Tuesday, November 07, 2006

[twbowes-devotions] Devotion(s): Blinded by the Flash / The Dash


If you have Charter internet you know we didn't have service yesterday. I didn't have the time to write a fresh devotion this morning, so I am offering TWO oldies in a new devotion's place. Copying and pasting is easy! I hope you enjoy.

Blinded by the Flash

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18 - NKJV).

Has anyone ever surprised you with a quick snapshot at an unexpected moment? That can be traumatizing, especially when caught without makeup! Have you ever noticed how blinding that silly flash can be? It will confuse and disorient you for a few moments. Often, it can cause quite a bit of unrest. What last longer, the flash or the picture? The flash may blind us briefly, but the picture is what lasts.

Frequently, this is how we view our life. The time spent on earth is likened to the flash; blinding, confusing, and getting entirely too much attention. In comparison with the eternity with God that awaits the believer, life on earth is a fleeting flash.

Allow me some freedom for a moment. Paul tells the believers of Rome, "Looking at the awesome picture to come, that flash is not worth getting upset over." Paul says, "I'm not going to get blinded by the flash, because it holds no comparison to the big picture." Whatever suffering Paul had to face, he thought it peanuts compared to what he knew God had in store for him. The apostle understood that this world is a cruel place, but its proportional value was miniscule when laid next to the glory of God.

Now…what are you focused on? Are you being blinded by life (the flash)? Are you focused on the things of God (the picture)? No doubt life is a struggle, but the VICTORIOUS Christian understands that God is bigger and better than anything we may face. We have the Holy Spirit, which Paul calls "a foretaste of future glory" (Romans 8:23; NLT), as a bit of heaven now. We know how good it is to be in the Spirit. What will it be like when we are in God’s presence all the time? WOW!

I love blackberries so much that I don’t mind the briars. I want the picture enough to ignore the flash. I want the fullness of God so much that the mess of this world does not hold candle to His glory! I can endure it. I can rejoice in spite of tribulation. God is so much MORE than all these troubles. The worst of this world is nothing beside the smallest thing of God.

So…are you being blinded? Listen friend, look at the picture…the big picture. Don't let the flash mean more than the picture.

The Dash
"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad" (2 Corinthians 5:10; KJV).

Have you ever walked through a graveyard? Many tombstones have things written on them, such as; "Beloved Father"; "WWII Veteran"; "Dearest Mother". The ones that catch my attention the most are the tombstones that list the name and dates, and that is all they say. For example; John Doe, 1903-1972. The "dash" that appears between the dates always catches my attention. I have a tendency to wonder what that "dash" encompasses. The dates simply say the year the person was born and the year that they died. Nothing else is determined by those dates. Without comments on the stone, one is left to ponder what happened in between those years. In other words, what does that dash represent? What all has happened in that life between life and death?

We, who are now alive in the body, are in the midst of our dash. What are we composing to represent our dash?

According to the Scripture from 2 Corinthians, we all will one day stand before God almighty and have to give representation for the things we have done in life between life and death. That, honestly, is a sobering thought for me. What will my dash represent? Many people may one day look at my gravestone and wonder that themselves. One thing is for sure, God knows. He knows every second that constructs our dash.

I want my dash to represent a life lived for God. Paul said, "For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 3:11; NASB). There is one thing God must see in our dash. He must see that it was constructed on the foundation of Christ Jesus. At the judgment seat of Christ, God "will test the quality of each man's work" (1 Corinthians 3:13b; NASB). That work is what the dash is made of.

How do you feel about your dash today? I am concerned about mine. But I have a hope, and it is built on nothing less than Jesus and HIS righteousness! Man may question my dash, but I desire that God see only Jesus blood in mine. It is my sincerest craving that my dash be blotted over by Christ living in me. I want to surrender moment to moment to Christ, so that in that Day of Judgment Christ may look into a mirror.

I find this heart tingling! Of course, I do not see this as easy, and know it must consist of CONSTANT SURRENDER, but I want my dash to mean something.

I care not what man may see when he looks upon tombstone. I do hope that man, too, will see Christ in me. I earnestly hope my dash is a testimony. I pray that much of God will be seen in my life, even beyond the grave. I pray that my stone may record a life lived for God. Beyond that, God knows what man can only assume.

In HIS holy eyes, what does your dash say about you today?

Grace and peace to you from God the Father and Jesus the Son,
Tim Bowes
Romans 12:1-2

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