David King – UK
Consistency, security, predictability, are all very comforting terms. Our very existence depends on the laws of nature remaining constant from one moment to the next. When things hold steady we can sleep at night and plan for tomorrow. This sense of stability is something that feels increasingly elusive to us in our modern world. We are living in very uncertain times.
This generation of Europeans has lived through a remarkable time of sustained peace and relative prosperity. We are genuinely grateful for this, but it hasn’t fostered a strong church, or a God-aware continent. Europe is said to be the least evangelised continent in the world today. This is a massive downside in the pressing light of eternity.
The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ loves humanity with a passion that transcends our wildest comprehension. His purposes for us are so great, so wonderful and so enduring that only he could measure them. When God raised Jesus from the dead he transformed the cross into a tree of life. He turned it from being the defining symbol of our rejection of him, into the symbol of his eternal commitment to us. His forgiveness is free, but it cost him everything. In short, he will not let us go!
Believers are inspired by their mountain top experiences, but we grow spiritually in the painful valleys of life. When all is calm and the fridge is full, it is all too easy to put our trust in human things, to find our satisfaction in earthly delights. This spiritual malaise can creep up on us like an insidious sickness before we even realise what has happened. Our God is a jealous God, he will not share our first love with man-made things, namely idols. Neither will he stand idly by and watch a nation or continent drift further and further away from him, toward its destruction.
God knows how to shake things up to get our attention back. The only time some of us look up is when we are flat on our backs! When the ground beneath our feet becomes unsound, we find safe refuge in that Rock whose name is Jesus.
O safe to the Rock that is higher than I,
My soul in its conflicts and sorrows would fly.
So sinful, so weary, Thine, Thine would I be;
Thou blest Rock of Ages, I’m hiding in Thee.
We are living through a moral and cultural revolution as our porn saturated populations throw off every restraint. Add to this a dash of global warming; a global pandemic; increasing financial hardship; political instability and a crisis of leadership at every turn; and to top it all, a hideous, unjust and pointless war in Europe. C.S. Lewis in his book, ‘The Problem of Pain,’ had something to say that has a bearing on all of this.
‘We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world….No doubt pain as God’s megaphone is a terrible instrument; it may lead to final and unrepented rebellion. But it gives the only opportunity the bad man can have for amendment. it removes the veil; it plants the flag of truth within the fortress of the rebel soul.’
This is God’s world. He created it, he redeemed it. It is his world twice over! One day soon the impermanence of this world will have to give way to the unshakeable kingdom of God as Jesus returns in glory. There is nothing more important, no greater priority than our being ready for this event. The offer of salvation in Christ is not an invitation, it is a divine commandment to all, without exception.
“Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill. In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead. (Acts 17:29-31)