Even so … come

I liked this bit from today’s study: “Remember that you will not always feel what you feel now. The ‘groaning’ will one day give way to glory. The tinge of sadness that is always there in our spirits, what we earlier described as a ‘marred’ joy, is in itself a sign, an ache, a hunger for something better. Up ahead is a home we have never seen but for some reason we cannot stop longing for.”

We, who are the children of God – have within us the fruits of the Holy Spirit – one of which is an incredible joy. However, this fruit of the Spirit is but a foretaste of the perfect joy we will experience in heaven.

Another thought I had when reading today’s study – was; ‘how often do we pray for the return of Jesus?’  I rarely hear the prayer – please come back Lord Jesus – right now!

It’s as if – the wish is for Jesus to come back (Revelation 22:20) – but not right now; maybe tomorrow, when I’ve fixed a few things in my life. (After I’ve put in place a few New Year resolutions – is this your position?)

Your thoughts?

‘He needs no vision’

I liked the story, which Selwyn tells about T.H. Huxley – the eminent British biologist (4 May 1825 – 29 June 1895).

Yet, I think that no matter what people have experienced – we can all depend on the teachings of Jesus as recorded in the Bible.

Consequently, I found this view, expressed by Selwyn in today’s study to be a good summary.

“Personally, I have no doubt about the realiability of Jesus’ words. The One who predicted His own death, moved toward it with great courage, returned from the dead to marshal a group of dispirited disciples who, with the help of the Holy Spirit turned the world upside down, can have my confidence any time.” 

It’s interesting, don’t you think, that as we now turn the page of a new year in many countries (some still have their own special calendars) – a year – numbered from the appearance of our living Christ? Truly, a remarkable outcome for a then, unknown preacher, who died as a young adult on a wooden cross, outside a small city in Israel. He wasn’t an important official – He didn’t become a High Priest in His own country – He wasn’t made a king; and, He didn’t lead a revolt and free His country from Rome’s rule.

Yet, by His death, and as demonstrated by His resurrection – He provided the means by which all men and women could be reconciled to God.  A truly awesome outcome?

A ‘marred’ joy

I liked the following comments made by Selwyn: ” … Whilst here on this planet, no matter how amazing and awesome our spiritual experiences, there will always be a sense that the best is yet to be. …

We must recognise the reality of a core sadness in all of us, ‘a groaning heart’ which will simply not go away until we find ourselves with Christ in eternity. To deny this is, in my view, a denial of reality. … “

Our journey, here on earth is one where we are gradually transformed into the likeness of Jesus – but  we never complete the transformation this side of the grave.

Consequently, even our best  and most intense spiritual experiences –  are less than perfect.

Our love of God drives us forward  – as we constantly allow God’s Spirit to mould us into the person He wants us to be.

Personally, for me, the groaning in my heart is becoming louder as I witness this world drifting further away from God’s ways – there are hard times ahead.

Your views?

The groaning creation

Selwyn looks at Paul’s comment in Romans 8:22: “We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in pains of childbirth right up to the present time.’ and, this pain will continue to the end of time.(My addition.)

When sin entered the world through Adam – the whole of creation suffered – there is something wrong with everything – in this world. Even our human intellect is flawed. We can’t trust our own knowledge or mental skills. We can only have confidence in God’s word as revealed to us by His Spirit.

I think Selwyn, who suffered a lot in his life, presents in today’s study, a realistic view of life here in this world. “Yes, God does bless and God does heal. He delivers and He answers prayer. Sometimes heaven breaks into our world, but until Jesus returns, we can NEVER fully have heaven. Because of the Fall (Adam’s sin) each one of us has to face some suffering and adversity.

Faith is about living in a world where suffering exists but with the hope of a time when suffering will be no more. Here something is wrong with everything; in heaven nothing will be wrong with anything.”

If, followers of Jesus never suffered then we could never fully demonstrate our faith.

The last sentence might seem heartless to those suffering terribly – but its truth can be seen through the cross. Your thoughts?

Keep hope alive!

I agree with Selwyn – we need to keep our eyes focused on heaven and the return of Jesus.

Our lives, here on earth, are temporary – and, in the grand plan of God – represent less than a second as compared to our ‘time’ with Him in heaven.

Consequently, we should treat every opportunity we have to serve Jesus as something special and truly unique – this time of Faith will last like the morning mist. There is a real sense of urgency, in all that we do – because our 80 or so years here on earth is less than a heart-beat in Heaven.

In today’s study, Selwyn looks at 2 Corinthians 5:1, “Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have … an eternal house in heaven … “.

Notice that Paul illustrates that our lives, is something temporary – our accommodation, is for the moment,  a tent. In eternity, we have the permanency of a house – something solid and lasting.

Selwyn states: “Keep always before you the fact that as a Christian this world is not your home, you are simply passing through. This means that whatever happens you have the hope that you are heading for a world where there will never be any more pain or suffering.”

If you love this life and the tent you live in – all its bedrooms,  multiple bathrooms and large garage to house your cars – then, that’s all you may have for all of eternity  – a ruin, a failed hope eroded by greed!

Is that what you want?