Believers’ Blessed Future

Revelation 20:6   (KJV)   Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

There’s such blessedness and uniqueness enjoyed by believers that’s beyond explanation and imagination.

Revelation 20.6 - Believers' Blessed FutureBeing blessed, being holy, being a part of a glorious resurrection that leads to rewards instead of the ultimate judgment, condemnation and suffering, becoming priests of our God and our Jesus, reigning with Him for a thousand years—these are more than enough reasons for us to totally appreciate and value our status as believers and followers of our precious Lord.

I’m joyfully overwhelmed by those wonderful gifts from our absolutely gracious heavenly Father. Not everyone shares the excitement. Others treat them with contempt because of over-familiarity. We hear of them often; they’ve become a redundant truth, sad to say, even to some believers. But not to us; all the joys and excitement we sense aren’t nearly enough to equal the great wonders of all those blessings God has in store for us.

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Happy People

Psalm 144:15   (KJV)   15 Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the Lord.

Joy characterizes the life of God’s people. There’s a lot of unhappiness going on around us. There’s a lot of unhappy situations people find themselves in. There’s a lot of people who cause pain and sadness. There’s a lot of ways to respond.

Psalm 144.15 - Happy PeopleWe as God’s people act and react to people and situations in our lives in godly ways. Yes, we experience tough times, but our joy is untouched. It’s our choice whether or not we’ll rejoice; and we choose to rejoice—always, no matter how bleak the circumstances and how nasty our surroundings are.

We can’t control what others do and we don’t want to control people either, but we have full control over our own actions and attitudes. We have a beautiful perspective about life. True, we’re treated unfairly and we suffer for being godly, but even that becomes a joy for us.

Danger makes people worried and scared; we have the Lord Who is our impenetrable shield. Wars and rumors of wars frighten others; but the Lord is our victory; He trains our hands and gives us the skills necessary to live victoriously. The mightiest of our attackers are but a mist before God.  He Who hurls lightning bolts from the heavens can scatter our most powerful foes very quickly.

So yes, we live in joy—it’s very reasonable for people like us whose God is the LORD.

Just One Righteous

Jeremiah 5:1   (KJV)   5 Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in the broad places thereof, if ye can find a man, if there be any that executeth judgment, that seeketh the truth; and I will pardon it.

The presence of God’s people—upright, righteous, just and honest people can stay God’s Jeremiah 5.1 - Just One Righteousjudgment. God values the attitudes and actions of His people. Living for faithfully before God is never in vain.

We know God is just and fair. He sees everything we do. He sees and values the way we fight a good fight, how well we run our race, how we keep the faith. He knows how to bless and reward His faithful children. These blessings and rewards affect us individually, even nationally.

We never lose sight of God’s justice, graciousness, and love. He loves us, He will also judge everyone. He would rather spare us and bless us than judge, condemn, and punish us. So we live in Him, against the ways of the popular culture, against the sinful ways of the world. We strive to be as faithful as we can, reflecting our Father, loving others, treating them fairly, and honestly. Although the world continues to boldly and shamelessly march in unreserved ungodliness and immorality, we keep ourselves pure.

There’s so much at stake. Who knows, through us, though there be just a few, our gracious Judge may find it in His heart to spare our nations. We may be the remnant through whom God will ignite our nation’s spiritual awakening and revival. By then, we can boldly pray: “God bless America,” or “God bless our nation.”

On Pleasing God

1 Thessalonians 4:1   (KJV)   4 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.

It’s easy to understand our brothers and sisters who teach us and assure us that God loves us so much and is already pleased with us just as we are.  Some believe this in the light of our relationship with our precious Lord Jesus, i.e., the Father loves His Son and is 1 Thessalonians 4.1 - On Pleasing Godperfectly pleased with Him, and because we’re in Jesus, He’s also pleased with us.  Others take it a little farther, i.e., with or without Jesus, He already loves us and is already pleased with us.

What’s my humble take?  I believe God’s love for us is from everlasting to everlasting—this is even before our saving relationship with our precious Lord Jesus.  It was because of His love that Jesus willingly came to save us and reconcile us to our heavenly Father.  His pleasure is different. He has always loved us, but He’s not always pleased with us.  I believe that if God is pleased with us in a constant and an unchanging way, meaning, He always loves us, it is only because of His pleasure in His Son.

