God Turns The World’s Greatest Sin And Injustice Into The World’s Greatest Blessing

Greetings!

I have covered the reasons why God and Christ Jesus allow suffering and apparent injustices in general terms under the Categories of “Suffering” and “God Can Give Nothing But Blessing And Goodness” but I want to cover the title of this present Category in a little more specific manner.

I have to admit I am taken back sometimes, how-be-it if only momentarily, when I see the obviously innocent suffer pain and indignities for no apparent reason. This is especially true concerning the suffering of children and animals.

However, the main example that God has given  to insure us that His ways, in ALL that He does, will ULTIMATELY bring about the greatest of blessings for each and everyone involved….even for the justifiable suffering of the sinner, which I will explain later.

This one prime example is, of course, the crucifixion of our Lord and Savi0r Christ Jesus.

God the Father, to the unenlightened human eye and thought, certainly seemed anything but fair and loving when, after His Son had lived a completely PERFECT life in total and absolute obedience and love to Him, then required and demanded Jesus to suffer one of the most horrible ways of dying possible….as well as being beaten severely !!

I can think of no greater apparent injustice.

And, it was beyond question the greatest of sins in that the world crucified its Creator Who had lived a perfect life on their (our) behalf. I can think of no greater sin than this.

But wait! God had a way to turn this greatest of sins and injustices into the greatest of blessings FOR EVERYONE INVOLVED!!!

God knew that Jesus could handle the suffering that He went through with the Cross or He would not have allowed it….plain and simple. And because of Christ’s love for the Father and His Creation He endured it and was exalted higher than all and given the Name that is above all names (Philippians 2:9)….quite a BLESSING!!

As for the world and the Creation that killed Him, God even was here able to bring about the GREATEST OF BLESSINGS for ALL mankind in that the sacrifice of Christ was accepted by the Father as the ULTIMATE penalty for sin for ALL who have ever lived or will live. (1 Peter 3:18; Romans 5:18-19; 1 Corinthians 15:22-24; 2 Corinthians 5:14-15; Colossians 1:20)

This is why Jesus could say in John 12:32: “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw ALL to Myself….”. No ambiguity here. No mincing of words. No exceptions noted.

So, the major point of this presentation is to show that even if we can’t understand why some of  the lesser sins and suffering, as well as apparent injustices, are allowed by God and Jesus then our being able to CLEARLY see how God can take the greatest sin and injustice EVER COMMITTED and turn them into the GREATEST OF BLESSINGS….He and Jesus will have little trouble  turning ALL of these lesser ones into blessings, as well.

Concerning how Christ’s sacrifice was the ULTIMATE penalty  for EVERYONE’S  sin (permanent death) please refer to these Categories for a more complete explanation:

“All Creation Will Be Saved”

“God’s Plan For The Ages”

“Eon vs Forever”

“Hell”

“Lazarus And The Rich Man”

“Misunderstanding About the Salvation of All Creation”

The last Category listed especially deals with how sinners will suffer for their continuing sins and how some of the suffering will be quite severe. However, ULTIMATELY, even the suffering they experience will serve as chastisement for CORRECTION and NOT suffering for the mere sake  of vindictive pain. Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible puts this nicely in Matthew 25:46: “And these shall go away into age-abiding CORRECTION”. And notice, it is “age-abiding” NOT ‘eternal’!

Until later, be blessed in Him.

Fred

 

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Business As Usual

Hey there!

Paul said  he was a “slave” (Concordant Literal NT) of Christ Jesus in Romans 1:1 and all those who are called to be Christians are likewise referred to as “slaves” throughout the New Testament. This is the actual meaning of the Greek word ‘doulos’ according to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance.

In all of history, I am quite sure there have NEVER been any ‘part-time slaves’. A slave is at the beck and call of her or his owner 24/7.

We, then, are to ALWAYS be constantly, consistently and ever presenting ourselves to God and Christ Jesus as our Owners. We may not have any particular task or duty to perform at any given moment, but nonetheless, we present ourselves to Them….24/7.

