On a quiet Sunday afternoon I find this blog on my bookmark bar and wonder ‘are there any more words to write?’
I despair of novelty. Put down the pen and delete the blog. No more writing or repeating, everyone heard.
Then why does the profoundly simple demand we learn more?
Why did God give unfathomable riches? or show our relationship a mystery?
The engineer attempts the problem, the physicist maps the experiment, and they get to write the journals of evidence and be humbled by the inexplicable of which they have found much proof. Detectives piece together evidence until they see justice, or the entire case revealed. An unresolved, irrelevant case will lie cold in the files.
Our imaginations run wild and ambitious and we still cannot plumb these riches of Christ. God’s design is to teach; involve the skeptic, make him taste as it were on his own tongue the goodness of God. The skeptic -slowly losing his identity- begs for more and God gives him a teaspoon. The poor fellow is flabbergast as the Good Master shows him goodness ad infinitum. The point being, we cannot quantify anything about God. What small measures the finite owns to testify of infinity!
Five thousand eight hundred and forty-four miles beyond the continental edge of my beloved homeland I fly, hours into the night, overtaking the sunrise. Large clusters of beaming lights proudly display cities I’ve only imagined. Dublin, Ireland. Paris, France. Frankfurt, Germany. Sarajevo, Bosnia.
From darkness into beam of morning, we welcome day seven hours early. Stewardesses bustle to introduce breakfast before our descent into the fertile crescent. Clouds float and lift and the veil is parted. Stunning green! Such deep-hued seas! This world is fresh and alive. I gawk with amazement over shoulders and through windows as the plane begins to level and slow.
Throughout the night I observed the flight path, and the map agreed, we had arrived. As landing gear made contact with foreign pavement, I widened my bleary eyes. New smells, both disagreeable and equally pleasant greeted me. A strange cacophony of language intrigued me. I was flustered to communicate with only signals and smiles.
Our tour group, friends old and new, gathered at the edge of border control. Our trip was over and we were eager for the adventure!
JESUS: Author and Perfecter of our faith, Who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of GOD.
Have you forgotten the exhortation which addresses you as sons? –“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the LORD, nor lose courage when you are punished by Him. For the LORD disciplines him whom He loves, and chastises every son whom He receives.”
For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant; later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. Strive for peace with all men, and for the holiness without which no one will see the LORD. See to it that no one fail to obtain the grace of GOD; that no “root of bitterness” spring up and cause trouble, and by it the many become defiled.
You have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living GOD, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to a Judge who is GOD of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to JESUS, the Mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks more graciously than the blood of Abel. See that you do not refuse Him Who is speaking.
Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe; for Our GOD is a consuming fire.
What are the characteristics of a good Christian work? There are good works; expressly, humanistic qualities of a ‘good citizen’. Then there is the working power of God. What defines the work of Christ in ‘good citizens’ of the immoveable, unshakable Kingdom of heaven?
The work of Christ is always done in unmistakably God kinds of ways, not always boisterous, but always outside of human capabilities. We are expected to love our neighbors, so we faithfully bake them Christmas cookies for years, but can we show them God? When the human will in us is exhausted is precisely where God’s strength is made plain, both to whom we respond and to us.
Anyone at rest in God has “ceased from his own works” (Hebrews 4:10). For it is indeed “God Who is at work within us both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13)!
All commandments in the Bible are ludicrous to the person trusting in himself. Knowing my humanness, it is staggering to know what God expects from us, and I despair, “This is impossible!” and God says “Yes, that’s right.” And I realize again the supreme value of Christ’s life.
God must enjoy building. Atlars, tabernacles, foundations, cornerstones and astonishingly us- we are His building. Patriarchs built Him altars, kings built Him temples and He builds us the temple of Jesus Christ “who is the High Priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle“.
Consider the spaces God filled for man.
Eden. Genesis 2:8.
Sinai. Exodus 3:5.
Shiloh. Judges 18:31.
The tabernacle. Exodus 40:34.
The Israelites understood their unique position as God’s people, it required them to be ritually pure and separate from foreigners.
As well the church, being under construction by the Spirit with Christ ‘s preeminent role of cornerstone and fully occupied by God.
But it’s in the human heart, occupying its mind, enthralling its soul and preserving its strength; it’s here God dwells, completely in the life of Christ, in this way fulfilling His promise:
“Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore” (Ezekiel 37:26).
Tomorrow is the official American day to stuff ourselves with turkey and all such deliciousness,
But this is the song that keeps singing to me ::
Jesus, Lord of Heaven,
I did not deserve
the grace that You have given
and the promise of Your word.
Lord, I stand in wonder
of the sacrifice You made
with mercy beyond measure.
My debt You freely paid.
Your love is deeper than the oceans,
higher than the heavens,
reaches beyond the stars in the sky.
Jesus, Your love has no bound
So may my life ever continue in His praise!