, unrest and insecurity in the world around us. We devote every fiber of our being for Your use in every aspect of the life You have given us (Ephesians 2:10). You are the God who spoke creation into existence, and You are the God who healed the woman with a life-long illness (Genesis 1; Luke 8:43-48). You give Your children cause to rejoice at the prayers You answer as the result of us calling on You every moment of our life.

Thought for the Day:
God cares about every aspect of our life and brings His majesty into every moment of our day.

Spiritual Pursuits

Most people never give much attention to spiritual pursuits, and they allow the requirements of life to push and pull them through their day. Denying their flesh never enters their mind and they cater to their glutinous habits in every area of life. They even resist all opportunities to deny their self or to pursue spirituality. Disillusioned with life, they permit bitterness to defile them. They harbor unforgiveness towards others, as well as toward their self.

There are a multitude of distractions in today’s world, which keep us from pursuing a deeper walk in Christ. The world, the flesh and the devil do everything in their powers to sidetrack us from a holy walk of obedience. Trivial pursuits, negative emotions, misplaced priorities, worldly ambition, work-related burdens, school demands, fleshly temptations and family obligations all require our time and energy and pull us away from God. God has a solution to this dilemma.

He sent the Holy Spirit to help us to draw near to Him, so we can resist the devil and his demons until they flee from us (James 4:7). The Spirit also directs us to evade disruptions. He helps us to plan the minutes of our day to accomplish the works God created for us to do (Ephesians 2:10). Once we allow the Sprit to guide us, the temptations of sin no longer appeal to us (Galatians 5:16-25). God’s Spirit enables us to walk in holiness and to make a difference for Christ in the world.

Our righteousness is based on Jesus’ sacrifice on Calvary’s cross, not on our own effort to win His favor (Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 3:23). We do not use self-effort to reach holiness, but we are Spirit-led through each moment of our day (Titus 3:5). We live in victory over sin and death and in the hope of our resurrection with Christ from the dead (1 John 5:4; 1 Corinthians 15:55-57; 1 Peter 1:3). We are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), and we are no longer satisfied with the mediocre life of sin and deprivation.

Prayer:
Father God, we commune with You in our spirit, and we walk by the direction of Your Spirit each moment of our day. We find our self reaping rewards of fulfillment and satisfaction because our schedule works like clockwork. We experience a freedom that we never had when we lived by the dictates of our fleshly, carnal nature. Remind us how much You love us and help us to make You the top priority of our day.

Thought for the Day:
We never please God more than when we make Him our priority and follow the leading of His Spirit moment by moment throughout our day.