"I have been crucified with Christ and no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Galations 2:20

Tuesday, 5. June 2012
A fresh start

I've decided to move this blog, and you can now find more thoughts about God on www.diabloguewithgod.wordpress.com. Enjoy!

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Friday, 1. June 2012
On being joyful

”As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in His love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” John 15:9-11

How amazing is the love of God, that in an instance, a whole life can be changed, just like that!? How incredible His knowledge of us – though not surprising, since He created us – but that as we writhe in our own dirt, the One who created us and knows our every thought, our comings and goings, even the number of hairs on our heads, should look upon us with a love that goes much deeper than the disgust for our sins and darkness, a love that cannot fail to save us from ourselves.

Perhaps even more amazing is the fact that we are not expected to plod along and accept things as they are. God created us in His own image, and if He is so passionate about saving us, then shouldn’t we be equally passionate about serving Him and EMBRACING each given moment?

Today I have learnt that it is so easy to quench that natural aspect of being human. And though I haven’t learnt anything new as such, I have heard familiar words in rearranged ways that have made me think how simple life can be. Yes, we will have questions about why things happen and we will never be able to grasp some concepts and some ways of life, but the way we use each opportunity should be that of someone who knows that not everything is for us to know.

I have learnt two very important lessons today: firstly, that although God IS more interested in our character than our comfort, being joyful often reflects a character that recognises the value of the life God has given us, the gratitude with which we have the privilege to serve Him and the depth of the wonders God performs in each of our lives. Secondly, that we are not called to live this life on our own, but rather to share certain moments with each other, to tell each other of our burdens, and to let the light that shines in our brothers and sisters in Christ light our way when we have become entangled in habits, doubts and fears.

It is only because of someone special that I am able to write this, because the words that she spoke to me today have tidied that mess, brought order into my house, and clarity to God’s word. And thanks to many other people who carry God’s light am I able to contemplate, again and again, the reason why I myself am called to the responsibility of carrying God’s light within me. What wonders do we see when we pray for a new lesson each day!? Because as we come to understand what God has done for us and is still doing for us, then we can rejoice with a deeper joy, a bolder heart and a stronger spirit (“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction” Proverbs 1:7). Come to think of it, it is a bit like the Olympic torch – to have the privilege of carrying something that is so symbolic must be so fantastic that the torch bearer cannot help but be joyful, and yet at the same time it is a responsibility that can be burdening. If we understand the reason for the responsibility, then the privilege is surely greater? And of course, the torch bearer must live out his purpose – bearing the torch, not considering his responsibilities, although it is expected that he be aware of these.

Sometimes, it seems we get lost on the way to where we think we want to be, only to find that we aren’t sure where we want to be. And where would we be without a God who gives us purpose and a hand to lead us in the way He KNOWS we NEED to be!? He works with us, not regardless of us, and He will surely not disregard what we want. But we need to be willing, and fearful of the One who created us, to whom all the world belongs.

Perhaps this elation is in fact just elation, and not the true joy that comes through delighting ourselves in the Lord (Psalm 37:4). But the Christian life is also a battle, and anything good is worth the fight (Ephesians 6:10-20). “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23.

There is so much I could write; all of a sudden it seems so clear and simple. God did not give us a salvation for those only who could work it out – though we are encouraged to ponder and grow spiritually (“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed – not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence – continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and act in order to fulfil His good purpose.” (Philippians 2:12).

So then, I urge you to look around you, to see the beauty of this life, the beauty in the creation that was created to glorify the One who deserves the praise and worship. For what reason was the earth created? For what reason do magnificent sunsets go unseen, ocean depths left unknown to human knowledge, mysteries unsolved? But God knows everything – “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” (Psalm 24:1).

I’ve realised that it is not for me to know of all His plans for my life. It is not for me to understand what He means or have an answer to every question. My presence, and the fact that I recognise His glory, and the beauty of His creation, and enjoy it as a sign of respect and appreciation, is enough to lift His name up.

Certainly, there will be tough times, lonely times, times of anger and guilt. But from today, I know that anything is possible if we let God work in our lives. “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him” (Psalm 37:7). “Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10).

