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July Newsletter- I Know

Redeem, re-birth, restore, re-new:

Did Adam and Eve need to be saved before the fall? I think- yes. Their eating from the tree of good and evil confirms that. Apples weren’t the problem; the desire to be like God was the choice offered to them. They misunderstood the heart of the Father before they picnicked. Adam/Eve lacked something from the beginning. Truly, even from the very beginning, only God could give us all we need to be complete. Then and now, it’s never been an option for us to create or accomplish Life as the Father would have it for us all by ourselves. Today the purpose of the Gospel in all our lives is for us to ‘come home.’ The words of God, ’Adam where are you?’ is a call to all Adam/Eves to come back to Me. Leave the place of hiding and come let us gather together. Come home is still, as it was then, the process for every person today! Adam and Eve doubted, we doubt, doubt seems to be built in, something common to us all. Doubt being something to overcome by each person. Yet, God says an adoption is waiting on your signature and a Father waits for His prodigal son or daughter to trust enough to come home.

God offers a challenge in Isaiah 50:1. It’s assumed there that God is referencing Israel and their apparent separation from God in that Scripture. God asked: who has given you a bill of divorcement; who has sold you away to others? The answer, from God, the God who later declares He will never leave us or forsake us: you- you have separated yourself from Me because of your transgressions. Here, God’s establishing He’s not the separator; people themselves have departed from Him (just like Adam and Eve). God challenges them to produce any such bill of divorcement or sold transaction receipt that would have Him as the One that initiated a division. In the Gospel, God comes to each of us and simply says where are you? He searches us out, invites us to come, extends the hand to stand us up after falling and steady our walk back. From the Garden on, humanity’s problem is and has always been that we are alienated from God (literally meaning, non-participating), and that in our minds. (Cor. 1:21)

Jesus was and is the one who came to tell us what The Father is like. In turn, we get to share his words, say ‘amen’ to his expression of God’s heart. God, for whom there are no sufficient words to really express His being, sent The Word in the form of Jesus to fill the gap between our weaknesses and His presence. Previously, expressing God’s character was like listening to a song and telling what the artist intended and meant by each lyric. We might get part of that right, but probably not all of what the artist is trying to say. That’s similar to what it’s like with the Gospel. Without Jesus’ interpretation, we know in part but hardly in full. (1Cor. 2:9) (John 8) (1 Cor. 13:12) Jesus said no one knows the Father but me! I will show you Him! If you perceive me you can perceive who the Father is. (John 14)

Over the centuries, we’ve done a ‘wonderful’ job of making Him in our image (monarch, ruler, emperor, president, CEO, prime minister, judge of the Gospel). That’s kind of a carbon copy of our world, how we see things, how we emotionally feel about things. However, God says My ways are not your ways, My understanding is not your understanding, My thoughts are not like your thoughts. (Isa. 55:8-9) The Power of the Spirit changes our image of God into an understanding of Who He really is by massaging that into our soul. The Holy Spirit facilitates how God speaks to us. We don’t always need an interpreter for what God says; many times we can, and actually should, hear Him directly. Isaiah 1:18 says come let us reason together; let Me umpire this life for you. I’ll call the balls and strikes; you just believe the words I say. You, confess with your mouth and believe in your heart the same things the Father says about you.

Memorizing His words is not the same as recognizing His Voice. Both, Jesus and the Holy Spirit came to reveal the Father. Their coming was to take away any thought by the children of God that this Gospel is in anyway characterized as a hide and seek Gospel. They both stepped into our world so that we could really know Him. They came to open the door for interaction with us. God simplified that idea with one word: Emmanuel.

Becoming a New Testament child of God is more than just beliefs about right and wrong; it’s very much about discovering a relationship that was lost with Adam/Eve and restored in and on Jesus Christ. As a believer, we don’t have a unique, personal covenant- instead we’re part of a Covenant between Jesus, Holy Spirit and The Father initiated by Their Love. Their covenant does not change, we simply decide to participate in it or not.

We are adopted; are we going to act like it, are we going to respond? By Christ, if we participate, we’ve been re-established into that covenant relationship with God. Before the foundation of the world it was God’s desire to build you a bridge back to Home. The Gospel’s not about what we have to do to create a relationship; it’s about accepting what He has done about the relationship that was damaged in the Garden. The Gospel is: redeemed, re-birthed, restored, renewed. Living like that’s true is our real choice. In the beginning God announced that the earth had become void. (Implying it wasn’t created void but it became that way.) God set out to rebuild it from (this is important to understand) the initial materials that existed prior to that destruction. Even from that beginning, God was always taking broken things and re-creating them. Nothing is ever lost with God, all creation is potentially re-makeable. He didn’t throw out Adam and Eve and start over, He didn’t leave Abram with the moon worshipers, He didn’t leave Israel in Egypt, He didn’t leave you the way you were, but instead of destroying, He delivered.

Occasionally, something that helps me in my prayer conversations with God is that He does not just send gifts, He shows up as the Gift. I mentioned on the radio during this year’s National Day of Prayer that Billy Graham once said that prayer is a way of life, not just for emergencies. God is not a bomb shelter only for hard times. He’s not just needed or with us when we are desperate. I’m fully confident that even in the mess we find ourselves in today that the broken will again be redeemed, re-birthed, restored and renewed, if not out of this existing material, then perhaps a New Heaven and Earth, but restored just the same. In Luke 9:56, Jesus said he did not come to destroy but to save. That’s still true today. God has one priority: make each life fruitful today, as long as it is called today.

Being human, I sometimes have to work at remembering we are not in trouble, the world is. We’re the people with a Hope. Yes, knowledge is increasing, heartache is increasing, hate is increasing, the unjust is rampant, corruption is a tsunami, self-centeredness has become the master of our purpose and destinations and cultural ambitions. All that’s true, but Jesus Christ, the Spirit and the knowledge of God is established in the earth and all the challenges to that fact will, someday, kneel and acknowledge God. We can’t just say that, comfort will only come when we believe that.

When Christ returns is He coming to destroy the terrible or to save the loved? I think knowing God’s history, what will move him out of heaven is not an angry heart. There has been trouble since Cain and Abel. His heart must have been broken for all the years humans have abused one another. The world has become a briar patch rather than a flower garden. I believe He will return when the Gospel has ceased to be preached and in order to save humanity from itself; doing that in order to save, to preserve the changed-hearted. Just as there was at the flood, at Sodom, at the Red Sea, and at the Cross, there will be destruction, but a destruction to reboot. A cutting off just like Noah’s but a restoration at the same time. The Red Sea stood up (literal word was frozen) to save ‘His people’. God doesn’t bring anything to ruin except with the motivation of restoring. No one knows when that will happen but it does seem that our environment is very similar to Noah’s. During pre-Genesis time: Satan had ravaged the earth. He had made it void after being cast there from heaven. When that occurred, God saved. God stepped into the earth and in 7 days took the destruction and brought it to Light and Life. Before the flood violence was everywhere. With the flood that kind of life ceased and a new one was created. Someday, a New Earth will crush this one and a new way will begin. This corrupt and broken one will be no more. Until then we are to be steadfast and be faithful to the Word that declares a day such as that is on the way. Not a new just world that man has created with his ability, but one that the Love of God establishes. Our Hope is in Him, not them.

Posted on by Laura Posted in Uncategorized

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