Coming Back To The Beginning

Perhaps you have heard the saying, ‘what goes around, comes around’. While it has it roots in being a metaphor, it also is an accurate description of the law of physics. A circle is a 360 degree line that has a continuous curve, that when traced or followed will originate back to the starting point.

In the world we live in and the fast paced lifestyles that flourish all around us, it is sometimes hard to imagine that there was in fact a beginning. And yet the evidence is clear, that our very existence, and the entire creation had a starting point.

We all have come to expect a beginning of any endeavor we undertake, whether a new school, a new job, a new baby, or new spouse. And so it is with our spiritual lives and the Christian calling.

Do you remember your beginning? Would you be surprised if I told you that if you have said yes to the calling of God, that your beginning was way before the foundation of the world?

Ephesians 1: 3,4

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love . .”

Mind boggling, isn’t it! That my friend is the kind of God we are associated with. The kind that can and has predestined you and I to the glorious love and life in Jesus Christ.

If we have been Christians for many years, then we may be all too familiar with the guiding principles and doctrines of the faith. As a matter of fact we may be so comfortable in knowing what we know, that over the years some of the finer points may have faded from memory, or even worse, faded from practical application in our lives.

And it is the slow but subtle erosion of basic principles and doctrines that can easily get us off track and on a path that we no longer recognize. I have experienced this in my own life, and was so surprised to see just how far off the narrow path I had wandered.

It is the same exact challenge that we all face on a daily basis, and let us not forget that our enemy and adversary, the devil, has used this tactic on Christians and humans in general since the beginning, even in the Garden of Eden.

If and when he can get believers to doubt, question or speculate about what God says, then we are vulnerable to the constant drip of false doctrine, or man made doctrine, which currently saturates this world.

So what are we to do when we find ourselves drifting in a sea of uncertainty, regarding what we believe the christian life is all about? As referenced in the heading, we need to come back to the beginning.

I recall when I first became a christian, that even though I knew nothing about the many doctrines and spiritual understanding, I did know that if God said it, I believe it, end of story! It did not take me too long to come to understand and accept that the God of the universe had spoken, and BAM! everything in creation came to be.

So, if it was spoken in his word the Bible, I believed it, case closed. With time, I learned that the Holy Spirit would assist me in discernment and understanding of God’s word. The thing for me however, that if there were times when I was confused about what I believed, I would simply go back to the beginning, and to the source of all knowledge pertaining to the Christian faith. The Bible.

I have come to know that it is good thing to be reminded of the very basics all over again, and renew the foundation that I started on.

With the new year upon us, perhaps this is a good time to get back to a spiritual renewal, back to the beginning. Maybe this would be the ideal time to take a look at our personal lives and bring the focus of God’s word to the forefront.

Just imagine what an amazing journey this year can be, if we just simple keep our focus on the basics of our faith!

Eugene Coghill

The Impossible Changed Hopeless To Hopeful!

The most recent holiday of Easter is a few days behind us now. All the left overs from the Sunday brunch is gone, along with the all of the hard boiled eggs that were found by children in the neighborhood easter egg hunt. Chocolate bunnies and jellybeans were eaten by children of all ages everywhere. I hope the spirit and meaning of Easter did not pass just as quickly, and that is the purpose of this blog.

A world changing even took place in just outside of Jerusalem over 2015 years ago. The biblical overview and the detailed accounts of Easter is by far the most fascinating story ever told to mankind. It is a story of reconciliation between guilt and punishment, mercy and grace, and the redeeming power of God that brings hope to every human on the planet who will freely receive it.

There are current events going on right now in our country that highlights the contrast between redeeming love and power of God and the futile judgement of man based on our own emotions and attitudes about justice.
The Boston Marathon bombing trial is complete and the jury is now considering the punishment to be handed down, either life in prison or execution. I have read and heard countless commentaries from various news organizations and talk radio shows debating the fate of the bomber. Overwhelming majority, especially in the New England area feel he should be put to death.

It is not my intent to debate the sentence or justification for or against it. I just want to show the contrast of mercy and justice as we know it, and mercy and justice as God knows it. I realize that not everyone will share or agree with my opinion, I only ask that you listen with an open mind.
I have heard a lot of people call into these shows asking for the death of the Boston bomber, and some of it is most certainly emotionally based, because some people have difficult removing their emotions from the situation. That is part of our human nature, as we are emotional beings.

