Foreword:

Ever wonder what God might have to say to YOU today? Here are things to ponder, and things to receive into your heart. If you have a question, put it in the comments. I respond as much as I can.

A note for all my readers: I've been experimenting with YouTube videos for Bible teaching for a while, and I'm working through Revelation here. My YouTube videos are currently short studies in Matthew, and at present I'm posting videos on Revelation as well. Both appear on the blog, which is turning into a Vlog. I encourage you to subscribe to my YouTube channel for better coverage.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Unseen, but beloved...

1 Peter 1:8-9:
Whom (Jesus) having not seen, you love; in whom, though now you see him not, yet believing, you rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory...
Peter's words remind us of two things:
1. The Unseen is real. When someone who doesn't believe in the Lord laughs at us because we can't "prove" what we know to be true, we know we are misunderstood, and so we often move back to efforts to "prove" that the Bible is true, that God is real, that Jesus Christ did die for our sins. However, the Bible itself gives much more credence to the ministry of the Holy Spirit among those who don't believe than Christians often do: Jesus said, "When [the Holy Spirit] has come, He will convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment..." (John 16:8 and context). The word "convict" (or reprove, KJV) is a powerful word, because it says to us, "God's job is to convict, convince..."  the corollary is that it is your job to tell. So often people who get interested in "evidences" make the mistake of thinking that "evidences" (so-called proofs for God's existence, etc.) are going to convince folk to believe. They do not. In every testimony I have read or heard about people who have been "converted through study of evidence" for God's existence, there comes a point when the Spirit actually speaks personally to that individual in some specific way, and it is that particular touch from God that brings them into faith in Jesus Christ. The real key, as I said in my blog post of yesterday, is whether or not you are willing to do God's will. It is THEN that God actually reveals Himself to you. On the other hand, every time you tell someone about Jesus Christ, you can be sure that God is speaking to them, no matter what they say. They may reject. They may become seekers. They may believe. But no matter how they react, Jesus said, "[the Holy Spirit] will convict the world..." therefore, the unseen becomes real, if only for a moment, even to people who strongly deny its existence. Everyone has a choice. They can believe the Liar, Satan, or they can believe God. At the same moment that God is speaking to each of us, Satan also attempts to remove that information in some way (see the parable of the sower, Matthew 13). The issue, as Jesus said, is whether or not we are receptive to the message. So when you minister to people, remember that your words penetrate their hearts, if they are delivered the same way Jesus would have done (and that merits study!), and that the Spirit is with your mouth, helping you to say what needs to be said in that particular moment.
2. Believing and Loving God and His Son bring joy and pleasure to the human heart. I still marvel at people who think they are happy without God. It's like trying to explain watermelon to someone with no sense of taste, or the beauty of the mountains or the sea to someone who is blind. Many folks resist the Lord because they get the idea that God is there to take away from them (an idea, by the way, that many who try to share their faith promote) rather than to give them the best gift that can ever be given or received. God really is there, and He's there to bring you more "life" than you ever had before. He's there to fill your mind with happiness and pleasure. Yes, there are negatives in being Christian, but they are not what you think before you become a believer, and the positives outweigh the negatives by an infinite amount.
Here's how David put it, long ago:
Psalm 16:11: You will show me the path of life: in your presence is fulness of joy; at your right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
Want to be truly happy? Turn to the Lord.
Want to know what's actually in that unseen world that provokes so much speculation and denial? Become a believer in Jesus Christ, and you WILL know.
Want to live forever? "He who believes in the Son has (eternal) life..."