Paul says in 1 Cor 15 that if the resurrection did not take place, we Christians are most to
be pitied (for having a hope of eternal life). However, I love verse 20 which says – But, Jesus has indeed been raised from the dead. Our fight, or struggle against sin and serving the pleasures of this world is not in vain. We do have hope, so “hang in there baby”, the Lord is coming with his reward.
Pressing on Toward the Goal
12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. 15 All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained. 17 Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. 18 For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. 4:1 Therefore, my brothers, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how you should stand firm in the Lord, dear friends!
Who are you Lord?
I AM the God who calls you to make you new creations in Christ. I desire to instill the character of my Son in you, to make you perfect as I AM perfect. Is that worth living for? Or am I wasting my time on you? How badly do you want it? I have done everything to transform you and give you a new future. What is that worth to you?
I will make you perfect someday, the question is, why should you wait? Why are you fighting my working in your lives as you cling to this temporary life? I created you and saved you for this very purpose. I AM holy, and I made you to be holy as well, so that you can be where I am. That is what I called you to. That is what I took hold of you for. That is the prize you are to look forward to. Like Abraham, your citizenship is not here on this earth but with me in heaven. Prepare yourselves for it now and look forward to my arrival to take you home for your reward.
Paul says that this is the one attitude that mature believers should have; that of attaining in this life what God has given us by His life. That for which Jesus has taken hold of us for and called us heavenward – the transforming of our mortal bodies into the Christ life – Perfection. We should not live as if this life is all there is. Paul says that doing so is living as enemies of the cross of Christ and having an earthly mindset is the same as letting this life be our god.
There are two courses of action that we can take knowing what we know of Christ in our lives: one is to live for the pleasures of this world as if nothing has changed, and two, to attain Christ likeness with all our faith and all of His energy. Which course do you want to be on? Which one does God want you to be on? So what are you going to do about it now?
Paul continues to say that people who don’t have this mature attitude live as enemies of the cross of Christ. They are enemies of what God wants to do in their lives as shown by their mixed up priorities. God wants to make us just like his Son, and all we can think about is getting our bellies filled, like Esau who sold the glory of his first born birthright for some temporary “red stuff”. Whereas Jacob would burn his bridges behind him of his family ties and loyalties in order to attain more of God’s blessings. And his faith in God (which prompted him to do the things he did) is what God rewarded.
Oh that we would burn our bridges in our seeking God’s presence in our lives.
More to come,