Consider this point: As humans we are only capable of killing a body, we can do no more, and we esteem that as the highest degree of punishment that can be given. I for one do believe that justice should be rendered, I for one just do not believe that we as humans are qualified to render that justice or judgement in taking a life.
I heard a few christians call in on these radio shows, citing “Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth” and “Live by the sword, die by the sword”, as a means to justify the death penalty. I find it very interesting that as New Testament christians that those verses were the only sources cited regarding justice in this case.

What is it that drives our emotional based rational for harsh punishment such as the death penalty? Could it be because we judge according to our own standards and not God’s? Do we not measure man against man? Are not the standards of God nothing short of Holiness? How do we measure up to those standards?

There are countless times in the Bible where Jesus cites mercy, grace and truth, as opposed to vengeance, wrath and judgement. I find this to be interesting because he was the only one qualified to administer judgement, wrath and vengeance. And yet on many occasions he chose to demonstrate unfathomable grace love and mercy. The climatic drama of Easter is the exact expression of that love. Love and grace and mercy for you and I who are and will always be, underserving.

I like the part of Easter that ends with endless and eternal hope for even the worst among us. Like it or not that is the exact reason that Jesus Christ came here to this earth. To redeem and yes save those who we would be quick to destroy. He proved that he has saving power to redeem anybody who puts their trust in him, repents and believes he is who he says he is, and can do what he says he can do.

The climatic event of that first Easter, puts all of our lives and our eternal destiny in the balance based on what took place. The facts are in that Jesus Christ died, was buried and did the impossible on the third day. He rose from the grave under his own power!

You and I are now faced with the decision of what his resurrection means. He staked his entire existence and mission on the one event that would prove he was exactly who he said he was, The Son of God. If he did not come out of the grave, then he was just a mortal man like the billions who came before him and the billions who would be born after him. And you and I would be the most miserable of all people because we would be believing in someone who could not do for himself what he promised he will do for us, raise us from the dead.

It had never been done before, that a person could die and then at will and by their own command come back to life again. Yet this Jesus said he could, and told people, that he would, before it happened. He made the boldest claim one could ever make, by saying that he was the Son of God, and the proof would be reserved for the last and biggest miracle he had ever performed. As a matter of fact he was so confident, it was as if he had done this hundreds of times before.

One thing about history that I know, my belief or lack of belief of historical events do not change the event. My belief may change but the event is forever etched in the pages of eternity. Jesus Christ rose from death back to life and is now presently alive forevermore.
Because he did the impossible, you and I can now live with hope of endless possibilities. There is hope for all of us, from the worst who walk among us, even their life is redeemable. Because the judge of the universe made it so, by saying “who so ever will call upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved.”

Eugene Coghill

The Sun Still Shines Above The Clouds

IMG_1263Have you ever experienced a wet rainy day that seemed to go on forever? You know the kind, that even after driving for perhaps a couple hundred miles all you see is a large vast of gray clouds overhead and the constant torrent of rain.

While we all know that rain is very much needed for crops and plants and the well being of the planet, for the most part we do not like experiencing it when it inconveniences our best laid plans for outdoor activities.

Sometimes our personal lives go through periods of overwhelming gray and darkness and it seems as though the relentless rain of difficult times keeps pouring down on us. Yes, it is true that those times are real and sometimes painful and highly discouraging. I have experienced it on many occasions and it does not at all feel good.

However, I for one have discovered something that gives me much hope even in the middle of darkness and despair. I have discovered that the sun still shines above the clouds! I had the pleasure of taking a flight to Jamaica about two years ago nearing the end of a long cold New England winter in Boston. I remember getting to the airport with a large coat, bundled up and it was very cold with the wind blowing and a bit of freezing rain. I was looking forward to getting to Jamaica and experiencing the 82 degrees that was forecasted that week.

When the plane thundered down the runway, there was nothing that had changed outside my window. The rain was still coming down, it was still cold and windy, and the gray sky was as far as the eye could see. Up we went, and minutes later the entire plane was engulfed in clouds so that there was no visibility from my window. And to the unknowing, it would seem as though that the entire flight would be like that. Just a bleak gray of space that would never see the light of day. But then something amazing happened. We were flying faster and higher, and with each foot of elevation we were closer to the sun and farther from the earth.

That is important to know, because that is where the miracle begins to take shape. It is in the very knowledge that regardless of what things look like outside of my window, I knew that sooner or later we would be above the clouds and nothing but brilliant sunlight would flood the vastness of the heavens.

It is the same knowledge of hope and knowing that in our daily lives the sun is always shining regardless of what we can physically see or experience. In the spiritual sense, the Son is always shining his love toward us even if we have difficulty feeling it. The knowledge that He is always there, always present should propel us to get above the current cloud of circumstances we are in and experience the love of God shining in our lives.

