|Volume 23 Number 7 July 2021
We will center our attention on our future heavenly bodies when we are resurrected from the dead or when we, being yet alive, are changed in the twinkling of an eye when Jesus comes at His Second Coming (1 Corinthians 15:50-52; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). So many people in our society are discontent with their present bodies. They (especially teenagers) spend their time comparing themselves to others and end up condemning themselves because they are not as pretty, as perfect or don’t measure up to others. They don’t realize that this approach to life and their God-given bodies is contrary to God’s plan and design for them.
Why do you think people are unwilling to accept the bodies God gave them? Maybe it’s because they have not considered the value of their present, earthly body. We all need to be reminded of God’s purpose for our bodies. From a personal level, what does God want you to realize about your body now?
God designed your body as He pleased, therefore, accept it as it is. Paul made the point in 1 Corinthians 15:37-38 that if God gives each tiny seed a body suited especially for it, think about how much more skill He uses in creating our bodies (Psalm 139:13-15; Luke 12:6-7; Matthew 6:25-32).
God gave you distinction, purpose and identity from others, so don’t compare yourself to someone else. Comparing yourself with others will only bring you sadness, and you will put yourself in a no-win situation. Enjoy your body and be content with how God made you (1Corithians 15:38-39; John 21:20-23; Psalm 139:13-16).
God knew when He created you that you would have limitations, so stop condemning yourself. It is a fact that you bear an earthly image, so don’t expect to be perfect all the time. If there is sin in your life that nags you, 1 John 1:9 tells us as Christians to confess the sins and move on in faith. Condemning yourself when God has forgiven you is not what God wants. Accept God’s grace of forgiveness and realize that you have an Advocate with the Father – Jesus Christ the righteous (1 John 2:1-2).
[Editor’s Note: Our present, terrestrial bodies are seed material for our future, celestial bodies. Take care of the seed material (1 Corinthians 6:14-20) and happily anticipate what it will bring forth for eternity. “There are also celestial bodies and terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body” (1 Corinthians 15:40-44 NKJV). ~ Louis Rushmore, Editor]
The Cross of Christ
Mark T. Tonkery
C stands for Christ. He is our model and our motivation. Our attitude must be the same as that of John the Baptist, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). Paul put it this way, “But that with all boldness, Christ shall even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or death” (Philippians 1:20).
R stands for resurrection. The cross was no accident. What Satan had intended as our ultimate defeat, God used to bring us redemption and triumph. The best and worst of all things collided. Of course, the cross wasn’t the final answer in this battle; the empty tomb and the resurrected Lord are (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). We are the victorious recipients of this grace, paid at such an agonizing cost, administered in such a cruel manner by our greatest adversary and secured by Jesus’ triumph over the grave (Romans 5:10).
O stands for outreach. Our mission must be the same as our Lord’s in Luke 19:10, where He said, “For the Son of man came to seek and to save the lost.” Evangelism is the lifeblood of the church. May we all be looking for opportunities to share the good news of Christ with our friends and neighbors. “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His lovingkindness is everlasting. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so” (Psalm 107:1-2).
S stands for salvation. By Jesus’ death and resurrection, He brings salvation to people who believe in him and are obedient to the Gospel (Romans 1:16; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9). Jesus has provided salvation and has delivered from the guilt and power of sin those who obey Him (Hebrews 5:8-9; Mark 16:15-16). Acts 4:12 states that salvation is found in no one else.
S stands for service. The purpose of Christianity is service. We are saved to serve. “For even the Son of man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). In Luke 22:27, Jesus said, “…I am among you as the one who serves.”
John 19:16-37 shows us the picture of the cross. With all its ugliness, shame and pain, nevertheless, Christ endured it for you and me. When we think of the cross, two words that we must never associate with it are the words “tragic accident.” The New Testament makes it very clear that two separate streams of power converged at the cross. Evil had its way and brought the Son of God to the cross. God had His plan, and He allowed the cross to happen to redeem us. How will you respond to the cross of Christ?