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Spiritual Solitude

Just a slight deviation from the OT law series today.. it can get quite dry talking about it every day.

I’ve been reading “Celebration of Discipline” by Richard Foster. It’s really an amazing book that transformed my inner life and the way I approach various Christian disciplines.

One of the points he made on the discipline of solitude, is that a result of solitude is losing the need to justify our every action towards man.

“”We fear so deeply what we think other people see in us that we talk in order to straighten out their understanding”.. “One of the fruits of silence is the freedom to let God be our justifier. We don’t need to straighten others out.”

This got me really thinking about the words I speak to people all the time. Every time I feel someone may have gotten the wrong impression of me, I speak to justify myself. I believe that Foster is speaking of this bondage that we have to others, requiring us to be fully justified before others to be at peace.

I do agree that there is an excess of self-justification today, but I do not believe in no justification at all.

As much as solitude is a desirable aspect of inner life, there is a need to function in human society, as well as the body of Christ. Due to our lack of full knowledge and sinful nature, we tend to jump to the worse conclusions about people, imagine the deadliest consequences, and assume personal motives. Thus, there is always a need to maintain relationships through the explanation of one’s actions. One of today’s experiences taught me this the hard way. We are called in the body of Christ to build up one another, not being a stumbling block. Thus, it should be love that governs each word we speak.

Justification should then be made when it concerns another person who may be negatively affected. Other than that, there is really no need to be so quick to justify or push the blame to others.

My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,
James 1:19

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Previously, I mentioned that the Mosaic Law consisted of different types of laws. While the temple and Jewish laws were specifically meant for the Israelite nation during the dispensation of law, some of these laws are extremely relevant to us today. By us, I refer specifically to Gentile believers living during this period of time- the dispensation of grace.

For the sake of convenience, I will refer to these laws as Universal Moral laws, or UM laws.

Before I begin, I would like to remind all that there is no justification through the following of the law, for our righteousness before God is not of our own, but through faith in Christ(Philippians 3:9). Instead, the grace we have received in Christ inspires us into obedience, and the law reveals the holy standard of God to which we conform ourselves to.

Ezekiel 36:26-27 was a prophecy of the time when God’s spirit will be living within us, and it places this truth aptly:

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.

In fact, the New Testament itself contains more than 1000 laws, outnumbering that of the OT’s of 613. All these commandments should therefore, be approached from a starting point of grace, and obeying them does not justify us any more than Christ already has for us.

Now if you would take a look at some of these UM laws, you would realize that some of them are presented in two parts, the command and the consequence for breaking the command.

 If a man is found sleeping with another man’s wife, both the man who slept with her and the woman must die.
Deutoronomy 22:22 

Other examples may be found in Leviticus 19-20.

I believe all will agree that the command part of the law is a standard of God’s holiness, which is unchanging and absolutely morally correct. It is applicable to all people, living at all periods of time.

And finally the question we are really concerned about: Should we be applying the consequence part of the law as well?

When I posed this question to the people I met, one of the most convincing responses was this;

that God’s words will were, are, and always will be perfect. His laws are not based on man, but are an intrinsic standard arising from His holiness. Therefore, all parts of the law should ideally be applied to all people. However, due to the hardness of our hearts, it is not good to apply it wholly as it may cause disagreement or rebellion.

This convinced me for a while, but I realized that I had a few problems with it.

His laws actually were based on man! From two aspects, may I persuade you-

1. The law originated because of the sinfulness of man. They needed a standard to know God’s holiness, and then be enabled to obey Him, through following the command part of the law.

2. As for the consequence, an observation from the OT is that God uses punishment to draw people back to righteousness. The consequences of the law would cause the transgressor to realize their wrong and repent, so that they will be reconciled with God. This I believe, is the higher purpose of the consequences.

3. The consequence part of the law was also God’s response to the hardness of man’s heart. When someone does something wrong against us, we desire fair judgement to be done. This is alright, but some may desire revenge, which comes from the sinful nature. In order to prevent them from exercising their own judgement, which will differ greatly and be inspired by personal motives, God gives a standard of punishment to ensure orderliness. This standard of punishment was only given to the Israelites living during the dispensation of the law. 

