Saturday, November 28, 2009

There's no chocolate in Heaven?

"The letter and spirit of Scripture, and of all Christianity, forbid us to suppose that life in the New Creation will be a sexual life; and this reduces our imagination to the withering alternative either of bodies which are hardly recognizable as human bodies at all or else of a perpetual fast. As regards the fast, I think our present outlook might be like that of a small boy who, on being told that the sexual act was the highest bodily pleasure, should immediately ask whether you ate chocolates at the same time. On receiving the answer no, he might regard absence of chocolates as the chief characteristic of sexuality. In vain would you tell him that the reason why lovers in their carnal raptures don't bother about chocolates is that they have something better to think of. The boy knows chocolate: he does not know the positive thing that excludes it. We are in the same position. We know the sexual life; we do not know, except in glimpses, the other thing which, in Heaven, will leave no room for it."-C.S. Lewis "Miracles"...
The highest pleasure we currently can imagine is not even worth comparing to the incomprehensible Pleasure, Joy, Peace, Life that "no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined,". And oh to taste, to know much more than a page, to feel your embrace...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Prayer with thanksgiving...

Matthew Henry is a well-known bible commentator who lived during the 17th century in England. He one day was robbed and that evening made the following Entry in his diary:
"Let me be thankful- First because I was never robbed before; second because although they took my wallet they did not take my life; third because although they took my all, it was not much; and fourth, because it was I who was robbed, not I who robbed." - Matthew Henry

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything with prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding with guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

-The scriptures would tell us that when we pray, we are to have an understanding that we own nothing, are entitled to nothing, and ourselves own nothing. All we have, even our own lives are a gift from God and are to be counted as such. So when we pray, we do it knowing that everything we have is a gift. God rightfully sits over all of life and so we pray knowing that, thus we are thankful for what we have, seeing everything... EVERY THING as a gift. Every day, every good experience, every single thing is not ours but God's. So we pray knowing that we are not entitled to anything, and we brought nothing into this world and will take nothing away from it. He is good and in control, and we trust this. Nothing is ours and we are to remember this... Even as we pray. So we trust his goodness and his sovereignty that he is in control and working together all things for his glory and our good... Oh to pray the way that Matthew Henry did...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

"In my distress I cried to him, and he answered me."-Psalm 120:1

Distress, brokenness, death, sickness, pain, sin, our world is filled with them. All around us we see clearly that creation that has fallen under sin. It is no secret or debate that things in this life are not perfect. Man whether he believes in God or not rarely deny this. In fact, the problem of “evil” or “sin” is often present as one of the primary arguments against the existence of the "all loving, and all powerful God" the bible portrays. However, C.S. Lewis brilliantly defends that the very fact that mankind has moral understanding inside of them that declares things are not as they should be, is more of an argument for the existence of a bestower of this “sense of morality” rather than for his nonexistence. More simply, the fact that mankind perceives that there is something wrong in the world, demonstrates that some thing at some point implanted a sense of right and wrong within us. The bible tells us that this come from man being made in the "image of God" (Gen 1:26-27), and because of this "the work of the law is written on our hearts"(Romans 2:15). But God doesn't leave us with just a understanding of the “death” around us, but provides us a “way” into “life”, Through the the death of his son, Jesus, who is called both"the way" and "the life" (John:14:6). It further says that Jesus is currently reconciling all things to himself(Col 1:20); and some day he who rode into Jerusalem atop a donkey who was "put to death for sin", will come again this time riding on a "white horse" and will "put all sin to death"(Rev. 19:11). So God has “answered us in our distress”, his answer was the death of his Son. God has made "him who knew no sin, be sin so that, we might become the righteousness of God." (2Cor. 5:21). He did not answer the cries of his son to "take this cup from him" (Luke 22:42), or his cries "My God my God why have you abandoned me?”(Psalm 22), so that he may answer our need for a savior. He has heard our cries…

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

If grace is an Ocean we're all sinking...

When the Lord [brought us back to him]
we were like those who dream.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with shouts of joy;
then they said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us;
we are glad. Psalm 126:1-3

