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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. (II Corinthians 4:10,11)
Being changed from a living soul into a life-giving spirit can take place only as we turn aside from our life in the present world and seek Christ with all our heart. God sends tribulation on us in order to produce in us this diligent seeking.
The wealthy nations of our day are filled with people who are immoral and weak in character. Numerous believers are spiritually lazy, immoral, and weak in character. They cannot conceive of God being so unkind as to send trouble on them. They are following prophets who keep assuring them that God loves them so much He will not allow them to suffer any pain.
The Christian ministers who curry favor with their listeners are preaching for money and popular acclaim. They are not telling the truth to their audiences. They are false witnesses of God.
In their haste to assure their congregations that God will not make them uncomfortable they are robbing the Lord's people of the means of obtaining eternal joy.
God knows we never can attain love, joy, and peace, that for which He has designed us, until we come into a right relationship with Himself and a right relationship with those around us. He sends various tribulations on us to change us from what is self-centered and corruptible into that which lives and moves and has its being in God. Then we are possessors of all things.
When we seek to evade pain, when we dodge the cross, when we are unwilling to suffer patiently the prisons in which we are placed, we make it impossible for ourselves to attain the love, joy, and peace for which we have been created.
It is patient, cross-carrying obedience that results in the transition from a living soul, which is temporary and always corruptible, into an eternal life-giving spirit. It is the life-giving spirit alone that is capable of satisfactory relationships. It is the life-giving spirit that by its nature lives for eternity in love, joy, and peace.
Our chastenings are the love of God in action toward us, love that is leading us straight toward the land of promise—the place where God can find complete, untroubled rest in us and we can find complete, untroubled rest in God.
In Heaven we hope to experience a loving, joyous, peaceful relationship with God and loving, joyous, peaceful relationships with people.
Sometimes we think of Heaven as a place of "things." Will gold, silver, and diamonds ever make any human being happy? Do such things make people happy today? Would you rather walk alone on a street of gold or on a dirt path with someone you love?
To be continued.