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Tuesday, 29. May 2012
When God touches our lives

Have you ever wondered what happened in the lives of those who were touched by Jesus? After Jesus had spoken to the Samaritan woman at the well, did she go home and continue sinning (John 4:1-26)? Was the life of the woman who washed Jesus' feet with her own tears and dried them with her own hair transformed from the moment she knew her sins were forgiven (Luke 7:36-50)?
I imagine them going home, still buzzing from their experience, telling people that they had met with the living God.
But then night falls, and the demands that were placed on these women by the men who used them - the men these women LET themselves be used by, are once again too strong for any physical or emotional desire to overcome. Were these women able to turn completely from their sins, keeping that one encounter with Jesus branded on their memories? Or did that memory fade away with time, something of a distant dream? Did doubt creep in, the cold fearful shock of waking up once again to the evil world they lived in, a chill that was too paralysing and painful to fight against?
I imagine the difficulty trying to explain to those who had not met Jesus how precious and valuable life had become to them, the new understanding that to be forgiven meant to seek a new, pure life in the presence of the Lord. I imagine the pain of guilt when they discovered that there is no possible way that we as humans cannot sin.

When God touches our lives, we will be forever condemned in our every sin. How else could it be when the light reveals the shadows and darkness in our lives? We cannot escape being reminded of the power of the Lord once we have realised that He is our Saviour. Perhaps this is what Jesus meant when He commanded that all who wanted to follow Him must deny themselves and take up their cross daily (Luke 9:23). The walk of a Christian is a narrow path (Matthew 7:13); it is the most difficult walk a human being can choose.
Even today, in an age where we have access to a growing number of Bible translations and books explaining what the Bible is telling us, youtube videos and podcasts with teachings on Christianity, we find it no less difficult than the sinners of Jesus' time, when there was no New Testament, and even access to the Old Testament was restricted to certain people.
Perhaps those who met Jesus face to face found it easier to follow his teachings on a daily basis, because they had experienced the simplicity of a grace and mercy that goes against our modern day noise of science and knowledge. Certainly, they would have had their struggles, their own fears and doubts. But their joy at being forgiven seems to have been so overwhelming that they must surely have been touched in such a way that would stay with them for the rest of their lives.

So where is our joy at being forgiven? When will we come back to the simple faith that pleased Jesus so much? His parting words were so often in praise of the people's faith that brought forgiveness. Not once do we read of how Jesus pronounces a person saved because of their knowledge and understanding of the Word. In fact, such understanding can bring an arrogance that hardens our hearts, just like it did to the Pharisees.

I am learning this very lesson. All attempts at understanding our Creator will fail, for He is too mighty and too great to be understood. If we understood Him, there would be no need for that simple faith. We do not need books or podcasts, or teachings to teach us the grace of God. We can learn from them, and develop a knowledge of what God has done in the Bible and in other people's lives, and that in itself may trigger a deeper desire to know more of God, to experience more of Him in our lives, to feel His presence and to admire His forever enduring love. Perhaps we do not even need the Bible for that matter - for it is not an analysis of Himself that God wants, and no analysis will bring us closer to God.
The Bible is a precious gift, but we must be careful lest we worship the search for a better understanding of God over the search for God Himself.

It all boils down to one thing: that simple faith that is seen in the women described above, because they were able to understand the simple truth that they were sinners. Being humble is being simple. And this is all that God requires to be able to forgive us and work in our lives.
If only we could be humble enough to be simple!

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Last update: 5. June, 00:44
August 2018
Last updates
A fresh start
I've decided to move this blog, and you can now find...
by bekks (5. June, 00:44)
On being joyful
”As the Father has loved me, so have I loved...
by bekks (1. June, 01:02)
When God touches our...
Have you ever wondered what happened in the lives...
by bekks (29. May, 01:28)
THE LORD'S PRAYER: Matthew 6:9 - 13 "Our...
by bekks (23. May, 23:44)
Eternal Life
”I have seen the burden God has laid on men....
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