Category Archives: Mortality

Shadows

Throughout this semester there has been a constant theme in everything I have learned. The reading of Scripture, class lectures, and other readings have continually revealed the idea of the “Already/not yet” that we (Christians) find ourselves in. What I mean by that is basically because of salvation in Christ we are already justified and made right in the eyes of God. That is why Paul can write to a wicked group of Christians in Corinth and call them “Saints”. However, we are also in the state of “not yet” which means we have not fully arrived. Although we have been justified by the cross of Christ, we have not yet been perfected. Therefore, I can be confident in my Lord because I am already holy in His sight because of the blood of Christ, but I must always press into Him and seek to kill the sin that remains in me.

One of the encouraging aspects of this “Already/not yet” relationship is God gives previews of what is to come. For the most part this is the way God has chosen to reveal himself throughout history. He gives glimpses of the fullness that is to come. For example, the sacrificial system in the Old Testament. On the Day of Atonement (Lev. 16), the High Priest would have two goats to offer as a sacrifice for sin. One was slaughtered, spilling its blood on the mercy seat and on the other, the Priest would lay his hands and confess the sins of the nation. He then would let the goat free in a remote place as it bore the sins of Israel and carried them far away. This is a shadow of what would be fulfilled in Christ.

The same type of shadows can be seen in our lives today. Every joy that we experience is a shadow of the fullness of joy that we will experience one day in heaven with our Savior. Here and now we can enjoy a relationship with Him but it is nothing compared to what we will experience when we stand in him complete. In addition, there is another shadow, the shadow of suffering. I dare not say that suffering is not real or we shouldn’t agonize in suffering, but we should realize that it is momentary. We should praise Christ for the promise that every bit of suffering in our lives is a shadow of the Hell that we will never experience (Romans 8:18).

Crown him the Lord of life,who triumphed o'er the grave
and rose victorious in the strifefor those he came to save.
His glories now we sing,who died, and rose on high
who died, eternal life to bring,and lives that death may die.
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Discontent

We all experience seasons of life where it seems like nothing is going your way. No matter how hard you try, everything you try to cultivate wars against you. This is where my wife and I are living right now. We feel like we have been beat up and we can’t catch a break. Don’t get me wrong… i realize that there are people in the world that are far worse off than we are… I get that. But it doesn’t help the feeling. I hate the way I feel because I never what to be in a position where I feel like God owes me something. I know He is good! Even through the valley He has been very good to me and my family.

I have been praying like crazy that God would help me be content like Paul. He was imprisoned and free, rich and poor, etc… in every situation he learned to be content because no matter what his situation was, the Gospel was preached.

We have dealt with the death of 3 people close to us… one was far to young. Each death was about a week apart. My wife is struggling to find a job. We have been waiting and hoping all week to get a call back from a company but our hope is fading. It has been the most difficult semester of my life. School is relentless, work keeps me busy, and my heart continuously breaks for my wife.

So I have to be honest… I am in a season in life where I feel discontent but I am pleading for Christ to have mercy and increase my faith so that even in this tough time I can be content.

I plead the blood of Christ! His grace is sufficient!

Awaiting Death

No one ever wants to hear the words from a doctor, “There is nothing else we can do.” These are the words that my brother-in-law received from his oncologist on thursday. The doctor gave him two options, 1) he could try one more treatment but the likelihood of the chemo helping was very slim and he (josh) would spend his remaining days highly susceptible to infection and most likely miserable. Or 2) He could begin to take every moment in, do the things he has always wanted to do, and spend time with the people he wants to spend time with. At this point, Josh feels as good as he will ever feel and he (along with the rest of his family) believes that quality of life is much more important than quantity of days. Josh is only 22 years old. That is such a huge decision for any person to make… much less a young man who should have his whole life ahead of him. The Doctor told Josh that if he chose not to do treatment, he would have about 3 months to live.He will spend the rest of his days with his family. He is fatigued most of the time and dozes in and out of sleep. It is believed that he will eventually drift off to sleep and not wake up. So now he finds himself in a scary situation… awaiting death. Do you think that has changed his beliefs and values? You bet!

What if we all began to view our lives as temporary? At times i think we put too much stock in this life. If this is all there is… what is the point? You live 22 years only to get terminal cancer and die… if Christ is not who he says he is then life is unbelievably unfair and pointless! But if Christ is the priceless treasure in the field and we will sell everything we have to buy the field in order to gain the eternal treasure that extends beyond our life, then we can view death as God’s mercy!

The reality is we are all awaiting death. The only difference between me and Josh is he has a general idea. However, the reality is I could die at anytime. The only security I (or Josh) have is that Christ is my substitute, who took on the wrath that was intended for me upon Himself so that I may live eternally with my Savior. It is Christ alone that makes this life worth living and keeps me look forward to the next.

No guilt in life, no fear in death/ this is the power of Christ in me./ From life’s first cry to final breath/ Jesus commands my destiny/ No power of hell, no scheme of man/ can ever pluck me from His hand/ till He returns or calls me home/ here in the love of Christ I stand.