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The Daily Word of Righteousness
God's Unfolding Plan, #14
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, (Hebrews 12:1)
When we consider Adam, the patriarchs, Noah, and the Israelites, we realize immediately that the grace given to them and the demands made on them did not approach what has been assigned to us and what is being required of us.
There have been exceptions. The requirement to offer Isaac as a burnt offering equaled or surpassed the demands of personal crucifixion placed on many believers under the new covenant. The sufferings of Job have a familiar ring to many Christians. The crying out of Jeremiah, "Woe is me, my mother, that thou hast borne me a man of strife and a man of contention to the whole earth!" (Jeremiah 15:10) may be heard from a perplexed saint of our own day.
When we examine the rewards being offered to us we can appreciate the superiority of the new covenant. We can see that the new covenant towers above all prior relationships in the opportunities presented to the believer.
What did Adam know about the crown of life? What did Noah understand of the concept of governing the nations with a rod of iron? What did Elijah know about becoming a pillar in the eternal tabernacle of God, of having the name of God's city written on him, of sitting in the throne with Christ?
These men died in faith, looking for the city having foundations. But we Christians have the substance. Ours is the fullness, the perfection. Apart from us none of the patriarchs and prophets can be made perfect.
As a participant in the new covenant we have the opportunity to become a son of God, to become changed into the image of Christ, to become a brother of Christ, to rule the nations of the earth with a rod of iron, to behold the Face of the Father and to serve Him throughout eternity, to become an eternal part of the new Jerusalem, to become a member of the Body of Christ, of the Body of the Servant of the Lord who will bring justice to the nations, to become a soldier in Christ's army, to become a priest and judge of God, representing Him among His creatures, to become the covenant of God with people.
Truly, many who are last (in history) will be first (in the Kingdom of God).
The opportunities and rewards are exalted, sublime, marvelous beyond all conception. Christ has called us up to sit with Him in His throne. What else can He offer us? He has given to us all He Himself is. He demands our all. He is holding out to us the throne of the universe.
There is one opportunity and reward that overshadows the other rewards until they become pale in comparison.
It is the opportunity to become one with God through Christ.
That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. (John 17:21)
To be continued.