9/8/15

i shall be satisfied with your likeness

"Of old you laid the foundations of the earth,and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you will remain; they will all wear out like a garment.You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away,but you are the same, and your years have no end."-psalm 102:25-27

Time is passing quickly and with it hair turns greyer, wrinkles grow deeper, things become covered in dust and rips and evidence of being worn. And then I pass a car crash on my way home, hear a friend just lost her mom to cancer and remember just how fragile this thing is. 

And we can lose it so quickly, this life here on earth. The weight of uncertainty can be suffocating. The tick-tock-tick-tock of the clock can make you go crazy. There is so much life to live, we think, and we don't want to miss it. So much we want to see and do before we take our last breath. We want to meet the one, get the job, have kids... Please Lord, we pray, don't let us die before all this happens.


"I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand." -john 10:28


And yet... there's security, there's hope, there's joy in how fragile this life is. What concerns those not hidden in the love of God does not have to concern his children. We have assurance in the work of Christ on the cross. We can know that as a child of God we do not have to run in this rat race any longer, craving desperately for more time, trying to get in our life's to do list before we depart from this life. We have plenty of time! We have an abundance of time! For we have been granted the gift of true life for eternity---life without the weight of sin upon our shoulders, life with God the veil torn and our union with him sweet and complete and beautiful.

"Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;my flesh also dwells secure.For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,or let your holy one see the pit."-psalm 16:9

We will all die. Of this we can be sure. It is the commonality of all people on earth. Health advances are prolonging life, but not sustaining it forever. Everyone will have a heartbeat one minute, and then won't the next. And everyone will resurrect from their graves when Christ returns. From the graves people will go to hell for eternity or to the Father for eternity. 

"But this I confess to you, that according to the Way, which they call a sect, I worship the God of our fathers, believing everything laid down by the Law and written in the Prophets,having a hope in God, which these men themselves accept,that there will be a resurrection of both the just and the unjust."-acts 24:14-15

The truth of this should leave the just rejoicing and the unjust trembling. All will resurrect and fates will be determined. But, in actuality, this truth find us all trembling, for who can call themselves just? All of us should be staring at the gates of hell and knowing it will be our eternal home. For no one on earth is just. No one on earth can claim right living, right speaking, right thinking. No one on earth can say with confidence that they have lived a life worthy of the Father.

"for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."-romans 3:23

In light of the resurrection to heaven or hell we should be in despair. In light of the just ascending to the Father and the unjust descending to hell we should be crying out knowing our doomed fate. 

"And these will go away into eternal punishment,but the righteous into eternal life."-matthew 25:46

"But God..." 

Two of the most beautiful words in I find in Scripture. In awe we read that the Bible says that the God of the universe, the maker of all things and people and emotions is working in our little, sinful lives. The one who owns every sky on every planet in every solar system in every corner of the universe. The one who knows all fully, without confusion. The one who ordains and sustains and remains. He made us though he did not need us. He made us knowing we would rebel. He made us knowing he would pursue us though we would fail to love him as he is worthy. 

"But God..."

God stepped in and made a way for us to be called just. God moved toward his creation, longing for us to be with him forever. And it was not a move without cost. In his holiness God cannot turn a blind eye to sin. 

"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth" (Romans 1:18).

J.J. Packer explains the just wrath of our Father well: “God’s wrath in the Bible is never the capricious, self-indulgent, irritable, morally ignoble thing that human anger so often is. It is, instead, a right and necessary reaction to objective moral evil.” But still we are left knowing that God's just wrath means we will be separated from him forever. 

"But God..."

"But God, being rich in mercy,because of the great love with which he loved us,even when we were dead in our trespasses,made us alive together with Christ---by grace you have been saved---and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindnesstoward us in Christ Jesus."-ephesians 2:4-7

We were lost to our sin until God, in an ordained and glorious plan, sent his perfect son, Jesus, to absorb our sin, getting the wrath we deserved that we may get the crown of steadfast love and mercy that Jesus so rightly deserves (Psalm 103:4). 

Yes, we have all fallen short of the glory of God, but we have been justified by the grace of God as a gift.

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,and are justified by his grace as a gift,through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood,to be received by faith.This was to show God's righteousness,because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.It was to show his righteousness at the present time,so that he might be justand the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus."-romans 3:23-26

We can now call ourselves among the just, not because we are just but because Christ has placed us in the position of the just. And we know that as the just we will be with the Father for eternity. That life here on earth is fragile, but it is not the end. It is not the glorious life ahead of us... it is but a shadow that will be soon forgotten and not missed when we are on the new earth experiencing life as it was intended to be lived---free from sin, walking with our Maker, enjoying all the good he has made and himself---our only true good. 

"As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness;when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness."-psalm 17:15