Even here, we are to be seeking FIRST the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33) and to be “hungering and thirsting for righteousness” (Matthew 5:6)….24/7.

Before we were called to be saints, all kinds of activities and concerns were on our ‘to-do list’. We were swamped in dealing with the issues of life and they demanded our undivided attention. Some that got our attention were justified but many were not. We were quite literally ‘slaves’ not only to dealing with these activities and concerns but also to the “law of sin” within our very nature (Romans 7:23-24)….they owned us.

However, there are now new Owners in town!! Our new Owners demand the same UNDIVIDED attention but what a glorious and wonderful change They bring. They can and will enable us to “have life more abundantly” (John 10:10).

There are still those justified activities and concerns we must perform and attend to daily but they are dealt with in a different way. And, they don’t own or control us as before because ALL that we do we deal with  through God and Jesus. Even the “law of sin” within “the body of death” we  now occupy will submit to and be ruled by our new Owners (Romans 7:25, 8:1-3).

Now, this life changing assistance and help throughout each day that we are able to receive from our new Owners does not come by merely having Them in our thoughts during the day. Nor does regimented Bible study, regular church attendance, ‘mechanical prayer’ or any other religious activities, however well meant.

Our Father and our Savior want us to “come to” Them (Matthew 11:28) and “draw near” to Them (James 4:8) and the religious activities mentioned in the previous paragraph do NOT cut the mustard!

At this point,, I always wind up bringing forth the example of Brother Lawrence. He showed us how to “come to” and “draw near” to God and Jesus by actually talking to, beseeching and living for Them moment by moment during the entire day. He did this even during his  most hurried of times. He wrote how it was difficult to do this at first, but after a while, it became second nature to him and he could not imagine living his life any other way.

You can read his entire book free online as set forth in the Category “Practicing The Presence Of God” and you will be amazed and inspired by the SUPERNATURAL relationship he was able to develop with his Owners.

Personally, my moment by moment prayer to Them is “help me Lord” (in whatever I am doing, thinking or saying at the moment) or just “Lord God”….and frequently punctuated with “thank you Father” or “thank you Jesus”. And, at other times, I just freely express myself to Them. The change and results I have experienced are indescribable.

So, let us, with all our being, endeavor not to be like those in Matthew 13:22 and to never go back to ‘business as usual’, as it was before God and Christ Jesus so graciously called us to undeservingly be saints.

All the best, in Him.

Fred

 

 

 

 

Come Unto Me And I Will Give You Rest

Greetings!

This wonderful truth in Matthew 11:28 does NOT describe some cheap and easy benefit bestowed on a Christian from the git-go.

Believing, in itself, enables us to become God’s chosen saints and gain access to Him and Christ Jesus but it does NOT automatically afford the very real, Holy ” rest”spoken of in this verse….in fact, even demons can believe (James 2:19).

Having nice thoughts about God and Jesus, carrying out Christian functions such as good works, church attendance, Bible study, ritualistic prayer, etc., etc. likewise will NOT serve as a means to gain this blessed “rest” that defies human understanding….although, they can certainly serve to help us if done in the proper way.

The key to understanding how this supernatural “rest” can be ours is clearly revealed in the phrase “come unto Me” in verse 28. We can do ALL the endeavors mentioned above and still NOT “come unto” our Lord.  In other words, the above activities can all be done in an entirely religious manner without us ever reaching Jesus personally, and it is only here, that we actually experience our promised “rest”.

Thankfully, the solution to our problem is shown in James 4:8: “come close to God, and He will come close to you“. The way we “come close”  (or “come unto“)  our Father and Jesus is to  continuously (minute by minute and hour by hour) go to Them in ALL our daily activities, much in the manner described in the Category/Post “Practicing The Presence Of God”. I hope you will take the time to read this Category  about Brother Lawrence as well as the Categories/Posts on “Letters From A Modern Mystic” and “Why Not Be A Mystic”.

