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Sunday, December 30, 2012

II Corinthians 5:9

Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.

For further study - II Corinthians 5:1-9

Paul is writing a word of encouragement to those in Corinth about what the time of death will bring to each of us. Most of us look at death as something to be dreaded, something to be avoided at all cost.

As I remind myself, as well as reminding you also, those who are reading this devotional, that death is not the "end all". It is actually the beginning, the beginning of "eternity future". The Apostle brings to our attention that in our present "tabernacle" our present body, there is groaning.

Let me stop right here. Everyday, as I become aware of another ache or pain that I never have experienced before, I usually spend several minutes or sometimes even several hours worrying about what the discomfort may be and what it could become.

Paul is telling us that we will one day put on a new "tabernacle", a new and wonderful "heavenly body". Paul talks about confidence and he reminds us of where the confidence comes from.

The Holy Spirit has sealed each of us into the "Body of Christ". It is the "earnest of the Spirit" that gives us the confidence of where we are and where we will be one day. As we are alive on this earth we are absent from the Lord and we know this by faith, not by sight.

Paul then speaks of another confidence, the confidence that when we die on this earth we go directly into His presence, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, verse 8. At death all born again Christians are transported by angels, Luke 16:22, into the heavenlies, and into His presence.

Now re-read our key verse. Until that victorious time of death when we go into His presence, Paul says He would be ambitious and so should we be the same. Paul wanted to live a life, do the work of the Lord, so that when he saw Him he would be accepted of Him. That should be the same for us, when we see Him we might be accepted of Him.

The very next verse, verse 10, speaks of us then standing at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Paul says he wants to be "well-accepted" of Christ at that time. This is a Godly ambition, because at the Judgment Seat we are given "crowns" for those works we have done for the Lord, in His power and for His glory.

Then we take these crowns and lay them at His feet as He sits upon His throne, Revelation 4:10, in thanksgiving for all that He has done for us. We must join Paul in this "Godly ambition", so that we can give Him the glory.

PRAYER THOT: Help me Lord to live a life that will receive reward at the Judgment Seat of Christ so I can show thanksgiving to You, for all You have done for me, as I cast my crowns at Your feet.