From the Ranch

From the Ranch

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Message to the Extremists of the Middle East

One of the things I am so grateful to God for is the gift of friendship.  Those women in my life whom I can tell anything to, and not worry about whether they will judge me, spread what I have shared as gossip, or in other petty little ways do mean things to me and others.  The kind of women I am talking about are those "salt of the earth" women.  We all know some of them, and if we are lucky, live our lives in their warmth.  I was privileged to call such a woman Mother.   My mother and her sisters have exemplified all that a woman should be before me my whole life   My father, and his sisters too have been such an example before me.  I have a half a dozen of these same kind of remarkable women as friends and  in close proximity to me at present, and I am more aware of the value of their friendship and care everyday.

My desire, and your desire, for we all possess this trait inherited from our Creator, is to know and be known, loved, and accepted.  That is how we are made in His image. No person can escape the fact that they are stamped in God's image.  That doesn't mean that my eyes get their hazel color from the color God's are.  Nor does it mean if we were standing side by side, you would observe that our smiles are just alike.  When God tells us we are made in His image, He is referring to the longing in God that caused Him to create all that He has, to allow our existence and tthe direction of our own lives to us, and to prove to each of us, our greatest need is to love and be loved by God.

That principle of being created in His image is the most profound truth of our existence, in fact of all of creation.  God longed to love and be loved by beings who could choose not to, if they so desired.  God wants to be chosen, He desiredsto be observed, and judged by us as the One and Only God worthy of love and total devotion, Ephesians the third chapter beautifully describes how He desires for us to know Him completely, the height, the width, the breath, and the mystery of all He  is.  It is sometimes difficult for me to think or ponder on that.  I begin to feel and know just a glimmer of what that truth means personally to me, and I feel overwhelmed, and love for My God fills all of me, and I know He is mine, and I am His, and when it comes right down to it, that is all that is needed. 

This concept was accidentally proven in a "scientific" experiment on human beings conducted at the order of King Frederick II of Germany, that went horribly wrong.  The king wanted to determine what language a child would develop in order to communicate with the world, if they never heard the spoken word.  Being that it was the thirteenth century,  and he was king, he, in his wisdom had 50 babies at their births collected and placed them in his experiment.  He assigned foster mothers to meet the physical needs of the babies.  They were to feed them, keep them clean, and keep them from harm, but never to speak to them, not to hold them  for any other thing other than necessity.  No cuddling, and no soft sounds that we mothers mummer instinctively to our babies.  No "This little piggy went to market," no Twinkle, twinkle little star," and certainly no "patty cake," was heard.   There was no rocking, no cuddling, no intentional touch from another that was made out of love.  He never determined the answer to his hypothesis, for all fifty of the babies died.  Medicine now has a name for this phenomenon of human beings, it is called failure to thrive, and the results are always the same when the same kind of conditions that the king ordered are present.   Human beings, like their Creator must have love.  That beautiful simple statement from the Bible contains the mystery and message of the Universe at its core, "God is love."

Going back to the attributes of God, He is all knowing, and that is a concept that is so profound to us in our limitations, and that is the reason people often question God's love.  Usually there is loss and suffering of some kind associated with this questioning of God's love.  Hurricanes, deadly diseases like cancer, and things like acts of terrorism against your own countrymen are thrown up at God and the question asked, how could a loving God allow such a thing?  There is truth in the question, for nothing happens that God does not allow, but He sees through to eternity, and proclaims to all beings of free will, one day His demonstration of the love will be complete, and all things which bring pain or disappointment, or rob us from our joy will be done away with.  We will no longer bear the separation  pain of death, and we will live forever in His presence and in His love, and with complete and pure love for one another.  Think about what that will solve. 

So many people have the idea that God is trying to fix a mistake He made.  That once Satan decided, "I will make myself like the Most High," and ditched God, convincing one third of the angels to go with him, He had to come up with a plan.  They think God had to figure out how to redeem all those who would choose to love and serve Him.  What God has done in creation is much more filled with amazing love than that!  God knew before He ever put together two molecules of anything exactly what would happen.   For the attributes of God include being all knowing.  He knows what your day is going to be like today, he knows where all the suicide bombers are, and who they will kill today.  He knows every sparrow that will fall and die today.  He knew of course. that Satan would rebel, and consider himself above God.  He knew too that when He put Adam and Eve in the garden and admonished them that they could eat from all the other trees, but not from this one special tree, that they were destined for failure.  However, He also can see out into eternity, what His plan will ultimately bring, and He has declared, you are worth the sacrifice.  As C.S, Lewis said, "You are a soul, you have a body."   Each of us will exist somewhere forever.  For as surely as there is a home waiting for the faithful sons and daughters of God, and the faithful angels of heaven, there is the place of ultimate and forever separation from God, for the only way to rid the Universe of sin, which is denying God's leadership, is to separate those who will not accept that leadership to the "blackness of darkness, forever."

In creating choice, for that is the only love that is satisfying to God or man.   Just ask anyone trapped in a marriage where the couple stays together for the children, or the mate of a cheating spouse, or a child who disrespects the direction of their earthly father, or the celebrity surrounded by people paying them homepage, for what is really loved is their fame, their  talent, and not the person.  There is only one love that is satisfying.  That is the love that is given freely and unconditionally,  for love cannot be forced, only won as we come to know  God fully.  We have to come, as described in Ephesians, into a personal relationship with Him.  That is the desired relationship that compelled God to create all  He did, in the complete knowledge of all that Satan, the fallen angels, and mankind would bring upon His Creation.

God is Holy and Just, He doesn't cheat or play favorites, and He will not look upon sin, or fail to act in complete justice.  The plan that God devised to redeem all who would choose love Him, and make Him King of their lives, was to offer His Perfect Son, to take the punishment due to each sinner.  As the Bible says, we are all sinners, born in sin, with the instinct present at birth.  The gift of salvation and redemption, was paid by God Himself, and because I personally have accepted that gift, and struggle daily to follow where He leads, I am His Forever Daughter. I attempt everyday to demonstrate the love of God, and I still fail, but as a Sunday School teacher taught me, it is an accident born of my human beingness, not a way of life.  By His love and grace, I who am so unworthy, I who fail so much, am pure and holy before my God, for the blood of Jesus Christ has washed me whiter than snow.

This I know of God, He is mighty in power and glory, no individual, no army,  nor any idea can prevail against Him.  Nothing, no video, no weapon, no blasphemy against Him. can overcome Him.  I see His glory and power all the time, and give testimony to what I have seen God do.  Nothing is out of His power, and He needs no man to defend Him.  He breathed the entire Universe into existence, and continues still today to create.  He can take out anyone or anything which stands against Him with that same breath.  He never loses a battle.  He has instructed us how we are to promote Him in this world before non-believers.  The instructions do not tell us to make war, to murder, or to torture.   We are not to brow beat either.  His directions are so simple, so concise, and understandable by all.  "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all thy strength, and with all thy mind."  That is the desire of God from His children, and He follows that with the second requirement, "and to love our neighbors as ourselves."  God says, "If I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto me."  We are to share the truth of His love, tell who He is, and He will draw hearts to  Himself.  He will not do it by force, it will be by His love, and by the convert's free will and choice.

God further clarifies that love we are to have,  by describing who our neighbor is.  Tomorrow I will tell you who my neighbors are, but now I have to get busy and go about lifting Him up, and loving my neighbors.  This post is part of my fulfillment to God's command, and if you find your way to this post here today, it is at God's personal invitation, sent to your heart by His Holy Spirit, speaking in the Still, Small, Voice, and He is calling directly to you in His love.