Archive for January, 2012

The Genius of God

“For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew Him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning Him. And though they found no cause of death in Him, yet desired they Pilate that he should be slain. And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took Him down from the tree, and laid Him in a sepulcher. But God raised Him from the dead…” – Acts 13:27-30

If you ever need a reminder that God is in control of the happenings of earth, as a master chess player is in control of the board, you only need to look at this passage. Continuing the analogy, I remember a time when I had the opportunity to play a real genius in chess, along with about ten or fifteen other people. He would simply go around the tables and make his move, then go to the next board and move his piece. I thought since he was so distracted with the others, surely I could catch some mistake and beat him. I was very wrong, and ended up losing very quickly. He was in control the entire time. Despite every counter attack I attempted, he utterly won.

Paul is recounting the story of what happened to Christ in Acts 13 in an attempt to prove that Jesus was the Messiah. According to this passage, it was the Pharisees and the chief rulers who planned to have Jesus slain. On top of that, we know it was Judas’s plan to betray Jesus into their hands. There was also another even more sinister character, pulling strings from the dark shadows of Hell: the devil himself planned to slay Jesus.

I’m certain those who pushed for Christ’s demise thought in their pride, “Well, that takes care of him. He won’t be causing any problems anymore.” Perhaps Satan thought he had the victory on the cross. Before any of this happened, however, Jesus spoke this to His disciples: “… the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me. But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do” (John 14:30-31).

It may have appeared that God was losing; it may have appeared that His purposes were frustrated. But it was not so. That last phrase of the verse in Acts is so crucial: “But God raised Him from the dead.” In a sense, the leaders of this world laughed, thinking they had won in taking the Queen, the most powerful piece on the board. Yet as Colossians 2:15 says, Christ “having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” That is pure genius; the genius of God.

As it was then, so it is today. Romans 8:28 is one of the most overused passages in Scripture, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true and powerful: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” If you love God, and are called by Him, then this verse applies to you. No matter what happens, know that God is in control. Evil men make plans to subvert God’s cause, but all they’ve done is fallen into His trap and fulfilled His plan written before the beginning of all things. As Professor Clyde Kilby said, “… this world is not idiotic, neither run by an absentee landlord, but today, this very day, some stroke is being added to the cosmic canvas that in due course I shall understand with joy as a stroke made by the architect who calls Himself Alpha and Omega.”

God has been working throughout the entirety of history, turning perceived evils into greater goods than we could possibly have imagined. He can do it for you as well. What He needs is your trust. Imagine, if God can use evil men to propel His purposes, how much more can He use a vessel yielded to Him for His glory?

Advertisements

, , , ,

Leave a comment

Fantastic Friday’s Feature: Desiring God

Today’s feature is an entire ministry, and one that I hold dear to my heart. I haven’t read the title book, Desiring God by John Piper, but I have heard fantastic things about it. I have also subscribed to their blog (which is exceptional) and seen a few sermons and talks (which are also extraordinary). John Piper and those who form the ministry are men hard after truth, and their desire is to know Him and to make Him known to the ends of the earth and by whatever means possible.

One particular section of the blogging portion of their website is called They Still Speak – Hebrews 11:4 (which says, in part, “… and by it he being dead yet speaketh”). A somewhat recent post entitled “10 Steps to Stay Alive to the Beauty of God’s World” is very convicting and encouraging, and is perhaps my favorite post of all: http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/10-steps-to-stay-alive-to-the-beauty-of-gods-world

The sermons I have seen are unfortunately limited (though I hope to increase this number soon), but the three I have seen are very powerful. “You Will Never See Death” deals with humanity’s inherent fear of death: http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/sermons/you-will-never-see-death . “From Bloodlines to Bloodline” was given on MLK weekend of this year, and is a good sermon on racism (coming from the south, where great prejudice can still exist, I find this one especially poignant): http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/sermons/from-bloodlines-to-bloodline . One of John Piper’s most famous talks given is called “Don’t Waste Your Life”; a simple, yet relevant message in a culture where it seems the ultimate goal is to retire by 55 and spend the rest of your life playing golf in Florida (this is only the first part, the rest is in the sidebar): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyJs95MH8RI

