It is this transcendent, Godly, sacrificial love that we aspire to all of our life, aching to be like our Lord in heaven.  Romans 8:23 captures this tremendous desire to be like our Lord:  “Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.”  The moment that we are all waiting for is the time when we will see our Lord, when He comes again for His children, and the moment when, upon seeing Him, we will receive our glorified bodies, finally completing the work of redemption so that we will be like Him in body and spirit.  We are taught in 1 John 3:2, “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”   Unfortunately, until that moment, we will continue to possess “this treasure” (our redeemed spirit) in this “earthen vessel” (our unredeemed body) (2 Corinthians 4:7)

But, it is necessary that we remain in this weakened state so “that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us” (2 Corinthians 4:7).  In other words, it keeps us dependent upon God.  Also, our weakness in this body and the various trials we go through keep us humble, keep us from being “exalted above measure” (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).  Thankfully, in our weakness, God’s power is made perfect, so we have nothing to fear in this world (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).  In all our trials and suffering, we must always remember what Jesus told us, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).  Since Jesus has conquered everything including death, then we who have His Spirit within us cannot be defeated, even though there may be times when we will feel as if we are close to defeat:  We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;  persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed…”  (2 Corinthians 4:8-9)

At such times, we must lean on the “everlasting arms” and allow Him to comfort us and strengthen us.  Without Him, we can do nothing (John 15:5).  But even with Him, there will come moments when we will fail because of our weakness in this flesh.  There will even come times when we will fail Him monumentally, just as Peter failed Jesus, denying His Lord three times, even though he swore he would never do such a thing.  Thanks be to God that His love of us does not depend on our perfection of action.  Jesus loved Peter, even when Peter betrayed Him.  What’s more is that Jesus loved the Pharisees who constantly provoked Him and treated Him so unjustly, forcing His trial and crucifixion (although they could not have done this unless Jesus and His Father in Heaven allowed this to happen – God is always in control (John 19:11).  Furthermore, Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross was a deliberate act of His tremendous love that had been planned from the foundation of the world – Revelation 13:8 and 1 Peter 1:19-20).  So great was His love that He even loved those people that crucified Him, even while He was suffering so greatly on the cross, asking His Father to be lenient on them:  “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34)

It is such a love that we aspire to and grow into more each day.  I know that, in my own life, God has greatly increased my ability to love others and has developed my character to be more like Him, working continuously on my heart, mind, and spirit over the last 44 years since my rebirth when I first accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior.  But, like all of us, His work on me will not be complete until I go to be with Him.

I pray that God will fill you with His boundless love so that others may see Jesus in you.

 


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    I'm a retired soldier, having spent 23 years of my life serving our country, actually 30 years when you count the reserve and National Guard time as well.  I believe in servant leaders, following the example of our Lord, and I believe in giving back to the troops once one has attained a certain status or level of success in life.  But I also believe in fighting back against corruption and incompetence wherever you find it if it hurts people.  Our national values were worth dying for.  They are also worth living for.  A man or woman can actually live a life by these principles of humility, service, love, duty, and honor, and have a significant impact on the world around them...if you have the dedication to see it through. 

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