Steps to God

20 10 2005

I know you know the song, What if God was one of Us? by Joan Osborne. Well, He was one of us. Yet before we go there get this, the Bible says that sky and the unverse cannot even contain God (even though the Universe is still expanding). So you ever wonder just how big God is? Hmmm.

We also learn from Scripture that God became one of us by being born in a barn about 2,000 years ago in a place called Bethlehem (Hebrew for house of bread). Can you imagine that? the God who made the universe, more than that, who cannot even fit into the universe, becomes a helpless baby. Amazing, but nothing is too tough for God (yeah, I know about the creating a rock that He cannot lift jazz).

Hopefully you know the rest of the story, the baby grew up and became this wonderful man named Jesus, who healed the sick, opened the eyes of the blind, taught the poor, and was executed on something called a Cross. But the biographies of Jesus in the Bible are clear that Jesus did not stay dead, no, He rose again, because nothing can keep God dead.

Here is the thing, He died for you. Why did he need to die for you may ask? Because each one of us is a rebel who has decided to tell God that we want our own way and not His way. This is called sin. This rebellion leads us to hurting one another in all sorts of ways, and not being what God has intended us to be. Let me explain this by telling you a story. Back when I was growing up in Detroit, my oldest sister was looking at the back of a comic book. In those days, there would be all kinds of weird advertisements on the back of comic books. You could send off for x-ray glasses, invisible ink pens, and even for something called sea monkeys. My sister decided that she wanted to order some sea monkeys. I thought it was a pretty cool idea.

So after a few weeks go by, she gets the sea monkeys in the mail. However, days go by and I realize that I have never seen the sea monkeys. So of course I go to my sister and ask her what happened to the sea monkeys. To which she tells me that she flushed them down the toilet. I asked her why. She told me that she flushed them down the toilet because they did not turn out the way that she wanted them to. So she got rid of them.

God has the right to get rid of us too. We are His creation. Any creator has the right to destroy something he/she has created and to start all over again. So when we decided to rebel against God, He certainly could have destroyed us without even a thought. I mean, c’mon, He is bigger than the universe remember? What are we to Him? We must be nothing but dust to Him.

But this is the amazing thing, the Bible says that though we were His enemies, God sent His only Son (Jesus that is, this may sound weird, but God is 1 but 3, He is 1 God but 3 persons) to die for us. The Bible goes on to say that most people will not give their life in exchange for somone else, and hardly anyone would give his/her life to an enemy. But this is exactly what God has done for us.

All you have to do is say yes to Jesus and what He has done for you. You can do it now. If you sense God speaking to you, just pray this prayer: “Father, I believe that Jesus died for me and rose again for the dead, I need you in my life and want Jesus to take control of my life. Thank you and Amen.”

That is all you have to do to actually enter into eternal life and truly become a child of God. However, no one can live the Christian life in isolation, you need a community. Email me and I will try to coach you in how to get connected to a faith community wherever you may be.

Finally, we see in all of what God has done for us, that it is not we who make steps to God, but rather it is God who has ran down the steps to meet us right where we are.

Peace

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4 responses

25 10 2005
Tony Myles

I can totally relate… I lost a bundle on Sea Monkey’s too and am quite grateful that God didn’t flush us down the toilet like did them.

Now… don’t mess with my X-Ray specs.

26 10 2005
ScottyB

Hey these last few posts (below)were from a series of conversations on a website called , EmergentNo(a website of three fairly polemic ladies who hold to the Doctrines of Grace dissecting & refuting the Emergent-US(probably the most radical wing of the emerging church))–
keep in mind that Mars Hill ,which is Reformed(Marc Driscoll), and
Acts 29 ,which is a network of emerging chuches from a Reformed Perspective, are each a part of the emerging church and are solid churches.

The bottom line is not all who are in the emerging church(the 21 Century Church) are liberal or unbiblical -emerging means connotatively(i know that to emerge is to appear from a previous state of being hidden)the next generation of up and coming churches.

One of the main reasons why the emerging church became a reality is because in general most american churches are stuck in the 50’s or at the very least stuck in the eighties or mid nineties.
It is 2005…and American and European and Australian post-Christian post-modern culture is needing a witness.
Guys like Tim Keller and Redeemer Presbyterian in New York City(and his church planting network of missional PCA churches) are doing a better job of reaching the urban and unchurched than just about anyone in EMERGENT. The Redeemer NYC church plants are Cross Centered and Reformed to the core.

