And he[d] made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.
I had an interesting conversation with Linda the other day. You see we have this terrible dynamic in our relationship whereby instead of actually surprising the other person we can’t with hold ourselves and we always tell the other person what we are planning to do for them because we can’t wait to see the joy on the other persons face.
My birthday is coming up and Linda knows that since my best friend Joel’s engagement party that i absolutely love this wine… So she contacted him and planned to secretly get the wine to surprise me at my upcoming birthday dinner. Instead she decides to tell me abut this plan first before it happens! I’m still very happy of course as this is a lovely Gesture.
I think of this scenario when i read this text in Ephesians. Paul reveals to us that in actual fact the very salvation plan; reunification with God, redemption through an atoning sacrifice to destroy all sin and save us! That is God’s surprise for the human race, However God reveals it to us, according to his pleasure. He finds pleasure in revealing this plan to us through revelation, through the spirit and through his word. That God loves us so much that he didn’t want to keep this amazing gift a secret.
He reveals to us that our salvation will bring all things under his head again, even though our father adam failed us, God has justified and redeemed us!
The amazing thing is not just the salvation plan itself but the fact that we can learn a little bit about God from this scenario.
We can see how much he loves us not just through the salvation plan but through his actions revealing it to us. He could have kept it hidden, but he actually finds pleasure in our pleasure, he loves seeing us happy as he reveals this amazing plan to us.
I am truly encouraged after 100 days of this blog, what better way to celebrate 100 days then to say thank you God for loving me so much, bot jut for your act of love on the cross, but for finding pleasure in revealing your wonder gift to me.
May we find comfort as we learn a little bit more about how amazing our God is, that he is pleasured in our revelation of his ultimate failed surprise.
- 265 more blogs to go
I have developed a recent fetish over the past year for memory foam pillows. Since my beloved cousin bought 2 i have been in love with them. This year having started a career i figure it’s the perfect time to go out and purchase one. So (if you remember from previous blogs) i want out got a terrible one from ebay to save money, then i bought a medium one from work and again have become disappointed. Linda asked me the other night, why don’t you just go buy the same one as Thomas since you want it so bad. My response was that i couldn’t justify spending $150 (the non-sale price) on a pillow.
This has led me to an epiphany, maybe it’s not really the price but it’s just that i honestly just don’t want the pillow that much…
In the book of John Jesus asks a cripple sitting by a healing pool for 38 years a seemingly silly question… Do you want to get well? What Jesus is really implying is, if you really want to get better then what’s your deal? Why are you sitting by the pool and not getting in? Instead this invalid defends himself with a negative i can’t do it attitude. Aw poor me everyone jumps in the pool first before me and no one is carrying me in the pool.
Does this cripple really want to get better? Do i really want the memory foam pillow? The truth is that as Christians Jesus is highlighting one of our key mistakes, many Christians have mastered the Ican’t do it attitude. I can’t save that person, i can’t become a pastor, i can’t do that business, i can’t make a difference. Well the answer is of course you can’t but all this cripple had to do was want it, and Jesus can. Jesus asked him if he really wanted it and not that he could but Jesus did.
If you want it just take it, If i really wanted a memory pillow i should stop whining about my pillow and buy it.
We are part of a Can do lifestyle because Jesus can do everything. We can see a million reasons why others can’t but if you want it and Jesus wills it, we can have it.
The cripple tells Jesus he want sit and Jesus enables him to walk, the interesting thing is perhaps if he wasn’t whining for 38 years he probably could of rolled to the pool and eventually dipped himself in. Maybe you are waiting to make a decision, and the answer lies in you rolling into your bethesda pool. Maybe instead of looking at the can’ts we should just love Jesus and roll our way into whatever pool lies in front of us.
May we be inspired to take action through Jesus.
- Love God First, then roll into action
2 Cor 6:3-13
This is a continuation of the blog from day 73
“Cool Christians” a colloquial term used in a rather blaze fashion these days. It feels almost like a conundrum, as if these 2 words do not coincide with each other. What is this stereotype and mindset that we have adopted in our society’s today?
I was watching Gossip Girl (yes i do watch this show) the third season this morning with Linda. In this particular episode a character (Georgina) who became a “jesus freak” at one point enters university and throws a party for her university friends only to have her “dark” past show up. A group of hillbillies wearing matching colours, singing rejoiceful hymns, and evangelising to everyone at the party. After this occurs the scene ends with one of the characters new friends (Dan Humphrey) going on stage and stating that whoever invited these people from Georgina’s past to “embarass” her did such an awful thing, and the “cool christians” are immediately dismissed from the episode as somewhat of an embarassment.
Is this viewpoint really a stereotype adopted in the world by Christians? and if so is it actually something we should be ashamed of?
In this section of 2 Corinthians, Paul reminds us of something so interesting. He talks about the place of Christians in the world. He draws comparisons between what the world sees us as, and what we actually are. Words like ” unknown yet well know”, “having nothing, yet everything”, “treated as imposters and yet we are true”, “dying but behold we live”.
