Wednesday, March 11, 2015

A Thought for Wednesday 11 March 2015

“If a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die.  None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; because of the righteousness which he has done, he shall live.  Do I have pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Lord God, “and not that he should turn from his ways and live?” Ezekiel 18:21-23 NKJV

From the beginning, even before the time of Christ, The Lord has continually called upon His creation to “live”.  The Lord spoke creation into being and since that time has reached out, called out, and virtually begged that His human creation trust Him and find their true life in Him.  What brings The Lord genuine pleasure?  “That the wicked should turn from his ways and live!”

Clearly repentance is not strictly a New Testament idea nor is Divine Mercy found only in the New Testament.  These are universally from the Eternal One.  So where is salvation found?  Only in The Lord who made the heavens and the earth, and it is in His Eternal Word “which was in the beginning” (John 1:2). 

It is important for Christians to understand that Jesus was not a “new” word; He is THE Word which offers a “new thing” (Isaiah 43:19).  This “new thing” would include even the Gentiles who are called into the same Word “which was in the beginning”; that is, the Messiah who is “the Word which became flesh”.  This is the same Word that calls all to repentance, giving the Eternal God the “pleasure” He takes from seeing His beloved creation turn away from the world that has enticed humans even from Paradise; the world that draws us away from The Lord.  Yet it is the Word that beckons us into the fullness of Life; that fullness which comes only from Him.

Just as The Lord’s Prayer is only a collection of words if we do not understand what the Prayer means, so is “Jesus” just another word if we do not understand and embrace all He taught.  Some say Jesus was born to die but I would suggest if this were true, Joseph would not have been warned in a dream to flee from Herod who was determined to kill Him.  It was not a tiny “child” who was a threat to Herod; it was the Word which is a threat to all who insist on their own ways, their own means, their own desires.

I do not seek to diminish the power of Christ.  Rather we must understand the fullness of the Word from the beginning, the Word which calls us to do “what is lawful and right”.  The Law demands as much, and so does Jesus.  Yet were it not for Jesus, we Gentiles would still be covenantal “outsiders”.  That is the fullness of His Love.

Jesus is not a “thing” we declare to the exclusion of all He taught.  Christ is the fullness of all that is being taught to us even today through the Holy Spirit, and it is this fullness we former “outsiders” have been invited into; “for there is no partiality with God” (Romans 1:11).

Just as there cannot be one devotional or one sermon that can cover all we need to know, there also cannot be one phrase or one verse that brings the fullness of the Word into clarity for us.  The Word invites us into something much greater and more joyful and more lasting that anything we know now.  Embrace the Life you have been called into, and revel in the Word which has invited you in!



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