Sunday, April 16, 2006

No body = no conviction

My mind works in weird ways sometimes, but the idea of not being convicted if there is no body popped into my mind this beautiful Easter day (nearly fifty and yet we enjoyed a brief snow flurry here in the great NW).

Consider one teaching of the Bible, of having no ‘condemnation’* in Christ, but it was still my sin (and yours) that killed him. So WHY are we not guilty of our sin and his death?

THERE IS NO BODY! His grave is empty!

What can release us from our guilt and guilty feelings?

Only accepting His gift of forgiveness.

Thank you God!

2 Corinthians 9:15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

*Romans 8:1-2 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

A thought passed over

Or A Passover thought

The first time the Passover lamb is mentioned in the Bible is in the book of Exodus.

Exodus – a movement away, a departure, usually of a large group of people.

Passover – a festival starting on the 14th of Nisan and traditionally celebrated for eight days.

This is a ‘Jewish’ festival commanded by God, imagine having a party to commemorate your entire family’s freedom, maybe you drink wine, maybe you do not (but avoiding getting drunk) and this is just one of seven, of which three a year are mandatory, and this from the same God that gave us sex (for married people) to enjoy and celebrate and people tell me he is no fun, stuffy and a killjoy. No, I do not believe it, because he wants us to have an abundant life.

John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full (more abundantly in some translations).

Rabbit trails are traditional this time of year…Oh yes Passover.

Exodus 12:21-27 Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, "Go at once and select the animals for your families and slaughter the Passover lamb. 22 Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the doorframe. Not one of you shall go out the door of his house until morning. 23 When the LORD goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down.

24 "Obey these instructions as a lasting ordinance for you and your descendants. 25 When you enter the land that the LORD will give you as he promised, observe this ceremony. 26 And when your children ask you, `What does this ceremony mean to you?' 27 then tell them, `It is the Passover sacrifice to the LORD, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.' " Then the people bowed down and worshiped.

So the blood of the ‘Passover’ Lamb kept them from death.

That is an awesome thought to meditate on….

Thank you Jesus!

1 Corinthians 5:7b ... For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed

A personal sacrifice or peace offering

Yahweh/Jehovah is: God's personal name.
Jehovah jireh means: Jehovah will provide.

The first time the word 'lamb' appears in the Bible is in,
Genesis 22:8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.

Picture a father being sent to sacrifice his 'only' son walking up the mountain and telling his son that 'God will provide himself...'. I would say that God has an interesting sense of humor, because I would consider the phrase 'God will privide himself a lamb' as a meaning within a meaning.

Again when Jesus starts his earthly mission we read in:
John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
John 1:36 And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!

Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

A sacrifice with his own blood, the blood of the Lamb of passover that had been acted-out for so many years before since the Israelites left Egypt.

Sacrifices were made as a temporary solution till the true one came to reunite us with God and be at peace again.

Jehovah Shalom means: Jehovah is peace.

Monday, April 10, 2006

I Married Edmund!?

My beautiful wife recently posted a reference to the movie Narnia (I would recommend the entire book series), where she shared that as a child she used to identify with Lucy, but not anymore.

I would wish to be counted in the category of Reepicheep*, but I also realized I am Edmund.

What I mean is that I was working with the enemy of the King, and even though I was deceived, I was a traitor, and yet he traded his life for mine. The blood of one who was innocent in exchange for one who was guilty. A divine act of selfless love.

Romans 5:7-8
Now, no one is likely to die for a good person, though someone might be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.

And even though I was set free, there is still the battle of day to day choices.

*Reepicheep - one of the mice that chewed thru the ropes while Aslan was on the stone table that was given the gift of speech. He also is in Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Fact (fine line) Truth

(Prompted, in part, by T.MIL’s comments to So Many Truths, So Little Mind.)

My main thought was we don’t always discern the facts correctly and that we often will believe conflicting ‘truths’, being unaware, or worse, purposely ignore them.

Now back to looking for a line, a line…

Boy I hope I can answer this coherently, first I will grab my dictionary and Bible. (I need to fix that order)

Fact - Something known with certainty, asserted to be certain, something that has been objectively verified, something having real demonstrable existence.
Truth - (occurs 220 times in the Bible)
Conformity to knowledge, fact, actuality, or logic. Reality; actuality.
Truthful - Corresponding to reality; true.

