Eternity In Your Heart!

Every day, every moment, remember there is eternity in your heart! You were designed and created by God to exist, and to exist for eternity, never to cease consciousness and to always be thinking.

As a philosophical proof of existence a French philosopher Rene Descartes (1596-1650) coined the [now famous] phrase, “Je pense, donc je suis” which translates to: “I think, therefore I am.” The fact that we exist is a simple truth that we ordinary folks take for granted due to its obviousness.

Regarding existence and eternity, God refers to Himself as the “I AM” which declares both His existence and His eternal, unchanging nature. This same eternally existing God is the One who breathed life into our lives, a breath of life that is eternal whether we become Christians or not. We all are eternal, it’s just a question of where we will be in eternity. Heaven is called life, hell is called death, but we all will exist with a fully functioning consciousness.

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end…
I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear Him.”

~ Ecclesiastes 3:11-14

As humans with a finite and mortal body we tend to view our life as everything between the two bookends, birth and death. However, though we have a creation date, we will never have a date of obliteration where we no longer exist. Our body will die, but we will very much be alive; it’s just a matter of location.

When you face difficulties and trials today, keep those trials in perspective. As a Christian your God is eternal in time and infinite in love, power, and wisdom, and your existence will never end. I know your big trials will bring big pain, and you cannot avoid living through each and every moment, but in comparison to eternity and the God of eternity, your trial is not only survivable, it is thrivable!

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#PastorsTip #Ecclesiastes3 #Eternity #Thrivability #Mortal #Immortal #Infinite #ReneDescartes #Consciousness

Sharing In The Sufferings Of Christ

Here in America we have been blessed for a couple of centuries to not have very many Christians physically attacked because of their faith in Christ. In other parts of the world our siblings in Christ are suffering torture and martyrdom on a daily basis. (A good website for reviewing this subject is produced by the Voice Of The Martyrs at the URL http://www.persecution.com).

We [in America] certainly have had some tragic instances of physical attacks and murders prompted by hatred for Christ and His followers, and I am not downplaying the critical nature of those few instances. I am however wanting to sound a call for the preparation of our hearts and minds for much, much worse tragedies that will happen to Christians in America in the very near future.

The Apostle Peter shared for us some Spirit-inspired wisdom when he wrote:

“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the Name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you… if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that Name.”

~ 1 Peter 4:12-16

“Do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal” should be our message to one another when the frequency and the level of violence increases against us. By all means, live with safety and security as a conscious priority, but do so out of love for Christ and His church, and not out of fear. By all means, defend yourself, your family, and your friends but do so knowing that we have eternity in our hearts and our eternity is destined to be alive with Christ.

If you find yourself in a place of danger, “do not be surprised… but rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ… for the Spirit… of God rests on you… If you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed…”

The reason I am re-quoting scripture is simple: when your time comes, the Holy Spirit will remind you of what He has said in the scriptures, not necessarily what a pastor said in a devotional.

Jesus said, regarding His Holy Spirit:

“All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

‭‭~ John‬ ‭14:25-27‬

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#PastorsTip #1Peter4 #John14 #Persecution #Martyr #Suffering #ChristianSuffering #ChristianMartyr #America #NoFear

The Fairness Doctrine

When we were kids our parents had to combat with our inherent selfishness, especially in our relationships with siblings. In efforts to calm things down, each of us were given the same measure of pie or cake in accordance with a “fairness doctrine.” We didn’t resist receiving a bigger portion than others, but we would start a world war if our piece of cake was even one crumb smaller than one of the other siblings’.

As we grew older, we carried that fairness doctrine into our teens, and by the time we reached adulthood it had been displaced by a more mature “let-it-go doctrine” which now governs most day-to-day events in our life. When it comes to big things like career opportunities our fairness doctrine is revitalized and once again comes to the forefront of our reasoning, but rarely does it serve the purposes of love and personal sacrifice, nor is it a functional part of a person who has committed their life into God’s hands for His care and provision.

Unfortunately, some adults continue to govern their lives (and the lives of those around them) by the fairness doctrine. Everything is measured to be sure that no one is cheating them out of their due portions. It might be about something as simple as measurable food, or it might be about something more subjectively measured like the friendship feelings that one person has for them in comparison to a perceived measure of friendship feelings that same person has for a group of others (in other words, they are jealous that others may be receiving more attention and affection than themselves).

Some people, not wanting to seem petty to others (though they know they really are), cover their tracks by saying that they are just highly competitive, and it’s all done in fun. However, there is no fun to be had by anyone when the “competitive” one feels cheated out of an equal or fair portion of money, friendship, emotions, gifts, etc. Having an intensely competitive attitude in relationships is not about athletic performance, but about self-centeredness and jealousy.

Scripture teaches us and Christ models for us that we should not adhere to these kinds of things. Self-centeredness and jealousy are not qualities of a Spirit-formed and Spirit-led life, a life that radiates the holy desires of Christ Himself.

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

~ Galatians 2:20

“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”

~ Galatians 5:24

As men and women of God, and as men and women of prayer, let’s guard our hearts from using the self-centered, un-Christlike “fairness doctrine.”

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#PastorsTip #Galatians2 #Galatians5 #FairnessDoctrine #Fair #Unfair #Competitive #Relationships