In Isaiah 40 we talked about how God provides comfort in our seasons of trouble, but we can also see God’s comfort here in Jeremiah 18. Here in this chapter, God tells Jeremiah to go and watch a potter in his house, and what he sees is this.
“This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Go down at once to the potter’s house; there I will reveal my words to you.” So, I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, working away at the wheel. But the jar that he was making from the clay became flawed in the potter’s hand, so he made it into another jar, as it seemed right for him to do.”
God then says to Israel, “Can I not treat you as this potter treats his clay?… Just like clay in the potter’s hand, so you are in my hand.”
The comfort comes from the hope that God is our potter. He can make something new out of any situation we may be in.
In some seasons of life, we may feel like we are broken and there is no coming back from that brokenness. But there is newness in the clay. That brokenness we feel is fixable, and God will make something new out of that brokenness.
Now when God is telling Israel this in Jeremiah 18, he means it in a different way. In this time Israel was disobedient of God.
God says in Jeremiah 18:7-8
“At one moment I might announce concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will uproot, tear down, and destroy it. However, if that nation about which I have made the announcement turns from its evil, I will relent concerning the disaster I had planned to do to it.”
This passage was as much a lesson for individuals as it was to Israel. Listen to God but know that he will make new beautiful things out of broken things.
What does it mean to you that you are the clay and the Lord God is the potter?
Have you seen a time in your life (or the life of someone else) when God turned a marred pot into a work of art and function? What was the best part of this transformation? Was it easy or still a bit difficult to be the molded clay?
What can be learned at the potter’s house about God’s discipline?
There are many times in life when we feel alone, and without comfort. Times like grieving over death, or a spot in life that just isn’t going our way. In this chapter however, God’s comfort and hope are clear towards God’s people, just as it is today.
Throughout all of Isaiah, there were themes. Isaiah 1-35 deal with condemnation, Isaiah 36-39 are the historic chapters, the chapters with confiscation, and Isaiah 40-66 consolation. Consolation is the comfort people feel after a loss or disappointment.
Every story in the Bible has its sad parts, its broken pieces, but in the end, God provides comfort and peace.
“Comfort, comfort my people,” says your God. “Speak tenderly to Jerusalem and announce to her that her time of forced labor is over, her iniquity has been pardoned, and she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.”
The Lord is saying to Isaiah. Tell my people the battle is over; they don’t need to worry. Isaiah knew all about warning and instructing God’s people, but God also wanted His people to receive His comfort.
In any group of people waiting to hear from God, there are always a number of hurting hearts. It is important for us to hear words of comfort for God is comfort. Our purpose is to bring God’s comfort to other’s pain, just as others bring us the same comfort. God’s purpose for us is to love him and love others in our pain.
Our battle may not always be over, it was the same way for God’s people. The battle wasn’t over for Jerusalem when this was written, but God told them it would be over. That is where the comfort comes from. Knowing the battle may not be over yet, but also knowing we have a mighty God who will bring us through it.
Our purpose is bringing others the Lord’s comfort in their battles too. Share in God’s hope and love.
What characteristics of God do you find in Isaiah 40? Which one do you sometimes forget about? Which one means the most to you today?
Who do you know who you can bring God’s comfort to this week? How will you do so?
Have you ever been on a walk outside and been stung by a bee. I have, and it wasn’t the most pleasant experience ever. Animals such as bees use mechanisms like their stinger or teeth to protect themselves from threats, but what if they didn’t have to?
In Isaiah 11, it alludes to the humble coming of Christ. Jesus comes to us from nothing. He comes from the dead stump of Jesse, and springs forth full of life and hope, bearing fruit. Jesus is full of wisdom and understanding for us, counsel and strength, and a spirit of knowledge and of fear.
When Jesus commands all the animals will dwell together as it says in Isaiah 11:6-9.
“The wolf will dwell with the lamb and the leopard will lie down with the goat. The calf, the young lion and the fattened calf will be together, and a child will lead them. The cow and bear will graze, their young ones will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like cattle. An infant will play beside the cobra’s pit, and a toddler will put his hand into a snake’s den. They will not destroy each other on my entire holy mountain, for the land will be as full of the knowledge of the Lord as the sea is filled with water.”
