Take It Personal

“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” (1John 3:2-3)

 This bring us to the conclusion of this series of posts on “The King of Glory.” And my closing appeal is intentionally direct. It’s time for you to take this personal.

In review we have discovered that our Fall from the lofty heights of God’s noble purpose for our lives happened in a Garden. The Serpent coiled around our minds with his strong delusions and poisoned our hearts against the Lord. Once contaminated, we became corrupted.

The crown of glory and honor that God had given to Man toppled from our shamed heads and landed in the dust. But ere The Serpent could snatch the crown and place it upon his own head, God lifted it up and held it in reserve for a Noble Man who would come one day.

And just as our Fall happened in a Garden, so our recovery happened in a Garden also. When Jesus, the Noble Man, was buried in the Garden Tomb and then rose from the dead on the third day – our redemption was made complete!

And this Noble Man has now departed to a far country to receive a Kingdom, and then to return. We have heard the joyful sound of celebration from afar as he was crowned the King of Glory! And we have been infused with His Spirit, who gives us the power to now live above the common; to be as lights in the midst of darkness.

paul-the-apostleIn Christ we are restored to our nobility. Our hearts are held by a heavenly calling, inspiring us to travel far and wide with the good news of Christ’s victory over The Serpent, Sin, and Death and the grotesque monster — Self.

We live each day in full anticipation of that one Day when a trumpet blast shall fill the sky and our King of Glory shall return. And — as surely as Christ was born of a virgin, and lived a sinless life; as surely as He was betrayed and crucified; and as surely as He rose from the dead and ascended into heaven – so also will He surely return!

And now, as I stated earlier, its time for you to take this personal. And the best way to encourage you to do this is to direct you to what may be the best appeal ever made, written by Paul the Apostle; encouraging each of us to follow his example:

“Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant–dog dung. I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him.

“I didn’t want some petty, inferior brand of righteousness that comes from keeping a list of rules when I could get the robust kind that comes from trusting Christ–God’s righteousness. I gave up all that inferior stuff so I could know Christ personally, experience his resurrection power, be a partner in his suffering, and go all the way with him to death itself. If there was any way to get in on the resurrection from the dead, I wanted to do it.

“I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward–to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.

“So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision–you’ll see it yet!

“Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it. Stick with me, friends. Keep track of those you see running this same course, headed for this same goal. There are many out there taking other paths, choosing other goals, and trying to get you to go along with them. I’ve warned you of them many times; sadly, I’m having to do it again. All they want is easy street. They hate Christ’s Cross. But easy street is a dead-end street. Those who live there make their bellies their gods; belches are their praise; all they can think of is their appetites.

“But there’s far more to life for us. We’re citizens of high heaven! We’re waiting the arrival of the Savior, the Master, Jesus Christ, who will transform our earthy bodies into glorious bodies like his own. He’ll make us beautiful and whole with the same powerful skill by which he is putting everything as it should be, under and around him.

(Philippians 3:8-21, The Message)

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