Is Resurrection Life just for dead people?

9 04 2018

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Recently one of our men joined me in viewing the movie “Paul the Apostle”. I can’t say that this film should be on your “must see” list but there are some things about it that may be of interest to some.

The film portrays a dark and fearful time in early Christianity near the end of the first century. Emperor Nero of Rome was making it his mission to stamp out the followers of Christ by capturing any Christian he could and making human torches out of them at night. It is in this environment that Paul himself was a prisoner, waiting to be tried as a terror to Rome. According to the film, Nero had conveniently blamed him for the fire that nearly destroyed the city in 64 AD.

The key point of the film is about suffering and death especially as a martyr. In fact, it is dedicated to the many Christians who have been martyred over the years in countries around the world. The film’s writers created an interesting plot through which Paul and Luke impacted their Roman captors with the great truth of the gospel – resurrection life. The last scenes are especially touching with Paul and the other martyrs being seen again with Christ.

But a question remains, why is the resurrection life only seen as after death? Read the rest of this entry »





Stephen Hawking – conflicted genius

25 03 2018

 

HawkingOne of the great mathematical geniuses of modern time died recently. Having been diagnosed with a form of ALS at 22, Stephen Hawking wasn’t supposed to live another 54 years. But he defied the odds and died March 14th, ironically on Einstein’s birthday and Pi Day.

Having lived much of his life as an invalid Hawking made an interesting statement concerning his human condition. He said, “I want to show that people need not be limited by physical handicaps as long as they are not disabled in spirit.” He also stated what he believed as to the existence of a divine creator. He declared, “There is no god. I am an atheist.” Isn’t this a contradiction?

While Hawking may have had a different definition for man’s spirit he evidently did recognize there is something intangible in a man that can influence the quality of his life. Man can withstand many challenges but if he does not have a good spirit, his life is unsustainable.

What is the human spirit? Aside from whatever Hawking believed, the spirit of man is the nonphysical, supernatural reality of his being. It has no beginning and no end. It is the essence of his life and without it there is no life. If the spirit leaves the body, it dies.

But where does the human spirit come from? From the creation story we see it was God who breathed into the “dust of the earth” or dirt, and the result was a living being manifesting the image of God Himself. Every human born after Adam is then God’s Spirit living in a house made of dirt.

This makes man the best example for the existence of God. He is the best manifestation of the Spirit of God. We could say that without God man has no life, he could not exist. Man is not just dirt, or physical matter, he is foremost a spirit being.

It would appear that Hawking was conflicted in his understanding of the spiritual reality and of God. He did prove we can discover much about the physical nature of the universe, but the reality of the spiritual world was another thing. We know that life is not just about the physical but more about the spiritual. As Hawking professed, it is what transcends our physical handicaps. Perhaps Hawking realizes there is a God by now.









The Man with the Little Heart

28 02 2018

thPKYCC5UMGrowing up in the Christian religion I was taught that Jesus wanted to live in my heart and that I just needed to invite Him in, which of course I did. I was also taught that my heart was just a part of my life and a small one at that. This lead to the idea that there were basically two parts to my life, my heart, where Christ came to dwell, and the rest of me where He didn’t live. From then on it was a quest to allow Him to have the rest of me- all the other “hidden” places. The teaching, “less of me, more of Christ” became my motivation. But, somehow, I could never really know when that was taking place or if it had ever really happened.

First of all, what does God say about my body? He says it is actually three things: body, soul, and spirit (1 Thess. 5:23). In our logical, rational minds, shaped by quantity and space, we have interpreted that to mean “parts” as in parts of machine or of a greater whole. But, how can you quantify the spirit or soul? The spirit and soul are immaterial, they are not quantifiable. There is no size that defines the spirit or soul of man or the Spirit of God. The spirit is boundless, immeasurable. It is not a part of me but another whole expression of myself. God likens it to another body, our spiritual body (1 Cor. 15:40). When our natural body dies we live fully in our spiritual body, which has been there all along, living in and with our natural body.

Read the rest of this entry »





The Greatest Love Story

1 02 2018

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My wife and I have gotten into watching Hallmark movies lately. Yes, they are sappy, sanitized, and predictable but overall they are enjoyable wholesome  entertainment. Each story is a creative variation on the same plot- a man and a woman discover love and unity in their hearts for each other. It’s the oldest and most mysterious story in the universe.

Each time I watch one I am reminded of that divine truth. The greatest lover in the universe is of course God. He is consumed with love for you and me. In the form of His Son, Jesus, He entered the earth seeking a wife with whom He could become one flesh. His love ignites our love as His church and we embrace in a romantic union (Eph 5:31,32).

