The future’s bright!
A warm sunset, and many of us live in a blessed country. Yes there are many things that are wrong with it but on a whole, the United Kingdom is a good place to be. I am blessed to be able to notice the small things; the orange colours within the flowers as I was pruning, the brightness of the moon and its size, the delicate plants and grasses all through the garden, and the warm breeze that kept us content as we relaxed in the afternoon sun.
I read a report that said that Christians were the most persecuted of people currently. Why is that? Is it because what God offers is so simple but powerful that if everyone was a Christian, and by that I don’t mean just professing to be a Christian and turning up on a Sunday, but to live out their lives as Jesus and the first Christians lived, then the world would surely be at peace. This is because there is no part in Jesus’ message where he tells us to persecute and attack others. He does tell us that many will fight against us and there will be conflict against the message, but we are not to react with hate, but love.
11 Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They indeed say, ‘Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. 13 Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves. 14 I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken it and performed it,” says the Lord.’”
I really enjoy reading the old testament as there are many revealing passages. Many if read might leave you with a sense of foreboding, a sense that something bad is about to happen. It will leave you with that feeling if you read passages out of their context and you don’t read what God’s answer will be.
Here we see God telling Israel that they are like dry bones! What a grim message. But if we continue on we see that God promises that His own Spirit will be within them and will actually raise them from the grave. How fantastic and awesome is that? We see some of this, an echo perhaps, of this happening with Jesus rising from the dead and with him many of the saints raised as well walking about the city of Jerusalem.
52 and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 53 and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.
There are no writings that question that these things took place, these historical events would have freaked out many back then and would freak out many today. So often in a reading, this part is read through very fast as if some people are uncomfortable with this part of the story. But it is God’s word and it must be truth. Jesus was raised by the power of the Holy Spirit and this is the same Holy Spirit that God has given to each that accept.
Many times God says in the old testament that He will put His Spirit within His people, and his people will be the people that follow him with their hearts, not with their words. Pentecost celebrates the Holy Spirit’s arrival and His continuing arrival to many in this world.
Lord, when sun is warm, and we are blessed – let us pray in the Spirit that you have given us. Lord prayer can be painful at times and joyful at others, but we are called to pray in the Spirit and allow us to feel the full force of your Spirits power to do your will. Let us all be guided by this awesome gift that we have been given and walk forward patiently with joy knowing that God always keeps His promises.