Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Best Poem in the World

Here's a cute poem that was sent to me by a close friend who hasn't yet seen that God will reconcile all to him eventually ..... or is my friend trying to say something to me by sending the poem?   What do you think?

He called it the BEST POEM IN THE WORLD

I was shocked, confused, bewildered
  As I entered Heaven's door,
Not by the beauty of it all,
    Nor the lights or its decor.

But it was the folks in Heaven
    Who made me sputter and gasp--
The thieves, the liars, the sinners,
    The alcoholics and the trash.

There stood the kid from seventh grade
    Who swiped my lunch money twice.
Next to him was my old neighbour
    Who never said anything nice.

Herb, who I always thought
    Was rotting away in hell,
Was sitting pretty on cloud nine,
    Looking incredibly well.

I nudged Jesus, 'What's the deal?
    I would love to hear Your take.
How'd all these sinners get up here?
    God must've made a mistake.

'And why is everyone so quiet,
    So somber - give me a clue.'
'Hush, child,' He said, 'they're all in shock.
    No one thought they'd be seeing you..'

Blessings, Barry

Friday, August 17, 2012

That Wonderful Verse ... again

1 Timothy 4 :10 is a great verse, one of my favourites.  I don't think I have blogged about it for a couple of years, so please indulge me.

Paul says in writing to Timothy ...
"That is why we labour and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Saviour of all people, and especially of those who believe."
So often I am told that the bit that comes after the last comma is a denial of the bit that comes before it, so the verse "clearly" says that only believers will be saved.

I confess that I am only a mathematician, but my English grammar skills are good enough to see how ridiculous that sort of interpretation is.

I say to anyone who will listen ...
"I love icecream, especially when it's chocolate coated."
Am I saying that I only like chocolate coated icecream? 
Of course not! 
I am just saying that I like chocolate coated icecreams best.

I have a friend who is mad keen on Holdens and thinks they are all "nice" cars, especially the Calais models.
Is he saying he only likes the Calais models? 
Of course not! 
But there is something special about those models that really appeals to him.

So what is Paul saying in his salvation statement to Timothy?
God saves all people, through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross of Calvary, and will be given timeless life at the end of the ages. 
Believers have something extra, something special.  
They are given their life now, during the ages, starting from the time they are given the faith to believe, so they can play their part with God in implementing his plan for the ages.

Aren't we so privileged to have been given faith in our lifetime on this planet?  We have been chosen NOW.
And doesn't that give us a huge responsibility?  
We have "ruling" or kingdom work to do now, and in the age to come.  We have been chosen to partner with God in implementing his plan to bring salvation to all.

And linking this thought with yesterday's kingdom ruling thoughts ..... to be ruling WITH and FOR him means he needs to be ruling IN us.

Blessings to all you chosen, wonderful bloggers, 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Kitchen Sink

One of the mysteries of the Christian faith that many find difficult to understand is how we can be IN Christ and, at the same time, Christ can be IN us.
The Bible declares both these situations to be true.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus
[Romans 8 : 1]

To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory
[Colossians 1 : 27]

A simple illustration in our familiar physical world will help us understand this spiritual reality.
Suppose you fill your kitchen sink with water and then place a cup into it.
Is the cup in the water or is the water in the cup?
Unless you live in a different world than I, you would have to answer 'yes' and 'yes.' 
Both are true and at the same time.  When you immerse a cup in the water, water fills the cup.
When we are immersed in Christ, we are filled with him at the same time.

I was reminded of this illustration early this morning when I was awoken for a two hour lesson on the kingdom of God.  (It's obvious God lives in the timeless realm of eternity and doesn't realise I should still be asleep at 4 am - LOL)
Bottom line: 
Being in the KOG means ruling with and for God
being ruled by God at the same time. 
(me being in the water means the water being in me)

I can't be ruling for God if I am not being ruled by God !!

Simon the Sorcerer had this pointed out to him by Philip as I mentioned yesterday, and that was the conclusion God reached in his lesson to me early this morning.

I found that both helpful and challenging.  Isn't that usually the way with God?
Blessings, Barry

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Trusting God

Although I finished writing Chapter 2 a long time ago, I am far from finished learning about the sovereignty of God.

One of my "side" studies recently has been about the kingdom of God, and I have been asking the Lord to show me if the kingdom (the millennium) has already commenced or is still in the future.

In the process of this investigation I have been considering the position that the kingdom of God is not a physical thing to be set up somewhere, sometime, but is God's rule in the hearts of people who are committed to him and who trust him.  And it is this kingdom that will spread and cover the earth "as the waters cover the sea" as all people are eventually reconciled to God.

An application of this definition of the kingdom is our willingness to be content with whatever God sends us - good or bad - because of our willingness to trust God's love and sovereignty.
Indeed it could be a good test of whether we are "in the kingdom" or not.  To be worried about anything suggests we are not trusting God in that thing.  And I am so guilty of that - not trusting that God is sovereign in ALL my circumstances.

God loves me and will never send me wrong things.  They may be things I do not like, be extremely unpleasant or cause great hardship, but they are never wrong if they come from a loving God who only wants the best for me and is planning to make me Christ-like.

Whatever God sends me will be beneficial - if I allow it to do the thing God designed it to do.
Remember my translation of 1 Cor 10 : 13 that I shared a couple of months ago?
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind.  And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But when you are tempted, he will also provide the planned outcome (or sequel) so that you can endure it. [BSV]
It is becoming a key verse in my life.

The greatest evil ever was the murder of Jesus Christ, God's only begotten Son.  
But look at the benefit to the whole world that evil brought!

Hope you're learning to trust God in ALL things quicker than I am.
Blessings, Barry