Saturday, February 25, 2017

No Deposit No Return!

For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

I am not much for camping, therefore Paul's tent analogy doesn't work very well for me. In 2 Corinthians 5, he uses the metaphor of a tent for the human body.  Paul acknowledges that this earthly tent, our body, will be destroyed.  But we have a "house" in heaven. Notice, a tent is temporary, and the house of God is eternal.  Whereas we groan in our earthly tent, it shows us we long to take on our heavenly dwelling.  

Paul acknowledges that life is hard and burdensome.  The first line in M. Scott Peck's classic book the "Road Less Traveled" is, "Life is difficult".  When we realize life is difficult it makes sense that this life is not all we were made for. We are fashioned in God's image and meant to live with him forever.  There is a hole in our soul that only God can fill.  As Paul says in Philippians, "Our citizenship is in heaven."  

Finally, Paul says that God has given us a deposit, the Holy Spirit, which is a guarantee of our inheritance. The Holy Spirit is downpayment for our home in heaven.  God lives in our earthly tent, our bodies, through the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit is God's presence, and the Spirit of Christ.  The Holy Spirit reminds us that we are made for heaven, where God has prepared a place for us. God wants us to know deep within our soul where we are going to go when we die.  He has made everything possible for us by sending Jesus to die for us on the cross.  When Jesus rose from the grave, he proved that He is the Messiah, the Son of God, and the Savior of the world. And Jesus sent His Spirit to the disciples, so they could spread the Word and make other disciples. Through their faithfulness, we have heard the Good News and become believers if we trust in Jesus.  

Life IS difficult. As we get older, our bodies start to decay, and we feel our mortality more and more. But inwardly, we are being renewed day by day.  Set your hope not on what is seen, but unseen, says the apostle Paul. There is a heavenly home awaiting us that God has prepared for those who love and trust in Him.  Do you believe this?  If not, why?

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