II Corinthians 5:16-17 “Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet no henceforth know we him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are pased away; behold, all things are become new.”
It’s the most amazing thing. When we come to the Lord Jesus Christ in true repentance, God takes away all of our yesterdays and casts them into the sea of forgetfulness. He begins a work in us that will occupy the remainder of our days on this earth as we are continuously being transformed into the image of Christ. The process of dying to the old nature with the lusts thereof and taking on more of the nature of Jesus. (The rate of this transformation is dependant largely on our willingness to submit to the perfect will of God.) This fallen world that once had us spellbound as we wondered after its vast array of alluements, begins to lose its appeal. The closer that we get to Christ, the more inhospitable this present world becomes and the more that we may find ourselves quoting Revelation 22:20.
The last couple of days have seen some changes in my life; changes which actually started when I went to third shift. I have found myself engaging in horseplay a lot less than I did on second shift; largely because of working with different folks. The gnawing tendancy to take a plunge into the sea of foolishness has greatly diminished; other than the spontaneous wise cracks which address a condition at hand. (such as engineers engaging in something which makes absolutely no sense despite the certificate on their wall which proclaims their mastery of the field) The result in this is that the last three days, it seems as though my sincere love for the Lord Jesus has reached a new level. The desire to just be in complete submission has become more intense. In fact last night, I had a golden opportunity to engage in some classic foolishness and simply “didn’t”. It seems a victory in an area of my life where I have struggled for years.
Perhaps horseplay doesn’t seem like a big deal to most and yet it was causing a separation between myself and the Lord. Seemingly little things can be a lot harder at times to deal with because they’re not as noticable. In other words, a problem with runaway anger is much easier to detect than something in which one cannot readily observe the adverse effects. Yet anything that causes separation between us and the Lord Jesus is needs to be dealt with and for me, the problem with horseplay was causing separation.
Mark 7:20-23 And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, laciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within and defile the man.”
Jesus places foolishness into the same camp as adulteries, fornication, thefts, pride, murders, and idolatry. (According to Colossians 3:5, covetousness is idolatry) It comes from the heart and when the heart is occupied with contrary thoughts, our relationship with the Lord suffers. This victory over foolishness isn’t to be taken for granted. If I were to return to second shift, the temptation would be immense. But being out of that environment for a time has allowed me to see how much more joy there is when this tencancy is laid aside. I apolagize for spending so much time on the topic of foolishness, but for me it has been a real hinderance. As a result I’m rejoicing in this victory.
One more thing before going on. The love of God definately passes all understanding. We could never measure it’s depths and place the results on a graph. Our love for the Lord Jesus and our gratitude as ones who once were lost but now are found, is paramount. It’s our love for the Lord that will cause us to lay aside every weight and sin. It’s the tangible “proof” that we truly love him; when we desire to please him. If we desire to please him, we’ll likewise “strive” to please him; even if it means ridicule, affliction, or physical demise. If we truly have this love relationship with the Lord Jesus developed as it should be, nothing will shake us. This is something that has been on my heart much as of late.
And now on to the original plan; that being to discuss the moment when we undergo the final “morph.” The moment when this corruption puts on incorruption and mortality puts on immortality. The moment when the Lord Jesus Christ appears and we are forever with him. Currently, we must die daily to our old nature; a process which will go on as long as there’s a different law working in our members. When Jesus appears, however, the old nature will forever be gone; and we shall be like him. If our relationship with the Lord Jesus is but a “fortaste of glory divine” I can’t even imagine what “glory divine” will be like.
I John 3:1-2 “Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now we are the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”
When Jesus returns, we’ll be like him. we’ll not only be like him, but we’ll forever be with him. The greater that our love for the Lord is, the greater our desire will be to please him. I like what Phil wrote on a comment in the last post; to present our lives as a “blank check” to the Lord. Complete submission to his perfect will.
I John 3:3 “And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth hmself, even as he is pure.”
To love the Lord and love his appearing. To have absolutely no confidence in the flesh and to not love our lives in this world. That our affections will be solely on the Lord Jesus with whom we shall dwell, along with all of the saints from every tribe and every generation, throughout the eons to come. An age that defies our ability to grasp the awesomeness of. Worshipping the Lord Jesus who gave his life on an old rugged cross and rose again the third day, so that we could partake of his kingdom. Redeeming us from an eternity of unimaginable torment and making us ti sit in heavenly places. What an absolutely incredible salvation we have.
I need to wrap this up for now. In reading back, this post seems to jump around a lot. My desire; in fact my fervent prayer, is that we would love the Lord Jesus with all of our heart, all of our soul, and all of our mind. With every fabric of our being. If we abide by this great commandment, along with the second one which is to love our neighbor as ourself, everything else will fall into place. I’ll close out with the following passages.
Romans 8:38-39 “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from thelove of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Colossians 3:1-4 “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.”