So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view.
How differently we know him now!
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him.
For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them.
And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” (2 Corinthians 5:16-20 NLT)
Have you ever fallen in love with Jesus but over time some how lost that spark, left your first love?
Life happens, we get distracted & may find that the true definition of love has been lost as we experience broken love in this life.
As long as we are more attached to our own selfish desires or try to be one with another person who doesn’t seem to care for us or maybe could careless about us the more we find ourselves deeply needing a love that lasts.
We all know what a break up feels like but what if we were to fall in love & become the bride of a perfect groom who is faithful even to the point of after death we’d find our deepest longings & ‘needs’ met in this life as well as the next.
When getting married we say, “until death do us part.” However, God is able to walk with us daily in a deeper love relationship that is far beyond human compare and remain with us even in the after life.
While we are alive each day is new and our love for Him, as we gain more & more understanding of His love for us, grows in commitment -deeper & stonger.
The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning (Lamentations 3:22-23 NLT)
Marriage as we know it can be a wonderful bond between two people but if either, or both, lose the love they had for each other it is the perfect example of how we sometimes treat God in our relationship with Him.
We may find ourselves spending less and less time with Him, thinking about Him, talking to Him, thanking about Him and showing Him we love Him.
We don’t need to feel lonely & desperate but if we look only to ourselves or for the deep love of another we come up short and will find dissatisfaction as we strive to be a soul mate to another human being or have expectations in another human being to be everything we really ‘need‘.
The more we push God onto the back burner the smaller the flame gets.
We like to try & be self sufficient or depend on another but as humans we will all always come up short.
Thinking we’ll find true satisfaction & complete fulfillment in ourselves or another just doesn’t work.
Psalm 49 puts it well,
Really! There’s no such thing as self-rescue, pulling yourself up by your bootstraps.
The cost of rescue is beyond our means, and even then it doesn’t guarantee Life forever, or insurance against the Black Hole.
Anyone can see that the brightest and best die, wiped out right along with fools and dunces.
They leave all their prowess behind, move into their new home, The Coffin, The cemetery their permanent address. And to think they named counties after themselves! (Psalm 49:7-11 MSG)
In this world, this life we really can’t love someone or something forever.
We aren’t immortal. We don’t last long. Like our dogs, we age and weaken. And die (Psalm 49:12 MSG).
The phrase “You only live once” (YOLO) has turned into a slogan to live wild & reckless, trying to fulfill all ones self desires of the flesh, rather than finding true fulfillment of the soul that will last even while facing the end of this life.
The following aren’t my words but God’s,
This is what happens to those who live for the moment, who only look out for themselves: Death herds them like sheep straight to hell; they disappear down the gullet of the grave; They waste away to nothing— nothing left but a marker in a cemetery. But me? God snatches me from the clutch of death, he reaches down and grabs me (Psalm 49:13-15 MSG).
Once you decide to develop a lasting relationship with God He comes in & gives you a more comfort & complete peace regardless of your earthly circumstances.
Yes, life may still suck from time to time, we will still struggle to pay bills and will face situations that try to break us but through it all we will survive because our hope is in God, not ourselves or anyone here in this world, in this life.
Never forget, you have a future. Although you only live once in this life, there is an eternity to consider and faith in Christ’s resurrection & ability to resurrect you into a life with Him in heaven is something only He can give & do for you.
If you’re not in love with Him now & don’t acknowledge Him now, maybe don’t even fully believe in His power, how will you ever fair to living in a place that only allows His full transformation of human beings.
My children asked me, “Why can’t everyone go to heaven.” My simple answer was, “Because then it will be just like earth.”
If everyone were to enter Heaven it would be mixed with people who have no room for God’s ways, just selfish to the point of doing whatever they want rather than a perfect place with order, love, peace, compassion & true joy, that only comes from God & His nature.
This world falls short when it comes to offering real security & safety because we are imperfect & don’t have the ability to care or meet the deepest needs of mankind, soul satisfaction.
Only God can provide that and change a person who is willing to let Him transform their nature to His.
Heaven is where God, who is perfect, dwells and imperfection can not be tolerated there.
The good news is that God can make us new & make us perfect as His Son is perfect. While in this life we can start life over, be born anew.
While living in a relationship with Him He continues to perfect us in a process called Holiness. As we humble ourselves & allow Him to work in us we find what only He can provide and we become more & more like Him, less and less like this world.
We are truly aliens in thought & deed as Christ’s Spirit dwells in us & our reactions & decisions are not as they were before we knew God personally.
When we become more focused on pleasing God than ourselves we find that life has completely different meaning.
However, the only source for this type of transformation comes from God not from a self help book, any abilities we think we have or from some guru.
There is no other salvation from the inevitable end of our lives, physically or spiritually and there is no power in this world that will save us from ourselves or our eventual demise.
God tells us,
I, I am the Lord , and besides me there is no savior (Isaiah 43:11 ESV).
The Lord God gives & takes away. He is the beginning, He created it all, and He is the end, He’s in control of all eternity.
