Saturday, April 28, 2018

Sense in a Senseless World

If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of Myself.

John 7:17

Many years ago, I came across the promise from John 7:17 and it was a balm for my troubled soul. For I wrestled with the fact that God could be loving yet there was so much evil in the world. I thought God was random and arbitrary, but the verse of John 7:17, proved otherwise. We need only be willing and God will get the gospel to us. It is as easy as saying "yes" to God, I do believe that Jesus is exactly who He claimed to be.

I have an old booklet containing the message of salvation in John's gospel, written by a James Ely in 1924. Mr. Ely has a note for John 7:17 which reads: "Since Jesus was what He claimed to be-- God incarnate-- then if you will fulfill the requirements set forth in 7:17, God will absolutely convince
you that the doctrine of Jesus Christ is true and He will do it in His own good time and way."

When I first read the words, "willing to do His will," I wondered what God was really asking. Was he asking something that really was too hard to do, something nebulous and ill defined? But I kept reading in John's gospel and found the answer to that question too in John 6: 28-29.
"Then they said unto Him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent."  John 6:28-29
The answer is simple, believe on Him whom He (God) has sent. Anyone can do that, it is so simple a child can do it.

This is the absolute beauty of our salvation. It is a free gift to us, because Jesus had to do the hard part. He had to take in His body the sins of all the world and provide Himself as the perfect sacrifice for them all.

It has taken me years and years, but I am just starting to realize that if it seems He asks us to do something and it seems hard, like saying no to yourself in order to be His disciple, it really is because He really does know what is best for us.

He doesn't ask us to deny ourselves for the gift of salvation, only that we believe in the name of the Son of God. But if we want to know Him more and more, then we must say no to ourselves. Through hard circumstances, He allows us to try out our own way in contrast to His, realize it is utter vanity, and then trust Him with each day and find out how wonderful He is, how loving, patient and kind He is with His wayward and rebellious children.

Both the beauty of a simple flower or the millions of galaxies attest to the fact that we are not here by some random accident. I heard a famous atheist give the explanation for denying God.His reason for being one  it was based on a total misunderstanding, that because there was evil there could not be a good God. 

We are here by some random chance then? 

But I would say to him, yes there is evil. It is only intensifying more and more with each passing day. But that does not mean that there is not a God who doesn't care. 

All we need do is to gaze on the bloody cross upon which He died to realize that God loves us and wants the best for every one of His creatures.

In a senseless world, the simple truth of the gospel is the only thing that makes sense.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Missing Dad

[As for] man, his days [are] like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.
For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, And its place remembers it no more.
But the mercy of the LORD [is] from everlasting to everlasting On those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children's children...Ps. 103: 15-17

I am a bit melancholy today. Today would have been my Dad's 86th birthday, but he only made it to 84 1/2. 

I miss talking with Dad. He could talk to you about anything, especially deep things about God. My Dad could do just about anything, but he never bragged about how smart he was.

He was humble about his accomplishments and thought about those around him who didn't have the things he did. He volunteered with the food kitchen in town, served his church and prayed for the lost.

I don't know why I miss him so much today, but I do. Things are not the same since he left us, and sometimes I wonder what he would think of things if he were still here.

My Mom did not seem to remember that today was his birthday and I did not remind her, it just would have made her cry. He was her life and she flounders without him.

I know that I will see Dad again, and I can still hear his voice in my mind. I miss him so much with all of his thoughtful care for his girls, but I know he wouldn't want to be back here if offered the chance.

Before Dad died, others I knew passed away and I was saddened to see them leave us, but with Dad gone I have a heartfelt wish to be reunited with him one day, hopefully soon.

Dad had a windmill on his property that said "Praise Jesus." I am sure he agrees that was the perfect message to put on it.  One day soon I will be joining Dad in bowing before Christ's throne doing exactly that.

Happy birthday to my dear father in heaven. Can't wait to see you again, Dad.


On this the day of my Dad's birth, I know nothing would make him happier if anyone who happens to read this without knowing Christ would put their simple faith in Him to save them from their sins. Our God is so gracious, all He asks is that we believe in Him, that He took the punishment we deserve when He died for us on the cross. You can have brand new life and look forward to heaven, just as I do today.

"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. John 5: 24