I also give you a link to a two hour discussion moderated by John Piper between the three main, evangelical views of eschatology. The reason I am linking this is not because I am particularly interested in you knowing a lot about what these men think about eschatology, but because it is an excellent example of how to deal with doctrinal issues in the church. These men discuss the Word in a civil manner, and it is impressive and Christ exalting in every manner: http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/conference-messages/an-evening-of-eschatology

Finally, I give you a blog post from a friend of mine, Ben Zornes. John Piper is famous for his exuberant hand motions, and perhaps this post explains where he learned it from: http://www.benzornes.com/hand-motions-courtesy-of-ch-spurgeon

I hope that John Piper’s ministry blesses you and draws you ever nearer to Christ. Have a blessed evening, my dear reader!

 

, ,

Leave a comment

Embracing the Fairy Tale Life

by Zak Ellison

In his essay “The Twelve Men”, Chesterton points out that a distressing paradox in our world is that “the more a man looks at a thing, the less he can see it”.  In other words, the more familiarity we have with something, the less likely we are to appreciate its significance.  The posters and paintings that we hang on our dorm wall soon become invisible to us.  Class material that at first excites our interest often loses its appeal as the semester drags on.  Family members that we love and admire soon get taken for granted.  In various ways, our familiarity with the world robs us of the wonder that it initially instilled in us.

Observing the behavior of children supports the truth of this paradox.  The joy of children comes from their captivation with the wonders in this world.  They have not gazed on the universe as long as we have; therefore, its beauty is still fresh in their eyes.  Children delight in playing the same games and hearing the same stories over and over again because they are still enthralled by the beauty of those things.  Who would not sustain this sense of delight if he could?  Alas, as we grow old we seem to lose something of this delight, despite life being no less beautiful.  Our eyes grow dim with age and we no longer see as clearly the rich significance in every starry sky and every blade of grass.

We are all susceptible to this joy-killing familiarity with the world.  Tolkien describes it as a man locking his beautiful possessions into a cupboard.  A man who hoards in this way still possesses his treasures, but he can no longer enjoy them (Tolkien, “On Fairy Stories”).  In similar fashion, the more familiar we become with the people and things in this world, the more we tend to grow numb to the depths of meaning they possess.  Unless we intentionally fight against this process, we will mentally lock up the wonders that we daily encounter; therefore, we will no longer delight in their beauty.

I am convinced that the reading of fairy tales can be a powerful weapon in this fight against the numbing effects of familiarity.  By fairy tales, I mean stories of ordinary people who find themselves in fantastic worlds where strange and magical powers are at work.  The world of fairy tales has an unexpected and startling quality about it.  Unexpected pleasures and unexpected dangers lurk around every corner, ready to ambush the hero.  There is also a sense that the fairy tale world exists for its own sake, quite apart from considerations for the hero.  The hero is expected to make his way the best he can during his adventures in this mysterious land.

Fairy tales can renew our appreciation for the world by reminding us of the wonder of God’s universe.  “These tales say that apples were golden only to refresh the forgotten moment when we found that they were green” (Chesterton, Orthodoxy).  When a story tells us of winged horses, it invites us to ponder the miracle of horses without wings (Tolkien, “On Fairy Stories”).  The fantasy elements in a fairy tale recharge and stimulate our imaginations so that we can better receive the wonders of the real world.  Reading about the enchanted woods “makes all real woods a little enchanted” (Lewis, “On Three Ways of Writing for Children”).  Fairy tales provide an antidote to human forgetfulness, to the indifference of familiarity.

But more than that, they teach us that we ourselves also live inside a fairy tale.  The same fundamental qualities in fairy tales also exist in our own lives.  Our life has the same unexpectedness of the hero’s adventures in fairyland.  “The supreme adventure is being born.  There we walk suddenly into a splendid and startling trap.  There we see something of which we have not dreamed before.  Our father and mother lie in wait for us and leap out on us, like brigands from a bush” (Chesterton, Heretics).  Just like in a fairy tale, God creates the characters for his story and throws them into a world of wonder and danger.  God leaves it to us either to shrink from this adventure or to embrace it.