I often use the thought of his eternal power and knowledge to get me through difficult circumstances. When I am having a really difficult day or week, I think on the thought that he already knows the outcome of the day and week. He knows just how things are going to turn out, and all I have to do is walk toward the end result that he can clearly see all of the time.

Have you ever felt discouraged as a Christian believer? Does it seem that no significant change is happening in your life? Well, take heart in knowing that the God of the universe, sees your life as the end product of his work. Please take comfort in this: “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;” Phil 1:6

Soldier on my friend and remember that things are not what they seem, actually they are better! You can rest in the guarantee that just as the sun does shine above the clouds of rain, that our God still shines his love toward us as we move closer to the Son and farther from this earth!

Eugene Coghill

Joy To The World

1420705677333The New Kingdom Will Inspire Joy To The World
by
Eugene Coghill

This letter goes out to close friends and strangers who I shall meet, who will become friends.

I wanted to take the time this holiday season to share a few things from the heart about renewed hope that this season brings. We live in a stressful world and it can be difficult at times to see the joy in faces of people around you. While I was doing some shopping I made a point to step back and reflect on what this season is all about, and wondered why that the most joyous time of the year brings about the most stress in our lives. I saw people with faces that did not reflect hope in this world’s future. As the world gets further and further removed from the real meaning of Christmas, I wanted to take the time to remind us exactly what the hope and joy is all about.

While driving into Boston this morning I heard some inspirational Christmas carols and found my self singing out loud. One of my favorites is called Joy To The World. The title is in stark contrast with the news headlines in the paper or on television. However, Joy To The World, is the future headline of news in the new Kingdom that will be established here on earth. The song reflects the hope of the renewed creation, and peace that will be earth wide and the renewed brotherhood of mankind. Joy to the world, reflects all of our current global problems solved by a much better government, and ran by the King who was born over 2014 years ago, Jesus Christ.

Joy to the world reflects a time, when sickness, sadness, death and sin will be no more. Joy to the world, will mean we no longer deploy troops to distant lands to engage in war. We won’t learn how to conduct war. Joy to the world, will mean enough food for everyone, and no longer will our TV screens show the faces of hungry children, and our homeless shelters will be a thing of the past. Joy to the world, will reflect people from every nation, race, color and creed will come together under the banner of one God.

Joy to the world, will reflect paradise renewed, that was lost by Adam and Eve. Our life will not be zapped of energy, old age or death. Joy to the world, when our children will play safe and secure, and their laughter can be heard all over the neighborhood. Parents will no longer fear, abductions, molestations, handguns and drugs will be far removed from our youth. Joy to the world, will mean a time when truth is welcomed by all, and corruption greed and politics will not compete for our attention.

I am speaking of a time that is hard to imagine, because what we see is all that we have ever known. However there is hope, because as most of you know; that little baby that was born in Bethlehem, over 2000 years ago, has been appointed the reigning king over this earth to rule God’s Kingdom right here on planet earth. His government can do what our governments cannot. It will solve issues that are impossible for us humans to solve. His government can administer justice righteously, and money or the color of your skin will not be important. I am speaking of a future time, but there is something that we can do right now while waiting for it.

For those of us who are Christians, we can demonstrate to others what life will be like in the new Kingdom. We are called to be a role model to the rest of the world, beginning with our family and friends who know us best, even with all of our faults and mistakes. Parents are called to be a role model to children. Husbands are called to be a role model to your wife and show unconditional love just as Jesus does for us. It does not take much to bring a little bit of heaven down to earth. Small simple gestures such as holding the door for someone else, a kind word to a stranger, a helping hand to a friend in need or some time spent with the ones you love and those who are alone and lonely. How about a phone call to show you care, or a random act of kindness. And may you always be reminded that the joy and smiles that you bring to others will be reflected back to you.

So this season as you busy yourself with all you have to do, take the time to remember that the greatest gift you have to give to others is not found in a store, in the mall, or online. The greatest gift you have to give to those around you is found inside of you. It is the gift of yourself and love for others that you can share daily, and it does not cost you anything except your willingness to love others.
So while we all are waiting for God’s Kingdom, whether we are alive or sleeping in our graves, in the meantime we can bring a little bit of God’s Kingdom to those around us by our lifestyle. I will leave you with this, try your best to treat your family and friends as if they were your next door neighbors in the Kingdom, and treat them as you would yourself. I am wishing all of you a joyous holiday season. And may God’s love fill your heart so that you may share it with others. Let it begin with me. Your life can become a whole new adventure and then you too will proclaim: Joy To The World!