Immortality Clothes

At church yesterday in a sermon, one of the things we learned about was immortality. The Scripture reference was in 1 Corinthians 15.

Bound by our earthly nature and mortality, we humans cannot perceive God fully and as He is in our current state (Exodus 33:19-20). Mortality cannot get into Heaven (1 Corinthians 15:50); we must change clothes (1 Corinthians 15:51-54).

When Christians die, moving from this life to the next, we are just changing clothes. We’re taking off mortality and putting on the immortality that God made for us. Death loses its sting as we leave behind our old clothes and are enveloped in new ones. To help visualize the idea of immortality as clothing, the pastor pretended to be looking through his closet. “Honey, have you seen my immortality suit?”

Reiteration of a Few Things

I don’t know about all of you, but I frequently need to be reminded of things through repetition. I also feel that good things should be repeated once in a while, so here are a few snippets from hither and yon throughout the blog.

God’s idea is always better than yours.

God loves you as you are, but loves you too much to leave you that way.

You must talk to God about men before talking to men about God.

Truth is not stagnant, it is permanent. It is an unchangeable standard.

Truth is very narrow, but anyone can know it.

Jesus is the Truth (John 14:6).

Your freedom ends where another’s begins.

A government cannot take away our freedom to do whatever God commanded us to do. God is the highest authority there is.

We are more free as God’s servants than we ever are doing what we want without Him.

When God saved my soul, He intended for me to become more like Jesus every day.

Love is a choice. If there is no choice, there is no love.

Who you love is a matter of obedience to God. Whether we feel like it or not, we should love others.

God says I love you to everyone, even people who will never say it back.

God doesn’t do kingdoms like we do.

Sometimes God doesn’t do fast miracles. Sometimes He doesn’t do them at all, but you can still trust that He knows what is best, and He will turn sorrow into joy!

Talents and Individuality

People have different talents and abilities. People have individuality. Each human that God made and loves has a different personality, and a different way of looking at and doing things. And you know what? That’s God’s idea and making!

While we can certainly do the wrong things with our particular tendencies and talents, God allows us to have them for a specific purpose He has in mind. Some people are afraid of believing in God and getting saved because they’re afraid God will take away their individuality, but God gave it to you in the first place, so He won’t take it from you. God has a plan in mind, and you’re just the person for the job. You were made for the plan and the plan was made for you!

God doesn’t take away your talents or individuality, He recycles and repurposes them, points them in the right direction. God gives you a higher calling, elevates your abilities to greater work than you can do on your own. God knows who you are and what you can do. He made you, so He knows just what kind of work to set you doing! It’s your choice as to whether or not you work with God, but you’ll love it for sure!

More on the topic:
God’s Plan
Custom Made
God, Volition, and Natures

God of Unfathomable Measures

In my Bible reading this morning, I was reading Isaiah 40. In this chapter, God is letting His people know they can be comforted, that He Himself will save them. He is reminding them how powerful and incomparable He is, and that it is useless to try making some statue to worship. He is reminding them how things really work in His world, and how they should wait on Him.

When I came across verse 12 and read about God knowing the measure of all the earth’s dust, I thought about all the dust in the outside air lately, and how God knows where each particle of dust goes every time the wind blows – from its first place to every place it has been and will finally go – and how He has known this since the wind first started blowing dust.

Then I got to thinking about the rest of the verse and the other measures of the earth that God knows. Because God made everything and can keep track of it all, He knows every little detail! He knows how much water there is everywhere, even in places we can’t see or reach. He knows the measure and span of the sky, even the parts that we can’t see or reach in space. He knows how heavy the mountains and hills are, even in places we have not climbed or reached.

The rest of the chapter goes on to ask what you can compare to God. He’s so powerful and vast, that even the powers of nations and the vast numbers of people on earth are mere drops in a bucket, mere specks of dust. Even if you burned the forests of Lebanon, it wouldn’t be enough wood or animals to sacrifice as an offering. God knows more than anyone else ever will. God can do more than anyone else ever will.

God knows the unfathomable measures of the earth. God is of unfathomable measure Himself. He is the God of unfathomable measures.

Praying First

One time there was a boy at church who got sick. His grandma said she’d ask the church to pray for him. He asked her, “Grandma, am I that sick?” He wasn’t very sick, but that’s how we sometimes look at prayer: something to do when nothing else is left.

Prayer should be our first response. When something bad happens, we should talk with God about it first. When something good happens, we should talk with God about it first. When we need help, when we find something to be thankful for, we should naturally seek to express that to our Creator. But so often we try to do things ourselves before we even think about asking God for help. So often we just enjoy things as if we got them on our own, without even thinking to thank God for them. We sometimes forget to pray when starting projects or starting our days – sometimes even in church ministry!

In the words of A. J. Gordon: “You can do more than pray after you have prayed, but you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed.”

We often don’t realize how empowering and encouraging it is to pray. If we started everything with prayer instead of putting it off until we couldn’t see another option, we would accomplish so much more! If we stopped to thank God for each of our blessings, we would notice more of them and be much happier!

