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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

2 Corinthians 5:1

"Living with Eternity's Values in View"

Message summary: Fellow believer, let us stand firm in our faith today as we live with eternity's values in view!

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"Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands" (2 Corinthians 5:1). 

Several years ago I attended the funeral for the father of a friend. At the service he introduced me to several of his brothers. Afterwards I had email contact with one of the brothers and he shared his perspective several months following his father's death. It clearly illustrates the wonderful assurance we should have when we lose loved ones.

"You know, at first I would say, "I lost my Father..." But, in reality, when you lose something, you don't know where it is. Well, I KNOW where my Father is. So, now I don't say "I lost my Father..." Now I say, "My Dad recently moved into his mansion..." It not only helps me keeps things in perspective, but it has really helped open up dialogue to individuals who don't yet know Christ!"

In 2 Corinthians chapters 4 and 5 the Apostle Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, shares some incredible insights regarding the perspective we should have as we live out our life on this earth. Apart from a few select people throughout history (Enoch and Elijah) all have experienced the destruction of the earthly tent we live in. We call that death. According to Scripture there will also be a group of believers still alive at the return of Christ who will experience a transition without death (see 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

2 Corinthians 5:1
"Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed."  Paul uses the phrase "earthly tent" to describe the temporary nature of our present dwelling. A commentary makes this observation: "The figure of a tent picturing the human body suggests impermanence and insecurity and is a common picture of earthly life and its setting in the body."* Our death is that transitional event that takes place when our earthly tent is destroyed.

"We have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands."  What a wonderful description of our future home! Note the contrast between "earthly tent" and "eternal house". This eternal house is a building from God, located in heaven, and not built by human hands. It can't be reckoned with in our minds or fully envisioned on this side of eternity, for we are still clothed with perishable bodies that are nearsighted in our scope of understanding.

Today may this message encourage those who have "lost a loved one". In Biblical reality they are not really lost but rather promoted to a place prepared by Jesus Himself and untainted by sin, but beyond our human viewing. 

May it also encourage those dealing with ongoing physical affliction or situations that seem so hopelessly broken. May we all remember this as we see the continuing groaning of the whole creation right up to the present time (see Romans 8:22). Fellow believer, let us stand firm in our faith today as we live with eternity's values in view!

"Living with Eternity's Values in View". This concept is transformational. When we think and live with eternity's values in view we make our life count for what God is concerned about. Seeing, not the temporary, but with eyes for the eternal as Scripture puts it enables us to endure suffering, fulfill our calling and leave an eternal legacy. (Matt Brown)

With eternity's values in view, Lord
With eternity's values in view
May I do each day's work for Jesus?
With eternity's values in view.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, our view of heaven is most distant when we live only for here and now; especially when all is going well and prosperity is at our doorstep.  But when our bodies give way to perishable atrophy and troubles overwhelm us, it is then that our hearts especially long for the distant city with a firm foundation whose Maker and Builder is the Lord of Creation.  It is in this place of focus that we best commune with You and find strength and renewed hope to deal with present challenges.  Keep our hearts attuned to our future goal of hearing You say, "Well done good and faithful servant!  Enter into the joys of heaven."

* "Linguistic Key to the Greek New Testament" (Rienecker/Rogers)

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Won't It Be Wonderful There"  Video   Dailey and Vincent

"There Is Hope"  Video

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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