Reading this i came to realise that yes the world may see Christians as so aptly displayed on gossip girl, but why is the alternative view point cool? Why is it cool to be unhappy with a life filled with drama, pain and sin? Perhaps it is true that although the world perceives Christians as lost, or dying, or imposters, or having nothing, the fact of the matter is that in the glimpse of eternity, who is really lost, dying, acting as an imposter, but most importantly who really has nothing?
Is it the group that is filled with Joy, purpose and serving a living God, living a life filled with hope of an eternal reward?
Or is it the group lost, hurting, living lives filled with money, self-centredness, coming from nothing and going nowhere in the picture of eternity?
Maybe Paul is reminding us not to forget that we indeed lack absolutely nothing when we are in Christ, the devil may try to change our perspective and mind-set, but in this time of struggle remember that on the Cross Christ gave us everything, there is nothing of benefit to us that we lack.
Maybe this does make us Cool (no inverted commas).
- Realise that in Christ we are the coolest cats in town.
Tonight was interesting as me and Linda celebrate a wonderful 1.5 years together. Something tonight in our conversation hit me though, i organised a lovely thoughtful gift, but not that expensive and i asked her if for our 2 year anniversary she would enjoy me taking her to a very expensive etc and buying her something expensive etc the usual stuff you do.
Her reply was uncanny, she stated that quality time is more valuable than money, and to this i remarked well why not both?
Luke paints an interesting picture about our time with God. I think we often work our lives away attaining wealth and serving Jesus in the church that often we forget what is most important to him. Jesus makes an astounding statement, that he not only does not erquire our wealth or acts of “generousity”, but that he simply wants us first. When a poverty stricken old widow gives out of her poverty, Jesus smiles on her actions not because the church could buy a new building but because his daughter was saying to him she loves him.
It wasn’t about impressing anyone, or being expensive, it was about the expression of true faith and love in God. A statement more powerful than words, that between you and me Jesus and no one else, this is all i have and i just want you to know i love you.
Jesus was not interested in wealth or quantity, but rather quality time. He loves his children, he wants our hearts not our gifts.
May we bring our best in our lives just because we love him, and remember that he is God and wants nothing except our love.
- Give him quality time
I come home from a late night at youth group and to my bewilderment my internet doesn’t work. I’m left thinking, MY GOODNESS, i hate TPG how will i do my blog.
I go to my room to check my modem as you do, and shockingly i find it on the floor crushed amidst a dustless bed side table. I get so upset i yell at my mum! “What happened to my room?!”. She replys, i cleaned it for you, “ARGH!!” i ingratefully storm off to help my dad do some work online.
As i sit there it hits me what kind of ungrateful spoilt brat i was being. She cleaned my room, it’s so neat and tidy and for once dust free! and i don’t even thank her but rather i focus on the one bit of damage done to the remnants of my old room.
It reminds me so vivdly of Isaiah’s description of man’s response to the son of God in Isaiah 53:
3 He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
Like one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he took up our infirmities
and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered him stricken by God,
smitten by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
We were cleaned, made pure and holy through the most painful of cleansing processes… The crucifixion of the perfect Jesus’ Body.
At times we live our loves as though God owes us something, we bitch and moan about the few damages and things that must change (this theology is called sanctification) in our lives rather then thank him every day for making us clean, removing the dust from our rooms, something we couldn’t do ourselves.
May we not be like me and my response to my mother, May we respond to King Jesus with the utmost reverence and appreciation for the cleaning that he has done for our lives. He is a king made into a cleaner, to save the dirtiest of creatures… amazing grace indeed.
May we live with appreciation, rather then resentment, and realise that every blessing and every hardship are all good, because we are saved!
- Live in praise for his amazing Grace
Well just got home from fishing and it is 1:30a, i’ll be honest i am exhausted and this blog will be short.
As i reflect on a looong day, early morning church, followed by a church lunch/ picnic, than drumming at City Network Church, then straight to Churro’s in Freo then Fishing at Woodman’s point, i can’t help but feel overwhelmed.
Tonight Linda managed to catch her first fish, using this “magic rod”. Basically Steve had this rod consisting of fake lures, and we’d chuck in some burley which would lure the fish and then throw the rod in and the fish would think what they smelt was the fake bait. They would bite it and we would catch them, time and time again.
I think we caught at least 10 fish using this method tonight, and i remember thinking man fish are dumb.
But in some sense of reflection, we are exactly the same, we bite the same bait over and over again and yet expecting one time the bait will satisfy our every need. Without sometimes realising the best food is right before us in Christ.
May we bite him and nothing else as we realise nothing else can satisfy
- Be satisfied in Christ alone and nothing else
PS. i know i could have elaborated further but honestly at 1am this is the best i’ve got, part 2 of Easter coming tomorrow so stay tuned!