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Tag Archives: Faith

The gospel is the belief that the creator God, sent his son Jesus, to be a sacrifice for our sins; so that we could be with him forever.  The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), and Jesus paid that price for us, in obedience to God the father (Mathew 26:39) so whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).  This belief brings the forgiveness of our past transgressions, and the removal of condemnation of our sin before God.

That means every lustful thought, spit in his face.  Every hateful thought towards our fellow man, a Roman scourge to his back. Every lie, great or small that crosses our lips, a crown of thorns on his head.  Every self serving and self glorifying action or thought, our cry to “CRUCIFY HIM”.

His reply; “father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)

That’s the gospel. and for that reason, I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. |(Romans 1:16)

“A human being is a part of the whole called by us Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” ― Albert Einstein

Ok, before I dive into this subject full-bore I want to offer up some basis for what I’m building certain assertions off of.  One of those things will be the Hebrew word Shalom.  The idea of Shalom is just as critical now as it was then.  I’m also going to leverage a very pointed commandment from Christ himself during the course of his ministry found in Mark 12:30-31.  To anyone reading this of a differing world view, I urge you to stick with me and hear what I have to say on the subject.  I’m also going to briefly discuss some philosophical thought process stemming from Quantum Theory, more specifically to the idea of a prime observer and multiple unperceived dimensions that continually impact that which is.  I’m also working from the doctrinal principles in the Westminster Catechism.  First that “The Chief End of Man” is “To glorify God, and enjoy him forever”.  Also the doctrine of the trinity, which states: “There are three persons in the Godhead; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory”.  Finally sin, which is best defined by: “any want of conformity unto, or transgression of, the law of God”.  Now to put this most simply since the 1st commandment is “You shall have no other God’s before me.” it’s safe to declare sin as anything that takes your focus and worship from God.  Yes, the standard for perfection is that high.

Now lets begin.

A human being is a part of the whole called by us Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.

I agree completely with what is being said here, and it has a significant doctrinal relevance to it.  Man is a part of something greater.  A creature with a purpose, and these creature’s are intended to serve one another and to glorify him who created them.  However, due to the fall , we are separated from God and unable to see that connection.  More focused on ourselves, and what serves us better.  Our own personal God, ourselves, which we place before our Creator everyday.

God is, in my view, the great observer from Quantum Mechanics.  He is outside of time, he sees everything and is in control of all things.  Scripture says he knows the end from the beginning, and I find peace in that.  I also find peace in the belief that my position in space and time is known, and ordained for his purposes.

This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us.

In our own self worship, we build up an undeserved sense of self-importance, which further fragments us from others, and our God.  I really enjoy the use of the word “prison” in this quote, as I think it’s a very appropriate word.  We are trapped, unable to escape without help.  However, that’s a deeper discussion in and of itself.

Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.

Now this is where the idea of Shalom to me is most clearly stated.  Which in its simplest form means, harmony and peace.  Sounds familiar right?  Almost all world views and religions believe that this is an achievable standard.  Given the trinity, I believe it is part of the natural design and order.  I look at the trinity, in equal measure, glorifying one another in an endless dance.  Christ, the son, commanded us to love one another (even our enemies).  In a perfect world, one free of sin, I believe we would see that same role played out (or will after glorification).  What use would I have to care for myself when the man next to me is doing so, and I in turn am focused on the one beside me.  Not only would life be simpler, but we would be mimicking our creator, which I believe is one of the sincerest forms of worship.

We do live in a fallen world however.  I do believe this is part of a greater plan that actually will bring about greater glory, and joy once its reached it’s completion.

One last thing I wanted to discuss before closing this post is that in quantum physics there is a theory that states there are multiple things that influence everything around us, but we are unable to perceive them because we aren’t aware of them.  In other words, our perception is our reality, but that perception is not an absolute representation of the truth.   Even in the midst of  the perceived chaos around us, I believe in a sovereign God who is in control of all things.  So I think it’s important that I state I believe there is harmony, but that we are in constant rebellion permitted by the will of God.  I believe that harmony in the created universe is that testimony to him.  Scripture states that God’s invisible qualities have been very clearly displayed in creation.  However for those who are believers in God, we have been lead to belief by the Spirit, which is a very deliberate force in our universe.  That those who are made aware of it no longer see the world as being merely a matter of chance, but of a like deliberate nature.

