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.

 

 

Beautiful Like An Eagle

I was cutting our grass yesterday riding the tractor lawn mower.  I love being outside, riding and thinking, enjoying being immersed in the nature around me.  At one point a shadow quickly passed over me.  I looked up.  Oh!  An eagle or a hawk!  Probably a hawk, I mused as I watched the magnificent creature glide on the thermals, wings outstretched in splendor.  My heart was filled with an excited joy just in observing this impressive bird.  But, wait!  What in the world!  That’s not a hawk!  That’s a vulture, doing what vultures do, seeking death to satisfy their appetites.  I stared long and hard as the bird dipped and soared higher and dipped again.  How easily I had been fooled.

Then I thought how easily God’s children can be fooled, too, in our spiritual worlds.  Someone comes along, for example, and proclaims himself or herself to be a Bible teacher.  They use their words with authority.  Something doesn’t seem quite right as we listen, but we don’t want to be judgmental, so we quash our thoughts, chiding ourselves for our distrust in this  “brother or sister.”

I’m not talking about making a mistake in Scripture interpretation.  We’re all learning throughout our walk on this earth.  I’m talking about consistent inner feelings of unease that come whenever we hear the words of a particular someone who is proclaiming God’s words.  May I encourage you; don’t forget that the Holy Spirit is residing in you.  He is your best teacher as you listen to others teach and as you study the Scriptures for yourselves. When something isn’t quite right, the Holy Spirit will prick your conscience with unease.  I urge you, brothers and sisters — investigate!  Ask Father to lead you into His peace as you seek truth.  Remember, He has promised that if you seek you will find.

You see, Satan is out to conquer and divide.  He is the greatest illusionist of all time.  The Scripture warns us of him in II Corinthians 11: 13-15, “There are people who are false apostles.  They are deceitful workers who disguise themselves as apostles of Christ.  I am not surprised!  Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.  So, it is no wonder that his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness.”

These are perilous days.  One has only to listen to the national and world news for a few minutes to know that countries everywhere are in political, moral, and spiritual disarray.  Therefore, Satan and those who follow him in this world are having a heyday, inserting doubt where truth abides, painting themselves as colors of light on canvases of darkness, fooling the fainthearted, seeking to destroy the faith of all God’s followers.

Do not be one of the fooled ones!  Do not accept everything you hear as truth!  Importantly, do not quench the nudging of the Holy Spirit when He warns you of danger lurking!  Pause, pray, seek truth.  You will find it, for that is the promise of the Holy Spirit  to all who come searching for Him.

Remember: not every large winged bird is an eagle, and not every man or woman speaking in the name of Christ is a follower of Him.  You need not be troubled by this fact; you need only be looking diligently, entreating God with an earnest heart, and He, by His sweet Holy Spirit will lead you into His truth.  You may stand alone in your discoveries but do not shrink back in fear of what others think.  It only matters what your Father thinks.  Stand firm in His truth, and His peace will wrap itself around you all your days.