Hey, have you ever wondered about what it will be like in Heaven when Our Lord and the angels introduce us to one another? I am pretty sure they will have to do this since we obviously don't see each other here. I mean we get a glimpse now and then if we are really paying attention and the Light is just right. It seems to me that I have rarely seen anyone. What an eye opening experience it will be to see what exactly it was that Christ was so enamored about. Think about it, for the joy of eternal union with us He endured the cross.
I bring this up only because there was a time when I walked by a lady at church who I did not know and as clear as you are reading this now I heard the Lord say "Woman of righteousness!". It took me by surprise, and yet the next time I went by her it happened again. This started me thinking about how the Lord would introduce His saints if I really let Him. My tendency is to introduce them to Him in prayer, if you know what I mean. This may explain the times when my prayers are ricocheting around the room instead of being gathered in a bowl like incense.
There has been a new and happy trend of late that I hope both continues and amplifies. At first it seemed that it was just the church in Shanghai that brought this on, but yesterday it happened again when we went to church here in S'toon with my wife's cousin and her family. As I entered the sanctuary I found myself beginning to weep inside and barely able to keep it from pouring to the outside. It wasn't the weeping of Christ on the hill looking over Jerusalem either, it was a joyous pride. Weird. I always went under the assumption that God was upset with us as a whole, and was generally weeping for our imminent judgment. While our mistakes are indeed a clear and present danger there is an aspect that I have been missing for all these years. The distinction is drawn down what appears to be a line between grace and holiness. Grace has been the overwhelming winner of the Christian Speaker's Topic award for the last decade at least and has permuted into almost as many different forms as there are denominations. (Ever notice that even a conversation about grace can oft times descend into argument?) I am going to propose an idea here and let you chew it over (My teeth are sore). I believe that grace's main aspect is that of our relationship with God the Father. It carries with it all that is needed to enter into communion with the Father, Son & Holy Ghost. It is indeed a free gift that keeps on giving. The question always arises in the application of holiness, and this is where the line seems to most eyes to begin to appear. Try this on for size, though. Holiness, I believe has everything to do with how we treat one another. When the word says that God is holy it has less to do with whether He smokes, drinks and cusses than it does with how He deports Himself to us. His holiness is a complete and undivided devotion to the objects of His love. Set apart, right? We say that holiness for us is to be set apart completely for God. EEEEEkkkk!!! That means if we apply this same definition to God then He is......completely...set...apart..for.........us. Hhhmmmm. What would it mean then for us to be holy as our Father is holy? Would we not then join in with His devotion for the object of His affection? Wouldn't we strive to see that guy with the annoying point of view the way God sees him, annoying point of view and all. And really, what is so annoying about his point of view anyway. What about all those who seem bent upon living out their faith in a way which at times seems to place them in opposition to us. What about the danger of dissing one of His kids while we are all the time under the same roof, even if that roof is over different churches, parachurches or whatever other gathering we may subscribe to. Oh yeah, that's right, we all live in the same house!!!!! THE SAME HOUSE!!!!!, but I digress. Please do not mistake the emphasis as a pointed finger, because this is the rant within myself of which I bear the responsibility and burden. Most of the passion here comes from my keen sense of personal lack. On the other hand, it is also what fuels my 'pressing on' in Christ.
Thanks for letting me share.