It is absolutely vital that we answer God’s first call to Salvation if we desire to enter into Heaven when our time here is over. In addition, if you want to begin experiencing this life as if you were already in that next life, we must answer this call too. Hear the Word of God:
“but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” 2Pe 3:18 NASB
Grow up! I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again…and again if I have to because I need to be reminded: the whole point to Salvation is transformation. First, God transforms us from death to life, but He doesn’t stop there. Just because we HAVE Eternal Life within, doesn’t mean we are experiencing, let alone enjoying, this New Life. This is where the second call comes in. God will continue to transform us so that we will begin to think the way He does. He will help us replace any negative thoughts, so we will begin to see the good God intends in everything that happens and we will have thoughts of victory, instead of defeat. God will continue to transform our emotions. He will help us take control of what we feel and we will use our emotions to drive us towards healthy decisions, instead of self-destructive ones. God will continue to transform our will so it lines up, more and more, with His Holy Will. He will help us move away from self-centered desires that are short-sighted and usually selfish, and we will want to do whatever it is God knows will lead to a fulfilling life here. One thought, emotion and decision at a time, we go from that old, selfish sinner to this New, loving saint in Christ.
Grow up! Think of the life of a newborn infant. They are such amazing beings! Cute and cuddly…and so very curious. I love the image of a baby who discovers his hand for the very first time. Everything is so mysterious and marvelous to these tiny new humans. But can they really appreciate the awesomeness of life? They don’t understand things. They can’t relate to other humans intimately and personally. They won’t ever be able to truly experience the countless beauty of life until they grow up. And while they certainly are adorable, they also cry, poop and just lie there. That’s not a full life. Of course, this holds true for born again Christians too. Oh when we first come to Christ, how awesome it is! The knowledge that Heaven is now and forever opened FOR us? That we do not have to do anything to earn it? That we GET to spend Eternity in Paradise because of the Love of the Father, the Work of Jesus and the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit? What a relief! And New Christians are so cute! We think everything is such a great mystery and so very marvelous. When we first see God’s hand clearly in our lives? We can do nothing less than bow our heads in gratitude and lift up our hands in worship to our Holy, Holy, Holy God! But we still cry…a lot…we act like poop…a lot… and just lie there, not blessing anyone. We are still consumed with thinking about what we can GET instead of what we can GIVE to life! We cannot truly know the power of Christ, the Freedom we have in Him, unless we grow up.
Grow up and everyone wins. Not only do we have and enjoy life, more and more, as we mature in Christ, but God is glorified and others around us are blessed too. Life becomes less and less about “ME” and more and more about, well, Life. And as I have said before, this Life in Christ includes all the good things that our hearts truly desire. A steady sense of love, peace and joy. Contentment and fulfillment no matter what is going on around us. Being able to handle any challenge with strength and compassion towards everyone involved. My Friends, this is the life we were always meant to have and enjoy…but it doesn’t stop there. The third calling brings it all together. We will talk about that next week. I know every time I go through a very difficult situation, I always come out better in the end. I’m more loving, compassionate, peaceful, patient and so on and so on. Life doesn’t control me because I am growing in Christ every time I answer the Call to Sanctification…and Life gets sweeter and sweeter, no matter what. Want that? Then won’t you join me?
Until we meet again, keep lifting your eyes to God, He’s closer than you think.
<>< Peace, Diane