Wednesday, March 25, 2009

What a hope we have

Titus 2 11For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. 12It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

The hope we have is the promised appearing of Jesus Christ our Lord. The day in which His power is revealed to the nations, His splendor is unveiled for us, the day we may completely behold Him!
This hope is also called our rest, which entails our final present victory over all that we battle constantly; indwelling sin, satan, and the world! It's a day where all will finally be able to 'throw the guns down', 'take off the gloves', the fight, the battle will finally be over for us. This fight, this battle is FOREIGN to the world, it's FOREIGN to the hypocrite who's only concern is what man can see. The hypocrite fights against his conscious and the views of others yet he has no real battle against indwelling sin. He doesn't resist the heart of sin, he's only concerned to cut off 'visible' weeds. Yet the child of God is concerned with what no one else can see, His heart towards God can't give him peace as long as there is sin to wrestle. He hates his pride, he hates any delight in lust, he hates his loose tongue, he hates wandering mind, he hates his failures and so on! Yet praise God he's not crushed, he's not forsaken because he knows Christ is working with in him. He knows Christ is praying for him, now it would be cool if Paul Washer, John Piper, John Macarthur and Conrad Mbewe called me and said 'hey brother, you are in my prayers' i'd certainly be touched but that would in time fade....BUT to know MY REDEEMER is interceding for me is quite another thing.
What about our failures? When were we first exposed to Christ as an intercessor for men? When He told Peter that He was praying for him. This was the time when Peter was thinking, that his strength, his zeal, his devotion was due to his choices. Peter at this time was quite Arminian, and pretty much told Christ 'keep your prayers, pray for someone else... they might fall but not me because I've made up my mind that if it takes death, nothing to it I'm game!'
What grace Christ displayed towards Peter, to suffer such betrayal on the worst possible day of all eternity. What love that though Christ knew this, He forgave Peter beforehand! Yet Peter being a true believer was CRUSHED, and another thing that needs to be pointed out is that this abounding grace, this forgiving love did not cause Peter to grow slack (when grace is treated as license then grace was never received).
It's disappointing and encouraging to learn of older saints (and I mean more than just gray hair) holy and faithful men of God; to learn that they still battle and some testify that the battle grows in intensity against sin and temptation. It's disappointing because you hope to be through with such things as you progress in years and you often thought some things would never return but traces have. It's encouraging because you understand that these temptations are common to man and though they seem overwhelming they don't have to crush you, the intensity doesn't mean that we'll one day fall under it, but only reveals time and time again God's mercy in our time of need. Our hope then is not in a stage in life, graduation, marriage, birth, ordination, retirement or any such thing but our hope is one which WILL NOT disappoint, a hope to be with Jesus, a hope to see Him, a hope to be free from distractions, a hope that will need no repentance, a hope that will be free from cares, Glory to God we will one day be GLORIFIED!

---This of course throws out the silly notion that "God made man in order to see if we would love Him, because it isn't love unless we can chose not to..." Well heaven throws that ridiculous theory out, because in heaven we won't be ABLE to sin, we sure won't 'have a part' in making ourselves glorified (perfected)!

I praise God that it's Him working in me, because without that I'd have nothing to keep me going. The more we understand about grace, the more we cherish it, the more we cherish it the more we seek it, the more we seek it the more we find it. It's certainly the testimony of men that are known for their holiness, that their holiness is imparted and only reveals to them how unholy they really are apart from the working of God. Yet He chose me and even more incredible he chose YOU :) !

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