“What Difference Does it Make?”

Some people say, “I don’t know whether heaven is real or not, and it makes no difference for my daily life. I do what’s right because it’s right, not because I’m chasing my eternal reward.”

This sounds like a noble sentiment. Even some Christians think it’s virtuous to downplay the resurrection. I believe they miss an important point. When Jesus turned up alive after his crucifixion, the excitement wasn’t all about the pearly gates. Thomas didn’t say “Thank goodness, this proves there’s an afterlife.” He exclaimed, “My Lord and my God!”

It wasn’t until Jesus crashed his own funeral that the disciples understood who he really was. They had believed all along that he was sent by God, as a teacher, a prophet, or maybe even the messiah. They’d thought his mission was to usher in the “kingdom of heaven.” They may have been right about the mission, but they envisioned a future kingdom, with a program of events that must unfold before God could make His home among men. They overlooked the fact that heaven was already right there with them. God was walking beside them in the flesh, much as he had walked with Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. [Read more…]

Choosing to be Frazzled

frazzled-300x210I was worried about the meeting that afternoon. I didn’t want anything to go wrong, so I left home early. Halfway there, I pulled into a parking lot, turned off the engine, and bowed my head. “Dear Lord, I need to raise some difficult issues at this meeting. Please help me to frame them in a positive way.” My racing heart slowed as I pictured God’s love surrounding each person. My thoughts came into focus. I opened my eyes, letting the beauty of the day bolster my confidence. All would be well! God was in charge! Besides, I was well prepared. My talking points were neatly arranged…

Oh no! The folder with my papers was not in the car. I’d left it at home on the kitchen table!

[Read more…]

Can Emotions Be Trusted?

220px-EmotionsWhen I asked readers how they discern God’s will, several mentioned “a feeling of peace.”

But a “feeling” of peace is an emotion, isn’t it?

Jeremiah 17:9 says that “the heart  is deceitful above all things.” Surely we can’t trust feelings to lead us along godly paths.

Yet, I must admit that the experience of being guided by a sense of peace is familiar to me. It seems to happen when I am praying in a spirit of obedience, willing to follow God’s plan instead of my own. [Read more…]