Wednesday, April 12, 2017

"The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." ~ Jesus, as recorded in the Gospel of John, Chapter 10, Verse 10

Today is Wednesday, April  12, 2017, as we continue our journey remembering the accounts of exactly what happened during the week when Jesus gave Himself up for us all. (Galatians 1:4 and Ephesians 5:2) I use the word exactly because I believe the Bible to be a truthful account of all that happened. It's not just a religious book, it's also a historically accurate depiction of the events it portrays. I love these inspired words given through the Apostle John, "And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name." (John chapter 20, Verses 30-31) These are written. Those are the things we should focus on. I saw a few minutes of a PBS documentary that was proposing the truths we hold true to have been invented at a much later time than how it is depicted in the New Testament. Maybe I should have a more open mind, but, I couldn't watch and listen to what I sensed was blasphemy against the Savior who came and died for me. You see, that belief in Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, is what gives life in His name. I'm thankful for this week where even our calendars remember what happened in Jerusalem so many years ago. (Good Friday, Easter Sunday)

I can't think of a greater time in our strife-torn world when people need to know the only One who can bring true peace to each heart. We need not look any further than here in our own nation where hate and division seem to be the order of the day. All one has to do is to watch some of the debates going on in the halls of our government to observe how fractured our political discourse has become. There appears to be no common ground where the collective interests of the American people can be advanced. Loud, angry voices, finger pointing, and railing accusations are now what passes for deliberation and law making. No wonder hopelessness has taken hold on many of our youth today. I watched a fair amount of the US Senate as they met to deal with the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to become an Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court. Okay. I'm an older guy so I can make this observation. There are a lot of Senators who are getting up there in years and they move around slowly. When they rise to speak, the stuff they say is typically inflammatory and it is connected to their pursuit of power. On both sides. What is best for our country? Maybe these people should pay attention to the question asked by newly elected President John F. Kennedy, "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." Or maybe even this visionary statement from President Abraham Lincoln, "Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth." My simple viewpoint: Jesus is the answer. Amen.

Let me be clear here. Jesus is the Answer but as long as we live in a fallen world where fallen people respond to their fallen natures, we will not see the fruition of a peaceful world until Jesus returns to make all things right. (That's in the Bible too.) That doesn't mean the power that brought Jesus up from the grave is not still available to change the hearts of men, women, boys, and girls. It is available. I heard an interesting discussion on the BBC News program on the radio the other day. They were talking about the value of human life compared to the value of animal life. The host of the program threw out the concept of the value of human life for those who see it connected to God. He more or less set that aside as being non-consequential from a scientific viewpoint. That led to a discussion about pain and suffering and whether people should be given any more consideration than animals. The fellow advocating for the same consideration for people and animals promoted a vegan lifestyle. I don't want to make him feel bad but I've heard people like himself say that plants also feel pain. Yikes. While this may sound preposterous to you, check out how prevalent some of these notions have become in the views of many of our fellow citizens. Check it out. Meanwhile, I will stick with "thus says the Word of the Lord" as best I know how, and, that's what I recommend to you as well. Amen. ....More later.

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