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Archive for April, 2015

Welcome!

What is God’s disposition RIGHT NOW, to you who are reading this, whether you are a Christian or not?

Oddly enough, we can find the answer by looking back 2,000 years or so ago.

Welcome! welcome

I confess that it is taking me many years to get this through my thick skull.

Like Adam and Eve, my sense of uncleanness and distance from God make me want to go hide in the bushes.

A messed-up man like me, welcome in God’s presence?

Yes. When Christ died on the cross, a mighty symbol was demonstrated to the world, in the tearing apart of the veil in Jerusalem’s temple.

As Charles Spurgeon writes in his classic Morning and Evening (April 19):

When Jesus died, the sacrifices were all finished, because all fulfilled in him…the atoning blood which was once every year sprinkled within the veil, was now offered once for all by the great High Priest, and therefore the place of the symbolical rite was broken up. No blood of bullocks or of lambs is needed now, for Jesus has entered within the veil with his own blood. Hence access to God is now permitted, and is the privilege of every believer in Christ Jesus.

Access to God is now wide open. Any may come, at any time, as they are, resting solely on the sacrificial Lamb who removed every barrier of uncleanness and hostility and distance.

Even MY innumerable sins don’t disqualify me. An ocean of love is sufficient to bathe in.

We can run and try to hide, because our darkened hearts believe that God’s heart is darkened as well. But it is not. Otherwise He would not have come to seek and save those who are lost.

Even the most defiled prodigal sons and daughters are welcomed home. With open hands and an open heart.

Image credit: aopsan via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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I have to confess that, by nature, I am more of a transactional than touchy-feely-relational guy.

Not uncommon for those of my gender (for a good laugh, see this video, which “nails” it ;>)

What I often find, however, is that I end up with a transactional view of God. The gospel can become a series of transactions.

Repent and believe, and you will be saved (transaction).

Become a believer and you’ll get a ticket to heaven (transaction).

Pray and God will answer (transaction).

Now, in fact, the Bible is full of these statements, but we’re not meant to view God and ourselves as some kind business entities. God isn’t merely doing things, offering things, and telling us to do things. He is not a dispensing machine.

We’re in a very personal relationship with Him. He shares life and light and renewal with us, and all of that is wrapped up in Jesus Himself. We are wrapped up in Jesus Himself.

He has condescended, and continues to condescend every day, to enter our world. To dwell in our hearts.

The great “transaction” of the gospel is that we exchange all of our filthy sins, our accumulated guilt, our powerless works, for….a Savior. Not just for salvation. We turn from self to Jesus Himself.

God hasn’t just saved us. He has Jesus’d us. He daily Jesuses us. If we are His son or daughter, He is Jesusing us right now.

We don’t need mere transactions, even from an all-powerful and benevolent God. All manmade religion is formed of the fabric of transactions. Christianity is Jesus as noun, Jesus as verb, Jesus as all – above all, and in all.

O Lord – Jesus me today.

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