Saturday, July 4, 2015

“Straight Ahead”

     "Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth" (Colossians 3:2).
     "Why stand ye gazing up into Heaven?  This same Jesus, which is taken from you into Heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into Heaven" (Acts 1:11).

    While we set our affections on things above, God intends born again believers to direct our gaze straight ahead in order to deal with the present realities of our lives.  The Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ leads Christians to impact this present world before it escorts us to our future Heavenly home.  We might say that Heaven comes to us before we go to it.  "I will come to you" promised the Lord Jesus to His disciples, referencing the advent of the indwelling Holy Spirit given to all who trust in Christ (John 14:18).   

   Such Presence empowers a life of fulfilling personal responsibility as our Lord enables us to live our present lives in "the powers of the world to come" (Hebrews 6:5).  We can live no more practical life than the Christian life.  In fact, any other life cannot be viewed as truly reasonable or utilitarian.  God made human beings to "walk in the light of the Lord" (Isaiah 2:5).  Only believers see life and the world as it really is.  Thus, only believers deal with life in accordance with reality.  Through Christ, our Heavenly Father grants the grace to deal with the matter right in front of us.  However, Like sheep, distraction easily leads us away from our Shepherd's pointed and present command: "This is the way.  Walk ye in it" (Isaiah 30:21).  We must therefore determine that "affection on things above" will lead us to look straight ahead at life as it is, rather than than stand with starry spiritual eyes, "gazing up into Heaven."

    The present will of God may involve that which seems very ordinary, mundane, and earthly.  Recall that the Lord Jesus lived more than 90% of His life not as a preacher, teacher, and miracle worker, but as a seemingly ordinary man and carpenter.  He did so in perfect faithfulness, thus preparing Him for the three years of obvious ministry that led to the cross, the resurrection,  the ascension, and eternal glory.  In similar manner, most of our Christian life will involve faith and faithfulness in the countless small matters of the day that actually loom very large in their significance and effect for the glory of God.  We live with our hearts in Heaven, but with our feet planted firmly on the ground of earth.  Thereby we honor our Lord and thereby we display His presence in our hearts by looking straight ahead and dealing with the matter at hand through the presence, wisdom, and enabling of Christ.

"His Lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant.  Thou hast been faithful over a few things.  I will make thee ruler over many things.  Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."
(Matthew 25:21)

Weekly Memory Verse
    All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made.
(John 1:3)

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