Tag Archive for Faith

Weekly Devotional: Gems From Pastor Jim

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by Jim Hughes

crossIs. 36:10 What’s more, do you think we have invaded your land without the LORD’s direction? The LORD himself told us, “Go and destroy it!”

What strikes me here is that not everyone who claims to have direction from the Lord does. Israel was under attack and the invading army was pressing in on Jerusalem. The leader of the army was trying to convince the king to surrender. He boasted of his military might and then he declared that God had sent him to destroy the city where His people dwelt.

We need to be careful whom we listen to. Not everyone who claims to speak for the Lord does. Words can be very convincing. It is imperative that we be discerning. It is important that one gets to know the heart of man before he buys into what he hears. It is important that we always evaluate what we hear by what the Word says. And by the way, in order for us to know what the Word really is saying, we must be in sync with the Holy Spirit. Proper understanding comes from a heart that is right with God. Sin distorts truth so he who wants to hear from God must not allow sin to dwell in the heart.

Don’t be persuaded by flowery speech or the appearance of man. Don’t let anyone deceive you. Accept what you hear on your knees before God. Seek His affirmation before you accept what you hear. The Lord never contradicts himself or violates His holiness. Never. If the Word consistently affirms the message and the message leads to holiness of life, then it truly comes from God.

If you are right with the Lord, you will be able to discern truth from error. It’s all the more reason why we must stay diligent in our pursuit of holiness and diligently watch over our souls. We dare not let anything in that may cause us to be led astray from God. Let God’s Word be your shield and protector. Listen first and foremost to what God says before you accept what man says.

Before and After the Honeymoon

About the Author:

Jim Hughes

Spending his formative years in Ft. Wayne, IN, Jim followed the love of his life to southeast Iowa where they married and have spent the majority of their lives. Jim has pastored several churches throughout his life and has worked many years in local factories to help support his family. The father of two married adult children and one son still at home, Jim is a first-time author.

C Through Marriage came into being through many years of pastoral and life experiences. The book first took on a life of its own over 20 years ago when I sought to address the much publicized moral failures of prominent leaders in the church. In the chapter on Chasity, I include the guideliness that I developed then to protect one’s self from such failures.

I am a firm believer in order to make sense out of life you have to use much common sense. We need to get back to the basics of what has worked for many, many generations. If is isn’t broke, why try to fix it? I strive to return to the basics of what really works in all my writings.

This site contains Third Party Advertising, using online behavioral tracking technology. Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

FREE eBook Interactive Romans Road American Standard Version This is the ideal and easy way to share the gospel using your Kindle http://bit.ly/2xvdXNY #free

Serving the under-resourced Church globally through the provision of Bibles, biblical resources and training to transform lives worldwide through God’s Word. Ten percent (10%) of all purchases made through Sherrard’s eBook Resellers http://bit.ly/2L22Xvj, Christian Nonfiction eBook Store http://bit.ly/2Btyvc4, and Author Support Services http://bit.ly/2zne7YW goes to supporting Bible League International https://www.bibleleague.org/

Verse of the Day and Devotion 5/16/2019

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by Bible League International

Verse of the Day and Devotion

Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous; And shout for joy, all you upright in heart!  – Psalm 32:11 NKJV

Devotion

Maybe you don’t feel very happy about things at the present time. Maybe the trials, troubles, tribulations, and persecutions of life have gotten to you and brought you down. If so, then consider this: There is at least one thing that you can be happy about. Indeed, there is at least one thing that can make you glad and make you rejoice. It’s the Lord. Despite what’s bringing you down, despite what’s making you unhappy, you still have a relationship to Him. You can be glad and you can rejoice because you’re on the good side of God.

