God’s emoticons (Part 3)

emoticon2 laptop

If you haven’t read Part 1 of this 3-part series, start reading here: Part 1

Back to Part 2

WINKS

7 more winks that say “You’ll see what I mean 😉” or “This one’s for you, my precious child 😉

8) 2 cor 10: For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holdswink

Wouldn’t we like those carnal weapons at times.  Maybe when that ignorant driver cut us off?  How about when a criminal gets away with murder?  The deeper battle spreads its ranks along the field of a man’s soul.  There we ought to employ the sword of the spirit, the guided missile of prayer, or the bunker of God’s protection.  God, who sees all hearts, can melt the hearts of stone.

9) 2 cor 12: 1 It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.  2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knowethwink

This verse has Paul speaking about himself in the third person.  And only God knows whether it was vision or the long-distance trip to Heaven itself.  The rest of us are left wondering beneath the wink of God’s omniscient eye.

10) Eph 2: 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are savedwink

God reminds us where we came from and the only hope for our eternal salvation.  “What you could not do, I could and I did for you, child.”

11) Eph 5: 8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:  9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truthwink

Here’s the litmus test of whether I allow the Spirit to overtake each area of my life.  Do my actions fall under the categories of beneficial, obedient, and transparent?  The reality has singled me out; the once-orphaned child now stands in the shadow of a faithful Father.  The wink says, “Yes, I’m talking to you.  Your fruit better not be fruity, if you know what I mean.”

12) Eph 6: 1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.  2 Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promisewink

There’s a promise with this commandment.  You’ll see what I mean later on.

13) Heb 10: 23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promisedwink

This one pretty much speaks for itself.  Guess who promised?  You know.  If you don’t know, just read the whole chapter.  Or, better yet, read the whole New Testament.

14) 1 John 1: 2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto uswink

John speaks to the disciples and other witnesses of his time who partook of that privileged encounter with God in the flesh.  Their special secret was about to spill over across space and time.  We may not have seen his physical profile, sat down to sup with crumbling loaf of bread, watched in hopeless terror as they nailed his hands, nor leapt in utter excitement at the resurrected man.  And yet we touch all these things with heart, mind, and soul.  Though they be spiritual things; nonetheless, these encounters with Christ fully satisfy.  Somehow the reader doesn’t feel like the outcast, peeking in on a huddled circle of exclusive members.  Something prevents us from being different from those who touched the pierced hand of their master.  That something is the power of faith.

“For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us… You know what I mean, right?”

“By faith, I do.”

IN CONCLUSION

Did God intentionally send out emoticons to a future, technologically advanced generation?  Yes and no.  No if you think His emoticons are all wrapped up in colons and other punctuation marks.  Yes if you realize that any divine act of intervention, act of providence, act of grace, act of sacrifice, act of love, no matter how great or how small, is trademarked by God’s expressive smile.  Bits and pieces of shattered dreams will come together under His watchful eye toward a beautiful plan.  Start seeing that and you’ll see Him smiling everywhere.

God’s emoticons (Part 2)

emoticon2 laptop

If you haven’t read Part 1 of this 3-part series, start reading here: Part 1

WINKS

7 out of 14 winks that say “You’ll see what I mean 😉” or “This one’s for you, my precious child 😉

1)  Deut 21:23 His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of Godwink that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.

This one sent shivers down my spine, knowing the full context of the verse.  One of the heaviest judgments in the Mosaic Law involved the accursed punishment that was more often carried out by barbarians (Gentiles.)  The Israelites would prefer not to hang a man on a tree, much less leave him there.  Even darker is the idea of having a child so rebellious as to hand them over to judgment by the elders (Earlier in the chapter.  FYI – This is not a young child, but a son old enough to be getting drunk on wine. See v. 20)  And yet the time came when God heaped both these unthinkable acts upon His own Son.  Outside the city gates, a man hangs on a makeshift tree.  For God the Father, tears.  For Jesus, the weight of mankind’s curse.  For us, love unspeakable.  This wink says, “You’ll see what I mean.  This sounds like a horrible curse.  But I planned it this way.  It’s because I love you.”

2) 1 kings 8: 38 What prayer and supplication soever be made by any man, or by all thy people Israel, which shall know every man the plague of his own heart, and spread forth his hands toward this house: 39 Then hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and do, and give to every man according to his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou, even thou only, knowest the hearts of all the children of menwink

We saw this same declaration in 2 chron 7: 30, a reason to smile.  Just when we think we’ve got some hidden passageway among the secured passageways of our heart, there comes the searing burn of God’s piercing sight.  “I see what you’re doing, and I’m waiting for you to bring that to the altar.”

3) Neh 9:29: testifiedst against them, that thou mightest bring them again unto thy law: yet they dealt proudly, and hearkened not unto thy commandments, but sinned against thy judgments, (which if a man do, he shall live in themwink and withdrew the shoulder, and hardened their neck, and would not hear.

If you can keep God’s commandments you’ll live.  The Israelites, our example, proved humans can’t stay faithful.  You could try to do what they could not.  Or, you could take the atonement paid in Christ, fulfilling the commandments, pleasing God, and attaining perfection in His sight.  Then you’ll live longer.  Wink, wink.

