You are not accepted by God because you deserve to be, or because you have worked hard for him; but because Jesus died for you.
He that forsakes all for Christ shall find more than all with him...
Our blessed Saviour is our Goel; it is he that has a right to redeem. If we expect to receive benefit by him, let us closely adhere to him, and his fields, and his family; let us not go to the world and its fields for that which is to be had with him only, and which he has encouraged us to expect from him. Has the Lord dealt bountifully with us?
Contrary to what might be expected, I look back on experiences that at the time seemed especially desolating and painful, with particular satisfaction. Indeed, I can say with complete truthfulness that everything I have learned in my seventy-five years in this world, everything that has truly enhanced and enlightened my existence, has been through affliction and not through happiness, whether pursued or attained….This, of course, is what the Cross signifies. And it is the Cross, more than anything else, that has called me inexorably to Christ.
…the word of a person was only as good as he is. One’s word was one’s life.
This is an enormous truth. That is why Jesus did not fear His accussers. He was committed by His Word. He, above all, lived a life where the word and life were identical. Of no other life can this be said. Either there was a breakdown within one’s word, or there was a breakdown between the life and the word. Jesus, by honoring His Word, offered them and us His life. He did not die merely for justice. He died in prophetic fulfillment, demonstrating that you cannot kill the truth. Thereofre, in a real sense, they could not destory Him either.
I once saw a poster on the wall in the office of a school principal. It simply said, “If you cannot understand me in my speech, how can you understand me in my silence?”
The world will try to interpret truth by its wits. The Christian interprets truth by His Word – and by His silence.
When God restores our spiritual sight through the mystery of evil, we are then able to see the work of God displayed with in the framework of our most difficult question. With tears of joy we bend before him.
In summary, for the Christian, evil is real, this world is real, and time is real. Jesus recognized all three realities with reference to the blind man. He pointed out that this world has built into it the component of time. And upon the anvil of time beats the hammer of eternity until time ultimately reflects the values of the etermnal and willl be shed as a sheel, from within which ultimate truths will be freely embraced. When we enter that stage, we will find out that the real anvil was eternity, that time provided the hammers, and that God’s glory and purpose will be what remains.
The incredible truth was that at the very moment His Father seemed farthest from Him, He was in the center of His Father’s will. That is precisely what an understanding of the cross means. Only when one comes to the cross and sees both in it and beyond it can evil be put in perspective.
What emerges from all of these thoughts is that God conqueers not in spite of the dark mystery of evil, but through it.
There is an old adage that says you can give a hungry man a fish, or better still, you can teach him how to fish. Jesus would add that you can teach a person how to fish, but the most successful fisherman has hungers fish will not satisfy.
I can now enjoy the benefit of time’s distant view. The Jesus I know and love today I encountered at the age of seventeen. But His name and His tug in my life mean infinitely more now than they did when I first surrendered my life to Him. I came to Him because I did not know which way to turn. I have remained with Him because there is no other way I wish to turn. I came to Him longing for something I did not have. I remain with Him because I have something I will not trade. I came to him as a stranger. I remain with Him in the most intimate of friendships. I came to Him unsure about the future. I remain with Him certain about my destiny. I came amid the thunderous cries of a culture that has three hundred and thirty million deities. I remain with Him knowing that truth cannot be all-inclusive. Truth by definition excludes.
When you focus on what you don’t have or on situations that displease you, your mind also becomes darkened. You take for granted life, salvation, sunshine, flowers, and countless other gifts from Me. You look for what is wrong and refuse to enjoy life until that is “fixed.”