There will be no fighting among animals anymore. No more disagreements among us people either. Wouldn’t it be incredible for it to be like that today?
What if we all put our different opinions aside and loved each other with no questioning. The world would be an entirely different place.
That is the challenge for today. Think of a person who you may have had a disagreement with, and just reach out to that person. Let them know you care. Let go of the disagreements. Show each other compassion.
What will the earth look like when it is “filled with the knowledge of the Lord”? How is it different from today?
Reading through Isaiah 11, describe the reign of Jesus the Messiah. What are you most looking forward to and why?
How can we live today to prepare ourselves – and others (even the ones we have disagreements with) for the reign of Jesus?
In yesterday’s devotion, we talked about our vineyard, and how God provides us with freewill to produce the good fruit for our relationship with him and spreading his word.
Today we will talk about the Hope Jesus was to bring to Israel and Still brings to us today when we work hard with him as a team.
Isaiah 9: 3-4
“You have enlarged the nation and increased its joy. The people have rejoiced before you as they rejoice at harvest time and as they rejoice when dividing spoils. For you have shattered their oppressive yoke and the rod on their shoulders, the staff of their oppressor, just as you did on the day of Midian.”
This passage reminds us of the Hope and glory that come to us from Christ in his coming. It reminds us of the hard work, and hard times we will endure before he finally returns.
The passage Isaiah 9:3 speaks of the people rejoicing as they did at Harvest time, or while dividing spoils. This is alluding to how the people planted in that time, but it also speaks to the work we do now. We should rejoice in our daily jobs and be joyful while we work.
A man will reap what he sows, when we sow love for others and trust in following the Lord and his plan, we will celebrate in the harvest of bringing others to Christ. Sowing good works today could look like, volunteering your time for a charity, or participating in service at church by doing slides. The small things matter, just like paying for the person behind you in the drive through window, which just might start a chain reaction as others do it, too. The point is, we will see the incredible rejoicing at what is sown through Christ if we love others and serve him.
This passage also alludes to how God shatters the enemy as he did in Midian. The battle of Midian is found in the book of Numbers 31, The Lord commanded Moses to recruit a thousand Israelites from every tribe, to go and wage war against Midian. Trusting God to bring them through, they won the battle. Just as one day we will win the battle and rejoice.
It won’t be easy, but there will be hope through till the end.
Consider Jesus’ first coming – what does it mean to you? What hope does it give? What rejoicing does it bring?
Consider Jesus’ second coming – what does it mean to you? What hope does it give? What rejoicing does it bring?
What are you sowing now? What do you expect at harvest time? Is there anything else you want to/should be sowing?
Editor: For the next three weeks we will be spending some time looking at the books of prophecy from the Old Testament – with at least one devotion for every book. Then, mid-November we will be ready to start Revelation, one chapter a day. And we will finish off the year with the last gospel we have not yet read this year: Luke. Keep Seeking God in His Word! SeekGrow(good fruit)Love!
We have all desired to be the plant lady/man at some point in our lives. We go to the store and get a cute little house plant, and then we put it on our windowsill and water it once or twice a week, depending on the type of plant.
But, if you are anything like me, you do not have the greenest thumb, and most of the time your plant ends up looking… well, dead.
My point is, that even though we may water that plant, and provide it with the best soil. If the plant were to cover itself up under a blanket and hide, it will never grow, and will eventually die.
That is what Isaiah 5 talks about in the song of the vineyard.
“I will sing about the one I love, a song about my loved one’s vineyard: the one I love had a vineyard on a very fertile hill. He broke up the soil, cleared it of stones, and planted it with the finest of vines. He built a tower in the middle of it and even dug out a winepress there. He expected it to yield good grapes, but it yielded worthless grapes.”
In this passage we are depicted as the vineyard, and God is the tender of us. He provides us with everything we need, and pursues a relationship with us, for us to live for him, and spread his word.
It is because he gives us freewill that we can choose him and grow healthy fruit that can be shared. It is we who decide what kind of fruit we are going to grow in the vineyard with our actions, and what we focus on.
Jerusalem at this time was not following God’s commands. They were pursuing drunkenness, compound sinfulness (denying your sin), and amalgamation of land (combining of land together with small properties). Today we aren’t necessarily combining land, but we may be pursuing other things that are not what God wants us to pursue.
