Thursday, November 24, 2016

"The Dawning"

1st John 4.16a NASU

We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us.”
 Love is not instantly understood. It is felt over an undetermined length of time. I have grown in my love for my beautiful wife (who is now in heaven) and each of my seven children. My love has been steady, but not perfect. It has changed, matured, evolved. Together, we stumbled through the journey of love, pausing frequently to forgive and love again. We learned to depend on each other, receiving and returning the love so essential for our health and healing. Our love for each other is reinforced daily in countless ways. 

God’s love is even better. It’s perfectly consistent. It dawns on us that God is trustworthy. The sun rises every single morning and has for thousands of years. That fact alone says something about His character. God’s love is reliable.

For most believers, conversion to Christianity was not a pin-pointable event. It grew. Salvation was not a ‘Paul on the road to Damascus’ flash of revelatory light knocking us off our high horse of our active resistance to the gospel. Instead, small revelations converged to cause pause in our thinking. Many, minor spiritual ‘ah-ha’s’ added up to noteworthy conclusions. It was a progressive epiphany. Truth began to make spiritual sense... maybe Jesus is who He said He was. No instant drama or blinding light. Just an evolution of hope made real deep in our souls. We tried Jesus on for size. Did He fit? We looked in the mirror of self-awareness and He seemed to fit just fine. We gave Jesus a chance and He didn’t let us down. His love was constant and dependable.

As Christ comes more into focus, God’s plan of salvation emerges and we embrace truth with increasing confidence. Somewhere along the line “we have come to know”. It isn’t clear exactly how or when it happened, but it did happen. There are many things we do not comprehend but, like the blind-from-birth man who encountered Jesus, this “one thing” is certain...

“One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see.”
John 9.25 NIV

“We have come to know” !

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"Sun Rise Wallpaper" image form http://www.wallpaperseek.com/blog/tag/sun-rise-wallpaper/.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks Dave, always learn something from your insights.

Some thoughts on chapter 4:

"We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood."

--- 1 John 4, vs 6

When I was a student at Portland State, I would frequently eat my lunch out in the south park blocks and do some people watching. Being publicly funded and therefore a public forum, it was quite common to have street preachers there on campus. Many of these guys were blunt and some may have crossed the line into irritating in their delivery, but one thing's for sure, It was impossible for me to ignore them. I would sometimes note that most folks would simply walk by without an apparent thought on the topic. But I would always stay and listen.

I don't know if that made me more spiritual. (I doubt it) But I was certainly open to the idea that there was more to life than a Saturday night party at the frat house. So what truly distinguishes one who comes to believe from one who does not? Having an open mind? An open heart? Being from God? This leads me somewhat uncomfortably into the area of predestination. I say uncomfortable because the idea of some people coming off the assembly line and being pre-ordained to accept Christ or not seems to conflict with the concept of "free-will" as I learned it in parochial school.

I have a person in my life who recently described himself as an infidel, and in regards to the church, simply stated: "They'll never get me." Yet I consider this person to have a good and open heart and mind. Which leads me to the following conclusions.

1) I'll never be a theologian.
2) I must trust in the sovereignty of God.
3) I don't have all the answers and I don't need to.

Funny thing about scripture; I will sometimes come away with more questions then answers. Brings me back to the simple truth that his ways are higher than my ways and his thoughts higher than my thoughts.

Dave, no research necessary, but would be interested in your thoughts on this matter.

----CEDAR MILL

Dave's Bible Blog said...

I like your approach. Its humble and that's an important quality. I often have more questions than answers. I think God planned it that way so we must learn to trust Him (just like you said).

Dave