by Ernest O’Neill
Most of us live either to please ourselves or to please others: eitherway somehow results in our becoming slaves — slaves to others’ opinions andapproval or slaves to our own strong desires and inherited attitudes. There isanother way — live the way our Maker intended.
Usually we think of that as — don’t, don’t, don’t — don’t do this orthat enjoyable thing because it’s wrong — and God wouldn’t approve ! But thatis just man’s idea — it’s not the reality of God who has made little babies,puppies that run away with your slippers, funny people like Bob Hope and Laureland Hardy. How can a God who made the mighty Amazon river, delicate roses, andbeautiful red sunsets want us to do anything but enjoy all the gifts He hasplanted all over the world?
Where does this beautiful picture of our Maker come from ? From theonly human being who has beaten death — died and come back to life — and leftsuch an unquestionable historical record as has been found in more than 4,000ancient Greek manuscripts from 125 to 1100 a.d. — and affirmed in numerousother writings about his life in the first century of our era. This man (knownas Jesus of Nazareth) made it plain that he lived with his Father, our Maker,long before the world was made. He also said that you — and I — were made byhis Father inside Him. In that timeless “time”, God foresaw what you would dowith your free will inside his son and planned a whole life for you that wouldpreserve your free will and yet constantly draw you towards him and his goodheart. This meant that He would have to put up with whatever you did — andthat’s what he showed us in his Son’s death at Calvary in Palestine in 29 a.d..
But the purpose of all this is to bring you and me freely to a placewhere we want what our Maker wants for us — the very best for us — because heknows what will bring us full satisfaction. That’s why he put us in his son andhis son in us — so that he and we would draw closer and closer together as wedid here on earth the things He wants to do through us! This is for you –whether you’re a street-sweeper or a king, whether you’re rich or poor, whetheryou’re educated or not, whether you’re Ethiopian or British. You have a uniquelife to live and to be lived in you by the Son of the Maker of the world.
How do you live this kind of life? Just face reality — only a fool saysin his heart “there is no God” — face the facts of nature and of history.There has to be some great intelligence behind the order and design of thisuniverse — whether he made it gradually by evolution or suddenly in a bigexplosion, somebody has to be there to program the process or make the stuffthat exploded. Look honestly at this man Jesus — see how true his words sound– how balanced his personality is — and how he demonstrated power over ourgreatest enemy, death. Then just begin living as someone who had been put hereby a loving Father who regards you as his own dear child — as part of his onlySon. Start living from the inside out — instead of from the outside in!
This is what is called living by faith. Faith is not (as the little boysaid in Sunday School) believing what you know isn’t true — faith is livingaccording to the facts of reality. It touches the way you think, the way youspeak, and the way you act. Above all, it delivers you from the tyranny of theurgent, the pressure of your peers, the fear of man, and the panic ofcircumstances. God is not like the old gentleman that many people worship inchurch — he has already written the most advanced algorithm for computers thathaven’t been invented yet. He is your father — and he is most wonderfullykind.