Its 5.00 in the morning and I’m checking the news on the net whilst waiting for Vikki so that I can take her to work to start at 6.00 a.m.
Why do we as parents (any parents) do things like this for our children ? Leaving a warm comfy bed that I only entered a few hours ago simply because there isn’t a bus service at this time in the morning, I begin to have an inkling of what love for someone else is about.
I would do anything for Alison and the girls, out of love. Pure and simple as that. God would do anything for us, out of pure love as well. Indeed he has; stepping out of Heaven so that we might begin to understand His love and then by going to the cross as Jesus to show how deep that love was and is. If my love for my girls is so great how much greater must be Gods love for me ?
Praise the Lord its a beautiful morning because its the start of another day in which His love will be shown afresh. (and its only another month till I have to do this again !!)
Started a new 5 week series of Bible Studies last night on the subject of “The Minor Prophets” at Waingroves Methodist Chapel.
Looked at Obadiah last night; Everyone seemed to enjoy it and seemed challenged by it. We looked at what I called the “four sins of Edom”; The sin of pride, sin of not caring about ones brothers, sin of looting, and the sin of gloating. Heavy stuff but very pertinent to today’s society where we take too much pride in our own achievements sometimes, where we don’t always care about other people, where we are wasteful (or loot) of our work-time, and where we sometimes take pleasure in the downfall of others (celebrities in particular).
We reflected on how the Christian approach is all about loving and caring for others. The story of the rich young ruler came to my mind. He cared far more for his possessions than for obeying the commands of Jesus to “love God and love others” Too often we fail in life to put others first. At the moment I am thinking about a friend of mine who is in hospital. Ellis has an MBE for the work he has carried out over the years amongst young people. He has always kept his MBE fairly quiet as he feels that the best reward he ever got was seeing the pleasure on young faces as he helped them in life. For over fifty years he took children away to summer camp and I regularly hear people around the town speak of Ellis and Alleyne (his wife) and the camps they used to run. And yet to Ellis this is no big thing. He has indeed had a life of putting others first.
I pray that we can all learn the same.
Next week, Habbakuk
Just to let anyone who knows me, know that I am now on Facebook, should they wish to become `friends` with me.
Warning to anyone who isn’t familiar with facebook, it is seriously addictive !!
One of the biggest problems that I have is that of boredom. I often find myself sitting wishing I had some work to do, unable to relax and get myself down to some serious ‘chilling’. In a world which seems to have a dichotomy over its advice to ‘chill out’ or ‘be on the go to be alive’ its little wonder that most off us end up feeling guilty if we’re working too hard (workaholics) of if we’re relaxing (lazy).
Because of my need to always be thinking, planning or doing, I almost dread Heaven with its promise of eternal relaxation; “how on earth will I fill my time?” I’m mindful of the author, Adrian Plass, who wrote of Heaven in terms of one long cricket match, played on an idyllic English Sunday afternoon in a picturesque English village. To the likes of me that smacks more of Hell than Heaven!!
And yet Heaven remains that which is promised to us by Jesus; to the repentant thief on the cross he promised “This day you will be with me in Paradise” and many of his parables speak of heaven as a very real place. However Scripture does not say that everyone will be in Heaven when they die: indeed there are conditions. Jesus said that following him was the only way to Heaven and so logically those who do not will not receive the promise of Heaven. Notice Jesus places no restriction on when the person should begin to follow him. The repentant thief is granted access to Heaven right at the end of this life and no difference is made between him and Simon Peter or any of the Disciples who had journeyed for three years. John Wesley in his ‘Four Alls’ of Methodism declared that “All can be saved”, but not all would be saved (that is the doctrine of universalism). So Heaven is the reward for those who declare Jesus to be our Lord and Saviour but that still doesn’t deal with my original issue. What will Heaven be like and will I be bored?
Probably the best description of Heaven is the one which says it is “God’s rule over people, both in this life and in the next.” I don’t believe that it will be sitting endlessly on fluffy white clouds plucking a harp, nor do I think it is about watching over those who remain on earth. No, I believe that it is to be in Gods presence for eternity, living in the way he intended us to live when he first made creation; living with loved ones, enjoying nature, games, fun and friendship. The book of Revelation says that “there will be no more tears, sorrow or suffering for they were never part of Gods original intention. No, Heaven will be living life in the way God wants us to. As Jesus himself said “I have come to bring you life; life in all its fullness.”
Have a good summer and every blessing be with you.