Tuesday, October 22, 2013

From Death To Life

“Australian doctors have saved the life of a woman who was clinically dead for 42 minutes.  The miracle patient was rushed to the hospital after a major heart attack, but was declared clinically dead soon after arrival.  With the aid of a hi-tech machine that kept blood flowing to her brain, doctors at Melbourne's MonashHeart managed to unblock vital arteries and return her heart to a normal rhythm.  The hospital today described her survival as "astonishing".  Doctors say Vanessa Tanasio, 41, a mother of two from the suburb of Narre Warren, needed numerous defibrillator shocks, including one in the ambulance on her way to hospital.  In a telephone interview from the hospital, she said she was eager to get home. "I'm feeling excellent. For someone who has been dead for nearly an hour of this week I am feeling tremendously well."  Emergency medics used a device called LUCAS 2 to keep her blood flowing last Monday while cardiologist Dr Wally Ahmar worked to unblock the arteries to her heart” (foxnews.com, 8-20-13).
Modern technology truly is incredible.  But medical scientists still have a ways to go to match the Great Physician.  Reviving a person who was clinically dead after 42 minutes is impressive but how about accomplishing the same thing after four days?  You can read about it in John 11.  Lazarus, brother of Mary and Martha and friend of Jesus, had died.  By the time the Lord reaches Bethany, Lazarus has been dead for four days.  His body had been prepared for burial and placed in a tomb.  The process of decay had already begun.  But at the command of Jesus, “...the man who had died came forth” (John 11:44).  Lazarus couldn’t walk out because he was still wrapped in the burial cloths, but he was alive and came out anyway!
The grave is no match for the Son of God!  It doesn’t matter whether you have been dead for 42 minutes, 4 days, or 400 years.  When Jesus says “Come forth!”, the dead live again.  That truly is astonishing!

God loves you!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Getting Historical

“A man, who was telling his friend about an argument he'd had with his wife, commented, "Oh, how I hate it. Every time we have an argument, she gets historical." The friend replied, "You mean 'hysterical.'" "No," he insisted, "I mean historical. Every time we argue, she drags up everything from the past and holds it against me"” (sermoncentral.com).
Keeping a record of wrongs is not a problem limited to marriages.  It can plague workplaces, classrooms, and church buildings.  Grudges are nourished.  Forgiveness is withheld.  And if it goes on long enough, relationships are destroyed.  What is so tempting about bringing up the past anyway?  Perhaps we feel empowered by having such a potent weapon in our arsenal.  Maybe we think we hold the trump card that allows us to win any argument.  Whatever our reasoning, its wrong.
The Bible tells us that true love “...does not take into account a wrong suffered” (1 Corinthians 13:5).  I like how the NIV renders this verse: “...it keeps no record of wrongs.”  Nothing good is gained by keeping a running list of offenses committed against us.  In fact, to do so evidences a lack of love on our part.  How much better it would be for us to follow the lead of our Heavenly Father, who promises to forgive our sins and remember them no more (Jeremiah 31:34, cf. also Isaiah 43:25).
Make no mistake -- it stings to be hurt by someone.  It’s natural to want to keep a record of such wrongs and to hold those transgressions over the heads of those who have mistreated us.  But we are called to live above our human nature.  No, it is not easy.  But we must release the past before we can truly live in the future that God wants for each one of us.  No one benefits when we start getting historical.
God blesses those He forgives by not taking their sins into account (Romans 4:7-8).  Let’s bless other by doing the same.

God loves you!