Calming our fears at a time like this

The Lord is sufficient for us at all times, even in times of troubleI know there is so much going on out there. Opinions are divided yet there is no shortage of advice on COVID-19. Everyone is speaking. I took a step back to listen to what God might have to say in the matter. A favourite scripture came to mind.  “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline” 2 Timothy 1:7 

In Christ, there is no fear. Why you might ask. Think of the epidemic of serpents in wilderness, the plagues in Egypt, or the shepherd’s valley of death. There is fear everywhere else but not where God is welcomed. God gives us calm even in surreal circumstances. If Jesus were physically with us today He would say as He did many times: “Do not be afraid”. Jesus being eternal is right in the middle of it with us as the disciples realised in the middle of a raging storm. There are three things we can do though.

First, we need to tap into the power that the world does not have, the power that God’s spirit gives us. This is a promise that only those who have trusted in Jesus for salvation have. We are empowered to be bold, courageous, and steadfast in that God is able. To be strong and courageous is a command, especially to leaders (Joshua 1:9).

Secondly, times like this present an opportunity to love people unconditionally. Show kindness, lead the world in love, people are vulnerable and respond to acts of love in times like this. There is no better time to think of others more than ourselves. Times like this reveal character, it brings the best in us and unfortunately, the worst in us. Love and cherish what we have and not what we don’t have.

Thirdly, if we never had self-discipline, this is a good time to start. Heed sound advice but start with God’s word first, seek His face and His counsel for times like this. Practice hygiene, practice what the scripture has taught us in regards to praying for leaders, following the law of the land, loving our neighbour and doing things that are sensible, of common sense and of common good. Some translations use the phrase  “sound mind” in the place of “self-discipline”. God’s spirit will give us the mental health we need at this time. He has the resources to help us overcome worry, anxiety and stress. Surrendering our lives to Him allows His spirit to control our thinking and our mind, but only if we allow Him.

Finally, Nahum 1:7 says “The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him”.  Will you trust Him to care for you? Will you go to Him as your refuge?  The Lord is good. He is sufficient for us at all times, even in times of trouble.

George Mathew

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Catherine Hill Bay to Caves Beach

Caves Beach, NSW Australia

Saturday 4 April 2020

Coastal views from headlands and beaches. Sea caves, rock platforms, and conglomerate rock. Sandy and rocky track. Transport (mini bus) available from North Ryde (8am) and Hornsby (8.25am).  Return by 6pm.

Leader : George Hawke 0422 659 589

Grade : Medium (9 km)

Sydney Christian Bushwalkers

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Remembering Jesus

Remembering Bob - stories and memories about an ex-Australian Prime MinisterAt our family Christmas party, my Christmas present was a book titled, “Remembering Bob” (Pieters-Hawke, 2019). It’s a collection of stories and memories about Bob Hawke, who was the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) President in 1969-1980 and the Australian Prime Minister in 1883-1991.

They say he was an outstanding leader and a great storyteller. His achievements included:
– preserving the Antarctic for peace and science
– contributing to the end of Apartheid in South Africa
– significantly raising the high school completing rate,
– strengthening healthcare, education, work life, and housing, and
– elevating environmental issues in political decision-making

But he regretted failing to deliver a treaty with Indigenous Australians.

His greatest achievement

This book reminded me of Jesus. The gospels are a collection of stories and memories about three years in the ministry of Jesus Christ. His greatest achievement was providing salvation for sinners. Paul summarized it: “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:3-4NIV).

We sing:
“You lived, You died,
You rose again in high
You opened the way
for the world to live again (with eternal life)
Hallelujah, for all You’ve done” (Morgan, 2004).

The Bible says that Jesus Christ is the greatest example of humility (Phil. 2:5-8). When He came to earth, “He gave up His divine privileges; He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When He appeared in human form, He humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross” (Phil. 2:7-8NLT). Because of this achievement, God has exalted the Lord Jesus Christ to the highest place in heaven (Phil. 2:9; Acts 7:55; Heb. 1:3).

He had no regrets

Because He fulfilled His mission, Jesus Christ had no regrets. Before He died Jesus said “It is finished” (Jn. 19:30). When He prayed Jesus said, “I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do” (Jn. 17:4). He’d finished preaching about the kingdom of God, finished doing miracles, and finished obtaining eternal salvation for those who trust in Him. The penalty had been paid for the sin of all humanity. He did exactly what He set out to do. To save sinners like us (1 Tim. 1:15).

“Remembering Bob” was written 30-40 years after Bob Hawke was prime minister and 40-50 years after he was President of the ACTU. The gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke were written no more than 27 years after Christ’s death (Appendix). And the gospel of John was written by 37-50 years after Christ’s death (Appendix).

As the stories and memories about Bob Hawke are accurate (they are consistent with my memory of those times), so the stories and memories about Jesus Christ in the Bible are also accurate. There is a similar time lapse between the events and when they were recorded.

If the Lord hasn’t returned by then, in 50 years time, people will have forgotten about Bob Hawke’s achievements. But after almost 2,000 years we are still “Remembering Jesus” and His achievements because they have eternal significance. That’s not surprising because Jesus was God living on earth.

Appendix: When were the gospels written?

Each of the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke report that Jesus predicted the destruction of the city of Jerusalem as well as the temple. However, none of these writings records the fulfillment. Since the city and temple were both destroyed in the year AD 70, there is good reason to believe that these three gospels were written before this destruction took place (37 years after Christ’s death). According to J Warner Wallace (2013) they were probably written 12-27 years after Christ’s death.

There is more uncertainty about when the gospel of John was written. John describes the sheep gate as still standing at the time he wrote (Jn. 5:2). As the sheep gate was destroyed in AD 70, this could indicate that John wrote his gospel before the city of Jerusalem was destroyed (37 years after Christ’s death). J Warner Wallace supports this dating because the book doesn’t mention the destruction of the temple and the city. But the early church fathers believed that it was written when John was an old man. Don Carson thinks it was AD 80-85 (about 50 years after Christ’s death).
When the gospels were written - Cold-case Christianity

References

Morgan R , 2004, “My Savior, Redeemer”, Hillsong publishing.
Pieters-Hawke S, 2019, “Remembering Bob”, Allan & Unwin, Sydney.
Wallace J W, 2013, “Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels”, David C Cook Publishing Company, Colorado Springs, USA.

George Hawke

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Unexpected good

It seems cold and unfeeling to make lists of good things in the midst of all this pain – especially while things are fresh and even still happening. But part of making sense of what’s happened and finding meaning in despair is finding the good.

While the bushfires have burned in Australia the media have reported on all sorts of stories of hope and positivity. Which has been enormously encouraging. For example, bush regeneration that’s already begun, the heroism and selflessness of our amazing volunteer firefighters, the brilliant effort to save the rare Wollemi Pine, the fact that more people are now thinking about how to care for the environment and live with an unpredictable climate.

But personal stories have been the most moving. The people saved by a hero in a boat who took them to safety in the nick of time as fire raced to the water’s edge. Selfless neighbours saving other people’s houses whilst their own burned. And out of all the pain, communities that have drawn closer in ways that are rare when times are good.

We really shouldn’t be surprised at this growing list. The Bible promises that it is God’s plan to bring good from evil. For example, through suffering, He refines our faith and moulds our character. But suffering can also restrain us from a wrong course, remind us that we’re frail before our great God or be a punishment when we’re foolish. And have you noticed that when we suffer we’re better able to comfort others in similar situations?

One of the hardest pills to swallow is the assurance that those who love Jesus will be persecuted. Then, when this happens, the Bible tells us that God will use this suffering to show the world that His people’s witness is real. In a world filled with pain and sorrow, suffering can only increase the desire of God’s people to be with their heavenly father in heaven. That’s certainly a good thing.

But the greatest good of all is found at the cross. Jesus is the innocent hero whose painful death took us from judgment into the safe arms of our heavenly Father. In one of the Bible’s four biographies about Jesus, the author, Mark, records this prediction from Jesus:
the Son of Man [Jesus] must suffer many terrible things and be rejected by the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but three days later He would rise from the dead (Mark 8:31).

