Today I went to Chapters for an afternoon between Church functions. I find it interesting how much you can see about God from the many books around. Very few seem to be neutral on the topic of God, even in the fiction section. Though the opinions on God may be at best superficial, there is always a comment on God.
It got me to thinking about the common grace we see in the world around us. If we reflect for a moment on the world we see, we see the footprints of something. Whether we take that as God or not is a response to evidence that seems to say there is God.
That said, the belief in God does not bring us to Christianity. In almost all cases, to become a Christian, one must be led there by specific actions through specific people or items (for me it was a Gideon Bible). To know that there is a God does not mean you have a true understanding of that God. As the Bible says “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ”.
At another point in my travels through the bookstore, I saw an autobiograpical piece by Stephen Baldwin, who is also a believer. I think he’s only a few years old in the faith, but seems rather struck by the fact that God knew him well before he existed (Psalm 139:13, Eph 1:4). Baldwin seems to believe (and I agree) that the sense of everything in his life was to be found in Jesus Christ, and how we are called to follow Him for all we’re worth. Even the things he did as a non-Christian are being worked together for Mr. Baldwin’s good (Rom. 8:28).
My thinking would also say that there is nothing in your life that is a surprise to God, and there is nothing (including the sins you’ve done, and are now repenting of or will repent of), that cannot be turned to the Glory of God. The question is simply whether or not a person will turn to Christ to find the meaning, following from the realization that there is a God.
Tonight I heard a talk about the promises of God, which was quite good. It was mainly about the promises of God, and about specifically the rest that God promises in Mathhew 11.
That said, along the line the speaker claimed that God does all things out of love, and has no hidden motives. I kind of agree, and kind of don’t. I agree that God makes His motives pretty clear in scripture, but I disagree in the way people tend to hear that in the modern world.
I think that modern people are pretty self centered. We like to read the world as basically about us and what makes us happy. We’ll even proudly promote ourselves with names that Biblically refer to self-centered religion, in opposition to the one true God.
Given this framework in which we view the world, we can assume that God does stuff for love of us primarilly. He does love us, and does bless us with his love, but that’s not the primary motivation. God loves God’s glory, and that glory is shown in the way He provides for all the needs, and indeed, even the joys of those rebellious people he came to save.
In a strange way, this makes me happier when I look at the promises of God. The promises are not only good, but they are sure. God shows his love to those who trust in him because of the greatest, most sure thing in the universe, that God is glorious. When I ask “How sure are these promises”, the answer is “How sure is God’s glory? That’s how sure God’s promises are to those who love him and are called according to His purposes”.
I’m from Newfoundland. The provincial motto is actually from the Bible (hardly surprising for a province with a capital called “St John’s”). It’s found in Matthew 6:33, which reads in whole “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (ESV).
In the context, Jesus is talking about all the necessities of life and how Christians don’t need to worry about them as long as they seek the kingdom of God. This would be nuts if taken to an extreme independent of the rest of the Bible. After all, it would mean that Christians should give up on all things temporal and just sit about waiting for Jesus to return to Earth, and that God has promised us riches if we would but do that. The righteousness of God, and the kingdom of God are not so impractical as that.
We see this in 2 Thessalonians, where it seems that some of Jesus’ followers had gone all cultish and were sitting on rooftops in white robes waiting for the rapture (and we wonder where the
modern “Left Behind” crowd get it…), in Chapter 3 v.9, the writer points out that a person who fails to work should also not eat. So we see that a righteous person is not to avoid work for their own food, but rather seek God and his righteousness IN their work. (see also 1 Cor. 10:31).
Matthew 6:33 is also not a promise for prosperity if we would just be righteous. As we see in the book of Job, God can give righteous people (and it says Job was righteous) a series of bad luck occurances simply for the glory of God. Rather, I think God will keep Christians in all that they need for survival, and moreover will keep Christians in Him until the last day (the survival that counts, surviving the wrath of God)
Wow, this feels so odd. It’s like I’m losing my virginity (okay, I don’t know what that feels like, I’m extrapolating here).
Anyway, I’m just leaving this space for rants I have at the end of the day. It’s kinda like self-therapy I’m doing online. Since it’s morning, nothing has really whipped me into a frenzy of rant-quality yet. Give me time, oh yes, give me time.