How Long is Forever?

14 For this God is our God for ever and ever;
    he will be our guide even to the end. Psalm 48:14

I joke that “I waited for her for ever,” which was probably 10-20 minutes. Obviously we do not have a firm grasp on just how long forever really is.

Compare that to God who existed before there was time, and add to it that He’ll be with us to the end, that is quite a long time!

Every so often it’s good to ponder eternity because we’re surrounded by so many temporal things.

What crosses your mind when you think about eternity? What will it be like? What won’t it be like? Who will be there you know? Who won’t be there?

Jonathan Edwards prayed: “Lord, stamp eternity on my eyeballs.” May it also be our prayer.

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The Battle Rages

12 Walk about Zion, go around her,
    count her towers,
13 consider well her ramparts,
    view her citadels,
that you may tell of them
    to the next generation. Psalm 48:12-13

There are two opposing interpretations of these verses but they actually lead to the same conclusion. One is that the writers are speaking sarcastically to their enemies, similar to God speaking to Satan about Job.

The second interpretation is that the writers are speaking to those inside the faith, as if to say, “Look at the solid foundation or righteousness, strength, and love God has made for you.”

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,
15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel,
20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

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A Perfect Judge

11 Mount Zion rejoices,
    the villages of Judah are glad
    because of your judgments. Psalm 48:11

We don’t know what perfect judgment is. It’s as Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 13:12, we see a glass darkly. What does that mean exactly? Well, it’s like looking through the bottom of a dark bottle. We see images moving around but we cannot make out significant detail.

Before my mother-in-law had cataracts surgery a number of years ago, I recall her coming into a room and asking who was there even though she was about 15 feet away from me. After I spoke, she realized who it was. Her vision was greatly impaired with the cataracts. She was clearly not seeing well. She saw a person but did not have a clue who it was.

God’s judgment as we all know is perfect. Unfortunately, we don’t know what perfect judgment is because we’ve never experienced it! We see all of life through very dark and tainted lenses.

Be sure of this, though, the Perfect Judge will judge perfectly. No one will second guess Him or appeal His decisions! It’s liberating for those who know the Judge, but is terribly frightening for those who don’t.

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Around the Globe

10 Like your name, O God,
    your praise reaches to the ends of the earth;
    your right hand is filled with righteousness. Psalm 48:10

In the Beatles’ heyday, John Lennon quipped, “We’re more popular than Jesus now. I don’t know which will go first, rock ‘n’ roll or Christianity.”

Hmm. Interesting.

I write that because if you look at the world, God’s name is called out from across the globe, and it’s been like that since just after Jesus was on Earth. I’m sure John Lennon truly believed his own words but they couldn’t be farther from the truth. Even in the darkest lands, in the remotest jungles, in the most crowded cities, the Name of the Lord has reached there (though not fully).

We don’t see the world as God sees it – obviously! We have a very limited view of what’s really happening in the world, even with out ability to disseminate the news around the clock.

You’re not alone in this fight; there are millions of people in the world who are praising the Name of the Lord daily. Remember that when your back is against the wall and you feel like nobody in the world cares or understands what you’re experiencing.

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Times Infinity

9 Within your temple, O God,
    we meditate on your unfailing love. Psalm 48:9

Why would we meditate on God’s unfailing love? Let’s face it; we need encouragement. What is more encouraging than knowing that God’s love never ever fails?

We may fail; our friends and family may fail. All the world around us could come crashing down, but we can count on one truth: God’s love never fails. I’m not sure we grasp the power of those words.

Pastor David Anderson was student body president at Moody when I was there. David is a very gifted speaker but he was talking about some of the trials of speaking in front of larger audiences. Here’s a gist of what he said. “I may speak to you today and fall on my face. I may flub up every word I say. I may be an utter failure in your eyes today but I know one important thing in my life. When it’s all said and done, my Mom still loves me.”

Same with God…times infinity.

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