Thus, I believe that the consequence part of the UM laws should not be directly applied to Gentiles today;

– Because it was meant to draw people back to righteousness, and not to fulfill any requirement

– Because it depends on the judgement of man, which is variable from culture to culture, generation to generation.

In the next post, I will elaborate more on these two points, and give more substantive biblical references.

Wow, I’ve never been this inactive before. Many things have happened since the mission trip to Philippines, in my spiritual life as well as ministry. It hasn’t been totally good, but it has been a good experience.

Now about the OT law; this is one issue that I’ve been thinking about for a few months, and have discussed with many people about it. Two of them were spiritual mentors whose Biblical views I trust, and another two of them were lawyers I knew. Who could be better to ask than that! 🙂 While I have come to a conclusion on this matter, there will be many who disagree. But to each his own faith! So if you find yourself among that group of people, then go according to your own conviction- do not be affected by my views.

Note: This post will be written over a few parts

A while ago, I was discussing with an atheist on the Law of the OT, and we started talking about some of the extreme punishments that the Mosiac law distributed for seemingly less harmful transgressions. For example,

“If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife —with the wife of his neighbor—both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death.”
Leviticus 20:10

In Singapore, we have no laws against adultery- a vast difference compared to the Israelite nation at that time. So this question came into mind- does this mean that we’re doing it wrong? And then, to be living Biblically, should every society follow the law exactly as it pronounces judgement?

Now before I carry on, I understand that there are now a lot of implications between the faith and politics, governance, orderliness and so on.. I am however, not qualified enough to touch on all that. For this post, the issue I am really addressing is- Did God mean for the OT law to be applied to all communities and nations, throughout generations?

Different kinds of laws
When God made His covenant with Abraham, he had in mind a Holy nation, set apart for Him. This nation was to be like no other in the world. Not that God loved them more than others, but He wanted to use this nation to bring His standards of holiness, and the knowledge and experience of Him into the world. This was the nation of Israel.

Thus, when God brought them out of Egypt, He decided to put into place different kinds of laws. Some would reflect His ultimate holiness, while some others would be a foretelling of what was to come in the future. And some, well, came out of the Israelites’ way of life.

Below is a list of three different categories. I have enjoyed reading Dan Juster’s “Jewish Roots”, and these names are from there.

a. Temple Laws
These were very specific instructions on carrying out the sacrificial procedures in the temple, as well as for the priests. An example:

The tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. Hold a sacred assembly and deny yourselves, and present an offering made to the Lord by fire.
Leviticus 23:27

We do not carry out the sacrifices mentioned in the OT because we understand that the ultimate sacrifice has already been made for us!

But when this priest (Jesus) had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God.
Hebrews 10:12

However, this does not mean that these verses are no longer relevant to us. Many of the laws on the temple and sacrifices were a foreshadow of Christ, who was to come to take away our sins. They bring us into a deeper understanding of the atonement Jesus made for us. Also, the OT sacrifices were meant to remind the Israelites of their sin! As much as they have their reminders, we have ours- communion that we partake as a body of Christ leads us into remembrance of His love and sacrifice for us.

Back to the issue, I believe that God does not require us to follow the temples laws because:
1. They were meant for the Jewish nation, who had a calling to be set apart for God, during that period of time.
2. Christ has made the ultimate sacrifice for us. Therefore we do not remind ourselves of sin, but of grace, through communion.

b. Jewish Laws
Some of the laws were set because of the culture and heritage of the Israelite nation. One example was that God told them never to go back to Egypt, but to move on to the promised land that He had for them. The intention of this law was for the Israelites to trust in God’s promised providence, and not to return to slavery which God had brought them out of.

If you have the time to read through all the laws, you would be able to spot a few more, the laws for Nazirites in Numbers 6.

c. Universal Moral
These laws are a reflection of God’s holy nature, and His standards of righteousness. Do not murder, do not bear false witness, etc.. They are extremely easy to spot because they bear a lot of similarity with the conscience that we hold. 

“Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law..  ..since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness..”
Romans 2:14-15

I believe that when God creates all men in His image, His holy standards are also written on our hearts, so that we can look at an action as define it as “wrong” or “right”. Thus, these laws in the Mosiac law are for everyone. God meant for everyone, of every generation to follow them.

