Sunday, December 23, 2012

Peace & Propitiation To You

 Camera: Nikon D60
Aperture - f/5.3
 Exposure- 1/10
 ISO- 1600
Lens- 42mm
No Flash.

Tip: If you like making your own Christmas cards, try doing close up shots of decorations and get them printed. Then write your season's greetings on the back! Fun to do, and super easy. Give it a try next year...or this year, if you like sending belated cards.

I realize I have missed a couple posts in the last several weeks. To make up for that, here's a nice big one. Merry Christmas! :)

What is propitiation and how does it apply to us? Let’s start with the meaning of the word. Propitiation basically means to appease. Many modern Bible translations have replaced the word propitiation with other words. One example of a passage where this has occurred is 1 John 4:10, which states,  “In this is love, not that we have loved God, but that He loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” The New Living translation replaces propitiation with “sacrifice” and the Revised Standard Version has replaced it with “expiation”, just to name a couple. 

While both of those words DO have to do with the subject, neither is a perfect synonym for propitiation. Of course, you know what sacrifice means. But I’m sure I probably just lost you at expiation, didn’t I? You’re all probably like “Oh no, there goes Sarah with big words…“  In short, expiation would be removing the stains of our sins, if you will. Many like to put it that Christ is our expiation; he died for our sins and gives us a clean slate, but does it just take stain removal to appease an angry God? No. And that is what propitiation is for.

So, if propitiation is what Christ did for us, why do people often like to use one of the replacement words instead? One reason is translators feel like they have to put simpler words into the text- because to put it strait, people just aren’t as intelligent nowadays as they were in past generations. The other reason they avoid the word is because too many people anymore don’t believe that God is a God of wrath that must be appeased. They like to take that one verse and just focus on the “God is love”. While yes, one of the attributes of God is love, He is also a God of justice and has a great deal of wrath towards us sinners who are oh-so-talented at perverting justice.

The cross is not only something to point to God’s love, but also to his justice and his wrath. God is completely just, and that is why all us sinners were condemned to eternal punishment; it is after all, exactly what we deserve. Yet as a loving creator, He sent His son to die for His people. Why? Because His wrath against sin had to be appeased. On the cross, Jesus became sin for us and was our propitiator. God is so just that He wouldn’t even bend the rules a little, even for his Son to prevent his suffering. Somebody had to pay the penalty, cause getting off free isn’t an option with total justice.

There are many more places I could go with this whole thing, but not now. Now it’s back to our big word. Propitiation. Why should it continue to be used instead of replaced by simpler words? I’m hoping by now you have a guess at this. It needs to stand because it is a reminder to us of not only what Christ did for us, but also as a reminder to who God is.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

What Would You Do?

 [[Picture Below]]

A lot of people have it in their heads that the end of the world is on the 21st of this month. I highly doubt this is going to be the case- yet what if it is? Like it says in Mark 13:32, referring to the Lord's return, "But about that day or hour no one knows". 

With all this end of the world talk, it makes for an interesting subject of conversation, if nothing else. What would you do, if you knew for a fact that you would die in two weeks? The general consensus I hear seems to be "go on an adventure! See the world!", followed by stuff having to do with personal finance- things ranging from "sell all my assets so that the gov won't tax them", to "give everything to my relatives or friends before I kick the bucket" or even "Give all my money away to random people".

It seems to me that hearing what people would do with the last few days of their lives can be a good indicator of what kind of person they are and what matters the most to them. Considering the above statements, most people's deepest desires and main concerns have to do with travel and money. What I want to ask is, what about God? Where does He fit into all that? If you only had a few days left to live, shouldn't you be concerned about things to come, rather than things that currently surround you? When you face God, will you be proud to tell Him all about how you spent the time He gave you on earth, or will you cringe as you account for every moment spent pursuing things that have no eternal value?

"The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray." 
- 1 Peter 4:7

 Camera: Nikon D60
Aperture - f/4.5
 Exposure- 1/15
 ISO- 400
Lens- 42mm
No Flash. 
Advice: Lightning shots are tough to capture. For best results, put your camera on the settings I have listed, or use a fireworks setting on your camera. Make sure you have either a windowsill or a tripod to keep your camera steady. After that, it's all about timing! Some people will just keep firing off shots until they capture something, but if you've got a good trigger finger & a fast camera, hit the button the second your eye catches any sight of light in the sky- it saves you from deleting 100's of blank shots :)