1 For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.
This is the hope that we have. One day, all that is dead and dying will be done away with These mortal bodies will be left behind for immortal images. These perishing, fleshly bodies will be exchanged for the image of God. In the meantime, there are burdens to bear and temptations to overcome. Since the day Adam and Eve committed the original sin, we have been dying. Not only us, but everything that God had created to last forever was now infected with the deadly disease of sin. All of creation would groan under the burden anxiously awaiting a Savior. When Jesus was resurrected from the grave, the spiritual restoration could begin. We, who have accepted Jesus as our Savior, are being restored and sanctified daily. Still, we groan with all of creation awaiting the full restoration. We should spend that time rejoicing, singing His praises and telling His story to a lost and dying world. We are being transformed from glory to glory to glory to victory. We are to be watchmen on the wall alerting those around us to the dangers they face. Look up and shout! Jesus is coming and all this death will be swallowed up by life!
51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” 55 “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” — 1 Cor. 15:51-55 NIV
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
22 No, you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to countless thousands of angels in a joyful gathering. – Hebrews:12:22 NLT
When God gave the law to Moses at Mt. Sinai, the children of Israel were warned not to touch the mountain or they would die. Mt. Sinai represents the law and the law brings death.
6 He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. — 2 Cor. 3:22-24 NIV
Mt Zion is the heavenly Jerusalem and represents grace and salvation. We not only get to touch it but we are invited to join in the joyful assembly of those whose names are written in heaven. When we come to Mt. Zion, it should remind us of coming to Jesus who shed His blood on the cross for us. With His blood, He has cleansed us and clothed us in His righteousness. He has mediated a new covenant that brings life, not death. The Holy Spirit calls each of us to repent of our sins. If we continually refuse to heed the warning, we run the risk that our consciences will become “seared over”. At that point, the Holy Spirit will have no way to communicate with us and we can no longer hear the call to repentance.
2 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.– 1 Timothy 4:2 NIV
So, while we can still hear the call to repentance, let us run to the mountain of grace, fall on our knees and join in with the church of the firstborn worshiping our Savior and Lord.
1 Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness.2 Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King. — Psalm 48:1-2 KJV
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.
— Matthew 6;21 NLT
A lot of people spend most of their lives making money. It is true that we need to work to take care of ourselves and our families. But when making money becomes our obsession and our goal, we need to step back and take a long, hard look at our lifestyles. When we spend too much of our time making money that we don’t need for our livelihood, perhaps we are laying up treasures in the wrong place. It might be time to spend more time with our families and with God. Since God has blessed you with money and most likely a good family, shouldn’t you stop to give Him thanks every day? Remember that everything belongs to God. He allows it to rain on the just and the unjust alike. He can also stop the rain if He so desires. You could be a millionaire today and a pauper tomorrow. So, don’t spend all of your time laying up treasures that will fade away, spend some time laying up treasures in heaven and those treasures will last forever. As you practice this, you will find that the desires of your heart change from an earthly, material, temporary focus to a heavenly, eternal one.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
30 Philip ran over and heard the man reading from the prophet Isaiah. Philip asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” — Acts 8:30 NLT
When the persecutions of the Christians started in Jerusalem, the believers were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. Philip had been preaching and teaching about Jesus in Samaria. When Peter and John arrived, an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip and told him to go south along the road to Gaza. On his way, he met an eunuch from Ethiopia. This eunuch had been to Jerusalem to worship. He was reading aloud from a scroll of the Old Testament. This particular scroll contained the book of Isaiah. Since he had been to worship in Jerusalem and was in possession of a Biblical scroll and reading it aloud, we can safely assume two things. He was familiar with the Jewish religion and he was searching for something. So God had been preparing the heart of this eunuch to receive the Good News for some time. I think we can safely assume that God had big plans for this eunuch when he returned to Ethiopia, but whether God had big plans for the eunuch or just wanted to save the eunuch is not the point. The point is that God’s plans for Philip and the eunuch intersected at this point. The eunuch was seeking understanding of the Scriptures and God sent a man to him who could explain those Scriptures. Every day, our live intersect with other lives. This was, is and will always be God’s plan for spreading the Good News. Are we prepared to instantly obey? Are we prepared to explain God’s plan of salvation to those whose paths we cross? If not, why not spend some time today preparing to do just that? There is a heavenly reason that you are where you are today. It didn’t just happen. Look around you, there are lost people that you have been sent to speak to. God has prepared their hearts to hear and He has given you the words of life to speak to them, therefore speak.
