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Posts Tagged ‘scripture’

We were fortunate to be in the center of the eclipse that crossed the USA this week.  It was surreal seeing the clouds on the northwest horizon suddenly go dark while clouds all around were still brightly lit.  Within a few seconds the light went dim as if a dimmer switch dialed down our celestial light just short of the “off” position.  As I slowly spun around, the “sunrise” visible on all 360 degrees of the horizon was beautiful.  The corona flared from behind the sun while pearls of light trickled through lunar valleys 250,000 miles away.  One hundred a fifty-three seconds after it started, the diamond ring appeared and our eclipse glasses had to go back on.  It was an amazing, and for most of us once-in-a-lifetime, experience.

Since I am in a sling I wasn’t able to do much photography during the eclipse.  However, I found several really good pics on the website BoredPanda.com.  I am attaching ones that I particularly enjoyed.  I hope you enjoy them too.

The hype for the eclipse was tremendous here in the USA, and particularly for those of us  in the “zone of totality”.  The eclipse became a cultural event crossing the US from coast to coast.  It was a nice respite from controversial matters, if only for a day.  One commentator in Oregon even made mention that for some the eclipse was a “spiritual” event.  While I don’t subscribe to the stars dictating things of the spirit, there is precedent of the Lord using the stars and other celestial bodies to point us toward truths that He wants to emphasize.  Here are some truths that yesterday’s eclipse brought to mind.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5
https://www.bible.com/bible/59/JHN.1.5   The sun is hidden from view during an eclipse, but is never put out; likewise, Jesus is the one and only Light of the World.  His enemies try myriad ways to diminish or divert His light, but they cannot.  The light of the sun was darkened for a time, but it was never put out.  All we had to do was wait and trust in the light we couldn’t quite see and shortly the light again shown brightly upon us.

“The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech,
and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words,
whose voice is not heard. Their voice goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.
In them he has set a tent for the sun, which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy. Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
and its circuit to the end of them,
and there is nothing hidden from its heat.” Psalms 19:1-6 https://www.bible.com/bible/59/PSA.19.1-6

The ancients thousands of years ago saw the same sun, moon, and stars we do.  They stood in awe of the marvels in the heavens and realized that the intricacy and order in the universe point to the existence of a creative hand.  The second law of thermodynamics states that all things progress from order to chaos without the input of energy.  There had to be an intelligent designer- creator to achieve the tremendous complexity and perfect inter-relationships we see in creation.

“”Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”  Matthew 24:29-31  https://www.bible.com/bible/59/MAT.24.29-31

There is a day coming when Christ will return.  By His resurrection, Jesus has conquered death, hell, and the grave.  Yet God has chosen to allow life on earth to continue until a set time, a time of His design.  Until then every person has the opportunity to draw close to God or to turn away from Him.  There is a climax to time on this earth and one set of heralds of this end are amazing signs in the heavens.  One of these signs sounds like an eclipse that is witnessed by multitudes.

Those who follow Jesus, who have traded their broken sinful lives for His, will rejoice at His appearing.  Those who have chosen to follow anything other than a relationship with Jesus will be dismayed.  They will mourn, for they have chosen not just the lesser thing, but the wrong thing.

My prayer as I close is that you will be lifted and encouraged by the pics to consider the awesome Creator Who provides such amazing sights.  And as great as His creative genius is, His all encompassing love is even greater.  I encourage you to seek Him while He may be found.

Be blessed and be a blessing today.

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John, the beloved disciple, concludes his gospel with an interesting sentence.  John 21:25 says “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.”  While many of us have a few noteworthy accomplishments and amusing anecdotes from our life, Jesus’ life is the life above all lives to be studied.  Although He lived for a relatively brief period, He is the central figure of history.  The book that describes His life is the all time best-seller.  It is printed in more languages than any other book.  And despite repeated attempts to blot out His story and crush His people, the church continues to grow.  As believers in Jesus we have a responsibility to become followers of Him.  In Matthew 7:21 Jesus said, Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”  How do we do this?  In reality this is a simple, impossible task.  We simply read the book that tells us about Jesus and God’s work in the believers, the bible, and then we do what it says.  It is impossible for us to do this perfectly in our own strength.  That is why Jesus to sent the Holy Spirit to all who would follow Him.

As a young believer I heard someone explain the difference between being intelligence and wisdom.  Intelligence is the ability to grasp and understand large amounts of information.  Wisdom is the ability to apply the information one possesses in the right manner.  I witness this in my work with plant managers and leaders in manufacturing.  The truly special leader is one who possesses a good intelligence and exercises excellent wisdom.  Many are the leaders who are intelligent, but do not walk in the most wise fashion.  In Matthew 10 Jesus gave directions to His disciples as they were being sent out on a brief training mission.  In verse 16 we read  “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”  Jesus does not want us ignorant of His work.  He admonishes us to become as knowledgeable as practically possible, yet walk in humble innocence. 

Our church is a good example of what God can do through a group of committed believers who seek to follow Jesus every way we can.  We are a bunch of imperfect people seeking to know and serve a perfect God.  One of our Pastor’s tag lines is a simple phrase, “Read the Word.  Do what it says.”  By doing that we see people come to faith by the dozens and even hundreds.  We do not have a final count, but as of 9 am on Sunday morning we had already seen over 200 people come to faith in Jesus.  And at the 9:15 service at our campus I saw dozens more come forward and make a profession of faith.  This is a wonderful thing to see.

This is the first vital step into the abundant life Jesus calls His followers into.  Being the first step carries the certainty that there are many steps to follow, too many and too varied to be addressed in a short post.  However the Holy Spirit, who seals every believer at conversion, is able to lead and guide each believer into the life God calls them to.  The Holy Spirit knows what is needed, what is not, where we must go, what we must do.  In short, the Holy Spirit is God living in us to guide us into all that we need to know and do.  The caveat here is that the Holy Spirit is still subject to the will of the believer.  Jesus desires to work in concert with us.  Our willful obedience, not our coerced obedience, is God’s desire.

Today, I encourage you to do a few things that may be new.  First, ask the Lord to instill a fresh desire in you to know Him better.  Second, ask the Lord to show you anything inside of you that is hindering your taking your next step in faith.  Third, read the Word and ask the Lord to help you do what it says.  Fourth, listen and respond to the leading of the Holy Spirit.  He will always lead you in accordance with the Word of God.  In fact the bible and the Holy Spirit are always perfectly in synch.

The Holy Spirit inspired the writers of the bible to put down the words we read.  It is the Holy Spirit indwelling the believer who gives us the ability to read, understand, and follow what it says.  If you feel lead to do something that is contrary to the bible, then stop and seek the Lord’s clarification.  I have had the Lord prompt me to do things that I thought were odd, things that definitely took me out of my comfort zone, things that I normally wouldn’t have thought to do, but I have never had the Holy Spirit prompt me to do something that is against the scripture.  Let this be a safeguard for you.

In the post-resurrection days, the Church literally exploded into life.  People recognized that God had done the most amazing thing the world would ever know.  It remains the pivotal point in all of history.  And people were moved to live in a radically new way, following the teaching of the One who had conquered death and called them to this new life.  We have the opportunity to follow in their footsteps.  Jesus calls us to Himself and then into the unique life He has equipped us for.  Immerse yourself into learning about and following the One who loved you so much He went to the cross on your behalf.

Be blessed today my friend.  And be a Spirit led blessing to others.

 

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