I’ve started reading 1 John yet again. So good!! Jesus was from the beginning… but was there ever a beginning? Eternity has no beginning and no end. My mind cannot grasp that. God has ever been, and ever will be. No beginning, no end!
There are vast universes out there. They are endless. Are we the only place where there is intelligent life? Has God created beings in his own image elsewhere? Could be. Have they done better than us? Perhaps so.
How vastly different is our little world trapped in time and space when compared to God with his infinite timelessness and infinite universe, with no beginning and no end. We cannot begin to grasp it as much as we may try. There is no logical explanation. Yet God made us in his own image, and desired to have fellowship with us because he loved us, his own creation. By giving us free wills he introduced a tremendous wrinkle in it all. Jesus has and continues to deal with that wrinkle.
By choosing him our wrinkled will is lined up with God’s. We are then inheritors of eternity. Thank you, Jesus!
When Jesus was baptized (as recorded in Mark 1), God spoke from heaven saying, “You are my beloved Son, and I am fully pleased with you.” Jesus had not yet begun any sort of ministry. All he’d done was be born, grow up and get baptized by John. Yet God was pleased with him, and fully pleased at that!! That pleasure had nothing to do with what Jesus did or his ministry. That set me thinking. How many of us grew up with a father (and/or mother) who was fully pleased with us, and let us know it? I doubt there’s many. Yet we spend much of our lives unconsciously striving to please, or to be so relevant (important, indispensable, useful, whatever) and so ‘please’ the one whose love and pleasure we so long for. This might not make much sense to you but I’m thinking there’s a connection to relevance deprivation and the fact there’s nothing we can or need do to earn the Father’s love and delight. It is already ours. Jesus made sure of that.
Now we are coming close to Christmas. It’s just weeks away. It is a good time for us to reflect on the why’s of why he came. He left a pretty wonderful place to be born poor in rather questionable circumstances, and then to live a short life building the foundation for us to enter into a fresh new relationship with God the Father. A relationship where our sins are forgiven and where our Father God is pleased with us.
Take heart! You are greatly loved. You don’t have to strive to be loved… you just are.
Some years ago I was strongly impressed with Jesus’ response to the evil one’s temptation of him after those 40 days in the wilderness.
We read in Matthew 4:1-11 that Jesus was tempted to take matters into his own hands to achieve his earthly goals:
– to satisfy hunger
– to get God to do what he wants
– to get world from Satan by any means
He was tempted to move from absolute trust in God to helping God our by his own efforts.
Really for me it comes down to realising that no matter how “hungry” I am to achieve a goal I am to trust Jesus and not help God out by self-effort, manipulation, or idolatrous submission to someone or something else. Phew! Help, I need your help, Lord Jesus.
The dogs next door were going crazy this morning. A most unusual event so I went to check. A fox had somehow gotten into the hen house and killed ALL the chooks! The fox was still trapped inside. It still is as my neighbours await someone with a licence to come dispose of it.
It’s a sad event. Those chooks used to come into my yard and clean up around my garden. Then in the evening go back to their safe place. Unfortunately, their safe place was not so safe for them last night. The fox managed to climb up the door and squeeze in through a crack and then do its worst.
It reminded me that not all places we think are safe actually are. I’m reminded of something I wrote back in 2016 about safe places. Check it out. Do you have a safe place? A place that is safe from the “foxes” of this life?
Knowing it would happen one day is one thing… for it to actually happen reaches deep into the heart. I well remember when her father died and she became Queen. I was almost 12 years old and in first year high school. We were in the playground when the news came that the King had died and Elizabeth was now Queen. We all experienced a deep grief, with most of us never having had any kind of encounter with death. That day is deeply etched in my memories.
Now, her home-going is also etched in the memories. She was a faithful lover of God, and her trust in Jesus profound. She was such a blessing to me. I’m glad to have lived through her reign. And glad she can now rest with God.
I pray we all may know Jesus too. And, take heart in the hope he gives us… sins forgiven, new life, and a home awaiting us when our time on Earth is done.
I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from him. (NLT: Psalm 62:1)
Only in God is there certain victory. Somehow waiting quietly before God is essential. Is this a faith thing in that my faith grows by waiting quietly? I think so. There’s nothing I can do to change my circumstances or the situation in which I find myself.