The story of the Gospel is one beyond words... all of us like sheep have gone astray. But God being rich in mercy demonstrates his Love for us in this that while we profaned his name, spit in his face, murdered, perverted, and destroyed his creation, while mocking his power and glory...he died for us. He is both Good and Great, but those words fail to describe the anointed and blessed redeemer whose name is Jesus. We all have hurts, problems, aches, and habits that lead us to death and destruction. But God is rich in mercy, he loved us even in our rebellion and continues to love even as we rebel. Could he have destroyed Satan and Man immediately upon Satan's Rebellion against God, or destroyed man in his initial "fall" in the Garden of eden. Yes! Yes he could have wiped out all who betray him, responding in a way that clearly depicts he is great, powerful, mighty, and a King who is not to be questioned. Answering the question "is this God great?". But one question would have remained..."Is he good?" So God, in his goodness withheld his annihilation of sin and rebellion and came into the world and died on a cross for us. Living the life we could not live and dying the death that we were to die. "He made him who knew know sin, to be sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God". God made Jesus sin, and he put him to death. In this sin lost its power and was put to death, and death was died. He left all to see that not only is he GREAT, but he is GOOD. This is the God of the bible, this is the story of our existence. We all are so infested and infected with sin that we are incapable of eradicating the sinful habits, hang-ups, and issues that plague us and lead us to destruction. But he did not leave us alone. He offers hope for our ways, life for our death, and loves us amidst all our rebellion. He is unquestionably and emphatically Good, and he offers life. He is our Great and Good King. And So we who know Jesus are like those who dream, we are filled with joy and laughter. You have done great things for us. You are our healer...

Oh My God we are unworthy of you... we are unworthy...
"What are we that you are mindful of us?"
"Not to us Oh Lord, But to your name be Glory" for what you have done.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

He fell asleep...

"For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep" Acts 13:36

All of life comes down to just one thing, thats to know you owe Jesus and to make you known. The cross of Christ brings incredible freedom to believers. He died that we to may crucify our flesh and in dying truly live. After all he came that we may have life and have it abundantly. Thus, while on this earth his grace and mercy reign in us, in that though we outwardly are perishing we are being prepared for an eternal glory beyond all comparison. But if one has a small view of heaven he will miss out on the glorious end/beginning to which he has been ultimately destined. The bible is clear, the glorious existence of heaven will far outweigh anything that this life has ever had to offer. All sin and death will be eradicated and man will be restored from his body of death into one of everlasting life. Paul continually harped on the idea that this life is but a shadow of the one to come, (Heb 9), that it is far better to be away from this body and at home with Christ, (2cor5), and that to die is nothing less to gain (the opposite for unbelievers of course, where to die is loss, the ultimate, immeasurable, and unceasing loss). The immeasurable riches that are to be revealed are beyond us (who hope in Jesus), truly "no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him (1 cor 6). David also declared this idea in stating that "one thing I ask, and all that I seek, is that I may gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and behold him in his temple"(Ps. 27:4). The eternal glory of heaven far surpasses all understanding that one could possibly imagine and makes every thing, even that which are good things, pale in such a way that Paul proclaims they are not even worth comparing (2cor4). Thus Jim Elliot was right "he is no fool who gives that which he cannot keep, to gain that which he cannot lose." The idea of offering our bodies as a living sacrifice is such a minute and miniscule sacrifice when compared to the eternal blessing that Christ has gone to prepare for those who love him. In view of this God who became poor so that in his poverty we might become rich beyond all comparison is a moving, motivating, humbling, and beautiful thing. There is nothing foolish about giving the life that all of us will soon lose, to gain that which can never be lost. Paul knew that to live is Christ and to die is to gain. That word hardly begins to describe that which awaits us who place our hope in him. But words of any demeanor and in any earthly tongue will never begin to encapsulate that which he has given us. For this reason it is not foolish to lose your life that you may gain it. "But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God." (Acts 20:24). The entire purpose of man, why you remain alive is that you may know God and make him known, and in doing so bring praise and glory to his name. My life is of no value and has no reason apart from me finishing the race he has set before me and declaring his name with every breath and fiber of my being. This is the entire purpose of mankind. No matter if you believe the gospel or not, and with this in mind, I long for heaven to put off this earthly body and put on the heavenly one. I long for that as Luke recorded of King David in Acts 13, for that day, when I have served the purpose of God in my life, I may fall asleep and awaken to the marvelous light he has destined me for...oh what a glorious Day. But for now, with all my might I will strive with all my might "that he powerfully work within me" to make the end of all that I do exemplify that to "Live is Christ". Until he calls me home...

Monday, November 2, 2009

Quoth the Raven "Nevermore"

The Raven
"Nevermore". The most famous poem that Edgar Allen Poe would leave behind speaks quite accurately of the state of things. It depicts of a student mourning the loss of a loved one. The raven that appears perched outside his home, startles him and as he confides to this bird the painful loss of never seeing his loved one again, he finds that the ravens only response is a cold "nevermore". This only amplifies his pain, as his is only further confronted with his loss.

This is true for many... but for those in Christ it is not true. "We want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died...Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. So encourage each other with these words." 1 Thess 4

We have this treasure in Jars of clay...though we die, behold we shall live. But for many this is not the case, there is not a hope, this is not their case. God deliver your children, from ourselves...Quoth the Raven, Nevermore...