To me that is a mighty fine line!

The word translated ‘truth’ in the the following verses is the Greek aletheia.

Aletheia - what is true in any matter under consideration

Well let’s see…

John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

So ‘thou shall not kill’, being God’s word, is definitely truth.

‘War is hell’ (a metaphor) is not true universally, but only to those subjected to it.

Many common ideas we get from our culture are false, not based on fact, but on how we feel, because of a lack of process time.

Margin – an amount allowed beyond what is needed, a surplus measure or amount.

Adding margin to our lives can help (as if I have room for one more thing!), margin allows time for sorting ideas and feelings, like spring-cleaning, but busyness or ignoring an idea without considering the facts allows for perpetual ignorance.

2Timothy 3:7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

2Timothy 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

We cannot make good decisions from a bad paradigm.

John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Truth is the freedom from deception.

1Timothy 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. (speaking of God our Saviour)

Friday, March 10, 2006

Hell of an idea! Part III

Hell of an idea! Part III

So I got an email, see post Hell of an idea! Part I.
(I feel like I am starting to repeat myself, repeat myself)

God describes himself in many ways, as: light, good, faithful, peace, and love.

Light - gave example in Part I
Good – gave example in Part II
Faithful – Deut 7:9 Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands.
Peace - Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Hebrews 13:20 May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep,
Love - 2 Corinthians 13:11 Finally, brothers, good-by. Aim for perfection, listen to my appeal, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.
1 John 4:8 …because God is love.

The absence of light is darkness,
The absence of good is evil,
The absence of faithfulness is disloyalty,
The absence of peace is chaos,
The absence and of love is… lonely misery.

P.S. God also describes himself as creative,
so let me add that Hell should be boring.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Hell of an idea! Part II

Hell of an idea! Part II

So I got an email, see post Hell of an idea! Part I.

Thinking, thinking…
What is life with God like and what is life without God like?
After death where do we go?
Do we live with God in heaven or without God in Hell?

In the ‘spam’ this question was asked, “does evil exist?” With the response, “Of course… We see it everyday. It is in the daily examples of man's inhumanity to man. It is in the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world. These manifestations are nothing else but evil”. “Evil does not exist… Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God.”

God created only things that were good, for six whole days God created things. In the first book of the Bible, Genesis in verses 1:4-31, he made (in brief):
Light – day one
Earth – day two
plants- day three
Planets, seasons – day four
Things to live in the water, things that fly – day five
Things to live on the land including man – day six

When He was done he said that it was all good, then the sin thing.

God was good and is good, Man is not. In Matthew 19:17 it says, “ …none is good except God…”.

Speaking of man in Romans 3:12, “They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.”
And Romans 3:23 “…for All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…”

But the good news follows
“...being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus…”

God is good and the source of goodness, but God will not be ‘known’ in Hell.
So the absence of God will be the absence of things good.
Therefore I would expect Hell to be very, very ungood or evil.

It (Hell) was actually developed for Satan and his dark angels,
and it is their destiny, not ours.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Hell of an idea! Part I

Hell of an idea! Part I

I got a spam email of a confrontation between a professor and a student named Albert Einstein. I figured that it was fictional and yes, it turned up on a list of urban legends.

However, it gave me a couple things to ponder: what is life with God like and what is life without God like. After death we will live with God in heaven or without God in Hell.

However, some of us might be living there already (Hell).

The ‘spam’ stated that, “Darkness is the absence of light. Light we can study, but not darkness. In fact, we can use Newton's prism to break white light into many colors and study the various wavelengths of each color. You cannot measure darkness. A simple ray of light can break into a world of darkness and illuminate it. How can you know how dark a certain space is? You measure the amount of light present.” And, “Darkness is a term used by man to describe what happens when there is no
light present."

So I grabbed my (electronic) Bible that searched for references to light, 235 in the King James. The first was in Genesis 1:3 "And God said, Let there be light”and ending with Revelation 22:5 "And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever". (they is an interesting subject in itself)

In the book of 1 John verse 1:5, John wrote, “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.”

John 8:12 "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life".

God is light and will be the sole source of light when the sun is gone, but God will not be ‘known’ in Hell. So the absence of God will be the absence of ligth.

Therefore I would expect Hell to be very, very dark place.

God will not force you to go to Heaven, it is your choice.