God wants us to consider this, just as he wanted Jerusalem to consider it. Who was to blame for the worthless grapes? What caused the worthless grapes? And how can we produce healthy grapes? We have the free will to choose what we want to produce. Be the change.
In what way/ways have you noticed your garden producing worthless fruit?
How can you trust and grow closer to God, while letting him work your vineyard?
How can you produce positive fruit and influence change?
What is the best way to lead people? You may be a leader in some area of your life, at school, at work, at Church, among your friends, on a sports team, in your marriage, with your children etc… Most of us have had some experience being a leader and I’m going to guess that everyone has had the experience of having a leader, probably many, in your life.
There are a number of leadership styles. Authoritarian leaders impose expectations and define outcomes. It’s a very top down approach. It’s efficient and sometimes required, but doesn’t always create a great experience for those being led. If you’re the parent of a 2 year old, it’s pretty much the only leadership style. But what works with a 2 year old doesn’t work as well with a 16 year old, or with your spouse. It might work okay if you’re the manager of a fast food restaurant with a bunch of first time teen-age employees, but probably not so well if you are managing a medical practice with a group of physicians.
Participative leadership is more democratic and helps people feel more engaged, but it can be more time-consuming and lead to poor decisions if the employees participating lack necessary information or skills.
Delegative leaders step back and let the members of the team set their own agendas, which in the right environment can produce a lot of creativity, but can also lead to disunity.
Transactional leaders use a lot of carrot and stick, reward and punishment. They give clear expectations and offer clear feedback and immediate rewards and punishments. It works well getting a 7 year old to clean her room or finish her vegetables, but doesn’t inspire a lot of creativity in capable adults.
Great leaders adjust their leadership style to the appropriate context and situation. The little book of Philemon is a wonderful case study on Christian leadership. The Apostle Paul writes to his disciple, Philemon, about their mutual acquaintance, Onesimus. Paul and Philemon were brothers in Jesus Christ. Paul was responsible for Philemon coming to faith in Christ. Now, Philemon was a leader in the Church and actually had a congregation that met in his home. When he wrote the letter to Philemon Paul was in jail, probably in Rome awaiting his trial. While in prison he met Onesimus. Onesimus was a runaway slave who had been the property of Philemon. It seems that Onesimus became a follower of Jesus Christ through Paul while they were in prison. Onesimus had become a supportive helper to Paul. Paul has a dilemma. He has two Christian brothers, Philemon, a slave owner and Onesimus, a runaway slave. Paul wants Philemon to release Onesimus from his enslavement and either welcome him back not as a slave but as a fellow Christian, or allow him to return to Paul and support him while he’s awaiting trial.
So what leadership style does Paul use? He could have played the authoritarian card and said “Philemon, I’m an Apostle, I met Jesus personally, I brought you to faith, and now I order you to release Onesimus.” Under Roman law Philemon had the right to demand Onesimus’ return. He was not legally obligated to release him. Legally, under Roman law Paul had no authority to force Philemon to let Onesimus go. Paul practiced transformational leadership. He inspired Philemon and gave him a vision of how being a follower of Jesus Christ can transform a person and their values and relationships. He gave him a vision of Onesimus as more than property or an asset, but as a person, a child of God, as a fellow heir of the kingdom of God bought from slavery to sin and death through the blood of Jesus Christ.
In using this leadership style Paul creates space for the spirit of God to transform Philemon’s heart, and have a much wider impact on the Church (for nearly 2000 years). Hopefully, other Christian slave owners saw Philemon’s example and also chose to release their slaves and welcome them as brothers and sisters in Christ.
Paul uses his personal relationship with Philemon to persuade and inspire him to recognize what Paul had done for him and what Paul was inviting him to do for Onesimus. This is a great example of persuasive transformational leadership. In times when God calls you to be a leader either at school, at work, in your family, at Church, in community, or wherever you might be called to lead, remember Paul’s great example of how to be a transformational leader.
