Friday, May 02, 2014

The long view

person looking through a telescope
TODAY'S SPECIAL: 1 Corinthians 4:16-5:10

Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him." 2 Corinthians 5:9

Sometimes it's a good idea to pull back and look at life's big picture. That's what Paul appears to be doing here.

Something seems to have made him super aware of the fragility of his mortal life. It could have been pain, sickness, aging, or simply weariness that sparked statements like: "… we have this treasure in earthen vessels. … We are hard-pressed on every side … we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing. … For we who are in this tent groan…" (2 Corinthians 4:7,8,16; 5:4).

And so he reasons with himself and his readers about why it is important to not lose heart but keep going.

Because this life we live, encased in its frail body, is not all there is.
"For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens" - 2 Corinthians 5:1.

Because inevitable death is not something to be feared. Rather it is the means of realizing the hope that energizes us.
"We are confident, yes well pleased rather to be absent form the body and to be present with the Lord" - 2 Corinthians 5:8.

Because we will be held accountable for how we have lived our lives.
"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad" - 2 Corinthians 5:10.

I keep getting reminders of life's frailty and brevity. A recent hip fracture has showed me how little it takes to slow me down and put a crimp in my independence. More and more now I hear of people my age and younger dying. Their last days often appear to be the test of a lifetime as they soldier through illness and pain. And so Paul's encouragement here to keep going in view of what's ahead past all this mortal life stuff is a good reminder for me. You too?

PRAYER: Dear God, it's easy for me to get fixated on this life. Please help me to raise my sights to what's beyond and live  focused on eternal values. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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