Tree of Life
Proverbs 13:12 says that “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.” While that principle holds true for all varieties of hopes and desires, the ultimate hope of the Christian life is bound up in the arrival of Christ and his kingdom (Titus 2:13). That is one reason the “tree of life” finds a prominent place in the descriptions of our eternal home in the Book of Revelation (Revelation 2:7; 22:2; 14; 19). So then, if our supreme hopes and desires are in the right place we should expect that a healthy Christian life would always carry some palpable level of “heart sickness,” as we ache for the consummation of God’s eschatological plan. Paul often revealed his godly and mature “unsettled spirit” that “groaned” and “longed” to see us all “put on our heavenly dwelling” (2 Corinthians 5:2). He knew that “to be with Christ” was “far better” than any pleasurable experience this world could possibly afford (Philippians 1:23). Therefore, if you sense you are growing in Christ, but can’t shake that blue sense of dissatisfaction about your present experience and the state of the world, rest assured your spiritual growth is right on track. That ache is a sign of your increasing maturity. Make sure it is tempered with a joyful anticipation, and don’t allow it to degenerate into bitterness. Be reminded each day that with the imminent arrival of our King, the definitive “tree of life” will be here before you know it.
-- Pastor Mike
Because the claims of Christ are true, they hold up to scrutiny and careful examination. It is our Christian duty and personal calling to stay sharp and alert, “always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15). That is why we are dedicating this month on Focal Point to discuss The Big Questions of the faith—How can we be sure there’s a God? What’s so special about the Bible? Is Christianity really the only way? These and other issues are what we absolutely need to understand in a world that is hostile to faith. The good news is, there are definitive answers to be found in God’s Word.
Apologetics, or the defense of the faith, is a topic I frequently address in our Round Table discussions at Compass Bible Church. Our team at Focal Point has put together some of those conversations on a 2 GB flash drive (or DVD if you prefer) for personal or group study. If you are the sort of person who prefers to watch a video than spend hours reading a book, this one is for you. I’m confident you will find these discussions practical, informative and engaging. Request No Apology Necessary with your donation of any amount this month.
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