Scriptures like the one above encourages us as His people to walk in a manner that pleases God.  In fact, even when we already do, we’re encouraged to keep growing in it—to do so even more.  This has to do with our practical daily living or walk with and in God.  This makes it very clear that it’s possible, even for us believers, to displease God.  In Christ, He’s always pleased with us; in our walk, we restfully and diligently strive to please Him.  This isn’t a burden; as I’ve repeatedly stated:  as children of God, we find our greatest pleasure in pleasing our Father.

Slaves to Children

Galatians 4:5   (KJV)   5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

What a blessing! What a change! I don’t know if many of us understand the gravity or importance of this truth. We were slaves; now were children. We were under the law, but our Lord Jesus, in His perfect timing, came, and bought our freedom. We’re not just galatians-4-5-from-slaves-to-childrenpretend children; we are adopted—real children. It’s true, not a lot of people realize or admit that we were slaves—slaves to the law, to sin, to the enemy’s whims.

It’s not easy for some to admit any kind of bondage; it’s either embarrassing or discouraging. But it’s okay; those still in bondage can be free; those of us in Jesus are now free. And the great thing about it is that we’re not just freed slaves; we are now God’s children. Some may ask: “Aren’t we all God’s children?” Yes and no. Yes, we’re all God’s children in the sense that God is the Father of creation. We’re all children by virtue of creation. And no, we’re not all God’s children in the sense that only those who place their absolute dependence on Jesus as their Savior, and surrender their lives to Him as Lord are God’s spiritual children.

We as His spiritual children are totally and humbly grateful for this wonderful honor and privilege. Oh, to be able to praise God and worship Him in His greatness, majesty, and splendor, and then to address Him as “Dad,”—how comforting; how inspiring; how encouraging.

Distinctions

Exodus 8:23   (KJV)   23 And I will put a division between my people and thy people: to morrow shall this sign be.

There are similarities and differences in the experiences of God’s people and the world. God determines which is which. The world isn’t disqualified from all of God’s blessings exodus-8-23-distinctionsand goodness; God’s people aren’t exempt from tragedies. God makes the sun shine on both; He makes it rain on both. But there is a time when in God’s wisdom, He decides to create a distinction between those who are His own, and those who fight against Him.

Those are so many things believers do that unbelievers do; there are even miracles they can imitate; demonic forces are supernatural beings capable of extra-ordinary feats. But they can only go so far; they have limitations; our God alone is omnipotent. But yes, there’s suffering in the world, and Christians aren’t exempt from suffering. In fact, there are additional sufferings unique to believers; we do get persecuted for our faith.

God has sovereign plans for His people that will be accomplished no matter what. God has sovereign plans for the wicked that will be accomplished no matter what. The godly and the wicked may share the same blessings and experiences here and there, but there’s surely a demarcation line in this. God has a different destiny for the godly, and a different destiny for the ungodly. We’re excitedly waiting for our ultimate “tomorrow” when the difference will be total and final.

Nothing to Fear

Luke 12:32   (KJV)   32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

Our precious Lord Jesus commands His flock—His children, not to fear anyone but God. One of the most important assurances He gives us is our heavenly Dad’s desire to give us His kingdom—whatever that may exactly mean. But that says a lot. Simply though, He’s luke-12-32-nothing-to-fearsaying we don’t have to fear anything because there’s no reason to. The cause may be material; it may be ideological; it may be social; His assurance is, He’s got us completely and safely covered.

Sure, there are things we don’t know about. We’re not sure how all details of our lives are going to play out, but God definitely guides us in areas where the choice is non-negotiable. There are expert schemers, and deceivers; some people in power may take advantage of us, but God is our vindicator; He’s in control of everything. Some people may succeed in hiding their insidious intents, but God has a way of eventually having their pernicious secrets whispered only behind the closed doors of their hearts to be shouted from the mountaintops for all to hear.

Some of us are threatened with death, but even the worst murderer can only touch our bodies; our God can do worse, and even throw the wicked to hell. Some of us may be threatened with lack, but we’ve never seen the righteous forsaken nor their seed begging for bread. He loves us so much that He makes the resources—even the power and authority of His Kingdom, available to us. We will be persecuted; we suffer the rise and fall of earthly kingdoms, but through it all, we worry not; we fear not; we live in the eternal, inexhaustible sphere. That’s where we wisely invest our treasures in; there’s where our hearts truly are. Our Dad is pleased for now to give us a foretaste of its reality; and even just this glimpse, its power and riches already blow our minds. We can only wonder about its wonders when it comes in the fullness of its power and glory.