Today as I did my daily devotion, I was reading in 2nd Corinthians, and Paul reminded me that the things that are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. As followers of Christ, Paul tells us that we live in temporary housing, but that we have a building from God which is eternal in Heaven. Because of what Christ has done for us, we can have confidence to walk by faith and not by sight, and we can trust that being absent from the body is to be in the presence of the Lord. Therefore, Paul tells us that our aim, our goal, our number one priority is and should be, to please the Lord.
This week has been a tense week. The possibility of going to war with North Korea has made me nervous. It has caused me to re-think what is important in life and what matters most. At the end of the day, no one can predict what is going to happen with North Korea, or any other country. I do not want to see any lives killed from either side. We are all created in the image of God. The Apostle John tells us that Christ died for the whole world (1st John 2:1-2). I believe that we can trust our Father in Heaven, in not just these circumstances but in all things. We need to stop focusing on tomorrow and start focusing on the here and now. It is time for us to get real with ourselves.
I am constantly encouraged by Sandals Church, where I attend, because their vision is to be Real with ourselves, God, and others. Therefore, since neither one of us can control what will happen in the coming days or years, we need to be real with ourselves and ask: How am I being well pleasing to the Lord? What can I do today to be well pleasing to the Lord? and Who can I help be well pleasing to the Lord?
I encourage and challenge us to make a change now, because time is short and we never know what the day will bring.
2nd Corinthians 4:17-5:1, 6-9, 14-15 (NKJV) 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
5 1For 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… 6 So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. 7 For we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord. 9 Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him… 14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.
1st John 2:1-2 (NKJV) 2 My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.
Colossians 3:1-2 (NKJV) 3 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.
James 4:13-17 (NKJV) 13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; 14 whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” 16 But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17 Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.
1st Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NKJV) 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Ephesians 5:15-17 (NKJV) 15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
Matthew 22:36-40 (NKJV) 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” 37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
2nd Timothy 2:1-7, 15 (NKJV) 2 You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. 3 You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4 No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. 5 And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. 6 The hardworking farmer must be first to partake of the crops. 7 Consider what I say, and may the Lord give you understanding in all things… 15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.