Sunday, March 25, 2012

Coffee ... a bagel ...and God?

Coffee … a bagel … 

When I wake up, I feel hungry. Today I had a bagel with cheese and a cup of French Roast coffee. 

Later, I got dressed, , putting on a collared, buttoned shirt and khaki slacks.  I felt ready to go  for the day

A half hour later I sat down and talked to a relatively new friend for about 10 minutes. It was nice, I feel the friendship is growing.

I'm thinking about my needs. Hunger. A desire to look presentable. The need for friends. Each has a way of fulfillment. It's the same with sexual desire, the thirst for knowledge, and many others.

For all of these there's probably a right way and a not so good way of fulfillment. For example four bagels with cream cheese would not help me.

The desire for significance is often met by achievement, success, by loving our family, or in other ways.

The desire for knowledge is met by education and practical experience. It's met by reading books.

Interestingly, the things we desire all have a corresponding something to complete them. Whether it’s hunger, or to be a parent, to have justice, or to be liked, -there is provision for each one.

Coffee … a bagel …and God?

So would the same hold true for the desire for spiritual “connection?”

Simple observation tells us every ethnic group on earth is spiritual. 

All but about 8% of the world’s population have some belief about a power beyond what can be seen. Churches, mosques, synagogues, temples, shrines, cathedrals, and stupas dot every nation in the world. Most of us say there is a God although there is no agreement on who God is. The Pew Forum reports that nearly 2.2 billion of the world’s 6.9 billion people are Christians,[1] making it the largest single belief system in the world. That’s one in three people who believe a Jewish Carpenter who lived 2000 years ago was God. So people definitely have a "spiritual" desire.

Once I took a dear lady to church. She did not normally go to church or practice any religious observance. The choir sang, “The King is Coming.” Tears flowed down her face.  She commented afterwards how touched she had been. What touched her?  Was it a desire to connect with something or someone beyond herself?

While still in Mary's womb, Jesus was prophetically called “Emmanuel” which means “God With Us.” He claimed to be the answer to that "God shaped hole" within us. He said he was the water for our thirst and the food for our hunger.

Doesn’t it make sense that there is a provision for our desire for something transcendent? British Bible translator J.B. Phillips wrote, “Arguing, as we must, from what we know to what we don’t know, we may fairly say that as food is the answer to hunger, water the answer to thirst, and a mate to sexual desire, this universal hunger for Truth is unlikely to be without its answer and fulfillment, however hard it may be to find.”[2]
That’s why they called Him “God with us.” He’s there.

[2] J.B. Phillips, “Your God Is  Too Small,” p. 71

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Quotes of Note ... The Invisible World

“Spiritual warfare is learning to recognize the strategies, refusing to cooperate with them, and aggressively cutting off the schemes of the devil in Jesus’ name.” Dean Sherman

“those who protest that God cannot exist because there is too much evil evident in life… Evil exists; therefore, the Creator does not. That is categorically stated… If evil exists, one must assume that good exists in order to know the difference. If good exists, one must assume that a moral law exists by which to measure good and evil. But if a moral law exists, must not one posit an ultimate source of moral law, or at least an objective basis for a moral law? By an objective basis, I mean something that is transcendingly true at all times, regardless of whether I believed it or not.” Ravi Zacharias

“But the Devil is no big threat to God’s purposes; he is not even remotely comparable in power. He has been given a limited time before his final judgment to try to prove his case, just as all other moral beings who have chosen to live in rebellion against heaven.” W.A. Pratney

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I've served as a life-long missionary in Samoa, the Pacific region, India, and now in Pennsylvania. The Christian faith is reasonable and works in real life. It is true to the facts. Hope you enjoy some of the thoughts. I appreciate feedback.

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