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February newsletter-Big Picture

*“For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, his everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without excuse.” Rom 1:20

This is a ‘Big Picture/little picture’ letter. What I mean is it’s about the Big Picture of God and His purpose and how He illustrated that in little pictures of our lives. Throughout the Bible are illustrations called ‘types’ that are parables, stories or symbols that are used to express another truth in the Gospel. God’s desire, from before the foundation of the world, was/is to share. Many little daily things we experience give us clues to help see the Big Picture. God’s so eager to express Who He is that, through Christ, He stepped right into the middle of our fallen world. Jesus came to explain and reveal God to us, came to give sight to a blind world.

I like to think that God’s made it easy to believe by placing ‘types’ in our lives to suggest His bigger purpose. His Creation alone shouts His existence. (Romans 1:20: For the invisible things of Him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity…) Creation is evidence enough that there’s no excuse for not believing. Man in his attempt to be independent of God creates his own story of creation, pushing God aside, and laughing at the thought of a Creator. They sell their story declaring Life began by chance. They imply that man’s great logic and wisdom is moving us to an ever improving world. (However, just read the headlines. It’s sad, even somewhat laughable, to think that we’re on a glide course to a manmade Utopia) Today science is used in an attempt to kill God. In reality, science declares order, providing amazingly ‘breath taking’ evidence of God. How many heart beats will you experience in your lifetime? How many of those do you think about to get them to happen? Amazingly, your eye structurally envisions everything upside down and the brain converts it to right side up. What does your DNA say about the possibility of life being created by chance? How many unique fingerprints are there? Even bumble bees can fly. God made it easy, in our rebellion, we make it hard.

I’ll illustrate Big Picture/little picture by visiting some of the daily expressions and experiences we have in our lives and comparing those with His Big Picture. I’ll start with this: God created Life, birthed humans, birthed the whole world. Genesis, and Colossians (the New Testament’s book of Genesis), confirm that. In Creation, God’s establishment of family relationships is a small picture of our lives mimicking His Life. God created male and female with the ability to experience the same kind of joy He had in creating life; gave us an ability to create life as well. Having children, parents get a hint of the blessing of creating life and natural love that’s the result of childbirth. Jane and I experienced that three times with the birth of three daughters. We never had to muster up love, never had to work on it; the simple act of giving life created love for them as a ‘given’ experience.

God also created humans with both the need and the capacity to choose Him and experience a personal, intimate relationship. Some do acknowledge Him as Father, some do not. Some simply say ‘no’ to a relationship with Him. Recently, (actually at the same time I was writing this letter), I received a phone call. It was a mother who was struggling with the fact that her children seemed to be rejecting her love for them, turning away from it. I expressed how similar that experience was to our Father’s experience. Similarly, the lives that He, and we, give birth to, can respond with a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ to parents’ love, that love can be unperceived love. That experience creates an environment for us much like the one God experiences from life He has given. Loving so much but that love not recognized is a big/little picture of God’s world. It’s His desire that all people would recognize God’s Love for them; choose to have a relationship with Him. I think our ability to Hope is given to us so we might discover the kind of Hope God has about us. It’s His Hope that all will be saved, say ‘yes’. Children of God have to make a kind of choice relationship about Him. This lady seemed like a very thoughtful and nice lady, a Christian lady for sure, but misunderstood by her children. That sounds a lot like God’s experience with mankind. I mentioned to her, God the Father fully knows how that feels Himself and how it feels to us. He’s experienced that for thousands of years.

Marriage, established by God, teaches us as well. God described it as a partnership where two become one. That’s God’s little touch of us understanding how The Father, Son and Spirit can be One. Each party, in both God and marriage, retains their uniqueness, not absorbing one another, but also blending into one, even though unique. I used to express to friends that Father, Son and Spirit’s unique, individual characteristics can be illustrated by thinking about a musical chord. A chord is made up of three notes, it does not exist without all three, each note is unique, they functions differently in their expression, but blended together: one purpose. Father, Son and Spirit have unique characteristics but all are purposed to share one thing-the Gospel.

