Archive | God’s Mercy RSS feed for this section

More than Beautiful Dust

27 Aug

PigsWallow_PigForumI saw a picture of two pigs (a hog and a sow) in a mudhole.

The hog, with an exasperated expression, turned to the sow and said, “I think I’m having a mud-life crisis.”

In another picture, a huge Daddy hog placed his piggy arm around one of his piglets and pointed to a mudhole.

“Son,” Daddy Hog said with obvious pride, “In a few years, this will all be yours.”

Dr. David Jeremiah tells the story of a conversation between an atheist and God. The atheist challenged God, saying, “I can make a man, just like you say you did.”

“Ok,” says God. “Go for it.”

The atheist thought and said, “OK, first we’ll need some dirt.” 

And God said, “OK … but get your own dirt.” 

LOL!

Now this is going to feel like an odd transition, but stick with me. It’s all about dirt, mud and more.

Psalm 103 is an incredible testimony to the wonders of God’s mercy and grace. God loves His children, forgives their sins, and cares for those who fear Him with great compassion. It is God’s steadfast, eternal love, David said, that continues to sustain and blesses us.

But it was verse 14 that recently spoke to me in a deeper way:

“For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust” (ESV).

Dust.

In The Message, that verse reads this way:

“He knows us inside and out, keeps in mind that we’re made of mud.”

Mud.

It was hard enough to read that I am dust … but MUD!

God does not forget what we are made of. He remembers He formed us from the dust, dirt and mud of earth (Genesis 2:7; 3:19). He remembers why He shows us such pity, such amazing mercy and grace.

Even the strongest of us have frail bodies, souls and minds compared to His matchless wonder. He understands our misery. God knows we are subject to decay, that we will be buried in the earth from whence we came.

Were it not for God’s great mercy, we would all be destroyed under the wrath we so completely deserve, for there is not one soul who seeks after God (Romans 3:11) without His touch from heaven.

And in His compassion He brings strength to our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).

During our short time here on earth, as Christ-followers, we are being transformed.

I had a funny thought today. Yes, we are still dust, but …

As we are sanctified (made holy) with the truth of the Word and the Spirit as our tutor, we are becoming beautiful dust.

And we are destined to be MORE than beautiful dust!

We are becoming like Jesus, and in the final resurrection, our bodies will be changed. Glorified! Just as Jesus, in his resurrected body, retained the scars from His crucifixion (John 20:25, 27), even so our recognizable bodies will be resurrected.

We will receive transformed, “glorified” bodies like His (Philippians 3:20-21).  Our ‘perishable” body will be raised “imperishable” (1 Corinthians 15:42, 51-52).

I sometimes forget I am destined for heaven, that I should live for eternity. I know I’m not alone in this forgetfulness. As the poet and author Carl Sandburg wrote (and not even in a theological sense):

“There’s an eagle in me that wants to soar, and there is a hippopotamus in me that wants to wallow in the mud.”*

Ouch, right?

God wants me to mount up with wings as an eagle (Isaiah 40:31), but I keep sloshing around in the mud. I forget where I’m heading. But I rejoice God does not.

While I live on earth, I am the recipient of His incredible mercy, forgiveness and grace. And I am thankful this sinful, decaying body will be changed in eternity.

I am destined to be far more than beautiful dust.

 – (Note from Dawn: I know I have changed the imagery several times in this post. One minute I am mud; the next I’m sloshing around in mud. But I hope something, somewhere in this rambling spoke to your heart and encouraged you to live for the Lord today.)

 – *http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/mud.html

Graphic: Pigforum.com/Why-Wallow.html

 

Advertisements

The Secret of the Ark

12 Sep

There’s so much funny stuff on the Internet about Noah’s Ark of safety. Here are some of my favorite lines:

  • Noah ran the first canning factory … he had a boat full of preserved pairs.NoahAndTheCheetahs
  • The elephant took the most baggage into the ark:  his trunk.
  • Noah couldn’t catch many fish because he only had two worms.
  • Noah had lights on the ark:  flood lights.
  • Noah kept all the bees in the ark hives.

