Saturday, December 14, 2019

Look What's Coming!

This last summer we took on a large remodeling project in which we removed part of the house--the kitchen, laundry room, and family entry--and rebuilt it. During that time we learned to be flexible and go about everyday tasks differently.

Now we're back in the house and I'm enjoying a larger, warmer kitchen. Yesterday I expressed gratitude to God for things like a dryer vent that doesn't snake through the crawl space and clothes that dry rapidly, for heat that touches my toes when I stand at the kitchen sink, for being able to set down packages inside the back door.

There are areas of the addition we haven't moved into yet, but I can easily imagine. Our bedroom closet, circa 1911, is the size of a coat closet the two of us share. The process of choosing, removing, and replacing clothes is the same, but the ease of a walk-in closet is exhilarating. Isn't it the same with Heaven? So many of the tasks and people we enjoy that are tainted with sin, will repeat themselves in glory without blemish. Can you imagine?

Can you imagine singing in the congregation of saints? Voices so strong yours is lost in the melody of lives saved from abuse, torture, loneliness, grief, and sin-sick bodies to praise our King? Can you imagine living the truth of God's Word and precepts without a hint of self? Free from bondage to personal desires, longings, and demons? Above all, can you imagine the very real, enfolding presence of our precious Lord, in glorified flesh, for eternity? We experience His presence in the person of His Spirit and Word, but to see Him, touch Him, hear and speak to Him personally? We can only imagine.

Today, when sin makes life difficult, once you're done complaining and groaning, take a moment to praise God for what's in store. It's exhilarating! Thoughts of eternity give us fuel, courage, and love to move forward in spite of wickedness, self, and sin. They move us to share and live out our confidence before others as a gift and ministry. It's not ours alone. It's meant to be shared.

For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death works in us, but life in you.

But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed, therefore I spoke,” we also believe, therefore we also speak, knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and will present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, so that the grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God.

Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:5-18)

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