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March Newsletter-Missed God

I recently had someone talking to me about how they were discouraged that they had ‘missed God’ because of some of their selfish decisions. Seems her Christian journey had many unexpected, unwanted, unfair and sad turns along the way, and she really felt that she no longer had a chance to get back on the road ‘as the Father leads’ and experience life as the Father would have it for her. My first response was natural and easy, ‘I’m not sure that’s possible with God.’ Our God never leaves us, does not condemn; from God’s perspective I’m not sure He ever gives up on us. His characteristic is to wait for any opportunity to bless, share His Life with us. To me, the Gospel appears to always be in rescue mode, healing mode, compassion mode. It is true we can walk away from Him, we can say no but that walk is on us not Him. True, our road can be rocky, have some hills to climb, but the Gospel of Jesus appeared specifically to straighten that road out, level it. Simply put, God’s sole purpose is to help you find His purpose for you. His dream is for us to catch a glimpse of a Life with Him. I think we can be assured that instead of missing God, our Father, His Son and Spirit are more interested in not missing an opportunity to miss you. God is always ready, always present and any time is a perfect time to step into our lives. Jesus came for people and to gather people into a new and better life. He ministered for 3 years and never declared anything but Love-of-God for people the whole time. He didn’t come to prove deity, did not come to seek His own praise, He came to save!

A big part of having that kind of confidence in our Father is simply knowing that Jesus came for one purpose: to reveal the Father, Son, Spirit to us. Jesus came to reveal, to redeem, to set us free. There was no other agenda. He healed to show the Trinity’s compassion for us. He didn’t come to be praised but to share with us what praising God could do for our hearts, not His. Remember, He does not seek His own. (1Cor. 13) Jesus came to embrace us as much as anything else. To express how much He valued you, Jesus shed His blood, gave up His very breath, to make sure you considered what kind of price he was willing to give so that you might find Life as the Father would have it for you. Jesus did not come to bring a how-to-book, did not come only to establish another moral or ethical system, and did not come to start a new religion. Jesus came to reveal the heart of God so that we might come to know Him. Know Him so personally we could say and believe that the Spirit of Christ lives in us. Now stop right there. That’s a pretty heavy, serious statement for any person to say. Can you, do you believe that? It’s like Gospel 101. It’s one of the first things to learn in order for Christ to be experienced in our lives. Again, Christ lives in our hearts! Christ co-habits there accompanied by our mind-will-emotions. But given the chance, He can and desires to dominate the others. This is an important feature of our Faith: I’m not asking all the time does it feel likes that’s true, not asking does your ‘thinker’ always think that. The question that needs answering is not either one of those, instead, simply is that true no matter what I might feel like, or what I might be thinking. Christ in you should dominate whatever our mind-will-emotion might whisper to us.

Creation was the gift of life (bio), Grace and Mercy is the Gift of well living (zoe)… God’s Grace and Mercy bless believers with a Life that is better than Creation alone can give. (Remember, Mercy is not getting what we do deserve; Grace is getting what we don’t deserve.) The Gospel is more than biology; it’s zoe Life to the full; simply, completeness of body, soul and spirit. The Gospel is not progressive, moving toward to a new, never experienced life; actually it’s much more about going back. Jesus is the way back to the original relationships of God and Man in the Garden of Eden, doing that through the blood stains of the Garden of Gethsemane. It’s a Gospel not toward a more complex understanding of Life as the Father would have it for you, but actually toward simplicity, coming to it described by Jesus as a child. We are to be re-deemed, re-stored, re-birthed, re-surrected back to relationship.

That Garden brought Peace. That’s not a humanly defined peace without sadness, conflicts or violence, but is God’s Peace based upon knowing we are redeemed. It’s a calm created by knowing God’s purpose for your life. In Eden, Man turned their vision from God’s Life into one where they thought the best future was by becoming gods of their own lives. That’s still Man’s emphasis today. God’s vision in Eden was that Man would know Him, it was not that Man would be Him. Most of today’s troubles are created by Man trying to set up their little kingdoms; ruling and reigning as king over all. In reality, the Peace we need is found in Christ’s promises rather than the promises the world keeps offering.

It’s always been interesting to me, and wonderful to think about, but in the first of The Book, Genesis 15:1, in the middle of The Book, in Luke 2:10 and at the end of The Book, Revelation 1:17, God’s word to us is ‘Fear not’. It reminds me that Christ is the first and the last; He is the beginning and the end. I’ve done some reading on the Greek words in those scriptures and it’s important to their understanding to note that the word ‘not’ found there is more emphasized than just being a suggestion not to fear. It’s a word that comes with a command in it. It’s not simply a ‘hope this helps’ kind of word it’s an affirmative ‘do not!’ Its emphasis is ‘to be in awe of.’ Paraphrased, maybe it would be like this: ‘do not fear, but be so amazed in God because He and He alone, casts out fear.’ Consequently, the daily observance of the world around me, a world seemingly defined by Man, should not frighten us.

So, here we are; many of us looking for Jesus’ return, some fervently praying come quickly Lord. Absolutely, we should pray for our re-union, that’s for sure. However, I do want to go back a few paragraphs and re-emphasize ‘Christ in us.’ That Spirit, the Comforter, has come, lives inside believer’s hearts. That Spirit can be depended on to Lead and to be Present right now, today, at any moment. Romans (10:8) preaches of Christ now, close, and personal. In James 2:23, the author describes God Himself as the friend of Abram. One reason I write a letter such as this letter is because of a very early ‘favorite’ scripture found in Isa. 42:3. ‘A bruised reed He shall not break, smoking flax He shall not quench.’ That scripture changed a whole lot of my life years ago. I had come to believe that was the heart of God toward His people. At the time, I certainly qualified as broken and bruised back then, or even now, and it took awhile before that ember in my heart for Christ became a flaming fire.

In closing, be kind to me and let me finish the letter with this. I need your kindness because I’m going to use a secular song to make a point. Back in 1971, when I was just a pup, James Taylor’s song ‘You’ve Got A Friend’ won the Grammy Award as the song of the year. I’m sure, not too many (probably not even James, or Carol King who wrote it), heard it how I heard it, but to me I could hear the Gospel in it. That song back then and even today conjures up Jesus thoughts in me. So here we go; my apologies (but with a smile)…

When you’re down and troubled
And you need some lovin’ care
And nothin’, nothin’ is goin’ right
Close your eyes and think of me
And soon I will be there
To brighten up even your darkest night
You just call out my name
And you know, wherever I am
I’ll come runnin’
To see you again
If the sky above you
Grows dark and full of clouds
And that old north wind begins to blow
Keep your head together
And call my name out loud
Soon you’ll hear me knockin’ at your door
You just call out my name
And you know, wherever I am
I’ll come runnin’, runnin’, yeah, yeah
To see you again
Winter, spring, summer or fall
All you have to do is call
And I’ll be there, yes, I will
Now, ain’t it good to know that you’ve got a friend

Posted on by Laura Posted in Newsletters

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