The Big Picture

picture

If you’re like me, you probably find it difficult to adequately express, in words, the feelings of gratitude that we sometimes have and feel for the patience, love and faithfulness that God gives to us through this journey we are on. You’ll note that I said “sometimes” because again, if you’re like me, there is a certain mindset that has to be brought into our awareness, in order for us to see the “big picture”. Far too often we overlook the “big picture” and we focus on the smaller picture, you know, that one that looks solely on ourselves. I find it more than interesting that Jesus continually expounds to us about the reality of the Kingdom of God and how we need spiritual eyes to see this spiritual reality and to value and focus on His spiritual truths (Matthew 13:14-15 NIV).

Last week I posted an article about how God, infrequently, in His wisdom, reminds  me of my utter dependency and need for Him. Well it’s not over yet. This one is lingering and multiple layers are unfolding. From what I have seen, in the walks of other dedicated Christians, we all have our own individual set of circumstances to deal with on this journey. A lot of the circumstances have common threads yet there are also some threads which are more difficult to traverse than others and these difficult threads cover a wide spectrum of varied circumstances. Some of these more difficult threads have to do with addictions, some have to do with past sins and some have to do with difficult situations like unfaithfulness of a marriage partner, chronic illnesses and children with disabilities. The list is quite long and none of these circumstances are easy to deal with.

Yet all of the circumstances, whether common or varied, without exception, lead all of us to come to the place where we encounter the end of our own strength and endurance and the acknowledgement of our own absolute need for external assistance beyond ourselves. The island that we think we are, has deficiencies.

As I read through God’s Word, I can’t help but feel encouraged when I see the mistakes of others who have gone before me. The list is long and the examples are many. The important aspect of all of the circumstances that the other great characters within the Bible show me is that we all fall short and yet it is faith, not in ourselves, but in He who has created us, that is always put forward as the path to acceptance in God’s eyes. This theme is consistent throughout the entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelation.

And how am I dealing with the particular set of circumstances that God has given me? Not so great. I’m still far too susceptible to looking inward versus outward. I still take words and unfolding events far too personal. I still focus my attention far too often on me versus God. If one was to externally look at me, one might incorrectly assume that things are not going all that bad. There are an awful lot of things that I used to do that I don’t do anymore. There is a significant reduction of words spoken in anger or without consideration for others, my focus on self has also diminished and my ability to not react as I often times would in the past has radically changed.

But the heart of man goes much deeper than that.

As the light of God’s holiness shines on me I see more of the darkness within me and it grieves me. Yes, I know, that is a good thing but it doesn’t change what I see. And once again, I fall at the feet of Jesus and ask for His forgiveness for that which is in me that is not of Him.

Psalm 51:16-17 NIV
You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart heart
you God, will not despise.

I don’t know why some of us have been given different circumstances than others. I don’t know why these circumstances can be so difficult but I perceive that they are designed to bring us individually to the awareness of our need for God, in the area that we individually are most prone to NOT want to entertain Him. I could be wrong.

I am also aware that these difficult circumstances are not uncommon. My difficult circumstance may be different that yours but this should show me that even though God is working in a different area in your life than mine, this does not mean that He loves you any less than me or vice versa. Nor does it mean that I am more intelligent that you because I know or have learned things in one area that you are not aware of, while you likewise know or have learned things in another area that I am not aware of. We are of one body and our source and teacher is the same.

I am reminded that we are commanded by Jesus to love one another.

John 13:34 NIV “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have love you, so you must love one another.”

Correct me if I am wrong but that’s not an option. To me that means I have to really start looking at everything with different eyes, especially my brothers and sisters in the Lord.

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About

Disciple of Jesus, married to Peggy, with 5 grown up children, 7 grand children, ex-Canadian military and residing in beautiful Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada. a.k.a. "Papa"

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Posted in Apologetics, Defending Christianity, Faith, Witnessing
12 comments on “The Big Picture
  1. Stephen says:

    When searching for brothers and sisters in Christ, one does not look for those who think like themselces, but looks for those who have the same Father.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Bruce says:

      Hi Stephen, thank you for the comment! That’s a broad stroke statement but I think I know what you mean. If we serve the same Father then the fruit of the Spirit should be self evident. I would also think that the Gospel of Christ crucified for our sins would be a given. For example, those who preach another Christ, like Bill Johnson, I would have difficulties acknowledging him as my brother. Hope I’m close to what you meant. Grace and blessings.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. bcparkison says:

    Yes,….Everyday is anew day and we still have a lot to learn.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well said Bruce, well said.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Well written with a season wisdom. One can tell.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great reminder. It is all about love! That is it. That is the main thing about the main thing.

    Blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. SLIMJIM says:

    I needed this

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Dear Bruce, thank you for the needed reminder for us all. Your aspirations are on target. As I learn in my continued study of humility, the things of our Father’s kingdom are far beyond our capabilities, but through our various circumstances, He shows us our needs and draws us to Him. We grow in the desires He puts within our hearts, praying for these things that He plans to do in us. Then we wait for His timing, trusting in His promises to do exceeding abundantly above all that we can ask or think. Blessings in our continued struggles. We are with you in thought and prayers. He is waiting to be gracious to us all. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Cindy Dawson says:

    Bruce, I just want to say that I am thankful that I know you and that I have discovered your blog. The information you have provided about the NAR has been so helpful to me.

    I was part of a NAR church during the ’90s, only I never heard of NAR until I read your blog! As I look back on it, I can see how the NAR theology was at the root of everything that happened there. After about 5 years, as the church gradually progressed in these false teachings, I knew I had to leave. It was difficult because I was part of the “core”, the inner circle. I will just say, it almost shipwrecked my faith.

    I couldn’t understand why God would let me be fooled for so long when my heart’s cry was to be in his will and I prayed daily, “I surrender my will to you, Lord”. I finally realized (after several years) that He did answer my prayer. He got me out.
    But those first few years after I left were very difficult. I would pray, “Lord, please don’t let me fall away. Help my unbelief.”

    He answered my prayers and my faith is once again strong and healthy, but it took years.
    Because of my experience, I am aware of how critical it is to protect Christians from this seductive ministry.

    Someone I love has been seduced by these false teachings, someone who loves the Lord! I have been told that my blog is “too negative” and when I pointed out the error in a sermon, I was told that I should not “tear pastors down”. This sermon by Robert Morris misquoted the Bible and took Scripture out of context to support his false claims.

    One problem I see is that Christians are not aware of this movement and its agenda, so they are easily seduced by “exciting and entertaining sermons by charismatic speakers who appear to have a deeper understanding of God’s Word.
    I pray that you will continue “to fight the good fight of the faith”. God bless you, Brother. I am praying for you.

    Like

    • Bruce says:

      Hi Cindy, I am sorry for the anguish that you went through but with that anguish comes an understanding that you can’t really read about. The number one factor from my perspective is a lack of Biblical knowledge that leaves one open to being deceived by another gospel. That and not taking the time to check with what the scriptures actually say. The NAR has tentacles reaching out in many directions and many are being deceived. Holly from spiritoferror.org is an excellent source plus my Christian Resources page. There’s just no short cuts to knowing God’s Word. I also try not to get into arguments with anyone but use the information I have learned to reason with them. And of course, prayer. My daughter is involved with the NAR Healing Rooms and after a couple of years is only now questioning their theology. Heavy on the prayer. The love between her and I has been maintained and that is vitally important. It takes time. Your posts are excellent and always building, which is, from my perspective, what it is all about. Thank you so much for taking the time to update me, you are on my prayer list too! Grace and blessings my sister.

      Liked by 1 person

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