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Friday: Further Thought ~ All Things New — 13 Comments

  1. I have come to the conclusion that my faithful old bird photography lens has had it. There is something wrong with the focus system so that when you press the shutter button, the lens refuses to focus. I can get it to work by taking the lens off the camera and putting it back on again, but by that time the bird has flown. The iris diaphragm often does not open properly resulting in a string of underexposed photos. It is an electrical fault and I could possibly get it fixed, but that would probably cost about as much as a new lens. So, on Tuesday morning next week I am off to the camera shop to buy a brand-new lens. That will fix the problem.

    It is not a terribly good illustration, but in the end, there are a lot of things wrong with sin-affected creation. It has come time for a new creation.

    And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. Rev 21:5KJV

    Here is the good bit. God, in his wisdom, will fix things by creating all things new, but we will still be us with our own individuality and identity. When my old lens goes into the bin and I get a new one. I don't lose my birding skills. They are enhanced because the new lens will work properly. God is going to fix things so that we work properly too.

    I have a special gift for you to conclude 2022 (or open 2023) I have made a slideshow of some of my best bird photos that I have taken this year. There are over 200 photos and they are all in high resolution so you can watch them on a large screen if you have one. All the birds are named. I hope you enjoy watching the show - and you are welcome to share.

    (57)
    • So nice! God is so perfect on His creation... What a beauty to contemplate. Congrats! Have a 2023 even closer to Christ! And may we continue to strive for the prize, which is ahead of us and that we are destined to. Let's accept God's even more beautiful and amazing gift.

      (12)
    • Thank you for this beautiful gift. In spite of all you and yours have gone through this year, you still share some of the beautiful moments of your hobby. I most definitely will share this.

      (7)
    • Thank you Maurice so much for sharing these photos! The beauty and attention to detail that The Lord has put into these birds is truly amazing. The Master Artist has spoken. And you have done a good job at capturing it. Glory to God for the things He had made! How people can believe that this kind of beauty and detail could have happened by chance is a mystery to me.

      (4)
  2. Amazing photos, as yours always are!

    The lens analogy isn't complete, of course, but I think it actually fits the conversion experience. When we are converted, we see the world and all that's in it through a very different lens. And, after all, eternal life begins right now.

    I know it's a little different application than you had in mind, but I see that when Jesus comes, He gives us a new body, but we keep the same lens that He's given us earlier. Does that make sense?

    (15)
  3. I believe in eternal life because God’s word says it is assured to whosoever believes in His Son. But to be honest, I’ve never really been excited about living forever. I can’t even fathom what that would be like. I trust that I will enjoy it because I trust God. I know many people aren’t like me and the thought of living forever enthrals them. What stops me from living contentedly in this world is seeing the effects of sin and evil. Sometimes the things I observe, thankfully usually from a distance, on a screen or from someone’s retelling in some way, are heart wrenching and make me hate this world and long for another. But to be honest, most of the time, I don’t dwell on those things. It would be too painful to live life constantly dwelling on the evil, injustice and pain. I think we have become good at blinding ourselves to evil. It’s a coping mechanism. Some of us are so good at it that we are fairly happy living in this world. We are vagrants who have lived so long near the sewer that we don’t smell the stench. It is only when the evil touches us directly that we become aware of the filth of sin. The question for me is not how people who have no hope in the promise of something beyond can live a happy life — I get that. What is a bigger question for me is how we who profess a belief in Someone beyond live as if He isn’t there? We are able to profess our belief through rituals, platitudes and songs about living forever and walking on golden streets. But is it possible that we can be so excited about wearing the crown in the sweet by and by, but not about having the character of the One who wore the crown of thorns as we travel through this pilgrim land? Lord have mercy on us!

    What is our saving grace? I think Paul says it best, “the love of Christ compels us (2 Corinthians 5:14).” Christ loves me! I have seen His face and it is beautiful! So what really excites me about the blessed hope? The song writer says it nearly close enough:

    When by the gift of His infinite grace,
    I am accorded in heaven a place,
    Just to be there and to look on His face
    Will through the ages be glory for me.

    But to look on His face won’t be enough for me. I long to hold those nail scarred hands. I live for the hope of falling in the arms of the one who died for me. Even if that embrace lasts only five minutes, that will be glory for me.

    (16)
  4. God is amazing and perfect. Why would He create such a dazzling world? Just for self-destruction? I see news about men's creation of artificial intelligence as being such an advanced step for humanity. But what hope for this "in collapse" planet will AI bring? Would it be able to exterminate the greed of men, which is leading to such an exploitation of the earth's nature to its death? I doubt that AI would find a cure for all cruelty and madness practiced by men, even world leaders who believe in war. AI would not be able to create life or stop the killing. The answer for the greatest problems we humans face today has a simple name, capable to restore all things to new things, pointing to the love of a God Who continues to provide us with freedom of choice by permanently and forever nailing it to a cross!

    (7)
  5. Yesterday's lesson was so wonderful, and commented on so wonderfully by all. I too want to focus on Christ, what He has done for me, and the will of Our Father rather than me and my salvation, not that my salvation is unimportant, but with a focus where it should be, I have faith that my salvation will follow. I do believe that mindset is what Isaiah meant when he said, peace of mind will you have when your mind is focused on God. Isaiah 26:3. And then verse 4 tells us why a focus on God brings us peace. It is because by doing so, we trust in God and find everlasting strength. Isaiah 26:4. I do believe that assurance in salvation is part of that everlasting strength.

    (5)
  6. Quoting Ellen G. White’s words: “From the minutest atom to the greatest world, all things, animate and inanimate, in their unshadowed beauty and perfect joy, declare that God is Love.”

    I see this to be the essence in ‘All things new’ for man. Love has overcome hate, strife, and discontent, and taken its seat in the new heart and mind of man. If we take a closer look at this statement that - ‘God is Love’ - , we can see the spirit of the 10 Commandments reflected.

    We can also find it in the answer Jesus Christ gave a questioner when asked which was the greatest commandment. His answer told him and us that the greatest commandment is: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind’. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matt.37-40

    Eph.2:10 ”All things are become new; we are a new creation – “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
    Gal. 2:20.“It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loves me and gave himself for me.”

    (2)

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