Thought For The OPEN Mind - Humor From American Culture!
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Where You Were Created to Be I was speaking at a Bible conference, set right near the shore of a beautiful lake. I was responsible for speaking about 18 times in six days, so I was a pretty busy boy. But I did something that would make my wife Karen proud, even in spite of how busy I was. I took time to smell the flowers; well, at least to admire the flowers. I'm partially colorblind, but even I was struck by these rich purple flowers blooming all over this sprawling vine in the garden outside my window. The flowers seemed to be everywhere in this garden. I asked someone from the conference what I was looking at, and he told me it's a Vinca vine. He said they had transplanted that vine from a pot to the soil of this garden. And I was told a Vinca vine doesn't produce any flowers when it's in a pot - only when you plant it in the ground. In the words of the man who had transplanted that vine, "It thrives only when it was where it was created to be." So do we. And sadly, so many of us spend our whole life looking for, but missing, where we were created to be. And it is only the One who created you who can ultimately tell you where you were created to be. And He has in our word for today from the Word of God. In six little words, our Creator spells out for us the reason for our existence, the answer to life's most ultimate question, "Why am I here?" In Colossians 1:16, speaking of Jesus, God says, "All things were," and here are the six words, "created by Him and for Him." So you were created by Jesus, you were created for Jesus, and you're going to have hole in your heart until you have Jesus. It could be you've been trying to fill that hole in your heart for a long time. But no relationship you've ever had has done it, no accomplishment, no experience, no religion. They can't. The hole in your heart is so big it can only be filled by the person who created you. And the reason we can't find the meaning we've been looking for, and the peace, the lasting love, the reason is that we're away from the One we were made for. We're away from Him, not by His choice, but by ours. We were created for Him, but we've lived for ourselves. That's what "sin" is all about. Notice, the middle letter of sin, it's "I." And nothing is really working, nothing is really fulfilling because your sin - your running of your own life - has cut you off from the love you were created for. That's why Jesus came. In Colossians 2:13-14, the Bible says, "God forgave us all our sins, having canceled ... what was against us; He took it away, nailing it to the cross." When you come in your heart to the cross where Jesus died for every wrong thing you've ever done; when you give yourself to the One who gave Himself for you, the sin-wall comes down and you begin for the first time in your life to be "where you were created to be." If you've never yet experienced your own personal relationship with Jesus Christ, would you tell Him today, "Jesus, I turn from the running of my own life. I want to give my life to the One who gave His life for me. Jesus, beginning right here and right now, I am Yours." If that's what you want, then what I've put on our website, yoursforlife.net, may be is exactly what you need to help you understand this new commitment to Jesus Christ and to be sure that you belong to Him. A lot of people have found that kind of encouragement there, and I think you would too. It's yoursforlife.net. I'd encourage you to go there this very day - yoursforlife.net. Or I can send you the little booklet I have written called Yours For Life with that same information. Call us toll free and ask for it. It's 877-741-1200. Your life really begins when you finally are where you were created to be: in the relationship you were made for, with the Person you were made by. And that relationship can begin for you today. You don't have to be outside His love one more day.To find out how you can begin a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, please visit: yoursforlife.net or call 1-888-966-7325. Click Here
Grieving GraceThe Gospel of Mark recollects a scene that makes me cringe every time Ihear it. I wish I could say it was the account of Judas's betrayal ofChrist, or the description of Jesus sweating blood in the Garden ofGethsemane. But it is not. In the first chapter of his testimony to the life of Jesus, Mark describesa man with leprosy who comes to the feet of the unusual rabbi in greatneed. On his knees, he begs with a statement of certainty, "If you arewilling, you can make me clean" (1:40). To this Jesus responds with anact of healing that would indeed change everything in the life of manpushed to the outskirts of a society, declared leprous in more ways thanone. Jesus heals him and then immediately tells the thankful man not totell anyone. The command is troubling to me, but so is the story thatfollows. Mark's Gospel, the shortest of the four, is largely concerned with gettingthe message of Christ out without delay. He opens his account with asingle-sentence introduction, and his favorite word throughout the book isa Greek word meaning "immediately" or "at once." The story of the leprousman is no different. In response to this man kneeling at Jesus's feet, Mark describes Jesusimmediately willing and sympathetic. "Filled with compassion, Jesusreached out his hand and touched the man. 'I am willing,' he said. 'Beclean!' Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured" (1:41-42). Mark conveys a compassionate savior who is near to us, reaching out with apower that is relevant to our lives. In the Gospel of Mark, the divineequation is not only apparent but spoken with urgency. God is near;Christ has come; if you will seek him, you will find him. But the passage continues. Jesus sends the healed man away "at once" and"with a strong warning." "See that you don't tell this to anyone. Butgo, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Mosescommanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them" (1:44). It is atthis point in the account that I find myself getting quiteself-righteously concerned. How difficult is it for a man who was justhealed to respond in gratitude by heeding Jesus's simple instructions? Itis a strange command, yes, but isn't this the least he can do? Yet Mark reports a man eager to speak of the power he has seen. "Insteadhe went out and began to talk freely, spreading the news." Adding, "As aresult, Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside inlonely places. Yet the people still came to him from everywhere" (1:45).The chapter concludes with hope, but it is often no match for thediscomfort I feel. The story Mark tells hinges on the concepts of actionand reaction; the words "at once," "immediately," and "as a result" remindus unpopularly that behavior has consequences. Of course, I know we arenot islands. I rejoice when the act of falling at Jesus's feet causes amove of compassion in Christ and healing in the hearts of those who need. But I cringe at the thought of my own wrong behavior causing consequencesto God. I don't want to think about my ability to grieve the Holy Spiritwith my anger, or my foolishness, or my disobedience. I don't want tothink about the times I have gotten in God's way, "fixing" thecatastrophes through which the Spirit may have been reaching someone,turning away from Christ's simple instructions and forcing him to lonelierplaces. And yet, isn't this the reality of the Cross? I am free to act and react,to make choices and affect others. But behavior has consequences; there isalways a cost. My behavior brought something into the garden that wasn'tmeant to be there, something God chose to remove by bearing on the Crossthe consequence of my sin. There is a cost, but so there is also aredeemer.Again and again, the first chapter of Mark requires us to wrestle with theone who has responded on our behalf. How do we respond to thecommands of the one who has healed us? How often has Jesus reached outto us with compassion only to find his touch rebuffed in disobedience? How do we grieve him with the choices we make? The words of the greathymn offer a prayer worth remembering. Oh, to grace how great a debtor Daily I'm constrained to be! Let they goodness like a fetter,Bind my wand'ring heart to TheeProne to wander, Lord, I feel it,Prone to leave the God I love. Here's my heart, Lord, take and seal it,Seal it for Thy courts above.God is near! Christ has come! There is at once before us a redeemer. Let us respond with gratitude, with hope, and with obedience. Jill Carattini is senior associate writer at Ravi ZachariasInternational Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia.------------------------------------------------------------------- Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM)"A Slice of Infinity" is aimed at reaching into the culture with words ofchallenge, words of truth, and words of hope. If you know of others whowould enjoy receiving "A Slice of Infinity" in their email box each day,tell them they can sign up on our website athttp://www.rzim.org/slice/slice.php. If they do not have access to theWorld Wide Web, please call 1-877-88SLICE (1-877-887-5423).
Bonito textp religioso, que dá reconforto a David, na sua solidão e ao mesmo tempo presença no mundo. Um abraço.
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