George Macdonald said, 'If you knew what God knows about death you would clap your listless hands', but instead I find old people in North America just buying this whole youth obsession. I think growing older is a wonderful privilege. I want to learn to glorify God in every stage of my life.
So he had them into the slaughter house, where was a butcher killing a sheep. And behold, the sheep was quiet and took her death patiently. Then said the Interpreter, "You must learn of this sheep to suffer, and put up wrongs without murmurings and complaints. Behold how quietly she takes her death! And without objecting she suffereth her skin to be pulled over her ears. Your King doth call you his sheep.
If truth is like the terrain, are we the generation who sees it as one who has worn shoes all his life or one who has never worn shoes? Yet still, even if the walk starts out as painful, the experience may be well worth it.
Because of Jesus’ supposed predestination, God would have had to choose the people who would kill and betray his son, choose the method by which he would be killed (crucifixion), and the time at which the event would occur. Those guilty of killing Jesus would therefore be simply carrying out God’s wishes without the free will to have chosen a path for themselves.
Zoroastrianism? Oh, there’s never been but a few hundred thousand of them at any one time, mostly located in Iran and India, but that’s it. The one true faith. If you’re not a Zoroastrian, I’m afraid you are bound for Hell.”
The man looked stunned and shocked. "It's not fair."
The demon gave a mirthful laugh. “Well, it was fair when you were sending all the Chinese to Hell who had never heard of Jesus. Wasn’t it?
I asked her what was so scary about unmerited free grace? She replied something like this: "If I was saved by my good works -- then there would be a limit to what God could ask of me or put me through. I would be like a taxpayer with rights. I would have done my duty and now I would deserve a certain quality of life. But if it is really true that I am a sinner saved by sheer grace -- at God's infinite cost -- then there's nothing he cannot ask of me.
For outlandish creatures like us, on our way to a heart, a brain, and courage, Bethlehem is not the end of our journey but only the beginning - not home but the place through which we must pass if ever we are to reach home at last.
Change is not always a good thing. What I need is not change from one thing to another but transformation from who I am into who I was meant to become. Only when God's transforming power touches me can I begin to live the simpler, freer, fresher, more creative, more patient, more passionate, more sacrificial, riskier, rawer, more real, more love-driven life God intended for me all along. That transformation is what awaits all who dare to enter the story of God. As Paul wrote, 'Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think' (Romans 12:2)
In seasons of hiddenness our sense of value is disrupted, stripped of what "others" affirmed us to be. In this season God intends to give us an unshakable identity in Him, that no amount of adoration nor rejection can alter.