January 29, 2021

Here-and-Now Wholeness

Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
Daniel 12:2
There are many lifestyles that we might call "sinful" which so obviously lead to death that even the unspiritual take note of it—lifestyles which cause mental or physical harm to the person who leads it, or which cause harm to others. We do not see as God sees, however, and doubtless there are many other kinds of behavior which bring separation from the Creator. The Bible supports this by declaring that all, in fact, have sinned [Rom 3:23]—obviously the secret sins of the self-righteous have not gone unnoticed by the Almighty.

The cross and the empty tomb, however, offer us a pathway out of the vicious cycle of sin. Through Christ's work on the cross and God's act of bringing him to life, "we have passed out of the realm of death. We have come into the domain of life and, therefore, we must act according to that life."* Though this sounds like so much theological jargon, it actually means that, though sin and death are a reality we must all face, the One who has faith in God's love in Christ has been made whole and is no longer controlled by that which is hurtful or death-bringing. We need not look solely to the next world for redemption, but are empowered by God to live into the wholeness of Christ in the here and now.

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
 Romans 6:23
Prayer after thinking about today's devotion:
Thank you, God, not only for freedom from death, but for the freedom to live for you, for my neighbor, and, ultimately, for my own integrity in the world as I experience it today; in Jesus' Name.
After your own thanksgivings & petitions, close with the Lord's Prayer.

*Charles Spurgeon, sermon preached on November 1, 1885 in Newington, London.
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