Embracing life like a fairy tale enables us to recapture a child-like sense of astonishment.  It helps us to remember that this world, though fallen, is indeed an amazing and wondrous place.  The fairy tale mindset makes us grateful, because it reminds us that all the beauty of this world is an undeserved gift.  The story is precious because it might have been told quite differently.  God did not need to write our character into his world, but he chose to.  Like a fairy tale, this world is often hostile as well as beautiful; however, God’s word assures us that our adventures in this world are not in vain, and that there is an even greater adventure yet to come.

In our age, fairy tales have often been dismissed as suitable only for children.  But I think it’s time to bring fairy tales back out of the nursery.  They may have more to teach us than we think.

———

This was a piece written by my elder brother, Zak. He is a student at Columbia International University, majoring in Humanities; he has a deep love for the older writings of humanity, preferably those who have already passed away. 

, , ,

4 Comments

Fantastic Friday’s Feature: Day of War

The year: 998 B.C. The place: Ancient Israel, near the end of King Saul’s reign. David is hiding with the Philistines as they prepare to march on Israel. The outcast’s soldiers are a rag tag band of all sorts: some are loyal to David and his God; others are there only for the spoil. Benaiah, one of David’s men, is sent alone to a northern village to fend off a lion that has been attacking the people and to secure loyalty to David. It’s a snowy day…

This is the scene the book Day of War opens with, and it is part one of a new series about David and his mighty men written by Cliff Graham, an officer in the National Guard. I heard of this series from a friend, and decided to go out on a limb and get it. I was not disappointed. Day of War is a violent book, so it’s not for everyone, but you must remember, it’s written about violent times. Cliff Graham did his best in accurately portraying the historical, geographical, and scriptural information given him; however, he does fill in the gaps with his own imagination, so this book isn’t “canon”.

Perhaps the thing I like most about Day of War is the fact that it portrays these men as real people with real emotions and real problems. They weren’t just perfect saints: they were rugged, dirty, hard men just like we see today. Benaiah, who is the focus character, has a lot of issues, trusting in God being number one. Though Joab is David’s nephew and impressive fighter, he’s a proud snob. David himself is often in turmoil, trying to decide what to do and where to go. Graham does an impressive job writing these characters’ personalities as they may very well have been.

Second, Day of War is a man’s book. Not just because it’s violent, though that’s part of it (sorry ladies, we sort of like the bloody stuff). One reviewer said, “It is deeply masculine, but not in sense of bulging muscles, macho, and blind killing machine sort of way, (it is a very violent book). Graham touches on the deeper part of manhood as the reader sees the main character, Benaiah, who suffers through the insecurities, guilt’s, and frustrations that every man battles during his life. The relationships between the main characters in the story evidence the fact that Graham has served in the military and understands the inexplicable bond of men who fight together.”

The front page contains this verse: “Oh LORD, my Lord, the strength of my salvation, You have covered my head in the day of war.” (Psalm 140:7). When the Spirit of the Lord comes upon a man, in this book, they call it “the covering”. A fire begins within, and out flows power to do your task, whether it’s fighting a thousand men, writing a Psalm, or receiving council. David explains to Benaiah that “It is the strength, courage, and power Yahweh equips us with. It girds a man’s loins when he needs it and lets a man know that Yahweh forgives him when he fails.” Thus the famous phrase is born: Cover me in the day of war.

A moment later, Benaiah asks, “But why the day of war? Why do we only ask for it then? Why not when a ma is in his field plowing? Why not when he is with his family, or when he has left them and wants them to be safe and protected?”

To which David simply replies, “Every day is the day of war.”

I was unable to put down Day of War as I was reading it. It’s moving and powerful. At the end of it, I was surprised how much I had learned from it, though it was never said directly. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can’t wait for the second one to come out. On top of that, at some point, there will be a movie. So, dear reader, if you are the type who enjoys films more than books, your thirst shall be slaked. Though, if you are that type, why you are reading this is a mystery to me.

