With every passing new year, Christians in the millions cling on to a promise or promises from the Bible, and ever so desperately if they happen to be facing adversity. These promises of a great future, prosperity, health and so on are relevant except that these promises, verses, need to be understood and applied in the context of the biblical narrative, and also in tandem with other scriptural truths, else one can be guilty of having a lopsided view of God and life.
John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Bewildered, Nicodemus, a pharisee and a ruler of the Jews, asks Jesus whether that meant entering one’s mother’s womb to be born again, quite literally.
God’s Kingdom, three things: the criterion, the cause, and the character.
During my lowest phase, as I wandered, destitute and ragged, it was the passionate and the relentless pursuit of the hound of heaven that forever changed my life. He followed me, surely, goodness and mercy followed me!
THE HOUND OF HEAVEN, FRANCIS THOMPSON
I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind; and in the midst of tears
I hid from Him, and under running laughter.
Up vistaed hopes I sped;
And shot, precipitated,
Adown Titanic glooms of chasmed fears,
From those strong Feet that followed, followed after.
When a person reads the Prophet Hosea for the very first time, he is appalled by the fact that God could ask a prophet to marry a prostitute. However, what should really be shocking is not the fact that the prophet was asked to marry a prostitute, but to see ourselves in the place of the prostitute; Hosea viewed by any other lens other than viewing ourselves as “Gomer the prostitute” is making a mockery of the Word of God.
Jer 48:10 Cursed be he that doeth the work of the LORD deceitfully, and cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood.