Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tent Cities II

So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight.  Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.  So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.  – 2 Corinthians 5:6-10

Yesterday, I shared my experience in Kuwait and how I saw people living in tents waiting for their city to be built.  Today, I am going to continue on reading from 2 Corinthians 5.  This chapter is a reminder that our current lives are not permanent.  We are made for the Kingdom of Heaven.

Paul likened life on earth as living in a tent in yesterday’s paragraph.  Paul carries that thought on in the next paragraph.  Paul said that while we’re living in this tent we groan.  But He also said that God has prepared us and has given us the Holy Spirit as His promise.

This is why Paul is always of good courage.  Paul recognized that his life was all about Jesus.  He knew that everything that he went through was to prepare him for the greatness of Heaven to come.

When Paul said that while we are at home (that is on earth), we are away from the Lord.  This does not mean that His Spirit is not and presence is not with us.  Paul is simply saying that we are away from the manifest glory of God in heaven (see Isaiah chapter 6 for more information).

Paul is always of good cheer because he knew that whatever hardships or troubles he faced were temporary.  He knew his permanent dwelling was with God in His manifest glory.  Paul said, for me to live is Christ, and to die is gain (Philippians 1:21).  While he would have preferred to be done with his life so that he could spend the rest of eternity in heaven, he knew he had a purpose.

When Paul says that we make it our aim to please Him (God), he isn’t saying that we have to perform to please God.  I remember when I was a young lad, I loved and appreciated my mother a lot (I still do).  I knew she loved me and that no matter what I did, she would always love me.  Because of this fact, I wanted to please my mother.  I loved all of the little art projects and stuff that I did for Mother’s Day.  Even if I drew something that could barely count as an abstract piece, I was so proud because this thing would please my mother.

That’s the same spirit we should have with God.  He loves us so very much and has given us every good thing.  Shouldn’t we want to please God?

When Paul writes that we will all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, he is not saying that we will be judged whether or not we will gain entrance to heaven or not.  Those who have confessed with their mouths and believed in their hearts that Jesus is Lord will gain access to heaven as promised. 

The sense these verses should give us is similar to what Jesus said in Matthew 6:19, 20.  Jesus told us not to store treasure for ourselves on earth, but to store treasures in heaven.  Or in 1 Corinthians 3:11-13 Paul tells us that the work we have done will be tested and revealed.

The words good and evil that Paul used would be better defined as worthwhile and worthless.  The point that should be communicated is that we will be rewarded in heaven for every good and worthwhile thing that we have done.  And for every worthless thing that we have done, we will not receive the reward that would have come to us.  Remember, this is not about whether or not we will get into heaven to be with Jesus.  This is just about being rewarded for what we have done.

May God bless you richly on this day, you are one day closer to when He calls you home or when He returns.

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