LIFE ON EARTH, THE LOVE OF GOD
It takes us thirty, forty, fifty, sixty, seventy, eighty years to come to the point in our lives when we realize how temporary this earthly existence is. It takes us all these years to figure out there’s more to life than meets the eye. It takes us all these years to figure out there’s a Heaven to gain and a hell to shun!! This is a huge piece in life's mystery and puzzle - in life’s questions and answers. Why does it take us this long to come to a sobering place of realization? Life is much different now, feelings, emotions and thoughts are much different now than when you were a child or young adult. The "carefree" years may be gone and a more serious awareness of your mortality and eternal things have overtaken your thoughts and feelings.
There is a great quote by former Beatle, George Harrison, during one of his last television interviews. "I get confused when I look around at the world, and I see everybody's running around, and you know, as Bob Dylan said, 'He not busy being born is busy dying.' And yet, nobody's trying to figure out what's the cause of death, and what happens when you die. I mean that, to me, is the only thing that's of any importance. The rest is all secondary."
I believe one reason the Bible was written and we have it today was to show us the difference between the spiritual world, where God is, where Heaven and eternal realities reside, and our natural earthly existence on this materialistic planet.
"We truly live in a massive, all pervasive, crushing secular society."
If we took all of humanity from time and eternity, and put them on the playing field of life, we’d all have the same opportunities and chances. An announcement would come over the public address system and give us guidelines, rules, regulations and information about how to play the game of life. We would then take this information, process it, believe it or not believe it and go our way. Many of us would heed the information and succeed in life. Some of us would not.
Therefore, as you live your life: "What’s fair and unfair?" "What’s good and what’s bad?" "Why do some people make it and some people don’t?" "Why do some grow old and die and some die young?"
When I look around today I see most of the world struggling and living in poverty, hungry, fighting for survival. So why is the United States of America so blessed with prosperity and affluent? “God Bless America.” Do other countries sing a similar anthem?
Perhaps it’s the godly foundations and influences of our founding fathers and before, who came over to this land many hundreds of years ago. We see remnants of that early pilgrimage in our country today, but overall I think we’re headed in the wrong direction and God‘s judgment is at hand. That’s not a threat or warning per se, I believe it to be the truth.
9/11 was a wake up call. How many have fallen asleep with slumber and complacency since September 11, 2001?
Like many of you we've all heard of the "Love of God." Many times though I’ve struggled with that thought, especially when bad things happen to good people.
Some people will say, “God loves you,” as a quick solution and answer to life‘s questions and difficulties. For me it hasn’t worked that easy. I’m sure the love of God is all encompassing; but how do we break it down and apply it to all the difficulties and struggles of living this life?
Here’s usually what happens:
A tragedy occurs; someone dies before their time; a loved one is taken from this world or stricken with a disease or sickness; a deadly tornado, earthquake, hurricane, flood, fire, pestilence or famine sweep the land.
When bad things happen one of the first questions asked is, “Why?” “Why would God allow something like this to happen,” or, “Why would a loving Heavenly Father allow these bad things to happen?” These are valid questions. I’ve asked these questions many times myself
I’d like to share something which I believe may help and possibly answer this question:
Have you as an earthly Father or possibly even your own Father ever lose a child or had bad things happen to your family? If the answer is yes then my next question is, “Did you as a father stop loving your children and your family because of this disaster or tragedy?” I believe most people would answer no to that last question. How much more does your Heavenly Father love you in the midst of all of the evil bad things happening, past, present and future in this world.
You often hear people say, “God loves you,” in the midst of all of these bad things happening. That may be true but extremely difficult to grasp and comprehend when you’re grieving after losing a loved one.
Could you as a natural Father stop a disaster or accident from happening? Does your inability to stop bad things from happening keep you from loving? Well think for a moment about God. He’s all powerful, but we all have our own free wills and that’s what got us into trouble in the beginning. Because of free will good and evil run rampant in this world and many times evil wins out. That doesn’t stop God’s love though from existing though. This can be very difficult to comprehend, especially if you’re going through the sorrow and grief of death and destruction.
How could God loving us bring back all those we lost on September 11, 2001? How can God loving us bring back all those who were innocently murdered and slaughtered during the holocaust in World War II? How could God loving us bring back your lost family member, or heal your child, or feed and clothe the poor in the world? These are difficult questions which need answered. Perhaps what I’m sharing with you today is a part of the answer. It definitely has helped me think differently about things.
I listen to archived Billy Graham‘s messages daily. He is one of the best preachers I’ve ever heard!! His messages are simple and easy to understand. Billy Graham‘s main message and focus remained constant over the years, simply, Christ, the cross and the blood of Jesus, the unending love of God and our need for a Saviour to save us from our sins and to give us eternal life. His message of repentance was paramount in his crusades! Millions responded to his invitations to accept Christ throughout the years. Many are still coming to Jesus this day even though he is now in Heaven. His messages are timeless and very much needed in our society.
One of my recent blog articles is entitled, “Life Is A Crapshoot!” I state in the article that life is likened unto a crapshoot, and at times like playing Russian roulette. Now what do I mean by that? What I mean is the rain falls on the just and the unjust. Bad things happen to good people. None of us is certain of tomorrow. Many are here one day and gone the next. But the focal point and main theme of life is, “Do you know Jesus?” “Are you ready to meet the Lord?” This is paramount to our life and existence on this plant.
The urgency of the hour and the times we live is to make our peace with God before the plug is pulled on your life or your loved ones life. That’s the key to life!! I’m convinced of this fact. We’re all in the same world running the same race with the same rules. Some of us are finishing the race some of us aren’t. What matters most though is who crosses the finish line with you.
Bad, horrible and evil things will continue to happen. It’s part of life. Death is a reality. "Death brings out the reality of life!!" That’s why we need Jesus. It’s such a simple yet profound and confusing message to many. I see it clearer now than ever before in my life. Bad things happening doesn’t change my love for my family. In fact it strengthens me as a person and it strengthens my love.
A DAY OF INFAMY -
One of the biggest tragedies from 9/11 is people today don’t remember, choose not to remember, or never knew what happened 18 years ago. One of my fondest memories of 9/11 and that horrible horrific day is our country came together, as ONE NATION under God. Why does it take bad things happening to bring us together? We saw it December 7, 1941 at Pearl Harbor. Sixty years later we saw it on September 11, 2001 in New York City and beyond.
In closing I would like you to think of God being all around you. He’s in the very air which you breathe. He was with all of those prisoners of war during World War II, Korea and Vietnam. He was in the death and concentration camps. He is with the starving and sick children of the world. He was in the cockpit of those ill fated flights on September 11th. He’s with you right now. Reach out, put your arms around Him, embrace Him pulling Him close to your self. Some of you may feel His presence when you do this. Some of you won’t. Regardless, He’s with us through his Spirit and we need to understand this.
I pray God‘s blessings upon you this day and that His presence will be revealed to you as you reach out to Him by faith.
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