Thursday, January 21, 2010

Foundational Principle #2 God is good all the time.

This principle is particularly hard to believe sometimes. Sometimes I let my circumstances and my distorted, me centered, earth bound view of them dictate whether I believe this principle or not. When my mom contracted MRSA, when my kids grades are what they should be, when my job is not going the way I want it to; I have a hard time believing that God is good. When the sin that is in the world rocks my world - it is hard to believe that God is good (the old question why do bad things happen to good people question).

Interesting thing to note: God's goodness does not depend on on whether I believe it or not. He is good. Period. He is always working for my good. He has promised that whatever comes my way He will bring good from it (Rom. 8:28; Psalm 145:9). In understanding this, I find hope in the midst of any life circumstance. In truly believing this, I rest that the God of the universe is for me.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I think that I am going to start a series of postings on "foundations to live by". Hate the title, but hopefully it will be helpful. These are principles that I remember as I process through life.

Principle #1 - you reap what you sow. The Apostle Paul speaks of this in his letter to the church in Galatia. He phrased it like this - if you so to the Spirit, you will from the Spirit reap life. If you sow to the flesh, you will from the flesh reap destruction.

I have to pay attention to my heart, my words, my actions. I need to not only be intentional about not sowing to my flesh (doing things to please me), but also be intentional about sowing to the Spirit (doing things that please God). I have to be careful about where I spread the seed that I have been given because there will be a harvest.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Was watching Twilight Zone (1960's version) New Years Day - I like to catch a few episodes when the marathon is on. The episode that I caught was about a guy who had everything that he wanted; if he wanted it, he got it: money, girls, winning every game he played, etc.; kind of a Midas Touch fable revisited. The last scene was him complaining to the "angel" standing next to him that he wanted a challenge - that he didn't want everything to be handed to him that he wanted to check out "the other place" (thumb pointing down) to see what that was like. The "angel" emphatically stated that this was the other place and that he was doomed to spend eternity like this - his every "self centered wish" (my words) coming true. Cue the maniacal laugh and Rod Sterling.

This started me thinking about heaven and hell. Heaven is living in the presence of God; walking in His light, experiencing total goodness. It is a place where we can worship Him in perfection without all the weights of sin that easily drag us down (see the book of Hebrews). It is less about a physical place than it is about the quality of relationships (in particular with our Savior)of the physical place.

What is the opposite of heaven? Hell. If heaven is living in the presence of God what is living without the presence of God going to be like? What would it look like if there was no restraint to our sinfulness? What would it look like if every decision we made and every decision every body else around us made was totally self centered and devoid of good? If we have lived long enough, we have had a taste of what evil run a muck could look like. History is replete with stories of evil taking center stage (think Hitler, Stalin, Genghis Khan, etc.) These situations are often described as a "living hell" - probably a pretty accurate statement. Something to ponder......

Note that God does not send people to hell. The scriptures record that God is not willing that anyone goes to hell (see the letter II Peter 3:9). People choose to go to hell. Instead of choosing to follow God and His ways and therefore be the recipient of life with Him forever, they choose to reject Him and follow there own devices. I believe that this is a big part of what hell is going to be like - everyone following their own devices in an unrestrained, dare I say, "perfect" manner. Not a pretty picture.

OK, not a inspiring post to start the new year....