Friday, March 25, 2011

The Goodness of God

The Goodness of God, by Randy Alcorn
Randy Alcorn does a fantastic job of explaining why there needs to be suffering, why so much suffering and why such difficult suffering. In my humble opinion, I would not recommend this book for someone who is in the midst of suffering, but it is something every Christian (and non-Christian) should read when they are not experiencing hardships – or at least after they have come through the darkest part. Because if you are not in the middle of a crisis or pain, you will be at some time. Mr. Alcorn starts the book with a Bible based explanation of Who God is and of His attributes. This is foundational knowledge for all Christians. It is imperative that we know the God that we say we love. This book explains how tragedies that seem to, on the surface, reflect a God who does not care or is just not strong enough to stop things like tsunamis, hurricanes and kamikaze terrorist – are actually tools that God allows to happen in order to draw people closer to Him. If our lives were rainbows and sunshine all the time, would we even think about our Savior? What would we need to be saved from? Would not our own pride grow so large that we would not have time for the One who created us? This book also does a great job of explaining how popular teachings like the prosperity gospel contradict what Jesus (and the other New Testament authors inspired by the Holy Spirit) taught. Mr. Alcorn intellectually presents arguments on many different sides (atheism, prosperity, deism, other religions, universalism) and then logically presents evidence to support and contradict each one. It is written in simple enough terms that anyone should be able to understand the concepts he is presenting.

Suffering is a hard reality of this fallen world. But I am thankful for the suffering I have endured because without it, I would still be wandering far from the Lord. When I am weak, He is strong. This book brings light, God’s light, to such a sad reality.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Is your seat reserved in Heaven?

I have a dear friend whose sister just lost the battle with leukemia this week. The sister leaves behind a family that will miss her tremendously - and while I do not make light of this unthinkable sad loss in their lives - how wonderful is it that they will see her again in heaven! My friend wrote the most wonderful message when she told all the friends and family that her sister had gone home with the Lord. It glorified God to the fullest and was a great reminder that God understands our hurts and pain - remember, He sent His own Son to die for each of us. Do you ever think about that? That God gave up all of His glory in heaven, humbled Himself and came to Earth to live as a man. He knows what it is like to be a human. He not only did that, He was separated from His heavenly Father when He suffered, bled and died on the cross. He took on the punishment that we deserve.

So is the only time you even contemplate God at Christmas when you think of the baby in the manger? Or Easter when you see that broken body on the cross? Or maybe when you are hurting and want Him to provide comfort or something to help you? God is worth more than that. He is worth living and dying for. Remember - He lived and died for YOU.

Heaven is where God lives. He is holy, therefore, heaven is a holy place. Nothing that is stained by sin can enter. If you have any question at all about your heaven reservation - please find someone who can help you with the. Find me - I can help you know how to make sure your seat is reserved. Remember, heaven is not the default place everyone goes when they die and hell is not just reserved for the super evil people like Hitler and Stalin.

I want to know that each and every one of you will be in heaven when I get there!!