2 Corinthians 5:1-21: "For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. For we who are in this tent, groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord. Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences. For we do not commend ourselves again to you, but give you opportunity to boast on our behalf, that you may have an answer for those who boast in appearance and in heart. For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; or if we are of sound mind, it is for you. For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.
Therefore, from now own, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus not longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."
HERE are some pearls of wisdom not just for today and tomorrow but for a lifetime and a perpetual lifestyle: LOVE GOD, JESUS, well, with all your heart, soul, mind and strength; love others, too, just like you love yourself, just like JESUS would love them; encourage others and build others up, instead of discouraging others and tearing them down, through gossip slander, deception, curses, false accusations, misinformation, fake news, and blatant lies; invite somebody to church, an outreach event, a missionary trip, a conference, a workshop, a retreat, a recreational game, a house of prayer, peace, fellowship, stewardship, discipleship; share the GOSPEL--the GOOD NEWS--with others;
live LIFE LOUD, telling others about CHRIST JESUS, the SON of GOD, and don't waste your life storing up sin, chasing after so-called treasures on earth that are temporal, that are easily stolen, but live a life well-spent, well-defined, well-disciplined, well-given, well-shared, well-loved, well-blessed, well-done, and pour each day of your life out like a drink offering to our Beloved Bridegroom, Eternal Prince, Majestic King, and Selfless Savior, JESUS CHRIST, and our heavenly Father, the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the Holy, Sovereign, Living, All-Knowing, All-Powerful, Ever-Present, Loving, Just, Compassionate, Gracious and Merciful, Almighty GOD; extend yourself, engage and fellowship with others, in peace and love and unity, in the name of JESUS, as brothers and sisters in CHRIST; and share your life, your heart, yourself, in times of trial and triumph, good and bad, offering yourself, your time, your treasures and your talents, like ever-green olive branches, peace offerings and love gifts, freely given, reflective of the character, heart, and nature of JESUS, of the one, true loving, living, eternal, immortal, invisible, compassionate, patient, generous, gracious, merciful, creative, matchless, majestic, incomparable, and faithful Creator and heavenly Father, GOD;
be strong, courageous and faithful, not cowardly, timid, passive, lukewarm and fearful, and always trust in the LORD; praise, honor, revere, fear, exalt, glorify, worship, affirm, obey, and believe in HIM and HIM alone; serve the LORD with gladness, enter His gates with thanksgiving, His courts with praise; help invite and usher in The HOLY SPIRIT of GOD; and draw others to CHRIST and welcome them in fellowship and compassion and love and one accord into the physically and culturally DIVERSE but always spiritually and supernaturally UNITED BODY of CHRIST, as the BRIDE of CHRIST, as a citizen in the KINGDOM of GOD--grafted into GOD'S divine and eternal FAMILY TREE, through the Everlasting BRANCH and the TRUE VINE, JESUS, the CHRIST, the Messiah, the Anointed One, the only begotten SON of GOD; and adopted into the Royal Family of the KING of Kings and the LORD of Lords, the one and only eternal, living and creative, All-Knowing, All-Powerful and Sovereign GOD; overcome every trial, challenge and adversary, with GOD as your protector, defender, warrior, advocate, SHIELD, shelter, refuge, strength, strong tower, fortress, father, comforter, redeemer, savior, deliverer, and avenger, like JESUS did, and be more than a conqueror, through HIM who loved you and the world so much and enough that He gave His only begotten Son, so that all who believe in HIM should not perish but have everlasting life; let every setback and evil plan from the enemy, the adversary, in your life become stepping stones to success, bridges for breakthroughs, avenues for opportunities, promotions, elevation, alteration, transformation, acceleration, and greatness; let your gratitude, your thanksgiving, your prayers and your praise and worship be GOD's place of habitation in your life--His chosen instruments of confusion, blueprints for breakthroughs, avenues for ambushing the adversary and the wicked and His honorable vessels used to set you up for victory, success, eternity in HIS PRESENCE--all for your well-being, your best life, your provision, your protection, your prosperity, your greater good; let GOD deliver you from every evil work and preserve you for His heavenly kingdom; let HIM be seated on the throne of your heart, in complete control, and present in every part of your life, so He can turn all your messes into messages, all your mistakes and failures into life lessons; your flaws and weaknesses into platforms for worldwide witnessing; and every battle, trial, tear, and test into testimonies, that GOD is GOOD, GOD is JUST, GOD is LOVE; be a brand ambassador--a walking, talking, living, breathing, heart-beating billboard and SOULED-OUT advertisement for GOD--the FATHER, SON, and HOLY SPIRIT;
