His Work.

By: Ron Bouchard, http://www.theburningheart.com

Republished from: http://www.theburningheart.com

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When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have ordained; what is man, that you think of him? What is the son of man, that you care for him? Psalms 8:3-4

In the above photograph provided by NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft in 2013, we see Saturn in the foreground and way, way behind it we see a blue speck highlighted by an arrow, otherwise we would miss it. I’m sure you may have guessed by now; that this little blue dust mote is the planet Earth. It is you and me. It is our home. Think of the billions of people that are alive right now, upon that little blue dot. Think of the endless magnificence of the universe, with billions of galaxies containing billions of stars.

And . . . There we are . . . lost in insignificance.

But . . . Not to the heart of God.

No, we are not lost to Him. It is His way. What is exalted will be brought low. What is humbled will be exalted. What mankind sees as incredible is nothing in God’s sight. What mankind sees as worthless is invaluable to God.

You are invaluable to God.

He would trade all the stars in the firmament of the heavens for you. Indeed, He would trade His very self for you. For your freedom. For your liberty from the slavery of sin and your deliverance from the grave.

In truth, God has done just that, sending His only begotten Son as a ransom for you and for me. Men worship many things and they give their souls away for what will, one day, be lost. But, God, not wanting us to be lost in the insignificance of these ‘things’ has offered us Life!

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made, and without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:1-5

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View from Spacecraft ‘Voyager 1’ as it leaves our Solar system. The arrow points to our Earth.

His Blessings, Ron

By: Ron Bouchard, http://www.theburningheart.com

To Intercede Is To Love.

By: Ron Bouchard http://www.theburningheart.com

“So he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.  For it is indeed fitting for us to have such a high priest: holy, innocent, undefiled, separate from sinners, and exalted above the heavens.”       Hebrews 7:25,26

Perfect holiness, unapproachable Majesty.  This is the Holy One of Heaven.  Throughout history, men have cowered before the thrones of earthly kings.  Being called before an absolute ruler was not usually a good thing.  The commoner’s life was held at the whim of one man, seated on a throne of consolidated power.  And, as history teaches us, few of these rulers were of noble character.  Being brought before such a man was terrifying, considering the power he had over the lives of his subjects.  So, men would quite naturally give the king their utmost respect. 

In considering this, think of what it will be like to stand before the throne of the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth, the one called ‘The King of kings and the Lord of lords’.  Think of what it will be like for the person who has shaken his fist in defiance at God and has despised everything that the Holy One considers true and beautiful. That moment before that Throne will be a moment of abject terror such as one has never experienced before, when the realization dawns upon that person that they have spent their life, (given to them by God), defying Him.

But, the Word of God tells us that: “God is Love.” (1 John 4:8).  The Lord, who is unapproachably holy, the One who is completely undefiled by sin, has made a way for you and me to approach Him.  Indeed He has made a way for us to dwell with Him; even, amazingly, to be His children!

It is because He is Love that He has done this thing.  His glory is absolute just as His love is absolute.  In fact, His glory is His perfect love.

This is where intercession comes in.  To intercede.  This is the definition: “To plead on another’s behalf; To act as a mediator in a dispute; To intervene between two parties with a view to reconciling the differences.”  

Allow me to simplify and expand the definition from God’s viewpoint.  It means to stand in the gap and take the punishment that was meant for someone else; it means to take their place and allow the wrath against sin that was meant for the other person to be poured out on another in order to satisfy a Holy God. 

This is the other, Son of God.  This is Jesus.  This is what He freely chose to do out of His love for you and for me.  God’s perfect righteousness must be satisfied.  Rather than satisfy it by judging, condemning and punishing us, He chose to place all of these things upon His Son Jesus.  The Word of God says that: “He became sin who knew no sin, that, we might become the righteousness of God in Him!” (2 Corinthians 5:21)  This means simply, that Jesus took the guilt, shame and punishment for our sin upon Himself, that all who believe in Him may not perish but have everlasting life!  It is only by faith that we can receive this gift.  Even our faith is a gift of God.  All we have to do is ask!

And, please, always remember . . . He ever lives to make intercession for us!  That means today, at this very moment, if you have fallen into sin, Jesus is standing in the gap for you, showing His Heavenly Father that the price has been paid; that you are His purchased posession; that He will complete what He has begun in your life!

His blessed love upon you, Ron

Ron Bouchard. http://www.theburningheart.com

Giving Your Life Away . . .

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone: but if it die, it brings forth much fruit.”    John 12:24  (Jesus speaking)

Jesus had thirty three years on this planet.  The first few years were spent fleeing to Egypt and living in hiding there from the wrath of Herod.  The rest of his years, except for the last three, were spent at the hard labor of carpentry.  It  is indicated by scripture that he lost his earthly father at an early age and had to take over the responsibility of providing and caring for his family.  What I think about often is that he also had the inner knowledge of the shortness of his earthly life and what he must face at the end of that life.  A hard life and the cross at the end of it!

When he spoke of laying his life down for others, it wasn’t a play on words, it wasn’t symbolism, it wasn’t a parable, it was the truth of his life.  It was the reality that he chose because he loved you and because he loved me.

Now, getting back to that grain of wheat.  Jesus is saying to us, if we live our lives for ourselves, at the end of it we will have nothing.  If we give our lives away to be used by God for His glory and to bless others, at the end of it we will have a whole field full of the eternal fruit of our sacrifice.

He is comparing the life lived selfishly to a hard, dry kernel of wheat which in the end, produces no fruit.  He is contrasting that selfish life with a life that dies to self and lives for the Lord, for His Kingdom and for others, which ends with a new beginning: Eternal Life! 

