God reinvented to fit my agenda

5 Jul

Wisdom for the week

I don’t want to leave Jude before pointing out that he shows us that it was Jesus who saved Israel from Egypt, Jude 5. Add that to the other Old Testament passages that show God appearing to man and you have the first glimpses of God as Trinity.

Jude describes false Christians as blasphemers of what they don’t understand, 9-10, especially they fail to understand the glorious ones, 8. We see a lot of that in our time. People make light of heaven and St. Peter and even God, as if they could define the glorious ones. They say things such as “my God would never cause a flood to destroy all humanity, except for Noah’s family.” In so doing they make the worldwide flood just a myth, at best, or a lie, at worst. By ‘my God’ they mean the God of their imagination. Thus they blaspheme God by reducing him to what they can imagine. In so doing, they reinvent God to serve their purposes.

God is much more than the small box of our imaginations, but what can be known about him is accurately described in Scripture. Build your understanding of God around what the Bible tells us about him, not on what you wish he was.

So not by merely knowing God’s word, but by doing it, we build ourselves in the faith, growing in our love for God and waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. Keep in mind that the merciful One is able to keep you from stumbling* and present you blameless in his glorious presence. And doing this gives him great joy. So let him do it. To him be the glory, 20-21, 24-25.


*Other versions say Jesus keeps us from falling. As a person with Parkinson’s Disease, I’m convinced that he has been with me to prevent physical falling as well as the spiritual falling that Jude 24 refers to. So I often think of Jude 24 when I almost fall and praise Jesus for keeping me from both kinds of falls.


Mid-Feb. update

24 Feb

I haven’t been adding blogs to this site for a long time. Instead, I’ve been working on my three books featuring the Apostle John and his friends, Apollos and Claudia. To my dear wife’s consternation, I’ve felt compelled to improve these stories. To my dear wife’s credit, she had been helping me with the editing and rewriting.

I also have brought down from the attic a huge stack of journals from my college days through to my beginning to do all my writing on the computer. I’m toying with the idea of starting a conversation between the passionate, untamed lover of Jesus revealed in those journals with the person I’ve become. If I do that, I might start another blog giving the highlights of my journey.

Meanwhile, if anyone wishes, he/she can go to the archives and find my journey through the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, which I wrote in my daily, then weekly blogs.  which ended just last month, January 2018. I just went over your comments on those blogs and had a few observations:

l. What I write doesn’t match who I am. I’m less of a lover of Christ than my writing indicates.

2. I’d hate to be unchallenged by that discrepancy.

3. God is mercifully working me over. He’s nonstop editing my story.

4. The cliche is true. It’s all about him. I know for certain that he will be glorified in what he does with me.

5. I’m curious to see how the story ends.

Face to face, what will it be?

17 Jan

Wisdom for the week

What additional information given in Revelation 22 piques  your curiosity about heaven?

Are you looking forward to seeing Jesus’ face? 22:4 Why?

Blessed are those who keep the prophesies in this book, 22:7. How do we do this?

What would it be like if evil were the Alpha and Omega? What difference does it make to have Jesus as the first and last?

Why is Jesus coming? 22:12. What does it make you feel like to have Jesus tell you that he’s going to do that?

What do you learn about Jesus from this chapter?

Right up until the end God offers to save any who will come to him, 22:17. Have you come to him or are you trying to get God to come to you on your terms?

Why should we not add to or subtract from messages like this one from God? 22:18-19.

Who does this Revelation cause us to wish would come? 22:20. Do you want him to come soon? Why? Or why not?

What do you think are the major themes of this book? Which theme has been most helpful to you?

Will these questions never cease? Yes, when all questions are turned to exclamation points.


The wedded couple and their home

10 Jan

Wisdom for the week

What kind of people will not be in heaven? Revelation 21:8,27; 22:15.

All who belong to Jesus are now united into the one Bride of Christ, 21:9-26. What does that suggest about our relationship with one another? with Jesus?

The New Jerusalem is described as a cube whose height, width and length are 12,000 stadia or about 1,400 miles. How would you react to seeing a structure or a city full of structures of such size? So far the tallest skyscraper is Dubai’s Burj Khalifa completed in 2010. It is 2,717 feet tall. Google it and discover how thrilling and scary it would be to go to the top. Taller buildings are now under construction or being planned, but none come close to being a mile high. Now imagine the New Jerusalem. It’s not merely a mile, but 1400 miles tall. These measurements may be symbols. But even if symbols, they tell us to prepare to see a construction of unprecedented immensity. I’ve tried to imagine parts of the cube divided height-wise into levels that are one-mile high and let’s say each level has a mile-high building with 528 ten-foot stories. Stacked on top of one another these buildings would be 737,200 stories high. Anyone want to take the stairs? That’s an idea of the height. Fourteen hundred miles in width would be from New York City to Cheyenne, Wyoming. The length would be from New York City to Kingston, Jamaica. Not your average amusement park.

