Galatians 2:20 – I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (NIV 1978)
My Musings – Our life is not our own to live any way that we choose. We were bought with a price and should live our lives for the one who bought us. The unfortunate reality is that we are able to choose how we live, and we often make wrong choices.
My Advice – Live a life of faith. This is how you give to God. He gave so much for you.
1 Corinthians 15:17 – If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. (NIV 1978)
My Musings – The resurrection is essential to the Christian faith. If Christ was not victorious over death, then we certainly cannot be either. But He was and we are.
My Advice – Many people will try to water down the Gospel by saying Jesus is not really God in the flesh, He is not the only means of salvation or that He really was not raised from the dead. Do not believe them. All these are essential to your faith and hope in life eternal.
Psalms 39:4-7 – “Show me, O LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man’s life is but a breath. Man is a mere phantom as he goes to and fro: He bustles about, but only in vain; he heaps up wealth, not knowing who will get it. “But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.” (NIV 1984)
My Musings – An old year is fully spent and a new year has barely begun. Traditionally, a time of reflection on what has transpired in the past and what the future might hold. I do not recall when I began to think of time as fleeting. When I was younger, I rarely had such thoughts. But now I am at that age, where my own father has passed and my youngest son is beginning to have his own thoughts on “where time goes.” Maybe I began having those thoughts when my oldest son died before reaching his tenth birthday, and I had my first real taste of how fragile life on this earth really is. And, as the Apostle Paul said, “if only for this life we have hope…we are to be pitied (1 Corinthians 15:9, NIV 1978).”
But our hope is not only for this life. It is for forever. For elsewhere Paul wrote, “brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, NIV 1984).” And what an encouragement it is.
My Advice – Do not “grieve like the rest of men” who see their lives as slipping away, with no hope beyond the grave. Because our hope is in the Lord Jesus Christ who conquered the grave for us. Rather grieve for those who do not have such hope, and pray that they may find that hope by trusting in Christ before it is too late.
John 4:50 – The man took Jesus at His word and departed. (NIV 1978)
My Musing – A couple of things stand out. He took Jesus at His word on a big request. He did not ask for some kind of assurance or sign. He did not ask that Jesus go back with him. He simply believed and returned to his home.
My Advice – You can always take God at His word. The “trick” is in knowing when He is “speaking” to you. The better your relationship, the better you will be at knowing.
Mark 10:15 – “I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the Kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” (NIV 1978)
My Musings – The faith of children is amazing. They have not yet allowed their faith to be polluted and diluted by the so-called ‘wisdom” of this world, which God calls foolishness.
My Advice – Never allow yourself to lose the childlike faith that you began your life in Christ with. Intellectual attacks against the simplicity of the Gospel are common and sometimes compelling (at least on the surface). But in the end it comes down to faith.
From the Mind of Webster
• Warn – to give notice beforehand of danger or evil.
• Holy Fear – reverential awe having a divine quality.
• Condemned – adjudged unfit.
• Heir – one who inherits or is entitled to succeed.
• Righteousness – morally right or justifiable.
[T]he LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time [full of violence and corrupt]. The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain … “I am grieved that I have made them.”
But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God. God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth. So, make yourself an ark … I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish. But I will establish my covenant with you.” Noah did everything just as God commanded him. The LORD then said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation. Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made.” Continue reading “When Faith Seems Foolish”