Sunday, October 5, 2008

PARADOXOLOGY & THE KINGDOM ...... (part one)

Today's post is a little fair from our SONSHINE blog where we share messages with a little more depth. Should you care to visit us there, the link is:

It doesn't take much time spent within the Kingdom of God before one finds that this sphere of the Spirit is filled with paradox. So it seems this morning I awakened feeling lost to this world, yet with that feeling I also felt wonderfully at rest because I knew I was found in Him and He held me tightly. This was another paradox, of which for me there seems to be a new one discovered with each succeeding day. So with that, I feel led to share a few messages on "Paradoxology & The Kingdom of God."

How often I enjoy reading of some great theological mind that has fallen at His feet knowing that only with our vision of Christ, is there sense to made of our existence. And that sense ....... well it's nigh impossible to explain, thus we can only throw up our hands and point to Jesus and say there it is ..... there it all is! That is God and that is Love! That's the Whole of it and Whole of it is Jesus! And when you have come to the place where He is all you see and there is nothing else, you will ........... well then you will be the Whole and you will understand perfectly. Such is the Mystery of Christ, the Resurrection and God, All in All.

It is all found in Jesus. And "Jesus does not give recipes that show the way to God as other teachers of religion do. He is Himself the way."

So, last night I decided to research the background, thoughts and writings of a man that has often been called the greatest theologian of the twentieth century, if not the last five hundred years. What an enjoyable evening I had as I read of this esteemed man with the great mind. How wonderful it was to finish my evening's research with a simple story told of this famed theologian, Karl Barth. It said it all, and I had tears to witness the rarity of a "one of the few wise that had found the Kingdom."

Once a young student asked Barth if he could sum up what was most important about his life's work and theology in just a few words. The question was posed even with gasps from the audience. Barth just thought for a moment and then smiled, "Yes, in the words of a song my mother used to sing me, 'Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.'"

The "Jesus does not give recipes" quote I used earlier also came by way of Barth and I laughed at the truth of this other quote of his.
"The truest rallying cry that can be used by any leader is ,
'I don’t know where I am going; follow me!'"

With that said I hope you will "follow me" as we explore the paradoxes of this wondrous sphere of the Spirit, we call the Kingdom of God. Hopefully we'll even get lost only to discover that in our lostness we have been found in His Love, which knows no bounds. I can think of no better way to start this series on "paradoxology and the Kingdom" than with this beautiful piece of prose by Linette Woods.

Lessons from Life
by Lynette Woods

I cannot learn anything until I unlearn what I have already learned.
I cannot be real and genuine until I have been disillusioned.
I cannot do anything until I've stopped everything.
I cannot be wholly in Christ until I am totally out of religion and its ways.

I cannot wash another's feet while standing on my own two feet.
I cannot walk in another's shoes unless I first take off my own shoes.
I cannot offer anyone a helping hand if my hands are already full.
I cannot speak words of Life to another unless Life has first engraved those words on my heart.

I cannot see through another's eyes while looking at myself.
I cannot hear through another's ears while listening to the throb of my own heartbeat.
I cannot share another's heart if I am consumed with the passion and pain in my own heart.
I cannot truly love another if I am still in love with myself.

I cannot give anything of worth to anyone until I have nothing of myself to give.
I cannot experience real Life until I am dead and buried.
I cannot know Freedom until I am content to be locked away.
I cannot know Rest until I can completely give up on myself and my plans.

I cannot live in the Light if I cannot bear the exposure of being seen.
I cannot know Truth unless I stop deceiving myself with lies.
I cannot walk in the Way until I quit studying the map.
I cannot know Hope until I'm convinced of how hopeless I am.

I cannot enjoy Peace without going through many storms.
I cannot experience amazing Grace if I secretly believe I deserve it.
I cannot receive Mercy until I stop trying to save myself.
I cannot completely trust Another until I no longer trust myself.

I cannot really pray until it is not me that is praying.
I cannot truly cry until it is not me that is crying.
I cannot really sing until it is not me that is singing.
I cannot truly laugh until it is not me that is laughing.

I cannot truly live until it is not ME that is living...

For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.
I can do all things through Christ Who empowers and strengthens me.
Phil 1:21; 4:13.


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