Those final words about Jesus rising make the suffering of this world bearable. Because we know that, if Jesus rose from the dead, then we, in turn will also. We just need to hang in there.

Prayer: Dear God, please give me the strength to endure this world and to trust in your goodness even when things are difficult.

Bible verse: Mark 8:31 “the Son of Man [Jesus] must suffer many terrible things and be rejected by the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but three days later He would rise from the dead“.

Acknowledgement: This article was sourced from Outreach Media, Sydney, Australia.
Images and text © Outreach Media 2020

Post Script on 8 March 2020:

This blogpost on the bush fires titled, “Unexpected good” was posted on 31 January 2020. It included the statement “Dear God, from all this pain, please bring unexpected good”. That prayer has been answered!

In February 2020 heavy rainfall in New South Wales extinguished the persistent bush fires that have devastated the state. Many places in Sydney and the Blue mountains had record or near-record February rainfall (in the 95-100 percentile range).

For example, in the Sydney region: Sydney City 442 mm, Sydney Olympic Park 487 mm
In the region west of Sydney: Warragamba 484 mm, Katoomba 701 mm, Mount Wilson 665 mm.
In the region south of Sydney: Nowra 392 mm, Braidwood 560 mm, Ulladulla 324 mm
In the region north of Sydney: Wyong 524 mm.

And Sydney’s water supply, Warragamba Dam, is at 83% capacity, after being at 43% capacity in January 2020. So in the Month of February 2020, the amount of water stored increased by 40% of the dam’s total capacity.

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Being thankful

Psalm 107: 8 Let them give thanks to the LORD for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for mankindPsalm 107 teaches of the need to thank God when we are delivered (saved) from trouble. It praises God for His kindness to his exiled people, beginning with, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever” (v.1). God is said to be good because His love is eternal.

Then those who have been delivered from their enemies and those who have been regathered from being dispersed are told, “Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story” (v.2). Other translations say, “Let the redeemed of the Lord proclaim” (CSB), and “Let those delivered by the Lord speak out” (NET). They are urged to come together and give thanks to the Lord by saying what He has done.

Then there are four examples of the merciful deliverance of the Lord from a crisis. In each case there is a description of the problem, a prayer for deliverance, and a call for praise for  the deliverance.

First, those who were lost in the desert (v.4-9). Did they take time to thank Him when they were delivered? When they are delivered they are told, “Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for mankind” (v.8).

Second, those who were enslaved as prisoners (v.10-16). Did they take time to thank Him when they were set free? When they are delivered they are told, “Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for mankind” (v.15).

Third, those who were seriously ill (v.17-22). Did they take time to thank Him when they were healed? When they are delivered they are told, “Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for mankind” (v.21).

Fourth, sailors in a terrible storm (v.23-32). But did they take time to thank Him when the storm was calmed? When they are delivered they are told, “Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for mankind” (v.31). This is the chorus (refrain) of the song (v.8, 15, 21, 31).

We must keep trusting God, and be thankful for His mercies. Most of all He deserves full honour and praise for the greatest of all mercies for sending His Son Jesus to go to the cross and be executed for our sin.

As the Israelites who were redeemed (delivered, rescued, or saved) by the Lord were told to tell their story and not be silent (v.2), we are commanded “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess His name” (Heb. 13:15).

In Luke 17 as the Lord was travelling along the border between Samaria and Galilee on His way to Jerusalem, He healed ten lepers, nine of which were ungrateful (Lk. 17:11-19). You would have expected all ten men to run back and thank Jesus. How often do we take our blessings for granted?

Too often we are content to enjoy the gift, but we forget the giver. Instead of going to the priest with the other nine, the Samaritan “Came back, praising God in a loud voice” and “he fell with his face to the ground at Jesus’ feet and thanked Him” (Lk. 17:15-16 NET). He became a priest himself, because thanksgiving is an act of worship. None of the other nine, who were presumably Israelites, responded with gratitude.

