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Archive for March, 2014

Eternal Hope

This life has more than enough trouble, pain, hardship, tests, trials, disappointments and so on.  If there is no eternal life, then these things offer only cruelty for us, for there is ultimately no purpose to them.

But if there is eternal life, then all of these have eternal value because a loving, redemptive God promises us that He will never allow any of these to go to waste (Mt. 19:28; Acts 3:20-21; Rev. 21-22).

Indeed, in this life He will make use of each of those moments to build our character, to help us to help others and to turn our sorrow into joy: “Weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning” (Ps. 30:5). 

But that is just in this life, which is but a handful of years compared to eternity – with no suffering.

Beyond this life, He promises to redeem every moment of pain; every moment of sorrow; every moment that we think is wasted: “so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:7).

The life-giving words and life of Jesus, the empty cross and the empty tomb stand as daily, living reminders that we never suffer apart from what He has already suffered ahead of us (Is. 53:4). 

His suffering was one thing; His resurrection is quite another — for to those who trust Him for what He accomplished on the cross there lies the eternal promise of redemption far beyond our own death.

This is what came to mind a short while ago as I stood in the darkness in my own backyard, unaware of the Celtic cross only a few yards from me, with the soft floodlight shining on it – the quiet, gentle reminder of the Almighty God – using His power for us.

Will you allow Jesus’ death and resurrection to renew you for eternity?

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Please do not read this blog lightly and please make sure you read it in its entirety.  Our culture, so deeply influenced by Hollywood, is broken, sick and dying because man has insisted upon (and gotten his way) himself being the final arbiter over all of life.  But when sinful man sets himself up above God, he quickly comes to ruin and he leads others in ruin as well (see Isaiah 1:1-9).

I believe some of the (predictably) harsh, perverse and blasphemous responses by so many (though not the majority) to the utter surprise of Matthew McConaughey’s acceptance speech at the Oscar Awards Sunday night, are a microcosm of the sheer arrogance of an alarming number of people in our culture today in their hatred of God.

For example, see examples from the link at the end of this blog, or simply google “Matthew McConaughey’s Oscar Acception Speech” and note some of the articles.  Have you asked yourself or wondered, “Where does the hatred for God come from — and why?”  

Jesus perfectly diagnoses this hatred and shows the corrupt heart of man in rebellion against God for what it is in John 3:16-20, despite His clear love for humanity (note the significant contrast between God’s love for humanity and humanity’s hatred for Him between vv.16-17 and vv.19-20): 16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only unique Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 

17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only unique Son of God. 

19 This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.

I write this blog merely to offer what I hope is a compelling insight into much of what ails our culture, but from a heart of grief for its self-deception — NOT with anger or judgment in my heart.  Hence, I do NOT want any comments from people who agree with me by railing against Hollywood or anyone, for that matter– please.

Instead, this blog is also a plea to everyone to look at the truth that comes from Jesus, who alone can diagnose man’s problem and who alone can redeem him to what he was originally created for: To be restored to God in Christ-likeness and his original dignity; to know God and to enjoy Him forevermore.

Here is the link I refer to above: http://twitchy.com/2014/03/03/matthew-mcconaughey-rattles-oscar-crowd-wins-hearts-by-thanking-god-video/

Do you have thoughts or insights you would like to share?  If so, please keep them reasoned and without rancor :-)

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