Sunday, August 26, 2012

Christ empowered by God, has life to give to those who believe in Him.

John 5:19-26   So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly,(two truly's mean, pay attention, this is important) I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel. For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.
 “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.
 (John 5:19-29 ESV

This is a truly amazing passage of scripture.  A very clear statement that he, Jesus, was the son of  God and that all he did was taught to him by the Father, and that he had a divine  purpose on earth.  No soft ball statement this. 

Also,  three times in this short passage  Jesus says truly, truly.  He is  making strong and very important points.  It means 'pay attention'.

Starting in verse 19 Jesus states: he can do nothing of his own accord - he can only do what he sees the Father doing
The son isn't able to act out in any way, apart from the Father. As a human he could have chosen as Adam and Eve did, to act independently of God, but  he chose to be obedient to the Father.   

We too have choices.   We think we don't because we are so used to doing what we want to.  But, how come we know, during or after the fact that it was not an act of righteousness before the LORD.  I believe it's because he spoke into our hearts before the act but we chose to not listen.  For me this becomes very clear in my driving.  When I speed, I excuse myself with, "everybody does it"  or "even the police don't stop you for only 5 miles over the posted speed limit".  I'm not talking about going fast briefly to pass a car - I'm talking about my every day battle to go the speed limit.  I argue it's not that important.  But why then does the LORD keep touching my conscience in this area - about obeying the laws of the government over you.   We  hear from the Father through his word in particular, and in many places of our own lives know what he desires and  chose to make it unimportant.

We, like Christ are  loved by the Father.  I believe as our knowledge of God grows, so our love grows and as our love grows, we see, as Christ did, God's ways and desires for our lives.  And as we walk in those ways we learn even more of his heart.

Then, Christ says that the Father is not the judge.  That all judgment has been given to the Son.  This really hit me.  We / I tend to think of the Father as being the one who sits with a stone face, waiting to zap us for sins, large and small. 

In fact, Christ himself spoke about the fact that the Father gave all judgment to him.  This is the Christ the world talks of as a 'good man', or 'what would Jesus do' talking about good works,  or the meek and mild man of Galilee.  But in truth, Christ is judge

Why?   That all may honor the son.  This is clearly not 'all roads lead to Rome', or 'Just live a good life, that is all that is necessary.

Salvation, from Christ's own words is:   Whoever  hears  my word,  and  believes in Him who sent me,  has ETERNAL life.  That one does not come into judgment but passes from death to life.  This life is granted because the Son was given life and judgment in the Father.

For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself

 As the Father has life in himself.  What a powerful truth.  This is what makes God God   Having life in himself.

It's wasn't a bit of nothing that became a tiny molecule, which suddenly, spontaneously 'has life" and spontaneously mutates up and up 'til bang, a world is here and is inhabited by a life that somehow grew from nothing to something?  How stupid can one get.  All that convoluted thinking to avoid having to bow the knee to our Lord God and King.

Life is only granted us by the God with life in himself, who gives life.  WOW

God extended/granted  his life to his only begotten son, Jesus Christ.  His son shows us how we too may have eternal life, and opens the way to make that life possible.

Nothing else/ no one else has life in themselves.  We don't even have control over the life in us.  Yes, we can chose to end the life of God in us, but it wasn't a life we put there, it is the very breath of God we extinguish.  But even then,  in all our effort to circumnavigate God's life in us, we, created and given life by him will still face him in judgment.  

All life is a gift from God.  But he takes it a step further and grants us a way to have eternal life ourselves, through the hearing and receiving of his WORD!

Our God is truly an awesome God!

Friday, August 3, 2012

God's purpose and plan

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the
shadow of death, you are with me
A Place of Healing; wrestling with the Mysteries of suffering, Pain and God's
Sovereignty. The latest book by Joni  Eareckson Tada.

I had never read any of Joni Tada's books but had heard her story and been moved by it. 

Being personally in a season of discomfort, not pain, just common or garden itching. But, an itching so severe that I've been removing skin, making myself bleed, and still needing to scratch.  I have come to understand Job scratching himself with pot shards. 

I have prayed earnestly for healing, and have been prayed for by others. Though there was a change, it was not instantly healed. Part of the whole story is I have struggled with the LORD's NO answer. I knew it was not that it was an unheard prayer.

In the midst of feeling sorry for myself, for whatever I tried to to tell myself that was the bottom line, the Lord brought to my attention this book by Joni Tada.  Evey page has challenged me personally.  Not because I have suffered anything so deeply difficult, but because it has opened my eyes in a new way to the LORD's working and purpose in our lives - not to give us a life of comfort and ease, free of all trouble, but a life shaped for his purpose and glory.

I thank the LORD that Joni Tada wrote this book and then he drew it to my attention.  I needed to hear/read the message of the LORD through Joni Tada.

This below is not the main message of the book, but is a snapshot to me of how the LORD's purposes can be accomplished as we allow him entrance to work his plan for us into our lives.

A reported story from Jack Reimer, a syndicated columnist.  He was writing about violinist Yitzhak Perlman.  He stated that Perlman had Polio as a child and walks with crutches and braces on both his legs.

When he plays on stage, instead of being seated when the curtain lifts he chooses to walk across the stage, and when he reaches his chair he sits, places his crutches on the floor, removes the braces from his legs.  Then he bends down and picks up his violin and nods to the conductor to indicate he is ready.

In 1995 during a concert, a string on Perlman's violin suddenly snapped.  Everyone in attendance heard it and wondered how he would handle it.  Perlman closed his eyes, and after a moment of reflection, signaled the conductor to begin again.

Though anyone who knows music understands that it's impossible to play a symphonic work with just three strings, Perlman was undaunted.  Apparently you could see this superb artist actually recomposing the piece in his head as the concert proceeded, and inventing new fingering positions to coax never before heard music from his three-string violin.
Those who were there say that, after the applause died down, he smiled, wiped the sweat from his brow, and said in a soft reverent tone,

"You know, sometimes it is the artist's task to find out how much music you can still make with what you have left."