Monday, September 8, 2008

A Morbid/Hopeful Tension

At the risk of sounding morbid, I've been thinking recently about my mortality. It has nothing to do with another birthday come and gone but rather a few deaths that occurred within a number of church families last week. The heartache and grief associated with having to say good-bye to a loved one usually brings me to a place of pause to reflect upon the eternal.

Whenever I give pause to think about the reality of one day facing death (unless Jesus returns before I die), I'm faced with that tension Paul speaks about. It's a tension that has me wanting to stay put upon this earth with a longing deep within to leave it and be with Jesus.

The tension that says "I want to stay" is firmly rooted in my desire to watch my kids grow up, be married to my wife for 50+ years and to be as effective for Jesus as is humanly possible.

The tension that says "I'm ready to go Jesus" is firmly rooted in my desire to see my wonderful Savior face to face, live in His presence where I will never again experience sadness, hopelessness, fear, temptation, worry and the million other things that weigh us down as human beings at times.

I loved this past Sunday at Grace (You can access it here ) where we placed a huge focus on the person and work of Christ Jesus. I believe Paul was able to live with the tension described above because of Jesus. While walking on this earth, Paul lived for the person and work of Christ Jesus his Savior. But, as he looked forward past the grave, he also saw very clearly through the eyes of faith a victorious King who has extended an invitation to live with Him forever for all who would believe by faith that He is the promised Messiah of Scripture who has conquered sin and death. (John 14:1-6)

It's a tension that's not always comfortable with, but I press on because I'm really looking at an eternity of immortality because of Jesus my Savior. If you have time, take a look at the following verses which encouraged my heart today; 1 Corinthians 15, 2 Corinthians 4:16-5:5, Philippians 1:20-26, Philippians 3:20-21.

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