Thursday, April 5, 2012

He has risen!

He has risen, indeed!

At the core of my being, I am thrilled to hear these words; as a brother of Christ, this gives me hope.

I recognize that I do not always follow Christ's words, however, and I feel the loss of opportunity to serve Him with all of my being. I don't stop and ask myself if my actions actually demonstrate the faith I have in realizing He rose for me. This saddens me greatly.

I realize that life has differing viewpoints that come from people of different: faiths; economic backgrounds; ethnicity; nationality; color, and whatever other differences they have from me. These differences have rallying points like "Can't we all just get along together?" or "What makes you think you are right?"

I'd love to be able to respond with nothing but my actions. Many people seemingly can; yet, we have wars, differing viewpoints from very intelligent people, and a lack of knowledge of what truth actually is ... except for one man. Death couldn't contain Him, and with all the claims everyone makes, and all the foibles of His followers, He is my standard. I am not ashamed of this truth: He is my savior, whether I deserve it or not!

The truth comes in studying
Many people deride the Bible as a book written by men, written later than the claims made by the Book itself. I use to think this myself, until I was about 25. I have since changed my mind, because I studied, and found out, for myself, information like the following. A pastor recently pointed out a promise made to a man by YHWH Himself, a man called Abram (later to be called Abraham to English speaking people). Genesis 12:2 said  YHWH would make Abram a great nation, and He would bless him. About 90% of all people call Abraham their forefather 4,000 years later!

Many well meaning people have differing viewpoints about apologetics, or defending their faith, or lack thereof. In this, I find that our lack of knowledge becomes our Achilles's heel; so many differing viewpoints that change over time can make people very confused and vulnerable. I was reading a post from an atheist, who stated he didn't believe in the Resurrection and presented his evidence; ten years later, he said his writings had become "out of date" and he wouldn't be updating his essays, saying he might have changed his mind with some of his assertions and understanding.

The truth comes in meditating
Learning to look past our thoughts to what we believe can be very difficult. Learning to examine ... critically examine ... what we believe is the key to growth. Understanding to look beyond our actions to the truths that are beyond our understanding will make us much humbler. Often, we believe (or have faith) in what we claim comes from choices we have made. We all want to believe we are "good" people. If this were the case, that we are all "good" Christ wouldn't have needed to come and die for us.

Meditating on truths presented in a book written around 1700 years ago have helped me understand, more and more, how accurate these words are. I also realize the consequences my actions will bring to me. What parent doesn't correct the children they love? It may be more than I think I want, but He knows what's best!

I believe it for this reason, among others, that Jesus said in Matthew 7:7-12: 7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
   9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

I thought long and hard about these verses, and I came to the conclusion that if He claims to be the Son of God, and He makes these claims, I ask for truth, I seek knowledge, I knock on the door for wisdom.

Knowing that I have my faults and flaws, I still must realize, on Resurrection Day, I am thankful He has risen, indeed! May I follow in His commands and love, knowing that it's not my works that determine if I am good ... it's because He came and died for me, and that's what I believe.