It takes time and effort to train your first response to be that of prayer, but you can pray about it to help!

More on prayer:
On Earth as in Heaven
Prayer
A Little Bit on Praying
The Prayer of a Child
Praying for ALL
Keep Praying
A Prayer Lesson Learned

Sickness, Mortality, and God’s Grace

I’ve been sick lately, and it has been very frustrating – sinus pressure to the point of balance issues, sweating for no external reason, muscle fatigue over little exertion. I haven’t been this sick in a long time, but at least I’m feeling better today! I realize I’ve not had a major, life-altering event or an epiphany, I have just begun to learn something this week.

I don’t like being suboptimal. I don’t like being restricted from things that I can normally do just fine. I’ve found myself talking to God about it, asking for patience and grace so I don’t get too upset. It has gotten me thinking a bit about my mortality. I haven’t felt like I’m going to die, but I have felt some limitations that may be like ones that creep up on me naturally as I age. Hopefully I’ll handle them with more grace and less frustration than I have this week. Maybe I’ll age slowly enough to just get used to it as I go. Either way, I know that I have God to ask for help.

Being mortal has its limitations. As a young whipper-snapper, I haven’t felt many yet, but I realize there are limitations, and more will come. Regardless of age and health, God is aware of our mortality and the limitations thereof. God always has these in mind when interacting with us, so we don’t have to worry about Him asking us to do more than He will help us handle. No matter how easy or difficult life gets, God is always there with sufficient grace!

Strikes Me Interesting – Taking Care of the Earth

We talk a lot about taking care of the earth and the environment. While the topic can be riddled with misinformation and conflicting political interests, it is interesting that we do realize we’re supposed to take care of our surroundings. On the one hand, it is logically in our best interests. On the other hand, it is God’s idea for us in the first place.

When we look at the beginning of humanity in Genesis 1 and 2, we find that this responsibility of caring for the earth was God’s idea. We humans need responsibilities, and God gave us plenty. We’re really good at ruining things though, but this doesn’t mean we can’t learn and do better. It doesn’t mean we aren’t still responsible for what we do with the things God gave us.

Now I’m not saying we need to go overboard and never touch anything again. We need the resources all over this planet, and God gave them to us to use. I am saying that we need to be good stewards of what God gave us, using things wisely. It is both a moral and logical thing to do.

Friendly Encouragement

I’ve noticed that having good friends helps me be a better person. Actively and passively, I’m encouraged by friends. Through words and actions, a friend can encourage me to do the right thing. Through just being themselves, a friend can encourage me to adjust my own behavior for the better. Through conversations about God and life, I’m encouraged for whatever is going on in my life.

Through friendship, I learn more about give and take. I learn more about compromise. I learn more about communicating better. And sometimes there’s a little friendly competition that encourages me to work harder at something, physically, spiritually, and otherwise!

A bit more on friendship:
Good Friends
Good Friendships
Choose Wisely – Friends and Company

God Trusting Us

We are supposed to trust God. After all, He’s the most trustworthy person we’ll ever know! There are plenty of life lessons we learn as Christians about trusting God, both from the Bible and our own experiences. But sometimes we don’t talk about how God trusts us, and whether or not He can.

In 1 Thessalonians 2:4-6 and 1 Timothy 1:11-12 we see Paul talking about being entrusted with the Gospel. (For a bit more on that: Entrusted Deposit)

In Matthew 25:14-30 we see a parable about a master entrusting servants to steward and invest for him, like God gives us abilities, skills, and resources to use for His Kingdom.

In James 4:2-4 we see that sometimes God can’t and won’t give us things, because we ask for the wrong things for the wrong reasons and wouldn’t use them correctly.

In John 2:24-25 we see Jesus not trusting or having faith in the people that had come to Him (look up the original Greek here, it’s interesting), because He knew He shouldn’t.

In Luke 16:10-13 we see Jesus talking about trust in accordance or proportion to faithfulness.

By the way you currently live your life, how much is God able to trust you? How much can He trust you to carry, to hold, to handle, to share, to invest? If you are faithful in little, God can trust you with more. If you are unfaithful with little, God cannot trust you with more.

The Value of Wisdom

I’ve been reading in Proverbs for my Bible reading in the past few days, and it repeats a lot of things about wisdom. It talks about how wisdom is more valuable than precious physical things like silver, gold, and rubies. It talks about listening to those who are wise, heeding instruction from those who are trying to teach you wisdom. It says you should get wisdom, seek it, run after it. It talks about wisdom calling out loudly and clearly for those who need wisdom to come to her. It talks about holding wisdom close, keeping it near and never letting it go. It talks about wisdom being with God. It talks about fearing and reverencing God being the beginning of wisdom.

Wisdom is very important, and it isn’t just for certain people. Wisdom calls for everyone. Wisdom is important for daily life. Wisdom will help you with everything. Wisdom is valuable in a way you can’t put a physical price on. Wisdom is with God and He freely gives it!

More on wisdom:
Gaining Wisdom
Marks of Wisdom
Pure Wisdom