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The Light in Your Night - #5491Monday, January 28, 2008 We had rented a cabin in the mountains, and we didn't want to leave it much. The view across the valley was like a majestic painting. It would change as the sun and the weather changed - all the kind of moods you have in the mountains. I had looked at the mountain across the valley from us many times, but finally I took a good look that direction at night. That's when I saw it - the cross. There was a lighted cross on top of the mountain, glowing in the night from a vantage point where it could be seen all around. Actually, that cross is there all the time but you don't really see it until it's dark. I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Light in Your Night." For many of us, the greatest discovery of our lives came when it was night; one of those dark times we all go through in our life. A lot of people have learned that when it's night, you can see the cross, often for the first time in your life. The cross - that awful place where Jesus was brutally crucified - turns out to be the ultimate proof of how much God loves you and me. If it's sacrifice that proves love, then we don't ever have to wonder how God feels about us. God the Father gave up God the Son to absorb the guilt and hell for every wrong thing you and I have ever done. There has never been a greater sacrifice. There's never been a greater love. But we can know about what happened at that cross. We can be around it for years and still miss the forgiveness, the love, and the heaven that Jesus died to give us. Maybe you've been avoiding dealing with Jesus personally. Maybe you feel someone's been pressuring you about Jesus, and that's just made you resist it even more. Maybe it's pride that's kept you from your life-changing encounter at the cross, or even your Christianity, because you've thought having Christianity meant having Christ. It's easy to go busily about the routines of your life and never really see that cross - until it's suddenly night time. Something happens to your health, to your family, to your job, or to whatever you've counted on for security. And none of your answers, none of your fixes are enough. That's when a lot of people look up and finally see the cross, shining in their night, showing them where hope is. In John 12:32-33, our word for today from the Word of God, Jesus said, "'When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men to Myself.' He said this to show the kind of death He was going to die.'" That was it - lifted up to die on a cross. But there would be a magnet in that old hunk of wood; a magnet that would draw the people He died for to His side. Which is exactly why you may be feeling that tug in your heart right now. He's drawing you to come to the cross, to give yourself to Him, and to find what you've spent your whole life looking for. All those religious hang-ups, all those lame arguments, all the proud resistance, all the spiritual pride drops to the ground at the foot of His cross - and you finally belong to the One you were made for. If you've been doing it without Jesus all these years, for whatever reason, and you want this to be the day you finally experience Him for yourself, would you tell Him that right where you are, "Lord, I turn from the running of my own life, and I'm pinning all my hopes on You because You died for me." If that is what you want, and you want to be sure you have that relationship, I think I could give you some encouragement and some help if you'll just visit our website. And I hope you'll go there right away today. It's yoursforlife.net. And it's really there to help you at a moment like this. Or you can call and ask for my little booklet Yours For Life. And you can call toll free and ask for it at 877-741-1200. Maybe it's night right now, not because God doesn't love you, but because He does. He doesn't want to lose you. His cross shines very brightly in your night. Once you meet Him there, it will never be night in your soul again.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
Contemporary Latin Phrases: "Domino vobiscum." (The pizza guy is here.) "Auda similarum ad seattles." (They all sound just like Pearl Jam.) "Sharpei diem." (Seize the wrinkled dog.) "Nucleo predicus dispella conducticus." (Remove foil before microwaving.) "Il guyus nissanem iste ickye." (That Nissan guy gives me the creeps.) "Bodicus mutilatimus, unemploymi ad infinitum." (Better take the nose ring out before the job interview.) "Motorolus interruptus." (Hold on, I'm going into a tunnel.) "Veni, vidi, Pesci." (I came, I saw, I moidered da bum.) "Revelare Pecunia!" (Show Me The Money!) "Sic semper tyrannus." (Your dinosaur is ill.) "No Quid Pro Quo." (I'm Sorry, We're All Out of Quid.) "Nunc Tutus Exitus Computarus." (It's Now Safe To Turn Off Your Computer.) "Veni, Vidi, Velcro" (I came; I saw; I stuck around.) "Et tu, pluribus unum?" (The government just stabbed me in the back!)
