Not many people grow old gracefully. Some folks are sunny throughout their lives. There are others who were sunny earlier on, but It seems the nearer they get to the end of their lives the less sunny they have become. Many of these folks have all the toys they have ever wanted, but for some strange reason they are not happy. These poor souls cannot carry on a conversation without barking and growling at the other person.
Over the last 10 years, I have had to deal with at least one person per week who have displayed what I would like to call a “Nasty Disposition”. I used to get offended, but as the problem occur more and more, I realize it is not personal. It is who they have become, and they cannot do anything about it.
Hence, I thought about how cruel this world is. If we are not careful, it will chew us up and spit us out-leaving many miserable and aloof.
Therefore, I thank God for Jesus. He has the answer for every question and the solution for every problem. If I continue to hold on to the promises of God, and most importantly, His unchanging hand, then my life will be sunny to the end. Hopefully, my testimony then will be similar to one apostle gave at the end of his life: ” I have fought the good fight I have finished the race I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing”(2 Timothy 4:7-8).
When you have Jesus in your life, heaven does sound sweet all the time.
The new life is not a myth, and it is not like going on a low-fat or low carbs diet. Neither is it like setting a New Year Resolution. If, anything, it is part spiritual and part physical. The spiritual — is completely out of the control of the flesh, but the physical–is like a ball in your court. Therefore, whatever we say and do will say a lot about the life we live.
Naturally, the heavenly father carved out a new life for us when He sent His Son to die. Sadly, though, none of us can embrace this new life until we get rid of the old life. In essence, the old life died with Christ, but many of us continue to hold on to its memories that we find it difficult to embrace the new life.
In 2 Corinthians 5:17, the apostle Paul hinted at the new life when he writes, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new”.
Of course, Paul was speaking from experience. We have read about his dramatic conversion on the Damascus road. The Bible states that Paul then Saul was breathing out threatening and slaughter against the disciples. He even went to the high priest requesting authorization to go down to Damascus and bound anyone he finds spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ. However, all that furor and hatred would change once Paul experienced the new life. (Read Acts 9:1-19, Acts 22:6-21, Acts 26:12-18).
Therefore, the apostle knew first hand that without the new life we are like the unruly Israelite who could not shake the memories of the meat they ate in Egypt and Lot’s wife who hung on to the memories of Sodom to her death. Still, if anyone doubted Paul’s thesis, then He need not look further than the encounter between Jesus and Nicodemus in John 3:1-8.
Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one can do the signs you are doing, unless God is with him.”
“How can someone be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”
Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to the flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
Pilate looked out over the crowd. So, it had come to this. He thought. People who usually had no use for him were now coming to him, looking for him to pass judgment on one of their own. It was exhilarating to have such power. With one word he could bestow life or death.
At every Passover Festival, the Roman governor was in the habit of setting free any one prisoner the crowd asked for. At that time, there was a well-known prisoner named Jesus Barabbas. So, when the crowd gathered, Pilate asked them, “Who do you want me to set free for you? Jesus Barabbas or Jesus called the Messiah?” He knew jolly well that the Jewish authorities had handed Jesus over to him because they were jealous.
While Pilate was sitting in the judgment hall, his wife sent him a message: “Have nothing to do with that innocent man, because in a dream last night I suffered much on account of him.”
The chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask Pilate to set Barabbas free and have Jesus put to death. But Pilate asked the crowd, “Which one of these two do you want me to set free for you?”
“Barabbas!” they answered.
“What, then, shall I do with Jesus called the Messiah?” Pilate asked them.
“Crucify him!” they all answered.
But Pilate asked, “What crime has he committed?”
Then they started shouting at the top of their voices: “Crucify him!”
When Pilate saw that it was no use to go on but that a riot might break out, he took some water, washed his hands in front of the crowd, and said, “I am not responsible for the death of this man! This is your doing!”
The whole crowd answered, “Let the responsibility for his death fall on us and on our children!”
Pilate then set Barabbas free for them, and after he had Jesus whipped, he handed him over to be crucified (Matthew 27:15-26).
- “Who was Pontius Pilate?” (altruistico.wordpress.com)
- My Name Is… Barabbas (crossroadsny.wordpress.com)
- They mock, spit and beat him (crosspointecc.wordpress.com)
- Jesus goes on trial (myeverydaygod.com)
Throughout the Bible, there are small words that make powerful impacts upon our lives. Consider the word “Let”. To “let” means that we have a responsibility in a given matter. It means that we must give permission or allow the opportunity for God to do something in our lives, or through our lives, that He desires to see happen.
When God says, “Let,” He is telling us that there is no reluctance on His part to see something happen. Therefore, it is up to us to humble ourselves before Him and respond to His command appropriately.
Here are some of the “Lets” we find in the Bible:
- Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God (1 John 4:7).
- Dear children let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth (1 John 3:18).
- Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator (1 Peter 4:19).
- Yet if, anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter (1 Peter 4:16).
- If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind (James 1:5-6).
No rational human being, religious or secular, can deny with any degree of credibility that there are much differences between political principles and moral principles. Therefore, moral principles should take precedence over political principles, especially when the expected outcome impacts the greater good of the society at large. However, politicians in Washington are best known for putting their political principles before their moral obligations, especially when fulfilling their moral obligations do not translate to many votes at the polls. And it matters not to these elected servants whether the country is at a critical juncture where many of its citizens are struggling to find work and provide food for their families.
Anyone on the outside looking in would think putting people back to work is our number-one priority. Instead, these self-centered rich intractable are more interested in scoring points than moving their country forward. They have manufactured crisis after crisis, and then they use scripted rhetoric to deceive the American people into believing that they have their best interest at heart. It seems everything in Washington is a chess game. Nobody wants to give a little and take a little. It is either all or nothing.
Let’s take the ongoing budget debacle, for example. What a mess this fiasco has turned out to be. There are no signs of compromise on the horizon, even though polls after polls have indicated that a majority of the American people want both sides to reach an agreement that will help move this struggling the country forward.
Still, the thing that disturbs me the most about Washington is the claim of being Christian by many of its heartless politicians. These men and women are so consumed by their political ideology that they rather ignore the teachings of Jesus Christ than compromise. Frankly, I am not sure about these people. The Holy Bible tells me that as, Christians, we must “Let our light shine before men who may see our good works, and glorify the Father who is in heaven. However, all I hear from these so-called Christians in Washington are gloom and doom.