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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Too Hard!, continued
Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. (Philippians 3:17—NIV)
Because true salvation requires the overhaul of our personality, as our worldliness, lust, and self-will give way before the forming of Christ in us, we suffer a considerable amount of denial of our desires. There is no other way. Change is painful.
The alternative is to drift along in a casual manner, counting on our taking of the "four steps of salvation" to be our ticket to a mansion in Heaven, trusting that the Jews will have to face Antichrist without the Holy Spirit. We hope to slide along in our spiritually lazy manner until the Day of Resurrection arrives.
But we will be awakened from the dead to await the decision of the White Throne, numb with apprehension, realizing the Bible was true and we permitted ourselves to be lulled to sleep by an ignorant or self-serving ministry.
However, if we seek Christ with all our strength, living each day in intense interaction with Jesus, counting ourselves crucified with Christ and risen with Him to the right hand of God, confessing our sins and turning away from them as we are made aware of them, praying much, reading our Bible, assembling with the saints, ministering and being ministered to, giving, serving as we have opportunity, counting every aspect of our life not found in Christ as garbage, then we will hear His voice when He returns.
We will find ourselves standing on the ground surrounded by others who, like ourselves, are shining as the sun. Before we know it we will notice we are ascending to the clouds, there to be guided to our place in the army that is about to invade the earth.
We have attained the first resurrection, the resurrection from the dead. We are alive forevermore with Christ.
When Christ goes to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and is seated on the throne of David we will be part of the great throng that hails the Messiah, the Son of David, the King of all kings and Lord of all lords.
You will want to be there on the great coronation day when the only rightful King of the world is crowned.
This is why Paul was laying aside all that he might attain the first resurrection. He invites you to follow in his steps that you might rejoice with him in the day both of you enter the joy of your Lord.
Major accomplishments in life, whether becoming a champion swimmer or an accomplished pianist, require years of the most diligent effort. But the athlete or musician accepts the painful discipline and denial because of the goal, held in the imagination, of what success will mean.
So it is with the Day of Resurrection. Set the joy before you, in your imagination, of what it will mean to be raised when the Lord appears.
Set joy before you. Then you will be able to endure the hardness of the cross. This is what your Lord did! (from Too Hard!)