Preparing for the Kingdom of God
I recently read a hub by a friend of mine that changed my life—Aguasilver's "It only takes a second to change your life."
I have had many experiences this lifetime that have changed my life. I love it when things like that happen. I have always cultivated an openness to learn new things. Many times, what I learn might be interesting but unacceptable to my current world view. But I'm always cognizant that it is my worldview and not "Truth."
Aguasilver's hub made me vitally aware that I needed to prepare for the coming Kingdom of God. Not only that, it helped me realize that I was still too attached to this world—to my projects, to my books, to my computer and software—and even to my physical body. My friend's hub, and the videos he references, acted as a much needed kick in the pants that I didn't know I needed. Happy circumstance, that.
In the forums, I have long cautioned others—atheists and believers alike—to remain humble. My hunger to learn has kept me open to tidbits of wisdom that others might have to share. With Aguasilver's hub, I received a veritable banquet.
I also realized that I am not prepared for Judgment Day. What a humbling realization that was. I only hope that I have realized in time and that my efforts from this day forth bear worthy fruit.
I realized that, though I have studied the Bible for years, I have never read the entire book all the way through. I have several different versions. I have books of biblical commentary and reference. But now I need to get personal with the entire book. Why hadn't I done this before? It's a big book. I suppose a part of me thought the task too daunting, but think about it. In one year, with a handful of verses each day, you could read the entire book. Say you read 67 per day, six days of the week, and 201 on the Sabbath. Depending on your version of the Bible, that should just about fit the entire year.
So, this year, starting on my brother, Terry's birthday (August 28), I am reading the King James Version, right up to my wife's birthday (August 27). Next year, God willing, it will be another version, perhaps NIV (New International Version). I have many versions to consider. CEV (Contemporary English Version), for instance, has a modern English voice, but at least one verse (and likely others) has been shortened (possibly crippled of meaning)—Numbers 14:18—because certain details were left out. Having multiple versions, including the Lamsa, helps achieve a greater level of understanding.
A Life of Service
I have always been busy. As an artist, writer, software engineer, avid amateur astronomer, and reader of a wide variety of topics and sciences, my days have been full.
But now I realize that I have been too selfish. I need to give more of myself and my time. I need to be more like our Lord Jesus and put my talents to work for his cause ahead of my own.
Like it says in Matthew 16:24, "Then Jesus said to his disciples, 'Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me'" (NIV).
Each one of these conditions can have multiple meanings to each of us, but there is only one truth. I remain humble to find that truth so that I can meet each of these conditions.
Understand What Happened in the First Worldwide Disaster
This book is from years of my own research into a biblical timeline compatible with those of mainstream science. I wasn't surprised that God's holy book would match his own creation (reality), but there were many surprises, including discovering through science the target of Noah's Flood -- a species which went extinct at that time.
To deny myself currently means to me to place my needs and aspirations aside. I need to remove selfish importances and replace them with humble responsibility. Taking up the cross means to me to serve selflessly (especially anonymously), but also to be grateful for all things that come my way, no matter how painful or uncomfortable—to smile in the face of adversity.
To follow Christ means to me to follow his commandments—to love God above all else and to love my fellows as much as I love myself. And, of course, it means to love our Lord Jesus Christ as the best friend humanity has ever had.
I need to anticipate hungrily the establishment of the Kingdom of God. No one knows when it will come, but I suspect it will be soon. We may already have some of the signs—the foundation of modern Israel, the great star named "Wormwood" which poisoned a third of the planet (Chernobyl [Ukrainian for "wormwood"], 1986), perhaps the 9/11 attack on New York and the Pentagon, and perhaps the crushing blow dealt to Iraq in the second Gulf War (the iron and clay feet of Nebuchadnezzar's dream?).
What kind of service? I will continue to ask God about this, but my wife, Juvy has done volunteer work in the past and is particularly fond of the group founded by Mother Teresa. No doubt, this is the start of a wonderful new adventure with an entirely new focus.