Little late night encouragement

Romans 8:18-25
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.


Read the last line of the commentary below with great hope!


“The sufferings of the saints strike no deeper than the things of time, last no longer than the present time, are light afflictions, and but for a moment. How vastly different are the sentence of the word and the sentiment of the world, concerning the sufferings of this present time! Indeed the whole creation seems to wait with earnest expectation for the period when the children of God shall be manifested in the glory prepared for them. There is an impurity, deformity, and infirmity, which has come upon the creature by the fall of man. There is an enmity of one creature to another. And they are used, or abused rather, by men as instruments of sin. Yet this deplorable state of the creation is in hope. God will deliver it from thus being held in bondage to man’s depravity. The miseries of the human race, through their own and each other’s wickedness, declare that the world is not always to continue as it is. Our having received the first-fruits of the Spirit, quickens our desires, encourages our hopes, and raises our expectations. Sin has been, and is, the guilty cause of all the suffering that exists in the creation of God. It has brought on the woes of earth; it has kindled the flames of hell. As to man, not a tear has been shed, not a groan has been uttered, not a pang has been felt, in body or mind, that has not come from sin. This is not all; sin is to be looked at as it affects the glory of God. Of this how fearfully regardless are the bulk of mankind! Believers have been brought into a state of safety; but their comfort consists rather in hope than in enjoyment. From this hope they cannot be turned by the vain expectation of finding satisfaction in the things of time and sense. We need patience, our way is rough and long; but He that shall come, will come, though he seems to tarry.” -MH

Heavenly Tension

So magically last night I got my old iMac working (we are talking like voodoo level stuff here) and started to transfer most of my old music library onto my laptop since the ole iMac is clearly in its death throes. Happened across a song I really like but had not listened to in years, its called Last Notes by Shaun Groves. Lyrics are below:


There is a part of me
That’s only visiting
Torn from eternity
A stranger here

The awkward mingling of
The loveless and beloved
So far from things above
While I am here

So when the last notes of my soul’s summer symphony
Go stealing through this old world’s cold garden gates
I will hold no fear as You close my book of hours
And the hands of heaven carry me
Carry me home to stay

O Death where is your sting
Your tears and your tremblings
His peace is lingering
Even now

O Grave the battle’s fought
Your vict’ry has been lost
To Christ who gave it all
To take me now

It’s a great song because the first part highlights the tension believers have between living in a fallen world and “setting our minds on things above.” But I really love the last part, its an excellent reminder that while we live in a crazy, wacky, fallen word, Christ’s death has released us from the fear of our own. Delivering us to a life of service and love, giving us a longing during the “awkward mingling” we live on this earth that this place might be redeemed. Looking more like the place we as Christians long for!


“If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next… It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this. Aim at Heaven and you will get earth ‘thrown in’: aim at earth and you will get neither

(p. 134).” Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

Song link is below, sorry could not find a good YouTube link. But let’s just be real, you should have spotify by this point anyways. Also if you have not read Mere Christianity, I would suggest doing so post-haste.

Heavenly and Earthly Adoption

My pastor has been preaching through the 4th chapter in Galatians over the last couple of weeks and this part has been grabbing my attention.

Galatians 4:4-7

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

Whenever I read this verse and more particularly whenever I encounter the theological idea of being adopted as sons of God I cant help but immediately compare it to earthly adoption. I mean my mind immediately begins to compare my adoption by Christ to like when a couple adopts a little baby. This baby has nothing, no parents, no home, no hope, no future, with nothing at all to offer, yet this child is chosen! Two parents walk up and say YOU child are MINE, I choose you and I love you! I think that’s why earthly adoption is such a cool thing, its such an incredible picture of when Christ looks us in the face and says child I love you and you are mine! Praise God that when we had nothing at all to offer, Christ paid it all and bought us, that we might be his adopted sons and daughters!

 

May the temper and conduct of sons ever show our adoption; and may the Holy Spirit witness with our spirits that we are children and heirs of God. -MH

 

Not Opposites

    Psalm 90:14-15:

14 Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, and for as many years as we have seen evil.

Reading Psalm 90 this morning I could not help but think how opposite verse 14 and 15 seem to me. My sinful self finds it easy to praise God when things are going good, but I’m not so fervent or quick in my praise when things are hard. Makes me even more thankful that His love for us is not based upon my fair-weather devotion, and that instead His love is based upon the finished work of Christ. A prayer I need daily:


17 Now therefore, O our God, listen to the prayer of your servant and to his pleas for mercy, and for your own sake, O Lord, make your face to shine upon your sanctuary, which is desolate.
18 O my God, incline your ear and hear. Open your eyes and see our desolations, and the city that is called by your name. For we do not present our pleas before you because of our righteousness, but because of your great mercy.
19 O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive. O Lord, pay attention and act. Delay not, for your own sake, O my God, because your city and your people are called by your name.”

He is my sin, I am the righteousness of God

Found this little bit of Puritan commentary encouraging this morning while reading through 2 Cor.

“The end and design of all this: that we might be made the righteousness of God in him, might be justified freely by the grace of God through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus. As Christ, who knew no sin of his own, was made sin for us, so we, who have no righteousness of our own, are made the righteousness of God in him. Our reconciliation to God is only through Jesus Christ, and for the sake of his merit: on him therefore we must rely, and make mention of his righteousness and his only.”

2 Corinthians 5:21 “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

When I meditate on what this actually entails, meaning that Christ became my sin, and he became not just the sins I have committed in the past but also every one of the sins I will commit in the future. Its beyond humbling, hardly something one can describe.

Actual Marriage

As someone who really wants to get married this lecture is an encouragement and simultaneously a reality check. The tendency to idealize marriage and my future spouse is very strong, I find this lecture is extremely helpful in breathing some Gospel into that idea.

While  kind of lengthy I really encourage you to listen to the whole thing, its especially on point  for us guys.

(As a small disclaimer I am not fully inline with all the theology espoused in this lecture, but find the benefits far outweigh any of my objections)

Linkz:

Video

Audio

Love Song Name Change

So this past semester on Sunday nights I have been assisting the Jr High worship team from my church with AV stuff. With this responsibility came a unique privilege which involved me getting to listen to the music that kids these days enjoy cranking up in their cars, headphones, etc. This did bring something to my attention, I feel like “love songs” produced by the modern pop artist should be renamed to better reflect their content and/or message. I put fourth “Unstable Transient Obsession song” is a more robust and accurate name rather than “love song.” I mean it’s way more accurate and I think it better describes what the artist feels for that other person.

So this blog post is over, it may be crazy, but that’s what I think, so comment maybe?

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