2 Corinthians 5:11-17
The Ministry of Reconciliation
Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we try to persuade others; but we ourselves are well known to God, and I hope that we are also well known to your consciences. We are not commending ourselves to you again, but giving you an opportunity to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast in outward appearance and not in the heart. For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. For the love of Christ urges us on, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died. And he died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised for them.
From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way. So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!
Reflection by Duke Yaguchi
Wow, there is a lot here. Let me take a look at only the last paragraph. How does it change our view of life on Earth, God, and the life hereafter, knowing Jesus? People who lived during Jesus' time knew he lived a human life. Some who only saw him as human saw his death as the end of Jesus. But those who see that Jesus has risen and lives on, what else do we believe? For me, it means there is a heaven. That God and Jesus are waiting for us. I don't have to fear death, because I believe God is kind, and will comfort me in the hereafter. For me, that is what is meant by "everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!" Like the old adage says, "Hope springs eternal"!
Between my first pass at this devotion and now, we've said goodbye to our beloved Toby. He used to be a ball of energy. He was happy when he woke up, all the way through to going to bed at night. But when Hachi passed, he became very depressed. He would get up in the middle of the night and go to the dining room and howl. We presumed he was missing Hachi. Getting Uffda didn't make Toby any happier. He was overcome with a multitude of ailments. We sent him off to the Rainbow Bridge. Our pets are a little piece of heaven on Earth. If heaven is a perfect place, then our pets will be waiting for us. If they are not, then heaven will be a little less than perfect for me. I choose to believe our pets will be there. Like the old adage says, "Hope springs eternal"!