Friday, April 29, 2016
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Thursday, December 26, 2013
From 'God Came Near' by Max Lucado
It's Christmas night. The midnight hour has chimed and I should be asleep, but I'm awake. I'm kept awake by one stunning thought.
The world was different this week. It was temporarily transformed. The magical dust of Christmas glittered on the cheeks of humanity ever so briefly, reminding us of what is worth having and what we were intended to be. We forgot our compulsion with winning, wooing, and warring. We put away our ladders and ledgers, we hung up our stopwatches and weapons. We stepped off our race tracks and roller coasters and looked outward toward the start of Bethlehem.
It's the season to be jolly because, more than at any other time, we think of him. More than in any other season, His name is on our lips.
And the result? For a few precious hours, our heavenly yearnings intermesh and we become a chorus. A ragtag chorus of longshoremen, Boston lawyers, illegal immigrants, housewives, and a thousand other peculiar persons who are banking that Bethlehem's mystery is in reality, a reality.
"Come and behold Him" we sing, stirring even the sleepiest of shepherds and pointing them toward the Christ-child. For a few precious hours, He is beheld. Christ the Lord.
Those who pass the year without seeing Him, suddenly see Him. People who have been accustomed to using His name in vain, pause to use it in praise.
Eyes, now free of the blinders of self, marvel at His majesty. All of a sudden He's everywhere. In the grin of a policeman as he drives the paddy wagon full of presents to the orphanage. In the twinkle in the eyes of the Taiwanese waiter as he tells of his upcoming Christmas trip to see his children. In the emotions of the father who is too thankful to finish the dinner table prayer. He's in the tears of the mother as she welcomes home her son from overseas. He's in the heart of the man who spent Christmas morning on skid row giving away cold baloney sandwiches and warm wishes. And He's in the solemn silence of the crowd of shopping mall shoppers as the elementary school chorus sings "Away in a Manger."
Emmanuel. He is with us. God came near. It's Christmas night. In a few hours the cleanup will begin-lights will come down, trees will be thrown out. Size 36 will be exchanged for size 40, eggnog will be on sale for half price. Soon life will be normal again. December's generosity will become January's payments and the magic will begin to fade. But for the moment, the magic is still in the air.
Maybe that's why I'm still awake. I want to savor the spirit just a bit more. I want to pray that those who beheld Him today will look for Him next August. And I can't help but linger on one fanciful thought: if He can do so much with such timid prayers lamely offered in December, how much more could He do if we thought of Him every day?
Thursday, December 19, 2013
Source: Institute for Creation Research
“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.” (1 John 1:5)
Light is the most fundamental and important form of energy, and energy includes every phenomenon in the physical universe.
It is appropriate for John to affirm that God is light, because everything created must reflect the character of its Creator.
The term “light,” therefore, has come to be applied not only to light in the physical sense, but also to that which is true in the intellectual realm, and holy in the moral realm as well.
In terms of truth and genuine knowledge, “the entrance of thy words giveth light” (Psalm 119:130). “In thy light shall we see light” (Psalm 36:9). Without God’s truth, there is only darkness. “The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them” (2 Corinthians 4:4).
The Bible also speaks of light as moral holiness. “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light. . . . And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Ephesians 5:8, 11).
There are still other analogies: “In him was life; and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4). Not only is light symbolic of life itself, but it also depicts God’s daily guidance for our lives. “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12).
Since there is no darkness in God, “if we walk in the light as he is in the light” (1 John 1:7), there remains no excuse for any darkness in our lives. “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6). HMM