I really am sorry for a long absence from posting. It is ironic that my last post was an encouragement to publish to fuel the charismatic resurgence, and I haven't posted for over two weeks.
Since the last publication I have had some difficult days: there has been a marriage break-up within the church I pastor, which has been very painful; there have been some dark days for my own soul (pastors are not immune); and last week my grandfather died. So it's been quite tough, and while I have things on my heart to publish, the window of time has not been available. I hope that will change within the next few days.
Yet, I want to just share something very brief. It was a word of encouragement from one of the members during the worship time this morning. A dear brother shared with the church "the cross was not God's afterthought, but His forethought."
He went on to read from 1 Peter 1v20: "He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you."
God wasn't surprised by our sin and rebellion. He knew it was coming even before He made us! And yet He chose to foreknow us and love us in Christ and to save us. The cross was not an emergency rescue package because we had caught God off-guard when we rebelled. It was His eternal plan to have a people for His very self.
I realise that this raised all kinds of knotty questions about why God made us if He knew that the fall would come. I can't answer those today (or maybe never!), but I do believe we can take great encouragement that however dark days become, however often we fall (or however deep we fall), God has no afterthoughts about us - only forethoughts. He loved us even before we did anything good or evil, already knowing exactly what we would do. So He doesn't change His mind or go back on His promises. And in the eternal now of His purposes, He chose us in Christ before even the world was made, the plan of salvation was determined. And today, He holds the future, and He has covered our sins past, present and future. And His love to us is unchanging.
What a great and merciful God we have!