Posts tagged ‘C.S.Lewis’

Desire to Know Truth No Matter Where It Leads You

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My wife and I were sitting in the office of a marriage counselor as he gave us an, “interview”.

We had hit the proverbial bump in the road and had just agreed to seek counseling after two months of separation.

I asked the counselor what purpose an interview with him would serve towards the reconciliation of our marriage.
He told me the purpose of the interview was to determine if the two of us sincerely wanted to know the truth about our relationship with one another, and how to mend it, and whether or not he was willing to be our marriage counselor.

I was shocked.

He continued to tell us how most people don’t really want to know the truth in regard to what is wrong with their marriage.

“I estimate about 90 percent of the people who come to me for help don’t really want to know the truth about what’s wrong and how to fix it,” he said.

That was twenty years ago and I still remember the feeling of shock I had at the thought that most of us, more often than not, are reluctant to know the truth even when our very lives depend on it.

Yes, it has been tough at times. But we’re still married after 37 years.
And we owe a great debt of gratitude to a counselor who dared to be painfully honest with us even though we could have easily been offended and walked out of the office that day.

We have learned a great lesson;

The truth is often hard to take, but is always best for us.
We should always follow the truth no matter where it leads us.

C. S. Lewis reflected on his conversion to Christianity in a similar way in his book, “Surprised by Joy”.

“You must picture me alone in that room in Magdalen, night after night, feeling, whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. That which I greatly feared had at last come upon me. In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England.”
~C.S.Lewis~

Consider what Jesus said in regards to the truth ;

And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
(John 8:32 NKJV)

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
(John 14:6 NKJV)

The truth is that we all need Jesus as Savior before this life ends, reluctant as we may be to accept that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Follow Jesus.

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Why? – Jesus and Innocent Suffering

The question of suffering is one of life’s biggest questions.

Any loss, loss of livelihood, health, loved ones is shocking to us, as it should be.

 

suffering4U

 

The unspeakable tragedy of loss is compounded by the loss of innocent life and the suffering of innocent people.

Men, women and children needlessly suffer and die amidst violence, cruelty and neglect.

We are left to ask,”Why did God allow this to happen?”

When we experience loss,”Why!”,is the first thing that comes to mind.

There are no pat answers,… but we can find deeper reason and comfort in knowing we are not alone.

God chose to experience loss for our sakes.

God came down to us in the personage of Jesus Christ and suffered and died for us to spare us eternal suffering.

God the Father turned away from Christ on the Cross, prompting Jesus Christ to cry out,”My God, My God,WHY have you forsaken me?

God as the man Jesus Christ felt the agony of loss and asked WHY?

The Bible tells us God did this because He loves us.He became one of us, struggled like we do, tempted in every way as us yet without giving in to sin.

And He suffered to a degree that we have not, and can not, for He alone was perfect and worthy to carry all the sins of our entire human race.

Christ paid for the sins all mankind from Adam to the last of our kind who will be born.

Christ carried every sin ever committed, or that will be committed, by every victim and by every perpetrator, who ever lived or has yet live, upon Him on the cross.

And the punishment of us all was upon Him.

“Surely he took up our infirmities
    and carried our sorrows, 
yet we considered him stricken by God, 
    smitten by him, and afflicted. 
 But he was pierced for our transgressions, 
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
    and by his wounds we are healed. 
 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, 
    each of us has turned to his own way; 
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.”

(Isaiah 53:4-6)

Because of Christ we know that the reason suffering exists can NOT be that God is insensitive to our condition.

Perhaps part of the reason is to make us what C.S.Lewis called, “Free Lovers.” We love God not for what He gives , but simply for the sake of whom He is.

If , like the old testament figure from the Bible, Job, we can love God regardless of total tragedy and loss, then our love for God will be like the love God has for us! Unconditional.

“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”

(1 John 4:10)

God’s love is Unconditional love.

Tim Keller uses the illustration from the Book of Job in the Bible to show that Satan tried to make God question Job’s love for God. Satan accused Job of conditional love.“Take away everything you have blessed him with and he will curse you!”, he said to God.

And God permitted Satan to take all of Job’s children, possessions and wealth.

When Job still blessed God, then Satan insisted if God allowed physical suffering then Job would curse God.

Job did become very bitter, but did not curse God.

…”Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship  and said:

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
    and naked I will depart. 
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; 
    may the name of the Lord be praised.”

” In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.”

(Job 1:20-22)

It really is all about Love.

Satan tried to convince Job that God did not unconditionally love him, just as Satan tried to convince God that Job didn’t unconditionally love God.

And perhaps then our suffering, like Job’s, has profound reason and eternal purpose.

To refine our love into the kind of love Christ has for us.

For He loved us before we knew Him.

Unconditionally.

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith —and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”

(Ephesians 2:8,9)

Related Sermon by Dr. Tim Keller of Manhattan Presbyterian Church Manhattan N.Y.- 

http://sermons2.redeemer.com/sermons/suffering-if-god-good-why-there-so-much-evil-world

Having Eyes That See

“I believe in Christianity as I believe the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”
C.S. Lewis

“All I have seen teaches me to trust the creator for all I have not seen.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Then he turned to his disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see.” ( Luke 10:23)

God’s Breath of Life – The Ultimate Reunion

“Our lifelong nostalgia, our longing to be reunited with something in the universe from which we now feel cut off, to be on the inside of some door which we have always seen from the outside is no mere neurotic fancy, but the truest index of our real situation.” C.S.Lewis

When God created man He gave man life by His own breath. The importance of this is that the life of mankind had a personal link to The Maker.Perhaps this is in part what it means to be created in His image.

