Thursday, March 10, 2005

Epiphanies

This morning it hit me that God has been the one in control all along... this is not to say I didn't realize it before, but this is a realization that he in in control of every little thing as well.

I've been trying to discipline myself to get reading the Bible every day, but lately I've been failing. It's as if I kept myself from reading even though I desired to study - I yearn for more. Today I got up in the morning and started reading and it hit me that God was keeping me from reading to teach me a lesson.

I can't even read in his word without him. I can't study without him. I cannot seek him out of my own power, but only through his. He has enabled us Christians to seek him and to live for him, and it is only through him that I can even turn a page.

So I read this morning:

2 Thessalonians 2:13b, 14
God chose you as the first fruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

You see here that we're saved not only through believing but also through the sanctification - the turning from evil for good in our lives. Jesus taught, "Repent" as well as "believe in me." And all of this is only through the Spirit as we're chosen by the Father for the glory of Jesus Christ.

And all of this comes on the heels of last night's epiphany: The Bible in whole and God unchanging. As we're so limited in our understanding of time it's hard to comprehend, but we look at things and say they're bad, but God sees the culmination of all things and it is perfect.

Throughout the Bible horrific things happen, and God remains steadfast. As imitators of Christ, should we not seek to live eternally, not being swayed by the tides of culture? Often times when I've talked with people about non-resistance they bring up some event where violence ended in something good. They will say something like "a child is saved from certain mutilation or death through violence, so it's ok sometimes." And God works through everything, and is in everything. What about the child that wasn't saved from death? Was God's will not carried out through that as well? Don't we know that God works all things together for good? We can say that wars sometimes result in good, but does that mean we should stick ourselves in the midst of them and participate in war?

In Genesis we have the story of Joseph, and he saved countless lives through the clever use of storing up enough bumper crop to last through the famine. Joseph undoubtedly save his own family from certain ruin because of this famine in order to preserve the line that would yield Christ. But how he got to this position was through hate, guile, and many evil things. Can we say these people did good because it produced good? Nay, these people did evil, and God worked it all for his purposes for good.

Judas Iscariot sold Jesus to his death - his death that saved our souls. Of course Judas is still accountable for his evil deeds, and good came from them.

We are followers of Christ, set apart for his work. But we get caught up in the temporary and compromise the eternal for temporary gain.

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