The degree to which we Christians trust God and receive His application of the Cross to break what surfaces of our old self is the extent to which we live this eternal spiritual life now. Like the peeling of an onion, God graciously exposes deeper layers of our sin against Him through daily circumstances/ interactions with others. The more readily we receive His discipline and repent the moment sins are revealed, the more swiftly His glory is revealed in and through us. The more deeply each member loves Christ and denies himself, the closer the Body is to attaining to the whole measure of His fullness, thereby liberating the creation from its bondage to decay (see John 14:23, Mt. 16:24, Eph. 4:12-13, Ro. 8:18-21).
May God enlighten the eyes of our hearts and grant us the Spirit of wisdom and revelation as we meditate on His pathway to glory. May we desire the fellowship of sharing in Christ’s sufferings that we may live eternal life now as those already crucified with Christ, living in the power of His resurrection (see Philippians 3:10-11, Romans 6:2-6, John 11:25-26). Amen.
Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer… After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life, and be satisfied (Isaiah 53:10a, 11a). Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter His glory? (Luke 24:26). In
bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered. (Hebrews 2:10). …we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory (Romans 8:17). …the hardships we suffered… happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. (2 Corinthians 1:8b, 9b). But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. (1 Peter 4:13). For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:17-18). And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken. (Isaiah 40:5). Amen.
Rejoicing with you as we partake of Christ’s sufferings together, your sister deanna
written April 4, 2015 (day preceding Easter)