June 11, 2010

Lost and Gained With Grace

Philippians 3:7-14

I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord …
Philippians 3:8


A sign in a hotel lobby said, “The lift is being fixed. During that time we regret that you will be unbearable.” Something got lost in the translation.

Some English versions of the Bible say Enoch was “translated” to heaven (Hebrews 11:5). While Enoch avoided death in this way, we can trust that nothing important was lost in that translation.

Today we would not refer to a Christian’s passing away as “translation.” But when we are made whole at Jesus’ return, we will be different. We will have resurrection bodies that are “imperishable” (1 Corinthians 15:51-54).

In a sense, we might say we will lose weight. We will lose the weight of our sin as we are remade to be perfect and holy in God’s sight (Hebrews 10:14; 11:40; 12:23). But then we will also gain the weight of glory (2 Corinthians 4:17).

We will also lose weakness—physical, mental, emotional, relational, spiritual. And we will lose worry—fear, anxiety, fretting. We will also be rid of our willfulness, not to mention our whining.

We will lose the spirit that drives us to win at the expense of others. But we will gain the winsomeness of Jesus. And in God’s presence forever we will lose our penchant to wander, for we will be lost in wonder at God’s transforming grace.

God of abounding grace, we pray that we can reflect your grace by gracious living for all to see—with nothing lost in the translation. Through Jesus Christ, Amen.

About the author — Dale Vander Veen

Dale Vander Veen is a retired Christian Reformed pastor who with his wife, Edith, has ministered in California, Washington, and Michigan. They have three married children and six grandchildren. He currently writes a daily e-mail series of devotions.

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