Likewise, we have been healed from the sickness of sin through the death and resurrection of Jesus, and our response is to come and bow before Him, giving thanks.

Jesus gave His followers the Lord’s Supper as a way to be thankful. The bread and the wine symbolise His death. It’s called a “cup of thanksgiving” (1 Cor. 10:16).

Let’s give thanks to the LORD, for His unfailing love in suffering and dying for our sins. That’s the story of deliverance that we can proclaim and tell.

Alan Homan

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Remember me

Statue of Queen Victoria by Joseph Edgar Boehm in 1879. Now located in Queen's Square, Sydney, Australia.People want to be remembered. We build monuments and make plaques to remember people. And we name streets and boats after people.

We take photos and make videos to help us remember loved ones. It is so easy to forget. A friend from overseas sent us a photo recently that they had of our family when our sons were 10 and 12. It reminded me of some pleasant experiences we had at that time that we are very thankful for. We were able to remember this experience because of the photos. And Facebook uses photos to remind us of anniversaries.

In the Bible we read about certain characters who were in need and called out for help. They wanted to be remembered by others or by God.

Joseph: “But when all goes well with you, remember me and show me kindness; mention me to Pharaoh and get me out of this prison” (Gen. 40:14).

Samson: Then Samson prayed to the Lord, “Sovereign Lord, remember me. Please, God, strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes” (Jud. 16:28).

Hannah: And she made a vow, saying, “Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head” (1 Sam. 1:11)

Nehemiah:Remember me with favor, my God, for all I have done for these people [He helped the poor]” (Neh. 5:19). And,Then I commanded the Levites to purify themselves and go and guard the gates in order to keep the Sabbath day holy. Remember me for this also, my God, and show mercy to me according to your great love” (Neh. 13:22).

David: “Do not remember the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you, Lord, are good” (Ps. 25:7).

A Criminal: Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise” (Lk. 23:42-43),

All these bible characters cried out for help.

And the Lord Jesus asks us to remember Him. He told His disciples to participate in the Lord’s Supper “in remembrance of me” (1 Cor. 11:24-25).

But when the Lord says “remember me” He’s not crying out for help. He’s crying out for worship. He’s crying out for praise. He’s crying out for a heart that will follow Him and praise Him in response to what He has done for us.

We have someone who created us, who loves us, who cares for us, who will never forget us. God described Jerusalem in metaphorical language, “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands” (Isa. 49:15-16).

In particular, we are to remember:

  • That the Lord Jesus came to save people from their sins.
  • That He came to heal the sick, make the lame to walk, heal the blind, raise the dead, and set the captives free.
  • That He gave His life so that we might have eternal life. Let’s remember that the purpose of His suffering, His death and His resurrection was to bring us life, eternal life, abundant life, that we might worship Him.

Then finally God says to us, “Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me” (Isa. 46:9).

Paul Mylonas

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Essential Christmas!

December-19_EssentialChristmas_JPG 400pxRacing car drivers and procrastinators want the same drug. It comes from that contradictory cocktail of excitement and terror. Whilst drivers push the physics envelope, procrastinators push the limits of time. As fear of the impending deadline looms, finally adrenaline seeps sweetly into the system.

Let me illustrate. The greatest rush in the world is not the French 24 Hours of Le Mans Endurance Race… it’s the Westfield Christmas Pressie Dash: 27 presents in 8 shopping hours. Every year, on Christmas Eve, men who should never have been licensed as fathers, take part. And I’m here to tell you it can be done because I’ve done it more than once. But there’s absolutely no room for failure.

You absolutely cannot stop moving throughout the day. And that’s because you cannot – you absolutely cannot – face your children, or brother, or sisters or nieces and nephews or your parents… without a present. ESPECIALLY YOUR CHILDREN! You cannot tell them you fell down the escalator… yesterday! That’s not an acceptable explanation!

