Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A Life Policy That Takes Us to Where No Policy Is Needed -- Exodus 15:17-18


Thou wilt bring them and plant them in the mountain of Thine inheritance, The place, O Lord, which Thou hast made for Thy dwelling, The sanctuary, O Lord, which Thy hands have established.  The Lord shall reign forever and ever.”
 
First, I must clear up any misconception some may have that I consider a personal acceptance of Jesus Christ simply as an insurance policy.  It is much, much, more and it requires a very active involvement on our part.  While the salvation aspect is indeed totally one-sided (His) save and except our willingness to accept it, the desire of the Underwriter is that we live a life that fully honors and glorifies Him, as well as a life that is fully reliant on Him.  Our contribution to the contract is not in the guarantee of salvation, for that is a totally free gift of God’s to man.  Rather, our contribution begins after we accept that gift and is measured in terms of our service to Him through both our acts towards others and our adoration for Him.

But let us look at this policy a little closer.  Its terms just keep getting better.  God “will bring (us)” to the place of His inheritance.  In the text this is a reference to the land of Canaan.  But in the parallel of the story, for us, it is our “promised land”, an eternal life that begins the moment we accept the gift of salvation and acquire the policy.  Not only does He personally “bring us” there but the text says, He will “plant (us)” there.  There will be no more displacement.  No need to be repotted elsewhere.  No need to look for another insurer or policy.  Our roots there will be firm and eventually lead us to heaven for eternity.

Secondly, the “mountain of His inheritance” is His dwelling place as well.  As I pick up my paper each morning from the front porch, I watch loving parents drop their children off at a neighbor’s place for daycare.  They have brought them there and helped them get established, but ultimately they have to go to work and leave them in the hands of others until someone comes back to pick to them up.  God, on the other hand, takes us to our destination, establishes us, and stays with us.  For the Israelites, Canaan (the mountain) was the border of God’s sanctuary (they had to go through Canaan in this life) before they could end up in God’s sanctuary.  Similarly, life for us is our Canaan.  We have to go through this often dangerous and difficult life journey, this mountain, before we can enter into Heaven, the sanctuary of God.

And why would anyone want to go to Heaven?  I do not know about you but as I read the story of Genesis and the garden of Eden, I so very much desired to have had the pleasure of being there, seeing what God designed and created with His own hands, and totally unmarred by human hands and minds.  But alas, I cannot go to the garden of Eden, only to where people think it was and so much has changed.  But I can go to the sanctuary of God.  I can go to Heaven.  I so much want to see God’s creation of this incredible mansion for us all.  A mansion that none of us can fully comprehend from where we are today.  A mansion untainted by any sinful thought or action of man.  It is perfect.  And it is eternal for God will rule eternally and no one, or nothing, will ever be allowed to interrupt that reign again.  I want to be there.  I want to be part of it.

This week my wife and I are making final arrangements for our funerals.  As funny as it seems, these arrangements are really not for us.  When we are gone, we will not need any arrangements.  No one needs anything after they die.  Their purpose is to make life a little simpler for our children.  But as I thought about our upcoming meeting to finalize our plans (really a pre-bought funeral type of insurance), I thought of where another insurance, our policy with Jesus Christ, will ultimately take us.  I, for one, want to have this insurance that ultimately takes me to place where I no longer need it.
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