So how does this intellectual and theological meandering meet our everyday life?  I believe it meets the same purpose of what the original quote sought to convey.  For everyone, we need to stop and recognize that there is more than us in this universe and we should have a heart for them.  Additionally, for the believer, that in serving others we serve and bring glory to the God who made us.

Moved me to tears with her 19 month post for Maggie. I know she doesn’t like a lot of attention drawn to herself or her blog, but I just had to share this post.

Poem from her post:

Special Child
by Sharon Harris

You weren’t like other children,
And God was well aware,
You’d need a caring family,
With love enough to share.
And so He sent you to us,
And much to our surprise,
You haven’t been a challenge,
But a blessing in disguise.

Your winning smiles and laughter,
The pleasures you impart,
Far outweigh your special needs,
And melt the coldest heart.

We’re proud that we’ve been chosen,
To help you learn and grow,
The joy that you have brought us,
Is more than you can know.

A precious gift from Heaven,
A treasure from above,
A child who’s taught us many things,
But most of all – “Real Love”

So for those who know, and for those who don’t.

My mother in law was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, and after a bit of testing had her first surgery this past Tuesday.  I won’t go into vast amounts of detail, but the tumor was succesfully removed, and 2 of the 3 lymph nodes came back negative upon the initial inspection, and the tumor came out nice and round (generally meaning it was well encapsulated).  I’m thankful that initial crisis is behind us, and we can look forward to (hopefully/prayerfully) continued healing of her body.

I’ve been loaded down with work, and personal issues lately that have prevented me from posting anything on here in quite a while.  Hopefully I can get some solid script/code/technical content posted here soon.  I really want to get my logon framework posted up here, but I’m not really sure the best method for achieving that right now.

Until then, take care.

The simplistic beauty of nature in my back yard.

 

Seeing my daughter with cerebral palsy crawl over, push her self up, and begin petting her dog.

God is good, and infinitely greater at revealing his mercies than I often believe possible.

I had thought to have more time to blog and post things of interest now that the holidays had passed and the core portion of my logon framework was completed but something(s) unexpected happened.  We arrived home and decided to go out to eat dinner when my wife received a phone call that her closest cousin’s 7 month old son had died suddenly at the sitters.  This passing was followed by the news of 3 others close to me; 1 co worker and 2 old family friends.

There is hope in their passing that I will see them all again.  With that I find peace, but continue to pray for their loved ones and those who feel the immediate loss in their life.  One of my favorite analogies of death is that, it’s like losing an arm.  Things will never be the same, but eventually you learn to live without it. 

To those learning how to live again, my heart goes out to you, sincerely.

So, in the midst of the holiday season I’ve not had a lot of time to blog, if I’ve had time it’s been spent either coding or playing one of the many games that have been coming out this holiday season.

This past week I took some time off to get away with my wife and and spend some time alone while my mother in law watched the kids.  I can’t begin to express how amazing it was to just relax with my wife and enjoy each others company.  To sit and talk, uninterrupted about something other than the work or kids.  We also went to see courageous while we were together.  We really enjoyed it, and it was nice to see a movie that we both could enjoy that covered values that we agree with.

It was especially nice considering the time was intended for us to grow together and reconnect.  This offered us that opportunity, and we have our in laws to thank for that.  Of course all good things must come to an end and this was no different.  We then spent the rest of the week with family, enjoying ourselves, but wearing ourselves out as well.  Games, kids, food, sickness, and well, family (and all that implies).

As far as gaming is concerned I’ve been through and am currently playing: battlefield 3 (pc), Assassin’s Creed Revelations (ps3), Resistance 3 (ps3), gears of war 3 (360), Uncharted 3 (ps3), Skyrim (pc), and swtor beta (pc).  I’ve so far, omitted batman arkham city and modern warfare 3.  I’ll be throwing some more technical blogs up later I’d suspect, especially involving some things I have going building an sccm health check script that’s fairly comprehensive yet light weight.  We’ll see how that goes.