Praise/Worship. The angels praise and worship, a focused picture of that’s described in the Book of Revelation. We’re taught in 1Corinthians 13 that God doesn’t seek His own. I don’t think the angels are praising God for God’s own self-satisfaction; they can’t help but praise Him and they greatly benefit from doing so. Not only worshiping Him but also in worship they experience Him. I like to think worship is a gift to us.

Faith is another attempt by God to share something of Himself; permitting us to feel the same kind of Trust Jesus must have had while hanging on the Cross; trusting that the arms of the Father were waiting for Him. It’s a clue into how powerful and glorious the Spirit’s ability to be evident in our lives. Anointing is an expression of how the Spirit works.

Another little picture of the Big Picture of God is found in my garden. That little thing I put in the ground doesn’t look very promising. Looks dead, dry, wrinkly, a hard shell but put it in the right environment: boom! Fruit! Just a little water seems to trigger the whole thing. Living water does the same for us, bring dead things to life. I remember the day that kind of experience hit my life on April 16th some years ago. The miracle of childbirth is a seed and garden picture; it’s a profound image of the birth of Creation itself, a miracle in science and in our hearts. Giving life to our children bears a Fruit we call Love. In Luke Chapter 8, Christ is described as a seed sower, some on good ground and some on bad. True, some of that seed never sprouts. That seed story is a picture of sharing the Gospel still today. We have seasons, 4 of them for most of us, that can be seen as a little picture of God saying “I got this.” Be calm, be at peace, rest, even winter has the promise of spring in it.

The sun and the moon are a whisper from God of Bigger Things of God. The sun is the source of Light/Life, and the moon a reflection of that Life. In creation, the moon shines into the darkness of night and reflects the sun’s radiant light. Jesus provides the light to be reflected into the dark night. Jesus is the Light. We can reflect Him into our present darkness as Christians. Again, so many little pictures can help us understand and see the Big Picture. In essence making believing easier.

Today, with what’s happening and seemingly what’s about to come, we simply won’t be able to fake Faith. We might be able to imitate it; we can flesh it out physically, but we can’t fake believing in our hearts. Another way Jane expresses it, ‘When your cup gets bumped what’s on the inside will spill and be exposed.’ That’s what today’s world is doing, bumping our cup. What’s going to be exposed about your Faith?

We all have single scriptures that are favorites. I have a whole New Testament chapter (John 17) that I consider my favorite, the most optimistic. It’s Hope expressed by Jesus. In those scriptures, we hear the heart of the Trinity of God before the creation of His world. It’s a prayer and in it I think Jesus stated the exact purpose of Christ and the heart of the Trinity for coming to us (read each sentence very slowly, letting the Spirit reveal what’s expressed): “…then the world might believe that You, in fact, sent me. The same Glory You gave me, I gave to them, so they’ll be as unified and together as we are. I in them and You in me. Then they’ll be mature in this oneness, and give the godless world evidence that You’ve sent me and loved them in the same way You have loved me. Father, I want those you gave me to be with me, right here, where I am, so they can see my glory, and the splendor You gave me, having loved me long before there ever was a world. Righteous Father, the world has never known You, but I have known You and these disciples know that You sent me on this mission. I have made Your very being known to them, Who You are and What You do and continue to make it known, so that Your Love for me might be in them, exactly as I am in them.” (John 17:20-26, The Message Bible) I heard someone once define religion as what we do when we don’t know that Christ is in us. Religion will not hold us up. Knowing that He is in us and we’re in Him will. He alone is the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the knowledge of the Father except by Christ.

That’s the Big Picture, the picture we’re to see and it’s experienced in little things we discover in our daily lives. The sacrifice, the blood, the resurrection was God drawing us a picture of how serious God is to share His Love with us…that we might easy see! And we might easy believe!

Posted on by Laura Posted in Uncategorized

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