I want to thank whoever originated this image. It is stirring. I don’t own its rights, and I’m not making any money on it.
Two widely used Old Testament terms appear synonymous.
- the Day of the Lord
- the Day of His Visitation.
In fact, they are polar opposites. The first is for judgement, the second, mercy.
Why do you long for the day of the Lord? That day will be of darkness, not light – Amos 5:18 NIV. By contrast, Naomi fled famine in Bethlehem to Moab, but when she heard the Lord had “visited” her people by giving them rain (food), she returned (Ruth 1:6).
This is more than delving into Scripture deeper than most people care for because of the Day of our Lord Jesus. Was Jesus’ advent a “Day of the Lord” or a “Day of His Visitation?”
The answer is both. His incarnation, crucifixion and resurrection was God’s judgement on the world, diverted onto Christ. It was also God’s favor because we were lavished with His grace — His restoring forgiveness.
Such Bible study should stir us to praise as we marvel over the wonderful conclusion that Jesus Christ brought to the progressive revelation in the Old Testament.
Now that my eldest is 18, I don’t automatically get to spend time with her. I have to ask for time with her. I’m inviting her to coffee.
She’s in college, though still at home. But she has friends, new and old. She has homework. She has a job. It almost seems like she doesn’t have time for Dad.
No longer do I tell her what to do. She’s an adult. I ask her what she’s doing.
I just want to be with her, to listen to her, to joke with her. I don’t want to be shut out of Rebekah’s life. I long to be with her. This is teaching me about God.
God spent the afternoons walking around talking to Adam and Eve. Managing all the affairs of the universe probably took the morning. The afternoons He saved to be with His children. He yearned to spend time with them. This is not religion; it is relationship.
But Adam and Eve shut out God by sinning.
He still longs to be with us. Through the death and resurrection of Jesus, we are granted access to God, if we want it. Do we have time for Him?
>God is not a bunch of rules — He just wants to share a veinte java chip with you.
It almost seems like John the Baptist got it wrong.
Rattling off ominous predictions of imminent doom, John warned that Jesus’ advent would mark the end.
The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire — Matt. 3:10, 12 NIV.
Jesus failed to live up to his billing. The meanest thing he ever did was overturn the tables of the money changers in the temple. When it came to violent confrontation, he meekly handed himself over to death — hardly the expected judgement.
But no, John didn’t miss the mark. The threatened judgement DID fall, and the wrath of God DID execute implacable justice.
It’s just it didn’t fall on the guilty. It fell on Jesus.
That horrible death of Jesus. The ax fill on the root, on the root of Jesse. The burning scorched Jesus.
Jesus was the soldier who threw himself on the hand grenade to save his buddies, you and me.
Posted in books, Christianity
Tagged ax at root, Bible prayers, Faith, God's love, grace, Jesus, John the baptist, judgement, unquenchable fire, winnowing fork, wrath of God
Genuine yet regarded as an impostor — 2 Cor. 6:8 NIV
Despite your sincerest efforts, people will doubt you. It happened to the Apostle Paul. He was accused of being a false apostle because he didn’t want gentiles to get circumcised. (He was vindicated by the head honchos in Jerusalem, but still itinerant preachers cast doubt over his person.)
If it happened to Paul, to Job, to Jeremiah, to Daniel, to Amos, to David, to … to JESUS, why be surprised if it happens to you.
This is not to say that you, or anyone, is perfect. It is only to say that we live in a fallen world, and we are not the only ones to possess a cynical sin nature. Others can view us how they want.
In those moments, may our God strengthen us to keep fighting the fight of faith, to keep trying, to not give up.
No one wishes for dirt, but out of the mire of life comes gold.
Your soul is gold. Joy is gold. Treasure comes from troubles. Don’t bewail the travails your currently passing. You can’t get gold unless you get into the dirt.
It’s not just a matter of surviving but surviving well.
They didn’t even smell of smoke. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego had been thrown into the fire by the despot. While inside, they walked around with Jesus and suffered no harm. King Nebuchadnezzar beckoned them out. Astonished, he forgot all about their disobedience in not bowing to his idol. He recognized that Jehovah was the only true God.
They not only survived, but they survived well. No smell of smoke on them.
Joseph survived prison well. He didn’t execute bitter revenge on his brothers who sold him into slavery.
As the years pile up, we pass through evil, wrongs perpetrated by family or friends. The challenge is not go cynical. The challenge is have the light-hearted delight for life of a child still.
It’s one thing for young pups in love to send each other “forever” memes. We need to see
older mature (?) married couples still in love. My wife and I celebrate 24 years this month. Praise God! It is not always easy but always worth it to work on it instead of throwing it away. My kids agree too.
Katy Faust, who valiantly reaches out to gays with compassion and truth, visited our school. It is the second time I’ve been blessed with a fellow blogger coming to talk to the Christian students. Raised by a lesbian mom, she has the credibility to bring some balance to the national maelstorm raging over “equality.”
On the one side, there are Christians who condemn gays and forget that we are all sinners needing forgiveness. On the other side, there are gays who say you are a hater if you believe the Bible. Increasingly in national media, the later dominant and the former are stereotyped. (Westboro does not represent Christianity.)
This blog has never touched the issue of homosexuality nor do I intend to treat it here, but I can recommend Katy’s blog, though its tongue-in-cheek title makes me cringe, here.
Thank you, Katy, for bringing balance and answering kids’ questions with empathy.
image from blog.kqed.org. I don’t own this image, and I’m not making any money on it
What is dear on Earth, is detestable before God. Arrogant fame, selfish ambition, destructive behavior come to mind.
While the world fawns over its winners, the Christians huddle in unseen prayer. The world ridicules, still we read our Bibles.
Then suddenly, what was all-important loses all its importance… when we die. And everything that we gave scant importance becomes suddenly and eternally consequent.
And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God – Luke 16:15 KJV.
You won’t be scoffing one day (soon).
I’ve studied significantly the theme of the rapture in seminary, and I’m more a believer than ever in it. There’s just no other plausible interpretation of so many texts that talk about it, and it is consistent with the whole Bible (God removed Noah from his judgement).
There’s no need to fear if you fear God, but if you flout Him or defy Him, at least you know you had the chance to make a decision in favor of Christ.