Tuesday, September 30, 2008

In the News

I am an avowed news website addict, and although most of the news today is disheartening, I was blessed by this video from CNN.com. Here's a little girl who's running for Student President at her school, and she is unafraid to stand up for her faith in Jesus Christ. What's almost as encouraging are all the people they interviewed, who support her.

Jesus said that we must become as little children, in order to enter into His Kingdom. How fitting that a little child so unabashedly demonstrates that same kind of faith! God bless her!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Symbolic Sunday

Oh, how the days go by! It seems like only last week that I posted my previous Symbolic Sunday... oh, wait... it HAS been a week! Even if I don't have time to post any other day, I want to at least keep up with my Symbolic Sundays.

The Tree of Life

"And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden...." (Gen. 2:9a).

"And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life" (Gen. 3:22-24).

"He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God" (Rev. 2:7).

"In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city" (Rev. 22:2,14).

The Tree of Life represents eternal life in Jesus Christ. Regardless of how it works out physically, it inextricably ties immortality with being in the mighty presence of our Maker.

In the beginning, Adam and Eve had it made. They had access to the Tree of Life, allowing them to live forever, as long as they ate of its fruits, in a veritable paradise. But their sin separated them not only from God, but also from access to the tree. Their bodies were doomed to a finite existence, because God could not bear to allow their sinful natures to endure forever.

If we read the Bible cover to cover, we spend most of it reading about how God repeatedly reached out to His stubborn and idolatrous people, while they continued to disobey. Punishment brought about repentance, but only for a time. The true Cure did not come, until Jesus Christ came to die for our sins. He made a way for us to get back to God's presence, which is where we belong.

The triumphant return of the Tree of Life is very fitting for the last book of the Bible, tying together God's entire plan of salvation. "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!" (Rom. 11:33).

In short, more than mere immortality, the journey of the Tree of Life represents God's children coming full circle, back to the everlasting presence of their perfect Creator, and His boundless love, mercy, and wisdom, in bringing it all about. Thank You, Jesus!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Symbolic Sunday

Repent, Ye!

"Now let them put away their whoredom, and the carcases of their kings, far from me, and I will dwell in the midst of them for ever." (Ezekiel 43:9).

The OT is packed with symbolism relevant to our lives today. In Chapter 43 of Ezekiel, God is telling Ezekiel that although Israel has been a rebellious and idolatrous nation, which He punished severely, He will restore them and live among them, in the end. But the condition is that Israel must turn away from its sins.

God takes no pleasure in sacrifices or lip-service; what He wants is repentant hearts that love Him more than anything else. Are you holding on to sin, instead of surrendering it to God? Are worldy possessions, goals, or relationships, keeping you from a closer relationship with Jesus Christ? Put those things away, far from Him, and He will draw closer to you.

All the things of this world will one day perish; every single one, except Jesus! He will endure forever. He died on that cross to make a way for you to spend eternity in His Holy presence, but only if you accept His gift and turn from all your sins and worldly affections. In return, He will bless you and give you the peace your heart's been longing for. Isn't that worth everything and more?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Symbolic Sunday

This is the second meme (after "Frequently Asked Friday") that we're going to start here. This one will feature mainly symbolism in the Bible, but can touch on other side topics.


Recently, out of the blue, our 8-year-old son thoughtfully said, "Guys, I think I know why Sunday is called "Sunday". This took us a little by surprise, because I don't recall ever having discussed with him the day's pagan origins (you know, sun worship and all that).

"Really?" we asked. "Yeah," he confidently continued, "God created light on the first day, which we get from the sun. So that's why it's called 'Sunday'."

Amazing how the mind of a child works! That was an explanation I had never thought of. Now, technically, Genesis says that the sun, moon, and stars were created on the fourth day, but his line of reasoning is just another demonstration of our son's budding critical thinking skills, through which God will undoubtedly show him wonderful things!

Praise be to God!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Frequently Asked Friday

Q: Why did you change the name of this blog?

A: As always, the Lord moves in mysterious ways, and always on His time, at the right time. Several years ago, the Lord moved my wife and me to create a website for Him. We asked at church for name suggestions, and my father-in-law proposed "JesusIsWonderful." We liked it, and it was available, so the name stuck. We had t-shirts, stickers, decals, and even a banner printed with the website's name. We felt like we could reach the fartherst corner of the earth with Jesus' message of love, redemption, and salvation..., at least as long as they had Internet!

Fast-forward to the present. Updating the website had become a drag, mainly because of the amount of work needed to archive old posts and add new ones. Once my wife started writing a blog, I thought maybe we could use the same concept. It wasn't until I was doing our monthly bills, and I noticed increased charges from our hosting service, that I decided to take action, and begin the process of moving JesusIsWonderful.com to Blogger.com. I did not want to continue my old blog, but at the same time did not want to lose the posts I've already done, so I renamed my blog. Its purpose is still the same, but my purpose has been revived and renewed, much like a sinner who finds new life and purpose in Jesus Christ.

Long story still long, here we are! http://www.jesusiswonderful.com/ is still up-and-running for now, until the transition is complete. Please come back soon!