, , ,

Leave a comment

(Dis)Unified

One early morning at corporate prayer time at Ellerslie Leadership Training, I was speaking with a good friend and father in the faith. He said there were two things that God had challenged him on to believe; they would be the two hardest things for him to believe would one day happen. The first was his father’s salvation. The second comes from this verse in Ephesians:

“There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. […] And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” – Eph. 4:4-6, 11-13 (emphasis added).

It was hard for him to believe that one day, all the church would be in unified, growing into the full stature of Christ. That is a tall order to fill, especially when you look at the state of the church today. There are so many denominations in America and in the west that it has become ridiculous: Baptist and Southern Baptist, Pentecostal, Charismatic, Reformed, United Methodist and Wesleyan Methodist, Lutheran, Anglican, Presbyterian, and who knows how many more. Everyone has found their niche and is sticking to it, no matter what.

I think there’s something wrong with this pattern; it reminds me of cliques that are formed in middle school, especially when the bickering and doctrine wars begin. Right before the verse I mentioned above, Paul says we are to be “endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Too often we are instead promoting disunity in the body.

This is one thing that the Catholic Church is doing right, and I applaud them for it if it’s as true as I think. The advantage of having a Pope or a central authority figure is that everybody agrees on what they believe. Obviously, that becomes a problem when the head believes something false; however, they are unified. We Protestants, on the other hand, are a total joke. This is a call for unity in the body of Christ.

I understand that there are unique issues in the church today, and certain denominations have good reasons for splitting groups. For one, I would not want to have a church I am the pastor of partner with an emergent church, such as Rob Bell’s. We must keep integrity in what we believe and in the central truths of Scripture: what C.S. Lewis called Mere Christianity – the things we all agree on. All the other issues are minor; they come second to unity in the body of Christ. Too often we make them the thing instead of just slight difference.

I suppose the question is, can a Baptist worship comfortably with a Pentecostal, and can the Calvinist discuss the Word in peace with an Arminian? I say yes. Why? Because: I have seen it in reality.

That same place I mentioned, Ellerslie Leadership Training, is a hodge-podge of every conservative, Bible-believing denomination you can think of. There’s a rule at Ellerslie, aptly demonstrated in this video, that we are not allowed to discuss controversial doctrinal issues during the 9-week basic training. The result? I have never experienced such deep fellowship. Out of the one hundred students I’ve met there, I think I know maybe ten people’s denominational backgrounds. We formed that bond, that unity in the Spirit; and once we did begin to discuss deeper doctrines, at the end of the night, we were all still friends.

The biggest obstacle between people of different denominations uniting is not doctrine; it’s Self. It’s when we say to ourselves, “This is what I believe, and I will not be moved; anyone who says otherwise is an idiot who obviously can’t read their Bible.” It’s that part of you that wants to be right and prove how amazing your intellect and insight into the Word of God is. Pride is the most deadly sin to the Christian life, because it exalts us over God. God says, “Be unified.”

We reply, “But Lord, they’re weird; they don’t believe in TULIP; they only sing hymns; they raise their hands when they sing; they don’t baptize infants.”

Yet God still says, “Be unified. You are one body; act like it.”

Let’s quit the bickering and discuss the Bible like the civilized people we are. Let’s quit dividing and start uniting. Don’t get caught up in a denominational “clique”. It is one thing if someone doesn’t believe a majority of orthodox doctrines (i.e. Mormons); but it’s quite another when someone who ought to be our brother is treated like a stranger and outcast. We need to deny ourselves by the power of the Cross and the Crucified. Let us strive by the grace of God to be the Body this fallen world needs.

 

 

Eric Ludy has a powerful sermon on this point called “The Ellerslie Experiment”. I would encourage you all to check it out: http://ellerslie.com/Eric_Ludy_Sermons/Entries/2011/7/10_The_Ellerslie_Experiment.html

, , , ,

3 Comments

Fantastic Friday’s Feature: C.S. Lewis

Today’s Fantastic Friday Feature is a man who’s writings have greatly impacted me, and the more I read his books, the more I enjoy them.  That man is C.S. Lewis, Christian author and apologist.

