Thursday, June 27, 2013

The World Is Not Our Home

But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God's instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.

Friends, this world is not your home, so don't make yourselves cozy in it. Don't indulge your ego at the expense of your soul. Live an exemplary life among the natives so that your actions will refute their prejudices. Then they'll be won over to God's side and be there to join in the celebration when he arrives. (1 Peter 2:9-12 The Message)

God has a purpose and plan for each of our lives. The greatest thing we can do is to find that purpose and live it out. We can trust his purpose in us because it is based on his wisdom and love. As long as we seek his will, we're not going to do anything that can ultimately spoil his purpose in us. Yes, we may at times stray from the perfect channel he wants us to travel, but we never get totally out of the main channel. As long he does not abandon us, (and he promised he never would forsake us he will use us) for his purposes.

When we are successful, we must acknowledge that it is only because of God’s help. We must remember to thank God and enjoy our successes humbly. On the other hand, when we fail, that is also the hand of God. We must accept our disappointments like David did – with humility, acceptance, and grace, knowing that God’s will reigns supreme and everything He does is for the very best.

Sometimes, you want two things that cannot be had simultaneously. Neither is bad, but you must choose. "I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better." Heaven holds the ultimate allure, but we want to save our loved ones. Heaven can wait. "Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you." Pray for longevity. Expect it. God will call you when He is ready. According to Jesus, the chief end of your life is to love God with all that is in you!

You may have memorised at some point that the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. And this is not in conflict with Jesus’ words. But one is the result and the other is the cause. One is the root and the other is the fruit.

The root, from which all other right things in the Christian life flow, is your all-consuming love for Jesus Christ. If you get loving God right, all the other aspects of your life will become right too. If you love God you’ll obey Him and honour Him and live to please Him. If you love God you’ll love His will for you. If you love God you’ll keep trusting Him in the hard times. If you love God, He’ll fill your mind and your speech.

Though none of us is ever sure of what we will have to experience to be prepared for what God has in store for us in His Kingdom, we are sure God will be there for us in our times of trial. He will indeed, but will we be ready to face our discouragement over what we come to see in ourselves?

As we become educated in God's way, as we grow and become more discerning, sin becomes more apparent everywhere we look. The discouraging aspect is that the sin is not necessarily in others but that we see it in ourselves. We may even reach a level of outright despair because, everywhere we turn, every angle we view ourselves from, we see "little" deceits. We become aware of envy rising, jealousy, anger, and sometimes even rage and hatred. We attempt to bottle them up to keep them from breaking out.

Yet, they always seem to be just below the surface, ready to leap out in a foolish act. Sin is like a cancer, most of the time invisible but silently working to destroy us. Sin desires to return us to our former state. We may have even imagined that, when we began to grow in the grace and the knowledge of Jesus Christ, life would become continually easier - we would grow in holiness, and life would become an unending pleasure. Too frequently, it seems to work in the opposite direction.

David is described as a man after God's own heart (1 Samuel 13:14). It is difficult for us to accept that statement when David is guilty of lying, adultery, murder, and other indiscretions. However, to be a man after God's own heart means that David wants the same things God wants. His noble desires and intentions are overruled several times by his passions; but when David's senses are restored and he repents of his sin, again his heart beats after God's desires. We may not be as bad as David in his bad moments, but are we as good as David in his good moments? Do our hearts beat after God?

It is difficult to remember that God's justice plays itself out in eternity, not just in our lifetime. In the end of times, righteous people will prevail, while the evildoers are left out in the cold. The Lord has little desire to reward only good people and punish those who are bad. If He did that, people would follow Him for the wrong reason. God wants His children to come to Him because they love Him, not because they think it will bring them good things.

If we would follow the Lord wholly, we must go right away into the wilderness of separation, and leave the Egypt of the carnal world behind us. We must leave its maxims, its pleasures, and its religion too, and go far away to the place where the Lord calls his sanctified ones. When the town is on fire, our house cannot be too far from the flames. When the plague is abroad, a man cannot be too far from its haunts. The further from a viper the better, and the further from worldly conformity the better. To all true believers let the trumpet-call be sounded, “Come ye out from among them, be ye separate.”


Raj Kosaraju

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