4) Esther 9: 1 Now in the twelfth month, that is, the month Adar, on the thirteenth day of the same, when the king’s commandment and his decree drew near to be put in execution, in the day that the enemies of the Jews hoped to have power over them, (though it was turned to the contrary, that the Jews had rule over them that hated themwink

This describes the overturned plot of the wicked Haman.  The same man who determined to destroy the Jews out of burning pride, this man would find that very destruction pinned on him.  God was ever looking out for the Jewish lineage, no matter the odds, no matter the kings or kingdoms, and no matter the hot-headed personalities.

5) John 2: 9 When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knewwink the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, 10 And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. 11 This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.

In verse 9, I can just imagine the servants’ horror as the ruler of the feast put the goblet up to his mouth, the servant knowing full well it came from the barrel of water.  And I can imagine Jesus winking at the servants the moment the gulp washed down the lofty throat.  Baited breaths waited for the master to toss the goblet in disgusted rage.  Instead, unexpected pleasure spread throughout the house.  Jesus’ first miracle says, “I’m nothing like what you would have expected.  I’m much more.”

6) Rom 9: 11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that callethwink

I’ll hold off on the extended debate over predestination.  My view is one where God called all of us, and we choose whether to answer that call.  He happens to know which one of us will answer before we do, but that does not prevent His infinite love from reaching to those who won’t.  One thing is clear in the book of Romans: salvation is not by works.  Salvation is by “him that calleth.”  And we all know who that might be.  Wink, wink.

7) 2 cor 9: 8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:  9 (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever.  10 Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousnesswink

Where do righteousness and good works come from?  Surprise, it’s not religion.  According to this passage, it’s God’s grace and distribution that enables us.  Notice verse 9 says bread and seed and righteousness.  Just being righteous around the poor, just doing “holy” things isn’t going to impress them.  Hand them food, plant some useful knowledge, show unwavering kindness, and then watch God’s reward come back to your storehouse.

Stay tuned.  7 more winks to follow…  Go to Part 3

God’s emoticons (Part 1)

emoticon laptop

Emoticons are a modern way to express joy, sorrow, and a collection of other emotions.  Imagine a time-traveling friend wanting to leave you a message, so he sneaks his message into an ancient document.  The year is 1611.  A document of documents marks history, ensuring its presence into the 21st century.  Little did you know, the Bible is the document, and it’s got a personal message from a dear friend.  Actually, the friend is God, and He’s also a loving Father and perfect judge.  You’d think this multi-faceted relationship would make things too complicated, furthering the distance.  Then you find out He sent His only non-adopted Son to bridge the gap.  The Bible is His written intention of displaying His love and plans for you.

So what do emoticons have to do with this?  First of all, let me clarify that these are not as sure as the Word of God itself.  These are impressions I’ve gotten, which are more of a comforting thought than a take-it-to-the-bank statement.  I happened upon these little emoticons every now and then when listening to my pastor or enjoying peaceful devotions.  The ones that stood out to me were the smiles 🙂 and winks 😉 that showed up at just the right spot.  The smiles seemed to be saying, “You can smile, this is good news.”  The winks weren’t the bad winks, as if God were winking at sin, but more the sense of “You’ll see what I mean” or “This one’s for you, my precious child.”

I’m not saying with 100% certainty that God did place these emoticons there for a specific reason.  But then again, who says that He couldn’t?  What I will do is to share the smiles/winks that really hit me most, and explain why they hit me.  As a blog, I’ve split this up into 3 parts: SMILES, WINKS1 and WINKS2.

SMILES 

Here’s 8 smiles that say “You can smile, this is good news  smile

1) Num 34:2 Command the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land of Canaan; (this is the land that shall fall unto you for an inheritance, even the land of Canaan with the coasts thereof smile

Reason to smile: Before the children of Israel even stepped foot in Canaan, God guaranteed the inheritance of the place with its coasts.

2) 1 Kings 11: 32 (But he shall have one tribe for my servant David’s sake, and for Jerusalem’s sake, the city which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel smile

Reason to smile: Through the royal line of David, in the prized city of Jerusalem, Jesus would come, the ultimate fulfillment of the promise.

3) 2 Chron 6: 30 Then hear thou from heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and render unto every man according unto all his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou only knowest the hearts of the children of men smile

Reason to smile: It may not be comforting to hear that God knows our hearts through and through, but the beginning of the verse reminds us that He does hear and forgive.

4) Matt 6: 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek smile for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

Reason to smile: This smile comes right in between all those nice things the world is reaching for and then the Father’s knowledge of our needs.  He knows exactly what we need, so smile!

5) Luke 2: 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David smile

Everything the prophets pointed to – the lineage, the place, the time – have all lined up.  Now just look up and seek out the star’s trail.  You can see the corners of history’s mouth curl up into a smile.

6) Acts 10: 36 The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all smile

Reason to smile: Following the aftermath of war-torn ages and captivities, the peace that comes from the kingdom of Christ comes with a beaming smile.  Verses 37 and 38 describe the entrance of this eternal kingdom:

37 That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;  38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

7) 2 Cor. 5:7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight smile

Reason to smile:  If we walked by sight, we’d look to our present circumstances and most likely frown.  Faith is the substance – the future reality – of things hoped for.  And these future things, as promised by God, are definitely worth smiling about.

8) Gal 2:8 (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles smile

If you’re a Gentile, here’s a reason to smile: God called Paul to bring the Gentiles to Christ.  If you’re a Gentile and a Christian, you can trace your spiritual lineage back to the outworking of this very verse.

(All verses are taken from the 1611 King James Version of the Bible.  Also, you’ll notice I had to use this image smile or else wordpress automatically turns the punctuation into another image.)

GO TO PART 2