The passage in Isaiah also gives a glimpse of leadership. In this instance. God is leading his disobedient and rebellious children, Israel. God’s leadership style here might be interpreted as transactional. God has punished Israel for their idolatrous and rebellious ways. God also promises better days ahead for those who faithfully listen to God and walk in the ways of obedience. Ultimately, God is a transformational leader calling people to look to the vision of a new heaven and a new earth to inspire them to faithfulness now. God doesn’t enjoy punishing the disobedient. It’s true that the “fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”(Provers 9:10), but ultimately God wants us to respond to Him out of love- to love him with all our hearts (Deuteronomy 6:5). God always leads in exactly the way we need, because He is the perfect leader. Let us follow Him and learn from Him just as Paul (and hopefully Philemon) did.
-Pastor Jeff Fletcher
Today’s Bible reading plan passages can be read or listened to at BibleGateway.com here – Isaiah 65-66 and Philemon
Life is so busy and complicated that I have to create lots of reminders for myself. Fortunately, my phone and computer and watch all have features where I can set reminders for myself. “Doctors appointment Tuesday at 3:00. Take the garbage to the dump on the way to work in the morning. Stop by the store after work and pick up some milk and bread.” I can even set reminders months or years in advance. I can set alarms to remind me that in 2 hours I have a meeting. In 1 hour I have a meeting. In 15 minutes I have a meeting. The Meeting is now starting. Maybe I’m too busy or maybe I’m getting old, but I find myself more and more needing reminders.
Do you ever need reminders? Little kids need to be reminded to brush their teeth, make their bed, do their homework. What do you need reminders for?
The Apostle Paul thought reminders were important for Christians. I guess he understood how easy it can be to forget what’s important when we are busy living life and doing what’s necessary or urgent. Do Christians ever forget important things about God, about Jesus, about how we are supposed to live? Yep, we sure do.
In Titus 3 Paul tells Titus to remind the believers of some important things.
“Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.” -Titus 3:1-2
Those reminders were important in the first century when Christianity was brand new and people were still learning the basics, but it’s been 2000 years. We’ve certainly got being a Christian all figured out by now, don’t we? Do we really need to be reminded to obey people in authority? Do we need to be reminded to always be ready to do good? Don’t all Christians always do what is good? Certainly we never slander or falsely accuse someone of wrong doing. I’m always peaceable and considerate and gentle toward everyone, aren’t you? (My tongue is in my cheek- that means I’m kidding).
To tell the truth, I still need to be reminded all of those things. Just because I’ve been reading the Bible for over 50 years doesn’t mean I always remember to do good. I still need to be reminded to be considerate and gentle, and so do you. That’s why Christianity was never designed to be lived in isolation, but in community. We need each other. There’s a passage in Hebrews (a different book from today’s reading, but important) Hebrews 10:24-25 says that Christians shouldn’t get out of the habit of meeting together, because we need to encourage (I think Hebrews says “spur one another on”, like a rider spurs on a horse) each other.
Following Jesus is hard some times. Being obedient to God is hard some times. Remembering to do good and be gentle is hard sometimes. I need help, I need encouragement to keep on doing what is right. I need you, and you need me, we need each other.
I’ve read the Bible many times in my life and I need to keep on reading it to help me remember all the important things I need to remember. Today’s readings in Isaiah 63-64 and Titus 3 remind us both about God’s wrath and about God’s mercy. God has both. God hates sin, he hates it when his children are brutal to each other. He hates it when his children fight and argue. He hates sin because he loves us and he knows that sin hurts us. We hurt each other when we sin. No parent likes to see their children hurt each other. We learned that from our Father, God.
So keep reading your Bible and keep coming to Church and meeting with other believers so that you can remind them and they can remind you to keep on following Jesus.
“Hey Siri set a reminder for 7 a.m. tomorrow: be considerate and gentle to everyone.”
“Alexa, remind me to get up for Church Sunday at 8:00.”
Today’s Bible reading plan passages can be read or listened to at BibleGateway.com here – Isaiah 63-64 and Titus 3
I’ve got some good news and some bad news. Which would you like first? If you’re like me, you’d prefer to rip the band-aid off and get the bad news over with and finish with the good news. So let’s get to it.
The bad news. Humans have made a pretty big mess out of this world. Yes, we’ve done some amazingly good things too, but we’ve made an awful mess of the world. One of my ministry settings is as a hospital chaplain. When I visit with patients, a lot of them are there because either they, or someone else, has made a huge mess of their lives. Sometimes it’s from drug or alcohol abuse, sometimes they are victim of crime, often they have not taken very good care of their bodies. Sometimes they’ve been in such despair that they attempted to end their life by suicide. I’m not going to spend a lot of time listing the ways human beings have made a mess out of the world, if you need proof, just turn on the news for an hour or two.
