Published: Monday, 14 August 2017 15:25
Written by Don Goulding
… Jesus Christ, who went into heaven and is at the right hand of God with angels and authorities and powers subject to him. (1 Peter 3:21-22 NET_FL)
The Light Bringing One, or Lucifer, wanted to replace Jesus at God’s right hand—the navel of all blessing and power. His first objective was the throne, and his second was to make us into his followers.
Lucifer fought God’s Son with cunning and cruelty. He exposed himself as Satan. Jesus also revealed his true heart when he bowed to the ordained slaughter. There was not much of a skirmish and Lucifer gloated.
Then God read out the rules. The throne would not go to the powerful but to the humble.
The first hint of light touched the Jerusalem sky, and the supreme coronation began. Jesus was resurrected. Following the ancient protocol, the King of Kings spent forty days making ready for his ascension to the throne at God’s right hand. He showed his living body to hundreds, strengthened his disciples, and enjoyed his friends. On the appointed day, he rose into the air and God anointed him into the seat above every dominion.
Having failed his first objective, Lucifer turned to his second, the capture of human souls. That battle rages on, but we may align ourselves with the reigning Jesus. All authority rests on the sacred right hand seat, so our union with Jesus bestows power over life to us, his followers. We have it all because of where he is seated.
Prayer: King Jesus, I kneel before your throne.
Published: Monday, 07 August 2017 15:30
Written by Don Goulding
“In fact, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” Those who heard this said, “Then who can be saved?” He replied, “What is impossible for mere humans is possible for God.” (Luke 18:25-27 NET_FL)
Trembling and in tears, a pregnant woman came after the Sunday service in Ranipet, India. She had converted to Christianity and wanted prayer for protection from her husband and neighbors. Her community would do anything to prevent her from leaving Hinduism, including beating her and abducting her coming child.
I’ve also seen extreme persecution in communist China, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and southern Mexico. Every country has an eye of the needle—some significant obstacle to dependence on Christ. In wealthy countries, it’s materialistic complacency that will keep the majority out of heaven.
Given the incredible obstacles it seems impossible, like no one can make it to Christ, yet in every land God brings some through their needle. There’s not a hostile or hedonistic culture I have ministered in where I didn’t also find a thriving branch of the Christian family.
79,000 people convert to Christ each day somewhere in the world. 79,000 times a day God makes the impossible possible. No wonder Jesus tarries in his return. To him these are not statistics but individual eternal children. He celebrates as each one reaches beyond their antagonistic culture to crossover from death to life.
Prayer: Holy God, bring me through my impossible barriers.
Published: Monday, 31 July 2017 15:53
Written by Don Goulding
Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. I Peter 2:2, 3
Large black hooves attached to spindly legs emerged from the giraffe’s birth canal. Soon a snout, then a long neck dangled out as the mama walked in circles. Three hours later, the calf tumbled unceremoniously onto the savannah grass. Within thirty minutes the baby was up and walking, an apricot and blonde patchwork masterpiece.
Eagles fly at twelve weeks of age, baby elephants follow their herd when they are three days old, and dolphins communicate with chirps, squeals, and clicks from birth. Comparatively, we humans have a long childhood. Some even suggest we are born too soon because of a mistake in evolution. We would have a higher survival rate, they say, if gestation were twenty-one months instead of nine. Try telling that to a pregnant mother. There is no mistake here, it is by design that we take longer to mature. God loves children. He delights in keeping us in the innocence of childhood for as long as possible. Nevertheless, we all need to eventually grow up.
I’m slower maturing spiritually than physically. I’m still underdeveloped and wobbly. It’s taking me a number of years to figure out that the glory we share with Christ in heaven will be proportional to what we allow him to do in us on earth. Therefore, maturing in our faith becomes as important as our birth into it. So I have only begun to use grace for something more than salvation and appropriate it into the process growing up.
Spiritual progress is the reverse of physical development. The older I get in Christ, the more dependent and childlike I should be in my faith. I am to return to the source of my life, suckle his nourishment, and hide in his protection thereby creating less dependence on me and the world and more on Jesus. That is a maturity I can strive for.
Prayer: Father above, grow me into union with you.