Published: Monday, 12 August 2019 17:42
Written by Don Goulding
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1)
I was sick. Sin festered in my condemnation which threatened my whole being. Cancerous tumors grew on the inflamed organ and spread inoperable tendrils of darkness. The second death was near—spiritual death spent in eternal agonies separated from my Creator.
Jesus volunteered to perform a radical surgery—a condemnectomy. I agreed and he took out my organ of guilt and tossed it on the rubbish heap. I no longer have the nasty condemnation that collected every mistake and kept them inside me. It was all removed with one skilled incision.
Now when I sin, it passes right through. There is no place for it to stick as a permanent part of my being. Past and future mistakes don’t affect me, not anymore. I don’t even have an organ of guilt, a place where somebody could point and make accusations.
I still make bad choices but, thanks to my condemnectomy, I no longer have to brood over my mistakes. I confess and move on to doing things right. My whole life focus has shifted. There’s no longer a list of rules to follow in an effort to prove myself acceptable. Instead, I live according to love.
I tell all who will listen about my operation. I explain exactly where they can have their condemnation removed and how the surgeon himself will pay all the bills. It’s an elective procedure that I beg everybody to undergo because a radical condemnectomy is the only procedure effective against the second death.
Prayer: Blessed Jesus, thank you for removing every accusation.
Published: Monday, 05 August 2019 03:54
Written by Don Goulding
Then he said to them, “Therefore every expert in the law who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his treasure what is new and old.” (Matthew 13:52)
The house was shaped like a slice of pie, with the far end fanning out wider than the narrow entrance. There were practical chairs, tidy library shelves and huddles of people chatting. I selected a few books to read by the fire. They were good literary works, plain, but brilliantly true. Conversing with the other occupants made for earnest dialogue but I noticed a door at the rear.
Amazing. The exit led to an identical but much larger room. The wedge shaped arrangement continued from where the widest rear wall of the previous room left off. It was breathtaking. The fireplace and bookshelves were in the same place and the decor and furnishings were exquisite. The books contained delightful new discoveries stirred together with familiar facts from the previous room. Discussions buzzed with passion. As stimulating as this room was, there was another door.
Incredible. The next room was of the same expanding shape yet so majestic the others fell out of memory. I could scarcely add anything to the animated talk. I wished I had studied longer in the prior rooms. The people were both wonderful and humble. My mind reeled, how many rooms were there and what grandeur might they hold?
Such has been my adventure of learning about the character of God. I began simply, then his beauty quickly outpaced my grasp. At each level, the Bible, and godly books and conversations helped me grapple with his splendor around me.
God calls me ever further beyond and deeper in. His rooms are as exponential in their expansion as they are unending in their number.
Prayer: Wondrous God, I thrill at what I’ve learned and have yet to learn about you.
Published: Monday, 29 July 2019 21:15
Written by Don Goulding
Then Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and gave up his spirit. Just then the temple curtain was torn in two, from top to bottom. (Matthew 27:50-51)
Hot tears streamed to their chins as Adam and Eve stumbled out of the garden. A wall of rejection expelled them. Where there had been deepest love, there was now an impenetrable barrier. Since opting for sin, humans could no longer enjoy the fullness of their Creator. God was gone.
In the time of Moses, the barrier between God and people manifested into the curtain before the ark in the tabernacle. The message was clear—God’s holiness must be separated from man’s guilt. On one side of the curtain, joyous peace inhabited all beings. On the other side, the curse and loss defiled everything.
Fourteen hundred years further into history, we came to a crossroads of epochs. God revealed his jaw-dropping plan.
At three o’clock on the darkest Friday, a vibration began deep inside the earth. It raced to the surface and, at the point of our Messiah’s last breath, the rumble exploded into a recreated supernatural landscape. As the dust settled, angels and demons were the first to realize what had happened.
The physical curtain in the temple, and the spiritual curtain between God and humans, were rent in two. God had taken the topmost hems in hand and shredded the barriers down to the soil line. The way was now open for a radical deployment of God’s Spirit. He relocated from the temple’s most holy place into the hearts of his children.
How blessed we are to live on this side of the timeline, after the curtain was torn. It’s so easy to reach out in prayer and bring a universe of goodness inside me. Unfortunately, I often take my privilege for granted and close my heart to the Spirit’s filling.
The most wondrous part of this historical epic is that God has not turned away from my apathy. Because I know Jesus, nothing, not the world, the devil, or even my frequent coldness will separate me from my perfect love. The supreme price has been paid and Adam’s curtain stands open, and there is God, reaching for me.
Prayer: Everlasting Life, thank you for destroying the curtain.