The world would have us fear death, but for Christians, it is the final victory! “Death, where is thy victory? Death, where is thy sting?”
1 Do not envy the wicked [those who disregard God and His future for those who love Him], do not desire their company [or anything they have], 2 for their hearts plot violence, and their lips talk about making trouble [their morals are twisted, along with their desires].
Romans 14:13 is where we need to stop and camp a while. Let’s read it:
13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.
Let’s use some logic:
- According to the pundits in the media, if people have had the COVID shot, then they are “safe.”
- According to many doctors, if people have had COVID, then they are “safe.”
- Logically, if people have had neither, they may get COVID, but everyone else is “safe.”
We each answer to God–right now– for our decisions. God leads, but He also allows. It’s one of the things I admire a lot about God: How does He allow choice and still work all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28)? It very well may be that Paul is referring not to this world, but to the kingdom of heaven, which is in us and to which we are going. On Resurrection Day (John 5:25 and 11:24), when all rise to be rewarded/judged (see Matthew 25:31-46), the Lord Jesus will remove the curtain between the heavens (see Day 4 of creation, Genesis 1:14-19) and “Christ’s great kingdom will come on earth, the kingdom of love and light” (from “We’ve a Story to Tell to the Nations” Traditional Version, Modern Version). Until then, we simply make do with what we are given where we are in the timeline. Paul says to set our hearts and minds on things above (Colossians 3:1-2), where Christ is seated at the right hand of God, as God makes all of Christ’s enemies His footstool (Psalm 110:1). We have these promises (Colossians 3:3-4):
- We died to this world and our true life is hidden in Christ,
- When He appears, then we will also appear with Him in glory.
Jesus put it this way, “Do not worry about your life…but seek first His [the Father’s] kingdom and His righteousness, and all will be taken care of” Matthew 6:25, 33-34 (my own paraphrase). “Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Indeed!
How do we seek the kingdom of God when the kingdom is within us? We seek His face, as King David did (Psalm 27:8), which is really pretty easy since He is inside of us. What He really wants is our company, along with our obedience. He is trying to get us home!
- We live in a fallen world.
- Jesus brought His kingdom to us.
- He is in us until we go to be with Him.
- This world will never be perfect until He comes.
- We aren’t perfect, either, and won’t be until we die and go to be with Him in His kingdom.
- We should quit insisting that people believe our way.
- Instead, we should just point them to Jesus. He’ll do the rest.
Let’s live our lives using Psalm 27:1 as our banner verse:
1 The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?
And remember that “our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His glorious body.” Philippians 3:20-21.
Abba, help me to remember that I am a stranger to this world now that I have been born again and have You inside me. I will hold onto the things of this world with a loose grip and hold on to You, Jesus, for life, eternal life. Thank You for holding me (John 10:27-30). Amen.