Friday, March 13, 2015

SPRING IS NOT GOD'S WAY OF SHOWING US HE LOVES US





Riding home tonight on my bicycle, I passed a church, which had this for the message on their sign:

SPRING IS GOD'S WAY OF SHOWING US HE LOVES US

The thought immediately sprang into my mind, then winter must then be His way of showing us that He hates us. . .

I understand the metaphor that the sign writer was trying to make, but spring is just the season that follows winter. A pleasant season in many ways, but it is also a season with tornadoes, floods, and killing frosts. . .From personal experience, it is a season of seasonal depression for many. The point being that for some the season is a blessing, but for others it may be a season of destruction and despair.

To attribute every happening to the hand of God is not helpful, nor is it reality. I do fervently believe that God answers prayers, but I just as sincerely believe that a rainstorm which brings needed moisture for one, may just as well bring wind and hail which destroys to another.  If you are going to give Him personal credit for your beneficial rain, then it is hard to see how He isn't also responsible for any damage that same storm may bring.  It is just a random rainstorm and nothing more.

In short. . . good things happen to good people. . .good things happen to bad people. . .
bad things happen to good people, and bad things happen to bad people. . .Not every event should be measured as blessing or cursing from God.

Good Christian people face bankruptcy. . . get cancer. . .endure earthquakes. . . face famines. Plagues and poverty both strike people who dearly and deeply love God.

Look no further than the Apostles. According to history, only the Apostle John died a natural death. The other 11 apostles. . .His beloved students. . . His personal disciples, died violent and painful deaths. Was this somehow God’s retribution for failings on their part. . . or just outcomes of who they were. . . where they were. . .what they did and the times they lived in. In other words, what happened to them was not divine intervention, but the workings of the world. There does look to be the hand of God on the way of the Apostle John’s passing.

Jesus speaking to the Apostle Peter:


John 21:18-23
Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. (19) This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me. (20) Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee? (21) Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? (22) Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me. (23) Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?

Jesus prophesying that Peter would be in captivity when he was an old man, but regardless of this Peter was to ‘follow me’, and irrespective of what happened to another apostle, Peter was to focus on his own walk with God.

History tells us:
John faced martyrdom when he was boiled in a huge basin of boiling oil during a wave of persecution in Rome. However, he was miraculously delivered from death. John was then sentenced to the mines on the prison island of Patmos. He wrote his prophetic book of Revelation on Patmos. The apostle John was later freed and returned to what is now modern-day Turkey. He died as an old man, the only apostle to die peacefully.

Read more:http://www.gotquestions.org/apostles-die.html#ixzz3UGRREUrg

So the Apostle that Jesus loved, as he was known, was delivered miraculously from death and died peacefully an old man.

Does that mean that Jesus did not love the other Apostles? No, not at all, but Jesus did have a unique relationship with John:


John 19:25-28
Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. (26) When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! (27) Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home. (28) After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.

After Jesus death, John took Mary into his own home and cared for her as for his own mother. . . and alone of the Apostles, John died of natural causes. It surely looks as if the hand of God was upon John protecting him.

I talk to God all day long. Before my eyes are open, I am speaking to Him. As I drift off into my dreams, I whisper of my thanks and love for Him. I give Him thanks almost continually, but I don’t blame Him every time I stub my toe, and if I find a quarter on the sidewalk, I give Him thanks, for He is the creator of the universe, but I really do not think that He placed the quarter there for me to find.

That takes nothing away from my thanks or gratitude toward Him. . . My thankfulness comes from a much deeper level. . .I fully well know that even though I love Him and He loves me that I will face trials. . .illness. . . loss, hardship, and grief in my life. In spite of that, I am determined to continue worship Him and give Him all praise and thanks for what he has done for me. . .

That church sign is wrong in one respect, and misses the point in another. The season of spring is not how He shows us that He loves us. . . Robing Himself in flesh. . .coming to earth to become the needed sacrifice for our sins. . . enduring the horrible pain and humiliation of his scourging and crucifixion . . .THAT is how He showed us that He loved us. . . and everything else pales beneath that glorious monument of His love for us.

I thank you my God. . .
I love you my God. . .
I owe you my life. . .
I owe you my eternal life. . .
I owe you everything. . .

Dave