Paradox

a teaching rhyme
by JD Collier

(for greater depth of insight ponder the footnote after each verse)

Ponder and think,
as you take a deep drink
from a paradox divine.
These adages use
quite opposite views
and have levels of meanings enshrined.
~~~~~

In brightness of light
remains the night;
the light and the dark side by side.
The light, though bright;
does puncture the night,
if the blind, offered sight, choose to hide.[1]
~~~~~

Invisible things
are clearly seen;
revealed in a ‘natural’ way.
Look all around;
God’s glory abounds;
and is seen in earth’s wondrous display.[2]
~~~~~

Our Father who cares,
whom we offer our prayers;
He is our hope and our shield.
Our “God is love”,
yet from above,
the wrath of our God is revealed.[3]
~~~~~

Respectfully fear,
to God draw near,
come close, yet fall on your face.
Fearfully grieve,
yet lovingly cleave,
and trembling, reach out and embrace.[4]
~~~~~

I surrendered to Him,
invited Him in;
I chose—after much reflection.
I chose, you see,
yet He chose me;
my
will—His pre-election![5]
~~~~~

When work weighs you down
and burdens abound;
shoulder His yoke and learn.
With His load align
and you will find,
rest for your soul in return.[6]
~~~~~

A seed in the earth
must die to give birth;
then fruit with amble supply.
The life that I live
to the cross I must give;
for to live I must willingly die.[7]
~~~~~

By faith receive,
in Him believe;
not working, but faithing alone.
With effort–be still,
your work– God’s will;
and your faith, by your works, will be shown.[8]
~~~~~

The more that I gain
and proudly retain,
will it be a risk to my soul?
The less may be more;
and riches outpour,
the less may be really the whole.[9]
~~~~~

When feeble and frail,
strength will prevail;
on strength my weakness is thrown.
His power shows best
when “thorns” I possess;
for “when I am weak I am strong.” [10]
~~~~~

The cross became
glory in shame;
honor in lowly estate.
Humbly pursue
and He will lift you;
with patience triumphantly wait.[11]

_____________________________________________________


[1]Light/Darkness
John 1:4-5   In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.  And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. NKJV
John 8:12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”  NIV
John 3:19-21 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.  Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.  But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.    NIV

[2] Invisible/Visible
Rom 1:20  For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.  NIV

[3] Love/Wrath
1 John 4:16 God is Love.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. NIV
Rom 1:18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness.  NIV
John 3:18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. NIV
Arthur Pink, “The Attributes of God” p. 106:  “Because God is holy, he hates all sin; and because he hates all sin, his anger burns against the sinner.  The wrath of God is as much a Divine perfection as is his faithfulness, power, or mercy.”

[4] Intimacy/fear (awesome respect)
James 4:8 Come near to God and he will come near to you.  NIV
Ps 2:11 Serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling.  NIV

[5] Free Will/Predestination
John 1:12-13 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—  NIV
Eph 1:4-5 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love  he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—  NIV

[6] Freedom/Bondage
Matt 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  NIV

[7] Living/Dying
John 12:24-26 “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.  The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” NIV
Mark 8:34-36 “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.  For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.”  NIV
John 11:25-26 “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.” NIV

[8] Faith/Works
Eph 2:8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.  NIV
James 2:18-19 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.  NIV

[9] Giving/Receiving
Mark 8:36-37 What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?  NIV
Luke 12:48 For unto whomsoever much is given , of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more. KJV
Acts 20:35 “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”  NIV

[10] Strength/Weakness
2 Cor 12:7-10 To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.  Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.  But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.  NIV

[11] Humility/Pride
Phil 2:5-11 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death —even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
1 Peter 5:6-7 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. NIV

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