Clive Staples Lewis was born November 29, 1898 in Belfast, Ireland. He had one older brother, Warren, who was his best friend through most of his childhood. Though Lewis was raised in a Christian manner his mother’s death, his father’s stress, and bad influences at school caused him to forsake his faith. It wasn’t until much later, after serving in World War I, that Lewis was reluctantly converted to Theism, and later, to Christianity. As he says in his autobiography Surprised by Joy, “The fox [him] had been dislodged… and was now running in the open, ‘with all the woe in the world’, bedraggled and weary, hounds barely a field behind. And nearly everyone was now (one way or another) in the pack; Plato, Dante, [George] MacDonald, Herbert, Barfield, [J.R.R.] Tolkien, Dyson, Joy itself. Everyone and everything had joined the other side.” Lewis went on to become one of the apologists on the front line, dealing with issues of the day, and defending the faith. He passed on into eternity November 22 of 1963.

There has been some dispute as to whether or not Lewis’s books should be read, due to some of his less-than orthodox views. However, the difference between Lewis and some modern authors is that his theology is not the subject of his books. Lewis confesses that he is no theologian, and the deep thoughts ought to be left to the deep thinkers; he, meanwhile, will be focused on what he calls “Mere Christianity”, the stuff that we all believe and agree with. When his beliefs do come up, they are presented more as his view, not necessarily the end all of truth. I, for one, read his books and thoughts and am drawn closer to Christ because of it. For more on that note, I encourage you to read this blog, “Why Do We Love C.S. Lewis and Hate Rob Bell?” (Fantastic title, I know). http://www.reclaimingthemind.org/blog/2011/11/why-do-we-love-c-s-lewis-and-hate-rob-bell/

At any rate, C.S. Lewis wrote many books, poems and stories. I have read a selection of these and I hope that you, dear reader, will add them to your reading list; or, if you have already, pick them up again, for, as Lewis said, “I can’t imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once.”

Perhaps the books Lewis is most famous for is The Chronicles of Narnia, a fantasy series set in the mystical land of Narnia. I am guessing that you, dear reader, have likely heard the name Narnia before, if nothing else, due to the movies that have come out. However, the books are much deeper than the movies; there’s a lot that doesn’t translate to the screen. Though the focus is on seven children during different stories, the driving force behind it all is the great Lion, Aslan. If you have not read this series before, I highly recommend it. It’s appropriate for children of all ages, I think; but that doesn’t mean it’s only for children.

Mere Christianity is the written version of BBC Radio War Time talks that Lewis gave during World War II about the fundamental truths of the Christian faith. Beginning with the Moral Argument, Lewis gives proofs for God’s existence; he then describes Christian morals and ends with a discussion on the Trinity. Lewis has a knack for taking big, theological (and often confusing) truths and boiling them down to simple, layman’s terms. This book is one of the most influential Christian books written in the past 100 years, and I can see why.

My most recent addition to the “have read” list of Lewis books is Surprised by Joy, an autobiography of Lewis’s early life and his conversion to Christianity. Within we see the Master Chessplayer making His moves, as a young agnostic attempts to evade them; eventually the youth is entrapped: Checkmate. Whether you want to know the inner workings of Lewis’s mind or simply want to know how he became a Christian, this is the perfect book.

A fantastic allegory of life on earth, The Great Divorce presents a unique view of Heaven and Hell, where the inhabitants of Hell may ride a bus up to Heaven and see it. Some stay, conquering their lesser desires; others leave Heaven, preferring Hell if they can’t have things their way. This is not meant to be a literal story, but an allegory for how we live our lives now. Are we living with our minds on Heavenly things, focusing our time and energies on things that matter? Or are we living our lives clinging to the smallest trinkets of earth that shall drag us into Hell?

