Archive for the ‘Spiritual Health’ Category

Temporal or Eternal

Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

I’ve been thinking recently about how temporary everything in this world is. We could talk about cars. I sat down the other day and listed out all the cars I have owned and I came up with about fifteen. They come and go. Think of all the trivial things that you have owned that are gone now. Cameras, clothing, furniture, pets; you could go on and on. Everything is temporary.

My recent musings on things temporary however were not regarding things as trivial as those I have just mentioned. Though some might not consider pets trivial, I have had seven dogs in my life and even those weren’t as significant as some other very temporary things in our lives and that’s family members.

Some of you may know that for over two and a half years my wife has been struggling in a fight with cancer. Things have been up and down but through it all we are constantly reminded how temporary life is, in this world. Many of you have probably faced this as well.

I’m reminded of the words of Jesus when, after he had miraculously fed 5000 people, He said, “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life.” Then He added, “I am the bread of life.” (John 6:27 , 35)

Jesus is trying to get us to understand that we too often seek out and place our hopes in things that are temporal. I’m convinced that much of the disappointment we experience in life comes from placing all of our bets for happiness on things that are transient. Then when those things suddenly disappear we are left bankrupt.

The key to enduring peace and joy is to make sure that our hopes for happiness are placed in that which is eternal. The Apostle Peter said, “The Word of the Lord endures forever.” (1 Peter 1:25) That’s one thing that will not disappoint us. Jesus said, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves, treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys.” (Matthew 6:19, 20) The bank of heaven is the only bank that will never go under. His kingdom is the one kingdom that will never end.

We may find some pleasure in cars, cameras, clothing and pets. We might even cling to precious family members but we need to remember that these too, in this world, can be very transient.

As Jesus said, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” (John 4:14)

The Unknown War

Sunday, December 14th, 2008

One of the most foundational truths in the Bible about the universe, is that we humans are caught in the crossfire of a great conflict between good and evil.  Not just caught passively in the crossfire but we have been sucked into the drama of the great battle and the battle has found it’s ground zero right here on this planet.  “And war broke out in heaven; Michael and His angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” (Revelation 12:7-9)

Most of us live our lives completely unaware of what’s going on around us.  I remember when the reality of this first dawned on me.  It had quite an impact on my life.  All of a sudden things that were confusing to me began to make sense.  In my youthful search for meaning in this chaotic world this was like a great light coming on.  The apostle Paul touches on this golden thread of the Bible when he says, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)

The important thing about this truth is not that it is a dogmatic proposition that we can cling to but it is a universal truth that provides a context for meaning in our personal lives.  This truth helps me begin to understand what is going on, not just in the broader chaotic events of the world but in the troublesome events of my own personal lfe.

The Word, The Truth and The Light

Friday, February 22nd, 2008

One of the basic principles of the Christian faith is found in John 17:17 when Jesus says in His prayer to His Father, “Your word is truth.” Then in Psalm 119:105 the prophet David says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” This is no literal light that we would see with our eyes, but a light that shines into the soul and illuminates the dark recesses of the mind. It is a light that if not eclipsed or veiled by pride of opinion will brighten the mind and life as if transported to another level or realm of existence. Those who haven’t experienced it yet can’t understand what this means until they do.

Those who embrace this light and truth are like those of whom the apostle Paul spoke when he said “You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness.” (1 Thessalonians 5:5) These sons and daughters of light are eager to embrace the conviction found in Isaiah 8:20 where it says “To the law and to the testimony if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” That is to say that anyone who doesn’t teach in harmony with the “Law” of Moses as well as the “testimony” of the prophets which give witness to and affirm that Law, doesn’t have light or truth in them. They are children of darkness.

The children of light have a great advantage in being able to know what is light and truth and what is not. Get a Bible and begin to read it and see if you don’t find truth and light. Just don’t let pride of opinion eclipse the light from coming into your soul.

A Theistic and Pan-Theistic Problem

Friday, November 16th, 2007

A Theistic Evolutionist who believes in God but believes that God created through the long process of evolution has some explaining to do. How does one account for death in the world?  If God created the world and used a process in which death was an element then I question what kind of a character God is.  Is He so unfeeling that he would plan to arbitrarily subject His creation, with no choice on their part, to suffering and death?  Is he like a pathological child that tortures animals and seems to have no feeling about it?  I’m not too attracted to Him if he is.

A Pan-Theist (One who believes that all nature is god itself)  has the same problem but maybe even worse.  The Pan -Theist admits that the god of nature has no personality or feeling but is the embodiment of good and evil, life and death with no care about it.  Neither is this kind of God appealing to me.  It’s incongruent with what I see in nature because animals as well as humans are capable of better feelings than this in their own personalities.

The Bible says”the wages of sin is death” ( Romans 6:23)  If death came long before sin was ever in the world then this statement and all the rest of the Bible is called into question.  The Bible says that “through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned”.  (Romans 5:12)

The Bible’s picture of a God who created the world and all the life in it in six days is much more appealing to me and much more consistent with what I see in nature.  Death was never meant to be part of God’s plan in this creation.  Men and animals were created to never die but to live forever according to the Bible’s view of God.  God loves life and so do we.

It is only because man sinned that death entered into the world. Death is man’s fault not God’s.  Unless you hold the philosophy of a Theistic Evolutionist or a Pan-Theist then you can believe that you are not responsible for death but God is.  Could it be that these ideologies have come about because we don’t want to take responsibility for what we have done to this world by bringing death into it.

There is a God

Friday, July 13th, 2007

One truth that I have proven to myself is that there is a God. As I have said before you can’t really prove anything to anyone else, but each of us can only prove something to ourselves. And this is one thing that I am certain of - there is a God. Of course that doesn’t make me very unique because about 92% of the world’s population believes in a God or a supernatural in some sort of way. It just seems to be a conclusion that is easy to come to if you can look around at all. It seems that built within us is this suspicion if not a growing certainty that there is something else besides what we can see.

Only about about 8% of the world population doesn’t believe in God and I bet if you talked to them, in a moment of insight many, even of them, would admit that they weren’t absolutely certain about their non belief in a God. It really takes a lot of effort and narrow concentration to not believe in a God.

The real question that needs to be asked is not if God exists but “What is God like?”. That’s where the really interesting search and research in this life happens. I like this inviting text from the Bible, “And you will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart”. (Jeremiah29:13) I have found this seeking process to be a very stimulating and rewarding effort.