2015 New Beginnings – Walking in Eternity
2 Corinthians 4:16 – 5:2
Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
5:1 For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven,
In a New Year, we like to put away the old and look forward to the new. We usually think of what will be new in our earthly lives, but God wants us to see a new beginning as to how we can walk in his eternal life. He wants us to “earnestly desire to be clothed with our habitation from heaven.”
This does not mean waiting for our mansion in the sky – as if it is some tangible thing in heaven that we get to inherit. The phrase, “a house becomes a home” is about all the house represents and exemplifies. The memories, the victories, the emotions, the love, the decorations that set the tone. The same is true for our heavenly home.
Strangers and Pilgrims
13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. 15 And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.
To earnestly desire our habitation from heaven is to desire less out habitation here. The first requirement is to change our perspective to see with eyes of faith that we have a city prepared for us. Our job is to transform our earthly lives so that the ways of the heavenly country become our ways on earth.
My grandparents came into this country through Ellis Island from France. When they set up residence, they made themselves “strangers and pilgrims” as far as France was
concerned. They no longer acted as though they were from there. They stopped speaking French and doing French things, would not teach them to their kids, and put all their soul into living like Americans.
Press Toward the Goal
This is not to say we should disavow our ancestors, or our good earthly upbringing, but it is an analogy to show that while we are walking on this earth as representatives of Christ, we should do all we can to shun the ways of the world and put on the character qualities of Jesus. He laid hold of us to live His life through us. We are to press on to make that happen on a daily basis.
May He give all of us the wisdom and power to do this in this coming year.
7 But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. 8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus
Copyright © 2015 John D. Cooper