You’re on the good side because you’re righteous. That is, you’re in right-standing with Him. You’re willing to come before Him and confess your sins and receive His forgiveness. (Psalm 32:5) You’re willing to serve Him. Instead of acting like an unbroken horse, instead of acting like a stubborn mule, you’re willing to do the things He wants you to do. The Lord won’t have to harness you with bit and bridle and force you to go where He wants you to go. (Psalm 32:9)

Despite any unhappiness you may be experiencing, then, there is cause for great rejoicing. In point of fact, there is cause for shouts of joy! You’ve been accepted by the Lord God Himself. You have hope for the future. You have hope for the here and now and for the life to come. Instead of keeping this cause for joy inside of you, instead of merely holding it in your heart of hearts, there is reason to shout it out loud. There is reason to shout it out loud in song: “Oh, sing to the Lord a new song! Sing to the Lord, all the earth.” (Psalm 96:1)

After all, it’s the kind of thing those in right-standing with the Lord do. It’s the kind of thing the upright in heart are more than willing to do. You don’t hold back your confession. You don’t hold back your service and obedience. Your shouts for joy, as a result, should not be held back either.Instead, you should release them into the public domain. You should release them where others can see and hear what your relationship to the Lord means to you.

Til the Whole World Know

Weekly Devotional: Gems From Pastor Jim 5/13/2019

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by Jim Hughes

crossIs. 35:3-4 With this news, strengthen those who have tired hands, and encourage those who have weak knees. Say to those who are afraid, “Be strong, and do not fear, for your God is coming to destroy your enemies. He is coming to save you.”

Salvation is coming! Dear friend, we must never forget this wondrous truth. Life can be very rough at times and the world is not getting any better. It is getting harder and harder to live out a life of faith in peace. Satan is on the prowl and stirring up the world against Christ. Things are moving forward rapidly in preparation for Christ’s coming. Don’t let the state of the world overwhelm you. Salvation is coming!

Don’t look around you and get caught up in how bad things are. Look up, for our redemption draws near. Are you tired of the struggles? Salvation is coming! Is your soul weary? Salvation is coming! Do you feel like you are swimming up a creek without a paddle? Salvation is coming! Are you being harassed because of your faith? Salvation is coming! Does it seem like nothing good is happening in your life? Salvation is coming!

Oh, beloved of the Lord, let this wondrous truth strengthen your soul. You are not forgotten or forsaken. The Lord knows all about your struggles. He knows your weariness. He knows how life saps your strength. He knows how hard it is to live a godly life in an ungodly world. He understands how you feel and He wants you to know today, “Salvation is coming!”.

The Lord is coming to destroy the enemies of your soul. He is going to put an end to the constant battles you fight. He has overcome the world and will save you from your enemies. We don’t know how soon He is coming, but we do know He is. He is going to put an end to the madness. Trust Him. Persevere. It is worth the struggles. We are going to witness the subduing of the world. We are going to see our Lord in all His glory. Salvation is coming!

The Lord may make life easier for you now, or He may not. If He doesn’t, He will give you all you need in order to overcome and be victorious in your struggles. He has not, nor will He ever, leave you alone to fight your battles of life. He loves you and is with you. Call on Him and He will strengthen you and give you an overwhelming peace each step you take in your journey of life. Look up, for your redemption is near. Salvation is coming! Praise the name of the Lord!

Before and After the Honeymoon

About the Author:

Jim Hughes

Spending his formative years in Ft. Wayne, IN, Jim followed the love of his life to southeast Iowa where they married and have spent the majority of their lives. Jim has pastored several churches throughout his life and has worked many years in local factories to help support his family. The father of two married adult children and one son still at home, Jim is a first-time author.

C Through Marriage came into being through many years of pastoral and life experiences. The book first took on a life of its own over 20 years ago when I sought to address the much publicized moral failures of prominent leaders in the church. In the chapter on Chasity, I include the guideliness that I developed then to protect one’s self from such failures.

I am a firm believer in order to make sense out of life you have to use much common sense. We need to get back to the basics of what has worked for many, many generations. If is isn’t broke, why try to fix it? I strive to return to the basics of what really works in all my writings.