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? A man leaves his parents, joins with a woman and the two become one, sharing everything in life together. They begin to enjoy a oneness that not even they can describe. Mysteriously, they know each other’s hearts, thoughts, desires, joys, and pains. They experience what the Bible calls being “one flesh” Gen. 2:24; Eph. 5:30,31). As Blake Shelton sings in his current country hit,
I’m talkin’ you and me with the same street name,
same last name, same everything,
It’s a real thing, a how I feel thing.. 1

This is the mystery of our life in Christ. We are joined with Him and are the “same everything” together. The greatest romance story of the universe is being told through our lives with Him, we in Him, He in us, as us. Never consider that you are just friends, you and Christ. He is not just someone you go to for help or look to for strength. He didn’t just die for you, He came to be one flesh with you, to live in you. He wants to live out that great story of love together with you and Him, forever.

Try on a Hallmark or any other romance movie and see if it doesn’t warm your heart and remind you of the story of the Divine Romance. The ending is always the same beginning.

May you discover a new love and union with Jesus. – His Valentine.

1. From “I’ll Name the Dogs”, Blake Shelton, Texoma Shore, 2017.





Be A Better Person in 2018?

7 01 2018

New-Years-ResolutionsIt’s once again that time in the new year when people think about goals and resolutions. On a TV news story one night during the holiday I watched as a reporter cited a recent poll where  57% of people surveyed indicated their primary goal for 2018  was to be a better person.  The reporter asked a local psychologist as to how people could expect to attain this goal. The psychologist’s answer was to basically “find what sets your heart on fire and build on that”. This would lead, she believes, to becoming a better person.

It is certainly true that our hearts are central to our lives. Jesus said that it is “.. from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, ..(Mark 7:20-22) so it is certain that any desired improvement must begin with our hearts. If we expect to see any positive behaviors in our lives then it appears that our hearts must be changed.

Read the rest of this entry »





Have you seen God?

20 12 2017

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The greatest wonder of Christmas was that God revealed Himself in human flesh. The world got to see who God is. No man has seen God at any time …but, (Jesus) declared Him.”(Jn 1:18 NKJV). Jesus also stated, “If you have seen me you’ve seen the Father.” (Jn 14:9).

But the human Jesus is now gone yet God still wants to be seen in the world. His plan from the beginning was to have many “sons” or manifestations of Himself, just like Jesus (Rom.8:29). So, that mysterious wonder is still happening today as He, God, the Spirit of Christ, is revealed in our human flesh. (Col. 1:27, 3:4) We are the “declarations” of the Father. We are Christ in the flesh. Now the world can see God again because we are His flesh and bones. (Eph. 5:30)

As a Spirit, Christ cannot be seen or felt. He desires to be seen in this world today but to do that He needs human flesh. He can only be seen and felt as He lives in and as you and me.
John states, “As He is so are we.” (1 Jn 4:17)

Is God concerned that our weak, imperfect flesh of humanity cannot properly reveal Him? What about the weak and frail human flesh of the man Jesus? Was it perfect enough to display the glory of the Father? When Jesus was hungry, tired, tempted, angry, discouraged did that show the Father? in every way Jesus was able to say, “He who has seen me has seen the Father.”(Jn 14:9) He says to us that we are members of HIS body, flesh of HIS flesh, bone of HIS bones..(Eph 5:30, 1 Cor 12:27).

How does Jesus live today? He needs my human flesh. He needs my flesh to be manifested to the world. Without human flesh, how would anyone see Jesus? He is not concerned that my flesh, His flesh is weak, frail, imperfect because that is how He is best seen – swallowing up those weaknesses and mistakes with His grace and mercy. He wraps up everything in Himself (2 Cor. 4:7).

Is this hard to comprehend, just not true or even blasphemous? It is what God says. Will we believe what He says and see ourselves the way He says?

“Let it be to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38).

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What do you see?

30 11 2017

No doubt you have been troubled by what is happening in our world today. There seems to be no end to the crisis, tragedy, and death. It appears that evil is everywhere and our world is collapsing all around us in hate and violence. In order to not be overtaken by what we are seeing it is vital that we remember a very important fact about our lives. Since our new birth in Christ, we have a whole new way of observing the world around us. Before being born again we could only see with our natural, limited eyes. But, now, in Christ, we have the option to see with eyes in the Spirit. – to see “behind the scenes” so to speak.

Eye-HealthAnd here is why it is so important to see in this new way. Read the rest of this entry »








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