What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Dim Reflections

"For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known." I Corinthians 13:12

(click on the picture to enlarge)
The other day I was looking toward the mirror hanging on the wall in my bedroom, and I happened to notice that the vision in the mirror was actually a dim reflection of the items on my vanity on the opposite wall, and then if you look into the image of the mirror on the vanity you can see a reflection of the items on the other wall, which are placed on a table directly under the original mirror. It created such an interesting picture that I had to try and capture it on film, the results of which are shown above. 

Confusing? Perhaps a little, but to me it was a picture not just of things that I treasured in my room, but a reminder of how we look at God now from our current vantage point.  Our vision is dim, marred by the clutter of things of this world and viewed with our very one-dimensional vision.  We try to look beyond the things that we can see clearly, and peer longingly into the fuzzy future that we can only begin to imagine with our limited sight, and once in a while we get a glimpse of the true picture, but most of the time it is something that we just have to contemplate and trust that our hopes and ideals will one day become reality.

The scripture from which I quoted above is the 13th Chapter of I Corinthians, also known as "the Love Chapter", one of my favorite passages in the New Testament. It speaks to us about how we as believers need to remember that no matter how knowledgeable we may think we are, how talented and gifted we may be, or how sacrificially charitable we are to the poor and needy, if we don't have love, we are nothing.  It is a reminder to us that all of our great talents, knowledge, gifts and sacrifices will one day cease to exist, but love will never fail.

Verses 8-11 says:
"Love never fails.  But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.  For we know in part and we prophesy in part.  But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.  When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things."
Verse 12 tells us that at the present time we are looking at God and our relationship to Him with human eyes that are illuminated only very dimly at best.  One day, when we ultimately reach our heavenly destination, we will see Him face to face.  Right now we only understand a very small part of His vast plan for our lives, both in the present and the future. When we get to heaven we will know Him completely, just as He already knows us now. The veil will finally be stripped away and all things will become clear to us.  All the questions that we said we would ask God as soon as we reached heaven's gate will be understood...there will be no need to even ask. 

The thing that God wants us to understand for now is this: (Verse 13)
"And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love."
Perhaps that is enough for us to know.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Perseverance Anyone? Need Hope? How About Character? (Updated this morning after sleeping on it)

These are some thoughts running through my mind tonight and I wanted to share them with you. Maybe you will see yourself in these verses...

  • "Therefore, having been justfied by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
  • Through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
  • And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance;
  • And perseverance, character;
  • And character, hope.
  • Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
  • For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
  • For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.
  • But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
       Romans 5: 1-8

My Interpretation: 

Anyone here wanting to learn perseverance?  Expect tribulations. - You will run into obstacles in life...stub your toe, see dead-ends and unexpected detours...but God is in the pathway...He's guiding each step and leading you to persevere during the tough times.
    Want character?  Learn perseverance from your tribulations and you will develop character.  "When the going gets tough...the tough get going" (who said that?)  Old houses are said to have character because they have interesting knicks and scrapes...unusual architecture weathered by many storms...bannisters and floors scuffed by many years of hands and feet running to and fro, up and down, perhaps even having had children sliding down the bannisters...revealing a beautiful patina to the wood and smoother surfaces...
         Need hope?  Develop character once you've learned perseverance through the experience of tribulations.  Life's experiences give us hope for the future as we remember how God provided in the past.
            Once you have hope...you will not be disappointed..."because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us."
                And remember this:  Before you were made strong by your tribulations and perseverance and character development...before the Holy Spirit was given to you...Christ died for you...while you were yet a sinner, without a hope in the world...Jesus Christ, the very Son of God, God in the flesh, showed His magnificent and immense love for us by dying in our place...taking our sin upon His own body...the pure and holy sacrificed for the stained and unholy. 

"Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!"  I John 3:1

"When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of Glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God;
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

See, from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down--
Did e'er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all."

Isaac Watts, 1674-1748
I John 3:1

Jesus Christ, The same, Yesterday, Today and Forever...reaching out in love to you and me each day.
Now that brings great hope!!