Here’s the thing about messes, you can ignore them, and they will simply get worse, or you can clean them up. Usually when you clean up a mess you preserve somethings and you discard others. You try to salvage what is worth saving and discard what isn’t. That requires some decision making. What to keep and what to discard. If you want clean dishes, you have to discard the dirty stuff that’s on the dishes. If you want a clean house, you have to purge the junk. If you don’t ever throw anything out then you become a hoarder and that’s an awful mess and no way to live a flourishing and happy life.
In today’s first reading in Isaiah, Israel had made quite a mess. They failed to be faithful to YHWH, the God who created them and called them to be His. Despite warnings and pleadings, Israel worshipped other gods. They failed to give YHWH their exclusive love and devotion. After numerous attempts to get them to stop, God finally allowed them to face the consequences of their unfaithfulness. God allowed their enemies to conquer them, destroy their beloved temple and city, Jerusalem, and they went into captivity for 70 years. That was the bad news.
Now for the good news. God was going to rescue them, restore them and return them to their beloved Jerusalem.
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a] 2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. 4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.”
Isaiah goes on to describe how much better things will be for God’s people. He uses the image of a bride being rejoiced over by her groom. God’s love for his people is great.
Toward the end of the section is the promise: ” ‘See, your Savior comes! See, his reward is with him”
Notice God’s rescue of his people is good news for some, and bad news for others. It’s both the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance.
Think about WWII for a minute. When the Allied Forces defeated Hitler and his armies and came to the internment camps like Auschwitz, it was good news for the prisoners, but bad news for the German army. Hitler chose suicide over the swift justice that was sure to come. For the men and woman who were set free it was good news but for the perpetrators of injustice it was a day of vengeance.
Jesus is coming again. In Titus 2 we are told:
“11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and our Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.”
God’s purpose in allowing His people Israel to face judgement was his way of cleaning up the mess that they had made and giving them a chance to start fresh, free from the worship of idols.
God’s purpose in sending Jesus was to extend the opportunity of salvation to all people, again, to clean up the mess and rescue those who are willing to receive the grace of God. While we are waiting for Jesus to come and all the mess to be finally cleaned up, God invites us in the name of Jesus to follow him and live Godly lives, rejecting the mess of the world.
The world is a mess and God is fully and finally going to clean it up through the coming of Jesus Christ. For those who reject God’s grace and mercy it will be a day of vengeance. While we wait, God is working in our lives to clean up our messes and put us to work doing good, helping point others to God. Are you willing to say “no” to ungodliness and worldly passions? Are you willing to be different (FUEL 2019). Are you eager to do what is good? God wants to purify you and put you to work. Are you willing?
Today’s Bible reading plan passages can be read or listened to at Biblegateway.com here. Isaiah 61-62 and Titus 2.
Thanks for taking a journey with me this week! It has been a different challenge for me to focus on a book in the Old Testament, so I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have
We see the phrase “no other than/like/except/but Me” ten times out of the 38 verses in the two chapters of Isaiah we just read. That is over 25% of the message that has been written in these texts. Do you think God was trying to make a point that there is no other like Him??? Seems like something He may want us to understand…
Since there is no other God than our God, it makes sense that we acknowledge His power and authority in our life. He has been identified as the Creator of the heavens and the earth, and everything that lives in it. We know that He created the world with a purpose of filling it with good things (Isaiah 45:18). This tells me that everyone, including you and I, has a purpose in their life according to the One True God. God likes to use analogies to help His people understand His truths. In Isaiah 45 we see the analogy of God being the potter, molding the clay, His people, to be great works. In this analogy, God uses some rhetorical questions to help us identify how silly it sounds when we try to take control of our own life from Him. It’s like the clay asking the potter “What are you making?” or saying “This looks wrong…” (v. 9). I know I am guilty of being the clay that asks those questions and makes those comments when looking at my own life.
Depending on where our life is in each season, it can be hard not to question the plan God has laid out for us! And yet, Isaiah 46:10 reminds us that God knew everything that would happen in our lives from day one. It doesn’t matter how much we think we have control, because God tells us that “My plan will take place and I will do all My will.” This can be confusing, but I find it comforting as well. No matter how badly I think I have screwed up my life, I can have faith that God still has a plan and purpose for me, not necessarily because I am someone that is insanely special, but because I am God’s creation and He has a purpose for ME!
