Wednesday, April 15, 2015

1 John 3:1-7 Purifying ourselves by our Hope

KEY VERSE: 1 John 3:2-3 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we SHALL BE LIKE HIM, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him PURIFIES HIMSELF, just as he is pure. 

KEY THOT: That which will motivate us to keep ourselves pure today is the hope that one day, when Jesus returns, we shall be “like him.” If we are going to become like him THEN, it behooves us to start working towards the goal of righteousness NOW, and not live our lives like there is no future. The resurrection of Christ shows us what Christ has already become in his new nature and our hope is one day, we shall be like him in our new resurrection body, free from sin. Our eyes must be cast towards the future, to the coming of Christ, for at his coming our destiny and our hope to become like him will be fulfilled.

My hope is derived from the future, not from the past. Jesus’ death and resurrection dealt a death blow to my past. But now, as citizen of the Kingdom of God, my hope is directed towards what I CAN become, not just what I HAVE become. My potentiality in Christ has not yet been fully realized, but I can start working towards that future perfection, starting TODAY. While I can’t do anything about my past, I can start making choices today to ensure that my future will be aligned with what I shall become when Jesus returns. As the Chinese saying goes: "The best time to plant a tree is three years ago. The next best time is today."

As a disciple/follower of Christ, I have an example to follow that will ensure that I am ready when Jesus returns—the earthly Christ himself. Jesus has showcased for us what it takes to get from this earthly life to the heavenly life: it involves denying self, taking up the cross of self-death so that I can walk and work under the powerful anointing of the Spirit. It means re-orientation my life ambition from seeking “great things” for myself to seeking “first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.” It’s not that the material things are unimportant, but as I put my priority right, these “other things” will be added to my life without me seeking after them (Mt 6:33).

Father, teach us to live and die like Jesus did in the Gospels, so that we may become like Him, being raised from the dead in resurrection life when He returns. May we prepare to become like Him by re-ordering our life ambition and priorities to align with Your kingdom agenda. Amen.

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