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The Big Picture

      Most of us have been in a situation at work or another organization where we were instructed to do a task in a certain way that did not make sense to us.  The running joke is that we just did not see the "Big Picture".  Sometimes there was a grand master plan that needed your detailed cooperation to succeed but often it was just someone making decisions who had never done your task and did not understand the best way to accomplish the goals and used the "Big Picture" as an excuse for making poor decisions.

      When it comes to our place in this world, it is so critical to see the "Big Picture" from God's perspective.  Fortunately, our maker is not out of touch with our situation and the tasks, feelings, desires that we face.  Through Jesus, He experienced life in very harsh times with the additional pain and suffering leading up to his horrific death.  He endured more pain than any one of us reading this today can imagine. Jesus had the power to reject the cross and rightfully condemn all mankind but He allowed Himself to be sacrificed and He did it for a reason. 

I will try to consolidate what I understand from the Bible and offer my view of the "Big Picture" in the hope that it will help you see the true reality of our situation from an eternal perspective.

1) The garden God created on this earth for man & woman was beautiful, peaceful and in perfect harmony with nature.  A paradise.  God placed Adam & Eve in charge of this earth giving them authority to rule.  God gave man and woman free will to make eternal choices and all God asked was that they not eat from the tree of knowledge.

2) When Adam & Eve believed the lies of Lucifer (Satan) and disobeyed God by eating from the tree of knowledge, they brought a curse upon themselves all their offspring and the whole earth with separation from God along with death, disease, and everything that we consider to be unpleasant into this world.  This also means that all descendants of Adam & Eve are born with a selfish (sinful) nature that is proud and does not want to serve God.  So we cannot blame God for the atrocities of this life as they displease Him more than we can possibly know.  For the most part, God allows the natural consequences of sin to inflict our world and this is why we can see such evil all around us.  But we need to see beyond this life and try to grasp eternity the way God sees it to really understand the magnitude of the situation. 

Our life on this earth whether it is the longest or the shortest, the richest or the poorest, the happiest or the saddest life, does not even equal one single drop compared to the ocean of eternity.  What really matters is where you will spend eternity and how many other people you try to help follow the Savior.  Jesus knew this and that is why He allow the enemies of God to torture and kill Him knowing that only His death could make it possible for mankind to receive grace and mercy and join Him in eternal life.

3) God is a "God of love" but he is also a "God of justice and purity".  Nothing impure can enter His presence because his holiness would destroy it.  All of heaven was watching as God saw the hopeless despair of mankind.  God would have been justified to let all of mankind pay the price for disobedience with eternal separation.  God had already expelled Lucifer and a third of the angels from heaven for rebellion.  How can He show His love for mankind and still offer justice?  God created a way that would allow mankind to be reunited with Him through a new relationship by believing and following His Son.  Why else would God send His one and only Son Jesus to leave the glory of heaven  and live on earth experiencing all the pain & trials of a selfish greedy and hateful world?  Jesus did not give into temptation or disobey His Father even though it meant a long horrible suffering death by crucifixion.  Because Jesus was without sin and suffered death in our place, He is the only person who could bridge the gap between unholy mankind and a Holy God by paying the price for sin that we could never pay.  He did this for you and me and for all who would seek the truth and throw themselves on God's mercy and ask to be forgiven and desire a relationship with their creator.

4) It is all about relationship.  Don't be deceived by those who will try to force rules, rituals or religious activities on you as a way to find God.  Also those who promote personal righteousness or human reasoning power are misleading because none of these will do you any eternal good if you do not have the relationship and there is only one way to enter into a relationship and have your spiritual eyes opened.  It starts with a simple but sincere step of faith when you:  A) Choose to give yourself to God by asking for His forgiveness for all your sins.  B) Accept His Son Jesus as the only way you can join God's Family.  C) Allow God's Spirit to open your eyes and change your heart & mind from the inside out.  “He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”- Jim Elliot.   He is waiting to greet you with the open arms of a loving Father.
 

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