Category Archives: Christianity

Before the Passage of Light

Worn, weary. I had finally reached my destination. Before me stood a dominion a light. I could faintly hear what sounded like music. The music that leads us home. I attempt to move my swollen legs only to fall to my knees. I drop my bloody sword beside me.

The distant echo of melodies draws upon my soul but my marred and wounded flesh refuses. I collapse upon my shield. I try to brace myself with one arm as I pant heavily. Perspiration runs down my brow as I contemplate trying to move further.

I crawl. At this point my legs will give no further. Crawling on my arms I try to expand my body. My strength starts to wane. I couldn’t bear to move any further.

I’ve collapsed into a heap. For a moment I lay there. The moment felt like an eternity.

The music grew.

Knowing that if I would attempt to rest I would never wake up I decided to force my consciousness to continue. If your were to ask me what the light seemed like, I would tell you its like nothing we’ve seen back home. It was warm. Radiant. A hum emanated from its glow. Like it was singing among the voices I so faintly could ascertain. I lay there breathless. Motionless. Waiting for the inevitable-or whatever one could expect-before such a magnificent entrance.

In my weakness my spirit slipping from my grasp. My presence was beginning to withdraw.

In that moment I saw a shadow momentarily intercept the light. The figure stood tall. Like a king of old. He reached down and embraced me. I could faintly make out scares upon his entire being. His wounds matched my own. His wounds surpassed my own.

He sat my frail corpse up. Without saying anything he kissed my brow and his arms enveloped me. I could feel tears welling up in my eyes. He took his hand and wiped them from my eyes. I knew who this was although I’ve never seen him. He strung one arm across my shoulder and the other beneath my legs and carried me into the beyond.

Jake

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Putting the Flesh to the Test

Recently I read over an insightful blog about running: Running every day keeps aging away: the most complete list of running benefits. After reading this I realized that living our lives in such a way that we exhibit self-control has more then just spiritual implications. It seems that our flesh benefits increasingly as the Spirit leads. I consolidated some of what I thought were the major points of the article.

Running Benefits include:

-Growth of brain cells

-Increased mental sharpness

-Ease symptoms of anxiety and depression

-Prevents osteoporosis, or bone and muscle loss

-Improves cardio

-Helps fight the early stages of dangerous diseases such as diabetes, breast cancer and hypertension

-Releases endorphins, or “runners high”

-Weight loss

-Anti-aging benefits

-Doesn’t kill your joints

-Inner sense of confidence

-Coordination

-Muscle tone

-Improved sex life

After thinking about this I realized just how important it is for us to become disciplined. Paul puts it this way:

 1 Timothy 4:8-10

“Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it. This is why we work hard and continue to struggle, for our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people and particularly of all believers.

One thing I particularly admire about runners is how much they hate it. Very rarely will I find someone who truly deep down enjoys torturing their body. Each and every day disciplined runners wake up to put their flesh behind them. They have to overcome aches, pains and apathy every single day. How many of us would receive spiritual blessings by overcoming the flesh everyday? I’m not saying everyone should become a runner. I’m simply saying that each of us as we pursue godliness should incur the blessings of activities that exhibit self-control, patience and joy. For some this maybe eating healthy, others this may be watching less television or going for a walk. I don’t want anyone to become to discouraged. Even if an activity seems daunting realize that you who believe have the Spirit of Christ living in you who empowers you to start new habits, get rid of old ones and pursue after Him in all aspects of your lives.

Ephesians 1:3-6

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.

Jake

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“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Living with grace can be a difficult thing. I find in some modern churches a setiment of going “old testament” on the lost. How often we forget that Jesus, “had compassion” on them. In our zeal for holiness we have neglected that which is holy.

Matthew 5:7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”

This is a crucial. Sometimes we take convicting into our own hands. How soon we forget that convinction one of the duties of the Holy Spirit. As an example I have found people around me cursing up a storm who suddenly apologize to me for their salty language, as if I was hugely offended. Honestly I never told them to stop cussing around me. Was it me that they were apologizing to? Was it anything in me that they were convicting by? No. It was the Spirit of God that they suddenly found themselves convicted to. Since I was young I’ve pleaded to God for him to keep me from cursing and by his Spirit He has made this possible. Honestly, I can’t own this achievement because I know my nature and I know how often I’ve wanted to say something curse worthy but was prevented somehow.

Lets think about this: Which person has obeyed the commandments? A preacher who takes every moment to slam homosexuals? Or a person who shows love to people who don’t agree with them, or even hate them?

As Jesus was on the cross he uttered the words, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” We know not what we do. We need God’s strength to live the lives he wants us to. We can’t turn a blind eye to sin but we can turn our eyes towards compassion. They will know we are Christians by our love.

Jake

As a final note we need to read the old testament again. As harsh as somethings can be, there are many, many more places where God shows his mercy.

Micah 7:18 “Where is another God like you, who pardons the guilt of the remnant, overlooking the sins of his special people? You will not stay angry with your people forever, because you delight in showing unfailing love.”

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