For those wondering, I still don’t have any news on my current job situation.  So until I’m told otherwise, I am employed.  I suppose I’ll make it through my holiday’s with it from the way things look, but you never know.  Thanks for those praying for me during this time, they are always welcome.

That’s about it for my update, until next time, have a happy holiday.

I want you to think of a few things that will help you to remain mission minded. For the record, these are things I ask myself, or pose to myself on a regular basis; today has been one of those days.

 

God is sovereign, he placed you where you are.

You will be going into work, or staying home, or taking rest today because it was ordained by God. This same God knit you together in your mother’s womb, he also knit the people around you in their mother’s womb. The people you will see today are intended for you to see, they are not an accident.

Do you believe that?

 

You have nothing to fear or worry over, your food, your clothing, your social status.

Do you know what it is to be hungry? Do you know what it is to be a social pariah? Do you know what it is to be underdressed. Now ask yourself this, what did my worrying do to improve/resolve this problem? I believe when you evaluate that you realize it contributed nothing. I believe you will realize it is in God’s hands.

Do you believe that?

 

We go day in and day out, neglecting our God.

Our very hearts and minds drift from him towards desires of the flesh. Towards what will satisfy us physically and emotionally, we whore ourselves to it. Our work, our children, our church, our friends, ourselves.

Do you believe that?

 

We do not deserve one iota of respect, patience, peace, mercy, or love from the almighty being that created us.

We deserve to die, we are like dust before the lord. Apart from God and then compared to God, we don’t even register. We couldn’t even stand in his presence! We couldn’t even look at him!

Do you believe that?

 

This same God sent his only son, himself, in the flesh, to DIE for YOU.

Do you believe that?

 

We are forgiven, we are forgiven, we are forgiven, WE ARE FORGIVEN!

Do you believe that?

 

Who can stand before our God!? Who can hold back his hand!? How can anyone not be amazed by our God? If you see him, hear him, feel him, know him, then how can you not be amazed by our God?

Do you believe that?

 

From the overflow of our hearts comes praise and worship.

What is praise? If your child learns to walk, if you get a new car, if you got a great deal on clothes; how do you react? You want to tell everyone about it, if you are like me you can’t shut up about it! That is praise, how much MORE then should we praise God? What has been done for us? We are forgiven, we are loved, we are provided for, we will live forever, we are heirs to the throne, we are children of the light. Why would we not talk about it? If our God is in control, and we are forgiven even though all signs say we shouldn’t be; then why are we not on FIRE to tell people?

 

There is no feasible excuse outside of: we don’t believe.

To all things God gets the glory.  This is something of a doctrinal mantra, but is it something you believe?

We know that God is faithful according to Scripture.  Having on a multitude of occasions fulfilled his promises to his elect.  Not necessarily in their lifetimes, but certainly fulfilled.

So what do these two things tell us about God’s character, and what it should mean to his elect?

Its never too late, and nothing is impossible. 

God is most glorified when we are most incapable of receiving glory.  That is what is meant when it is said “my power is made perfect in your weakness” when we are removed, and God is the only one to receive the due credit, he will be most glorified.

So take heart, that when you are broken, and all appears lost  There is God, and in him there is our hope. 

So then what does his faithfulness have to do with that? 

Well he has promised that all good to those who love him and are called according to His purpose for His glory.  If you are His, and in you is His glory, and that glory is in your good; how can you lose?

I don’t say that from a prosperity stand point, but from a point of faith and promise.  In the vastness that is God’s grace and mercy, we find even more to love him for.

In our brokenness we find his Glory, and like everything he does, it’s a beautiful reversal.

First I want to define a few things up front before I begin.

 


Grace: Mercy, forgiveness, freely extended to individuals who deserve only wrath.

Belief/Faith: Treasuring Christ above everything, and living in a manner that reflects outwardly the inward Joy of that profession.