And surely you’ve seen the advice, “What I learned from Noah.” Here are my favorite words of counsel:

  • Plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.
  • Stay fit. When you’re 600 years old, someone might ask you to do something REALLY big.
  • Don’t listen to critics — do what has to be done.
  • For safety’s sake, travel in pairs.
  • Speed isn’t always an advantage. The cheetahs were on board, but so were the snails.
  • If you can’t fight or flee — float!
  • Take care of your animals as if they were the last ones on earth.
  • Don’t forget that we’re all in the same boat.
  • Remember that the woodpeckers INSIDE are often a bigger threat than the storm outside.
  • No matter how bleak it looks, there’s always a rainbow on the other side.

And by all means … DON’T MISS THE BOAT!

I know the idea of a global flood doesn’t sit well with people. Some call it a myth or a bedtime story. And some have hard questions, like: “Where is the evidence of a global flood?”

And an even tougher question: “How can a loving God cause such horrible destruction?”

I’m not going to address that first question in this post. There are some resources I would point to here and here and here and here and here and here. (It is my opinion that Noah’s Ark was an actual vessel in history—God’s provision during a time of judgment.)

What I want to focus on here is the second question:

How do we reconcile a loving God with Noah’s Ark and the Flood?

We need to remember, God isn’t JUST a God of love. He’s a God of power, strength, wisdom, justice — so many things. The Bible declares He is a holy God (Isaiah 6:3; Revelation 4:8).

People forget the Lord is pure; He is wholly holy. And as such, He must judge all evil. 

In Noah’s day, the people forgot about God. They didn’t care about listening to Him or doing what was right. They didn’t care that He is holy and sovereign and expects His creatures to obey.

God told Noah He was sending a flood to judge the wickedness of mankind. The flood came because man’s wickedness was “great,” man’s thoughts were “evil continually,” and the earth was filled with violence and corruption (Genesis 5, 11). In only 10 generations from God’s creation of the earth and Adam, the world had become so vile, it had to be destroyed.

But the people scoffed. They laughed at Noah and the ark of safety he built. They rejected God’s promise of coming judgment, and it was their rejection of God’s provision for escaping judgment that sealed their fate.

Although described as just, perfect and a man who walked with God, Noah needed God’s grace too (Genesis 6:8-9). Although he was described as a preacher of righteousness (2 Peter 2:5), Noah and his family weren’t saved from judgment because of their own “goodness,” but rather because of their faith in God’s good provision.

Even in The Flood, God showed mercy. 

Look around at our world today and it’s clear wickedness abounds again (Matthew 24:37-39; Romans 3:10-12). Today, although people are sometimes “religious,” mankind as a whole ignores the God of the Bible and people do what is right in their own eyes—sometimes even redefining evil as good—but God sees the heart! (Proverbs 21:2)

God promised He would never destroy the world again with a flood, but that doesn’t mean judgment isn’t coming. The Bible says we must all stand before the Lord in judgment (Hebrews 9:27). We can either stand in our own “goodness”—which is insufficient to enable us to escape God’s holy judgment (Titus 3:5)—or we can stand in Christ. He is our only Savior, the perfect sacrifice for our sin (Romans 6:23; Hebrews 10:11-14). There is no other name by which a person can escape judgement for sin (Acts 4:12).

What is the secret to surviving the coming judgment of God? Christ alone! He is our “ark of safety.”

God is not willing that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9), but His holy nature is unchanging. In love, He provided a way of escape, and He invites us to “come into the ark,” just as He invited Noah and his family long ago.

Only those who enter the door of the ark—God’s wonderful but exclusive provision—are saved from destruction. Jesus is the only way; He is the door (John 10:9). He is the ark of safety (John 14:6) that leads to eternal salvation and life.

DON’T MISS THE BOAT!

Are you in Christ—the ark of safety, the Ark of Salvation?

Cheetah graphic, Wikipedia

– Dawn

%d bloggers like this: