Don Goulding - Blog

Treasure Rooms

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.

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Torn Open

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.
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Doubt Monsters

Now without faith it is impossible to please him, for the one who approaches God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. (Hebrews 11:6) 

 
Dear Brittany,
 
It’s good you’re questioning whether God really exists. He doesn’t want namby-pamby followers who accept everything fed to them. Faith should be the result of an informed intentional choice. I say it’s okay to wrestle the doubt monsters. Let me tell you about a few of mine.
 
One beast growls about how foolish I am to disagree with the majority. Most people, he says, know how pointless it is to ask questions about origin and purpose. I shrink in defeat but I can’t stop thinking about where we came from. I poke the monster’s nose with that question. He throws the usual scientific mumbo jumbo at me but he never has an answer for where matter first came from.
 
Another monster leans into my face, “How could a God of love allow so much suffering?” 
 
I pinch my nose and point an inquiring finger into the Bible, to where Satan introduced pain into the world and not God. Mr. Stinky Breath’s question is changed from, where is God when there is pain?, to, where are men when God offers a solution? That brut goes limp too.
 
A third monster reminds me that believing in God will mean I’m accountable. He thumps my chest and says I’d better drop the God stuff and do what I want.
 
This is where I use my secret ninja move, throw him under me, and say, “And pretending to hide from accountability is the dumbest kind of stupid.”
 
Brittany, seeking God is not the popular road. Please don’t give up because so much is at stake. I know the doubt monsters are strong but I hope you beat them because heaven will not be the same without your precious smile.
 
Prayer: Savior God, I pray for more faith for Brittany, for myself, and for all the doubters like us.
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