Monday, August 15, 2016

A Challenge for "That" Day


So as I walk through the two letters from Paul to the Church in Thessalonica, I thought I'd pause and share some of my thoughts in writing. I often wander away from any series I tend to start on my blog/journal as I don't like to keep God in a box, but I think sometimes it's also important to finish an idea that I start. So in an attempt to finish said idea, I had a few things that I thought I'd share this week from his letters ...

This is Day 5: Click for day(s): 123, 4

They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might

2 Thessalonians 1:9 ESV

God's judgment is not something many people like to discuss. I'm not naive in understanding the general reason why people don't like to discuss it as it may feel uncomfortable and judgmental to a humanistic worldview.  Though just because something makes us/some feel uncomfortable we choose not to discuss it?  To some it's the ignorant understanding that because I believe God judges others that it must mean that I dislike, hate, condemn, or judge them myself.

Today however I'm not going to defend that. Today I'm not going to go down a path of what Hell is, looks like, or who I think is going. I just want to talk to my Christian family today and simply ask two questions:
  1. Have [I / you] thought about eternal separation from God?
  2. What [am I / are you] doing about it?
I don't think there is a greater fear of mine than to be in need and know that God is no longer with me. That I am separated from Him - forever. Game over, pieces put back in the box, victory/defeat declared - done.

There are two days in my calendar: This day and that Day.

- Martin Luther
Can you ponder that for a moment?

I light of that - if we believe what we profess to believe - what are you doing about That day, today?

Matt, what do you mean?

Well, we plan diets, exercise routines, vacations, career paths, errands, educational pursuits, purchases, etc. Some of us even plan our day around movies or television shows. The list could go on and on for what we actually take time out of our day for to make tangible plans.

Well ... a much more important Day is coming. Any plans?

I seem to defend this each time and I suppose I can again. I know we can't earn our salvation, and it's free by Grace, but if we really understood what we earned - eternal salvation - wouldn't a natural knee jerk reaction be to show our thanks? When we meet Him face to Face I don't think our reaction will be to respond in pride that we didn't do much and spent more time focusing on our own life because we knew that He saved us by Grace. Just a guess ... I don't think it's going to go like that ... much more likely like Isaiah.

So anyway ... what are you and I doing to prepare? What required work cool thing have you done for God today? What required work blessing have you been to someone in need today? How have you been the required works hands and feet of Christ today?

Anything on your agenda?

It's just a question.

While they are great things, and foundational things, I would challenge you if your answer to me is that you go to church, study, and read your devotional. Great ways to grow and know God for sure, but we are His Hands and Feet, not just a reflective mind.

My loving and supportive wife would likely tell me that I am doing a lot ... I would disagree, but even if I didn't, most of my serving and giving is routine now. I think the more we are churched the more we need to stretch - else we don't grow. I want to do something more - not out of guilt, but out of love and even nervous excitement because I know how exciting it can be to see Him work through me!

Some people wait until that doctors visit to get serious about their health. Some people wait until they are behind on bills before they realize their financial plan isn't working. Some people wait to take their car in until that little noise turns into being broken down on the road. Some people wait ... until it's too late ...

In some of those things we may not have a choice (or know) ... but we do with this.

So my challenge to you (and myself) is to put something on the agenda for today (or tomorrow depending on when you ready this) but it should be tangible ... and let it be a stretch too! Let Him stretch you! It builds our faith ...

Then come back and share how God used you ... I'd love to hear as it would be a blessing and encouragement!

His,
~Matthew

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