I wrote the above in 2012 and it is still true for me today. No matter how much I may fret or fume, scheme or plan, victory comes from God alone. So whatever the circumstance, look for God, and wait on him. And, when it’s time to move or do something he will make it clear.
I have a lovely little app (called Presently) on my phone which daily in the evening reminds me to consider the things for which I’m grateful in that day. I’m finding this a good way to end the day.
With so much happening in the world which has such a depressing effect on us it is good to look at those things for which we can be grateful. It does lift the spirits!
It may be things such as: It’s spring and the garden is full of colour, or I had a lovely chat with a friend over Skype today, or my bed is so comfy, or I finally got some good weeding done in the garden.
There is much for which we can be grateful… really the possibilities are endless.
A grateful heart is a healthy heart.
Be blessed today and think of the things for which you are grateful.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic seems to be showing no signs of abating, I guess this means our new normal is really just normal now. How are you affected by it? In Australia the push to be wearing face masks is growing since it looks as if we’re really moving into a second wave of infections. Too many people have been flouting the health recommendations. Rather sad. In NSW we were doing fairly well until some infected visitors from Victoria came north and have been spreading the virus as they go. Batemans Bay has become a latest casualty which means it spreading in all directions as so many Canberrans visit the Bay frequently. So, if you’re in the group who feel the need for masking as a protection, why not go as fancy as you like? Fine Art America has a lot of face masks from which to choose… so, go for it. Click the link below. Masks at Fine Art America
It’s been too long since I wrote anything on Hope Today. Life seems to have had a way of slurping up the available hours in the day. Now, I have to say that this past 12 months have been a challenge in so many ways. Here’s a little review of what that has meant… 1) Australia has been experiencing a drought, a rather long one. Everything was so dry, so dead looking. The grass crunched beneath my feet as I walked around my garden. I didn’t need to mow since nothing was growing. Gardening was mostly at a standstill except watering a little in an attempt to keep the garden alive. 2) In September we had a snow storm, the first I’d experienced in the 9 years I’ve lived here. Such a beautiful sight even though it melted away too quickly. It provided some much needed nourishment for the soil and plants. 3) Then came the bush fires!! What can I say? What an awful time that was for NSW and Vic. The fires came so very close from several sides over the summer months. The winds blew fiercely making things much worse. Each time it looked as if we would ‘get it,’ the wind changed and we were safe again. 4) With the bushfires came the smoke. It was so thick and there was no escape. Going outside proved a challenge for breathing. I stayed inside most of the time and dealt with life from there, though the smoke smell permeated the house long after the fires were gone. 5) Then early this year the Corona Virus appeared on the scene. COVID-19 has disrupted life across the world in ways we could not have imagined this time last year. Australia has fared better than other countries (thus far). Living out in a rural area has been a blessing for me so that lockdown has not been as traumatic or stressful as it has for those in the cities. Also, we have had no postive cases in the region. Sad to say the whole economy has taken a huge hit. And, it seems there is no end in sight for the pandemic coming to an end. Will they ever develop a vaccine?
So, what does the future hold? I don’t know. What I do know is that through it all God has given me peace. My times and my life are in his hands. He is well aware of what is happening all over the world, AND he is still God. My prayer is that God will bring good out of all the awful things that have been happening. I am continually pressed to trust Jesus, and not to look at the wild storms all about me. May you be able to do the same. Came across this on the web and it about sums up what most of us feel, eh?
We have such a merciful heavenly Father! It’s hard to believe that he still loves us when we sin. It’s hard to believe that he really cares when we go off on our own way. It’s hard to take in that he loves us no matter what. It’s hard to comprehend how he knows every single thing that is going on in the whole universe… that’s everything to do with every star and planet, everything to do with every black hole and whatever else is out there, everything to do with absolutely everything on this earth–us humans and our thoughts and actions, the birds and animals, all of nature itself (remember he knows about every sparrow that falls to the ground). I cannot keep track of anything much, yet he sees it all, knows it all intimately, and loves all he has made.
What a thought! He loves all he has made… even the caterpillar that snacks on my vegies! He takes delight in his creation… and I suspect is longing for us to be able to enter into the beauty of all he has created.
I am so little, so small in my understanding and appreciation of God, and yet he is not daunted by my wayward ways. His love and patience with me covers the many years since I became a Christian, and even longer because he planted the seed in my heart and into my family line. Oh, that we would turn to Jesus and find the life he’s intended for us.