Now we then be wondering- should we then also carry out the consequences that God defined for these laws?

I’ll be answering it in part 2, when I have the time again to write 🙂

Faith and Science

Over the many years I’ve been writing, one post that never fails to draw people to this blog is this one: https://transcendingpeace.wordpress.com/2009/06/02/science-and-religion/

It’s a General Paper essay I wrote about 3 years ago about Science and Religion, and is still drawing viewers as much as it did then.

One thing to note is that I wrote that really from a secular point of view. Well I had to pass the exam so that’s that. But there has always been one thing on my heart- how science today connects with the faith that I have in God. As many of you would know, I love science and am planning to read Physics in university this coming August. I really enjoy rationale thinking and engaging the cognitive functions of my brain. A lot of people then, find it improbable for me to have such a strong faith in a religion that talks about miracles, cities that never seemed to exist, promotes creationism and so on.

The last few months, I have increasingly been seeing articles and comments from atheistic and secularistic (if there may be such a word) friends that have not been very sensitive to the religious community in general. I do not approve of them; not because they insult my faith, but I feel that what they are doing is not the right way of operating in a harmonious society. As much as we put down racism and defamation, the same should go for approaching different views on faith. Perhaps doing it on the Internet made them bolder, but I see no difference, Internet or physical community, we are a people trying to live together.

It was really because I saw these things that made me want to write about my views on this issue, and how my personal experiences with God have shaped them. I have been putting this post off for quite a while actually, with a few drafts lying around here and there, but I’m getting to it now. As much as I love explaining how I reconcile specific issues of faith and science, I will deal little with the technical, and more with the spiritual. I believe that all Christians will sometime in their lives, be challenged by what science presents to them, and here is how I deal with it, whatever the science.

It started off when I was about 13 years old, when my friend and I got really interested about anything and everything to do with science. As we were both in the same Bible study class on Sunday, we would ask our teacher about things like evolution, and whether dinosaurs existed. Oh those times.. I would very much like to tell you the answers that he gave us:

1) Evolution did not occur because the Bible says God created all things.

2) Dinosaurs could have existed because the Bible did say that God created all creatures, and mentioned a little about large creatures on the Earth. Since there are archaeological records of dinosaurs today, they should have existed.

Well nothing really special about them really. It’s just some answers that any other Christian could have given to me. But at that time, that was the truth to me! And I started exploring other aspects of science the same way. Now my teacher didn’t give me mind-blowing answers, but he did teach me some things about the way I approach these topics. Let’s take a look.

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1) Evolution was immediately rejected because it is contrary to what the Bible says. If you have been reading my blog for a while, you would know that I hate to make a point without any Biblical reference. In this world that troubles Christians greatly, this is the first rule I would give you, and no doubt the most important.

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.
Psalm 119:105

How tightly we must cling on to the Word of God today! Society tell us many things, right or wrong, they present it as true. As followers of Christ, we must only follow one truth- the Word that God has left us with. Even beyond science- we have voluntary death, homosexuality, etc. Now it is very easy to stand at a pulpit (or write on a blog) and say that these things are wrong, but they are not easy issues to deal with when it’s about a family member or a closest friend. But in all things, may the Word of God be a light for us in the darkness.

So, should we leave this issue just like that? Perhaps you could, but I could not. After examining the Word, examine your own convictions. Do you have an inward witness that confirms the Word of God? Do you feel a need to search deeper? If you do, go ahead! I believe that God has given mankind knowledge and understanding, like how He gave it to Daniel and his friends, so as to search out the things we want to understand about Him.

I went ahead to read books by Lee Strobel, Ron Rhodes, even Stephen Hawking and another book against creationism. As you read, do it prayerfully such that God can bring understanding and conviction to your heart. If I must emphasize again and again, I am truly convinced that the highest purpose of reason is the knowledge of God, that we may grow deeper in knowing Him and loving Him.

And after all the things that you have read, the Word of God always stands true, whether there are more arguments in whichever side. Many atheists may refer to this process of classic rationalization- meaning we (Christians) hold fast to one view (the Bible), and try to fit all other views to make the Bible work. I personally do not have a problem with that.