be a CHAMPION for CHRIST, an ambassador for CHRIST, engaging in marketplace ministry--outside the walls and confinement of the church building and actively and strategically and intentionally minister to those in need, wherever they are, moving forward and GOD-ward, grounded in the WORD of GOD, firmly rooted in JESUS CHRIST, who is the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE, and the only gate, door, and access to GOD the FATHER; use your time, your talents, and your treasures, including the knowledge, understanding, wisdom, and revelation, as well as the power, authority, dominion, and resources GOD has given you, granted you and entrusted to you n the name of JESUS, through the ministry of the HOLY SPIRIT, to share the GOSPEL of the KINGDOM of GOD; to spread the GOSPEL of JESUS CHRIST; and to do the work of an evangelist, challenging, countering, canceling and overturning the plots, schemes, plans, curses and death assignments of the enemy; defeating every evil word and every evil work with goodness, grace, favor, and the FRUIT of GOD'S HOLY SPIRIT--love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, kindness, and self-control--expelling darkness with light, deception with truth, fear with faith, and every evil work and lie of the enemy, the adversary, with the SWORD of the SPIRIT, which is the WORD of GOD, which does not return unto GOD void but accomplishes that for which He sent it; draw others to CHRIST JESUS, to GOD the FATHER, to HOLY SPIRIT, thus, continually sowing good seed in good soil and reaping a good harvest--prevailing over the enemy, the adversary, every obstacle and challenge, gathering souls and gaining territory and expanding the KINGDOM of GOD and increasing the FAMILY of GOD, thus, increasing and enlarging GOD'S property, GOD'S territory, and GOD'S influence; and helping others learn how to love GOD sincerely, obediently and faithfully, with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength, so their names may be written in heaven's registry, in the LAMB'S BOOK of LIFE, through JESUS, the only real, recognized, divine and legitimate PASSPORT from the kingdom of darkness to the KINGDOM of LIGHT, from sin to righteousness, from imperfection to holiness, from alienation to reconciliation, from earth to heaven, from condemnation to salvation, from eternal separation to eternal life in the presence of GOD;
promote GOD, JESUS, HOLY SPIRIT, more than yourself and others; uphold, stand on, read, study, live by, share, proclaim, profess, and declare as infallible and true the HOLY WORD of GOD; be a hearer and doer of the WORD of GOD, teaching, promoting and practicing and exhibiting biblical values and a holy, righteous, godly, forgiving, productive, faithful and repentant lifestyle, in spite of the practices, policies, platforms, traditions, banners, sound-bites and slogans of the kingdom of culture, the kingdom of the world, the kingdom of men, the kingdom of politics, and the kingdom of darkness, which are often, opposed and contrary, even in conflict with, the teachings, commands and commission of JESUS and the WORD, will, way, thoughts, nature, character, Standard, plans, purpose, and SPIRIT of GOD;
boast on GOD, on JESUS, every chance you get, and let JESUS, let GOD, be GREATER, HIGHER, even more exalted and elevated than yourself, than others; let HIM be GREATER, more extraordinary, more prominent, more complimented, and more news-worthy than any proud, self-reliant, independent, supposedly self-made man, woman or child, more than any pet or animal, inanimate object, sacred place, and/or man-made god, idol, and monument, which would be anything and anyone you would naturally elevate, exalt, revere and worship in place of and/or put before GOD--that person, place, thing, hobby, practice, object, addiction, habit, recreation, and/or item that usually, has captured your heart, bound your soul, and has often, commanded and/or demanded the all or most of the money in your purse, wallet, and bank account(s), and usually, that person, pet, hobby, job, activity, animal and/or thing is NUMBER ONE in your life and often, gets more time, attention, glory, honor, and exposure than GOD, the LORD, MASTER and CREATOR of the world and everything else, including those of us who call ourselves CHRIST followers and believers;
instead, affirm and honor GOD, in word and deed, in all that you do, all that you say, everywhere you go, wherever you are, even in the face of danger, death, adversity, persecution, intolerance, mocking, pain, injury, torture, alienation, and rejection, even in the face and the presence of every friend and ally you meet and every enemy and adversary of you encounter; encourage, love, support, comfort and help somebody else, somebody less fortunate, homeless, hungry; someone poor, someone bound, imprisoned, sick, in need of comfort, healing, protection and provision; someone widowed, someone single and someone alone, someone injured, wounded, and/or grieving; someone depressed, suicidal, mentally, physically, emotionally, psychologically paralyzed and/or demonically possessed and/or oppressed; someone struggling, spiritually and/or socially, academically, professionally and/socially and financially; someone in transition, currently, unemployed; serve the LORD and help, mentor and disciple others, helping them overcome, persevere, excel, thrive, and succeed, all in the strength, power and authority of GOD, so they can become WARRIORS, not worriers, victors, victims; so they can live life LOUD for JESUS, for GOD the Father, for HOLY SPIRIT, upholding GOD's STANDARD; promoting, safeguarding, and executing GOD's plan, HIS agenda, HIS purpose, and HIS platform, regardless of the criticism, the backlash, the persecution, the retaliation, their church denomination and/or political affiliation; in spite of every evil deed, evil word, evil practice; and in spite of the cost; be SOULED-OUT for GOD, JESUS, HOLY SPIRIT; and never be an undercover Christian, ashamed to profess your faith, share the GOSPEL, and mention the name of JESUS, especially in public;
