“Memory verse: For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10
“Being holy doesn’t mean a perfect ‘goody two-shoes’, but being committed and focused and skilled at showing Jesus to others (‘showing others what God is like’)” a reference to our church motto and mission statement at the time.
“God distances Himself from wrongdoers, but is intimate with the upright. We gain intimacy with Him when we lock down on our purpose.
“Verse four is like a table reserved at a great restaurant and God Himself is holding it for us, as a maitre’d (Randy asks me what kind of tip do you have to leave? I answer – your crown). Don’t trade it for a table by the kitchen.”
Dearest Rachel –
It’s almost ironic, that I managed to find this sermon note tucked inside of your Purpose Driven Life journal, considering where I am at the moment. After all, here I am in a floating hotel, with a fancy restaurant amidship – to say nothing of the impressive casual dining options above decks. I’ve no idea where the kitchen is, but there’s no doubt that everything is lovely and tasty here (as long as I stay away from the tempura).
Whether a place like this is even remotely analogous to heaven, I’m not about to venture a guess. But it’s undoubtedly impressive in its own right, and touches on the analogy you noted.
·Now we hope for [or This new birth provides us with] ·the blessings God has for his children [L an inheritance]. ·These blessings [or This inheritance], which cannot be destroyed or be ·spoiled [corrupted; defiled] or lose their beauty, ·are [is] kept in heaven for you [Matt. 6:19–21; Luke 12:33]. God’s power protects you through your faith until ·salvation is shown to you [or the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed] ·at the end of [in the last] time.I Peter 1:4,5, Expanded Bible
I don’t know if the analogy was one that Pastor Steve was describing – most likely, as that would explain my wisecrack to you as an aside. In any event, I don’t blame you for being so pleased with yourself for coming up with that quick rejoinder to my smart-aleck inquiry – that was indeed well-played, honey.
I doubt your mansion (wherever it may be, and whatever it might look like) has a trophy case in it, regardless of you tendency to hang onto everything forever. After all, any awards you might receive in your service to the King of Kings would have been just that; you doing what you saw as your job, and not something to be treasured as a tribute to your own goodness or achievements. Were it not for Him, and what He did for you (and all of us), you wouldn’t be able to be there to receive it in the first place.
Besides, who’s going to sacrifice their prime table at the wedding supper of the Lamb, just to hold onto some trifling award? You’d let it go, if only because it’s as nothing in comparison to everything else around you.
Now, hopefully, you can make sure to save a seat next to you for me…