Until later, in Him,

Fred

 

Clearing Up Spiritual Confusion

Hi, there!

This is another excerpt from Oswald Chambers’ “My Utmost For His Highest” found at http://utmost.org/arguments-or-obedience/ which follows up nicely with the last Category on “Spiritual Confusion”.

Editing and emphasis will be mine throughout….and here we go:

“…the simplicity that is in Christ.  (2 Corinthians 11:3)

SIMPLICITY IS THE SECRET TO SEEING THINGS CLEARLY.

A saint does not think clearly until a long time passes, but a saint ought to see clearly without any difficulty. You CANNOT think through spiritual confusion to make things clear; to make things clear, you must obey.

In intellectual matters you can think things out, but in spiritual matters you will only think yourself into further wandering  thoughts and more confusion.

If there is something in your life upon which God has put His pressure, then obey Him in that matter. Bring ALL your “arguments and…every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” regarding the matter, and everything will become as clear as daylight to you (2 Corinthians 10:5).

Your reasoning capacity will come later, but reasoning is not how we see. We see like children, and when we try to be wise WE SEE NOTHING (see Matthew 11:25).

Even the very smallest thing that we allow in our lives that is NOT under the control of the Holy Spirit, is completely sufficient to account for spiritual confusion, and spending all of our time thinking about it will still NEVER make it clear.

Spiritual confusion can ONLY be conquered through obedience. As soon as we obey, we have discernment.

….when our natural power of sight is devoted and submitted in obedience to the Holy Spirit, it becomes the very power by which we perceive God’s will, and our ENTIRE life is kept in simplicity .”

All the best, in Him.

Fred

Cherish Our Enemies And Adversity

Greetings!

Here is some excellent advice, wisdom and truth from “Abandonment To Divine Providence” found at http://www.ccel.org/ccel/decaussade/abandonment.ii_1.ii.iv.vi.html (just click the web address and the entire book is available there).

Editing and emphasis will be mine as follows:

“I fear more my own action and that of my friends than that of my enemies.” 

“There is no prudence so GREAT as that which offers no resistance to enemies, and which opposes to them ONLY a simple abandonment. This is to run before the wind, and as there is NOTHING else to be done, to keep quiet and peaceful. There is NOTHING that is more entirely opposed to worldly prudence than simplicity; it turns aside ALL schemes without comprehending them, without so much as a thought about them.”

“The divine action makes the soul take such just measures as to surprise those who want to take it by surprise themselves. It profits by ALL their efforts, and is raised by the very things that are done to lower it.”

“ALL obstacles turn to good of this soul, and by allowing its enemies a free hand, it obtains a continual service, so sufficing that all it has to fear is lest it should itself take part in a work of which God would be principal, and His enemies the agents, and in which it has NOTHING to do but to peacefully observe the work of God, and to follow with simplicity the attractions He gives it.”

“the precise circumstances of each event are so applied to the soul, without its perception, that EVERYTHING opposed to them cannot fail to be destroyed.”

End of excerpts.

How blessed and fortunate we are to have such a great God and Father, as well as Savior, Who can ALWAYS turn the worst of events, circumstances and failures to our ultimate good….Romans 8:28. It just boggles my mind at times!!

I will add that I definitely believe in combating, physically,  an ‘enemy’ when it comes to malicious attacks on your person or when we may be called on to help an innocent person who is physically assaulted by an evil person.

Turning the other cheek when slapped (Matthew 5:39) obviously refers to a simple domestic confrontation when a single slap may be used by an opponent but not to a violent beating attempt by another person to really hurt or kill someone.

Jesus, Himself, said that carrying a sword was allowed, and this was obviously not just for using it to cut up  veggies or meat for a meal! (Luke 22:36)

Another example is in  Matthew 8:5-13 involving the Roman centurion. Jesus did not consider him a sinner for “bearing the sword” to uphold authority (Romans 13:4), but rather, greatly applauded his faith.

