Monday, April 23, 2012

Loving God

One of the first books I read after becoming a Christian was Chuck Colson's "Born Again". While it documented his journey to faith, it also helped guide me on mine. Shortly after reading "Born Again" I picked up "Loving God" and was not disappointed. Colson's writings were very influential in my early days of growing in my faith and I, like many, am saddened to hear of his passing. It is my hope that when my time comes to leave this world, I could have touched even a small fraction of the number of lives that Chuck Colson did.

"More widely read, more frequently attacked than any other book in history, generations of intellectuals have attempted to discredit it; dictators of every age have outlawed it and executed those who read it. Yet soldiers carry it into battle believing it more powerful than their weapons. Fragments of it smuggled into solitary prison cells have transformed ruthless killers into gentle saints. Pieced-together scraps of Scripture have converted whole villages of pagan Indians.

Yearly, the Bible outsells every best-seller. Five hundred million copies were published last year alone. Portions have been translated into more than 1800 languages and even carried to the moon.

Literary classics endure the centuries. Philosophers mold the thoughts of generations unborn. Modern media shapes current culture. Yet nothing has affected the rise and fall of civilization, the character of cultures, the structure of governments, and the lives of the inhabitants of this planet as profoundly as the words of the Bible." (Loving God, Charles Colson)

Friday, April 06, 2012

Good Friday

Last night my small group got together for a dinner, followed by watching The Passion of the Christ. Seeing the words of the Bible brought to life for me brings such a greater understanding. It's so easy to read the words "Jesus died for our sins" and to let it pass by, being unchanged and unaffected. But when you see on the screen what "Jesus dying" really meant and the pain and agony He went through and how at any point during the ordeal He could have stopped it but instead choose to go on, it brings about a completely different perspective.

I don't know about you, but the list of people I would be willing to die for is not that long. And the list of people I'd be willing to die for under those extremely circumstances, even shorter, in fact if I was being really honest I'd say it's nonexistent. Diving in a lake to save someone who is drowning pales in comparison to being flogged then nailed to a cross, to slowly suffocate to death. Yet Jesus choose it. Jesus did it. And today you and I benefit from the fruit of His death with life. Not just eternal life in heaven for those who believe, but an abundant life beyond comprehension here and now.

That's the reason why I can call Good Friday good. Because it's about more than a death, it's about what life that death brought and how that sacrifice changed my life. Today I pray you know that life and that you take some time aside to realize what precious a gift it truly is.

"And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus." (Romans 6:8-11)