Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Different Perpective

Four pieces of cutlery.
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Our daughter's boyfriend is British.  This often presents differing perspectives between the English and Americans.  

The other day, they were discussing the "proper" use of eating utensils.  Apparently in England one uses forks and spoons in a totally different manner than we are accustomed to in America.  

Just as Emmie and Sheldon have different perspectives on how to use a fork, based upon their citizenship, so do we, as Christians, have different perspectives.  We look at the world, and the things that happen to us in this world, in a different way.  Our difference in perspective is because we see ourselves not primarily as citizens of this universe, but as citizens of those "heavenly places" where our citizenship currently resides.

The Apostle Paul described this perspective the best, "Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong," (2 Corinthians 12:9, 10.)

This perspective, more importantly this choice, to "glory in my infirmities", to "take pleasure in. . .reproaches, in necessities,"  is not the natural human response.  I would venture to say it is not the average Christian response, either.  No, this is a choice made by the person who willingly seeks God's will in their lives rather than their own.  This is the choice of one who truly believes that no matter what happens, no matter what comes, the Lord will work all things together "for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose," (Romans 8:28.)

And just what is "His purpose"?  

It isn't that we will feel good.  It isn't that we will feel happy, although if we truly believe His Word and trust His heart, we will know His joy.  It isn't that we won't feel loneliness,  although we know we are never alone.  It isn't that we will never have need, although we will experience His abundant supply through Christ Jesus.

His purpose is this one thing: for us ". . .to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren," (Romans 8:29.)  We cannot cling to the promise of Romans 8:28 without taking with it the purpoe of Romans 8:29.  His purpose is that we are to be conformed to the image of Christ.  We are to be made in the image of His meekness, His lowliness, His love, His sacrifice, His compassion, His mercy, His grace and His obedience and submission to His Father.  When we have done that; when we have done that which we have been called to do, we will know "the peace of God, which passeth all understanding;" "the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge;" and "joy unspeakable and full of glory."    

Then our perspective will be correct and as a utensil, whether we be a fork or a spoon, we can be sure we are being used in the right way.

"If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and His love is perfected in us."

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