He tells us,
Also henceforth I am He; there is none who can deliver from my hand; I work, and who can turn it back?” (Isaiah 43:13 ESV)
God told Jeremiah, who trusted Him,
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord , “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)
Jeremiah pleaded with God. While others choose to turn way from Him God told Jeremiah what he could do if he would just follow His instructions & put his faith in Him.
While others, who were also God’s children, walked away The Lord to Jeremiah to draw closer to Him.
“I will save you from the hands of the wicked and deliver you from the grasp of the cruel.” (Jeremiah 15:21 NIV)
So, becoming the true bride of Christ, committed to Him as He has committed His life to you means that you also will be part of that wedding day, living in eternity with your true love, The Lord Jesus Christ.
As an obedient child you will inherit His fortune.
When we go steady with God He remains faithful to us and we experience a love relationship that is constantly new, fresh and progressing everyday.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials (1 Peter 1:3-6 NASB).
So, once again the musical Psalmist David proclaimed it best and it is right here in black & white for us to read & grasp,
Listen, everyone, listen— earth-dwellers, don’t miss this.
All you haves and have-nots, All together now: listen.
I set plainspoken wisdom before you, my heart-seasoned understandings of life.
I fine-tuned my ear to the sayings of the wise, I solve life’s riddle with the help of a harp.
So why should I fear in bad times, hemmed in by enemy malice, Shoved around by bullies, demeaned by the arrogant rich?
Really! There’s no such thing as self-rescue, pulling yourself up by your bootstraps. The cost of rescue is beyond our means, and even then it doesn’t guarantee Life forever, or insurance against the Black Hole.
Anyone can see that the brightest and best die, wiped out right along with fools and dunces.
They leave all their prowess behind, move into their new home, The Coffin, The cemetery their permanent address. And to think they named counties after themselves!
We aren’t immortal. We don’t last long. Like our dogs, we age and weaken. And die.
This is what happens to those who live for the moment, who only look out for themselves: Death herds them like sheep straight to hell; they disappear down the gullet of the grave; They waste away to nothing— nothing left but a marker in a cemetery.
God snatches me from the clutch of death, he reaches down and grabs me. So don’t be impressed with those who get rich and pile up fame and fortune.
They can’t take it with them; fame and fortune all get left behind. Just when they think they’ve arrived and folks praise them because they’ve made good, They enter the family burial plot where they’ll never see sunshine again.
We aren’t immortal. We don’t last long. Like our dogs, we age and weaken. And die (Psalm 49:1-20 MSG)
That is why I enjoy every breath in this life & every moment with loved ones but hold on to the hope that there is more than what we see here & now.
I rely on God, deny myself, divorce my old way of thinking and unite myself with Him.
In Christ, Beetle
The choice is ours, divorce our own selfish desires & join in marriage to God or force God to divorce Himself from us because of our own unfaithfulness to Him.
Here is what He said to His first followers, Israel,
“Who will have pity on you, Jerusalem? Who will mourn for you? Who will stop to ask how you are? You have rejected me,” declares the Lord . “You keep on backsliding. So I will reach out and destroy you; I am tired of holding back. I will winnow them with a winnowing fork at the city gates of the land.
“I will winnow (sort, separate) them with a winnowing fork At the gates of the land; I will deprive them of children, I will destroy My people; They did not repent and turn from their [evil] ways.
JEREMIAH 15:7 AMP
I will bring bereavement and destruction on my people, for they have not changed their ways. I will make their widows more numerous than the sand of the sea. At midday I will bring a destroyer against the mothers of their young men; suddenly I will bring down on them anguish and terror. The mother of seven will grow faint and breathe her last. Her sun will set while it is still day; she will be disgraced and humiliated. I will put the survivors to the sword before their enemies,” declares the Lord . Alas, my mother, that you gave me birth, a man with whom the whole land strives and contends! I have neither lent nor borrowed, yet everyone curses me. The Lord said, “Surely I will deliver you for a good purpose; surely I will make your enemies plead with you in times of disaster and times of distress. “Can a man break iron— iron from the north—or bronze? “Your wealth and your treasures I will give as plunder, without charge, because of all your sins throughout your country. I will enslave you to your enemies in a land you do not know, for my anger will kindle a fire that will burn against you.”
Now, Jeremiah’s plead,
Lord , you understand; remember me and care for me. Avenge me on my persecutors. You are long-suffering—do not take me away; think of how I suffer reproach for your sake. When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, Lord God Almighty. I never sat in the company of revelers, never made merry with them; I sat alone because your hand was on me and you had filled me with indignation. Why is my pain unending and my wound grievous and incurable? You are to me like a deceptive brook, like a spring that fails.
Therefore this is what the Lord says: “If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve me; if you utter worthy, not worthless, words, you will be my spokesman. Let this people turn to you, but you must not turn to them. I will make you a wall to this people, a fortified wall of bronze; they will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you to rescue and save you,” declares the Lord . “I will save you from the hands of the wicked and deliver you from the grasp of the cruel.”
Jeremiah 15:5-21 NIV