All the best, in Him.

Fred

Seek FIRST The Kingdom Of God And His Righeousness

Greetings!

Oswald Chambers has an excellent explanation of Matthew 6:33 :

“Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

It and his other 364 entries can be found at http://utmost.org/having-god%E2%80%99s-unreasonable-faith/. Editing and emphasis will be mine throughout….here goes:

“When we look at these words of Jesus, we immediately find them to be the most revolutionary that human ears have ever heard. “…seek first the kingdom of God….” Even the most spiritually-minded of us argue the exact opposite, saying, “But I must live; I must make a certain amount of money; I must be clothed; I must be fed.” THE GREAT CONCERN OF OUR LIVES IS NOT THE KINGDOM OF GOD BUT HOW WE ARE GOING TO TAKE CARE OF OURSELVES TO LIVE.

Jesus reversed the order by telling us to get the right relationship with God first, maintaining it as the PRIMARY concern of our lives, and never to place our concern on taking care of the other things of life.

“…do not worry about your life…” (Matthew 6:25). Our Lord pointed out that from His standpoint it is absolutely undreasonable for us to be anxious, worrying about how we will live. Jesus did not say that the person who takes no thought for anything in his life is blessed— no, that person is a fool. But Jesus did teach that His disciple must make his relationship with God the DOMINATING focus of his life, and to be cautiously carefree about everything else in comparison to that.

In essence, Jesus was saying, “Don’t make food and drink the CONTROLLING  factor of your life, but be focused absolutely on God.

Jesus is saying that THE GREATEST CONCERN OF LIFE IS TO PLACE OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD FIRST, AND EVERYTHING ELSE SECOND.”

All the best, in Him.

Fred

True Spiritual Life Does Not Depend On Certainty And Common Sense

Hello, and yup, I have yet another great entry from Oswald Chambers’ “My Utmost For His Highest” (all of his entries in this book can be found for FREE at http://utmost.org/gracious-uncertainty/ ). Emphasis will be mine throughout:

“Gracious Uncertainty

‘….it has not yet been revealed what we shall be….’ – 1 John 3:2

Our natural inclination is to be so precise– trying always to forecast accurately what will happen next– that we look upon uncertainty as a bad thing. We think that we must reach some predetermined goal, but that is NOT the nature of the spiritual life. The nature of the spiritual life is that we are certain in our uncertainty. Consequently, we do NOT put down roots. Our common sense says, “Well, what if I were in that circumstance?” WE CANNOT PRESUME TO SEE OURSELVES IN ANY CIRCUMSTANCE IN WHICH WE HAVE NEVER BEEN.

Certainty is the mark of the commonsense life– gracious uncertainty is the mark of the spiritual life. To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, not knowing what tomorrow may bring. This is generally expressed with a sigh of sadness, but it should be an expression of breathless expectation. We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God. As soon as we abandon ourselves to God and do the task He has placed closest to us, He begins to fill our lives with surprises.

When we become simply a promoter or a defender of a particular belief, something within us dies. That is not believing God– it is only believing our belief about Him. Jesus said, “…unless you…become as little children…” (Matthew 18:3). THE SPIRITUAL LIFE IS THE LIFE OF A CHILD.

We are not uncertain of God, just uncertain of what He is going to do next. If our certainty is only in our beliefs, we develop a sense of self-righteousness, become overly critical, and are limited by the view that our beliefs are complete and settled. But when we have the right relationship with God, LIFE IS FULL OF SPONTANEOUS, JOYFUL UNCERTAINTY AND EXPECTANCY. Jesus said, “…believe also in Me” (John 14:1), not, “Believe certain things about Me”.

Leave EVERYTHING to Him and it will be gloriously and graciously uncertain how He will come in– but you can be certain that He will come. Remain faithful in Him.”

With uncertainty, until later.

Fred