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Posts Tagged ‘God’

The Mystery of the Moment

If I told you 100 years ago that I could write the entire Bible on something as small as my fingernail and then read it; you would’ve said that I was crazy, because no one could ever write that small. If I told people in the 1900s that I could go from New Zealand to New York in 24 hours, I would’ve been branded a lunatic, for no ship could ever sail that swiftly nor could a horse ever run that fast. The problem of course, is that we would be viewing these future exploits through the lens of our current technological understanding. We lack a 100-200 years of revelation, which reduces us to inferior solutions that simply won’t solve these superior challenges.

prism

We face the same challenges in the scripture every day. For example, God says He loves us more than we could ever understand or imagine. But in the same breath He teaches us that there is a Hell and that some people will go there for eternal punishment. We can’t reconcile how a loving God could possibly allow people to go to a place of eternal destruction because we lack a billion years revelation. We often feel pressure to reconcile these mysteries. This often leads us to change the outcomes to explain the challenge. Metaphorically speaking, we say things like, “no one could get to New York in 24 hours, therefore the statement is a misunderstanding.

We reason; a God who loves unconditionally could logically never send someone to Hell and therefore it cannot be true. So we create solutions that satisfy our minds and put our souls to rest. The outcome is that we stop searching for revelation for these divine paradoxes because we’ve created answers to satisfy our minds. And as result, what we think we know keeps us from what we need to know. The truth if we have a God that we completely understand, then we have created a God in our own image. For an infinite God, by definition, must remain somewhat of a mystery to finite man.

May you this week, seek not understanding of the why, but focus on the now and the what. May the mystery of God, whether he seems far or near embrace you and may you for a moment be still and bask in the mystery the one who knows and loves you so much.

The mystery of the moment

In the mystery of the moment
All is quiet in this place
Logic and the rationale mind
Hide behind the weathered face

In the mystery of the moment
Time has no measure here
Eternity began some time ago
When Love cast out all fear

In the mystery of the moment
Understanding is not needed now
The ways of God break through
The why, the where, and how

God’s ways call us from ahead
They lead us on in timeless intent
I let go of many questions
In the mystery of the moment

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The Vine to my Branch

For over a cen­tu­ry, the bells of the church at All Saints in Low­er Brix­ham, De­von­shire, have rung out “Abide with Me” daily. The hymn was sung at the wed­ding of King George VI, at the wed­ding of his daugh­ter, the fu­ture Queen Eliz­a­beth II, and at the funeral of Nobel peace prize winner Mother Teresa of Calcutta in 1997. More recently it was sung by Emeli Sandé at the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games.

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The hymn is popular across many denominations, and was said to be a favourite of King George V and Mahatma Gandhi. It is also often sung at Christian funerals. In the aftermath of the sinking of RMS Titanic, survivors reported that the Titanic’s band played the hymn as the ship was sinking, although detailed studies have identified other songs played by the band.

What always strikes me about this hymn is its stark simplicity, and the way it just centres everything back to God. It’s also speaks of the challenge to above all else, remain attached to God.

I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
~ John 15: 5- 7

If we remain in Him and keep plugged in, our world changes, God becomes not only the Author of our faith, but the Completer of wholeness and holiness. God is always the missing piece of our plot, the beginning, middle, and end of our story.

What are your thoughts on this? What does it mean to ‘abide in Him’? Where does this get you? What will you do next?

You are

The wake to my sleep
The flip to my flop
The shrug to my shoulder
The corner to my smile
And the spring to my step

You are

The break to my bread
The press to my wine
The full to my empty
The vine to my branch
And the quench to my thirst

You are

The wind to my sail
The blue to my sky
The light to my path
The map of my road
And the north to my compass

You are

The beat to my heart
The depth to my soul
The sound to my mind
The source to my strength
And the best to my friend

You are

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Remembrance

We’re certainly warned about forgetfulness in Scripture, both in word and by example. In the Old Testament, the pattern is so predictable, we come to expect it. God delivers his people from the cruel whips of Egypt by a stunning display of his power and his care—the plagues, the Passover, the Red Sea.

The Israelites celebrate with singing and dancing. Three days later, they are complaining about the water supply. God provides sweet water from the bitter desert springs of Marah. They complain about the food. God drops breakfast out of the sky, every morning. Then it’s the water again. God provides it from a rock. Enemies attack; God delivers. On and on it goes, for forty years.

