Glorious Mystery

Day 9    of 31 Days of Hope

To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory   Colossians 1:27  KJV

One of the great religious mysteries of modern times is the unraveling of the story of the shroud of Turin. The shroud’s history is a bit uncertain though its present location in Turin Italy since 1578 is fairly well accepted. That the shroud carried the images which we know of today was not commonly known till the late 1800’s. There have been films, treatises and television reports made supporting various conclusions about the origins, authenticity and meaning of the shroud. One thing is clear however from the debate: no one’s mind is easily changed about who Jesus truly was by an historical artifact.

Hope of glory

Just before Jesus went to the cross rose from the Last Supper table and began to wash His disciples’ feet saying:

If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet   John 13:14

Yes Jesus did leave us a living artifact behind: He left us His spirit to come to live on the inside where it could never grow old, be destroyed or forgotten. Yes there is a great biblical mystery on display today.  But this mystery is not whether the face of Jesus can be seen in the shroud of Turin but rather that His face can be seen in us!

 

Hope of Heaven

31 Days of Hope Day 4 

This fourth day of hope focuses on heaven. While many of us talk about heaven, its reality presses in on our hearts as we approach the final years of life. There is no greater light to shine on our winding path than the hope we have in heaven. After all it was a hope given us by Jesus, who for the joy of heaven, endured the cross for our salvation!

I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living Psalms 27:13

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I see myself at heaven’s door

I can hear its hinges creak

Around its frame a light shines out

As it opens before the King

I fear before His Holiness

Yet such peace is on His face

Then He stoops and rests His hand on me

He speaks and my heart begins to race

What have you brought He asks

From the life you lived on earth?

Not too much I sadly said to him

And I struggled to begin

 

Well, there were the mission’s trips

And every day I prayed

And regularly I read your word

And all the tithes I gave

When I stopped he paused  and said

These aren’t why angels sing

These were not your deepest heart

But just temporary things

 

But the forgiveness you gave your parents

For the divorce that left you alone

And the love you shared with the strangers

When you opened to them your home

And the tears of repentance you wept

And your confession of faith in the dark

These are the things that I treasure forever

And for these there will be a crown

Fight the Good Fight

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

2 Timothy 4:7

Every time he stepped into the ring Muhammad Ali brashly proclaimed his superiority over his foe. Ali never imagined losing. It was not in his DNA to process losing. The only good fight Ali planned was a knockout!

The apostle Paul was spiritually a  prize fighter. He had entered the ring with only goal in mind: the complete victory of His Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul’s fight is won and he passed his warrior’s heart to Timothy. Timothy passed that battle on to the churches under his care. Today the bell is ringing for our round to begin. There is only one good fight for us and that is the only possible through cross of Christ.

They Also Serve

June 2010 153

That murmur, soon replies: “God doth not need

Either man’s work or his own gifts; who best

Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state

Is kingly. Thousands at his bidding speed

And post o’er land and ocean without rest:

They also serve who only stand and wait.”   John Milton

 

On sleepless nights we may struggle with helplessness, regret and despair like Milton as he penned these lines. As we grow older it sometimes seems that our own hopes and goals are further away than ever. But when we feel most alone, we must remind ourselves that God will never forget us. To wait in faith and hope and stand when all appears lost is service enough to God. He remembers the wounds of our Savior and by His blood gives to us the true peace that will keep our hearts when everything else has fallen!

But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed   Isaiah 53:5