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January 17, 2015

Fuel for the Weekend

by Dave Malnes

Faith fixes our eyes on what is unseen (heaven) and the life that is hidden with Christ in God.

Unbelief or a lack of trust in God’s promises sees the world through the lens of our own eyes. God gives us a new prescription through faith. We see the world through His eyes. Even though we don’t understand – or when life simply does not make any since – faith accepts present circumstances with an eternal perspective. Someday it will make sense. What has been unseen in this life will come into full view in the next. For now, the mysteries of faith remain “hidden with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:3-4)

Perhaps we can take a few moments this weekend to ponder what it means to be “hidden” in Christ.

The Greek word for hidden means “encrypted.” Sometimes a person will encrypt a secret message within words. From the word “crypt”, we find English words for a burial place or a secret chamber under a church. There are mysteries within the words of Scripture that we can’t comprehend within our human mind. We can’t fathom how God works, nor even begin to comprehend the mystery of the Trinity. This can also be applied to our life in Christ. How does a sinful body receive the ongoing presence of Christ? Yet, by remaining in his presence, we bear the fruits of the spirit. To be “hidden with Christ in God” is a mystery that has already been solved or a code that has already been broken where the marriage of perfection is bound with imperfection, the immortal with the mortal.

Faith is trusting that to be true.

Faith accepts that Jesus Christ has broken the code. He is the key that unlocks the mysteries of faith that are encrypted within Scripture. He is the way to eternal life. He is the life that has already been exchanged for our own on the cross. Faith receives a status of perfection while living in a world in a state of imperfection. The mystery behind the “how” questions of God and his dealings with the world rests comfortably by accepting the promises of a trustworthy Savior.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK:

“As New Testament believers, we live in the full light of God’s grace revealed in the face of Jesus Christ. We know our God as the one who punished all our sins in Christ’s body. After he had suffered all, he could say in triumph at the end, “It is finished!” The entire world has been reconciled to the Father in him. No wrath whatever remains for those who receive this message of forgiveness by putting their trust in him. On the other hand, those who reject this message have placed themselves outside God’s grace and can expect nothing but God’s righteous anger upon everything they do. 

Saying this, however, does not mean that all of God’s blessings and all of God’s punishments are simply deferred until judgment day. Jesus himself promises that “all these [earthly] things will be given” to those who put the kingdom first (Matt 6:33). Sin still has its consequences also in this present life. Even believers experience the loving chastisements of God that purify them of the unbelief remaining within them (1 Peter 1:6-7). Only faith can see these things as expressions of God’s love; the unbelieving part of us feels nothing but the pain. Yet this faith is so powerful that it can even free our hearts to “rejoice in our sufferings” (Rom. 5:3), since it is confident that our heavenly Father has in mind nothing but good through them.”   (Paul Wendland)

We can pray,

“O Lord, there is so much I don’t understand about you, the events surrounding me, and my life. Like the disciples, I cry out, “I believe, Lord, help me in my unbelief.” Thank you, Lord, for your understanding, your patience, your mercy and grace. Grant me moments this weekend to ponder the mystery of your presence with me and throughout the world. Your are in control, O Lord, whether people want to believe that or not. Thank you for being my Savior.  Amen.”

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15312148163_6278660e68_zGood blog posts this week:

“How to Accept Your Invitation to a More Deeply Nourishing Life” 

“When we exchange false, painful stories for God’s truer, better ones — over time we also change our emotions, ourmoods, our personalities, and the outcome of our very lives.”

Humble Self-Righteousness

“There are many today… who don’t fit at all the usual definitions of self-righteous. People who are humble and caring for others, but who still think that they have a good history of keeping the commandments. Who think that they have to do something to merit eternal life and earn a place in Heavenly Father’s presence. Who are humbly self-righteous. This is a danger we all need to beware of.”

Heaven is for Real

I’m saddened to read about the boy who recently recanted his story of going to heaven after being involved in a horrific auto accident. His story became a best-selling book and a movie. I don’t condemn him, but saddened about who profited from the story and the harm it may have caused. It’s hard to not be opportunistic when all the motivations are wrong. A good lesson in humility for me and an opportunity to question my own motives.

 

 

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