April 5, 2016
Over the 24 years I worked at BBC/Summit University, I went to a lot of chapels.
This morning I was browsing through some notes taken in chapel back in 2007 and noted these encouraging words from Jim Jeffery, then president: “The hands pierced for you will never be closed to you.” Notes from a message on suffering; then I find that I wrote down his reminders from Romans 8:31 and 33: “If God is for us, who can be against us….and Who/what shall separate us from the love of Christ?”
I am reminded not to pray that God will be with the suffering believer, for He is already there. My prayer is and always should be:
“Help those who are hurting, suffering, grieving to notice your presence, to be mindful of your everlasting love, and your gift of grace sufficient to endure the present and to glorify you through the journey.”
I fear too often we get sidetracked by our present circumstances and forget who is there to guide us through, to support us through them, and who had filtered them according to our ability and God’s sufficiency (I Cor. 10:13) This does not mean things won’t hurt, or hurt for a long while, but it does mean we will not be overcome as we lean on Him. At least, I know I do forget all of that sometimes.
Thanks Jim James Jeffery
OK, maybe this shows what a shallow person I am, but I used to think heaven would be so boring, just praising God all day…but as I have grown and aged maybe, I am thinking about what it would be like to be free of my humanity, that part of me that is tempted, that is lured to sin.
Now that is an amazing thought, to be able to think and embrace all of God’s thoughts after Him with no regrets or maybes or temptations to think another way.
I have been listening to Brooklyn Tabernacle’s More Than Enough and it occurred to me that maybe that is a taste of heaven, to see God through clear and untainted by self eyes,,,how could I want to do anything but please Him, and how it would seem like singing praises to Him would only be the starting place. I’ve come to think that heaven is never going to be boring.
If I can trust a loving God who knows all of me to get me there, I can certainly trust Him to make it a wondrous place, a place of inner peace and joy, and if praising Him eternally is all there is, it will not be enough…because He has designed me to appreciate all that He has for me.
Amazing thoughts this April Fools’ Day…maybe I am beginning to outgrow the fool in me.
I used to struggle with the concept of fearing God, but someone wrote the following and it helped me: The fear of the Lord leads to a life of meaning. The love of God leads to a life of joy. Understanding and acknowledging Who God is guides one to make right choices, to choose His Way.
It is in understanding the cost and consequences of our choices, our disobedience, or living for self that directs one to seek to please and honor God. It is in the exercise of the sense or wisdom He has given us to choose His Way that keeps us from evil and sorrow.
We cannot blame God for our choices; He warned us of the consequences of disobedience, our own and that of others, not that He would get even or punish us. However, like a loving parent, He has warned us of the dangers and given us the map to the way to peace and joy.
And He waits to love us and heal us and bring us back when we see the error of our way, when we have taken our eyes from His face.