5 things to do to stay intentional
In our previous blog, we gained a picture of the church of Corinth and how their lives are very similar to ours today, which means Paul’s words are relevant to us now. Now we’ll look at Paul’s list of five things to do to stay intentional in Christ.
In 2 Corinthians 5:1 Paul says, “For instance, we know that when these bodies of ours are taken down like tents and folded away, they will be replaced by resurrection bodies in Heaven—God-made, not handmade—and we’ll never have to relocate our “tents” again” (MSG).
The temporary nature of our body, this tent that we live in, will be replaced with something permanent. Like a house, something that’s going to withstand the stresses of life. A house not made with human hands, but eternal.
- We know death is coming.
It’s a part of the reality of life. No one lives forever. Eternally, we live forever, but our bodies are decaying.
Often when a famous person dies, two questions come to mind. How did they die? And how old were they? We want to know those things because we compare ourselves to their experience.
The psalmist reminds us to number our days that we may gain a heart after wisdom (Psalm 90:12). These existential moments that come along give us an opportunity to do that.
2. We don’t know when we will die.
God controls how many days and weeks we’re each going to live on the planet. Paul says, “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” (2 Corinthians 5:2-4 NKJV).
Remember, Paul is writing this 50 or 60 years after Christ. He hoped and prayed that Christ would return, and he would have a resurrected body. He wouldn’t have to die. We know when we die, we’re going to be with Christ, but our body will be resurrected at a later time.
3. God has prepared a place for us in Heaven.
Jesus said, “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:2-3 NKJV).
If you’re sick and tired, Jesus wants you to know you have a home in Heaven and someday you’re going to be with Him.
4. Walk by faith.
Paul was sick and tired, but he had one focus – to walk by faith and not by sight. That’s a hard thing to do, isn’t it?
“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” (2 Corinthians 5:6-8 NKJV).
When we are sick and tired in life, our number one priority every day should be Heaven.
5. Please Christ every day.
Pleasing God is about how we live today (Ephesians 5:10 MSG). What we do. Our priorities. The next right one thing. The reality of death should be very focusing to us.
Let’s be practical. What decisions do we make about our money? How do I handle my health? How do we relate to each other?
We don’t talk about this much in our churches anymore, but we should choose to please Christ because one day we all must appear before the judgment seat of Christ. Those of us who are followers of Christ, we’re going to have the ultimate job performance review.
“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” (2 Corinthians 5:9-10 NKJV).
It’s not a question of going to Heaven. When you go before a judge, you must have a defense. Our defense is the blood of Christ. As we stand there, it’s not going to be because of our good works.
Based on what we just read from the Apostle Paul, because of the certainty of death, the confidence of Heaven, the joy of walking by faith and the coming judgment seat of Christ, we will figure out what pleases Christ and do it for God’s glory and our benefit. That is intentional living.