As they stand on the brink of the Promised Land, God issues a final warning:

Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live.  – Deut. 4:9

They do, of course, let it slip from their hearts. All of it. This becomes the pattern for the entire history of Israel. God shows up; he does amazing things; the people rejoice. Then they forget and go whoring after other gods. They fall under calamity and cry out for deliverance. God shows up; he does amazing things; the people rejoice—you get the picture.

Things aren’t changed much in the New Testament, but the contrast is greater, and the stakes are even higher. God shows up in person, and before he leaves, he gives us the sacraments along with this plea: Do this to remember me. They don’t—remember him, that is. Paul is “shocked” by the Galatians: they are “turning away so soon from God, who in his love and mercy called you to share the eternal life he gives through Christ” (1:6 NLT). He has to send Timothy to the Corinthians, to “remind you of what I teach about Christ Jesus in all the churches wherever I go” (1 Cor. 4:17 NLT).

I will be walking one day
Down a street far away
And see a face in the crowd and smile
Knowing how you made me laugh
Hearing sweet echoes of you from the past
I will remember you
– Amy Grant

How often we let answered prayers and Gods provisions slip from our hearts, how often we forget, and how often we claim these answers as our own. Perhaps this is because our frame of reference is usually ourselves. It’s also about living in a fallen world where there are active forces to help you forget. Forgetting what God has done for me is something I’ve forgotten recently and need to relearn and remember.

May you this week search your memories and recall the ways God has met your needs. You may have plenty of unanswered prayers, bit don’t let this stop you. Perhaps it’s more about what you need rather than what you want. Perhaps you may like to journal your prayers and see how God goes.

Remembrance 

Did you prayimage
But then forget?
When I answered
You did I bet

Did I answer
Those questions too?
Then you acted
Like you always knew

Did I breathe life
Around you this day?
Yet you noticed the wind
Felt strong today

Did my unrelenting love
Fire the sunrise at dawn?
But you slept in
And only yawned

What your eyes have seen
I have set these things apart
As you live your life
Store them deep in your heart

Some content adapted from John Eldredge

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God the Father is the first person of the Trinity, which also includes his Son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. You knew that right?

Christians believe there is one God who exists in three Persons. This mystery of the faith cannot be understood by the human mind but is a key doctrine of Christianity. While the word Trinity does not appear in the Bible, several episodes include the simultaneous appearance of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, such as the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist (Matthew 3:16-17).

We find many names for God in the Bible. Jesus urged us to think of God as our loving father and went a step further by calling him Abba, an Aramaic word roughly translated as “Daddy,” to show us how intimate our relationship with him is.

God the Father is the perfect example for all earthly fathers. He is holy, just and fair, but his most outstanding quality is love

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:8, NIV)

Do you have an intimate relationship with Father God? The Father designed us with the emotional and spiritual capacity to have a loving, personal relationship with Him.

King David knew how to have an intimate relationship with theimage God. Although he was far from perfect, David had learned that only the Father’s love could satisfy his heart’s deepest longings (Ps. 63:3). The king passionately sought God through prayer, repentance, and obedience. From his example, you and I can learn how to enjoy closeness with the Father.

May you this week relearn what it means to have a relationship with Father God. May you be still, know that He is God, and hear from Him this week. May you have a vision of How Father God sees you. Will you share your story?

My Father God

Father God
I’ve seen you before
In your heavenly armour
Standing guard in the doorway
Of my heart as I
Carelessly left it wide open

Father God
I feel your immovable presence
As you block those who would
Seek to rob, kill and destroy
They seek but will not find
As you stride forward and stand
On the bridge of certain doom
For they shall not pass

Father God
Show me your face
That I might see the One
Who protects and defends
My heart – my good heart
I long to see your glory
Like Moses did

Father God
Behind the sealed door of my heart
In your room high in the castle
While you lay down your sword and
Take off your steel plated helmet
I remove my shoes
As I am on holy ground

Father God
You replace your helmet with an old gold crown
And we sit at your table
Heart to heart, soul to soul
A banquet laid before us – just us

Father God
You my great Father, I your true Son
And in that exact moment our eyes meet
In your presence I Am
Transformed in the blink of Your eye
Through a Sacred Exchange
Into the Beautiful Mystery

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