This site contains Third Party Advertising, using online behavioral tracking technology. Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

FREE eBook Interactive Romans Road American Standard Version This is the ideal and easy way to share the gospel using your Kindle http://bit.ly/2xvdXNY #free

Serving the under-resourced Church globally through the provision of Bibles, biblical resources and training to transform lives worldwide through God’s Word. Ten percent (10%) of all purchases made through Sherrard’s eBook Resellers http://bit.ly/2L22Xvj, Christian Nonfiction eBook Store http://bit.ly/2Btyvc4, and Author Support Services http://bit.ly/2zne7YW goes to supporting Bible League International https://www.bibleleague.org/

Verse of the Day and Devotion 5/9/2019

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by Bible League International

Verse of the Day and Devotion

They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.  – Psalm 112:7 NIV

Devotion

I trust in the Lord. I believe that He exists and that He’s the Creator of all things. It was He that brought every created thing into existence. He’s also the providential Sustainer of every created thing. Every one of His creatures depends upon Him for its continuing existence. If He were to withdraw His sustaining hand, then they would cease to exist. He Himself, on the other hand, depends on nothing for His existence. He always has been, is, and always will be. (Revelation 22:13) I trust Him because of this, I trust Him because of who He is and what He can do. For with Him, “all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)

My heart, as a result, is steadfast. It’s like I’m standing on a rock that cannot be moved. The rain may come down, the streams may rise, and the winds may blow, but I stand steadfast on the rock nevertheless. (Matthew 7:24-25) I’m not like “a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” (James 1:6) I don’t waver here, there, and everywhere. After all, why would I? My trust is in the rock that stands firm no matter what comes about. Instead of wavering, then, I sing: “My heart, O God, is steadfast, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music.” (Psalm 57:7)

Even bad news can’t shake me from off the rock and bring me down. It can’t make me surrender to the fear that is always warring against my soul. With David I say, “Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.” (Psalm 27:3) With the sons of Korah I say that I will not fear, “though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.” (Psalm 46:2) In faith I say, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise-in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Psalm 56:3-4)

I have no fear because I know that everything will work out for me, even when things happen that I wish would not happen. (Romans 8:28) I have no fear because I know that He will preserve me even under those circumstances. (Psalm 138:7)

Til the Whole World Know

Verse of the Day and Devotional 5/2/2019

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by Bible League International

Verse of the Day and Devotion

“Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.”  – Psalm 50:15 NKJV

Devotion

You thought that everything you were trying to accomplish was in dire jeopardy. You thought that no one, least of all you, could make it past what you were facing without a serious problem. At the very least, so you thought, it would be a side-track that would be difficult to negotiate. At the most, so you feared, it would be a barrier that would stop your forward momentum for a very long time. True, people face problems all the time, but the problem you were facing wasn’t’ an all-the-time kind. It was more like a once-in-a-lifetime kind.

As it turned out, however, the problem was really an opportunity in disguise. It truly was a problem, but it was a problem that led you to an opportunity in the next phase of what you were working towards. Instead of side-tracking you or blocking you, it rid you of everything that was irrelevant and inconsequential to your goals and initiatives. You found out that you didn’t need what you thought you needed. Even more, you found out that you were better off without all of it. Could it be that the problem was actually a good thing? Could it be that it was actually necessary? (see Romans 8:28)

It’s not that the problem could not have done what you feared it could have done. It most certainly could have. What, however, kept that from happening? It was that you did what our verse for today says that you should do. You called upon the Lord when the day of trouble came. Instead of facing the problem on your own, you called out to the Lord God and brought Him into the equation. It was a smart move. After all, “with God nothing will be impossible.” (Luke 1:37) As a result, He turned your problem into an opportunity for further growth and development.

What shall you do when the God for whom nothing is impossible comes through for you and delivers you from all your problems? You shall do what our verse for today says you shall do. You shall glorify Him. No one needs to remind you. No one needs to encourage you. You do it automatically.

It’s because you know from whence your help has come. (Psalm 121:1) It’s because you know it could not have happened without Him.

Til the Whole World Know

Weekly Devotional: Gems From Pastor Jim 4/29/2019

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by Jim Hughes

crossIs. 30:15 The Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel says, “Only in returning to me and waiting for me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength. But you would have none of it!”