The point is: We have to rexamine the wheel and make sure that it is balanced( you have to balance your tires periodically) but if the wheel does not have true fellowship, true evangelism, true prayer, and true devotion to the Word of God then it is not a wheel.(That is a note primarily to the Emerging Church)

We can rethink the methods but we can never change the message.

The question for those of us who are a part of Sovereign Grace is–What preferences do we put in front of the nonbeliever to stumble over? Is there anything that would characterize our churches besides the Cross, the Holy Spirit, the Word, and God-centered worship?
Does our homeschooling cause unbelieving public schoolers to stumble? Does our acoustic rock cause certain urban music/latin music loving non-believers to stumble? Does our suburban location cause certain urban non believers to stumble? Does our predominantly white congregation cause certain african-american,latino,asian, and native non-believers to stumble? Does our emphasis on family ministry cause certain single mom’s and dad’s to stumble? or is our only ROCK OF OFFENSE Jesus Christ ?

Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:

“‘The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
this was the Lord’s doing,
and it is marvelous in our eyes’?

43 Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits. 44 And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”(Matthew 21)

. What piqued my intrest in particular on this website(Emergent-NO) was that it was a Reformed perspective but a slightly imbalanced Reformed Perspective. Basically I felt it highlighted the weaknesses of us who hold to the Doctrines of Grace-we are un-gracious with people who are in error.

This particular brother,Marc D had a perspective on the site which was unique he was gracious to both sides yet spoke the truth and he was african-american.

At this point in the Emergent-US network there is not alot of Black Gospel Music or Passionate Preaching or in general issues that african-americans can relate to.
That for me is an example that this pheonemon(emerging church) is not mandated as much as the proponents imagine(or REIMAGINE). When a church or a movement appeals generally to one race we have to question the biblical nature of the movement because the Gospel is color blind and even though we may say we live in a predominantly white area WE should work at deveoping relationship in neighboring communites for the sake of the poor and for the sake of coming out side of comfort zone and to support churches that could benefit from our service to them.

Additionally his post were very gracious but filled with alot of truth(also some of his buddies who he met on there from Canada were very gracious)–I think we need to examine the emerging church and take the missional good and leave the redefining of scripture and agreed upon orthodoxy–here is a sample of what gripped me and then at the bottom is a note he wrote to me today that i was blessed by.
His quotes are in BLUE

“Further, what I was also trying to say in my comments is that we have to not only look at the negative aspects of Emergent teachings but also look at what is biblical and correct. The reason that heresies have some cachet is because of what God’s church is neglecting and is not embracing. What I do like about Emergent is that they seem to be taking seriously about what Paul said concerning being all things to all people so he can by all means save some. This of course is not license to reinterpret the Gospel to make it more palatable for a new age, but rather, finding new language to make the old Gospel message clear to a new age.”
“Finally, I am sure that no one intends for the conversation to be about race, but people tend to clump with people who look and act like they do. I really don’t see real racial reconciliation coming out of the emerging church just yet. It really seems like a largely white movement here in the states. ”

the note:
Marc said…Hi Scotty B.

It’s been great hanging out with you online for the last few days. We certainly track with each other well. You, Darryl, RobbyMac, and Leighton are all making me want to move to Canada.

Plus, I am a bit humbled of the really nice things you said about my comments on the ENo site and on your own. I appreciate that a lot brother. Part of what I am trying to do here is to expand the conversation with other like minded Christian folk who have deep disquiet in their souls over the state of Jesus’ church and its ability to connect with culture in real and relevant ways.

Finally, I just wanted to touch on something real quick that you said that I think is really important for us key in on, the Gospel is not for ‘cool’ it is for the weak, the marginalized, those who are on the outside, not the in crowd. It is for those who did not have a ride out New Orleans when Katrina hit. It is for the girl who cuts herself everyday to self-medicate her sense of self-loathing. It is for the mother who does not know how to make ends meet at the close of every month, having to make decisions to feed the family or buy winter coats for her children. The hip and the cool are not struggling with this stuff for the most part, though Jesus loves them to and died to prove it.

Thanks for the thoughts my brother. I think that this is the start of a beautiful relationship…;)

26 10 2005
Marc

Hi Tony,

I was wondering when someone was going to comment on Sea Monkeys. Thanks for stopping by.

-Marc

26 10 2005
ScottyB

sea monkeys–there i commented arent those brine shrimp how do you make them ride the unicycle that comes with the farm

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