Go back to that night when Divine Light, in order to illumine the darkness of men, tabernacled Himself in the world He had made… The angels and a star caught up in the reflection of that Light, as a torch lighted by a torch, and passed it on to the watchers of sheep and the searchers of skies. And lo! As the shepherds watched their flocks about the hills of Bethlehem, they were shaken by the light of the angels And lo! As wise men from beyond the land of Media and Persia searched the heavens, the brilliance of a star, like a tabernacle lamp in the sanctuary of God’s creation, beckoned them on to the stable where the star seemed to lose its light in the unearthly brilliance of the Light of the Word.
As we actually taste the flavor of what he's teaching, we begin to see that it's not proverbs for daily living, or ways of being virtuous. He's proposing a total meltdown and recasting of human consciousness, bursting through the tiny acorn-selfhood that we arrived on the planet with into the oak tree of our fully realized personhood. He pushes us toward it, teases us, taunts us, encourages us, and ultimately walks us there.
Dead men cannot take effective action; their power of influence on others lasts only till the grave. Deeds and actions that energise others belong only to the living. Well, then, look at the facts in this case. The Saviour is working mightily among men, every day He is invisibly persuading numbers of people all over the world, both within and beyond the Greek-speaking world, to accept His faith and be obedient to His teaching. Can anyone, in face of this, still doubt that He has risen and lives, or rather that He is Himself the Life? Does a dead man prick the consciences of men...?
I want to be known as the 23 year-old who is foolishly in love with a Prince she can't see. I want to rejoice while holding the rose of singleness, even when my hands bleed from its thorns. I want to resist the urge to envy the pairs growing in the middle of my neighbors' gardens. I want to be rooted in the simple truth that unripen pairs taste like lies and lingering loneliness. I want to put Jesus on my bullet wound and cling to His heart wrenching hope because He was kind enough to be a Band-Aid when He should have stayed a King.
I often ask myself, 'Who would Jesus vote for?' Then I start to think that he wouldn't vote at all; however, it would not be out of apathy or disinterest, but out of perfection and light. As a miracle worker, I think he would, by the power of God's teachings, the perseverance and the truth, influence in a modern sense whoever is put into office how to best serve his fellow men. One, like his skeptics, may find that impractical. But there is a message in that no man in power can slow the momentum of the will of God, and the miracles of his teachings will be forever victorious.
Some religions draw by force of arms; He would draw by force of love. The attraction would not be His words, but Himself. It was His Person around which His teaching centered; not His teaching around which He would be remembered. 'Greater love than this no man hath' - that was the secret of His magnetism.
An image needs a living object, and a copy can only be formed from a model. Either man models himself on the god of his own invention, or the true and living God moulds the human form in his image. There must be a complete transformation, a 'metamorphosis' (Rom. 12:2; 2 Cor. 3:18), if man is to be restored to the image of God.
If we have never sought, we seek Thee now;
Thine eyes burn through the dark, our only stars;
We must have sight of thorn-pricks on Thy brow,
We must have Thee, O Jesus of the Scars.
The heavens frighten us; they are too calm;
In all the universe we have no place.
Our wounds are hurting us; where is the balm?
Lord Jesus, by Thy Scars, we claim Thy grace.
If, when the doors are shut, Thou drawest near,
Only reveal those hands, that side of Thine;
We know to-day what wounds are, have no fear,
Show us Thy Scars, we know the countersign.
The other gods were strong; but Thou wast weak;
They rode, but Thou didst stumble to a throne;
But to our wounds only God’s wounds can speak,
And not a god has wounds, but Thou alone.
the whole Bible is itself a missional phenomenon. The writings that now comprise our Bible are themselves the product of and witness to the ultimate mission of God. The Bible renders to us the story of God's mission through God's people in their engagement with God's world for the sake of the whole of God's creation. The Bible is the drama of this God of purpose engaged in the mission of achieving that purpose universally, embracing past, present and future, Israel and the nations, "life, the universe and everything," and with its centre, focus, climax, and completion in Jesus Christ. Mission is not just one of a list of things that the Bible happens to talk about, only a bit more urgently than some. Mission is, in that much-abused phrase, "what it's all about.
Watch carefully the children around you. In precious moments you will catch a glimpse of your Savior’s face. Listen intently and you will hear his voice. Walk gently among them; his footprints are all around you. Embrace them, for you are embracing him. Respect them, because they are sometimes God’s agents – exactly the kind of instruments he needs. At such times, only a child will do.
He can heal me. I believe He will. I believe I'm going to be an old surely Baptist preacher. And even if He doesn't...that's the thing: I've read Philippians 1. I know what Paul says. I'm here let's work, if I go home? That's better. I understand that.