Redeemed from the kingdom of darkness.
How was it possible (John 14:9) that everyone who had seen Jesus had seen the Father? We have to (Genesis 1:27) go back to the beginning when God created humans in His own Image. But sin entered into our ancestor Adam and the Divine Image was defaced, although not erased. If it could have been completely erased there would have been no hope of salvation because the holy connection would have been eternally severed. Only in Jesus the Divine Image was not defaced in any way, so He was always a clear and perfect manifestation of the Father, God was (2 Corinthians 5:19) in Christ. That is why Jesus must live His Life in and through me because He is the only One Who can live the life that pleases God. The Divine Image has been defaced in me but when I received Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour, God began His building project in me to gradually restore fully His Divine Image in me. I can hinder God’s building project by sin or I can partner with it by obedience. Common sense is a gift but it is not faith and must never be confused with or substituted for faith. We cannot proclaim His death (1 Corinthians 11:26) for us if our lives daily do not manifest His Resurrection Life in and through us, the Life which His death purchased for us. We must be rooted deeply in God’s Word (Pastor McBride) “Jesus is the Source (Matthew 26:7) of everything we have and He must be the Object of our worship and devotion.” Because of our ignorance of Truth (Matthew 26:8) we can speak words that hurt Jesus horribly to call a waste what was lovingly poured out on Jesus! When we see Jesus (1 John 3:2) we will be like Him because God’s Divine Image will be completely and fully restored in us.
Do we, you and I, make plans for our future? There was a man (Luke 16:1-9) who was on short term notice before being terminated from his position as estate manager. He had no savings and was too lazy to take a job as a manual labourer. So, he devised plans to ensure his future. He robbed his employer in order to feather a comfortable nest for himself. He reduced the outstanding invoices of his employer’s customers by deducting the high interest, the usury which back then was often as much as 100%. (Dr. Youssef) “Jesus was not praising his crooked schemes but using him as an example of planning for the future.” His defrauding strategy was rooted in the wicked wisdom of this fallen world. But we have (1 Corinthians 2:16) the mind of Christ and we can exercise godly wisdom in the plans we are making, while still on earth for our own future in heaven. The people of this world work harder at planning for their temporary future on earth than many Christians do for their eternal future in heaven.
Who will these unknown welcoming friends be? That is if we have any. Definitely not family or loved ones. Who then? They will be people from different countries who have heard the gospel and been born-again into the family of God through our planned investment, our faithful financial support of the ministries that spread the good news of salvation. These precious believers have become our brothers and sisters in Christ. Strangers who have been rescued and redeemed from the kingdom of darkness. As we trust and obey the Lord, He will take care of our future on earth. Sadly, some Christians devote all of their working to building a very comfortable retirement fund, but that is only for their earth time and they have no guarantee of even one more day. It is true that you can’t take it with you, but it is also true that you can send it on ahead. Just imagine our joy if we meet strangers/friends in heaven who will thank us for sending them the Truth about Jesus, the once-crucified Saviour and now the ever-living, reigning Lord and King. God is not willing - (2 Peter 3:9) that any should perish but that all people would come to (1 Timothy 2:4) a knowledge of the Truth and be saved.
As God continues to restore His Divine Image in us, let us seek the will and guidance of God in all our plans for our never-ending future so that, just as everyone who saw the Father, everyone who sees us will see Jesus. (Oswald Chambers) “In Gethsemane (Matthew 26:40) the disciples were not able to watch with Jesus. But after they were filled with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, they learned to watch Him all the rest of their lives.” In the power of the Holy Spirit, we can learn to watch with Jesus, get His viewpoint, see as He sees, in prayer and in every situation and circumstance of life, throughout all of our lives. The perfect focus we need as we plan daily and invest for our future.
God told us to pray always (Romans 12:12, 1 Thessalonians 5:17) not because He didn’t already know all the needs, not because He did not have abundant wisdom, power and limitless resources to meet all needs - - so why? In my relationship with the Lord, I am to be continually a worshiping intercessor, getting to know Him better. That is true but to-day, the Holy Spirit revealed something deeper to me.
My connection with God in prayer is so vital, so essential, so significant, that if I don’t faithfully pray, someone will be impoverished. Prayer is not only a holy privilege but also a godly responsibility.
I can never be closer to God than in this God-ordained, heart-to-heart oneness, kingdom authority, 24/7, unbroken, golden heavenly connection with Him. Away down here on earth, in prayer, just a human, I can share in the operations and enterprises of God’s heaven. The Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18, John 4:14) is the Fountain continually filling us with the irrepressible Life of the Lord Jesus.