Finding The Source

I love reading the true stories of history and how people coped with the knowledge they had at the time.  Recently I was reading about the London cholera epidemic of 1854.  For a long time it was believed that bad smells were the source of the disease.  However, it was reasoned that those richer with access to properly cleaning themselves were hit with the disease just as many of the poor.  The source was finally traced to a particular area of the city  where the drinking water had become contaminated.  When that was eradicated, the disease came to an end and people enjoyed good health once more.

This drew my thoughts to the diseased condition of our world; not in the physical sense, but spiritually speaking.  The Bible tells us that Jesus “…came that we might have life and that we might have it abundantly.”  To help us achieve that in our world of sinfulness, He has given us His own Holy Word as a guide.  He longs and loves for us to be overflowing in great joy, to know we are loved, to value ourselves, to be honest with each other.  His guidance leads us to achieve that level of success and joy — and we can have it for eternity.

His Word also shows us what pitfalls to avoid.  It’s our choice.  Follow His perfect ways and know indescribable joy and peace.  Turn from His perfect ways and know a destruction of love and joy and peace.

Nearly 3000 years ago, the prophet Isaiah foretold many things.  Some of those things have already come to pass; for example, the birth of Jesus.  He also foretells the second coming of Christ.  That has yet to come.  Interestingly, Isaiah tells us in what condition the world will be just before Jesus returns to claim His own and to set up His perfect Kingdom on earth.  The Bible tells us there will be a new heaven and a new earth.  When that happens, there will be no more sin at all.  Everything will be perfect in love and joy and peace — for eternity.  This life will be for all who choose the way of Jesus now.  Those who choose to turn away from God, in the here and now, will live without Him — for eternity.  What a sad and terrible thought, especially when it doesn’t have to be!

Our world is tragically in a great danger zone with so many people choosing to go against God and His ways in large numbers.  We see our world looking for meaning to life in all the wrong places.  Their judgement is impaired.  What was once known to be bad, they now call good.  What was once known to be good is now called bad.  This is why the world chooses death for babies not yet born, falling under the deception that it’s really just helping women.  This is why the world now embraces men making love to men and women making love to women; men deciding they’re really women and women deciding they’re really men.  Constant drunkenness resulting in vomit and headaches is called fun.  Unfaithfulness in relationships is accepted as the norm while waiting to have sex only after being married is called foolish.   Meanwhile, everyday the crime rate rises around the world.  Shootings, stabbings, bombings — and the world shouts “Why?”  Some blame God, if there is a God, they say.  All the while, God is loving them and longing for them to come to Him for perfect guidance so their world may be filled with meaning rather than emptiness.

Read what  the prophet wrote 3000 years ago in Isaiah 5: “What sorrow for those who drag their sins behind them with ropes made of lies, who drag wickedness behind them like a cart!  They even mock God and say, ‘Hurry up and do something! We want to see what You can do.  Let the Holy One of Israel carry out His plan, for we want to know what it is.’  What sorrow for those who say that what is evil is good and what is good is evil, that dark is light and light is dark, that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter.  What sorrow for those who are right in their own eyes and think themselves so clever.  What sorrow for those who are heroes at drinking wine and boast about the alcohol they can hold.  They take bribes to let the wicked go free and they punish the innocent.”  I encourage you to read the whole chapter.  It’s a sad and terrible picture of the world we live in, but it doesn’t have to be that way.  It’s an individual choice to choose God and life —  or not.

Spiritual death is all around us.  It’s an epidemic.  People are searching for joy and meaning to living but death draws near to them.   The source to this epidemic is drinking contaminated water; the dirty water of this sinful world who hates God and His Words of guidance.  We can turn away from the contamination and be made clean instead.  We can drink of the life of Jesus.  “He is the Light of the world and in Him is no darkness at all.”  I John 1:5

The source of eternal death is darkness (those things that are against the ways of God).

The source of eternal life is Jesus.  “He is the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Him.”  John 14:6

I invite you to take a moment right now to pray for those you know who are choosing darkness.  May they search for and find the Light.  Jesus is waiting and calling.

 

 

A Most Wonderful Opportunity

Just over 2000 years ago an incident took place that gives us a clear look into the heart of mankind.  There are different types of people; those who accuse others, rarely looking at their own shortcomings, and those who accuse themselves, unable to recognize or receive forgiveness.  Both need a revelation of love, an understanding of grace.

Many of you will already be recalling the story I’m referring to that is recorded in John 8.  The story tells of a woman who was caught in an illegal act.  She was reported to the town’s authorities; those whose duty it was to uphold the law of the land.  They made a decision that would prove to be a life changing opportunity for everyone involved.  They brought her to Jesus.

Standing before Him with the woman in tow, they revealed what she had done and asked what punishment He would recommend.  They already knew the law of the land.  They knew what the law required – death.  What would Jesus say?  It is most interesting to note that Jesus gave everyone present a glimpse into redemption.  He forced them all to take an honest look at themselves; an opportunity to reach out from a sea of darkness to a lifeboat of light that would save them from themselves.  In other words, Jesus was able to help them all realize that one was no better than the other.  They were all floundering in the same sea of darkness.  They all needed the same light to rescue them from the paths on which they were traveling through life.

Jesus did not refute the law but he required that the accusers look into their own hearts.  He did not accuse the woman but he required that she recognize the path she was on and change course.  He required that everyone present see their own darkened hearts.  He offered a way to be forgiven and to walk in the light of truth and love and freedom.  He offered Himself.  He would pay for everything that all of them had ever done.  It didn’t matter the depth of wrongdoing; it only mattered the height of love that would cover them all.

Nothing has changed all these years later.  Some of us accuse others while some of us wallow in self degradation.  No one has to live with a darkened heart.  Each person, without exception, has opportunity to reach out and receive eternal forgiveness for everything they have ever done.  Each person can receive love that is so pure and vast that it can’t be measured.  Each person can receive hope that will sustain them through all their days on earth; an abiding hope that promises a future world where no wrongdoing or self degradation exists.  Each person can receive Jesus.  Just ask Him to come into your life, to forgive you, to give you the strength to walk the path of life, leaving all darkness behind – forever!