Saturday, June 17, 2017

The Irresistible God

Brad is the son-in-law of my next door neighbor, and  he cuts my neighbor's grass. For the last two, or three years, Brad has been cutting the grass at the margin of my property. He cuts a row of grass with his zero-turn lawn mower as he drives past my house to the corner of the street, and then cuts another row of grass on his return to my neighbor's house.  I asked Brad if my neighbor was paying him to cut my grass. He laughed. and said, he had to go past my house to cut the grass on the corner of the street, so it wasn't a big deal. But this time Brad has gone too far. He's gone out of his way to cut the grass along the side of my house about three hundred feet in one direction, and then another three hundred feet back! No doubt Brad is a darn good businessman. He's made himself very easy to hire; but isn't there something more going on? Isn't this God? Knowingly or unknowingly, isn't Brad participating in the life of Christ? Quoting the prophet Joel, the apostle Peter tells us that in the last days, God will pour out his Spirit on all flesh (Acts 2:17). Kindness, goodness, and love, are virtues that don't exist outside of God.

How does God do it? God has found a way to us in the person of Jesus, the Christ. He has pulled us into himself. In the incarnation (in flesh), and the atonement (at-one-ment), God has made himself one with us. God hasn't left us alone. God exists in the world. He lives in people, not in buildings (Acts 7:48;17:24; Acts 25:19; 1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19; Gal. 2:20). We are a new creation in Christ Jesus! Yes, the good news is that the whole creation has been made new! Obviously, it hasn't been fully manifested, but Jesus said, "It is finished! (John 19:28-30). In saying, it is finished, Jesus has fulfilled the Scriptures. He has filled life to the full! and he has destroyed death (John 10:10; 11:25-26). So when we see the virtues of God, we're seeing the kingdom of God being manifested on earth as it is in heaven. We're seeing Jesus, living his life, by grace, in the lives of God's children, human beings, and brothers and sisters of Jesus (Acts 17:28-29).