When the grain of wheat (you and me!) choose the way of Jesus, the way of sharing God’s love, grace and mercy with others, a bountiful harvest is ahead!  It is our choice.  The outcome of those two choices couldn’t be more appallingly different.  Let’s commit together, today, to following Jesus.                     

His love and grace, Ron

No One Is Beyond Hope.

By: Ron Bouchard http://www.theburningheart.com

“This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance: ‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners’ – and I am the worst of them all!”   Paul the Apostle (1 Timothy 1:15)

If you think you’ve gone too far, that the evil you have done puts you beyond hope, I am here to tell you that you are wrong.  If you know someone that thinks this about themselves, or, maybe you have thought that about them, then you need to repent of those thoughts and go to them and share the Good News: That they are not beyond hope, That God truly loves them, that he has made a way for them to be redeemed, to be changed, to be delivered from sin and shame and guilt . . .

I want to point out something: Paul used the present tense.  He said, “I am the chief of sinners”, not “I was”.  Until we can say this, along with Paul about ourselves, without any doubt as to its truth, we can never be a truly convincing witness of the love of Jesus Christ.  Why?  Because we will still be talking to others from a place of superiority. 

But, once you really catch on to the fact that YOU are the worst sinner of all, then, when you share the incredibly wonderful news of God’s love and forgiveness to another broken person, your word will have power: power to bring salvation!  Until that happens, you will only come across as a self-righteous, religious prig.  Virtually no one will listen to you. 

I want you to remember something; King David, the man who wrote the majority of the Psalms, The man whom God said was ‘a man after His own heart’, this very man, was an adulterer and a murderer! 

Never forget that no one is beyond the love and forgiveness of God. 

If you have been told that by a religious person, that it is hopeless for a person such as you, then you have been told a lie and God will hold them to account for that. 

I hope I have made it clear to you, I who am the worst of sinners, that if God can rescue me and save me from my sin, then he can save you!     

His Wonderful Grace, Ron

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”    John 3:16,17

By: Ron Bouchard http://www.theburningheart.com

His Light.

“O house of Jacob, come all of you, and let us walk in the light of the LORD.” Isaiah 2:5

There are so many sources of light. Without light we walk in darkness and the blindness that goes along with it. I was in a cave once and the guide turned off the light source. The blackness was so complete that it felt like it was entering my body, and indeed, it was. I thought about it for a moment and realized that just a few days of this utter blackness and I would most likely go insane.

I believe it is the same with spiritual darkness. Without the light of God’s presence in our life we gradually become the very darkness we find ourselves in. It enters into our soul and destroys the image of God, the very One in who’s image and likeness we were created.

We have a choice, each day, each moment: to walk in the light of the Lord or to choose the darkness of the world.

The first brings with it an ever increasing freedom and joy; the second only offers blindness and chains.

Jesus said: “I am the light of the world, he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life!”

His Blessings, Ron

Transformed.

By Ron Bouchard, http://www.theburningheart.com

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit if the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:17,18

What truly changes a person? What can really transform the life of a Christian? Is it Church attendance? Is it Bible study? Could it be prayer? How about serving the Lord; does that slowly but surely bring us into maturity? Could witnessing and sharing Jesus with others be the catalyst for change and growth? Maybe being mentored by an older Christian might make the difference. Could it be reading the latest Christian authors, or perusing the most relevant Christian blogs? How about establishing a correct doctrinal stance?

All these things are good. They all can be used by the Lord to bless us. But, none of these things can transform us. Transformation is a heaven thing. Transformation is a sight thing. Transformation beholds the very person you and I desire to be like. To behold His face. To be overwhelmed by His glory. To taste His perfect love as our own. This is what transforms. This is what brings freedom.

No veils. Nothing between the Glorious One and our own brokenness. Everything above board. Everything brought into the light of His glorious love.

This is the mirror of our renewal; the sight of Jesus, the beauty of His face and being clothed in His love, though we deserve none of it! The Gospel. The joy of it! A merciful God who forgives us and invites us to fellowship with Him, face to face. This is where transforming power resides; in the face of my Savior, Jesus of Nazareth!

His Grace, Ron Bouchard

By Ron Bouchard, http://www.theburningheart.com

The Power of Shame.

“Do not let the afflicted be turned back in shame! Let the oppressed and poor praise your name!.” Psalms 74:21

We are all afflicted in some way. The dictionary gives this definition: “to cause pain or suffering; to be distressed so severely as to cause persistent suffering or anguish.” Many of us suffer or have suffered physically, from injuries, diseases, etc. The list is endless. Mental and emotional afflictions can cause more anguish than even physical pain. And, then there is spiritual affliction. This is where shame comes in; the single, cruelest weapon of torture, wielded by the Enemy of our Soul.

He is called The Accuser. The Word of God tells us that he accuses us before our God day and night.

He not only accuses us before God, he torments us with the shame of our failures, especially those in which we feel we have let God down, when we’ve stumbled in sin. Shame: the worst of afflictions, the cruelest of tortures.

What is shame’s ultimate purpose? To keep us from coming to God; to cause us to feel separated from his love.

Well, I want to share some very Good News to anyone agonizing in shame: Jesus destroyed the power of shame over two thousand years ago! He dealt it a permanent death blow as he took our sin and shame upon himself, made it his own and paid the price for it by suffering and dying in our place, upon the cross. When he died the scriptures tell us that the veil that prevented mankind from entering into the Holy of Holies was rent in two from top to bottom. This signifies that you and I are now free to enter into God’s Holy Throne Room, just as we are, to be cleansed forgiven and restored by him, in his very presence!

This is the fulfillment of the request in the above verse: “Do not let the afflicted be turned back in shame!”

God hasn’t let that happen. He has made a way for us to enter into his presence and not be turned back; and that way is Jesus! Now we are free to praise his Holy Name. ~Ron