Some of you reading this today have wandered away from the Lord. You know you have and you are miserable. Things just are not right with your soul; peace eludes you. You may be trying to put on a good front so that others don’t suspect anything is wrong. You may be trying not to think about it in the hopes that what is bothering you will go away.

Some of you just gradually wandered away from the Lord. You have neglected your soul and it has gotten to the point where you no longer know the peace of God. You no longer take an interest in reading your Bible or praying. Missing church doesn’t bother you. You find yourself more and more likely to fall into sin. You have a bad attitude about life. You are mean to others. You are only concerned about you and what pleases you. You look in the mirror and you don’t like what you see. You wonder how it could have happened.

We wander away from God when we do not properly feed our souls on a regular basis. We need to be reading and studying God’s Word daily. We need to be constantly searching the Word for things we need to do with our lives. We need to be looking for things that are not right with our souls. We need to read the Word with the expectation of needing to change. We need to read it knowing that we fall short of God’s holiness and must have His help to stay pure. We must always see ourselves in need of God. Don’t believe Satan’s lies that you can get along without it; you can’t. It is a very big deal for those who want to be with God someday.

We wander away from God when we don’t pray on a regular basis. We need to stay in touch with Him. We need to be prayer-minded. We need to constantly stay in touch with the Lord. We need to always bring the Lord into the mix of our living. Being in an attitude of prayer never loses its importance for those who want to see God.

We wander from God when we don’t worship Him on a regular basis. God created us with a need for worship. Everyone is a worshiper; it’s just a matter of who or what we worship. We must never lose our sense of worship before God, our adoration of Him, our sense of gratitude and praise.

Don’t be like those who wander away from the Lord and refuse to return to Him. Humble yourself before God, confess your sins to Him, seek His forgiveness, and you will once again know the peace of God. Don’t settle for anything less than knowing it is well with your soul.

Before and After the Honeymoon

About the Author:

Jim Hughes

Spending his formative years in Ft. Wayne, IN, Jim followed the love of his life to southeast Iowa where they married and have spent the majority of their lives. Jim has pastored several churches throughout his life and has worked many years in local factories to help support his family. The father of two married adult children and one son still at home, Jim is a first-time author.

C Through Marriage came into being through many years of pastoral and life experiences. The book first took on a life of its own over 20 years ago when I sought to address the much publicized moral failures of prominent leaders in the church. In the chapter on Chasity, I include the guideliness that I developed then to protect one’s self from such failures.

I am a firm believer in order to make sense out of life you have to use much common sense. We need to get back to the basics of what has worked for many, many generations. If is isn’t broke, why try to fix it? I strive to return to the basics of what really works in all my writings.

This site contains Third Party Advertising, using online behavioral tracking technology. Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

FREE eBook Interactive Romans Road American Standard Version This is the ideal and easy way to share the gospel using your Kindle http://bit.ly/2xvdXNY #free

Serving the under-resourced Church globally through the provision of Bibles, biblical resources and training to transform lives worldwide through God’s Word. Ten percent (10%) of all purchases made through Sherrard’s eBook Resellers http://bit.ly/2L22Xvj, Christian Nonfiction eBook Store http://bit.ly/2Btyvc4, and Author Support Services http://bit.ly/2zne7YW goes to supporting Bible League International https://www.bibleleague.org/

Verse of the Day and Devotional 4/25/2019

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by Bible League International

Verse of the Day and Devotion

When they had pasture, they were filled; They were filled and their heart was exalted; Therefore they forgot Me.  – Hosea 13:6 NKJV

Devotion

You were stuck in your personal version of Egypt, your personal version of sin and slavery. Like the ancient Israelites, you were oppressed and you were full of sorrow. It looked like you would never get out of there. Like the Israelites, however, you remembered the Lord and you cried out to Him. (Exodus 3:7) You asked Him for help and deliverance. He responded to your cry and rescued you from that horrid place. Indeed He rescued you, as far as you were concerned, in miraculous fashion. Although He didn’t have to part the Red Sea, his rescue was no less astonishing.