So, at Christmas, some things are essential. For many families, that means presents. But there’s an ancient reason for giving each other presents at Christmas. It’s in honour of a gift God gave to the whole world a long time ago. It was the gift of God’s own son, Jesus Christ. It is essential to our survival. And now Christmas is that time of year when we remember His arrival, when angels appeared to shepherds on a hillside and told them,

“Don’t be afraid! I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Saviour—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!”

Jesus is the essential part of Christmas. He’s the ‘reason for the season’. His title, ‘Christ’ is right there at the beginning of ‘Christmas’. But although He’s essential, Jesus isn’t always invited. In our distracted, adrenaline charged world, perhaps you’ve always wondered just how Jesus fits but you’ve put off finding answers.

If that’s you, then don’t put Jesus off any longer. Take the time this Christmas to read the Bible and meet Him. You can do this for free online at lots of places (like biblegateway.com). By typing in Isaiah 9:2, 6-7 you can read a prophecy given nearly 800 years before Jesus came. To read about the Virgin Mary becoming pregnant with Jesus, type in Luke 1:26-38. Then you could read about Jesus’s birth by typing in Luke 2.

It may not get the adrenaline going like a bungee jump does, but it’s genuinely exciting news.

Prayer: Dear God, thank you for sending Jesus your precious son Jesus, as a saviour for all mankind.

Bible verse: Luke 2:10-11 “Don’t be afraid! I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Saviour—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!“

Acknowledgement: This article was sourced from Outreach Media, Sydney, Australia.
Images and text © Outreach Media 2019

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Start life again

So keen was Nicodemus to meet Jesus that he was willing to risk being seen. But he had reason to be afraid. The religious sect known as Pharisees that he belonged to were committed to killing Jesus. Such was their intense jealousy over Jesus’s popularity. It was almost certainly for this reason that Nicodemus came at night (John 3:1-16).

He began by addressing Jesus with respect.

“Master” he said, “We know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him”.

His statement – or was it a question – seemed to be something like, “I think you’re from God … but who are you?” But, instead of credentials, Jesus offered Nicodemus a challenge. He said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God”. Clearly Nicodemus wanted to move closer to God. But how does one get ‘Born again’?

These days people use the metaphor of ‘new birth’ quite a lot. Cars get ‘rebirthed’ in shady workshops. Commentators speak of the rebirth of a city or sport or a fashion style. But was a ‘makeover’ all Jesus was getting at… or something more? Confused, Nicodemus replied.

“How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”

And so Jesus explained to Nicodemus that being ‘born again’ meant having God’s Holy Spirit come to live inside you to help you live your life for God. Jesus then offered these famous words,

“God loved the people of this world so much that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who has faith in Him will have eternal life and never really die”.

Jesus was teaching Nicodemus that to begin life again and receive eternal life, a person must put their trust in Him.

These days, however, commitment’s on the nose. Social researcher, Hugh Mackay calls Generation X (born between 1965 and 1979) the ‘options generation’. It’s the ‘wait-and-see’ generation, so committed to flexibility and openness that they struggle to commit. But then social theorist Rebecca Huntley also describes Millennials (1980 –1996) as the ‘options generation’.

In truth, the problem with our generation is that we’re ‘post God’ and cynical. How can we take seriously the idea of being ‘born again’? Surely it’s a religious scam! But if, like Nicodemus, you’re secretly yearning to start life again with God at the centre, then don’t think you need to sneak furtively into the night. You can put your trust in Jesus right now and listen to His words in the Bible.

Prayer: Dear God, please give me strength and courage to begin life again by trusting in your son Jesus.

Bible verse: John 3:7 “You  must be born again

Acknowledgement: This article was sourced from Outreach Media, Sydney, Australia.
Images and text © Outreach Media 2019

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Until Jesus comes again

We believe that the most important event in the world’s history is the death of Jesus Christ. At the Lord’s supper we remember why Christ did what He did.

In 1 Corinthians Paul describes what happened at the last supper where Jesus told His disciples to eat the bead and drink from the cup in remembrance of Him (1 Cor. 11:23-25). Then Paul says,

“For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes” (1 Cor. 11:26NIV).