never be lukewarm, passive and silent, nor be a sell-out, who only cowers and caters to celebrities, politicians, and rich, popular, famous and powerful people, nor be enslaved and bound to temptation, sin, the pleasures of the world and the seductive, tempting traps of life; give generously and cheerfully, joyfully, and frequently, even unexpectedly and secretly, offering GOD the first and the best of everything you have, everything He created and entrusted to you, everything you think you got on your own: your time, your treasures and your talents, your abilities and your availability;
make a lifelong and eternal commitment to GOD, going all-in and letting GOD truly be the LORD--the OWNER--of your life, be the first priority, the HEAD of your HOME, your HOUSEHOLD, the PRESIDENT, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, SUPREME RULER EXECUTIVE AUTHORITY in your career, your business, your family, essentially, the DIVINE DIRECTOR and CONDUCTOR, who manages everything--all your personal, public and private affairs; let HIM be your Compass, your G.P.S., your COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF, and surrender to HIM, completely, offering HIM everything and not just your ability either but your availability;
forgive others and love them and pray for them and send somebody some love letters, a few greeting cards, written prayers, ministry bags, GOSPEL GOODIES, inspiring posters, pictures, handbags, framed art, Christian apparel, pens and pencils, with Bible verses included; cookies, cakes, pies, cupcakes, cheesecakes, and other sweet and decadent desserts, decorated with Bible verses, Bible heroes and heroines and inspiration slogans; offer and/or freely give out and/or distribute verses to memorize, prayer cards, and Bible books, games, movies, study, reference and educational and fun resources, including encouraging and motivational post-it notes, nonfiction and fiction books; praise, worship, GOSPEL and contemporary music; buy different translations of the BIBLE that you find beneficial, in compact form, if possible, because this compact version includes the entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, and it is easy to carry and and read when traveling; also, try to get different colors and designs, then write a personal message inside the cover sheet and put the BIBLE in a colorful gift bag, preferably one that has Scriptures on it, because this is the most important BOOK in every believer's life, because the HOLY BIBLE, was inspired by GOD, and through the HOLY SPIRIT, the BIBLE was penned and inked then typed and printed, then distributed, all in the hands of faithful believers but initially, it was thought of and written in the spiritual realm, outside of time, inside of eternity, coming straight from the heart and mind and will of our heavenly Father GOD;
so let your tongue, your mouth today, become the pen of a willing and ready writer, and share with others all those letters and words in red from the HOLY BIBLE, that come straight from the heart of GOD the FATHER and through the mouth of the Messiah, the CHRIST, the Anointed One, the Bridegroom, the Prince of Peace, and the soon-to-return KING of kings, JESUS, found in 66 books--from Genesis to Revelation--in GOD's HOLY WORD--which is the double-edged SWORD of the SPIRIT; fear GOD; revere HIM; and offer GOD continuous gratitude and thanksgiving, every day rejoicing and giving GOD the sacrifice of praise; worship HIM in Spirit and truth, making a joyful noise unto the LORD; never give up, nor give in, regardless of the situation, circumstance, challenge, obstacle, hurdle, or adversary; fight the good fight of faith with integrity, honor and grace, even until the end of life, even until the end of this age; and pray, in the SPIRIT, even in your own language and understanding, interceding for others, even your country, your community, your city, your leaders, your servants, your employees, your family, your ministers, your missionaries, your military, your first responders, your law enforcement, your judges, your governor and mayors, your presidents, Prime minister, kings, representatives, and queens; your state, your nation, too; pray for your allies and your enemies, pray for strangers, foreigners, and unbelievers, not just for your loved ones and immediate family;
offer GOD some good ol' fashioned, 24/7 "knee-mail," through daily, fervent, strategic, specific, intentional prayer; and then, watch and wait on the LORD, expecting an encounter, an experience, and some revelation with and from HIM: GOD; expecting not just His visitation but His habitation, so you become GOD's permanent HOUSE and HOME, instead of His temporary HOTEL and MOTEL; expect GOD to fulfill every good, perfect work He has begun in you and in each and every one of us who believe and put our faith and trust and hope and life in HIM; expect breakthroughs, answers, solutions, miracles, promotions, provision, protection, power, authority and dominion because GOD is GOOD, GOD is JUST, and GOD is LOVE; wield your words for good and for GOD, and become a living, breathing, and walking and talking, holy, acceptable and pleasing BIBLE for other people to observe, imitate, and read each and every day;
become a walking billboard, advertising, promoting, exalting, glorifying and boasting on HIM--the real STAR and CELEBRITY in HIS-STORY, in eternity--in that EVER-AFTER chapter, following the Book of Revelation--JESUS; make HIM--THE SON of GOD and GOD the FATHER--even more famous, even more universally, worldwide, and globally attractive, irresistible; and as believers, sons and daughters and AMBASSADORS of CHRIST, in this ministry of reconciliation, we are persuaded that all things work together for good to those who love GOD and are the called according to His purpose, mainly because, all things are possible with GOD, and nothing is too hard for HIM--the LORD of Lords and the KING of Kings!
So, as the apostle Paul declares in 1 Timothy 1:17:"to the KING eternal, immortal, invisible, to GOD who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen." So be it.