After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight…..(Acts 1:9)
I am always fascinated by “back-to-life” stories on TV. Millions of cases of people dying and feeling a tug, a sensation one is unlikely capable of describing, as their spirits rise from their own flesh. They talk about what they saw, heard or experienced. Some have even talked about seeing heaven, hearing Jesus and others…unfortunately have described the pitied screams of hell. The burning smell and the rush of the apparent evil and darkness on one’s senses. There is a still a question of whether or not these experiences are real…if they are would it be wrong for us to expect a definite change. A real change in behavior?
The Church has entertained the notion with movies like Heaven is for real, a movie that I found very difficult to digest for a number reasons. One of them being, an interview that I had to DVR due to a busy week and anticipated to watch on early Saturday morning. Whereas luck would have it, I was the first to wake up and therefore the first to watch my programs..and as a side note, I would encourage you to watch the interview then the movie as I had, and to draw your conclusions.
Holly wood has the same fascination, bringing dead children back to life to haunt the family house…or the killer who was killed but isn’t really dead…chasing after the innocent idiots who decided to move into the creepiest, darkest house on the cul-de-sac. We, the viewers are horrified as one of the characters exclaims, “Oh it’s got a pool!”
Yeah….its..got..a…pool…sigh. They are so doomed.
But I digress….
I would like to discuss the relationship between Christians and Sin. As humans, it’s not a secret that we have a natural default of destruction. We destroy ourselves and the things around us. I watched a movie last weekend called Tomorrowland, though it was poorly thought out, in my opinion, there was this one scene when the villain, President Nix goes on an ideological rant about human’s inability to preserve–to truly save ourselves or anyone else around us. He said,
“To save civilization, I would show its collapse. But, how do you think this vision was received? How do you think people responded to the prospect of imminent doom? They gobbled it up like a chocolate eclair! They didn’t fear their demise, they re-packaged it. It could be enjoyed as video-games, as TV shows, books, movies, the entire world wholeheartedly embraced the apocalypse and sprinted towards it with gleeful abandon. Meanwhile, your Earth was crumbling all around you. You’ve got simultaneous epidemics of obesity and starvation. Explain that one! Bees and butterflies start to disappear, the glaciers melt, algae blooms. All around you the coal mine canaries are dropping dead and you won’t take the hint! In every moment, there’s the possibility of a better future, but you people won’t believe it. And because you won’t believe it you won’t do what is necessary to make it a reality. So, you dwell on this terrible future. You resign yourselves to it for one reason, because *that* future does not ask anything of you today. ”
Isn’t that powerful? First of all, I wasn’t expecting Disney to start going all philosophical on me in the middle of kid movie I’ll tell you that. Besides, George Clooney could have spent this time doing other things, other more productive things. But it’s true, nevertheless, the Bible, however, explains that it’s a little bit more complicated than just being too lazy, its sin. Since the beginning humans have just had this ability, to destroy, and then enters Jesus Christ, the savior of the world. Willingly giving up his life, so that we’d at least have a choice of doing right, and being saved from our own destruction ,with help from the Word of God and his Spirit. It’s a beautiful love story that in my opinion it isn’t being told enough….
So as a Christian, we have these tools, we have a community, we have a personal relationship with Jesus and His Spirit….so why do we still mess up?
It’s the choice. Often times small split second decisions that dictate and reveal just where we are in our walk with Christ. If you’re not choosing the right choice, then you’re pretty much saying that everything that Jesus gave up, is of no significance. We’ve been given this new identity, this new mind, and heart and yet we’re choosing destruction….It is true the little foxes do destroy the vine.
Yet we’re choosing sin. We’re choosing death. We are often forgetful and confused and in making such decisions there are consequences. I had been there and it was frustrating not being able to relay that to them…the urgency of such a moment. The warning of the coming fox.
God Of the Graveyard:
I have endured many things in my young life. My acquaintance with the world, though short was never sweet. It never gratified my immediate need of comfort ,of safety. I wanted stability, consistency, and no human relationship, no man-made thing was going to bring me where I needed to be. I needed the life. Don’t misunderstand me. Jesus never said it would be easy, but he did say that he had overcome. The Bible calls Him, our example, and that means He should be leading…
-not our eating habits and stress filled days
-not our emotions
-not our want for relationships and loneliness
-not financial matters and lack of money
-not any one particular family member, partner or lover….
Because He overcame. We could do the same. The Bible says:
“I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”(John 16:33)
Because He was resurrected so are we. The Bible says again,
“But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen. And if Christ does not rise, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. (1 Corinthians 14:15)
He’s talking to us. The resurrected ones. We ourselves. The Christians. Because the proof of Christ resurrection has been proven, over and over again which mean that there is resurrection power for every single one of us….
Too many Christians, are victims. It’s frustrating to even type this out because I, myself have done this over and over again. I had complained about opportunities given to me and those that weren’t. I have bitten my nails, I had lost sleep. I had zoned out for the sake of sanity and today a friends story, a decision she had made had almost brought me to that point. But I remembered this scripture in Acts 1:9 if I could summarize it basically says, “they looked up”. This simple verse, depicts so much, in the disciples looking up their hearts I am sure overflowed with joy as all that they had believed had finally materialized. But it gets even better than that…
There is a view to resurrection, that is unlike any other…..
When someone is dead, there are a couple of analogies that present themselves. With death, comes the ground level of sight or almost like a mental blindness. Lack of drive or passion, a depletion of all of your energy , no will fight. You can only focus on your present situation. You can only see the rubble, grass blades and the bottom side of life. Resurrection requires an ascension, a rising up, and your view has changed. You suddenly have a hierarchical view of what’s around you, what was attacking, what was trying to take you out. There it was…the difference between the victors and victims…a choice. I want that view….I want peace. I want clarity. I want those things, and they have been made available to me. So I shouldn’t questions everything God has put in front of me. I just wanted to say that every time, every time I will choose Jesus. This is faith, every time I will say yes.
I just wanted to encourage you. If you’ve chosen death instead of the Author of Life, he can bring you back to life as well. He can change your heart, he can change those broken pieces that just don’t make sense in your life.. at …all.I have to believe that or I will lose this fight. I am not a hero. I am not even a healer. My hands cannot do but so many things…..
I said all of that because these last couple of weeks have been challenging. There are days and then…. there are days…let’s just put it that way. But I want to be alive, I want to be a live wire filled with hope, encouraging others and I want the same for you. Here is to us knowing the Author of Life. Here’s to us focusing our eyes on higher things as our hearts are filled with the visions that once held us captive. Here’s to the proof of His word being visible to our hearts.
, Stay above the fray.
Word of the Day:
58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. ( 1 Corinthians 15:58)