GNB 2.60

March 13, 2023


For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ Jesus. It is the power of God to bring salvation to everyone who believes; first to the Jew and then to the Greek [read ‘to the rest of the world].” (Romans 1.16)

They [the believers in the resurrected Jesus of Nazareth who is the Son of God and Messiah] devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. All the believers were together and had everything in common.” (Acts 2.42,44)


Did Jesus know His heart would be broken when He took on the assignment given by His Father in Heaven? And you have to believe that His heart, just as His Father’s heart, was broken because there were those whom He called “first born” on earth who would reject Him as their heavenly Father. Let’s think of it in terms of “do overs” for a moment.

First in line stand Adam and Eve. They were the original “people of God” formed on earth reflecting the image decided upon in Heaven. Now we know how difficult it is to live up to the expectation put on us. We spend our early years trying to figure out who we are. We spend our teen years attempting to establish our own identity apart from what our parents/family say we are. We spend our early adulthood in fleshing out our decision on who we have decided we are. We spend the rest of our lives wondering if we had made the right decision (even when we are fairly confident that we have .) And we can see that cycle of life happening in the lives of Adam and Eve. Failing at first in the Garden, they are given a second chance to be who they are intended to be (that “good and very good“) within the culture and climate of the world. Maybe that was where they were intended to be from the beginning in order to steward creation and shepherd the peoples of the world beginning first “at home.”

Next in line comes Noah and his family. Deemed faithful to the cause in a “dry and deserted land” made desolate by the intrusion of the Nephilim and their anti-God infusion of the understanding and living out of life, Noah is commanded to build an ark to “steward creation” and “shepherd life in a renewed world washed clean by the flood of God’s judgment and grace.”

Following that we have Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who represent restarts of their own to establish “God’s people” in a Promised Land.

Then we have Moses and Joshua who lead God’s people from exile back to that Promised Land. In them we see the hope of the Law and of Faith as the guiding rule for life to be restored to its authentic identity: reflecting the nature, character and will of God.

From that experience we travel with the judges, kings, prophets who seek to establish themselves in the world as God’s representatives of the “way, truth and life.” But, regardless, people get in the way of themselves getting to God. We have certainly tried the “patience” of God. In all of that God has not relented in His efforts to establish that “good and very good” in and through those who will trust in Him and lean not on their own understanding of “who and whose they are.”

Then comes Jesus! John the Baptist declares Him to be “The lamb of God who comes to take away the stain of sin from the world.” Is He God’s last hope for our redemption? We dare not think that God is admitting failure in establishing His will on earth as it is in Heaven. All of these “do overs” are the extensions of God’s mercy and grace to the people on earth who are living in the world. I daresay, He believes that we will get it right one day. No matter what, God has gotten it right every day. Our task is to get “right with God.” Our greatest challenge is to admit where and why we have “gotten in wrong.” Oh, that the whole world would get it right. Oh, that we would not be satisfied with leaving it up to others to go their way and hope they figure it out. Our task is to engage others with the “righteousness” of God and live out the “getting it right more than we get it wrong” as a place of authentic community. That community is the Church, the community of faith in Jesus as Christ and that He alone is “the Way, the Truth and the Life” which singularly leads to the Father’s House. In that House and that House alone will “we” be able to dwell forever established in that “good and very good.”

And while the “heart of the Trinity” breaks that those “first born of earth” continue to wander in the wilderness of sin seeking their own way more than following God’s way, it does not stop beating for the truth that there are those on earth who will get it regardless of those “first born.” We all must be “born again” in spirit and in truth. Jesus said it to Nicodemus. That testimony survives to say it to us and to all people in the world who dwell on earth. Jesus was willing to surrender His heart for us and His spirit to God in order to establish that truth as ultimate truth. Those who accept the truth find the freedom to be what God intends: a people who will dwell in right relationship between themselves, one another and God. Regardless of the trials and tribulations we face in coming to that freedom and then living it out in this broken and spiritual desert we call earth, God’s will remains unmoved, unchanged and always opposed to what others may claim is a version of the truth. What makes it true is to see the image in which we are made, Jesus as the Christ, living such truth out to the extreme degree. This is the heart of the gospel we are called to present without shame to all the world. It may one day, if we live that long, be the gospel we proclaim to all worlds. Until that day, I trust God is working it out for them as He is for us. We must do what we are called to do and that is “to love one another” and engage in living out the truth so that the “one another” is a growing number of people who share the circle of life found in the Way, the Truth and the Life presented by God through Jesus. In this we reflect the “…and all who believed were together and had all things in common.” What is that commonality? It is nothing more and nothing less than “living righteously with God and before all the world.”


Father, we have no doubt that there are times when we have broken Your heart by failing to live up to the opportunity given to us to live in harmony with Your Word. We thank You for not giving up on us. Thank You for extending Your mercy and grace that we might be “born again” in spirit and in truth. We see it best in Jesus who is the Christ, Your Son and our Savior. We put our hope in Him and in Him alone. In Him we will live, serve and pray all the days of our lives. AMEN.

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