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Zeteo 3:16 with Alf and Alesia Cengia

 

 

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This Transient Life
Witnessing Tools
Friday, February 13, 2015
Alf Cengia

I've learned over the years that our bodies are unreliable. They wear out eventually - sometimes quickly. There's nothing we can do to prevent it. The best we can hope for is to slow the process down somewhat. Our lives here on earth are a vapor, brief and precarious.

Have I made you feel good so far? There's more.

Years ago I saw Running Guru Jim Fixx's book in a discount book store and bought it on impulse. I was on the heavy side at the time, and the magical promises of jogging caught my attention. Frankly, reading the book scared me into action. Fixx's contention was that heavier people ran a significantly higher risk of heart attacks, while running long distances daily was a panacea of sorts.

I started running eight miles a day and dropped weight rapidly. The positive attention I received was almost immediate and highly addictive. I ran nearly every day regardless of the weather conditions. Whenever I didn't get that run in I'd be miserable.

Pretty soon I began looking drawn. I lost a lot of muscle mass and the bones in one foot began giving me trouble.

What brought it to a pathetic head was my little brother's arm wrestle challenge. I'd always been stronger and larger but having seen how much weight I'd lost, he confidently struck up the challenge and had no difficulty beating me. I immediately stopped running and bought some weights. Vanity!

The irony of it all was that Jim Fixx eventually died of a heart rhythm abnormality at only fifty two years of age while he was out jogging. Running was no cure-all for staying alive.

To redeem myself I became a gym-rat and grew much stronger than ever before. I could bench a smidgeon over three hundred pounds and squat and dead lift even more - all without drugs! Then there were those formidable High Intensity Interval Training sessions. I almost felt invincible.

We gym-rats had our gym heroes. Mine were the older guys who trained drug free. One guy, Bob, was ten years older but could wipe me away in the bench press. He was a legend - a hard no-nonsense Police Commander who had organized a Special Operations Police Group affectionately called the "Soggies."

Bob occasionally brought the Soggies into the gym to train with him. We knew how tough they were and we liked it whenever they struggled to do what we did. As tough as he was, Bob finally succumbed to brain cancer at around sixty two years of age. He wasn't invincible.

There were other older guys I admired. Some were in their late seventies and early eighties. In three memorable cases they seemed unstoppable. Then within six months or so it was as if some switch had been pulled and their time was suddenly up. It happened that quickly!

My friend was fortyish when he confided that he saw an old man in his mirror. He was so devastated that he resolved to squeeze in as much of life as could in the amount of time he thought he had left.

Yet there's nothing we can do about our decaying bodies and the inevitable grave. We might be in superb peak physical condition when some unforeseen accident takes our lives.

Is there no hope?

One internet atheist declared that if Christians gave up their imagined god they'd begin to enjoy this world more fully because this is the only life we have. One could respond in various ways but obviously the atheist was enjoying her life at the time. Her situation will eventually change. Many Syrians aren't enjoying their "one life" right now, regardless of their beliefs.

The Godless World wants to hang onto this One because it is the only One it understands and loves. Its chief aim is Self and it assumes there's no suffering after death. It unwittingly looks upon a decaying, groaning creation (Rom 7:24, 8:22).

It doesn't recognize its sin nature, much like someone who has been working out in the yard all day often does not realize just how grimy and smelly they are until after a shower and change of clothes.

On the other hand Spurgeon once asked: "What is the chief end of man?" He responded: "Man's chief end is to glorify God (1 Cor. 10:31), and to enjoy Him forever (Psalm 73:25-26)." See also Psalm 16:11.

God so loved us that he sent His loving Son to die on the Cross for our sins (John 3:16; 1 Cor. 15:3-4; Eph. 3:14-16). Colossians 1:16 tells us that all things were made by Jesus Christ, and for Him! So we were made for Him and to enjoy Him forever. John 1:1-5 and Phil. 2:5-8 affirm that Christ is the same God who made all things yet humbled Himself for us.

Christ's resurrection made ours possible. We inherit incomprehensible eternal joy. John tells us that it remains to be seen what we shall become but that we will be like Him because we shall see Him as He is (1 John 3:2), and Paul tells us we will be raised in power (1 Cor. 15:42-44).

I'm reminded of Moses who was granted a small precarious reflection of God (Exodus 33:19-29). After having spent forty days with Him - without eating or drinking - Moses' face shone. The Israelites grew afraid while Moses had to wear a veil to cover his glowing face (Exodus 34:28-30, 35, 36).

What is Jesus like now? Rev 1:12-16 is a good place to look.

In his book The Glory of Heaven John MacArthur notes that our new heavenly, Christ-like bodies (1 Cor. 15:47-49) will allow us to enjoy perfect fellowship with God in Eternity. We will be able to enjoy eating without needing to eat, and fly (according to MacArthur) and move through space in an instant, among other things.

Are you excited about that? I am!

There's nothing I can do to slow my aging process and little more to prevent debilitating disease and/or death. However I can look forward to Eternal Joy with my Lord with full assurance. And so do all of us who have placed our faith in Him.

And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever. Rev 22:3-5

"Surely I am coming quickly." Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! Rev 22:20

Have you placed your faith in Christ? You don't want the alternative!

About Alf Cengia

Last week: As Anti-Israel, so Anti-Jew



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