Books,  Theology

Though Surrounded with Outside Enjoyments

Historical Theology

As we pass Christmas and march forward to the new year, this passage from my assigned reading this week stood out to me:

We should not rest in the world and its enjoyments, but should desire heaven. We should above all things desire a heavenly happiness: to be with God and be well with Jesus Christ. Though surrounded with outward enjoyments, and settled in families with desirable friends and relationships; though we have companions whose company is delightful and children in whom we see many promising characteristics; though we live by good neighbors and are generally loved when we are known; yet, we should not take our rest in these things as our inheritance. We should possess, enjoy and use them, with no other perspective than we are ready to give them up, whenever we are called to do so, and to exchange them willingly and cheerfully for heaven.

Jonathan Edwards, “The Christian Pilgrim” as quoted in Historical Theology, “Sanctification”, p536

What is it that you most struggle to hold loosely? What comforts of this current life are most desirable? Ultimately, what gives us security in place of Jesus? All amazing questions for this evening.

While at first I did not see it, after a little review, I think I know what drew my attention. I preached from Genesis 12:1-9 recently, a passage that begins the narration of Abram’s wandering at God’s discretion, a stranger in the land of promise. And of course the passage is a call for us to see this world as a pilgrimage. This world is ultimately not the end, not our home as currently constituted. And so, we must trust in the faithfulness of the Son. We must pray that the Holy Spirit would empower and build up the church, the outpost of his love in this world. And we must continually pour out our thanks and requests to the Father who loves us as children, who knows all our pains, joys, struggles, and hope.

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