"I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the wonderful future He has promised to those He called. I want you to realize what a rich and glorious inheritance He has given to His people." Saint Paul to the Ephesians 1:18
Glorious inheritance. Let me just savor that! In the following verse, Saint Paul says that we who believe have IN us an immeasurable, unlimited, surpassingly great power, the same resurrection power that raised Christ from the dead. When we read these words, do we scoff with incredulity and skepticism, or do we claim and confess it? I do both. First, I think, I don't see this power in my life! And then I squash that thought like an uninvited bug! You see, if we try to live according to how God wants us to live, sometimes we don't see the changes. We tend to focus on how we keep failing God, how much we sin, how we are not victorious over our weaknesses. But we can focus on what Saint Paul said in Philippians 1:6: " He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
Just as it was so important for Jesus to go to Samaria, to speak to the woman at the well in the 4th chapter of John, we can be sure that He will seek us out, no matter how big a sinner we are. He wants to give all of us a chance to never thirst, but to have a part of His glorious heritage in Him!
"Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows." John 16:33
I think no one will contradict what Jesus said to His disciples on this occasion. He was saying goodbye to them, and even if He said a lot of things that were puzzling to them, this particular statement was not one of them. Sometimes my father who is 88 years old tells us how difficult it is to be old. When he looks in the mirror,he thinks he looks like death warmed up. He has to force himself to eat because he's getting thinner. He has to pull himself up the banisters to climb stairs. Of course this is told to us in my father's usual laughing way, but I know it is difficult for him, dealing with aching bones and being tired all the time.
I'm 30 years younger, and although I have much more energy, I notice I have to write down everything for fear I may forget something important! At work, I just go to the other office a few feet away, and have to think, "OK, what was I going to do here????" But it's not just the impending years we have to deal with. There are lots of other challenges- our health, relationships that need mending, fears about the future, and my "favorite" trial, corrupt government people who tell me or my staff that our problems would go away if we give them money!!!
So when Jesus says we will have many trials and sorrows, the question is why? 2 Corinthians 4:7 reads, "...we have this treasure in earthen vessels, jars of clay, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves, we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing..."
We are all united with this common bond of "trials and sorrows". If only we lived with the consciousness every day to help and love each other, to encourage, to uplift. Then perhaps those earthen vessels would crack a little more each hour of our life to expose the treasure in us!
“Using the Scriptures, Apollos explained to the Jews, “The Messiah you are looking for is Jesus.” Acts 18:28
I like reading whodunits. If the book is written by a masterful storyteller, he can weave a fascinating story with many threads that all come together in the conclusion with no loose ends. It really is because the writer knows the end while he is coming up with the plot beginning and middle.
I see God as the masterful storyteller in the story of our salvation. He knows the end. And He has put signposts, clues, ancient threads, for us to find. So many prophecies pointing to Jesus, exact details of where He would be born, His lineage, that He would go to Egypt, that He would be betrayed and crucified. God wants us to find Jesus. God uses the prophecies, ancient documented writing, to point to the Messiah. How could King David who wrote the Psalms, Zechariah and Isaiah write about how Jesus would die when the punishment of crucifixion was not even known during their lifetime? Jesus had to be born during that narrow window of the Roman rule when hanging on a cross would be used as an instrument of punishment and terror. Who but God could orchestrate that? Only the Master of time could make that ending come about!
But it is not the end yet!!! So many prophecies about Christ’s second coming is yet to be fulfilled. And I think we should be on the lookout for clues just as if we are reading a good thriller. Because this is the best thriller we will ever be a part of!
I find a lot of inspiration
So many WONDERFUL blogfriends