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Therefore we are always full of courage, and we know that as long as we are alive here on earth we are absent from the Lord— for we live by faith, not by sight. Thus we are full of courage and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So then whether we are alive or away, we make it our ambition to please him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be paid back according to what he has done while in the body, whether good or evil.
Living by faith is something difficult to describe in words. We hope in Jesus Christ because we know He’s the Son of God, yet we only know He’s the Son of God because of faith. Hebrews then defines faith as “assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1) As Christians we know that this life is temporary, that physical death is certain. We do the best we can in Christ on earth, knowing more is in store for us. We are offered the peace of Christ, because we will always be with Him, and He with us.
But you who eat vegetables only—why do you judge your brother or sister? And you who eat everything—why do you despise your brother or sister? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow to me, and every tongue will give praise to God.” Therefore, each of us will give an account of himself to God.
We judge with our hearts and minds, and it happens before we speak the damaging words. In truth, we’ve already damaged our own hearts if we judge one another; and even more if we’ve judged wrongly. There must be a spirit of forgiveness as we learn to live in biblical community with one another. God knows when we judge others, just like He knows when we don’t. Offer people the good news and Christ’s mercy free of judgment. Fellowship with other brothers and sisters in Christ with an attitude of love. Our account to God will speak for itself.
If we live, we live for the Lord; if we die, we die for the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. For this reason Christ died and returned to life, so that he may be the Lord of both the dead and the living.
Jesus alone is qualified to be Lord of both the living and the dead. He lived a sinless life and He conquered death. Live for Christ and be uncompromising with your faith. This does not mean being intolerant of people and different perspectives. This simply means to become grounded in your faith in Christ so that belief is unwavering and not susceptible to be perverted into something that is not faith in Christ. Let the peace of God which transcends all understanding, guard your heart and mind in Christ. (Philippians 4:7)
So we are no longer to be children, tossed back and forth by waves and carried about by every wind of teaching by the trickery of people who craftily carry out their deceitful schemes. But practicing the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into Christ, who is the head.
Sometimes my daughter will stop what she's doing and say, out of nowhere, “I need socks Daddy!”. She is not grounded by the truth that things will be OK if she doesn't get socks immediately. In sort of the same way, “infants in Christ” are less guarded by a solid foundation in the truth. There is a progression to our faith, and as we live our lives in the grace and knowledge of Him, we become more grounded…more mature in Christ. Much like leadership, maturity in Christ is not to be a prideful stumbling block, but a positive example to new believers.
The waves roar, O Lord, the waves roar, the waves roar and crash. Above the sound of the surging water, and the mighty waves of the sea, the Lord sits enthroned in majesty.
At times in the Bible, we see God’s creation personified. In this verse, we have “the seas lifting up their voice”. Today, consider how creation exemplifies worship. Each spring creation comes to life. Breathing that in creates a sense of awe in me, and reminds me that I’m loved by the God who is life itself. God is so magnificent that His creation lives, breathes, and comes alive to tell us the story of it’s author. No corruption can trump the might of God, or compromise His ability to reach us. Surrounded by His creation, allow yourself to be “caught up” in Him!