by Ernest O'Neill
Most of us live either to please ourselves or to please others: either way somehow results in our becoming slaves -- slaves to others' opinions and approval or slaves to our own strong desires and inherited attitudes. There is another way -- live the way our Maker intended.
Usually we think of that as -- don't, don't, don't -- don't do this or that enjoyable thing because it's wrong -- and God wouldn't approve ! But that is just man's idea -- it's not the reality of God who has made little babies, puppies that run away with your slippers, funny people like Bob Hope and Laurel and Hardy. How can a God who made the mighty Amazon river, delicate roses, and beautiful red sunsets want us to do anything but enjoy all the gifts He has planted all over the world?
Where does this beautiful picture of our Maker come from ? From the only human being who has beaten death -- died and come back to life -- and left such an unquestionable historical record as has been found in more than 4,000 ancient Greek manuscripts from 125 to 1100 a.d. -- and affirmed in numerous other writings about his life in the first century of our era. This man (known as Jesus of Nazareth) made it plain that he lived with his Father, our Maker, long before the world was made. He also said that you -- and I -- were made by his Father inside Him. In that timeless "time", God foresaw what you would do with your free will inside his son and planned a whole life for you that would preserve your free will and yet constantly draw you towards him and his good heart. This meant that He would have to put up with whatever you did -- and that's what he showed us in his Son's death at Calvary in Palestine in 29 a.d..
But the purpose of all this is to bring you and me freely to a place where we want what our Maker wants for us -- the very best for us -- because he knows what will bring us full satisfaction. That's why he put us in his son and his son in us -- so that he and we would draw closer and closer together as we did here on earth the things He wants to do through us! This is for you -- whether you're a street-sweeper or a king, whether you're rich or poor, whether you're educated or not, whether you're Ethiopian or British. You have a unique life to live and to be lived in you by the Son of the Maker of the world.
How do you live this kind of life? Just face reality -- only a fool says in his heart "there is no God" -- face the facts of nature and of history. There has to be some great intelligence behind the order and design of this universe -- whether he made it gradually by evolution or suddenly in a big explosion, somebody has to be there to program the process or make the stuff that exploded. Look honestly at this man Jesus -- see how true his words sound -- how balanced his personality is -- and how he demonstrated power over our greatest enemy, death. Then just begin living as someone who had been put here by a loving Father who regards you as his own dear child -- as part of his only Son. Start living from the inside out -- instead of from the outside in!
This is what is called living by faith. Faith is not (as the little boy said in Sunday School) believing what you know isn't true -- faith is living according to the facts of reality. It touches the way you think, the way you speak, and the way you act. Above all, it delivers you from the tyranny of the urgent, the pressure of your peers, the fear of man, and the panic of circumstances. God is not like the old gentleman that many people worship in church -- he has already written the most advanced algorithm for computers that haven't been invented yet. He is your father -- and he is most wonderfully kind.
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