You Have Never Met a Mere Mortal

Watch your actions; you have never met a mere mortal.  This is an exerpt that I think will affect those who love the Lord…  

The Weight of Glory (edited)

C.S. Lewis…

It may be possible for each to think too much of his own potential glory hereafter; it is hardly possible for him to think too often or too deeply about that of his neighbor. The load, or weight, or burden of my neighbor’s glory should be laid daily on my back, a load so heavy that only humility can carry it, and the backs of the proud will be broken.

 

It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities[indeed one or the other is an eventuality], it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another… all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics.

 

There are no ordinary people.

 

You have never talked to a mere mortal.

 

Nations, cultures, arts, civilization—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit—immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.

 

This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously—no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption.

 

And our charity must be a real and costly love, with deep feeling[that is, heartbreak]for the sins in spite of which we love the sinner—no mere tolerance or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment. Next to…[God Himself], your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses. If he is your Christian neighbor he is holy in almost the same way, for in him also Christ ‘vere latitat’—the glorifier and the glorified, Glory Himself, is truly hidden.

 

A Servant’s Honor- John 12

The hour had now come for Jesus to be glorified.  The Jews said their Hosannas, and now even the Greeks who came to worship God wanted to see Jesus.

And in this hour of glory Jesus states that He must die.

It may be hard to think of this as glorious, but remember that His life was not taken from Him.  He laid it down willingly for his people.

We too shall be honored by God when we lay down our own lives; when we go where He goes, and live as servants of Christ.  It may trouble our hearts to go through the hardships He calls us to, but remember it troubled Jesus’ heart too (v27).

But shall we say “Father, save me from this hour?”  Jesus didn’t.  It was for this very reason that He came to the hour of glory, the hour of death.  If God brings us to a place that requires a cross, then we must remember that He brought us there for that very reason.  If we love our life we will lose it.

If we can lose our life… we will find it.  And it will be something better than we could have ever imagined!

For God’s Glory- John 11

It seems to me that many people miss an important fact.  They miss the fact that all things are for God.  Let me explain…

The Bible tells us that all things work together for the good of those who love Him, who are called  according to His purpose.  And it’s completely true.  But the second half of that gets little play time in our conversations, and even when we include it we miss the point.  It’s not all about us.  It’s about His purpose.

Nobody has a real foundation for the argument that God does not love us.  His love for us is easy to see for those who’s eyes are opened (that is, those who simply choose to open them).  And His love is unlike anything else.  It is greater than we can comprehend, and far beyond our own aspirations to love one another.

But God doesn’t exist for our sake, we exist for His.  We are not the end all of it all, He is.  He is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.  In Him all things exist, and in Him we have our being.

In our passage, John 11, we have the story of Lazarus dying.  And Jesus didn’t say the situation was for Lazarus’ good, although it certainly works out good for Lazarus.  Jesus says in verse 4 “No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s son may be glorified through it.”

What I don’t want is for someone to walk away from this post misunderstanding our place in reality.  People are not just pawns that God throws around without concern.  One would have to completely ignore the cross to see us as such.  We are loved by Him more than we could ever be loved by anyone, including by ourselves.  But in the end it is all about God.  And it should be.  And there could be no higher honor for man, indeed no more complete joy, than to be used to that end.

What a terrible thing it would be if reality was all about anything except Him!

What goodness lays in store for us BECAUSE it’s all about Him!  Look what it did for Lazarus!

Praise God that He is God!!!

The Lost Genre Guild

As some of you know, Christian speculative fiction is a genre that’s not really a part of the general Christian publishing industry.  Authors writing fantasy, sci-fi, alternate reality, spiritual warfare, and other spec-fic  books with a Christian world view have a hard time convincing big Christian publishers that their books will sell.  Their books are not usually the ones picked up on bookshelves.

But that doesn’t mean there’s not an audience.  There is, in fact, quite a large group of people who love Christian spec-fic.  They just spend their time in other places.  Some authors and readers have banded together to reach this audience.  One such group is the “Lost Genre Guild.”

http://www.lostgenreguild.com is where the group can be found online.  They have something for anyone with an interest in Christian spec-fic..

Readers:

  • A list of quality books to read
  • Reviews to help you find the right book for your current mood
  • People who are working to encourage authors to write what you like

Authors:

  • Reviews to help market your material to the right people
  • Links to other groups that support what you write
  • Publisher links specific to Christian spec-fic
  • Contacts for author helps

Beyond these benefits, this is a chance for both readers and writers to partake in a work that brings glory to God Almighty, the Great Story Maker.  All good things come from Him; and when a book’s author understands that, they are able to tap into something that touches the very soul of man. 

So please visit the site, and be a part of what they are doing.  You’ll find good resources, no matter your part in the telling of good fiction.

