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Posts Tagged ‘Noah’

college II

This is an open letter to my nieces and nephews who are attending college this fall (Curran, Charlie, Peyton, Noah, and Morgan). I just wanted to let you know that you’ve all been on my heart as you make your way to classes this year. I carry such good thoughts about my college years and even still both Uncle Dana and I would readily join Courtney at school if we had all the freedoms in the world – ha. I hope that you will always love learning even beyond these years in college – it adds so much richness to life!

Even more than your schooling, though, I wish for you to finish your years there with a growing, vibrant faith in the Lord Jesus. “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, but loses or forfeits himself? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?” Jesus asked. You must vigilantly guard your heart for, I dare say, you will find a very different worldview promoted from that in which you were raised – a view which reflects a world without a God. You will find this worldview to be, not only ambivalent toward God, but vehemently opposed to God. As others have characterized the new atheism, they do not believe that God exists… and they hate Him. I am most certain, you will encounter the evangelists of this worldview on campus.

College is a hotbed that Satan desires to use to divide young people from the mooring of the teachings they have received while they were growing. Let me warn you that each day you must enter the battle for body, soul, and mind – a battle for your body (against sexual sin – active or visual), a battle for your soul (against the abuse of drugs and alcohol), and a battle for your mind (against a worldview that denies God… and hates the name of Jesus).

(Of course, Curran, you’ve been doing this for some time), but in college, one begins to stand independent of your family… but not alone. The prayers of your family precede you, but even more immediate, our loving Father offers life and hope and peace to those who are His. Sexual sin, chemical abuse, life empty and bereft of any connection to our Creator – these are only impotent substitutes that our enemy can conjure to distract mankind from true joy and peace and a meaningful life and future, which is only found in Jesus Christ.

I’m sure you’ll be aware of your academic GPA while at school, but, even more, I would remind you to guard your heart and be protective of what one author calls your spiritual GPA (God, Peers, and Authorities). If you determine to make your personal relationship with GOD through Jesus your priority, you will need to have some key PEERS who are seeking to do the same thing so you can walk together, and you will need to cautiously select the AUTHORITIES to whom you grant the leadership and mentoring of your mind and spirit. I would warn you against any who would divide you from the loving-kindness of God, be they peers or the teachers and mentors that are academically over you.

That’s all… I just wanted you to know you go through these years with your family rooting for you and waiting and watching to see what wisdom will be formed in you, but above this, we pray that Christ will be formed in you in these key years.

Blessings, dear hearts.
Love, Auntie Kim

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1820-Country-Wedding-John-Lewis-Krimmel

The Coming of the Kingdom (Luke 17:22-37)

22 And he said to the disciples, “The days are coming when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. 23 And they will say to you, ‘Look, there!’ or ‘Look, here!’ Do not go out or follow them. 24 For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day.  25 But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation. 26 Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man.  27 They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.  28 Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot—they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, 29 but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all— 30 so will it be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed.  31 On that day, let the one who is on the housetop, with his goods in the house, not come down to take them away, and likewise let the one who is in the field not turn back. 32 Remember Lot’s wife. 33 Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it. 34 I tell you, in that night there will be two in one bed. One will be taken and the other left. 35 There will be two women grinding together. One will be taken and the other left.”  37 And they said to him, “Where, Lord?” He said to them, “Where the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.”

Jesus refers to two historical events in this passage on the coming of the kingdom of God and the accompanying judgment to follow.  Both would be familiar histories to the Jewish people at that time.  He speaks of the “days of Noah” and the “days of Lot,” two periods marked by great evil and inescapable judgment.

Of the days of Noah, we are told, “The LORD saw the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.  And the LORD was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart” (Genesis 6:5-6, italics mine).  Of the days of Lot, we read, “the outcry against both Sodom [Lot’s hometown] and [the nearby] Gomorrah was great and their sin was very grave” (Genesis 18:20).  There were not even ten righteous souls to be found to save Sodom from destruction (vv. 22-33).    The men of Sodom were “wicked, great sinners against the LORD” (Genesis 13:13) and “did an abomination before Him” (Ezekiel 16:50).  Sodom’s guilt extended to pride, overfed and prosperous ease and a disregard for the poor and needy (Ezekiel 16:49).  2 Peter 2:7 speaks of the “sensual conduct of the wicked,” and Genesis 19:4-11 records the sin of their lusting homosexuality, even to the extent that when struck with blindness, they “wore themselves out groping” for their intended victims.

Jesus might have used any of these vile examples to warn his listeners of mankind’s sure and coming judgment.  Instead, though, Jesus surprises us by commenting not on the excesses and gross wickedness of those in Noah’s day or Lot’s day, but on their apathy and disregard of anything other than their material world, even up to the point of their doom.  Judgment came upon them before they realized their error in neglecting their need for salvation.

It seems mankind’s tendency is to play down his sins, to disregard the assault our sins are to the character and nature of our maker, whose image we bear in the world.  If we acknowledge our shortcomings or sins at all we often subconsciously rank them in relation to the scope of other worldly sins.  Such phrases as “at least I don’t ____ like so and so,” or, if we’re very nearsighted, we may even try to recommend ourselves with such thoughts as, “I’m, basically a pretty good person; I do _____ for so and so and _____ for thus and such.”

But, again, what is the great warning Jesus gives in Luke 17?  It is a warning to those who go through life nonchalantly, ignoring the reality of God around them and believing they have all the time in the world to address their spiritual selves.  Of all the sins in which the people in Noah’s or Lot’s days participated, the sin Jesus highlights appears to be just good, simple living—eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, buying and selling, planting and building (vv. 27-28); nothing we would consider “evil.” Nevertheless, their days ended abruptly in sure judgment.  They were caught unaware, and there was no time left to address their need for deliverance.

So it will be for all mankind, either at the point of physical death or in the day of the Son of Man— “There will be two in one bed. One will be taken and the other left. There will be two women grinding together. One will be taken and the other left” (vv. 34-35)

“Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2).

___________________

Thank you to Pastor Dave Monreal for the above insight (09-15-13).

[Painting by John Lewis Krimmel, Country Wedding, 1820]

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