“For” shows a reason we repeat the Lord’s Supper on a regular basis. This is new revelation beyond the Gospels. The reason is to “proclaim the Lord’s death”. The Greek verb “kataggello” (Strongs #2605) means to proclaim, announce, or declare. It’s in the present active indicative showing that the declaring is an ongoing process. It’s a proclamation of a physical death that provides forgiveness. It took the physical death of the body of Christ to save our souls. Participation in the Lord’s Supper is like a visible sermon where we proclaim the Lord’s death to one another.

“Whenever” shows we repeat the Lord’s Supper on a regular basis.  The Greek adverb “hosakis” (Strongs #3740) means as often as, as many times as or whenever. It seems clear from Paul’s visit to Troas in Acts 20:7 that the practice of the early church was to meet on the first day of the week to remember the Lord. But this was not just for the early church as the church is said to do it until Jesus Christ returns. That’s what we do it each Sunday morning. It’s a good way to start the week.

“You eat this bread and drink this cup”, describes the two visual aids used in the Lord’s Supper to “proclaim the Lord’s death”. The bread symbolizes His body and the cup of wine symbolizes His blood (death). The bread represents the person of Christ, and the blood the work of Christ.

“Until He comes” says how long we are to repeat the Lord’s Supper on a regular basis. The Lord’s Supper is more than a memorial celebration of Christ’s body and blood (death); it’s an anticipation of seeing Him again. We are to do it until He comes again to take us to heaven. In the meantime we repeat the Lord’s Supper on a regular basis and wait for Christ’s return.

When we take the bread and wine we are declaring the importance of Christ’s death. It’s important because God saves people only by means of Christ’s death (1 Cor. 1:18). We are proclaiming that Christ’s sacrificial death provides forgiveness and peace with God. We recall His suffering and death and the blessings and benefits which come from His death and resurrection. And we offer thanks and praise for all that God has done for us through Jesus Christ.

George Hawke

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Heaven’s even better

The Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland has 37,000 gigantic, geometrically perfect polygon columns. Have you been there? They’re extraordinary. But back before photographs, television and the Internet, it was hard to believe in and imagine far off places. “Surely you’re exaggerating about those columns?” “Surely they were made from concrete moulds?” Or else, “They don’t really exist and you’re making it all up!”

It’s a bit like that with heaven. Because we haven’t been there we’re tempted to doubt it’s goodness or wonder if it even exists. Think of the most beautiful place you’ve ever seen. It might be a place in the mountains or at the beach. Maybe you’ve been to some exotic location like a tropical island. It could be something you’ve seen while snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef. Maybe it’s a magnificent forest or a field of flowers. You may have visited the Grand Canyon or the Alps. Imagine the difficulty of describing this to someone without the aid of photographs or video footage. You want them to feel what you felt and see what you saw but you just can’t come up with words that do an adequate job. It would be frustrating for you and for the person trying to understand what you experienced. But heaven is even more wonderful and more indescribable than these places.

So, the right response to wonderful things in this world is to see them as pointers to even greater things in the next. The great missionary of the Bible, Paul, wrote about this in a letter to Christians in the city of Corinth. He said, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).

But if you’re a Christian, then you’ve already seen this. When we had no hope, God sent Jesus to give us the hope of friendship with Him and forgiveness of our sins. Who of us could have predicted that through Jesus Christ, God would draw us so close that He would call us sons and daughters?

Further on in that same letter, Paul encouraged the Corinthians to focus on the most exciting prospect of heaven – being in the very presence of God Himself.
Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely” (1 Cor. 13:12).

In heaven, the Bible says, there will be even be ‘no more death or sorrow’ (Revelation 2:4). These are exciting promises. Now it’s hard to wait!

Prayer: Dear God, thank you that the wonders of this creation point to even greater things in the age to come.

Bible verse: 1 Corinthians 2:9 “Things that no eye has seen, or ear heard, or mind imagined, are the things God has prepared for those who love Him

Acknowledgement: This article was sourced from Outreach Media, Sydney, Australia.
Images and text © Outreach Media 2019

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