Born to Die

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  I love words. Words can encourage or discourage, spread good new or gossip, order a hot pizza or start a fight. And when you think about it, we communicate with words in very unique ways.

   Some of my favorite words are oxymorons. An oxymoron is a figure of speech in which opposite or contradictory items or terms are combined. Some timeless classics include: clean dirt, dry lake, icy hot, small crowd, found missing…and my all-time favorite –  sensitive guy! Yeah right!!!

   Just for fun, I sat down and decided to see how many oxymorons I could use in a single sentence. Here’s what I came up with: “The jumbo shrimp tasted awfully good, even though it brought up bittersweet memories from our working vacation with our adult children when our pretty ugly dog was found missing following the crash landing which was our only choice.”

   To most of us that paragraph made perfect sense. We can read right through the contradictions without a problem and understand it clearly. By the way, there are nine oxymorons in that one sentence!

   The other day I was thinking about the uniqueness of God, and it came to me that God may be the ultimate oxymoron. On one hand, He is totally predictable. In fact, Malachi 3:6, He says: “For I am the Lord, I change not.” Truer words have never been spoken. His faithfulness ensures forever. His mercies are new every morning. His love is from everlasting to everlasting, and forgiveness is ours for the asking. That is the character of God – totally unchanging and always predictable.

   But, while the character of God is predictable, the acts of God are amazingly unpredictable. As a mater of fact, He can be so unpredictable it bogles the brain. Just think about all the unpredictable ways God fed people throughout the Bible. You would think that once He did something a certain way – and it worked – that would be His forever blueprint. But no – not God!
   Wandering in the desert for 40 years, manna fell from the sky every morning for the Israelites to eat. But God decided to feed Elijah via airmail each day by sending ravens with food. And let’s not forget about the five loaves & two fishes Jesus took and multiplied which fed 5,000 men plus women & children.

   The Book of Revelation tells us that God is the “Alpha & Omega, the beginning & the end, the first & the last.” Oxymorons don’t get much clearer than that. Being mortals, we are made in the image of God in many ways. We too, are both predictable & unpredictable. Predicable for me, means I strive to be a faithful, honest, and a forgiving person Those are character issues.

   On the other hand, I am made in His image to also be unpredictable and creative. Personally, I believe we should be innovative souls, not content with business as usual. When someone says, “But we’ve never done it that way before,” my response should be, “Yes..and isn’t it wonderful?” I mean, how did the chocolate get into the milk? And who is the brain-wave who thought of pockets? What a terrific idea! Man has been gifted with the smarts to invent airplanes, sticky notes, submarines, roller- 

skates, cars, balloons, copiers, zippers, and the snooze button!  A favorite for millions worldwide!

   Now…back to our oxymorons. The ultimate oxymoron is Jesus – our “living sacrifice.” He was born to die and freely gave His life that we might have eternal life – think Easter. As the song asserts…“He paid a debt He did not owe, I owed a debt I could not pay!” Go figure!

Bob and Susan Beckett pastor The Dwelling Place City Church at 27100 Girard Street in Hemet, CA. For more information, you may contact them at DPCitychurch.org

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