Saturday, 13 June 2009

O.L.J < P.T.L - A Sequel

Last week's writings were met with plenty of gracious response, chiefly in creation of the PTL blog. But as the phrase popularizes, it's important the definition remains intact.

Let's start with what it doesn't mean: the implication of the title is that PTL is not to be tagged as just another lifeless "religious" expression, nor is it a facetious parody of itself a la "Oh Lawdy Jesus-suh!" (O.L.J), to be more of a joke than act of worship. PTL is also not to be confused with "just thinking positive." Don't be mistaken -- PTL is very much about praising the Lord.

"Okay...so what does it mean to praise the Lord?"

#1: God is sovereign. He's in control over all things. I offer this as a caution to anyone who speaks out of emotional high or uninspired tradition – you gotta think. This means you cancel your subscriptions to things that contradict this view: luck, lucky pennies, lucky cats, fate, fortune cookies, astrology, zodiacs, your sign, superstitions, chance, chain letters, and even karma. They don't mix...at all. However in this truth - to cite a cute yet poignant aphorism - we can rejoice, because while we don't know what the future holds, we know who holds the future.

#2: God's ways are beyond your understanding.
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord"
- Isaiah 55:8

The response to this is unbridled humility. To know this is to see even your greatest insights and academic achievements as foolishness compared to an all-knowing, all-powerful God in heaven. A remarkably difficult and counterintuitive task. This is also a comfort, in that even when we can't understand, we can rest in the truth that there is a God who does understand.

#3: God works things for good for those who love Him.

"And we know that all things work together for good, for those who love Him, and for those who are called according to His purpose ."
- Romans 8:28

Salvation by grace through Christ is the permanent signature of this truth. As Christians, we can know that our lives are being watched over and cared for, filling us with reason to rejoice in any circumstance. I know this part becomes very difficult at times, because so many events in life are hard to see as good. Definitely the hardest of the three to really believe, but crucial to seeing the purpose behind praising the Lord.

Mind you this isn't a thorough explanation. I couldn't expect to get into every detail in a medium like this, and the hope is that this spurs you on to seek God's answer to your questions through His word. Rather, this is criteria to keep in mind. With these three working together, how the believer sees circumstances in his life is radically different. Suddenly, everything is reason to praise the Lord. I pray PTL never becomes another lifeless religious expression, that it never becomes abused as a dull joke, or treated with indifference to God's character.

Praise the Lord, for He is good, and His love endures forever!

1 comment:

splitchick said...

shall we start a PTL website?