eternity (영원)

Ecclesiastes 3:11 (ESV)

11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.

 

Eternity. 영원.

The concept of eternity can be quite overwhelming.

Our minds are so small, so focussed on the temporal, that ‘no human mind has conceived the things God has prepared for those who love him.’ (1 Corinthians 2:9b)

And yet this offer of ‘eternal life’ is freely given. A wonderful ‘gift of God’ (Romans 6:23)

Deep down we suspect it to be true. The question is: “Will we put our trust in Him?”

The alternative?

Eternal punishment’. (Matthew 25:46)

That is our lot if we reject Him. If we choose not to follow Him.

After all, He is our sovereign Lord whether we accept it or not. But will we invite Him to be our Saviour?

All God asks is for us to quite simply ‘”Repent and believe the good news!”‘ (Mark 1:15): that Jesus Christ is the Son of God (Galatians 2:20); who ‘died and rose again’ (1 Thessalonians 4:14); and is now ‘seated at the right hand of God.’ (Colossians 3:1)

Kim+

prayer : thank you for the simple truth of the gospel and it’s saving power

action : share this truth with others

vanity (허영)

Ecclesiastes 1:2-4 (ESV)

2 Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity. 3 What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun? 4 A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever.

Vanity. 허영.

It’s such an interesting word and yet according to the ESV footnote the original Hebrew term hebel refers to a “mist, vapour, or mere breath.”: something “fleeting or elusive”.

It makes you wonder what the point of it all is when our lives are so short; so transitory; so finite.

We work our butts off as we ‘toil under the sun’ (v.3). But where does it get us in the end?

The good news is: there’s more to life than this.

That although our lives on earth may be considered temporary, as Christians, we have a greater hope: the promise of eternal life. (John 3:16)

Eternity spent worshipping our Creator. The One who breathed the very life into us. (Genesis 2:7, Acts 17:25)

Yet how can we be so sure?

Because Jesus didn’t simply die ‘… on a cross, but God raised him from the dead on the third day …’ (Acts 10:40)

So while a life lived for ourselves – our own selfishness and pleasures – may be vanity, a life lived trusting in Christ, His death and resurrection, is of infinite value.

Kim+

prayer : thank you that your gracious gift of eternal life does not rest on my own merit but on what Christ did ‘once for all’ (Romans 6:10) on the cross

action : pray for those who do not know Christ but reject His will for their lives

I am the resurrection and the life

John 11:25-26 (ESV)

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

Resurrection. It’s a difficult concept to get your head around.

It defies all logic and understanding. It seems too good to be true.

To “die” yet then to “live”.

To “never die”. If we “believe in [Him]”.

It’s much easier to accept that oblivion awaits us when we “die”. Not life.

Yet Jesus is telling Martha that He is the resurrection. He is the source of life.

And when you consider all that He did: healing the sick, the lame, and the blind; raising the dead to life. You have to wonder. Could He truly have this power over death?

Could He be the one who was foretold in the “Scriptures” (John 5:39ff).

His own resurrection cemented the deal. Displaying “once for all” that “death no longer has dominion over him” (Romans 6:9f).

This “believing” involves a leap of faith. A trust in the unknown. A “full acceptance” that Jesus Christ is Lord and “Saviour” (1 Timothy 4:9ff).

But He, just like these words, is “trustworthy” (2 Timothy 2:11).

The actions of God in the past show that He has always kept His word.

That His grace back then points to the fulfilment of His promise of future grace.

The “grace of life” (1 Peter 3:7).

Kim+

prayer : thank you Jesus for your death in my place

action : “present [my body] as a living sacrifice” (Romans 12:1)

the crown of life

“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12 (ESV)

It’s not easy to “remain steadfast under trial”. Especially if we choose to rely upon our own resources.

Yet turning to God for help can appear to be a form of weakness.

Our natural instinct is often to try and “tough it out” on our own. Resolute in our determination to “go it alone”.

But God promises to ease our “burden” and “give [us] rest” if we would just “come to [Him]” when we “labor and are heavy laden” (Matthew 11:28-30).

We are told that it’s through these “trials” that we in fact become stronger.

I’ve learned this time and time again during my running training. That it’s necessary to first increase the stress levels and permit a breakdown in the muscles so that they can then be rebuilt during the times of rest.

Yes, it is a test. But we’re anything but alone in our struggles.

And ultimately the prize is the crown of life. No small thing!

But the “promise” is only to “those who love Him”. A poignant reminder to those who choose to sit-on-the-fence!

Kim+

prayer : that those friends and family who do not love Him may yet come to know Him

action : trust God to keep His promise

but I received mercy

“But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief,” 1 Timothy 1:13b (ESV)

“But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.” 1 Timothy 1:16 (ESV)

How great is God’s mercy?

We certainly don’t deserve it.

Like Paul, we turn our back on God. Choosing to ignore Him, reject Him, perhaps even blaspheme and actively oppose Him.

Yet God still loves us.

We’re His creation. And He wants nothing more than to be in a relationship with us.

Patiently waiting for us to return. His arms outstretched wide.

All too often we think of God as a harsh taskmaster. A ruthless judge dishing out punishment for all of our indiscretions.

But nothing could be further from the truth.

He is the God “who shows compassion to those who fear Him.” (Psalm 103:13)

Kim+

prayer : thank you God that in your great mercy I can call you “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8:15)

action : be an example to others through love and mercy