Sin

Where, O death, is your victory?

sander-zelhem-green-passage So many things in this life remind me of the mortality of life - the temporal aspects of life.

When fall comes we see decay and death in creation when leaves change colour, wilt, eventually die and fall to the ground. The leaves return to the dust of the earth from where they came from.

Hope

But there is nothing more telling of this when we are confronted by death of a loved one, death of a friend, death of an aquantiance, or death of a stranger. For many death is a sobering and a sad unknown part of the human experience...

Hope in this tangible life is no hope at all. Think about what's all around us and what we experience; people, places, and things fade away and at some point are no more.

Hope is found in the resurrected Jesus, who promises life beyond this tangible kingdom. He promises not just any life, but a better life, a new life where he is making all things new.

Jesus came to bring dead people to life, make the world as it should be, and reconcile people to people and people to God.

The Apostle Paul states:

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." - 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Victory

Through Jesus death, burial, and resurrection he has provide victory over sin, death, and the enemy of humans, Satan. Jesus has provided a way for the mortal to become immortal - the perishible to become imperishable.

"For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. "When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true:

“Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." - 1 Corinthians 15:54-57

Hope is found beyond this fragile life on earth. Let nothing move you to lose heart. Don't be mislead to believe that this life is all there is. Fear and darkness will fade give way to the light of the King of Kings.

I end this blog post with this poem entitled "Behold, I Come" by Annie Johnson Flint:

"Behold, I come"—the darkness lightens Above all sorrow and all fear; Beyond the clouds the Daystar brightens, And our deliverance is near; The groaning earth awaits the hour When all the wrongs of time are past, And clothed with glory and with power, The King of kings shall reign at last.

—Annie Johnson Flint

#ihatecancer

Serious Rant...

LoveGodLovePeopleDoSomething1I read this quote yesterday regarding a message someone heard this past weekend..." a great way to show your love for Jesus; is to spend time with him."

Really? Is this what we've come to in our Christianity?!? The best we can do to show we love the person who sacrificed everything for our filth is to spend some time with him throughout the day. Of course when it is convenient for us.... Is this just an American church issue or does the Church worldwide struggle with "spending time" with Jesus?

PLEASE hear me... I am not belittling the need to walk with Jesus daily. We are called to do that, but it is not culmination of our Christianity it is the genesis. When I read the New Testament, I fail to see how this is one of the options we can show Jesus we love him. This isn't a great "way," it's assumed that we'd spend time with Jesus.

Why do we always have to remind ourselves to love Jesus? Are we not listening to the Holy Spirit that lives inside of us, because He tells us to do more than just spend time with Jesus? I get the need for reminders and instructions on how to love God and stuff. Life has a way of taking its toll on our priorities and such... Hey even the author of Hebrews (A book in the Bible) reminds us to not take our eyes off Jesus. I just feel that our commitment needs to be deeper and move us beyond the stagnation of "needing reminders" to spend time with Jesus.

thegospel

The gospel beckons us to permit God's radical and life-altering grace to transform us. If we fail allow it to happen then we have missed it. Jesus wants so much more for us than to just hangout. He wants us to live a vibrant and exciting life that challenges us and stretches us through seeing God's heart for humanity and all creation.

I just wonder if we are not realizing the depths of what Jesus has done for us. Maybe we aren't realizing the situation we are in because of the consequences of our rebellion and sin. We are in a desperate need to be rescued and God provided one for us in His Son Jesus. His life, death, and resurrection transforms us to be different and act differently. We become the healers, restorers, peacemakers, love-givers, and the truth revealers, empowered by Jesus to carry the redemptive qualities that come from the grace of God to a hurting and broken world (2 Corinthians 5:11-21). Jesus gives us purpose, passion, authority, and dignity.

Homeless DinnerHere's the skinny - Jesus wants more from us than to just spend time with him; he wants us to live sacrificially by loving our enemies, serving the poor to the point that it costs us something personally. He wants us to forgo some special event or after work-hours activity and stay home and hangout with our neighbors. He might even ask us to die for him physically, and most definitely he wants us to die to ourselves daily...

The best way to show Jesus we love him is go find the person we least like or have nothing in common with and wash their fungus infected feet (literally and metaphorically) with love.

Do I sound too judgmental? Come on son! You know I was writing this to myself; I needed to here it. Thankfully we are a people of a second chance. Oh how I need grace daily in my life.