Random Thoughts….Appointed Time

Yesterday I heard a teaching from one of the well-known pastors in the world. This pastor spoke on the story of the man in John 5 who was crippled. The story tells of how this man has been crippled for 38 years and how he used to wait at the Bethesda pool where sick people gathered, hoping to get healed. When Jesus asked this man if he wanted to be healed, his response was, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” Jesus told him to get up, pick up his mat and walk, and the man was healed! Now this pastor interpreted that this man wasn’t healed earlier in his life because he had been avoiding responsibility and that he blamed others. The pastor went on to say, Jesus didn’t feel sorry for him but commanded him to get up and walk.

Now this got me thinking. I personally would rather disagree with the Pastor’s teaching. I have found that the Word of God is subject to one’s interpretation but I do believe this is a rather incorrect interpretation of what really happened. I believe that this man hadn’t been healed in 38 years because his time for healing had not yet come. If we look at the story of a blind man being healed in John 9, I believe we can find a reasonable explanation as to why the crippled man had not yet been healed. The man in John 9 had been blind from birth, Jesus disciples asked “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus’ answer gives us a very straightforward explanation, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” I believe the same applies to the crippled man in John 5. His healing was for an appointed time for the glory of God. So for one to say he hadn’t been healed because of his attitude is wrong to me. I ask the question, so if my attitude is right and I have been praying and believing for something, how come I haven’t seen the result manifest? Are you still going to point out that there is still something wrong with my attitude?

Another possible reason the crippled man hadn’t been healed until then may have been for the salvation of his soul. It is possible this man did not believe in God and only believed that his healing would only come from the stirred waters. In this instance, his healing would have been set for an appointed time for the salvation of his soul.

This brings me to a word I first heard a while ago. The word is Maktub. I found this translation of the word on the internet from this website http://www.mysticsaint.info/2006/06/maktub-what-does-it-mean-that.html. “Maktub is an alchemist term (arabic word) which literally means it is written. From mystical point of view, it points to the fact that whatever happens is already known to the One. It signifies that Destiny exists. It points finger to the fact that everything is already known to God.”

I believe in an appointed time for everything. I believe the appointed time for what we are believing for is coming! God has set a time for His glory to be manifest in us. Psalm 139: 16, “Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.”

Habakkuk 2: 3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.

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Random Thoughts….Life After Death

Have you ever wondered what happens to us after we die? The question about life after death is something that troubled me a few weeks ago. I did a brief research on what really happens immediately after a person dies. As Christians, one thing that we know for sure is there are no “in-between” people; there are two types, the righteous and the unsaved. My brief research though raised a few questions that I still am wondering about but however here is my understanding on the matter of where people go immediately after death.

The Bible teaches that those who are saved, having embraced the blood of Jesus and believed (2 Peter 1:18-19), will at death go to be with Jesus Christ, in a state of conscious bliss and are immediately in fellowship with Christ. Paul in his writings declared that “to be absent from the body” is to be “present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8) and later, he says that to die, is “to depart and be with Christ, which is far better” (Philippians 1:23). Jesus speaks of the immediate destination of the saved who have passed away as “Paradise.” He said to the thief on the cross, “Today you will be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43). The righteous who have died are in the presence of Christ, in a place called Paradise, awaiting the resurrection of the body for Judgment, the final reward and the future life in Heaven.

Like me, you must be wondering what differences there are between Paradise and Heaven. My research has shown me that Paradise is a holding place for the righteous waiting for the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21: 1-4). This will be revealed on Judgment day. The purpose of the Judgment is not so much to determine who is saved and who is lost. The matter of salvation has been determined by our decision regarding Jesus Christ here in this life. For example, John 6:47 says, “He who believes in me has everlasting life.” The word “believes” is a strong word: It means “to have confidence in the truth”, “to embrace” and “to cling to;” it includes repentance and obedience. I got this meaning from an online dictionary http://www.thefreedictionary.com/believe . This I guess raises the scripture in Matthew 7: 21- 23 where Jesus says that “Not everyone who calls me Lord, Lord will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father.” Those who sincerely receive Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord of their lives are assured of eternal life. By way of contrast, those who do not know God, and who do not obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ “shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord” (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9).

So it is with Hades and Hell as Paradise and Heaven. The wicked and the lost soul will automatically depart to Hades at death. There is no lingering in the grave or on earth. On the Day of Judgment the final death will come for the wicked. We see this in Revelation 20:13-14…”death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

So actually in the mini research I did the greatest question that arose was what does Jesus mean by saying “Not everyone who calls me Lord, Lord will enter the Kingdom of Heaven”? Yet we are taught that if you go for alter call then hey you are done and dusted and ready for Heaven. I leave that to you to figure out. On a personal level I might say my answer was given in that same scripture of Matthew 7: 21-23. Interesting how it is that you look for one thing and end up with a dozen other things that need verification.

Here is one of the questions that arose as I was looking into this topic of life after departing from our bodies, “Do the saints know what is happening on earth? I guess watch this space for another article on this.

Overcoming Worry and Fear

Life always seems to bring us something new to worry about each day. We worry about our jobs, our families, our lives, almost everything that matters to us brings us some form of worry at one point. We worry about the possibility of things going wrong or things not going the way we want them to. We worry about the possibility of things not happening for us at all! It seems we move from one worry to the other.

As I get closer to giving birth, I find myself thinking about the day I give birth. I worry about the possibility of things going wrong. What if my baby doesn’t make it? I find the past trying to overwhelm me. I fear not being able to recover if that were to happen. But the thing is, I cannot let those kind of thoughts take over my mind. I cannot allow my mind to dwell on negativity. Maybe it’s just me, but I find most of the times, the mind is conditioned to think negatively. I find myself battling this “conditioning”, replacing the negative with the positive.

I have spent the last year or so, teaching myself to focus on the positive, on the good things in life. I have spent time “reconditioning” my mind. Thus today I find myself looking forward to the day I give birth. I look forward to seeing my daughter! I look forward to spending time with her, nurturing her and being a mother! I am at peace knowing that in a couple of months my daughter will be here. I thank God for giving me the strength to overcome my worries and my fears. I also thank my husband who has been my support, my strength and my prayer warrior. I could not have done it alone.

Romans 12: 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.