Posts tagged God
Most Encouraging News: Part Two

Last posting we talked about the most encouraging thing anyone could hear is God saying to us "I love you." To be loved by the Creator of the Universe is better than having the direct dial phone to the greatest lawyer, movie star or politician. To be loved by God is to affirm our worth. We are worthy of God’s love for the simple reason stated in the first book of the Bible. In Genesis, chapter 1: 26-27, it says this, "Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, in our likeness…So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.'" The exact reason God loves us all so much is that we are modeled after Him. We are eternal spirits; everlasting souls. We are worthy of love because we have been molded, formed, breathed into and nurtured by the Creator of the Universe. And, as an old con once said to me, “God loves me, ‘cause God don’t make no junk.”

This love should not be taken for granted or treated as a McDonald’s Happy Meal toy. To fully understand the cost of God’s love for us is to grasp the power and good news behind it. We must comprehend the enormity of gift of God’s love. If someone paid a bill for you while your were away or in prison, you really cannot measure the depth of your gratitude until you know what the dollar amount of the debt that was paid on your behalf. If your friend paid the light bill or the cable charges, you might offer a sincere thank you, but that’s about it. If, however, your friend paid off a 7 year IRS bill that would have landed you in jail, evicted you from your residence and put your wife and family in a shelter, then the gratitude you feel would be immense.

This is what Jesus did for us. The price of His love for us what His death and agony of the cross. He took on our debt (sin) and paid off all the outstanding balances for each of us. When we "get this" we should not treat it as a trinket but rather we should embrace His love and ask how we can be of service to His sheep that are hurting, hungry and helpless.

A Right Relationship with Jesus

Jesus-wants-a-relationship-with-youNobody goes to hell because they are homosexual…or adulterers…or child molesters…or murderers…or greedy, mean and dishonest. No, people walk willingly into hell (that place where God is not) for one reason and one reason alone. They do not have a right relationship with Jesus. These things listed above are symptomatic of a life that is out of kilter. It’s a life that is off-center similar to a bicycle wheel that has been dented. When our lives match up in harmony with Jesus, all of the symptoms melt away and the hard choices fall into place. But first, the question of who Jesus really is must be answered.

As stated in earlier blog post, the choices concerning Jesus are tough. He is either a nut job who claimed to be the Son of God, Savior of the World and One with Father God…or He is the Lord of the Universe to whom we should give total allegiance and say, “Command Me.”

Why Does God Allow Pain and Suffering?

Why does God allow pain and suffering?One of the most bandied about accusations against belief in the Living God goes something like this… “Why is there so much misery in the world? I cannot believe in a God who allows such suffering in the world.” Well, there is no doubt that the misery and suffering around the world is acute and growing. The number of poor, hungry, disenfranchised and the number of people in prison continues to climb every year…and that’s just in the USA? Around the world all we have to look at is Syria, ISIS and the Sudan to confirm that misery and suffering are rampant.

But, why do we always blame God for this and point and accusing finger at the Creator of the Universe? After all, didn’t God create (at least until Adam/Eve screwed it up) a perfect world? God’s perfect world had no sin and such harmony between man and beast that they were both created to eat plants…not each other? You could make the case that God intended us to all be vegetarian. If you consult Genesis 1: 29-30 you will see that was the case: Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so. It was only later, after the Fall and after God destroyed the world with the Flood that he permitted Noah to eat animals. Read Genesis 9:3, “Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.”

God wrote the perfect script. He penned the perfect symphony. We messed it up. Then, God sends His Son Jesus to clean up our mess…rewrite the script, so to speak… and provide a way out of our sin…pay the price for our misdeeds…and we kill Him. Seems like God has done His bit to alleviate the suffering of the world (See John 3:16).

I think the problem of suffering and misery is real. But instead of pointing a finger at God and asking Him why He’s no doing anything about it, God may want to ask us the same question. “Why is there so much suffering and misery in the world, Jim?” This could very well be the question God asks me and perhaps, some of YOU when we stand before Him. Given the resources He has entrusted to us…it would be a fair, penetrating and convicting question. What would be our answer?