From eternity to eternity…

From eternity to eternity God has acted with the good of His people in mind.

Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Theology (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994), 673.

Guest Post: The 5 Love Languages

(This post is brought to you by my lovely bride, Connie. This is her first post on this blog and I’m encouraged and challenged by her earnest desire to seek God and honor Him above all things.)

Anyone who has been in a committed relationship will realize that each person has different ways to feel loved, and usually those two people don’t share the same way. The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts is a book that explains the five most common ways to feel loved. Daniel and I are no exception to the differences most people face. While my love language is acts of service, Daniels is words of affirmation or gifts. Recently, Daniel mentioned in passing that he would love a gauge for the propane tank. I bought it for him, and couldn’t wait for him to get home so I could surprise him with it. I’m terrible with surprises, I want to give the gift right away. As I sat through the long afternoon hours until he arrived home, I was practically dancing with anticipation, not easy to do with a cranky baby.

It made me think of how we should be with God. We should dance with anticipation, eager to be with Him and present him with gifts. We should want to be with him as soon as possible. Our every thought should be on how we can best please God, how we can glorify Him in our every day lives. A gas gauge is such a small thing. How much more is five minutes in prayer? A chapter of the Bible? Discussing Him with a friend?

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. (Deuteronomy 6:5)

 

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. (Colossians 3:23, 24)

The revealed life

Colossians 3  If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

As you may have noticed, I’ve been spending a lot of time in this passage and I want to finish by looking at verse 4. This passage has covered the believer’s past (being raised with Christ), their present (being hidden with Christ), and naturally concludes with the future promise of being revealed with Christ in glory. All these verbs (being raised, hidden, and revealed) are written in the passive voice because from start to finish, our salvation is not dependent upon ourselves, but upon the perfect, completed work of Christ. This reality should shatter all pride in our accomplishments and relieve any fear of failure on our part because none of it depends upon us.

This passage concludes the same way as all human history: Christ being revealed in glory. But the unbelievable part is that we will be revealed with Him. If the reader were puzzled by the preceding description of their life being hidden with Christ for the present, this verse describes the future revelation of Christ with their life. For the Christian, their life is hidden with Christ today, and will be revealed with Christ in the future. The wording here describes a personal connection and shared destiny with Christ: “and you with Him” (Col. 3:4). If believers share Christ’s destiny through being raised with Christ and by having their lives hidden with Christ, then we finally find out what that destiny actually is: “you also will be revealed with him in glory.”

Here we have the answer to every “why” question in the Christian life. Why yearn for the things above? Why focus intently upon the things above and not the things upon the earth? Why have we died? Why does it matter that our life is hidden with Christ? And, in light of the rest of Colossians 3, why should we put to death the earthly members within us? Why should we put on the new man? Why should we strive to honor Christ in public as well as private? Not because it will be easy—quite the opposite, in fact—but because it will be worth it. Currently, Christ is seated at God’s right hand; one day, we will appear with Him in glory (see also, Romans 8:17b). The natural response to such a gracious gift is gratitude, thanksgiving, and obedience. Thus, the instructions in the rest of Colossians are not a duty, but a delight. If we understand the free gift we’ve been given—a gift that redeems our past, directs our present, and secures our future—we will strive, with every fiber of our being, to bring glory to God.

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