Posts Tagged ‘Jesus’

The Day After…

Posted: February 15, 2018 in Blog
Tags: , , , ,

Valentines day, baa-hum-bug! It is not as though I don’t have a special someone to love, nor is it that I’m into airing grief. Those who grind their axes in regularly scheduled  complaint sessions are often filled with sarcastic whining, but mostly it is faithless jesting, which are both contrary to walking by faith in Jesus Christ.

Back to Valentines day, it is just silly. One must sacrifice a card & chocolates upon the alter of St. Valentine or suffer wrath. If this ritual isn’t kept the gods of feminist idealism pronounce the worthlessness of man, at which time he must be slain in the public eye for being an unfeeling brute. It is curious to note in this age of equality, women don’t have the same demand placed upon them during this day. It is as though the differences between men and women are embraced when… Sorry, I digress.

Don’t worry, I’m taking my wife to dinner. We will go and hang out, catch up, and enjoy each other when we get time, and by God’s grace we have had sixteen years of making time for regular hang outs. Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, I’m gonna spend time with my favorite person on the planet. That’s why I may buy a card, or get chocolates, or get flowers, cause she is awesome, not because it is a mandate upon which I’ll suffer the wrath of cultural expectation if I don’t comply. The mopey wife doesn’t illicit fear in me to produce a bouquet of flowers. The insistence of a fallen notion of love and the consumer driven ideal has no power here! valentines-day-memes-15

There is a complexity to love that is beyond our ability to comprehend. A scheduled day, oddly tied to a martyr, where we submit to the cultural pressure, cannot even begin to plumb the depths of love. Some may take issue with this statement. However, if said objectors define love by the pretense of Hollywood, modern pop psychology, the latest Oprah show, or a juggling monkey down at MiniMart; then I’m not too far off, mankind has difficulty understanding the complexity of genuine love.

Love is not defined by a feeling at any give moment, or a gift given in that moment, or even by the favor of a person in any given circumstance. Favor can be given, as well as a gifts without genuine love. If love were defined in such a manner, as stuff given and favor presented in a particular moment, which experience demonstrates is fleeting, there would be as much comfort and joy as being locked in a closet with an orangutan using a slide whistle. Let that image sink in for a minute…

Love is complex, like so many other things, because it has perversions and counterfeits. But it is also complex because genuine love does not stem from the emotive center of a person, which is how so many people intuitively identify love. On the contrary, genuine-Christ-like-love is decisive action leading the heart to feel a particular way. This manner of love for others could never be achieved apart from the person Jesus Christ.

That’s enough about what love is and what it is not, let’s get down to the brass tacks. Whether it be for your sweetheart, or your neighbor, or your sworn enemy – Let love be genuine. Don’t let love be a put on, don’t let it be a facade to satisfy the cultural gods. That isn’t from faith, but it becomes a form of religious pretense. Do the faith-filled-God-empowered-Jesus-loving-hard-work of being a genuinely loving person. The depth of genuine love is beyond the scope of strong feelings toward someone. Love is not founded in general niceness, or mutual affirmation. .

So how do you love someone who doesn’t like you, or support you, or who isn’t nice to you, or who hurts you? How do you love those you don’t like, or support, or whom you haven’t been nice? Or how do you love the ones who are closest to you? The answer is simple. Look to Christ, the manner of love he gave, the manner of love He calls us to, and the manner of love He empowers.

Romans 12:9-10, “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.”

“Weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with my weeping. My eye wastes away because of grief…” Psalm 6:6–7; Here are the expressions of a grieving heart. Many people feel such grief like waves crashing on the beach, a relentless soul eroding crashing of waves.

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Expressions of grief and sorrow can bear heavily upon body and soul. Whether sorrow is the result of incidents near or far, it is taxing. Grief, sadness, sorrow, mourning, and heartache are just some of the different forms, or various levels of strain upon the afflicted heart. The poetic expression of the heart’s cry and prayer of the soul should be where a follower of Christ goes when pressed in such a manner. Psalm 31:9, “Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress; my eye is wasted from grief; my soul and my body also.”

Even so, in the dark night of the soul where a heart is crying out to God, there is the hope of future glory to rejoice in, which is beautiful. Suffering and loss will only be for a season; “His favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” Psalm 30:5

Though these measures of comfort do not always make the grief we share easier, nor do they take the evil we gaze upon away, thereby failing to make the situation better, there is at least the confident hope that suffering will only last for a moment. This is still true even if the moment spans the length of our vapor like lives; here one minute and gone the next. The suffering we share in Christ is something leading exultant rejoicing. 2 Corinthians 4:17–18, “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”

This momentary affliction has an end point because of the work of Jesus Christ upon the cross. His life and death bring about justice, mercy, grace, and a restoring of the fallen world in which we live. Isaiah 53:3–4, “He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.”

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While walking with one another in Christ Jesus our Lord, let us keep our eyes upon Christ Jesus, who is unseen and eternal; remembering Christ Jesus’ sufferings, acquaintance with grief, and bearing of sorrows for those whom He loves. Remember Jesus Christ came to save from the sorrows of sin and death.

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Relating to others is no easy task, even so the necessity of human relationships, as a simple function of God’s created order, is something we crave and need. It is necessary for human beings, as His creatures, to relate to one another and to Him.

When considering relationships with our fellow man they almost appear incidental. Don’t let the seemingly unimportance of many human relationships cloud the complexity of most relationships, as ships passing in the night. Now then, considering relations with the divine, there is something more permanent and even more substantive when compared with human relations. You know, relating to the divine is like a mystical and magical experience, it unlocks superpowers, opens us up to self-actualized potential, or something… This is a joke in case its unrecognizable. The point is that relations with God seems easier, especially when God is defined on our own terms.

However a genuine relationship with the true God isn’t easier; in some ways it is harder. First, God is sinless and we are sinful, creating instantaneous difficulty between the created and the Creator. Sure, a relationship with a sinful person, as a sinful person, is complex, but how difficult is it to relate to one who is never wrong, when the other person in the relational equation is always wrong. Next, God is infinite, while we are finite; God is a Spirit, and while humans have a spirit we are not always so sure what that means. These two things alone are enough to occupy the mind for a lifetime.

As a reader you might be wondering where such enlightenment comes from. How do people relate to the unseen? How can humans have personal relationship with the divine? And how is the world do we find these answers? It seems as if mankind will always be in some sort of relationship to Him, right? But how can we be sure? More over, is it even possible to sift through the sands of opinion and discern who is correct? How in the world is man is to relate to God? If the complexity of human relationship are as two ships passing in the night, and are more than coincidental events, then how much more will be the human to the divine?

The simple, yet highly disagreeable answer, is that one can know the one true and only God by faith in Jesus Christ. Such enlightenment doesn’t come through deductions of reason, though it is reasonable. Such enlightenment doesn’t come through decisions to know the divine, though we must chose whom we will serve. Such enlightenment doesn’t come through emotionally laden experience, though we assuredly have emotions involved. Being born again to a living hope in Him, is the only path to knowing God and finding an answer to so many of the questions that have been asked.

Knowing God is not easy. However knowing God is possible. So is grasping the unseen with the eyes of faith. Mere ships passing in the night have no need of continuing on in the dark, but through the light of Christ can come to know the beauty of truth, and the knowledge of the Holy One.