I have a good friend who is never late for appointments. Now one day I may find that he is 30 minutes late, and I am unable to contact him. Immediately I will start worrying if he got into an accident or if something happened back at home. Because of the knowledge and experience I have of his punctuality, I reconcile my reasoning to believe that it was not his fault for his lateness. In the same way, I have knowledge and personal experience of God, and can testify that He is true and living. Therefore, I have no issue aligning all evidences to fit what He has said and proven about Himself.

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Now let us move on to the second point I am trying to make:

2) The existence of dinosaurs may be considered because:
– Firstly, the Bible does not rule out it’s possibility like it did to evolution
– Secondly, there is clear and existing scientific evidence for it

Many of the comments I read today about Christianity condemn it because “Christians reject empirical evidence and depend only on faith”.

As much as I am annoyed every time I read something like this, I graciously beg to differ. I have mentioned previously that God has given us knowledge and understanding so that we can discover more about the Him and His creation. Therefore, I accept clear scientific evidence, and will readily reconcile it with my faith. You see, God and Science to me are not two different things in two different realms. God created science, and set limits on how much we can find out about it (one example is the limitation of the Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle). They are to me, the same thing. I have knowledge of God, and knowledge of Science. I have experiences of God, and experiences with Science. My interaction with the physical things in this universe are a result of what God has ordained. The laws that I study today, the lights that I turn on, the natural scenery I’ve seen in Korea; as much as they are explained by science, they are also result of God’s interaction in the physical world. Thus, knowing more about science reveals more of God to me.

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
Romans 1:20

Where does faith play a part then?

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
Hebrews 11:1

The essence of faith is such that it must be about believing in the things that cannot be interacted with in the physical universe. Once we have clear knowledge of something, faith cannot exist anymore. If God suddenly appeared in front of me now and made it snow in Singapore, I no longer need faith in God; because now I have clear knowledge that He exists and is powerful. However, faith and knowledge are not contradicting to me. In fact, they both play complimentary roles in the Christian faith. To understand this, I often like to explain it in such a way:

Imagine a linear process, representing the nature of belief in a God.

No belief |——>—–>—–|—->—–>—–| Complete Belief

                Knowledge           Faith

Knowledge through empirical evidence and personal experiences allows me to establish a foundation of the belief in a God. When I look at the beauty of nature, the perfection of physical laws of the universe, and perhaps even verify the credibility and coherence of the Bible- these things establish a knowledge to help me form a belief that God exists. But these are not enough for me to decide to believe in a God, as I still cannot see Him physically or verify Him experimentally. Thus, based on all the empirical and personal evidences, I decide to have a complete belief in God through faith. Thus, my faith is not a empty faith in itself, but a faith based on observable and personal experiences. As we are all different, some may require more knowledge of take a step of faith, while some may decide to believe in God very easily without having to dig too deep intellectually.

So if we go back to that question, science and archaeology may verify the existence of dinosaurs, it may disprove evolution, or discover that the Earth was created by an explosive singularity, and so on.. Then, I would reconcile it with my Christian faith through what God has told me in the Bible, and whatever personal experiences I’ve had of Him. If I must emphasize again, I can do this so easily because I believe that science and all observable physical phenomena come from God. Therefore I see no sense to let them conflict in my conviction, but they should instead, be reconciled.

Now there are definitely some things that still cannot be reconciled today due to our limited knowledge. In such a case, we should not attempt to twist science or faith to make ourselves happy. I would just leave it be. The essence of faith is believing in the things unseen, even the knowledge that evades us. But because we know and believe our God to be real, we can have faith that God has the answer, and He may or may not choose to reveal it to us in His ultimate sovereignty.

The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.
Deuteronomy 29:29

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Now I really cannot claim to know lots about apologetics and philosophy, or even about the issues in science that have an impact on our faith. I seek to reconcile for the conviction in my faith, and that I may also share it with others. I hope that the little I’ve shared today can help all those logical people and lovers of science like me, who want to reconcile their knowledge with their faith. Let us do this prayerfully, seeking God’s words to us, for there is nothing more important than that in our intellectual seeking.

I used to be really interested in all those apologetic arguments between Christians and Atheists, and really read a lot into it. I read books from both Christian and Atheist authors, and chased knowledge hungrily. But while doing all this, I left God out of the picture, and all that knowledge came to nothing much. So I’m definitely a lot more careful today.

Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.
1 Corinthians 8:1

So in all our seeking, let us not forget the things eternal that we were called to do, and to do all things for eternity,

“because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. 
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives 
and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor.”
Isaiah 61:1-2

Conditional Forgiveness

Is God’s forgiveness conditional?

The reaction of many Christians will definitely be a firm “no”. How could I make such a claim? The Bible so clearly says that eternal life is a gift from God (Rom 6:23), and that if anyone confesses with his mouth and believes in his heart that Jesus is Lord, he will be saved (Rom 10:9). Of course, you could say that it is conditional on us in accepting His forgiveness by placing our trust in Jesus, who dies for our sins. That is correct I suppose, but the passage that really challenged me to think about this was from said by Jesus Himself.

For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Matthew 6:14-15

Now the question we really want to ask is: If we do not forgive others, will we be forgiven by God? What if as a Christian who has received God’s grace through faith, I find it unable to forgive someone else? Will I still be justified, or condemned for my unforgiveness?

Now if we take a look at the context of this message, Jesus was speaking to a crowd on the mountainside, and these were people who presumably were going to be saved. How could we know this? Well, Jesus directly addresses them a couple of times, implying that they are already children of God.

“Blessed are you when people insult you… because of me”.
Jesus foretold that some of them were going to be persecuted for His sake.

“You are the salt of the Earth.. You are the light of the world”.
Again, Jesus refers to the people as representatives of God, or of the Kingdom of God.

Also, when Jesus taught them to pray, He addressed God as the Father, implying a relational role of God to His people. So we are quite sure that Jesus was talking to a people who were going to be saved. How is it then, that He could tell them that God’s forgiveness was dependent on their forgiveness of others? There is even a hint of this in verse 12:

Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
Matthew 6:12

Is God’s forgiveness of our debts dependent on how much we have forgiven those indebted to us?

As I reflected on this issue, the first thing that God revealed to me was that unforgiveness is not just any other normal sin. It works differently. If let’s say, I curse and swear at somebody in my anger, I would later on be convicted by the Spirit that I have sinned. Then, I would confess my sins and seek God’s forgiveness, which has already been extended to me by grace. However, if my heart is in unforgiveness to another person, I would not be able to go through the same process. Because my heart is bitter and unloving, I am still in the process of sinning, and will not be able to confess my unforgiveness, simply because I have not forgiven that person yet!

Now does this mean that God’s forgiveness is withheld from us because of our sin? Definitely not! I believe that God’s grace surpasses our sin, and even the sins we are committing and the sins we have yet to commit. Now it seems that the previous paragraph was written for nothing, but I want to emphasize that the basis of Christianity is grace, forgiveness, and acceptance. Therefore as a people who are greatly forgiven by God, we are transformed into His likeness, wanting to also extend our forgiveness to others. The Bible makes this very clear in Ephesians 4:32, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Therefore as Christians, we forgive others, or at least make an effort to decide to forgive others, because of the love that God first showed us in forgiveness. And God will give us grace to forgive even the people who are hardest to forgive.

And now we may ask, “What was Jesus talking about then?”

I have come to believe that Jesus was talking about the forgiveness of God as a decision to extend and withhold grace and blessings to us. What this means is that forgiveness is not justification. Justification comes from the fulfillment of the law, through the blood of Christ. Forgiveness in this passage however, talks about the relationship between God the Father, and us. As we have agreed earlier, Jesus was speaking to a group of people about to be saved, and He was most likely not talking about justification in the way the book of Romans put it. In fact, Jesus was talking about it in the context of prayer! After teaching the people about how to approach God the Father in prayer, as part of a relationship that we have received by grace, He warns us that not forgiving others will harm this relationship. It will affect out prayers.

When we choose not to forgive others, even after receiving God’s forgiveness, our relationship with God is strained. Have you ever tried going to church after a conflict or argument? It’s terrible, the bitterness in my heart blocks off the love that God is trying to fill me with. I believe that is good reason for what Jesus said earlier about conflict.

Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you,  leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.
Matthew 5:23-24

While we are justified, unforgiveness strains our ability to receive the presence of God. God may make a  decision to withhold His blessing and favour from us in a form of unforgiveness, so that He can guide His children back into loving others. It is in a sense, like the concept of excommunication. This withholding is not a result of condemnation from the law, but an act of love to draw us back to Him; back into a relationship where we can call Him “Our Father in Heaven”.

“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.”

How beautiful is this relationship, that we may have a Father who have justified us by His grace, and poured out every spiritual blessing upon us! It is in Him that we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. It is no wonder that Christ calls us to remember his death and resurrection as often as we can. For when I look upon the cross, the grace and mercy extended to me through nothing I have done, how could I hold one thing against my brother or sister? As God first loved us, let us love one anther.

(Upon reflection, I must say that God may or may not withhold His presence from us when we are in sin. I believe that God knows the times and seasons for every individual, and He will do what He wants. But I know that whatever He does is good and loving towards us. The concept to grasp here is that sin strains the relationship between God and us.)

Graduated!

I’ve graduated last Thursday! It has been an amazing experience that I will never forget. We pulled through all those lessons together, all the duties, the polished shaft and the graduation performances. In the end, we all had experienced God in a way we never had before. Now all together, we pursue His Kingdom forcefully.

And this Kingdom will know no end
And it’s glory shall know no bounds
For the majesty and power
Of this Kingdom’s King has come

Set Ablaze from tzekiang on Vimeo.

Undeniable Urge

He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
Ecclesiastes 3:11

As I scroll through my regular Facebook newsfeeds, looking for updates from my friends, I cannot help but click on those news bits posted from yahoo news. Each of them may be different, but somehow appear so similar to me- unlawful economic gain, sexual harassment, political power struggles, terrorism and violence, religious insensitivity, etc..

While this may seem like a random list of wrongdoings and suffering imposed on the world, they are in fact, idolatry- worship of anything else but the one true God. God has created mankind such that we all have a desire for a greater purpose, and deeper significance in life. I was recently watching a forum held on the Meaning of Life, as discussed by a secular humanist, and a Christian humanist (as he likes to call himself). While the former was presenting her meaning of life, I could not help but feel depressingly sad for her. She had made happiness the goal of her life, and shapes her world view around self-fulfilment and self-centeredness. It sounded rather shallow and superficial, yet she expressed no discomfort in the fact of unattainable, self-imposed moral values and the subjectivity of her fulfilment structure.

She is one example of idolatry of self. Every sin and suffering in this world is the direct or indirect consequence of idolatry- that of money, carnal desires, recognition by others, or even wrong concepts of God. Because of the innate desire of humans to find fulfilment, they resort to all forms of worldly things to satisfy it, missing the divine answer that God has already provided. I am guilty of this myself- as much as I desire to make Jesus the only God in my life, there are distractions that turn me away many times. Being human, I have indulged in computer games, found fulfilment in knowledge, pridefully raised myself in the opinions of others, fallen to sexual temptation, and perhaps idolized things that I do not even know.

Then at some point in time, we will all come to a realization that nothing in this world can bring us perfect fulfilment. Wealth will be spent, material possessions will lose relevance, people will disappoint, and activities will become meaningless. The problem with this desire is that if God placed this desire in us, it is of a divine nature and thus must be divinely fulfilled. Any material substitute will never work. Some people try until the end of their lives and still fail in finding it. Elvis Presley, with all his fame and wealth, said that he was lonely nearing the end of his life. Freddie Mercury expressed the same.

Such a divine thirst and longing can only be satisfied by the God who gave it to us. Being perfectly loving in nature, He availed Himself to the world through Jesus Christ, so that we may have a personal relationship with Him. Trust me, I’ve tried many things and Jesus is the only thing that has never failed me. His love is perfect, peace is transcending, and hope, eternal. If only more may come to find this saving grace of Christ!

I have been reading the book “Eternity in their hearts” by Don Richardson. As I read about how God has revealed Himself to all kinds of people worldwide, I cannot help but weep as I realize His divine sovereignty and beautiful love for His people. If we have ever asked, “Why doesn’t God do more to save people who do not know Him?”, we are severely mistaken. He is doing much more than we can imagine, and is waiting for us to take that step to complete His work by sharing the truth of Jesus Christ.

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