Reflections by the Pond

#766: Taking God Seriously: Regarding Angels

(Ninth in a Series)

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June 27, 2016

For by [Christ Jesus] all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.
Colossians 1:16

Ignorance never dies, it just keeps changing its shape.

One of the saddest things to see is how angels have become associated with the likes of New Age spirituality, harmonic convergence, aroma therapy and healing crystals. Today they have been wrapped into the whole feel-good, warm fuzzies, Transcendental Meditation, peace and love, flower child nonsense—a resurgence of something that should have died a quick death in the late 1960s.

These people wouldn't recognize a real angel if his wings slapped them in the face...

#765: Taking God Seriously: Listening to our Father

(Eighth in a Series)

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June 20, 2016

...therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken.
Genesis 3:23

The language of heaven has no word for "mostly good"; it has no word for "sort of bad." In God's aspect, one is either good or evil; since man is born not-good, he is born evil. And since in himself he cannot make himself good, he remains evil so long as he remains apart from God through Christ. And, maddeningly, even then the Christian struggles against the lingering influence of his base nature...

#764: Taking God Seriously: God's Diary

(Seventh in a Series)

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June 13, 2016

So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, "If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free."
John 8:31-32

Can we possibly imagine that the God who is so powerful as to create the entire universe from nothing, and yet is so intimately involved in the lives of His followers as to answer their private prayers, would at the same time be clueless regarding changes to societal mores and not understand "what it is like living today"? How can we possibly think that He would buy our humanistic rationales for our disobedience?

#762: Taking God Seriously: Taken as a Whole

(Fifth in a Series)

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May 30, 2016

For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.
Colossians 1:9

To take God seriously we must be filled with Him. To be truly filled with God we must take all of Him. We cannot pick and choose what we want of God. He cannot be broken down into compartments, bins filled with His various character attributes, bins from which we may, at our personal discretion, choose to select or reject. He is of a piece, unified, inseparable.

He is to be taken as a whole...

#761: Taking God Seriously: A Transaction of Trust

(Fourth in a Series)

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May 23, 2016

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13

Like many other teenagers and young adults, I passed through a period of rebellion. It was a time when I rejected the wisdom and instruction of my earthly father, declaring them to be both insignificant and immaterial. Happily, before he went to live with my heavenly Father, I realized the utter stupidity of that position and spent good, productive times filling myself with more of my dad's life, learning more about his history, more about what lay in his heart.

Just so, before it is too late, we are to spend good, productive times with our heavenly Father, filling ourselves with more of His life.

It is a matter of trust. Filling ourselves with more of God is as profound, yet also as simple and direct, as that. It is as direct as deciding who we will trust; it is as simple as putting down our busyness to spend quiet time with Him. It means getting out of the kitchen and curling up at His feet...

#760: Taking God Seriously: A Cosmic Love Affair

(Third in a Series)

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May 16, 2016

From the beginning of man's existence, God has condescended to minister to him on the earthly plane. One need not rise into the heavenlies to meet God; He is pleased to meet man where he lives. But God is not of the earth; He only meets with man here for man's benefit. God is spirit, and dwells in a spiritual place. For man to apprehend the fullness of what God has to offer, he must release his hold on the familiar and dare to soar in spiritual realms...

#759: Taking God Seriously: The Center

(Second in a Series)

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May 9, 2016

How deeply do men err who conceive of God as subject to our human will or as standing respectfully to wait upon our human pleasure. Though He in condescending love may seem to place Himself at our disposal, yet never for the least division of a moment does He abdicate His throne or void His right as Lord of man and nature. He is that Majesty on high.
A. W. Tozer

Where do we begin? Where do we begin the process of taking God seriously? We begin by taking hold of—by believing, by practicing, by living—one fundamental truth. It can be stated in a number of ways, but means the same no matter the arrangement of the words...

#757: All in All

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April 25, 2016

It isn't that we find ourselves bumping into Father God at every turn; it is not necessarily like running into an old friend we might happily meet on the street. Rather, it is like seeing and experiencing everything in our life as if through our own private "God filter." The Holy Spirit, in residence in our body, receives and translates every experience into a form that both glorifies God and illumines His character for us. It begins with God's omnipresence, but then expands and matures into His omni-influence...