Reflections

As a child of God, how well do we represent our Father? How do those around us view our actions?

When we are going about our daily activities, do we let our light shine in such a way that we mirror what God has revealed to us? When others see the way that we act in various situations, is it the way a true Christian would act?

God has taught and aided us through many devices. He has revealed His Way, The Truth, and given us all that we need to be a “good child” and not a child of the world. He has and will continue to do His part perfectly.

Our job can be seen in 1 John 3:10, which states: “In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.” It is incumbent upon us to practice righteousness and to love our brethren, so that when society observes us, they catch a glimpse of our Father in the reflection.

Pascal’s Wager

Blaise Pascal is purported to be one of the great thinkers of the 17th Century. In an effort to convince non-believers that they should become followers of the Bible, he came up with the following logic. His argument was that we should accept the truth of Christianity, because if we are wrong, we have lost nothing, but if we are right, we have gained everything.

Have we accepted this gambit as our approach to Christianity? Are we “hedging our bet” that we are doing the right thing or that we are in the right place? We do not need to “go with the best odds” to know whether God exists or the fact that His Way is true.

Once called by God, we have all the facts and assurances that we need in the Bible if we are willing to put forth the work and time. The Word of God is not laid out like a good technical manual, but rather meanings have been purposefully obscured to most (Matthew 13:10-13), and pieces to each puzzle have been scattered “a little here and a little there” (Isaiah 28:10,13). But nonetheless, the Book of Books does indeed have all the information that we need to prove that God exists and that this is the path in which we should walk.

If we are willing to put forth the effort, as we are admonished (Ecclesiastes 9:10), we can know with 100% certainty what is and will continue to be a mystery to many.

Left Behind

Life happens. The sun goes up and it goes down; weeks turn into months; months years; years decades; decades turn into a life time and then what is left behind?

Some leave inheritances fit for kings; some have a large family that remains and another an architectural marvel. Many try to leave their mark on history; some to greater extents and some to lesser degrees than others.

Is there anything that we can build that will last?

There is coming a time when the Earth and Heaven, as we know them, will cease to exist (Revelation 21:1). There will be no more of today’s wonders, man-made or natural. What hope is there then that we can produce anything lasting?

Believe it or not, there is one thing that we can build that will last beyond the passing away of this first heaven and

earth…CHARACTER! That is, Godly character.

The word character comes from the Greek word for engraving. It means to exactly represent another image. In Hebrews 1:3, Christ is said to have the express image (Greek: charakter) of God. In the same way, we are to become like God by living by His every word (Matthew 4:4) and following the example of Christ (1 Peter 2:21). We are to strive for the perfection that God is (Matthew 5:48; Hebrews 6:1) and if we do so we will indeed be building the Character of God.

If we work hard at building Godly character and use the tools available to do so, we won’t need to leave anything else behind, because God will see to it that we will live for eternity. In the very end, the only thing that will be around, that we can affect, is this Character and subsequently our place in the God family.

Truth With Consequence

Fort Collins, Colorado, has recently been in the forefront of the news with its debate on how to handle decorating the city and government buildings for the upcoming Xmas season. The initial feeling was that the city should only put up white lights so that they would not offend those that kept Hanukkah (Jews) or Kwanzaa (African-American).

Well… one man, the local Sheriff, had had enough and decided that he was going to put his foot down and put up a Xmas tree and decorate it. He was going to defend what he thought was right no matter what… and he did! And many showed up to help him decorate the tree in spite of the contrary opinion.

Of course, the problem is that while he thought he was standing up for what was right, he was not. Putting up a tree for Xmas is not something God wants us to do. Note what Jeremiah 10:2-4 says, “Thus says the LORD: ‘Do not learn the way of the Gentiles….For one cuts a tree from the forest….They decorate it with silver and gold; They fasten it with nails and hammers So that it will not topple.'” It really does not get any more simple or straightforward than this. God does not want us to take some day of our choice and its customs that are founded in paganism, and “make” it a day of honor towards Him.

God wants us to worship Him in truth (compare John 4:23-24), following His directives. He does not want us to worship Him pursuant to the creations of man (compare Matthew 15:9).
Hopefully, one day the Sheriff will be able to take his zeal and combine it with truth as God desires. What a powerful combination this will be in the future! But for those that have an ear to hear now, there is the opportunity, and even more importantly, the obligation to live His way of life with a fervor and enthusiasm that is becoming of the Word of God. We are admonished not to lose our first love (compare Revelation 2:4), lest we are found unprepared when Christ returns (compare Matthew 25:5).

Let us be ready to give an answer or a defense for what we believe (compare 1 Peter 3:15). Now is the time to not take “standing up” sitting down!