Wednesday, June 4, 2014

ASPIRATIONS

If I should graduate to my next level of existence before The Rapture, I would like on my tombstone it to be written - "Southern. Dependable. Heavenbound."  What I would like for people to remember of me and say of me then and now is that I was and am an esteemed man of God.

To many, including myself, esteemed would mean someone who is looked-up to or held by many as a great example of a great human being, great man, great husband, great Christian, and so forth.  However, for our consideration, add to that definition the Scripture's three Hebrew words for esteemed - chashab (khaw-shab), chen (khane), and chamad (khaw-mad).

Speaking of Christ and how people of His day would perceive Him, Chashab is found in Isaiah 53:3 and means to think regard negatively. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Found in the book of wise sayings, Proverbs 22:1, Chen means someone who is regarded as showing graciousness to others and receives grace from others; kindness and favor.  A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.

Speaking to Daniel, the chief angelic messenger, Gabriel uses the word Chamad as he greets him three times in Daniel 9:23/ 10:11/ 10:19. Chamad means to delight in, greatly beloved, and precious.
  • As soon as you began to pray, an answer was given, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed. Therefore, consider the message and understand the vision: (9:23)
  • He said, "Daniel, you who are highly esteemed, consider carefully the words I am about to speak to you, and stand up, for I have now been sent to you." And when he said this to me, I stood up trembling. (10:11)
  • "Do not be afraid, O man highly esteemed," he said. "Peace! Be strong now; be strong." When he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, "Speak, my lord, since you have given me strength." (10:19)
The Christian music group 4-HIM wrote and performed a song called "A Man You Would Write About". The chorus reads - 
"I want to be a man that you would write about, 
a thousand years from now that they could read about - 
your servant of choice, 
in whom you found favor, 
a man who heard your voice."  

Oh to be that in tune with God!  Enoch was this kind of man and more.  In Hebrews 11:5 God uses the word pleased to communicate the reason for Enoch's rapture or catching away to Heaven spoken about in Genesis 5:24. This word in the original Greek is euaresteo (yoo-ar-es-teh-o) meaning entirely gratified. Can you imagine God being so entirely gratified with you that He grants you a "Get Out of Earth/Come Live With Me Free Card"!!! 

Wow!  Now these last three are something to aspire to.  
  1. I desire to be - esteemed (chen) - found giving and receiving grace throughout my life, not just as a memorial or reflection at the end of it.  
  2. I know I am - esteemed (chamad) - in heaven because Father God sent His only Son, His own Word in flesh, Jesus Christ to die in my place for my redemption.  In addition, "concerning this salvation,... Even angels long to look into these things." (1 Peter 1:10-12)
  3. I pray I am on the road and doing the right things to - please - entirely gratify God. 
I am Southern, Dependable, and Heavenbound now.  These men challenge me to be esteemed and pleasing to God also.  In the voice of the Capital One's slogan - "What's in you wallet?" - So, what are your Aspirations?!