Romans 3:22-24 There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
This is the perfect mirror to what came out yesterday about God not playing favorites. It is also another way of expressing God’s greatest provision for us, of eternal life through His Son. There’s no getting around the fact that God’s a giver! Job said that He gives and He takes away, (Job 1:21) but He never takes away anything we need for eternity with Him. Another way of saying that is that He takes away bad stuff, and when He takes away good stuff it’s always temporary. When He gives, it’s forever! (Romans 11:29) That’s a marvelous truth to hang onto. As long as we live on this fallen earth we experience loss of all sorts. However, that’s not the case in eternity with God. As Paul said so famously, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) It’s important to remember that eternal life begins the moment you repent and make Jesus your Lord by faith. We experience that only in very small measure on this earth, but even that little taste is glorious! There are many songs about the glories of heaven, and sometimes we really do long to be there instead of here, but fellowship with God doesn’t have to wait for heaven. When we choose to turn our hearts to Him and walk in step with His Spirit, (Galatians 5:25) His peace indeed guards our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7) Life on this earth has been spoken of as a “vale of tears,” and sometimes it can seem that way, but when our focus is on God, His eternal life, His righteousness, is manifested in us in the here and now, and that is glorious indeed. (1 Peter 1:8-9)
I need to be reminded of this from time to time too! As a pastor I deal constantly with people who can’t see past the end of their nose, and so are anxious about what might be three steps away. We aren’t given to see the temporal future, except occasionally in prophecy, but every believer can have a vision of eternity, and that should make us content with not seeing all the stuff in between. My parents have had a permanent change of address and my wife has paid a visit, so I have all the reason in the world to rest assured of God’s eternity, but I’m as human as anyone else, and I get irritated and frustrated and anxious. How foolish! Most of the time I really do enjoy living, and I’m grateful for that. I need to walk consistently in all that God has done for me in Christ so that I may lead others to do likewise, for His glory.
Father, thank You for this reminder, and thank You for the rest of the message for Sunday. Help me get those notes into shape as You intend, so that Your Word may go forth clearly and accomplish everything for which You send it, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!