November 29, 2018

Live Alive {Day 29}: One Eye on Eternity & a Giveaway!!

Previous posts in the Live Alive series can be found here.

Before wrapping up this series tomorrow with a little summary post, I have one more thing to share that I think characterizes the alive life: living as if eternity with Jesus will be a reality someday.

It is so easy to forget that we were made to live forever in relationship with our Creator.  Bombarded by cares, temptations, and challenges, we lose sight of the fact that there is something beyond what our eyes can see.  Quickly we fall into thinking it will always be like this: the struggle against the sinful nature at war with our new self, the impossibility of having a peaceful relationship with anyone, the constant sense that perhaps the darkness is overcoming the light.

Then the Spirit reminds us:
But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.  Philippians 3:20-21
Then we can join Paul in saying:
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 3:12-14
Friends, what I look forward to most about eternity (whatever it may look like!) is that struggle being over.  Finally and forever we will know how to worship the Lord in Spirit and Truth and love Him with all my heart, soul, mind and strength, without effort!  Always and eternally we will love our neighbors as ourselves, without having to think about it and make ourselves do it!  How joyful this will be!  Freely we will dwell with the Father and He with us, and with our fellow citizens of heaven and them with us.  Oooh, it's gonna be somethin'!

In the meantime, here we are in the training space.  Getting conditioned for the day that the Lord returns and every knee bows and every tongue confesses His name, either with delight or under compulsion.  Alive folks know that the promises will be fulfilled just as surely as the long-awaited coming of the Messiah who we celebrate at Christmastime.  Eternity with God is real, and alive folks are looking forward to it!  So they join Paul in forgetting what is behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.

I confess that I don't live like this regularly; I am supremely distracted by what is in front of my face and my desire to control all the things!  But regular habits like personal Bible study/reading, worship on Sunday mornings, conversations with friends, prayer, etc. are rhythms that clear my head so I can remember Who is in charge, what He is capable, and (sometimes many times a day!) repent and believe the good news that I will spend forever with Him.  Do you have rhythms that remind you to keep one eye on eternity?

Doing so brings us to life, lighting a fire under us, so to speak.  Alive people share the story not only because it is precious to them, but because they know there will come a time when we no longer can respond in faith and be saved.  Alive people lean on the Spirit now to shape and mold them for eternity with their Father, because they know that will be a way longer time than the few years they spend here - and it is worth it to prepare for the bridegroom!  Alive people think about eternity not so that "they'll be of no earthly use," but so they don't get too attached to what they see and experience here and rather store up treasures in heaven.

I was sifting through my brain trying to think of verses related to our eternal life, and the phrase and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever came to mind.  That's from Psalm 23, you may know it; it's pretty famous.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
    He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
    for his name's sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
    I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord

And so David summarized what alive living looks like: total dependence on the Shepherd, total provision from His hand, and total assurance of His presence now and forever more.

Live alive!
Heather 💛

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Historically when I've done a series, I do a celebratory giveaway at the end.  This year I'd like to give away one of the best Christmas albums ever: Andrew Peterson's Behold the Lamb of God: the True Tall Tale of the Coming of Christ.  In one album, Andrew Peterson takes his listeners on a remarkable journey from Genesis to Christmas.  Drop me a comment here, on Facebook, Instagram, or email and let me know you'd like to have your name in the drawing, and it could be yours!   If you already have it, throw your name in and you could give it to a friend (since it's all Amazon has, I'll be mailing you this 2 disc CD set).  If you've only read one post all series, no worries, get your name in the running anyway.  I really want you to have this album to help you worship through this Christmas season, and to help you believe God keeps His promises!

Comment by Sunday, 12pm EST and I'll let you know the winner Sunday afternoon!

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