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Archive for March 16th, 2008

Recently I was driving with my family (essentially down to two children that once was 5) in our van. I asked one of my sons (vaguely enough to not be pushy but specific enough to try to be involved), “What did you do today?” In typical teenage non-answer fashion he said, “Nothing.” In a moment of exasperation at being pushed away again I replied, “You mean all is dark, cold, and silent?” This come back received comment and I thought later that I could have added “vacuous expanse, hopelessness, worthless, non-communicative, forgotten, dry, and dead“. Afterall nothing is the lack of something: darkness the lack of light, cold the lack of thermal energy, silent the lack of material medium disturbance, and so forth. Nothing is so opposite of God. “God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all” (I John 1:5). “His throne was ablaze with fire” (Daniel 7:9). As to sound “His voice was like the sound of many waters” (Revelation 1:15) and the sound of a gentle blowing… and behold, a voice came to him” (Daniel19:12,13). And furthermore you should “know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:19) because “He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things (Eph. 4:10). All hope is found in the “Hope of Israel, its Savior in time of distress” (Jeremiah 14:8 ). And “may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13). You can do that when “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27) reigns in your heart. Of His worth Peter (first letter 2:6) says Christ is “a choice stone, a precious corner stone, and he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.” Christ is the very communication of God for “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God,…., and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:1,14). And though He is God “He remembers that they were but flesh” (Psalm 78:38 ) and remembers us in our low estate” (Psalm 136:23). But He doesn’t leave us there giving us “living water, a very “well of water springing up to eternal life (John 4:14). In fact He said, “I am the bread of life (John 6:33), “the resurrection and the life (John 11″25).

So you see God is anything but nothing. Can you imagine Jesus sitting by the Sea of Galilee and being asked by one of His disciples, “What are you doing?” and Jesus replies nothing. Nothing! Hardly. But he was found “in the stern, asleep on a cushion” (Mark 4:38 ) you may say. That is a useful activity in its time, not at all like the condition of the sluggard of whom it is said, “a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, then your poverty will come as a robber and your want like an armed man” (Proverbs 24:33-34). There is nothing. No, physical rest is good and spiritual rest is better. We are even urged to “be diligent to enter that rest” (Hebrews 4:11) which seems a contradiction in terms until you realize that your natural man wants to do nothing (unbelief) and your new man has to do something (belief) to enter and remain in rest. I will not go so far as the pope did recently to elevate the practice of “nothing” to the level of a deadly sin (all sins are eternally threatening). But our God is active, alive, filling all things. We should be involved in something according to His will rather than shrinking back to nothing.

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