Reflections by the Pond

#717: Faith's Natural Enemy

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July 20, 2015

[King Uzziah's] fame spread afar, for he was marvelously helped until he was strong. But when he became strong, his heart was so proud that he acted corruptly, and he was unfaithful to the Lord his God, for he entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense.
2 Chronicles 26:15b-16

Pride is built into man from the factory. It is part of his original equipment. It is, perhaps, that part of man requiring the most intensive retraining by the Spirit of God, for it is the root of his rebellion, and the comfortable home base of his cognitive sin.

Pride is that part of us that keeps God at arm's length—even in a Christian's life. We stiff-arm the Creator of the universe, because we are of the opinion that our inbred resources are superior to His. Pride in the unbeliever keeps him from knowing Christ at all; pride in the believer keeps him isolated from the benefits, the blessings, the power of that relationship.

Thus it is faith's natural enemy...

#716: Better Than Earth

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July 13, 2015

Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.
Colossians 3:1-2

Our bodies are made for the soil, but our minds, our spirits, are made for loftier precincts. When Christ comes in and we are converted from being fleshly to being spiritual, our priorities, our tastes, are changed from the bland diet of earth to the sumptuous feast of heaven. When the Holy Spirit enters us we are literally changed from one species, as it were, to another—from a flesh-being to a spirit-being.

But our flesh remains, no matter the conversion of appetites. Flesh has its own appetite, and its insistent cravings fight against our desire for higher sustenance. So we must keep on seeking, keep on demanding something better than what earth has to offer. For this place is still in the grip of the father of lies...

#715: A Point of Clarity

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July 6, 2015

If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, "Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!" (which all refer to things destined to perish with use)—in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men?
Colossians 2:20-22

The world would have us believe that the height of wisdom is to be fair and open to all beliefs. But of course real wisdom reveals that when we believe in everything, we in fact believe in nothing.

Christians in the United States have been suddenly brought to a point of clarity. No more fence-sitting; no more grays. Suddenly there is a bright line of demarcation between good and evil, for it is now law in these United States that people of the same sex can marry.

Christians must now decide: Will they stand for the bedrock of God's truth, or will they take their place on the quicksand of a nation that has lost its way?

#714: Life & Light

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June 29, 2015

In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. John 1:4

Adam proved that the original life of his creation was not sufficient. He had breath, he had being, he had a spirit, he had a soul. But he discovered something else in him that nullified the rest: sin. The existence of sin meant Adam's end would be death—death and darkness. Sin meant that his end would be an eternity away from the God who made him, and who had happily communed with him up till then.

So God, knowing that the basic, material life of creation was not sufficient, and wishing to restore His communion with man, sent new Life—eternal life—to man in the person of Jesus...

#713: Real Truth

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June 22, 2015

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

This world must be a horrible, treacherous place to live for those without Christ. It is as if the fools of this world have purposely chosen to trudge along in soupy quicksand, when high, dry ground and a clear path are readily and easily available. Why would so many cling so religiously to a slippery, ever-shifting mélange of P.C. twaddle, when the high ground of eternal truth is there for the asking? Perhaps the depravity of man has at last become undeniable...

#712: First Place

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June 15, 2015 that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.
from Colossians 1:18

From television commercials, billboards, radio ads, and presidential hopefuls the poisonous rhetoric of a self-absorbed society is drilled into our brains from birth. There is no escape from it. If it is not from the lips of a self-important narcissist running for office, it is pouring forth from ad agencies peddling products by priming their potential suckers with, "You are worth it," "You deserve it."

There is no escape from it...

#711: Living by the Word

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June 8, 2015

Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
Colossians 3:16

All around those who are perishing is the shouting and tumult of a world gone mad, a world that whispers sweet lies while sticking a knife between the ribs. It is an inhospitable place that plays by dark rules based on deceit. It is ruled by a dark lord who masquerades as a lord of light, a master of evil who presents himself as the master of all that is reasonable and good. And they are part of it; they do not stand on the periphery, but dwell in its midst. They subscribe to its logic. They reason by its wisdom.

And all the while they are going down...

#710: Perfect Obedience

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June 1, 2015

When the Son was still in heaven, still in His pre-incarnate state, He was not ready. When the Son became flesh, born of a virgin in lowly estate, He was not ready. When He passed through days of torment, fasting, and temptation in the wilderness He still was not ready. When He selected and trained up disciples to carry on His work He was not ready. When the rulers sought His capture and death, but He slipped away unharmed, He was not ready. But there came a day when events in heaven and on earth were aligned; a day when the unending tape measure of time reached its predetermined mark; a day when the man Jesus, God in flesh, was everything He needed to be—then, and only then, was He ready...

#709: So Live

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May 25, 2015

Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him.
Colossians 2:6

It is common to those of the human condition that after we are saved by Christ we live as if we have forgotten how. Trapped for a time in the same flesh with which we were clothed in our unjustified state, we forget that the rules have now changed for the soul and the spirit. The strictures of that previous life no longer apply. We are now free, but we live as if still enslaved...

#708: Condescension

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May 18, 2015

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.
2 Corinthians 8:9

There is no earthly instrument sufficient to the task of measuring the profound depth of Christ's love for fallen man. We cannot answer why such love exists. It just does. It is a love more steady and deep than a mother's love for her child, more mysterious than a husband's love for his wife.

It really is not possible for mere man to understand the measure of Christ's love for His creation. The best we can do is measure it against the highest example of human love we can imagine—and then double it. But even that misses the point...