Heaven’s gates will never be shut. What does that suggest concerning those who are outside of heaven?


What kind of new will heaven be?

3 Jan

Wisdom for the week

God says, “Behold, I am making all things new,” Revelation 21:5. And when he specifies that both earth and heaven will be new, the former earth and heaven having passed away, 21:1, does this mean absolutely, completely new? Or will they be new in the sense that Christians are transformed into new creations? (2 Corinthians 5:17. Why do you think ‘new’ means what you think it means?

For your consideration: ‘New’ could mean absolutely, completely new. Not a molecule, not even a photon of the first earth and the first heavens will remain. Out of nothing God will create a new heavens and a new earth. Peter suggests this in one of his letters, 2 Peter 3:7, 10-13.

Or it could be ‘new’ in the sense that we are already new and will be new. Those whom Jesus has rescued from the dark kingdom and brought into his kingdom of light, are new. They have been transformed from children of the devil to be children of God (2 Corinthians 3:18, 5:17; Romans 12:2). So also Romans 8:18-25 implies that all of creation will not be done away with but will be transformed.

As you read this description of heaven, what appeals most to you? 21:1-26.

What do we learn about Jesus and/or God, the Father from this chapter?

Think of all God has done from the creation until that moment when all of it will be finished. Tell what you think are the highlights of all that God has done?

By the way, when it’s all said and done, who is sitting on the throne (in charge)? How long has he been on the throne? Has he ever been bumped off the throne? Why is this good news?


The one war that will truly end all wars

27 Dec

Wisdom for the week

People have hoped that there would be a war that would end all wars. Guess what! That wish will come true. Read about that final war in Revelation 20:7-10.

Satan is exceedingly clever and extremely powerful to deceive, but who is in charge and conquers Satan? 20:1-3,7-10.

Wouldn’t it be an honor to be among the followers of Christ described in 20:4-6? Perhaps you know people in our times who have been beheaded or tortured and killed for bravely refusing to deny Jesus. What gives people strength to go through such testing?

20:11-15 describe God’s judging people. Those who have rejected Jesus and refused to repent will take their place in the lake of fire. What does that tell us about God?



Hallelujah, for the Lord our God…reigns

20 Dec

Wisdom for the week

To fully liberate the righteous, what must be done with the evil ones? Revelation 19:11-21.

Again it’s loud in heaven. Why? What’s the cause of this mighty sound? 19:1-5. Search this chapter, especially verse 6, for words that describe the sound and try to imagine its immensity.

Who is getting married? What privileges does a wife have? Try to imagine being the eternal companion of Jesus, the Lamb. What will it be like?

John is so moved by what the angel says to him and shows him that he falls down to worship the angel. The angel tells John what heaven is all about. What is heaven’s main business? 19:10; 4:2-11.

Describe the person on the white horse. What does he do? Who is he? 19:11-16,19-21.

Evil people war against the person on the white horse. What happens to them? It’s kind of gross, isn’t it? But God has promised to rid the world of evil and these people will not repent, so God lets them go to the ‘without-God’ world that they have chosen, 19:11-21. What does that tell us about God?


 Heaven choreographs earth’s dance

13 Dec

Wisdom for the week

Certainly by now anyone reading this book carefully will have discovered the theme of heaven overseeing and choreographing all that happens on earth. Notice that it’s never earth choreographing heaven. No! God is always in control. His kingdom (heaven) is unshakeable. Jesus-lovers  on earth who belong to his kingdom can go through terrible shaking knowing that their eternal and exceedingly precious home will survive. Whether they leave earth’s stage through natural death or at Christ’s second coming or as martyrs, they have an eternal home prepared for them by the Lord of heaven. In chapter 18 how do you see heaven governing earth? Revelation 18:1-3.

In verse 4, God calls his people out of Babylon. Whether God will provide for a geographical change or this is simply a call to not have anything to do with Babylon’s evil ways, God wants us to be free of all ties to Babylon. Why? (Verses 4-24)

This, one of the longer chapters in the book, is filled with the lament of the earth over Babylon’s fall. Why do you think God lets us see so fully the horror and agony of those who rejected Christ and embraced Jesus’ now-fallen enemy?

Could God be asking, “Do you want to be lamenting at the end or rejoicing, as you see God’s servants doing in verse 20 and in chapter 19?”

As wicked as Babylon was what was its greatest wickedness? 18:24.