Spiritual Analogies

You can’t have a Rainbow without the Rain…or can You?

You can’t have a rainbow without the rain is the ole’ saying. But is it true? I guess it depends on where you’re at. If you’re talking about life on Earth, the saying definitely holds water.

Cloudy days and storms are the norm in mankind’s life (Job 14:1). Rich, poor, man, woman, young, old, red, yellow, black or white – no one is exempt from heartache, pain, disaster, disappointment or death. Physical conditions and resources may limit the detrimental experiences that we face, but no earthly condition in and of themselves exempts us from all the trials of life.

So the idea of not being able to have a rainbow without the rain reminds us that grief is inevitable, but grief can cause us to look at the blessings of life in a brighter way by reminding us that the storms don’t last forever. Sweet tastes much sweeter after a dose of something bitter!

But did you know the Bible promises a rainbow without the rain? You won’t find it on Earth though – only in Heaven, after we live faithfully through the rain that tries us. EA

Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.” (Revelation 2:10)

Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald.” (Revelation 4:2-3)

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The Best Wireless Connection in the World

No coverage maps are needed to show where God is able to hear prayer:

Where can I go from Your Spirit? or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me.” (Psalm 139:7-10)

The possessor of a voice heard around the world is the possessor of an ear capable of hearing and understanding every language in the world:

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard.” (Psalm 19:1-3)

Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.” (Acts 10:34-35)

So when it comes to praying to God, it’s not a question of can he hear us – the question is, “Does he hear from us?” EA

Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.” (Isaiah 59:1-2)

Calvinism, Christmas and Theological Incompatibilities

I’m sure that most people who follow a Calvinistic based theological point of view have never thought about it, but Calvinism and Christmas (and by Christmas, I’m talking about the whole gifting-giving aspect of the holiday) are just theologically incompatible.

One, acting right is expected if we want to stay off the naughty list – no excuses. There goes Total Hereditary Depravity.

Two, asking for what we need/want is necessary to getting it. There goes Unconditional Election.

Three, buying gifts for complete strangers is a common deed that is done. There goes Limited Atonement.

Four, there are people who always willingly leave their gift sitting under the tree. There goes Irresistible Grace.

And five, gifts come with responsibilities – abuse them and you can lose them. There goes Perseverance Of The Saints.

Now, all analogies break down at some point (and by that I’m talking about gifts that people give compared to the gift of God’s salvation), but I hope you can see how the accepted simple concepts of man’s gift-giving reveals how unreasonable Calvinistic theology really is in relation to gifts from God.

Maybe this is why poinsettias are the flower of the season instead of TULIPs. EA

Brethren, I speak in the manner of men…” (Galatians 3:15)

Are you a lightning-bug Christian?

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve discovered that catching a lighting-bug after the sun has gone down isn’t as easy as I remember it being as a kid.

Maybe nostalgia has skewed my memories, but the flying light-bulbs just don’t seem to stay lit as long as they used to!

Truth be told, now it seems they act more like some Christians in the church – you see their light shining in the dark, but before you can make your way to them they turn out their light. EA

You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.” (Matthew 5:14-15)

Waiting is a virtue for a reason!

We were about four cars back from the drive-thru menu-board when my daughter’s hungry belly led her to inform us that she didn’t like to wait. In turn we told her that the wait would be worth it. By the time we were finished eating, she had eaten more of what she ordered than she ever had before.

For those who hunger and thirst after righteousness (Matthew 5:6), waiting may not always be the easiest thing to do when we’re hungry for results. Instead of waiting with patience, many seek to fill their appetite in the ways of unrighteousness.

As a matter of fact, waiting has been a major factor for some in the departure from their faith in God (1 Samuel 13:5-14), and it continues to do so to this day (Hebrews 12:1-3).

Waiting is a virtue for a reason, and that reason will be revealed when we get that opportunity to satisfy our righteous appetite in Heaven. EA

Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.Revelation 22:14

The Cold Reveals Where The Heat Is Going

One thing I couldn’t help but notice as I drove down the road during these winter months when there was a heavy frost or a light snow is how the cold reveals where a house’s heat is escaping.

And how, you may ask, does it do this? Well, if you look at the roof of a house and the entire thing is covered with a heavy frost or a light snow except “this one spot” towards the ridge line or except for “this spot” right in the middle of the roof about half way up, then you know that’s where the heat is escaping because that part of the roof is warm enough to melt what’s sitting on it.

By all means drive safely, but if you haven’t paid attention to this before then check it out the next time you get a chance.

So what’s my point? My point is maintenance. When someone sees the above happening, it gives the owner a chance to see where their warmth is escaping, and, in doing so, it gives them a chance to see where extra insulation needs to be added. A little extra insulation can a long way for various reasons.

Now I know this isn’t a DIY house maintenance blog, so maybe you’re wondering about the spiritual point– my point is still maintenance. Consider James 1:2-4 and perhaps it’ll help us learn to see the opportunities that allow us to see where our spiritual heat is escaping when we have to deal with the cold-fronts that come our way. EA

Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.”                   (Matthew 24:11-13)

What does the phrase “Cross the Jordan River” mean to a Christian?

To understand what “crossing the Jordan River” metaphorically means to a Christian you have to first understand what it literally meant to the Jewish people.

God made a promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that their descendants would inherit a land given to them by God himself. And before Jacob died, the children of Israel found themselves living in Egypt.

Generation after generation passed until the time was right; the time had come for the children of Israel to inherit the land of Canaan. Add slavery, a handful of plagues, a law given by Moses, and forty years in the wilderness to the equation and you’ll arrive at the book of Joshua and the promised land.

But before Joshua could lead the people into the land flowing with milk and honey, an intimidating river had to be crossed – the flood stage Jordan River to be exact. But by the grace of God the people safely crossed the river; and by faith they received a land that they had only heard of through a promise that had been made so long ago.

As Christians we look back at the moment that the children of Israel crossed the Jordan River into the Canaan’s land as a rite of passage. Once they crossed that river the promise became reality – and reality surpassed expectations. In the same manner as God’s people of the past, we as Christians, who make up the people of God today, are looking for a land of promise that we have only heard of. As we travel through the wilderness we cling to this land by faith because this “promised land” is an expectation that comes from believing in God. Heaven is its name, and it’s waiting for God’s people (Hebrews 11:16).

But before we enter this “promised land” a rite of passage must be experienced – a “river” has to be crossed; this river is a cold river; this river is a wide river; and this river is an intimidating river to say the least. This “river” is called death.

But by the grace of God, this raging river can be crossed (Hebrews 2:14-15). Because in Jesus, the waters have no choice but to subside since he himself faced the waters, and crossed them, bearing God’s covenant for us upon his own shoulders so we may follow him across on dry ground to inherit that land that we have only heard of through a promise made so long ago.

So if you have wondered what “crossing the Jordan River” means to a Christian, now you know. EA

So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:54-57)