” And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7 )

It’s interesting to find parallels between the old and new testaments of the Bible. There are tons of them.

Now consider the second time God gave mankind the Breath of life.

“Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20:20 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 20:21 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” 20:22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” (John 20:19) 

The Breath of life is restored to mankind at salvation and we become a new creation.

” Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (II Corinthians 5:17)

Was mankind created to have God’s Spirit inside us as this would indicate?
Is the absence of God’s Spirit the cause of man’s universal longing?

C..S.Lewis said;
“Our lifelong nostalgia, our longing to be reunited with something in the universe from which we now feel cut off, to be on the inside of some door which we have always seen from the outside is no mere neurotic fancy, but the truest index of our real situation.”

“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:63)

“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:13,14)

This much is clear, if you believe in Christ as your Savior, He will come into your heart as a seal and a promise that cannot be broken,(because God can’t lie),WHO will Himself personally by the deposit of His Spirit IN you, guarantee your salvation, your inheritance until God comes for you or you go to Him.

Friends, what are you waiting for?

Believe and receive God’s breath of life!

Jesus and Being Nice

Jesus casting out the money changers at the temple

Jesus casting out the money changers at the temple (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jesus and Being Nice.

If your goal is to be nice all the time you must look away from injustice.

If your goal is to be popular in the social network, don’t take an unpopular stand or make an unpopular statement.

If you want to be like Jesus, you have to give up on being nice all the time because we live in a fallen and corrupted world.

Part of your time will be spent stating the truth in a pleasant manner that is easy for others to receive.

Sometimes you will need to, “Be angry and sin not”.

Jesus knew the tables of the money changers in the temple needed to be overturned in a way that would dislodge greed that was rooted by those in power.

The guys making the money were there because the religious elite allowed it, who no doubt took their cut of the money too.

Our meek and mild Good Shepherd used a whip on the greedy money changers while He shouted, “My Father said my house shall be a place of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves! “

He wasn’t being very nice, was He?

Was it not because the Good Shepherd was busy driving off wolves?

Courage in the face of taking unpopular stand in an enormously risk laden situation is what made Jesus a Good Shepherd.

And He ultimately laid down His life for His sheep.

Still think you have what it takes to be like Jesus?

Or consider the Apostle Paul in Galatians when the pure truth of the Gospel was threatened by a group from James, the brother of Jesus .

These guys wanted to add a single work of the law to the finished work of Christ’s cross and told the Galatians this as well.

Paul said to the Galatians, “If anyone should bring another gospel than the one you have received, let him be accursed! “

He said a lot more colorful things than that as well, but you should really read it for yourself.

Take a challenge and just count the disproportionate amount of exclamation points and question marks contained in this small book of the Bible.

You will be left thinking the same thing I was.

Paul wasn’t being very nice either was he?

But Paul also wrote the famous Love chapter in 1 Corinthians 13.

Was he out of character?

Not at all.

Consider the precious blood of Christ and what it cost to buy us back from eternal judgement and separation from God.

Love isn’t always nice. But it is always right.

Our First Love -God – Whom We All Remember Though We Never Knew Him

“I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.”

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“Our longing to be reunited with something in the universe from which we now feel cut off , to be on the inside of some door which we have always seen from the outside, is no mere neurotic fancy, but the truest index of our real situation.”

“If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”

C.S.Lewis

God-Our First Love.

Mankind was created by God for fellowship with Him and only a relationship with God will complete us.

We were created in the image of God, and we have a part of us that remains un-satiated by anything but God.

Our problem was that God’s perfection is called Holiness, and His Holiness requires holiness from us as a condition to be in His presence.

But all men were imperfect and none could save us, until God came down and inhabited flesh and bone to live a perfect life and be our Savior.

So God came to personally came to make a way for us back to Him, through His sacrifice for our sins.

And three days after allowing His crucifixion , Christ rose from the died and defeated death to show that He can give life to as many as receive Him.

Our ultimate hope can be fulfilled in a promise that cannot be broken , lost or taken away ;God.

God initiated this event because He loved us.

God offers eternal life as a gift because we could not be the perfect sacrifice.

You need only receive it by faith, just ask with your heart and believe.

 “That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” (Romans 10:9,10)

Christians and seekers take note at what God’s word says,“believe in your heart,” and , ‘It is with your heart that you believe and are justified.

It all starts with the heart.

But don’t make the mistake that after that the honeymoon is over.

The fact is that you can know God’s love in an ever-increasing way for the rest of your life.

He is our first love who reunited us to himself by the single most incredible sacrifice in all of history; One man died for all the world.

The God who became fully man while remaining fully God ,(Nothing is too hard for God).

God’s has always love us and desired for us to know Him. 

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”(Deuteronomy 6:4,5)

Then God gave us the ultimate reason to love Him with all our heart, mind and strength.

He became one of us and sacrificed Himself for us, releasing us from eternal death and separation from Him.

 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

You can know Him, Just pray to Him to save you and to live in your heart as the scripture says, “with the heart you believe and are justified.”

Christ is our first love.

We really were made for each other.


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