I Could Do A Better Job Than That!

We can not avoid in the news today yet another disaster. Another killing. Another case of child abduction or abuse. This can and does put people off the idea of God. It is easy when you see these things to wonder “if there is a God, why is he idly  watching by? letting these things happen?”

The answer to this is Sin.

The effect of sin is bigger than the damage it has on humans, but also its impact on creation. We live in a fallen world. A world which could be perfect but because of sin is marred.

So where did this all start then, well in Genesis 3.

 

Genesis 3: 17-19

17And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; 18thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. 19By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

In this passage then the key verses are 17-18. Because of the sin of taking from the tree of knowledge which God told Adam and Eve to not take from, God cuts them off from all the potential knowledge and power of the tree but also because of their sin informs them that certain things will not work in creation as well as they had done before “The Fall”. When God created the world he declared it good having made it perfect. But now, “Post Fall” the world is not so good, the word used in verse 17 “Cursed” meant the ground was now not considered good but instead fallen, broken.

The way to imagine all this is that now the world is sick from sin. It needs to be given a cure to the disease of sin.

Sin is the cause of all the pain and suffering, all the natural disasters, Pre-fall there is no sign of hurricanes, typhoons, tsunamis and suffering and death. It is only after sin entered the world that the world becomes broken, becomes fallen and imperfect. Soon following the first sin is the first murder, so powerful is influence of sin.

So the reason for all the shocking things that we see on the news are because of the fallen world we live in, because of the sin of our first parents Adam and Eve.

But does this mean God has done nothing about it?

No… Quite the opposite.

 

 

Romans 8: 18-23

18For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.

 

God had a plan. A rescue plan for creation and for us. One in which he would give his only son up for us and creation.  God saw the effect and damage that sin had on the world. To tackle the infection of Sin, God sent his only son to be a sacrifice for our sins. He came to make us and the world right with him. Jesus came to take away the power of sin by dying on our behalf.

Jesus came to make us and creation righteous. Righteous meaning right with God.

In the passage above we see that as we look and long for the return of Christ, the one who has taken the punishment for our sins, so does creation, it “waits with eager longing”. Creation looks for a release from the bondage of sin just as much as we do.

Does all this mean then that as soon as you become a Christian there is no suffering in your life and in the world around you. Well no. Until Christ returns again there will be death, and there will be natural disasters and famine. But when Christ comes again and we are taken to Heaven we will be in a place of no more tears and no more sorrow. 

 

 

Revelation 21:1-4

1Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

This glorious picture of what life will be like when Christ returns, shows us that there is hope. There is hope and an end to suffering. We know that through Christ and only through Christ can the world be healed more importantly only through Christ can we be forgiven “healed” of our sin.

God bless.

G.

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Do You Love me?

This Week draws an end to my look into the Gospel of John. In this Post I’m going to look at the last passage of the Gospel with you, and hopefully it is food for thought for you too.

Many clever people I have been reading this week have been telling me the significance in this passage of the choice of Greek word that Jesus and Peter use in this passage and what that means. Well I’m not going to go too deep into the Greek really, because I think the point Jesus is getting across, is he is asking Peter “Look do you love me!”….. “I mean do you really Love me”…. and this question is so important! It’s a question we ask new Christians, A question we ask mature Christians. This question is so important. And not because our answer suggests anything of our salvation, that if we Love Jesus enough we will be saved, because we are just great at loving Jesus, No, actually it shows our understanding of the act that does save us, his sacrifice on the cross. I mean the Love that Jesus has for us to come down and die for those who believe in him, is an incredibly passionate self-sacrificing, perfect Love. And why do we love Jesus, because he came down and died for us. And we don’t love him like a warm cuddly your my best friend sort of Love we love him in the same way he loved us, though it will be an imperfect love because our own self-seeking sinful heart may get in the way of us truly loving Jesus in a self-sacrificing way not for our glory but for his.

So having heard of the love for Jesus,

the second thing to notice is the cost of that Love.

Look at what develops from the questioning of Peters Love.

John 21:18-19

English Standard Version Anglicised (ESVUK)

18 Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” 19 (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.”

Peter, having just told Jesus He loves him, is greeted with the news that he will die for Christ, to the glory of God. Peters love for Christ, the love that brings Glory to God will lead Peter to his grave. Now this sounds quite bleak. But we all have a call on our lives, the call on what God wants us to do. If we love Christ and want to see Him glorified, then we should show that in Love for him, the fact that we would be willing to do anything for him. This may scare a few of you, I mean feel bad for Peter he has just been told straight out at a BBQ at the beach, yeah well you’re going to die for me. But when you think that Jesus Came and through Love gave his life as a ransom for many, it puts a call on our lives into perspective…. But Jesus I don’t want to go minister to those people over there, they are just to awkward, to difficult, the questions they ask just too hard is what you say…. Well Then Jesus would just point to his hands and his feet. For him his love for us lead him to the cross. So out of love for him we should want to serve his will and see him glorified more and more.

So we Love Jesus because Jesus Loves us so much so that he died for us, there is a cost to this Love but then when it is Put into perspective against Jesus’ sacrifice it makes you think of the cost of your love for Jesus.

Thirdly, the truth of this love.

We Move on to the final few verses of Johns Gospel, look at Verse 24-25

John 21:24-25

English Standard Version Anglicised (ESVUK)

24 This is the disciple who is bearing witness about these things, and who has written these things, and we know that his testimony is true.

25 Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.

my question to you having read those verses, have you ever had those times where you just sit there and go you know, I don’t think you Love me!

You couldn’t love me?

why would you love me?

Well John tells us in verse 24 that the testimony given in this Gospel is truth. That means every verse of this Gospel is true, from the baptism of Jesus right the way through all the miracles to the crucifixion of Jesus. Including this passage, let me read it to you  AS THE FATHER HAS LOVED ME SO I HAVE LOVED YOU, NOW REMAIN IN MY LOVE. And following on from that GREATER LOVE’ HAS NO ONE THAN THIS: TO LAY DOWN ONE’S LIFE FOR FRIENDS. YOU ARE MY FRIENDS IF YOU DO WHAT I COMMAND. That’s taken from John 15: 9-14. That’s truth. JESUS LOVES US! Take comfort from that! So when the questions like: I don’t think you Love me! You couldn’t love me, why would you love me. Delve into the word of God, for it is all true. You will realise Jesus loves you more than you could even begin to imagine, that’s the chain breaking truth of the gospel, the love that Jesus has for us.

So then to conclude:

I do hope you have been able to take something from this talk, that we should Love Jesus, and not in a warm and cuddly sort of way but in a self-sacrificing way, like he did for us. That because of that self-sacrificing love there is a cost, but when we look at the cost, compared to the cost that Jesus undertook on the cross, it puts it into perspective. Then there is the truth of the Love, that when you doubt that Jesus loves you, maybe you have a sin bearing heavy on your life, or you are feeling depressed, run in to the arms of Jesus as, you see in scripture that he loves you so much more than you could comprehend.

Yours In Christ

G.

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