Glimpses of grace seen in the everyday

Posts tagged ‘resurrection’

Why do we do what we do?

Why do we the things we do every day?  How much would be different if we know there would be no tomorrow?  What we believe about the future determines how we live today.

People paint their houses so they will be able to sell them in the future. 
People take blood pressure medicine to avoid serious health problems. 
People change the oil in their cars because they need them for future use.
People go to school so they can get a job and support themselves. 
People diet and work out so their body will be attractive & healthy.

Likewise, what we believe happens after we die should determine how we live this life.  As the apostle Paul said, if we believe that there is no life after death, we might as well “eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.” (1 Cor. 15:32) IF there is nothing beyond this death to prepare for, why be concerned about living a pure life, helping others sacrificially, getting to know God better and doing what pleases Him? Why not live a totally self-centered life, focused on pleasure, applause, and comfort?  After all, as some fallaciously say, “you only live once.”  (I looked up this quote on the Internet and it gave 7,810,000 results!)

But IF we believe that this life is only the entryway to an eternal existence–either enjoying unimaginable delights in God’s presence OR unrelenting misery away from Him—this is what will determine and motivate what we do here and now.  The short-term costs of hard work, delayed gratification, and even suffering (along with the many delights the Lord furnishes along the way) won’t be worth comparing the glory that we’ll experience when we finally get Home!  Which will it be?  We have a lot of choices to make every day. 

So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.  (1 Corinthians 15:58)

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From Woe to Wonder

Put yourself in the sandals of Jesus’ followers that week.  What a roller-coaster of emotions they experienced!

Confusion—on the way to Jerusalem as Jesus kept on predicting his violent death

Euphoria—as the crowds lauded Jesus as King coming into the city

Shock—as Jesus angrily expelled money-makers from the Temple courtyards

Amazement—as Jesus stymied repeated verbal traps of religious leaders

Consternation—as Jesus predicted the future destruction of Jerusalem and another return of His sometime in the future

Shock—as Mary “wasted” a fortune in perfume on Jesus’ body

Weariness—as they tried to stay awake in the garden while Jesus prayed in agony

Panic—as Jesus was arrested (they all fled)

Grief—as Jesus was tortured, crucified, and then died

Hopelessness—as they buried and mourned this friend they’d come to believe was their long-awaited Messiah

Incredulity—as they discovered the empty tomb!

Jubilation—as they encountered Jesus, their risen Messiah and God

HE HAS WON!  HE IS VICTOR OVER DEATH AND SIN!

 

Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once He died our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!

Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids Him rise, Alleluia!
Christ has opened paradise, Alleluia!

 

With Jesus

This morning when I woke up, I did not pray for our terminally ill granddaughter as I have been doing.  She is healed and happy—in Jesus’ arms, as of yesterday noon.  I am deeply grateful for this assurance that she is no longer suffering, either here in her cancer-ravaged body or in some netherworld.  My confidence is based on two things:

1)  God’s promise of total and complete forgiveness for those who turn over their lives to Him and trust Jesus’ sacrifice to save them from the punishment we all deserve for our sins.  (And yes, my sweet Emmeline was a sinner too.)

2)  We have a note from Emmeline’s parents, dated April 2008, saying how she had made this decision to ask Jesus into her life.  And her life bore out the character and Christ-likeness that He produced in her.  She was a blessing to many. 

O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?
For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.
So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.  (1 Corinthians 15:55-58)

Stages of Life

We’ve been scanning the family slides dating back to when I was one year old.  Isn’t it funny how we–or is it only I?–tend to look first and primarily at ourselves when seeing a photo that includes other people?

What I see changes a lot– from cute to ugly (those awkward pre-teen years!) to self-conscious, then somewhat attractive, and more lately aging (I’m turning 59 this month!)  How is it that the pictures of myself that I think look pretty bad, look a lot better after a few years?  (We won’t even mention those driver’s license and passport photos!)

It’s so comforting to know that my “earth suit” (as my brother calls it) is only temporary.  I have a better one waiting for me that will be ever so much more beautiful, strong and able to do all those things I never could do here (such as swim, or whistle).

The bodies we now have are weak and subject to death. But they will be changed into bodies that are eternal.   (1 Cor. 15:54 )

Our bodies are gradually dying, but we ourselves are being made stronger each day. These little troubles are getting us ready for an eternal glory that will make all our troubles seem like nothing. Things that are seen don’t last forever, but things that are not seen are eternal. That’s why we keep our minds on the things that cannot be seen.  (2 Cor. 4:16b-18 CEV)

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