Where Are You?As a young girl, one of my favorite games was hide and seek. Gathering all of our friends from the street on which we lived, we played this favorite childhood game that offered the entire neighborhood as a hiding place. The familiar call "Where are you?" echoed down the streets as the seeker looked far and wide to find our hiding places. A cosmic game of hide and seek is often how many view the search for God. "Where are you?" is the question that echoes throughout the ages as human beings seek for God in a vast universe often filled with inexplicable mystery.This is no trivial game. Atheist Bertrand Russell was once asked what he would say if after death he met God, to which he replied: "God, you gave us insufficient evidence."(1) While those who have found God quite evident would balk at Russell's impudence, it is helpful to remember that theists often wrestle with a similar struggle. Many of the biblical writers themselves have depictedGod as hidden. "Why do you stand afar off, O Lord? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?" (Psalms 10:1). Indeed, the psalmist accuses God of being "asleep" to his plaintive cries: "Arouse, yourself, why do you sleep, O Lord? Awake, and do not reject us forever. Why do you hide your face, and forget our affliction and our oppression?" (Psalm 44:23-24). Even blameless Job wondered aloud if in fact God viewed him as the enemy: "Why do you hide your face and consider me the enemy?" (Job 13:24). And from the place of his deepest suffering, Jesus himself cried out using the words of the poets of Israel, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"Clearly, the hiddenness of God is problematic for theists and atheists alike. Indeed, the belief in a God who can be easily found, and who has acted in time and space, makes the experience of God's hiddenness all the more poignant and perplexing."Where are you?" serves as one of the central questions in the recent film TheTree of Life. Recipient of the highest prize awarded at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, the film explores the paradoxical experience of both God's astounding presence and God's apparent absence. The questions concerning God's whereabouts are posed by an adult man in the throes of a life-crisis resulting from family tragedy. Through a series of cinematic visions, the man reflects back on his life as his question "Where are you?" sounds a thematic refrain when tragic events ensue. It is this question that takes the man on a search for God, not only through recalling the events of his childhood in a small Texas town, but also as he contemplates the grandeur of the cosmos at the dawn of creation.(Continued Below!)
As the film begins, we hear the voice of this man's mother extolling a life of grace, as opposed to a life lived according to nature, for the self alone. To the oft-repeated question, "Where are you?" the film suggests God's presence in this life of grace. The life that is grace-filledlives for others, revels in the beauty and wonder of the created world, and extends a gracious forgiveness toward others. It is this grace-filled life that the now adult Jack remembers as a clue to God's whereabouts. The gracious way in which his mother lived, and the way his younger brother extended forgiveness to the young Jack after he viciously shot him in the hand with a pellet gun provide the first hints for God's hiding place. Jack recalls, "Brother, mother, it was they who led me to your door." In these grace-filled human encounters, the doorway is opened to God's dwelling place.This gracious way is set in contrast to the way of nature, which competes and wrestles for control of Jack. The way of nature seeks to make its way in the world forcefully; its acquisitive nature clawing after worldly success, fortune, and power. It is a battle waged within every human being, and the film suggests that it is a path that leads one away from God; it is the way that hides us fromGod's grace and God's presence. For indeed, the game of hide and seek is not one-sided. The film opens with a quotation from the book of Job: "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth...when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?" A cinematic kaleidoscope of those foundations—from a one-celled organism to the galaxies beyond invites the viewer to see the gracious hand of God touching all that makes up the universe. From the dawn of time to, by contrast, this seemingly insignificant family living in 1950's Waco, Texas, the film shimmers with God's presence. We often fail to accept the invitation, the film suggests, as we succumb to the way of nature—a way that reduces one's vision only to self-interest. But God's glorious grace is all around us. Sometimes abundantly obvious, sometimes subtle, God's gracious presence beckons to us in this world and in our relationships with one another. "Always did you seek me" Jackrecognizes as he wrestles with his own propensity to hide. Always do you seek for us—we humans who play hide and seek—from the very foundation of the world.Margaret Manning is a member of the speaking and writing team at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Seattle, Washington. (1) Cited in Dr. Paul K. Moser's booklet, Why Isn't God More Obvious: Finding the God who Hides and Seeks (Norcross, GA: RZIM, 2000), 1.
One of the most striking facts about the course of the Obama presidency so far is that Obama has no constructive solutions for anything, which is one reason he campaigned on vague promises. It's why he established bogus metrics, such as "saved or created jobs."It's also why he's always pointing the finger of blame on others for his policy failures. Everyone knows by now that Obama's reckless and corrupt stimulus package failed to restrain unemployment as he had promised and that instead of accepting responsibility for it, he blamed Bush.
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