Weight: Value or cost of something. Not necessarily a burden, although the cost or value to one might seem burdensome given it’s elevated cost to the one who assumes that weight. (it will make more sense as you read)


 

Recently (this past Sunday) I began a discussion with a friend of mine from church regarding God’s Love vs. His Justice.  I want to outline this briefly to provide a basis for further development.  We know that God’s Justice is perfect, and that our trespasses against an infinitely worthy/innocent/glorious God carries the penalty of death and eternal separation from God.  We also know that by Christ’s substitutionary sacrifice at Calvary we, upon accepting and having faith in him, have his righteousness imputed to us.  This is a legal action, nullifying our transgressions before God and allowing us to be in his presence in fellowship forever.  The question this raises is, why? 

Why would God in his perfect justice offers us, horrible sinners (yes all of us), a free pass?  This we define as Grace, and is fueled by one of God’s other characteristics, his Love.  Stick with me, this isn’t a Rob Bell moment.  We know that Hell is real and not all will receive this pardon or Justification.  So it’s safe to assume at this point, that there is a weight to Grace.  Freely extended, but not freely applied?  Yes, I believe that. 

It all sounds so simple, say a prayer, make a profession, and I’m safe.  True believers know this isn’t the case.  Like the man who finds the treasure in the field and gives away everything so that he can have that treasure.  Did he get more than he gave?  Did he make these sacrifices in sadness?  No, he assuredly received more than he gave, and did so gladly and without regret.  The faith runs deep, is transformational, and works in an equivalent manner.  No, our faith is not works based.  Yes, our works are faith based, and faith is the price of our salvation and reception of this imputed righteousness.

So lets evaluate Faith, and I will keep it very simple here.  Faith as I stated above with belief is placing Christ above everything, including yourself.  The truth is, this manner of living is not unlike living in servitude.  You seek to please your master, with love, through service in accordance to His Will.  You also, were bought and paid for, with his blood which he in turn paid lovingly for you.  Now to a non-believer this cost seems amazingly high.  Both the fact that Christ had to die, and the idea that servitude is the path to freedom.  The truth of the matter is, you are already in slavery before becoming a servant.  If you weren’t, no cost would have been paid for you.  We were all slaves to sin.  That sin drove us to place ourselves above that which deserves Glory (God) and heaps it upon ourselves.  I liken this to slavery, because in this scenario, we are not truly accounted for.  We are another slave, fighting for our own portion, which is maggoty bread compared to what rests on the masters table.  Yet as a servant, we are at the table with our master.  In servitude one is looked after, their best interests met in order for them to greater serve.  It’s a bond of love, and fellowship, sealed in service.  It is symbiotic in a sense, and provides what Sin so readily destroys, harmony or shalom/peace.  (do not read that God NEEDS us so much as he WANTS us)

So what is the weight of Grace?  That isn’t so easily defined, but one could surmise, the weight of Grace is:

The most heinous act in history; which merits the most glorious freedom for the believer.  That price was paid at Calvary, and the price for the believer is: Love, faith, and service for the one who died, and glory for the One who sent Him. 

As John Piper said in a sermon once, (an excellent sermon if you have an hour to listen) and it rings true here.

“We get the savior, He get’s the glory.  We get the great Joy, He get’s the honor.  Is that ok?  Good knight that’s ok!  It can’t be any other way if there is a God and a sinner like me.”

 


 

Parting thought on being a servant…

Lets take a moment to address something else for those who find the idea of being a servant repulsive or indignant. 

In our western culture the idea of “servitude” seems like something that devalues an individual.  We as believers are called into adoption, as heirs, to the throne.  We are not equal, but, part of the family.  How often do you cringe at the thought or service to your parents?  Siblings?  Cousins?  Children?  These are intimate relationships and fellowship, just as the relationship that is formed with the believer and Christ. 

You are cared for, provided for, and loved; but your worth does not exceed the worth of your master.  That does not diminish a thing.  I fully believe that every human is built with a desire to serve, it’s intrinsic to our nature and our happiness.  I do not think this is a coincidence. 

So with that; who or what are you serving?