Maybe it’s just me, but sometimes it can be easy to feel like my life is supposed to have an extravagant testimony or grandiose plan to fulfill. God’s purpose has to be one of great achievement, right? That message is easily pushed by modern day Christian messages, especially those targeting youth and young adults. While I don’t think it’s bad to set big goals to achieve, I also think it is just as important to recognize that God uses everyone in impactful ways that may not lead to fame and glory on this earth like we can get the image of at times. When Paul is writing to Timothy he does not encourage Timothy to gather a bigger following or perform any miraculous wonders that will be spread throughout the land. Instead, he encourages Timothy to train himself in Godliness (1 Tim. 4:7) and to be an example in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity (v. 12). None of those things scream popularity or magnificent plans! But all of them are important for fulfilling the purpose that God has set aside for those who follow Him.
We were made by an omniscient Creator who wants His people to understand who He is so that they can be strengthened as they fulfill the purpose He has for their life. We may not always know what that purpose is, but we can trust in our God who does. We may not always understand the journey we are taking, but we can trust in our God to continue to mold us into what we should be. So if you have questions about your purpose, I encourage you to lean in to the Potter’s hands, open yourself to the not-so-extravagant, and see what amazing things God has already planned for you.
I hope this week was one that made you think, encouraged you, and grew you in your faith! Thank you for allowing me to be part of your daily readings this week, I certainly have gained a lot from it as well.
For God’s Children To Have a Relationship with Him
Isaiah 43-44 and 1 Timothy 3
When you read through Isaiah 43 and 44, what do you see?
I see a God who loves His people, whom He has chosen. I see a God who shows mercy and patience. I see a protective God. I see a jealous God. I see a God full of power and authority. I see a world full of broken and lost people. I also see a Father whose children have ignored Him. I see a Father who knows there are unrighteous people in the world trying to pull His children off the path of righteousness. I see a Father longing for a way to have relationships with His children. I see children who do not understand what they are missing.
All of the great qualities we observe in or read about our God can seem far away when looking at the Old Testament and reading that He set His chosen people aside for destruction and abuse, or when we see large groups of people destroyed, or when the barbaric sacrifices of animals somehow allow for the forgiveness of sins. I feel at times that the God of the New Testament seems to be much more loving and gracious than the God of the Old Testament. And yet, since creation, God has had a plan for redemption not just for His chosen people, but for all who called upon His name. The whole thing can be a bit confusing if I am being honest! I have to remind myself that God has never changed, He has simply created more opportunities for His children to have a relationship with Him.
The Christian faith is one of just that, faith. We can scientifically prove many of the events that have happened in the Bible did in fact happen. However, the idea that an omnipotent God who has created everything in existence chose to create a group of imperfect beings to be made in His image with the purpose of praise, but then those imperfect beings were given free will and ruined it so He had to send them away but He still made a way for them to come back to Him but it still didn’t make them perfect enough so He sent a perfect being as a sacrifice for all the imperfect beings but then the perfect being came back to life to offer hope to the imperfect but the imperfect ones kept making the creation less perfect so one day the perfect one has to come back and fix the imperfect forever so that the omniscient one can live with the imperfect ones who will now be made perfect……Let’s be honest, it doesn’t make sense. God’s grace requires faith to accept!
1 Timothy 3:15 – 16 says “…This is the church of the living God, which is the pillar and foundation of the truth. Without questions, this is the great mystery of our faith: Christ was revealed in a human body and vindicated by the Spirit. He was seen by angels and announced to the nations. He was believed in throughout the world and taken into heaven in glory.”
Our God is a living God. He has been at work in the nations from day one, and He has had a plan for us to all live in relationship with Him from the start. Why? I have no clue. But faith allows me to know that this is true, and our hope through Jesus Christ allows me to live each day knowing that I have an incredible gift of grace that should be used to praise and glorify the One True God. Do you accept the completely confusing idea of God’s grace? How do you show that daily?
(In case you were wondering, I definitely plan on asking God why He gave us free will in the Kingdom…along with many other questions )