Monday, November 19, 2007

Forever changed

Grand Sweep Daily Reading: I Corinthians 15, 16; Proverbs 6

50 I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 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." 55"Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

Good morning!

Have you ever wondered what your spiritual body might look like? It is human nature to associate who we are with what we look like. We see and recognize each other by our physical appearance. Last night at our Youth Group spaghetti dinner, one of my Faith friends came over to the table where I was sitting and asked me if had been filmed in a new commercial running during the local early morning news broadcasts. She was serious, even though I laughed out loud at her question. I don’t turn the television on early in the morning, and I have to say, I haven’t seen this advertisement run yet. My friend claims I have a twin on the big screen. As far as I know, I haven’t made the front page of the paper for awhile (a year, to be exact) and I’m not aware of having filmed any television commercials lately. I highly doubt that the woman in the television commercial is me, but I will remember her in prayer. Poor girl!

I find it interesting that we rely so much on associating physical faces with names. I work for a large company and, there have been times when I would have really liked to have an online pictorial directory of our company employees. I speak with many of them over the telephone, but I have no visual for what they may look like, and so, it is hard to pick someone out of a crowd, just by the sound of their voice. It is a holy mystery, how God recognizes us, not so much by the way we look in the flesh, but by the sound of our heart song, the voice that resonates within each of us, and by the convictions and beliefs we hold dear. What does our spiritual body look like? Won’t it be absolutely amazing when we can see others the way God can see us now?

If you had no picture of my face, would you be able to pick me out in a crowd? Would you know who I am, not by my name, but by the spirit that lives within me? Paul says that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, and yet, Christ saves us while we are yet sinners, in the flesh. When we believe, our very lives become transformed and conformed to Christ as He reveals Himself through us. Our flesh may look the same, but God begins to change the nature of our souls. What does it look like, to be forever changed?

I cannot see with physical eyes the spirit Jesus is recreating inside of me; yet, I have no doubt that it is alive and well in Him. The perishable part of who I am is being transformed by the imperishable of who I will become one day in eternity. I am taking on the imperishable, moment by moment, as I continue yearning for more of Jesus Christ and less of me. It is with the promise of resurrection, that I believe I will be one day known not so much for what I look like, but for what Christ has carved out within me. The imperishable will last forever. I’m not sure exactly what I will look like when this happens, but I know that my Heavenly Father will know me. I have no doubt that when I am changed from the perishable to the imperishable, that I will be fully covered in the righteous, saving blood of my Lord Jesus Christ.

I long for the day when I will be forever changed. It may happen in a split second, with no warning. We can all be suddenly changed. Still, my personal life experience teaches that I am being changed every day, moment by moment. For me, I believe I am undergoing a gradual spiritual transformation. One day, I will no longer need this physical body. The soul that the Lord has custom carved for me will be more than enough to live in His holy presence forevermore. I will leave the perishable behind for the promise of the imperishable.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO

Pray for: transformation. Jesus Christ begins that process when we confess Him to be Lord of all. Through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit, our spiritual bodies begin to take shape as we grow in His grace. What will it look like when the perishable clothes itself with the imperishable?


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