These four are the ones I’ve chosen to specially recommend. I do not want to tire your eyes, dear reader, so I shall not ask you to read my thoughts and summaries on more of Lewis’s books. However, I do wish to recommend a few more to you before you go back to what you were doing before you stumbled upon this page:

The Problem of Pain – Lewis here confronts the age old question, “If God is good, why do we suffer?”

The Screwtape Letters – A selection of letters from an elder demon, Screwtape, to his nephew, giving him tips on how to conquer mankind.

The Weight of Glory – A selection of essays written by Lewis on various subjects; some titles include, “Why I’m Not a Pacifist”, “Learning in War Time”, “On Forgiveness”, and the title essay, “The Weight of Glory”.

The Four Loves – Lewis writes about the four different forms of love that we may have as men. There is actually an audiobook of Lewis reading this himself. I highly recommend it.

On top of these Lewis wrote many more books and essays, which would be too many to list here. All his life, C.S. Lewis tried to be a writer; it wasn’t until after he became a Christian that that dream became a reality. His words are still impacting souls today, and I think they will continue to throughout the generations when many modern authors have been lost and forgotten.

, , , , , ,

1 Comment

Even in Shackles

Imagine yourself in a house; not just any house, but a very small, one, maybe two, room house. Your accommodations are minimal: a bed, a table, and a couple chairs at most. You can’t leave this house, except to go to court and be tried before a judge. To ensure that you don’t attempt to escape, a police officer is bound to you with chains. Visitors come to you, but aside from that it’s just you and the officer in the house until the day of your trial. Think about it:

How would you feel? What would you be thinking? What would be the first thing you want to do?

I’ll assume, because I know my own nature, that the first thing that pops into your head wouldn’t be “preach the gospel”.

I imagine that the scene I just described is what it was like for Paul when he was under house arrest in Rome. Yet here we find a man who, though he is beaten and in shackles, his sole desire is to glorify God. In his letter to the Ephesians, we see a glimpse of that passion:

“Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory. For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God. Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto Him be glory in the church by Jesus Christ throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” (3:13-21, emphasis added)

When he asks for prayers from the Ephesians, he asks not for comfort, freedom, or aid; he says, “And [pray] for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.” (6:19-20, emphasis added.

Paul called himself an ambassador in bonds; he saw that, even in shackles, even in painful situations, God could be glorified, and the gospel of Christ spread. He didn’t see the Roman soldier bound to him as a burden; he saw it as an opportunity to see a lost soul saved. He didn’t waste time moping about his house; he prayed, sought the Lord, and wrote some of his greatest epistles: Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon. Paul saw every situation, good or evil, as a way to glorify God.

At first, he probably saw little fruit; but as he continued, faithful to the Lord, he saw God working in his midst. He tells the Philippians, “But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which have happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel; so that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places; and many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear” (1:12-13, emphasis added). In a sense, the Apostle is saying that he’s glad he went to prison, because it has been used to greatly glorify God. He knew that, though he was bound, “the word of God is not bound” (2 Tim. 2:9).

Often in our lives we face situations that come to us out of the blue. It’s natural to life, that arbitrary element that we cannot control. Though we think this or that will happen, we never truly know what lies ahead. You could be travelling down the road one day, when everything is going well, and you’re rear-ended by the driver behind you. Or you might find out that you have that shift with that co-worker who isn’t a Christian and is very worldly. Or your neighbor may come over in tears, explaining how they have just run over your dog. The question is, what will you do?

Every situation, no matter how evil or silly or pointless it seems on the outside, has the ability to be used to the glory of God. I’m not saying you need to preach to the lady who rear-ended you; but the way you react to that lady can either lead her towards Christ or away from Him. C.S. Lewis said in The Weight of Glory, “It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. […] There are no normal people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. […] it is immortals with whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit – immortal horrors or

 

everlasting splendors.”

Paul said he was given grace to do this work; it was not on his own willpower or strength that he relied, but God’s. In the same way, we have grace for every situation that comes our way. Know this grace, and know that God can be glorified in every moment of every day, no matter where you are right now.

, , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment