Moving Day

The house has finally been sold; moving day has arrived.  So much had to be arranged.  So much stuff had to be sorted out.  What was to be taken?  What was no longer wanted or needed?  What could be recycled?  What would have to be thrown away?  No wonder they say moving house is one of life’s most stressful experiences!

One day I shall have another moving day.  The date is already fixed, though I don’t know it.  I won’t be packing boxes to take with me then, for, as the Apostle Paul says, “We brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.”  (1 Timothy 6:7)  And how true that is, when we think of our possessions, those things – not necessarily wrong in themselves – which can so easily ensnare us, feeding the greed and covetousness to which we are so prone, those heart sins which only God can see.  Not just physical possessions either; it is all too possible to chase after such things as reputation or influence or success or experiences.

Yet some words from Revelation keep going through my mind:  Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord… their works follow them.  What ‘works’ will go with me when that final moving day comes, I wonder?  Certainly not works which will save me.  I was dead and incapable of contributing anything to my salvation, not even the desire to be saved.  “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”  (Ephesians 2:8,9)

Writing to the church in Corinth, Paul speaks of our works as a building – that which I have built throughout my Christian life since I was converted.  Or, to put it another way, the results of the choices I make day by day, large or small, which have affected the extent to which my character has become like that of the Lord Jesus.  And how does that come about?  Brick by brick, as it were.  Setting our minds to study His word, seeing Him there, thinking about Him, talking with Him.  Surely then, as we learn to know Him better, we will long to be more like Him, and be spurred on to put to death those thoughts and attitudes and desires which are displeasing to Him, seeking always the help of the Holy Spirit to be, and think, and live, for Him.  Gifts, without graces, are not, in the end, of much value.

For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.  Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become manifest; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.  If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward.  If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss, but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.  Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?  If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him.  For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.                                                                                                                          1 Corinthians 3:11-17

“You are greatly mistaken if you think that to be a Christian is merely to have certain views, and convictions, and spiritual delights.  This is all well, but if it leads not to a devoted life, I fear it is all a delusion.  ‘If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.’”  Robert Murray M’Cheyne

So let our lips and lives express

The holy gospel we profess;

So let our works and virtues shine,

 To prove the doctrine all divine.

 

Thus shall we best proclaim abroad

The honours of our Saviour God,

When His salvation reigns within,

And grace subdues the power of sin.

 

Our flesh and sense must be denied,

Passion and envy, lust and pride,

While justice, temperance, truth and love,

Our inward godliness approve.

 

Religion bears our spirits up,

While we expect the blessèd hope,

The bright appearing of the Lord:

And faith stands leaning on His Word. 

Isaac Watts