Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Gospel is the best movie ever produced

After watching a movie, it makes me think of Christianity is actually like a movie, a best movie ever created by God. A good movie has a theme, and usually has its main characters. The main character of Christianity is God, and the theme is the gospel. To make it a movie, it would begin with God created the world, then the fall, Jesus’s crucifixion and resurrection, his second coming, and a happy ending: eternal life. It has to be the most exciting “movie” ever, more than you can ever imagine. If only we could step back and look at the big picture, adoring what we know, hoping on what we not yet know, it is engaging, and breathtaking. God is the main character, and the director, therefore he gets all the glory. For us, we are like the minor characters and crew members, we gets glory for being participate in producing and involved with the best “movie”. What makes me think that way is because in the end there is usually an endless list of people’s names. It surprises me that how many people were involved behind a one hour movie. But do others interested in knowing people other than the director and main characters? Does it matter? No, we don’t have to be known, because it is enough that the best movie draws everyone’s attention and admiration. A best “movie” ever in history, and we have the privilege to be part of it, isn’t it glorious and satisfying?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Thoughts on suffering

I am not even qualified to say that I am suffering right now. Indeed, my life is probably half of the world population desire for: opportunity to study at university, studying overseas, have enough to eat, drink, wear, stay everyday, have a whole family, being loved and cared by many people etc. However, the topic of suffering caught my attention, for no particular reasons, perhaps because seeing the world suffering in general, and seeing other people questioning God’s sovereignty in suffering.

I read a few books which talk about suffering: ‘Desiring God’ by John Piper, ‘Where is God When It Hurts?’ by Philip Yancey, and ‘Sacred Sorrow’ by Michael Card. I have not finish the books yet, I would say it is not easy to digest and comprehend the contents of the books, but this morning I came up with a few thoughts.

It goes like this:

If we Christians are to be making Christ known, then we ought to live like Christ, and share about Christ, in his fullness. In my journey with searching the meaning and purpose of suffering, this is one of my thoughts:

To magnify Christ’s glory, we must understand the depth of His love, mercy, and grace. To understand how much he love us, His mercy on us, and the grace he has given us, we need to understand what he has done for us (of course we need to know God’s holiness and justice, and other aspects of God). Only in our suffering and pain, we are able to understand what Jesus has done, and how much he has done on the cross. God plans and allows suffering in our lives, so that

1. We will understand the cost Jesus has paid, and how deep is His love. But no matter how much we suffer, there is one thing, as we put our faith in Jesus, we will never suffer: the rejection of God. For Jesus has rejected by His own Father when He was crucified, to take our punishment.

2. We will make Christ known by revealing his suffering and love in our bodies, so that people will turn to God and declare His glory.

Therefore, suffering in Christ has a purpose, but suffering without Christ is in vain. There are still other purposes of suffering, but no matter we understand or not, God is sovereign in all things, that means he has power and control in all things, and all things work for His good purpose, including the suffering of Himself in the form of Jesus, so that His glory will be revealed.

These are just my personal opinion.