Security

Really?
Really?

This is the advertisement for a local Funeral Company.

I feel a little confused…

It’s about a funeral. What is the future you’re securing?

Is it that you’re securing the future of your kids/family by making sure that they don’t have to bear the financial burden of a very expensive funeral?

Is it that you’re securing the future that you want in terms of being cremated, or buried, or being in a particular casket, or a particular graveyard?

Is it that you can feel secure that there is one thing you don’t have to worry about in the future?

Don’t get me wrong. I think preparing for this future inevitability is a wise and thoughtful thing for people to do. But is this the way to sell it? I guess it seems to me that if you’re looking for security when approaching the reality of death and the ceremonies that go with it, the best place to go would be the author of life and Lord of all creation.

When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

“Where, O death, is your victory?

Where, O death, is your sting?”

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

–1 Corinthians 15:54-57

Gain & Loss

Twinnies getting bigger
Twinnies getting bigger

They’re gaining weight.

They’re getting smarter, little necks holding up big heads.

They still look very much the same, but I’m starting to think I can see distinct personalities.

They’re getting bigger.

I have noticed that there is a cluckly little element to my character that raises it’s head every time I baptise a wee little baby. I’ll have no more of those. My kids are all bruisers.

I do sort of miss having little bubs.

But the gains will grow. Who doesn’t have a little more interactivity? I’m looking forward to inhabiting a couch with three boys next to me, Rugby on the TV, nachos on the plate in front of us, and dreams (maybe theirs, more likely mine) of them taking the field together in the green & gold.

You lose one experience, and gain another.

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Hope for Change

This is from John Piper’s daily devotional app taht I’ve been using on my ipad.

Just wonderful.

“And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” (Luke 23:42)

One of the greatest hope-killers is that you have tried for so long to change and have not succeeded.

You look back and think: What’s the use? Even if I could experience a breakthrough, there would be so little time left to live in my new way that it wouldn’t make much difference compared to so many decades of failure.

The former robber (the thief on the cross next to Jesus) lived for another hour or so before he died. He was changed. He lived on the cross as a new man with new attitudes and actions (no more reviling). But 99.99% of his life was wasted. Did the last couple hours of newness matter?

They mattered infinitely. This former robber, like all of us, will stand before the judgment seat of Christ to give an account of his life. “We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil” (2 Corinthians 5:10). How will his life witness in that day to his new birth and his union with Christ?

The last hours will tell the story. This man was new. His faith was real. He is truly united to Christ. Christ’s righteousness is his. His sins are forgiven.

That is what the final hours will proclaim at the last judgment. His change mattered. It was, and it will be, a beautiful testimony to the power of God’s grace and the reality of his faith and his union with Christ.

Now back to our struggle with change. I am not saying that struggling believers are unsaved like the robber was. I am simply saying that the last years and the last hours of life matter.

If in the last 1% of our lives, we can get a victory over some longstanding sinful habit or hurtful defect in our personality, it will be a beautiful testimony now to the power of grace; and it will be an added witness (not the only one) at the last judgment of our faith in Christ and our union with him.

Take heart, struggler. Keep asking, seeking, knocking. Keep looking to Christ. If God gets glory by saving robbers in the 11th hour, he surely has his purposes why he has waited till now to give you the breakthrough you have sought for decades.

“It’s Never Too Late to Keep Asking”