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The More Things Change...

The More Things Change...

By Paul R. Blake

            “In this incomparably fateful hour for humanity everywhere, we must do more than be informed of national and world affairs about which the news commentators, who daily remind us of the unspeakable tragedies and sufferings of the whole world. The entire planet is now at a crossroads; all of its ethical standards are being brazenly challenged, and we are now facing one of the most ominous and momentous of crises in this nation’s history. But gravely critical and difficult as is the hour now facing America and all of the world, it is not an hour for fear, defeatism, and unbelief, but an hour of unwavering faith, high moral courage, and noble behavior.” (George W. Truett, December 25, 1952)

            The more things change, the more they stay the same. The fact is, this nation has always been in crisis, and yet it manages to remain intact and move forward. It is too large and its mass and momentum are too ponderous for one man or one woman to divert or destroy in a day. Eventually and inevitably, it will change over time, but so does everything in this fallen world. Even more so than the nation, the kingdom of the Lord will never be stopped or destroyed by one man or by one woman or by one election. Christians were able to remain Christians in the Roman Empire and in every nation and under every evil regime in history. I trust God’s promise that the kingdoms of men cannot bring down the kingdom of God. Do you believe God?

            Romans 8:33-39 - “Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: ‘For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.’ Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

 

“Did Jesus…?”

By Krystal Dunlap

            Young children often innocently speak their mind. Speaking from experience, this can catch us adults off guard. Years ago, I taught a children’s Bible class. The topic was the humanity of Christ, one that I felt would be difficult for them to grasp. Using specific Gospel examples, I explained that Jesus felt sad, tired, and even hungry, hoping that they would understand.

            One student raised his hand to pose one of those questions that throws off adults. He earnestly asked, “Did Jesus go to the bathroom?” It took me a moment to respond. Gathering all of the knowledge I had through study and my mature reasoning, I answered, “Umm...”

            Though perhaps a somewhat immature question, this young boy pointed out the deep idea of the class, namely that Jesus was fully human while here. Even studied adults can find this difficult to grasp. Scripture emphasizes that God the Son, an all powerful and eternal being, became a man (Phil.2:6-8). As such, He did experience all that we as fleshly broken creatures do. This applies not only to the physical hardships that come in such a vessel, but also the spiritual temptations and burdens (Isa.53:3; Matt.4:1-12).

            One reason for this transformation was so the Lord could become a true high priest. Under the old law, the high priest was a member of the people chosen to speak to Jehovah on their behalf. As a human, he could relate to those over whom he guided (Heb.5:1-2). This role was one that Christ was destined to take under the new law. By taking the physical form, Jesus prepared Himself to be a merciful and empathetic High Priest (Heb.2:16-17).

            Because of this, His people should feel confident in approaching Him with weaknesses and requests (Heb.4:14-16). Christ went through the very suffering that we experience in physically and spiritually imperfect bodies. When we repent of sin, He knows firsthand what it is like for us when faced with temptation. When we ask for strength, He understands what it is like to feel overwhelmed by hardship. Thus, we should feel comfort that He not only hears, but sympathizes. Jesus, as the high priest, can mediate with God on our behalf using His experiential knowledge gained while a man (Heb 6:19-20; 1 Tim.2:5-6).

            Ironically, that young boy taught me, his teacher, more than he may know. The answer to his question is affirmative. Christ experienced it all. He truly gets what we must endure. This must fill us with boldness in prayer spoken in the Lord’s name for anything we may need.

 

A Moment’s Wisdom

—Some people entertain good ideas; others put them to work.

—A joyful life is the product of a love filled heart.

—Folks who frequently change churches, spouses, friends, and jobs seldom think of changing themselves.

—Parents who try to make the world around them perfect for their children, fail to realize what a shock the rest of life will be for them.

—It takes about 96 hours to read the entire Bible aloud.

 

It Isn’t Funny

“When someone blushes with embarrassment,

When someone carries away an ache,

When something sacred is made to appear common,

When someone’s weakness provides the laughter,

When profanity is required in order to make it funny,

When a little child is brought to tears,

When everyone cannot join in the laughter,

It is a poor joke and it isn’t funny.” (Terry Paulson)

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