Posts Tagged ‘life’



   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

David expressed himself in Psalm 144: “O Lord, what is man that you care for him, the son of man that you think of him? Man is like a breath; his days are like a fleeting shadow” (vv. 3-4).

There is no logical reason for God to care anything about us humans. Are we just puppets He likes to play with? Does God get a kick out of our suffering and pain down here? To know that God does care enough to actually get involved in our lives is truly the grace of God.

God is eternal and we last 70-80-90 years and we’re done. We celebrate the birth of one generation as we grieve the passing of another. Life is always about change. Nothing alive stays the same. Learning to deal with these shifts and see the hand of God at work in our changing lives is what Christianity is all about. Its not about preserving the past, but about adjusting to the future. And I can trust in my future, because my faith says it is in His hands.




   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Paul had just said in verse 12 that we were debtors, but not to the flesh. He continues: “For if you live after the flesh, you shall die; but if you, through the Spirit, do mortify [put to death] the deeds of the body, you shall live” (Romans 8:13).

Its another of way of saying what he already said back in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal live through Jesus Christ, our Lord“. But, here he is applying it to our flesh appetites. Follow the natural appetites of your mind and body, and it will always lead to death. But there is an alternative. Put to death (crucify) your desires and refocus them on spiritual things, and new life begins to sprout where there was death.

Your salvation is totally dependent upon what Christ did, and not your good works. But your spiritual development is mostly dependent upon your submission to the will of God. As they said in ‘Back to the Future’: “We can do this the easy way, or the hard way…”

Notice that Paul says that we mortify the deeds of the body, “through the Spirit“, not through your own discipline. You cannot please God with the natural mind. That means we all desperately need Jesus in our lives. And then, “you shall live“.




   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in us, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken [give life to] your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwells in you” (Romans 8:11).

I love the word “But“. It gives us the other perspective. Paul had just said in verse 10 that “the body is dead“. That may concern some of us who are spending a lot of money to keep our bodies healthy and still functioning. Do Spirit-filled Christians need to run off to some monastery to escape the sins of the flesh? No, to the contrary. Paul tells us that the body no longer controls us, not that we lose control.

When we are led by the Spirit, God has a way or resurrecting the dead to new life. As we rid our lives of worldly thinking that holds us in bondage, the Holy Spirit restores what death had taken from us. He is a God of restoration. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are loaded with examples of resurrected bodies, dreams, and relationships. New life from the ashes is what Jesus is all about.

He doesn’t tell us to give up sex, but that He will give it a whole new dimension of meaning. He doesn’t tell us to stop eating, but He will give us a whole new appreciation for food. Being a Spirit-filled Christian is a life filled with exciting new adventures that the world just cannot see.

Travel with me down this spiritual road and let’s discover what new treasures God has for us in Christ.

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

After the fall of Adam and Eve, God responded by saying, “Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever…” God, thus, booted Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden and placed armed angels at the entrance to keep them away from the Tree of Life from which they would gain eternal life (Genesis 3:22-24).

Was this literal or symbolic? You decide. One thing is for sure, no one has gotten back into the Garden of Eden since, and death happens to each of us who are descended from Adam and Eve. That’s how the story begins.

But do you know how the story ends? In Revelation 22, John the Revelator describes what he saw in his vision of heaven: “In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of nations (v. 2).

Here’s another important connector in the Bible: The Tree of Life is in the beginning and reappears in the ending. The Bible is one Book, with several continuing threads or truths flowing and interweaving throughout. And its especially interesting that where God made the redeeming connection with man, was up on a tree: The Old Rugged Cross!

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

One of the roles I am called on to fulfill is helping people deal with end-of-life issues. And that’s a difficult place to be in. As a Christian who believes in the supernatural, and who has seen many miracles of healing in people’s lives, how do we accept defeat when death finally comes?

And yet, on the other hand, we are expected to believe that there is a heaven and a Savior waiting to receive us into Father’s House. Do we prolong life or do we eagerly anticipate its end? When doctors say that a person’s condition is ‘terminal’ (incurable and ending in imminent death) do we rejoice or fall into hopelessness, or something in between?

An ethics question that we’ll be hearing more about in coming days will be about helping people pass from this life to the next. Is it really life if a life-support machine is necessary to keep body organs functioning. When (and how) does a loving family ‘pull the plug’ on a loved one? These are questions that physicians and ministers, and families, are asking. And we each need a signed living will down in writing someplace.

Psalm 23:6 sums it up well for a believer: “Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” I win if I stay, and I win if I leave.

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

John G. Paton (1824-1907) was a pioneering missionary who worked in an area that was inhabited by cannibals. The depth of his commitment to Christ was demonstrated by his reply to what an elderly acquaintance said to him as he was making preparations to leave for the field. His friend expressed a fear that Paton might be eaten by cannibals.

Paton responded, “Mr. Dixon, you are advanced in years now, and your prospect is to be soon laid in the grave and to be eaten by worms. I confess to you that if I can but live and die serving the Lord Jesus, it will make no difference to me whether I am eaten by cannibals or worms.”

That’s a great example of what Paul meant when he wrote, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). Live life to the full today.

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

First Baptist Church of Manayunk in Philadelphia purchased an old abandoned house next to the church to expand its parking lot back in the late 1960s. For more years than anyone could remember, a bed of Daffodils (Easter Lillies) had bloomed to welcome each new Spring.

The construction company contracted to tear down the building and to pave the new lot did so in the Fall, so no thought was given to the old flower bed which was leveled off and covered over with eight inches of black asphalt or tarmac. A huge roller then came in and compacted the asphalt down to four inches of rock hard pavement. Everyone enjoyed the new parking lot and soon forgot about the old house and garden. That was, they forgot about it until Spring. The first thing noticed was that an area of asphalt was cracking upward and then just in time for Easter, those dormant, buried and forgotten daffodils burst forth, right up through the pavement to bloom and celebrate the Resurrection.

Nothing could hold those daffodils back, nothing could hold Jesus in the grave, and nothing will hinder the resurrection of the dead some day. I’m gonna stay ready.

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