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 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart. 23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 24 For,
“All people are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall,
25 but the word of the Lord endures forever.”
And this is the word that was preached to you.. — 1 Peter 1:22-25 NIV
Having received Jesus Christ as our Savior, we are being puriifed by His grace and His love. He has placed His Spirit within us to teach us to love others as He loves us. This change will not come overnight, but it will come if we practice listening to and following the Holy Spirit. Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit to guide us and to teach us all truth. As we obey that voice of truth that is within us, we will learn to appreciate the love that Jesus has for us and we will reciprocate by showing that love to others. At first, it may just be words that we speak, but as we allow the Holy Spirit to be a bigger part of our life, we will find that we really do love and care for others. With humility and patience, that love will evolve into something similar, but not nearly as great as the love that Jesus shows to us. As John the Baptist said about Jesus “He must increase, I must decrease”. so, it must be true in our lives as well. We must think of ourselves less and less and of Jesus and others more and more. The flesh perishes and decreases while the Spirit is imperishable and increases. This is the Word that was preached to us and is alive and living in us. Everything will perish except the Word of Jesus, it will stand forever. Just as Jesus was determined to go to the cross knowing that glory awaited Him on the other side, we need to be firm in our stand regardless of the personal cost knowing the hope that we have to spend an eternity with Him in His glory.
51 As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. — Luke 9:51 NIV
22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart. 23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 24 For, “All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, 25 but the word of the Lord endures forever.”And this is the word that was preached to you. — 1 Peter 1:22-25 NIV
In these verses, we are reminded of how limited the English language is in words to express love. We have one word, the Greeks had at least six words expressing different levels and types of love. Philia which means friendly and/or brotherly affection and is the word used here for the “love for each other”. The second word used here for love is agape which is the word that comes closest to expressing the kind of love Jesus showed for us when He chose to die on a cross for our sins. It is a totally selfless, unconditional love. It is a love that is unquenchable and no matter how much it gives, it is never satisfied. It only wants to give more and more. It is the kind of love that God wants us to have for Him and our brothers and sisters, as well as our enemies. The last part, “love for our enemies” is the one that gets our flesh in an uproar.Our flesh screams out, we have been wronged by that person and there is no way that I will ever forgive or love that person or those people. But Jesus told us in His model prayer to pray “forgive us as we forgive others” and we are also told:
14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. — Matt. 6:14, 15 NIV
This is a requirement for those of us who have been born again. Our flesh is perishing but we are being renewed daily by the living Word of God. So, we must mortify the flesh and follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit that so richly abides within each of us. That leadership will require us to love and to forgive at all costs.