Then the Lord led you out into your personal version of the Wilderness. Like the Israelites, you were tried and you were tested. The Lord was preparing you for the battles you would have to fight in order to take possession of the Promised Land. (Exodus 13:17) Like the Israelites, in the Wilderness you remembered the Lord and you cried out to Him. You asked Him for the help you needed to endure the trials and to pass the tests. Although there were, as there were for the Israelites, many ups and downs to the journey, the Lord came through for you and helped you to make it.

Now you’re sitting pretty in your personal version of the Promised Land. You remembered the Lord and He helped you to conquer and take possession of it. It was hard, but you were successful. Figuratively speaking, you have what our verse for today says the Israelites had: “they had pasture, they were filled.” You have, in other words, everything you need. The only question now is whether or not you’re going to do what the Israelites did next.

What did they do next? They forgot the Lord: “They were filled and their heart was exalted.” They forgot how dependent they were on the Lord and how He helped them. They began to think they didn’t need His help. They even began to think that they gained the position they were enjoying on their own. As a result, the Lord allowed the Babylonians to conquer and deport them.

What’s the point? The point is, don’t do what they did! Don’t let the good times cause you to forget the Lord. You don’t want a personal version of Babylon in your future.

Til the Whole World Know

Verse of the Day and Devotion 4/18/2019

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by Bible League International

Verse of the Day and Devotion

Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body.  – Romans 12:4-5 NLT

Devotion

In our verse for today, “Christ’s body” is used by the Apostle Paul as a metaphor for the church. We know this because he clearly identifies the two terms in a number of places. (e.g., Ephesians 5:23 and Colossians 1:24) The word “church” is a translation of the Greek word “ecclesia,” which means “called out assembly of people.” In other words, the church, the body of Christ, is an assembly of people that have been called out of something.

From what have they been called out? The Apostle Peter says they have been called out of darkness and into the light of Christ. (I Peter 2:9) Similarly, Paul says they have been called out of the kingdom of darkness and into the Kingdom of Christ. (Colossians 1:13) The members of the church, one might say, have been called out of the wicked way of life governed by Satan and into the righteous way of life governed by Jesus Christ.

How extensive is Satan’s dark reign from which the church has been called? Satan’s darkness has affected every area of life. There is no area of life that has not been twisted and perverted to one degree or another by Satan’s evil influence.

How extensive, then, is Christ’s reign of light to which the church has been called? The light of Christ has an effect on every area of life as well. There is no area of life that is not being restored and renewed to one degree or another by Jesus Christ’s reign of light.

In this transition from dark to light, therefore, the church has a role to play in every area of life. Each member of the church has a special function, or several functions, to help with the transition. These special functions are not limited to the religious professions. The church is more than just a religious institution. Since Jesus Christ’s Kingdom of Light affects every area of life, he has need of members in every area. In marriage, family, school, university, media, business, politics, government, etc., he needs members with the special functions necessary to banish the darkness and introduce the light.

Wherever you see light, no matter what area of life, there the church, Christ’s body, is at work.

Til the Whole World Know

Weekly Devotional: Gems From Pastor Jim 4/15/2019

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by Jim Hughes

crossIs. 29:15 Destruction is certain for those who try to hide their plans from the LORD, who try to keep him in the dark concerning what they do! “The LORD can’t see us,” you say to yourselves. “He doesn’t know what is going on!”

Go ahead and try it. Try and hide what you are doing or plan to do from the Lord. It cannot be done. The Lord somehow knows all about every detail of our living. He knows what we are doing and even why we do it. He knows what is on our minds. It is impossible to hide anything from the Lord.

If you are doing things you know you shouldn’t be doing and think that you are getting away with it, think again. The only thing you are accomplishing by not being upfront about your activities before the Lord is certain destruction. When you do evil you are not harming anyone but yourself. Trying to hide or cover-up evil destroys the soul.

