A God Who Delights to Make Wrong Things Right

“We serve a God who delights to make wrong things right.”  The words from Dr. Dan Davey’s message have been ringing in my ears this week.  They rang in my ears as I stood with the Emr family and prayed that God would heal little infant, Vera.  I heard them again as I prayed for the Stolvoort family as they hope in God while battling the daily effects of cancer.  This truth rang out again as I received an email in which one Christian brother, in an open letter, was slandering another.  The words echoed again when I watched my children struggle to obey even the slightest directive outside the realm of their personal desires.  I said the words to myself this morning after I awoke to my first selfish thought.  “We serve a God who delights to make wrong things right.”

Before the beginning there was God.

No man had ever sinned against him.  No man had ever doubted whether he was worthy of worship, honor and glory.  No man had ever rebelled against him.  No man had ever destroyed anything he made or possessed.  No man had ever hurt anyone that he loved. 

And yet, the possibility existed that he could make mankind who would do all of those things and far worse.  For if he created them he knew they would spit in his face, mock his lordship, torture him beyond recognition, and even murder him if given the chance. 

After man there was sin and suffering.

If he created a being with a freewill he could foresee they would reject the perfection created for them bringing sin death and suffering into their perfect world. 

He could foresee that they would eventually need to be made right, and it would cost him greatly.  If he created them and loved them, (in order to remain God), he would have to send Jesus to become like them, and fix all their disobedience with obedience.  An obedience that would lead Him even to pay the eternal penalty of their sins on the cross. 

Why did he create man?

Why did he do it?  Why did he create man knowing that they would hate him?  Why make those who would need to be made right again?  That is part of the mystery of the glorious gospel.  But we do have at least a glimpse into the answer in the very message of the Bible.  One core truth that is abundantly evident in Scripture from cover to cover is:  God delights to make wrong things right. 

God delights in making wrong things right.

The gospel assures us that God will make every effect of sin right.  There will be a day when he will wipe away all tears.  Those who hope in him will stand before him in a glorified perfect body (Job 19).  There will be perfect unity among mankind  as all nations stand united in him.  The earth and heaven will be restored and made right.    There will no longer be a struggle with sin.  There will be no more suffering, for in his suffering he ended suffering.  This is at the core of the message of the Bible.  We serve a God who delights to make wrong things right!

What Defines You?

John 17:14-16 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

What defines you?

A paraphrase of the final verse reads; “They are no more defined by the world than I am defined by the world.”  

What’s the big deal?  Everybody thinks that way!

But, everyone talks that way!  Everyone texts that way!  Everyone’s seen it!  Everyone does it!   Jesus speaks to that type of thinking here.  No: everyone who is godless talks that way.  Everyone who is godless texts that way.  Everyone who is godless visits those sites. Everyone who is godless watches those shows.  Everyone who is godless treats their parents and authorities that way!  What a radical difference in thinking! 

Here is the big deal!  Christians are defined by God’s thoughts.

Jesus says, that Word of God makes the radical difference.  When we receive the “Word” we no longer join the world’s ways because we think godless thoughts.  Instead of being defined by the world we were redefined according to the very words (or thoughts) of God. 

At salvation, we exchanged our plans for a good and loving God (who has better plans).  Now, we have been given, the good plan of God for mankind (the gospel).   Our purpose is to fulfill His purpose: bringing men to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.    But it won’t be easy…

Jesus prayed for you.  You were going to need it!

Jesus was telling his followers to expect the same animosity that he experienced.  In fact, Jesus prayed for you, not to remove you from these difficulties but that amidst them, you would not fall to the ever present godless thinking of your age.  Jesus asked the Father to help you endure the temptation of ungodly (or  “godless”) thinking.   

Someone has already endured it!

 I am not defined by this world:  This was the basis of his prayer.  Jesus endured every temptation of godless thinking in the exact same manner that you or I would.  By depending on the Father, he not only to provide the perfection we needed in order to be with Christ, but also reminds us that it is possible for any Christian who is living dependent on the Father to be defined by God’s thoughts rather than the thoughts of this world.

So, what has defined you this week?  What will define you today?

Day 5: Consider His Glory – Praise Emphasis Week

Philippians 2:5-11  Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:  Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:  But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:  And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.  Wherfore, God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:  that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;  And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 

What is glory?  Continue reading

Par is Not Perfection: Born to LIVE as well as Die

At the Christmas season we often hear the phrase “Born to Die.”  While this is certainly an accurate statement there are other glorious gospel truths that complete the story.  Christ was also born to live for us. Let’s consider three gospel thoughts  (original by Dave Harvey):  par is not perfection, perfection for us, and the divine swap. Continue reading

My Jesus Fair

I cannot begin to tell you how happy I am with the introduction of My Jesus Fair to our congregation this past Sunday.  Our quartet did a great job introducing the song and the congregational singing on the final stanza was tremendous!  I mean, we could have kept going and sung the whole song over a few more times.  I love that kind of service where there is an obvious response to the preaching of the Word that is expressed in song.

As we talked about last Sunday night with our Praise Emphasis Week, we have printed the words to My Jesus Fair on the back of your “table topper.”  I want to challenge you as a family to sing a stanza and the chorus together.  I really want you to try it.  This song is on Christ Only, Always that was commented on in another post as we have included a link here to the singing of the song with congregation.

If you can’t remember the tune, click on the link and sing with the music. Reading through those stanzas as a family will be very profitable and I think there are many points on which to stop and have some conversation.

Saved By Works

I’ve been doing a lot of reading for a seminary class on the doctrine of salvation, so I figured I would share a particular insight that often gets overlooked when we talk about what Christ did for us:

Have you ever wondered why Christ lived 30+ years as a man? Why he gave up His recognized status as the Creator of the universe and endured mocking, sickness, pain, and poverty? Why didn’t he just come and die–get it over with, so to speak? Continue reading

He Shall Wipe Away All Tears

people-crying-baby

Special thanks to Jack Kauffman for this guest post.

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes…Revelation 21:4

Are you one who weeps easily?  Who sheds a tear at the least provocation?  Our granddaughter, Alana, just two months old is a “screamer”.  She wrinkles her little face into a contortion and then bellows at the top of her lungs, and she doesn’t stop until either her anger is released or her energy dissipates-and all this for no apparent reason. Yet despite all of her apparent anguish, a tear never slips from her tightly squinted eyes.  I hadn’t noticed this until my wife, Ann, pointed it out to me and reminded me that an infant’s tear ducts do not develop and are not functional until he or she reaches a certain age.

While we can’t put a finger on the cause of Alana’s sorrow at this tender age (her diaper’s dry, she gets plenty to eat and seems to have all of her needs taken care of.) there will eventually be plenty in this little one’s life over which to shed perhaps a bucket of tears, for we are “born to trouble as the sparks fly upward,” as Job reminds us. Sorrow is a dog at our heals throughout our earthly life.

Some tears are, of course, welcome.  We may weep when we hear an old, familiar hymn, when the Word of God strikes our heart in a certain way over a familiar passage or when we are blessed by the kindness of another person.  Most of the time, however, our tears are equated with trouble and grief.  We can take heart, though.  The Lord promises two times in the book of Revelation that He will “wipe every tear from their (our) eyes” when everything is made perfect; when The Kingdom is established (Revelation7:17 and 21:4).

I have often used this verse to comfort the bereaved in a card of sympathy over the death of a loved one or during some other hard situation. It should be, however, a reminder to all of us who call upon His name of the future that awaits the follower of the Man from Galilee; a future when, like Alana, we will have no tears.  But it will be far better, for the sorrow that causes those tears will be done away with for all eternity.