by Ernest O'Neill
Have you ever been surprised at some of the good feelings you feel rising inside you ? Even the worst of us have moments when we are surprised at the good things we think of doing. At times we have just surprised even ourselves. It's as if there's another person inside you who acts and thinks and feels better than we do. Sometimes we refer to this as our better selves yet we know that it is us ourselves in some strange way.
The explanation is the reason behind our existence. A unique human being lived in the first century of our era in the Middle East who spoke and behaved better than anyone who has ever lived on our earth. The history books of the time -- by Latin writers like Tacitus and Tertullian and Jewish writers like Josephus and Paul -- detail this human life and death so reliably that it is simply logical to conclude that this man was actually the only son of our Creator. This man, Jesus, explained that he was alive with his Father when the world was created and that we all were actually made by God, his Father, inside him himself. So this Jesus was not just a prophet or a great religious leader -- he is actually the son of the Maker of the universe.
His words are recorded and copied in thousands of ancient manuscripts so that their historicity is more established beyond all doubt. Moreover he demonstrated his power to leave life here on earth and return to it during his first century life in Palestine. Throughout the centuries since that time he has been regarded by the leading civilizations of mankind as the only son of the Creator of the world. In his own words he said " you in me and I in you" and one of his disciples said "he was the first-born of all creation - all things were made through him and in him all things hold together". He is the person inside you who constantly endeavors to fullfil his father's will through you -- that's why you feel at times as if there's another guiding voice or person urging you in certain directions.
The great Being who made everything put you here to do certain things that He can do only through you. Another of his followers put it like this -- "we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works which God has prepared beforehand that we should walk in them". But this is all done by our Creator so finely and intricately that his will works through our wills so that we are not like robots but more like the people referred to by Paul (another of his followers) -- "workers together with God". This man emphasized how important it is for us to exercise our wills in an active way and to avoid all passivity -- "work out your own salvation for it is God that works in you both to will and to do what he wants". He explained that "God works all things according to the counsel of his will" and that "all things work together for good to them that love God". Although our Creator is all-powerful, he is our loving Father and wants us to come into a loving trust in Himself that is the free decision of our own wills. So the urgings that you feel at times inside are his wooing you to acknowledge him as one who has made your part of himself and wants you to enjoy fully that reality.
That is the purpose of this world in which we live -- it is really a huge picture of what life without God would be like. It is life as it would be permanently if we were all left to ourselves to do just what we wanted rather than what He wants. So every day we face the opportunity to live out the life that our Maker has planned for us -- and to simply enjoy exercising our wills and minds and tongues and hands to do those things. Or we can ignore this whole reality and pretend we are just little specks of nothing who have to make it through the day as best we can ! But the facts are that everything in the universe is working powerfully to facilitate God's plan for each one of us. This is why millions of us do all kinds of diverse things and perform all kinds of complicated maneouvers each day without crashing into each other or creating absolute chaos. Out of the billions of ways wind could blow and objects could fall and air and water could behave, multiple events happen every second that are filled with intelligent design and direction. Behind all this activity there works a dear, loving Father who cares about you and everything else.
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