————–

For more information on the LGG, and for more on Christian Spec-Fic, please check out the following blogs…

Brandon Barr
Justin Boyer
Keanan Brand
Kathy Brasby
Grace Bridges
Valerie Comer
Courtney
Frank Creed
Amy Cruson
CSFF Blog Tour
Stacey Dale
D. G. D. Davidson
Janey DeMeo
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Karina Fabian
Andrea Graham
Todd Michael Greene
Katie Hart
Timothy Hicks
Joleen Howell
Jason Isbell
Cris Jesse
Jason Joyner
Kait
Carol Keen
Lost Genre Guild
Mike Lynch
Magma
Margaret
Rachel Marks
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Nissa
John W. Otte
Steve Rice
Crista Richey
Mirtika
Hanna Sandvig
James Somers
Robert Treskillard
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Jason Waguespac
Phyllis Wheeler
Timothy Wise

Jesus, Write Me Into Your Story (John 9)

John 9:3

It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.

We focus on what is best for us.  Once in a while we truly pick up our crosses and take a total loss for ourselves that Christ might be glorified.  But we should always be willing to suffer for Him.  And how can we complain, for we caused Him more suffering than we can ever bear in this life.

The truth is that all things are for God, and that includes us.  Even if we choose to reject Christ, He will be glorified in His display of justice.  We can be for noble or ignoble purposes, but we will surely be used.

And because we are His, we should rejoice when we are used by Him.  Even if we have a weakness, or are in a humble situation, or some tragedy has befallen us; we need to desire to be a part of His story.

As you read John 9:3, think about how God’s power can be glorified in your weakness… and not for your sake, but for His.  Look into your heart and see if it cries out with every drop of blood within it as Rich Mullins’ heart cried out in his song “Jesus”…

Jesus
Write me into Your story
Whisper it to me
And let me know I’m Yours

Body of Death, Body of Life (John 5)

John 5:25-29:

“Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.  “For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself;  and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man.  “Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice,  and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.

Though I don’t know exactly what Christians’ bodies are going to be like after the resurrection, it’s not difficult to imagine the possibilities.  Bodies of glory.  Imperishable.  Of the new creation.  Something very cool.  Something of awe.

What is harder to imagine is what the resurrection will be like for the wicked, those outside of Christ.  It’s clear from this passage in John 5 that the wicked will also be resurrected, to eternal punishment.  Which means that they too will have eternal bodies. 

Matthew 10:28 –

“Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

The body of the wicked faces the same fate as the soul.  And this leads to that which is so hard for me to picture… what a body of eternal punishment will be like?  A body that is not ever destroyed, yet is continually destroyed for all eternity.

Thank the Lord, for He has given us the way to eternal life… through His own blood.  We do not have to worry about what that eternal body of punishment will be like if we come to Christ, to the eternal Life.

Miracle of Marriage (John 2)

Often when we read of Jesus turning the water to wine we discuss the issues of alcohol.  Unfortunately, too many people ignore the rest of the Bible, or twist it to the point that those defending the truth are set on guard whenever the word wine is read.  To be clear, I believe to get drunk or even buzzed is a sin, and that belief comes from Scripture.  No excuses.  But that is not what this post is about.  For those people who try to force this text into being proof that they can get drunk, into a sacrifice for their religion of self, I hope you someday learn the truth of what Jesus did at the wedding in Cana.

Jesus had recently been “announced” to the world by John the baptist.  Then He gained a few disciples and took them to Cana.  And what is the first event Jesus takes these men to? 

A wedding. 

I don’t know what things were like back then, but I know that nowadays guys don’t usually go and hang out at weddings together.  But even if that was normal back then, I still can’t help but wonder if this is a clue about our walk with Christ.  The New Testament talks a lot about marriage.  We’re even shown how marriage is a picture of Christ’s relationship with the Church.  And Jesus chooses a marriage as the first public event to take His disciples to.  At least it’s the first one that God chooses to inform us about.

Can we really go very far in our relationship with Christ without learning the truths of marriage, and how they relate to God?  I don’t know.  But I know that we have an opportunity for a deep relationship with Christ if we can understand how important marriage is to God. 

The Creator of all things has placed much value on relationships.  And through that truth we can see how God has placed much value upon people.  Upon us.  Mankind was a single man until God instituted marriage.  God decided that it was the relationship that would bring about life, both through childbearing and through undivided love for another person.

And this may also be why Jesus decided to do His first miracle at a wedding.  He wanted His disciples to know.  He wanted the servants at the wedding to know.  He wants all of us to know.  Marriage is a beginning of life.  God stepped into the world in a miraculous fashion to honor a wedding.  And Jesus wasn’t going to start His ministry of discipling without a marriage.  Marriage reveals much about the heart of God.

Jesus’ mother Mary was also at the wedding.  This opened up a great opportunity for Jesus’ new disciples.  From the beginning of their time with Christ, they were given an intimate glimpse into His humanity, seeing Him interact with the woman who birthed Him into this world.  The woman who helped nuture Him, and raise Him up as a little boy.  The woman who treasured up in her mother’s heart the deep truths about her Son, the Christ.  Christ introduced His disciples to His mother at a wedding.

The disciples in Cana that day experienced all at once the humanity of Christ, the divine glory of Christ, and the heart of Christ.  And they put their faith in Him.

It happened at a wedding.