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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. (Hebrews 4:1)
Our entrance into the rest of God, into the land of promise, depends on our successful transition from a self-centered soul in an animal body into a spirit in untroubled union with God in a spiritual body. Love, joy, and peace are possible only when our relationships with God and people have been touched by the Lord.
Relationships are made right as through Christ we are changed from a living soul into a life-giving spirit. The relationships that are not filled with Christ are temporary. The relationships that will survive for eternity are those established by and in Christ as we are fitted into our place in the Body of Christ.
There is a mark, a rest, a goal, a land of promise, toward which the Christian people are to press with all faith and diligence.
We are made partakers of Christ if we "hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end" (Hebrews 3:6), continuing to persevere and to obey God until we arrive at our land of promise.
Precisely what is our rest, our mark, our land of promise, our "heaven"?
Our heaven, our paradise, our land of promise, is a loving, joyous, and peaceful relationship with God and loving, joyous, and peaceful relationships with people.
This is the goal. This is the mark. This is "heaven."
The greatest joy and the greatest pain anyone can experience are in the realm of relationships.
All we do and everything in our environment is secondary in value and importance to relationships.
The importance of relationships is reflected in the two laws on which all the other laws of God are based: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength, and you shall love your neighbor as yourself" (Mark 12:30,31).
Each of the Ten Commandments is based on relationships.
The goal of every emotionally healthy human being is love, joy, and peace. Love, joy, and peace can come only through relationships. Therefore our Christian discipleship on the earth is occupied with developing in us a loving, joyous, and peaceful relationship with God and loving, joyous, and peaceful relationships with people.
Our most important relationship is with God. Next in importance is that of husband and wife.
Next are our relationships with family members.
After that are our relationships with our friends.
Finally, our relationships with our acquaintances.
Numerous relationships make up our life: teacher-pupil, working partners, the ruler and the ruled, and a variety of other relationships including doctors, entertainers, cooks, and contributors and helpers of all kinds.
When every one of our relationships is loving, joyous, and peaceful, our physical and spiritual environments are harmonious and pleasing, and we are occupied in the service for which we have been created, then we shall have attained the land of promise. We shall have arrived at the rest of God, our goal, our heaven, our paradise.
To be continued.