Are you? Am I? #1

My wife recently bought this piece of inspirational artwork.

This is the first of a series of meditations about the message it carries.


I am grateful to have You as my Father!

O Lord, You are my God; I will exalt You, I will give thanks to Your name; For You have worked wonders, Plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness. – Isaiah 25:1

The statement at the top of this piece of Christy Mitropoulos’ artwork leaps out at you: “I am a son of God”. At least it leaps out at me. It seems to fall into the category of things that are hard to believe because of pervasive self doubt. The notion of being a child of God acknowledges Him as creator of all, of course. But it is more than that. He created fish, gophers, and earthworms too. To my understanding, none of them are known to be able to read the scripture that man (the species) is made in Their image (Father, Son, Spirit, Genesis 1:26). Jesus got in in big trouble with the religious leaders for Calling God His Father out loud – in public, no less. Who was He, they accused, to claim God as Father? In His days walking around on the dirt, every first son was considered the heir, with all the authority of the father, once he was “of age”. Those with authority constantly questioned Him on the authority issue.

The verse that Christy references is in Romans 8. It bears reading:

So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh — for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. Romans 8:12-17

Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. Matthew 23:9

Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.” Mark 10:15

You and I have a choice to make every moment; follow our own desires, or the leading of the Spirit. It’s life and death. Choose wisely.

Christy Mitropoulos Signature

Are you? Am I?

My wife recently bought this piece of inspirational artwork.

I’m thinking I might spend a few posts musing about it. Today, I’ll just let it speak for itself.

Christy Mitropoulos Signature

Marvelous

Early morning dew at rest
On every sparkling blade;
First light gloriously attests
To jewels God has made.

Given eyes to marvel at
How His majestic hand
Puts wings upon the tiny gnat
And counts the ocean’s sand.

Look above if after dark
And tell me what you see.
Theorize a pair of quarks
Yes, wonder if they be.

He made us to appreciate
These things that we have found
To know that He exceeds the great
and His mercies do abound.

The Spirit of Invention

I am grateful for twenty years with Jeannie! (yesterday)

Will they not go astray who devise evil? But kindness and truth will be to those who devise good.Proverbs 14:22

Me: Good morning Holy Spirit!

Holy Spirit: Good morning Jon!

Me: The notion of inventing (new) evil is interesting, given that Solomon declared in Ecclesiastes 1:9 there is nothing new under the sun.

Holy Spirit: Not invented in the existence sense, but new to the plotter. Just as devising good speaks of personal plans. Do you make plans to do good?

Proverbs 19:21 – Many plans are in a man’s heart, But the counsel of the Lord will stand.

Psalm 33:11 – The counsel of the Lord stands forever, The plans of His heart from generation to generation.

If you take My counsel when you make plans, then your plans will be for good. Kindness and Truth are in My very nature.

Galatians 5:22 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

John 16:13 – But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.

John 14:6 – Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

Me: Thank You Holy Spirit! Thank You for Your guidance! Thank You for building into my life! I love You!

Holy Spirit: You are welcome! I love you!

More Piles of Snow Melting

Power of God

I am grateful for the astounding warm-up today; 22F below earlier in the week, 52F now.

And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. 3 I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, 4 and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.

6 Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away; 7 but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory; 8 the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory; 9 but just as it is written,

“Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard,
And which have not entered the heart of man,
All that God has prepared for those who love Him.”

[ This quote is from Isaiah;
For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear,
Nor has the eye seen a God besides You,
Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him. – Isaiah 64:4]

10 For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. 11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, 13 which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.

14 But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. 15 But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. 16 For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ. – 1 Corinthians 2

Me: Good evening Holy Spirit!

Holy Spirit: Good evening Jon!

Me: This passage is chock full of wisdom and the promise of still more wisdom borne (and born) by You! Thank You!

Holy Spirit: You are welcome!

Me: I am mystified by Paul’s comment, which I know he got from You, that the rulers would not have crucified Christ had they understood all. Had they not, where would we be?

Holy Spirit: You have often observed that Jesus did not pull any punches in speaking with the rulers. He consistently told the truth in a way that would inflame their indignation and instinct to protect the sin they imagined was righteousness because it was, well, theirs. They were simply respecters of themselves. Not a humble bone in their bodies. Paul is just observing, matter of fact, that they did not get it. Even when bluntly told the truth.

When Paul uses the words “predestined before the ages” in verse seven, he is pointing out that God knew fully from before He created that man was going to need to be rescued from the power of sin. He knew before there was time. He knew before there was any man. He had always known. Yet, He chose. He chose to create. He chose to create man. He chose to create you. He chose that in the Son, He would bear your sin, that in Me, He, who is holy, would be able then to communicate with you who is only made righteous by faith in the Son. Were it not so, communication would be futile. (2 Corinthians 4:4, John 12:40, 2 Chronicles 7:14, Matthew 13, Isaiah 6:9) You observe this in your day; those who see not and hear not because the truth is foreign to them.

Me: Yes, Holy Spirit! If it were not for You, none of us would ever overcome our blindness.

Thank You for speaking with me about these things! I love You!

Holy Spirit: You are welcome! I love you! I love the ones that still persist in their not seeing and in their not hearing, but I Am unwilling to override their choice.

As You Want…

I am grateful to have the Word of God to hear and the Spirit of God to guide. I can scarcely imagine the universe that some believe exists by some innumerable set of random variations. (That started from what, exactly?)


“In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets. Jesus, Matthew 7:12


Me: Good afternoon Jesus!

Jesus: Good afternoon Jon!

Me: I didn’t mean for it to be afternoon before speaking with You in this journal entry. I went out to plow the snow drifts that accumulated last night, and it was a much bigger job than I expected. Beautiful, though. Thanks for the trio of young deer that ran by, heading North. They were lovely as well. Your creation is full of Your magnificence! Everywhere I look, there is reason for awe and amazement!

Jesus: You are welcome.

Me: Lately my company has been making a distinction in their statement of the “Golden Rule”, that we should treat others the way that they want to be treated. They made that assertion without any further explanation, as though it was self-evident. That has kind of bothered me, because it seemed a modification of my understanding of what the scripture says. I am grateful to You for showing me that I was wrong about that and that my perspective was actually a self-centered one.

Jesus: Yes, I thought it was high time that you had that sorted out. The difference is, of course, seeing it from the perspective of the person you are treating however you are treating them. You are the one who knows how you want to be treated and if you assume that the way that you want to be treated is the way that they want to be treated then you have not afforded them the same freedom as you have exercised over your own desires.

Me: Treating them how they want to be treated instead of how I want to be treated requires me to find out how they want to be treated.

Jesus: Yes.

Me: That is not always easy.

Jesus: It requires building a relationship and being sensitive to their reactions to you.

Me: That seems pretty hard. It certainly is not possible if my focus is on myself.

Jesus: The Spirit is given to guide you into all the truth.

Me: You are saying that truly understanding others is the work of God, aren’t You?

Jesus: Yes. The work of God in you. … and I saw every work of God, I concluded that man cannot discover the work which has been done under the sun. Even though man should seek laboriously, he will not discover; and though the wise man should say, “I know,” he cannot discover. – Ecclesiastes 8:17

Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?”Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” John 6:28-29

Me: Thank You Jesus! I am grateful to You for the things you tell me. I love You!

Jesus: You are welcome! I love you!