Does God Talk Back To You?
As the philosopher John Locke said, "The Bible is one of the greatest blessings bestowed by God on the children of men. It has God for its end, and truth without any mixture for its matter. It is all pure, all sincere, nothing too much and nothing wanting." Pastor Rick Warren heads the Saddleback megachurch in Lake Forest California. “What I’m saying isn’t new,” he says about his phenomenal bestselling spiritual guidebook A Purpose Driven Life. “I just synthesize ideas and translate them into simple language.” The same is true with this feature. I was surfing the Bible searching for comfort from the recent death of my best friend. I found healing – and a purpose-driven magazine article. 1) Assurance. The Lord is with us even in the presence of our enemies. “Lo, I am with you always, even at the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:28) 2) Bereavement. God has promised that we will be reunited with our loved ones – in a place where there are no more goodbyes. “We who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians) 3) Christian living. A true Christian can spread the Good News even without speaking. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father.” (Matthew 5:16) 4) Death. To die is to be with Jesus in His kingdom that is not of this world. “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.” (John 11:25) 5) Enemies. If God is with you, then no one can be against you – because even the Devil fears His wrath. “Repay no one evil for evil.” (Roman 12:17) 6) Freedom. Cast your burdens upon Christ and He will give you rest. “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” (Ephesians 1:7) 7) God’s love. If the Father is not immortal, He Himself would have made the ultimate sacrifice. “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) 8) Hope. Ask yourself: ‘Why do I let myself get discouraged when the Almighty loves me more than the sparrows in the fields?’ “With God all things all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26) 9) Integrity. With God’s grace, a true follower possesses a track record that can speak for itself. “The governors and satraps sought to find some charge against Daniel…but they could find no charge or fault.” (Daniel 6:4) 10) Jesus. The Son of God who became flesh and died then rose again on the third day is the one true Messiah. “Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst; but the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain.” (John 4:14) 11) Keeping the faith. Jesus Christ will lead you by the hand and make you face the rising sun – and comfort you through all the pain that life may bring. “He who belies in Me has everlasting life.” (John 6:47) 12) Life’s purpose. We came into this world to discover our true nature – and to achieve union with the Divine. “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.” (Matthew 6:33) 13) Mercy. When we come face to face with God, He shall search and know our hearts. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” (Matthew 5:7) 14) Obedience. Child-like faith means unconditional love and total submission to the Lord. “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” (John 14:15) 15) Persecution. God is love but love is impossible without justice – so He settles the score. “Do not be deceived. God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” (Galatians 6:7) 16) Revenge. Every single deed shall face judgment – but God and God alone shall decide. “Do not avenge yourselves…for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord.” (Romans 12:19) 17) Salvation. Mankind is doomed because it is hopelessly evil – then Jesus came. “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes through the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6) 18) Trials. God never left your side – He gave His hand to you. Don’t forget: He won’t give you what you can’t bear. “Trust in the Lord will all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5) 19) Unity. United in God we stand, divided we will fall. “If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another.” (1 John 1:7) 20) Victory. Jesus Christ has conquered the world – and the wages of sin. “He who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life.” (John 5:24) 21) Worry. Courage comes from within – but only if you let the Holy Spirit dwell there. “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil; for You are with me.” (Psalm 23:4) 22) Youth. Good parents teach their kids that actions speak louder than words. “Little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” (1 John 3:18) 23) Zeal. Make your spiritual life less intense – but more stable. Some religious conversions are flash-in-the-pan self-righteous delusions – while others take deep root and become a way of life. Here is the inside story of the seeds in the Parable of the Sower: “The one that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the Word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit.” (Luke 8:15) John Locke photo courtesy of Saint Leo faculty. This story originally appeared in Philippine Panorama Your comments and links are welcome