How great is our God

Been enjoying this song recently. Here are a few versions:

 

 

 

One day, there will be countless millions, billions even, standing before the throne of God, singing songs like this. Stirred up by the perfect knowledge of God’s goodness and grace in Christ, wave upon wave of worship will build out among the vast sea of saved souls. It will rise and swell, then role in and break upon the Lord Jesus: the lion and the lamb. We will be caught up in the eternal moment with hearts swelling with love and adoration.

 

 

Pinocchio vs Frozen

Ben Shapiro contrasts Pinocchio “probably the greatest animated film ever made” with Frozen.

 

Pinocchio was about becoming a real boy by taking responsibility and making sound moral choices: He declares:

            I want do do right

The central belter in Frozen proudly belted out is:

            No right, no wrong, no rules, I’m free

 

The message of Frozen (or at least that one song): do what you feel.

The message of Pinocchio: Resit temptation ie

the wrong things which seem right at the time.

Here is the Morality piece of the God puzzle.

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God addict

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“For someone addicted to porn, the intensity of craving as measured in an MRI scan is more than twice that of someone addicted to crack cocaine….just out of interest, if you put someone else in the machine and ask them to worship God, the same area of the brain will light up. “As the dear pants after water so my soul longs after you”.

I would like to suggest to you that we are designed, deliberately by God to have an overwhelming insatiable uncontrollable desire for intimacy and connection with him. We were built for that relationship and we are actually physically designed for it. It should be the case that if we have been away form him for a while, not talking to him, haven’t been praying to him, ….we should be utterly overwhelmed with a desire for him… the brain is like a muscle, it changes at it is used…it takes 9 years for it to go back to the way it was…”  Michael Ramsdon

 

 

The origin of evil

 

Where did the first evil desire come from in a good and perfect world?

O LORD, why do you make us wander from your ways and harden our heart, so that we fear you not? Return for the sake of your servants, the tribes of your heritage. Isaiah 63:17 (ESV)

Just heard Piper speak on this verse this am. Very sobering.

 

Our desire for good has its source in God. If God, for whatever reason, withdraws his presence, we are left in darkness without even the desire for good. God does not create evil, or evil desires. He is the source of only good, but he can withhold his presence in such a way that evil (the absence of good) exists. Piper is only tentatively guessing and feeling for a solution to the problem of where Satan’s first evil desire came from. It’s a mystery but this verse does shed some light on it I think. If our capacity for right desires is completely dependent on God’s gracious presence moment by moment, how much more should we watch our hearts that we do not intentionally pull away form him.

 

It’s not fair!

Whiskey_Chocolate_Cake.jpgHow would you feel if you found out someone else was getting paid more than you for doing that same job? Understandably pretty miffed I expect. It’s not hard therefore to relate to the consternation of the workers in Jesus’ parable when they found out that workers who worked less hard for less time got paid the same as them.

But what is Jesus saying here?

Grace : The payment does not need to be linked to the amount of work. The extreme case of this would be where we get something we have not earned. That is called grace. And in fact does not the employer in the parable answer his critics by saying “its my money to do with what I want. What is it to you if I give more to one person than another”. So this parable is about grace.

Anger : When someone else gets more than us we can get angry. It’s just not fair. We seem to be born with a very sensitive fairness detector. Children are outraged if a chocolate cake is sliced in such a way that someone else gets a molecule more than them. That is not necessarily a bad thing. It is wrong to pay one sex more than another simply because of their gender. It is wrong to take advantage of a workforce simply because they are vulnerable and have no alternative other than working for meagre wages. We should be highly alert to these things for the sake of justice. But that is not what is going on in Jesus parable. The wages are not based on anything about the workers. The reason for the differing amounts is in the hidden purposes of the giver who is not constrained to give based on anything outside of himself. For grace to be grace the giver must be free to give or not give as he wishes. The moment there is outside constraint, grace becomes wages. (Romans 9:21-24)

One final point: We are not the ones who have toiled away all day to earn God’s love! Jesus did the work in the heat of the day. We, who were called at the last minute, get the wages and the inheritance he earned. Our wages would have been death (Romans 6:23). When we start to think of ourselves as having “earned God’s grace” (an oxymoron if ever there was one) we will get angry when others are shown grace. Jealousy is a dangerous emotion. A big warning flash light on the dash board of our heart signalling a potentially deadly grace deficit.

 

Image from Wiki FotoosVanRobin

Quotes

A few more quotes I thought were note worthy:

“When I first met Nora, my future wife, we disliked each other so much we were drawn together like magnets. She was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. She was also well educated, funny and dressed magnificently, with a wink to 40s film noir. I have never been unfaithful, though I had plenty of opportunity in the Sex Pistols. We both played the field before we met and found it very wanting.” John Lydon, The former Sex Pistols singer said this in an interview in the guardian  http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/oct/31/john-lydon-my-family-values

 

“There are four principles we need to  maintain: First, read the word of God. Second consume the word of God until it consumes you. Third, believe the word of God. Fourth Act on the word of God”. Smith Wigglesworth

 

I think I have this thing where everybody has to think I’m the greatest, the quote unquote ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’, and if they aren’t completely knocked out and dazzled and slightly intimidated by me, I don’t feel good about myself. Fantasitc Mr Fox