Category: <span>Suffering</span>

“Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God”, Hebrews 4:14 I’m listening to a song entitled “Almost Home.” Yes us believers are almost home. However, Jesus is passed into the heavens, already. Oh, our Savior and destiny-carrier is seated in Heaven at the Father’s right hand. We, in Him, are there with Him. Nevertheless, we must put on our helmet, “the hope of salvation” — because we still must endure hardship as good soldiers of Christ down here. “Let us hold fast our profession.” The verse completes itself with, “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities;” Isaiah 63:9 reiterates,  “In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them,…

…For those who are in Christ Jesus. The King James writers saw fit to add the words, “who walk not after the flesh…” This addendum is not in the original text. Why? Because Paul meant what he said, “there is now therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus — period.” We must see that the unconditional statement, “no condemnation,” provides the only deliverance from an indwelling sin principle, a Law principle, an impotent “will” and a slavery to it all. Paul’s answer, and ours, is the miracle of Jesus Christ our Lord. Yes, Jesus alone solved the “sold under sin” dilemma as He became sin, 2 Corinthians 5:21, took it to its death and burial, rose out of death, ( sin did not revive,) and offered to us “newness of life” and all this “in Christ.” Our answer to the frightful double-minded “willing to do good, yet…

When the details of life toughen, when serving God waxes near impossible, when crushing blows penetrate the consciousness — we approach a strange phenomena — the, insuperable, unattainable, undoable, unrealizable, unsolvable,  place of utter dependency on God — A time and judgement that authoritatively requests, even demands, a relinquishing of all self-help — self reliance, control and power of will and exercise. We die. For all practical purposes — yes we find ourselves impotent, paralyzed. O, happy day. Imagine having all senses inoperable. First we lose hearing, the world stops. Then the eyes go blind — we take a seat. A panic settles in. A sense of smell does not help us now, our discerning taste buds bland out. We reach our hands to touch or feel, we engage emptiness. We cannot speak. But, God’s presence, which had never left us, now gains pre-eminence on the throne of our world. He speaks, He listens,…

The book of Ecclesiastes reminds us in 10:1, “Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savor: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honor.” What does it mean to have reputation? The Latin root tells us “reconsideration.” “to think again.” Webster’s says, “overall quality or character as seen or judged by people in general. b: recognition by other people of some characteristic or ability.” So, reputation or “my qualifications as judged by others,” can be sullied by a dead fly? Yes, a Kamikaze fly could destroy a good perfume, causing a stench. But, Jesus made Himself of no reputation. He emptied Himself of qualifications; those judged by Men, but also real ones. see Philippians 2:7 What does that look like? Sounds like He refused to cling to an external judgement which stood on shaky ground, but also gave up…

From an  disturbing article on the meaning of life; New York Times: “when the Hubble space telescoped (sic) pointed to a black spot in the sky about the size of an eraser head for a week it found 30,000 galaxy(sic) over 13 billion years old with many trillions of stars and many many more trillions of inferred planets. (So) how significant are you?  … You are not a unique snowflake, you are not specials (sic), you are just another piece of decaying matters (sic), on the compost pile of this world. Nothing of who you are and what you will do in the short time you are here will matter. Everything short of that realization is vanity. So celebrate life in every moment, admire its wonders, (and) love without reservation.” What? Really? The conclusion does not match the premise! Tim Keller addresses the discrepancy “…given the secular view of the…

Psalm 51:17  The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. Proverbs 11:2  When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom. There are no heroes amongst the redeemed. These are just the redeemed, a passive position, implying that some other did the heroic work. Yes Christ, hero, Christ Savior, Christ Redeemer. Heros — “(in mythology and folklore) a person of superhuman qualities and often semidivine origin, in particular one whose exploits were the subject of ancient Greek myths — A person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities — The chief male character in a book, play, or movie, who is typically identified with good qualities, and with whom the reader is expected to sympathize.” Far from heroes, nevertheless, we have been placed in Christ, our hero.  Yes, baptized into…

Abraham’s story with Isaac has always miffed me. Why did God ask the elderly Abe to sacrifice his son? — the son of promise. Is there a mystery to be unveiled or a metaphor to be explained? It doesn’t seem possible that Abraham would comply to this “outrageous” demand of God, not to mention how different God, now, must have appeared to Abe. Was it a test? Yes it was. Was there a lesson to be learned? Yes there was. In a previous episode leading up to chapter 21, Abraham had received a promise from God of a ” son of his old age.” Tired of waiting,  Abe tried to produce the promised child through a handmaid of his wife. Dishonoring God in unbelief, the promised couple, Abe and Sarah, made a mess of things. Ishmael, “God will hear,” represented the anti-promised child. Born in the interim of waiting for…

When I think of a person, fellow human sufferer; I well-up with love and compassion. So also did Jesus Matthew 9:36 tells us, “But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.” And again in Matthew 14:14  “And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.” Also in Matthew 15:32  “Then Jesus called his disciples unto him, and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way.” New testament “compassion” was taken from a Greek word relating to our English word “spleen.” Spleen works in a man as a blood filter and also regulates the immune system…

Jean Valjean, a vagabond in the classic “Les Miserables” was a just released prisoner in midlife. “Nineteen years in French prison have left him rough and fearless. He walked for four days in the Alpine chill of nineteenth century southeastern France, only to find that no inn will take him, no tavern will feed him.” Max Lucado tells the story in “Grace.” “Finally he knocks on the door of a bishop’s house. Monseigneur Myriel is seventy five years old. Like Valjean he has lost much. The revolution took all the valuables from his family, except some silverware, a soup ladle, and two candlesticks.” “Valjean expects the religious man to turn him away. “ “But the Bishop is kind. He asks the visitor to sit near a fire.” “He explains, ‘This is not my house, but the house of Jesus Christ.’””…  They dine on soup and bread, figs, and cheese with…

On this years Labor Day, I can only think of one laborer; our Merciful Savior. He came in the volume of the book to do the will of His Father. He finished the work that was set before Him, and faced a bloody cross and death. Do any of our “works” compare with His? His was “vicarious.” “performed or suffered by one person as a substitute for another or to the benefit or advantage of another.” Not like working for our families, friends, or government which deserves commendation when we do it, but He stood-in as a substitute for a deeper need, the redemption of our fallen souls. Without His work, a sacrifice which led to His death, all of our works would merit little — a few dollars and perhaps a good night’s rest. Yes, a few hours of peaceful mind often appears inviting, as life offers little rest.…