Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Are You Listening?

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? Romans 8:28-31 NASB

I read and re-read that this morning.  I have had a lot to think about.  When life hits the road, sometimes it hits harder than other times.  Things are happening in the world that ought to make people wake up to the reality that if there is evil, then there's an opposite to that evil. People who aren't believers in Christ don't and can't see it because they are deep into that evil because they told God to get out. 

The opposite is not to 'do something' better.  It isn't about redefining morality. It isn't about all kinds of talk about positivity.  It isn't about new laws.  Telling everyone we can rise above this or that.

Apart from a right relationship with Jesus, there is no answer to the problems in this world.  To acknowledge evil that drives us to abhor it, demands acknowledging a good that is greater than ourselves.  The only 'good' that is greater than ourselves is from God.

People will never rise up above the evil in this world because evil stems from the heart of man. The evil we see perpetrated in the news is the potential of any man or woman.  It's called sin.

There's only one cure for it.

It's found in Christ Jesus.  He is the only one who has defeated sin and death.

But as you may have seen this passage is close to being the opposite of the condition of the world, at least the perspective of a believer.

We believe in Christ Jesus, in His word, in His work in us.  We will always face hard days, will always face days that push and stretch us. Days that take every ounce of strength we have.  But our hope is in 'the rrrrreesssst of the story', as Paul Harvey used to say.

The rest of the story is all about hope.

It's all about the tender mercies of Jesus Christ. 

It's all about how deep the Father's love for us is.

It's not about my rights, it's about what God says that I have been given, if I am indeed a believer in Jesus Christ.  It's also about what you have earned, if you choose not to believe. 

There before you are two doors. A narrow one with a door, of which it has a knob only on one side.  The other is wide open without doors and through it you can see all sorts of things to please the eyes.

Jesus is before the narrow door.  Beckoning for you to come.  He will not force you, He asks you to come and see.

The other wider door has all the world calling for you, deriding Jesus, telling you how much it has to offer.  Telling you how much you have to lose if you choose Jesus.  Telling you all that you will have to give up.  One lie after another because those in there have never seen what's behind the narrow door of Jesus.

Both say to trust them.

Both say they have the best waiting for you. 

However, only One stands out and has proven that He loved you enough to die for you.  You don't see anyone in that huge doorway willing to lay down their life for you.  You never will.  All who entered are self-centered, self-serving. Never wanting to know of the truth that when you go in to stay that eventually the ground will give way and to Hell you will go.  There is but one end for those who live only for themselves and are apart from God.  Jesus also stands in front of that open doorway.  Calling out to people to come.  The love in which He loved us on His face. Shown on His hands and feet.  Like Peter, He can reach in and pull you out of the water.  You have but to call out to Him.

You are tired of this life. To be honest, so am I!  But not in ways that you may think.

I am weary of the curse mentioned in Genesis.  That we will have to work all the days of our lives because the ground will never yield its best to us.  That by the sweat of our brows we will live.
I am weary because I have to waste so much of my time on worldly problems.  I long to be at peace sitting with Jesus.
I am weary of things breaking and needing fixed. Of the toll that time is having on my body.  Pills and Doctors.

But I have a hope.  Every morning I am here I have a hope.  It's only found behind that narrow door.  It's found in Christ.

His promises are new every morning.
As long as people are breathing there's hope to be found that they too will take the hand of Jesus and come out of the place they are to a new life in Him.

I used to stress about a great many things that I didn't understand.  But I don't anymore because I have come to realize that I don't need to know all the answers.  I just need to know that Jesus has all the answers.  Scripture is right concerned what happens to you when you put more effort in your life to putting more of Jesus in your life.  You find a peace you cannot describe.  A peace that the people of this world cannot take from you.  Just as Jesus said.

You want a better world? Start with you.
Where are you? Still in that wide open world of temptation or did you accept your invitation to be with Jesus? 

You see, if you haven't figured it out yet.  Once you go in that wide open doorway, it leads but to one place.  A cliff. That cliff is over the doorway of Hell.  Once you die, you are off that cliff heading straight down.  Only by coming to Christ and entering His narrow door will you find that it leads to Heaven.  There's no other way to Heaven.  It won't be found through Allah or Mohammed or Buddha or anyone else.  Jesus said that He is the Way the Truth and the Life.  No man comes to the Father but through Him. 

Jesus is calling to you both if you are a believer or not.  To the believer He wishes for a deeper relationship.  To the unbelieving, He is trying to save you. To show you the way.

Are you listening?

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