In this world there is little peace for humankind and little hope for it in the future. Jesus offers an eternal peace, of the heart, free from the vicissitudes of life and politics. While Christians pray for governing authorities, they place no hope in them. Confidence, only in Christ. He came from God and returned to God. He knew why he came to earth and fulfilled that purpose. During his time on earth, he loved, and he loved to the end. He was sure of his place before the Father, having received from him all power to bring divine love to its proper conclusion. He exercised this power with wisdom and knowledge.
Jesus calls his people to imitate his example. While his love took turns that were specific to his role in the eternal plan, its serving nature, with no holds barred, must take firm hold in his people. God is not impressed with rituals, done repeatedly for points, in the human mind, or to satisfy some random demand of heaven, as man sees it. He does command some specific actions, and through those he does bring his life and Spirit, but God looks behind the acts to the motivations and yearnings of the heart. He wants to see those and the practice of love — genuine, sincere, honest, profound.
God’s best advertisement is his people. Their mutual love, their unperturbable faith, their unwavering hope, their constant kindness all testify to the presence of Christ in their midst. Their persevering movement forward toward the final goal and outward toward those who are separated from the Lord serve as witnesses that their priority reflects God’s own program. God’s servant does not quarrel, but manifests kindess in the face of hostility. He teaches patiently, looking and praying for the response of faith. He does not hold grudges nor nurse bitterness, but gently urges people toward the presence of God.
The devil has many a trap laid for the unsuspecting and manages to entangle even some of the finest and most faithful of God’s saints. Compassion seeks restoration and forgiveness. The gospel goal is always forgiveness, always redemption, always reconciliation. It moves to protect the restored when necessary. It works to consolidate the gains made for the kingdom of God. It seeks to preserve and to mature the fruit produced in the work of the field. The goal is salvation, now and eternally.
Therefore, multiplication of souls into the body of Christ is sought with earnestness. The eye is on the clock. Urgency calls forth dutiful dedication with all energies and resources for the task of God. There is no time to lose. The new year, the new moon, the light of each new day all beckon God’s family to renewed effort to be effective in the work of proclaiming the cross of Christ. What people seek in the world, in politics, in social movements, in human associations they will only find in Jesus Christ and his close-knit band of followers. Here is peace. In him is life and goodness. He gathers together every single need and desire to fulfill all that a person ever dreamed of having.
The Lord Jesus Christ dissipates doubt, banishes sadness, cures depression, and raises the eyes to divine healing of the soul. He fills life with meaning. He makes promise bud in fulfillment. He defines success. He gives and blesses and loves. Before the flesh-and-bones Christ, resurrected from the dead, in another surprise visit to his disciples, Thomas exclaimed, “My Lord and my God!” No one today will ever stand in Thomas’s sandals at such a moment, but every single saint living today yearns for that hour when, seeing the glorified Christ descend among the clouds, surrounded by those angels whom he refused to call at his crucifixion, upon hearing the shout and the trumpet announcing the end, will stretch arms upward in a final maranatha, and call out a final Yes, and release a final sigh of relief, with the most perfect confession ever made, “My Lord and my God!”
May every single soul now living on earth have that privilege.