As much as you might want to believe that God is in the dark and does not know what you are doing with your life, it simply is not so. God is light and His light penetrates the darkest soul. He knows all there is to know about you and there is nowhere to hide from His gaze. He knows and holds you responsible for what you do and accountable for it.

In order to protect yourself from self-destruction, live openly before the Lord. Be honest about what you are doing. Tell the Lord what you are doing. It benefits you, not the Lord. He knows what you are doing. Your activities affect your heart, not His. Honesty is the only policy that works with the Lord. Confess any sin or sinful thoughts you may have. Seek the Lord’s forgiveness. And, with His help, strive to change your behavior so that you don’t get yourself in a similar mess down the road.

Develop a plan to stay out of sin’s path and work the plan. If you don’t work to help yourself you will lose the battle for your soul. The Lord rewards those who are faithful to Him so work hard at keeping your soul healthy and holy before Him. You can do it. The question is, “Will you do it?”

Before and After the Honeymoon

About the Author:

Jim Hughes

Spending his formative years in Ft. Wayne, IN, Jim followed the love of his life to southeast Iowa where they married and have spent the majority of their lives. Jim has pastored several churches throughout his life and has worked many years in local factories to help support his family. The father of two married adult children and one son still at home, Jim is a first-time author.

C Through Marriage came into being through many years of pastoral and life experiences. The book first took on a life of its own over 20 years ago when I sought to address the much publicized moral failures of prominent leaders in the church. In the chapter on Chasity, I include the guideliness that I developed then to protect one’s self from such failures.

I am a firm believer in order to make sense out of life you have to use much common sense. We need to get back to the basics of what has worked for many, many generations. If is isn’t broke, why try to fix it? I strive to return to the basics of what really works in all my writings.

This site contains Third Party Advertising, using online behavioral tracking technology. Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

FREE eBook Interactive Romans Road American Standard Version This is the ideal and easy way to share the gospel using your Kindle http://bit.ly/2xvdXNY #free

Serving the under-resourced Church globally through the provision of Bibles, biblical resources and training to transform lives worldwide through God’s Word. Ten percent (10%) of all purchases made through Sherrard’s eBook Resellers http://bit.ly/2L22Xvj, Christian Nonfiction eBook Store http://bit.ly/2Btyvc4, and Author Support Services http://bit.ly/2zne7YW goes to supporting Bible League International https://www.bibleleague.org/

Verse of the Day and Devotion 4/11/2019

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by Bible League International

Verse of the Day and Devotion

For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.   – II Corinthians 4:11 NKJV

Devotion

There’s a paradox in the life of every Christian. Although we live, although we live abundantly in Christ Jesus (John 10:10), we still have to deal with death. That is, although we live, our lives contain various things that can be compared to death, if not death itself. At one moment, things are going well: we feel healthy, we have money, we’re protected, we’re happy, etc. At the next moment, in contrast, things are going bad: we get sick, we lose money, we’re persecuted, we’re sad, etc. We have the surpassing power of the life of Jesus taking us to ever greater levels of life, but we still have to deal with the devil and his attempts to stop it from manifesting in “our mortal flesh.”

The Apostle Paul expressed the paradox in this way: “We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.” (II Corinthians 4:8-9) We long to escape the paradox. We long for the good times to go on forever, but the reality of brokenness and death keeps intruding into our lives anyway. We know the Bible, we know that the paradox will never be completely overcome this side of glory. Nevertheless, we want as much of the first-fruits of that coming era as we can get right now. (Romans 8:23) We’ve experienced how good it is and we want more of it.

Why? Why the paradox? Aside from the fact that God’s redemption has yet to reach its consummation, the paradox goes on because we would make a grievous error if it didn’t. If we never saw anything other than the life of Jesus made manifest, if we never saw anything other than the good times it brings about, then we’d be tempted to think that the good comes from us instead of God. Paul puts it this way: “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.” (II Corinthians 4:11)

The life of Jesus needs to be clearly manifested in our lives for everyone to see. They would never see it as such, however, if it didn’t come in contrast to brokenness and death.

Til the Whole World Know