Wednesday, May 6, 2009
One character stood out to me more than any other and that was Ulrich. He desired to spread the truth of the gospel with people in his home country so much, that he was willing to leave the safety of Germany, where the princes would protect him, to a hostile place. Fervor like that makes me examine my own heart and see that I have not spread the gospel. Even though I know the gospel, I must still study it. Yesterday, I read a blog entry on God’s love and love in general by Ben Witherington. Through that, I realized that I have forgotten about this divine love. I have had trouble accepting it and showing it.
“But God demonstrates His love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom 5:8)
“Great love has no one but this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)
Jesus, God did just that. Will I ever understand this? It is hard enough accepting that a physical man, Jesus, died for all sinners so that we might be saved, but he was more than just a man. He was God incarnate, an entity which to my finite mind is only comprehensible in finite terms, metaphors, and stories.
As much as this confuses me, what confuses me more is how this whole process of redemption works. Do I doubt it? Not one bit. My life is a testament to this redemption. Without it my life would not be what it is today. Even though I ponder on how it works, I don’t question other things such as the resurrection. That makes complete sense to me. To me, without the resurrection redemption makes no sense. Yes, I know that Jesus had to die so that we would be saved. Did His death save us or did the resurrection? Or could it have been both? I have always heard that He was the atoning sacrifice. But I believe that through His resurrection that death was defeated. Without death sin no longer has dominion. This leads to purification and the sanctifying of all people who accept Christ. So now, does His death now cover the sins past? This could very well be so. Does it also cover sins present and future? Now since Jesus was God incarnate, and God is omni-present, does this include time as well.
So if God is omni-present in time as well as space, then He is therefore eternal and never being in only one time. This then also allows for Jesus to be eternal, which scripture supports. Now if Jesus is eternal do His works, namely His atoning sacrifice and redemptive resurrection, cover not only our past, present, and future since, but also the sins of those who came before Him? Where if they faith in God, since the revelation of Jesus as the messiah had not come to full fruition, they would be redeemed much like we are today.
This then leads me to one more question, one which I am afraid to answer. Since Jesus is eternal and if is sacrifice and atonement are eternal, can those whose physical life has ended come to a saving faith after this life since the atonement is eternal and not bound by time?
I am almost fearful to share this thought with most people This may be closer to heresy than most anything else I have ever considered. If so I am positive of one thing, and that is that God, through the actions of Jesus Christ, has expressed His love for me and others. Nothing will be able to separate me from that love. Some things have kept me from accepting this love but it was not because God has not continually offered it. God is always showing His redeeming love so that we can experience Him more in everything. Nd in everything we will be able to express this same love to Him and others around us.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
I have been wondering about this idea called success for some time now. What is success or to be successful. The dictionary states:
1: outcome, result
2a: degree or measure of succeeding b: favorable or desired outcome; also: the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence.
3: one that succeeds.
Today, it seems to have a meaning much like the second in which we equate success with monetary and material gains. Is being successful when someone has achieved something that makes them happy? Can success be just living life? Is it one, all, a mix of, none of these or something completely difference all together?
As a Christian I feel that gaining wealth and material possessions is the opposite of success. If we do happen to have such things, we should give of them freely. The gospels seem to have more appreciation for those who have not or if they have they give what they have. So to me, that definition of success can be laid aside and forgotten.
If success is measured purely by happiness, then you are basing your success on a mere feeling which has the possibility of wavering day to day or even hour to hour. Also, there is no set way to measure this idea of success if this is how you see it. Here it is only a subjective matter. I kind of like this though because even if by the world’s standards you are not successful, you have the possibility to see yourself as successful. But this may cause you to seek only happiness in your life. Now I hope for all men to be happy with life, but seeking only happiness is an activity done in vain. This goes back to it being a mere feeling which can sway as a boat in the ocean’s waves. This search can also lead one down paths that only leave a man broken, unsatisfied, and constantly seeking. This is no way to live ones life. Just as we dismissed the last idea of success, I will dismiss this one as well.
This leads me to still wonder what success is. Could it be doing something great for the world? If this is the case then only a handful of people that have ever lived were successful. If this were my idea of success then I am left with the outlook that I will probably never be successful in life. How motivating.
I wonder if we are even qualified to judge if we or anyone else is successful. If we as Christians are meant to live life as God would like us to, then isn’t He the only one who is qualified to judge success. In other words, success would be striving after God and His desires. If that is the case, then I feel like I have fallen short of that, but by His grace I know that being successful will not come by my own power. This is something I am learning the difficult way right now. I desire to be successful but must learn that it only comes by God’s grace and following Him every step of the way.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Another problem I have been faced with is a finger injury. It has been around 4 weeks or so now since I did injure my finger, but it is still no where near where I wish it was. The injury I am speaking up is a torn A4 pulley in my right ring finger. For those who don't know what that is, it is the ligament that wraps around the underside of the finger, between the knuckles, to hold the tendon close to the finger bones. So, even taking a climbing trip right now seems useless, unless it was to Indian Creek.
Hopefully if I continue to not have a job I might actually finish one of my projects which I started this past summer. When i was at home this summer I started to make myself a new chalk bag. On it is an elaborate embroidery covering a larger portion of the front. Now eight months into it and I am no where close to being done.
That has been my life the past few months. I hope you enjoyed.