3 For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. 4 While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. 5 God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.— 2 Cor. 5:3-5 NLT
When God first made man in His image, He looked at what He had made and said “it is very good” (Gen 1:31). Decay and death were not known at this time. Then sin came into the world and things were no longer “very good”. Our bodies, along with all creation, started to deteriorate and eventually die. Jesus came into the world as a man to redeem the fallen creation and restore it to the order that had been in the garden. Jesus brought hope to a dying world. He came that we might be made “new creations”. Newness requires that we get rid of the old. We are saved when we accept Jesus and our Spirits are renewed but we remain in a fleshly body in a sinful world. The Spirit is being renewed day by day but the flesh is decaying day by day.
16 So we have no reason to despair. Despite the fact that our outer humanity is falling apart and decaying, our inner humanity is breathing in new life every day. — 2 Cor.4:16 The Voice
Our hope, the thing that makes Christianity different from anything else, is that we will one day leave these rotting, fleshly bodies and live in those heavenly bodies that God has created for each of us. Bodies that do not suffer pain and will not decay or die. God has prepared and continues to prepare us for this transition. We have a guarantee of this that lives inside of us so that we are never alone or without hope. Until the process is complete and Jesus comes again, we live hopefully and joyfully “looking unto Jesus, the author and the finisher of our faith”.
11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. — Titus 2:11-14 NIV
When Jesus was born, “the grace of God that brings salvation appeared to all men”. The location and situation may not have been glorious from a human point of view, but from a heavenly point of view it was celebrated. A bright, magnificient star was placed in the sky and His birth was heralded to shepherds by an angel speaking to them. That angel was joined by a host of heavenly angels praising the birth of this Jesus.
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” — Luke 2:13, 14 NIV
I think it is safe to assume that there was a huge party going on in heaven. After all, the Creator of the universe had just fathered a Son. This Son would spend His time teaching us that “we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present age”. He came in the flesh to give Himself “to redeem us and to purify for Himself His own special people”. These people (Christians) would be zealous to do good works. By His lifestyle and His death, He showed us the true meaning of love. Not just for a day, not just for a season, but every day 24/7/365.25.
38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.– Acts 10:38 NKJV
That is the example He set for us, to make “doing good” our lifestyle, not just a day or a seasonal event, but the complete and only reason He came to earth. And He is still here living inside us. It wasn’t just for a day or for thirty-three years, it was for eternity.
9 Nicodemus answered and said to Him, “How can these things be?” 10 Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things? 11 Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness. 12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.—John 3: 9-17 (NLT)
God is waiting to show you the Way.
The finite human mind finds it impossible to understand the infinite love, mercy and grace of the heavenly Father. If someone tells us facts about earthly things and we refuse to believe, how is it possible for that person to tell us about heavenly things? Without the Holy Spirit, it would be impossible. But, because of His great love for the creatures He created, God has made the salvation plan free and simple. He gave us His Son to redeem us from all our sins, past, present and future. Jesus is the perfect, eternal gift. When God looks at us, He sees us through the Perfect blood of Jesus, even though, in our flesh, we are not perfect, that is how He sees us. To those who have accepted Jesus as Savior and Lord, there is no condemnation nor can there be. Jesus came that we might be redeemed and have an abundant life here and hereafter. Start enjoying the freedom and liberty that we have now in Christ Jesus.
12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. 15 Let all who are spiritually mature agree on these things. If you disagree on some point, I believe God will make it plain to you. 16 But we must hold on to the progress we have already made.–Phil. 3:12-16 (NLT)
God is waiting to show you the way.
None of us will achieve perfection while we are clothed in this tent of flesh. However, we can never use that as an excuse for not trying to do better every day. We must keep our eyes and mind focused on Jesus. We must keep pressing onward and upward. Jesus tells us that once we have started the journey with Him, we should never look back (Luke 9:62). Forget the past or satan will use it to beat you up mentally and spiritually every day. God has already forgotten our sinful past (Psalm 103:12). When we grow weary, we should pray and wait upon the Lord, He will give us renewed strength to press on (Isaiah 40:31).