Feb 21, 2010


I used to be a real people pleaser. At almost 50, I'm largely over that, but a residue remains. When it rears its ugly head, I have a weapon now that gives me great comfort. It's Romans 8:33-34. The last part of v. 33 and the first part of v.34 read:

"It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns?"

In other words, God, the Creator of the universe, justifies me--declares me innocent and acceptable by the blood of Christ. So what is the opinion of a mere mortal? That opinion is a puff of steam--dust--even if I am the one condemning myself! God accepts me; who is he that condemns!

So when someone disapproves of me, I say over and over to myself, "God is the one who justifies. Who is he that condemns? ... God is the one who justifies. Who is he that condemns?" And it comforts me. Then, satisfied with my Creator's approval, I turn the situation over to Him.

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Feb 18, 2010

Is My Pet in Heaven?

My cat, Beetle, had lived eight years and had fought for his life for eight days. He was not going to win. A tumor blocking his liver function was claiming the victory. The vet was gentle and assured us Beetle would feel no pain from the injection that would take his life. In seconds, Beetle went from being a creature with personality and emotion, looking me in the eye, to a limp bundle of fur. That moment, I knew that Beetle didn’t just disappear. He lived on.

There is strong Scriptural support that animals go to Heaven when they die—not proof, but evidence. Of course, animals are not in need of redemption like humans, so they're not going to be born again by faith, but they groan because of the fall and look forward with eager anticipation to our glorification (Romans 8:22-23).Would they look forward with eager anticipation to something they will never see or experience? I don’t think so.

Animals were first created to be our companions (Gen 2:18-19) and were not eaten by man until after the flood. God saw that Adam needed a companion, so he created the animals before He created Eve. In the Garden of  Eden, humans did not eat animals nor did they eat each other. Before man’s fall, there was no death.

In Numbers 22:28 where Balaam’s donkey speaks it reads, "Then the LORD opened the donkey’s mouth ..." It doesn't say, "And the Lord spoke through the donkey." God simply opened her mouth and she said what she wanted to, revealing real emotions, real thoughts, and even spiritual insight (e.g., she was afraid of the angel).

In the Hebrew, the word translated "living creature" is the same word translated in other places as “spirit.” It is even translated at times as the “Holy Spirit.”

In Ecclesiastes 3:21 it says, "Who knows if the spirit of man rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?" This Scripture implies that, even if we don’t know where it goes, animals have spirits just like we do.

Also food for thought: Jesus returns from Heaven on a great white horse.

However, for me, the clincher is in 1 Corinthians 15:39-44 where the Bible talks about the resurrection body. It says that there are many types of flesh or bodies (v.39 NRSV: “Not all flesh is alike, but there is one flesh for human beings, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish.” I particularly like The Message: “Just as there are different kinds of seeds, there are different kinds of bodies—humans, animals, birds, fish—each unprecedented in its form.” Then ... v44: NRSV: “It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual body.” —emphasis mine)

I believe that I will see Beetle in Heaven one day. You, too, can take comfort in the evidence Scripture gives us that animals live on.

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Feb 14, 2010

Lowly worms

Do you ever feel a vague sense of guilt or shame? A sense that you’re sinning, but you don’t know exactly how? A general feeling of being worthless and unacceptable before God, a lowly worm? If you do, you can be sure of one thing. Those feelings aren’t from God.

I can’t recall any example in Scripture of God convicting an individual of being a generally rotten person.

He always put His finger on a specific sin or sins. God gives us something tangible that we can deal with. When God convicts (convinces) a believer of his sin, it can be a very painful process. But it’s always with encouragement and hope—a way out. In the life of a believer, the sense of condemnation is never from God (Rom. 8:1). He always shows us something clear and concrete that we can understand.

Unless God clearly puts His finger on an area of our lives He wants to work on, we can confidently disregard that feeling of wrongness and guilt. It’s a lie. Yay!

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Feb 8, 2010

Scorning the Shame

Jesus absorbed evil on the cross. Look at Isaiah 53:

  • Jesus was despised and rejected (Isa 53:3)
  • He took up our infirmities (Isa 53:4)
  • He carried our sorrows (Isa 53:4)
  • Jesus was pierced for our transgressions (Isa 53:5)
  • He took the punishment that brought us peace (Isa 53:5)
  • He was crushed and suffered (Isa 53:10)

Jesus took on evil, but he scorned the shame (Hebrews 12:2).

He scorned the shame.

Jesus embraced evil, yet singled out shame and scorned it.

What does that mean? To be honest, I don't know exactly. To scorn means to "to reject, refuse, or ignore with contempt or disdain" (Dictionary.com). At the least, this Scripture tells us that we have no business wallowing around in shame! As imitators of Christ and people forgiven by God, we must reject shame! Don't allow it to take root in your emotions or thoughts!

I would really appreciate your comments and insight regarding this post.

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