Thursday, June 1, 2017

Holy Baseball Catcher’s Mitts - Part 1


This week, Michael asks: What's the purpose of a Baseball Catcher’s Mitt? It's not for protection. Its purpose is to catch the ball that comes to us so that when we receive it, we can throw it to someone else. What we receive is never only for us. We receive it so that we can pass it on.  This analogy relates to the apparent "foolishness of the cross." Why is it foolish? The cross is foolishness to the world because they cannot understand the suffering that Christ endured there. They don't have the spiritual "baseball mitt" to receive spiritual truth.  God's gift of the Holy Spirit is the spiritual "baseball mitt." This is the gift of God that we received when we were saved through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. 

John 14:15-17 “If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever — the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.”

Like a baseball mitt, the Holy Spirit is our spiritual "transceiver" so that we can receive spiritual truth and then pass it on to others. What is the answer to the world's question, "Why does God allow bad things happen to good people.?"  The answer is in another question, "What do you mean by 'good?"  That's what Jesus Christ asked the rich young ruler who called him "good master."  He said, "Why do you call me good?  There is none good, no not One." Our secular humanism value system says "anything that causes pain is bad. Anything that alleviates pain is good." However the Word of God says that pain and suffering are for our good. Why does God allow pain and suffering?  It's because he loves us. The value system of God is the opposite of the value system of the world. James 1:2-4 says about suffering, “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith works patience.  But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”
Rejoice in tribulation because trials result in patience through which we are being perfected. The testing of our faith is so that our faith will remain strong. The reason for the hope is the cross of Christ. Jesus said, for he who loses his life for my sake shall find it. The problem is not in pain and suffering ... it was intended for our good. 

In Judges 10, God sent the foreign enemies against Israel because they had turned their backs on the “Living and True” God. When Israel cried to Jehovah in their affliction, the Lord said, "go call unto your pagan gods."  When Israel returned to God in repentance, they cried, "Lord do to us whatever you see fit, but rescue us now." The moment that they repented, God could no longer stand their misery. However, the Lord would rather see their body and soul suffer so that they would gain the “things of the Spirit”. There is no problem with suffering from God's perspective. We hate suffering because we enjoy our "comfort of the flesh" over the "comfort of the Holy Spirit." The "Comforter" is the Holy Spirit that will accompany us through the fellowship of Christ's suffering when we do the will of God.  

Let;s continue Michael's message on the work of the Holy Spirit on the next post. 
In Christ, Brian

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