The Stronger Coffee
Most people have heard the song that says "I saw the light."
But, why doesn't everyone see the light? Why do some people find the Bible hard to understand? Maybe part of the reason is the way it is taught in church; in bits and pieces without a real framework to fit them into.
We are taught that God called Abram out of his home, to go somewhere else. Why? It has to make sense. Is it just to explain that we have to obey or is there a context that we need to get the purpose and make sense of it?
God created everything, everything there is. Time, space, matter, the physical laws. He cannot be part of the physical universe, because He couldn't create anything unless He existed first. And the last thing was He created us, breathed life into Adam's nostrils. We may not know all His reasons, but we can see that we are the only creature capable of knowing and interacting with Him consciously. And He gave us free will. The ability to choose to be obedient or to rebel. All sin is rebellion against God, and we all sin.
God made us out of the stuff of the earth, made our food out of the earth; everything that lives is made of the same stuff, and it all goes back to the earth. Even Adam, the Hebrew name means "man" is part of a.dam.ma ... earth. "Dam" is blood. The life of the flesh is in the blood and the flesh comes from the earth. And the flesh is subject of all kinds of misery, and ultimately dies.
What happens to us when the flesh dies? Is that all there is? Of course not! But, we all sinned and the cost of sin is blood. (This is not a story for young children!) Flesh and blood were always a gift, a temporary vehicle to use while we are here to ready us for something greater.
Just as a father may give his son his first car, God gives us this body and instructs us to use it wisely. But we have all fallen short and are liable to surrender the keys and pay our tickets. And how can we stand before Him with our shame?
We are condemned and we cannot save ourselves! But, God always had a plan. The plan was Christ, but He had to prepare a place and a people to receive Him. Therefore He constructed a vineyard (Israel) and put around it a hedge and a moat (the Torah), and erected in it a winepress (the altar), and a watchtower (the temple). Last he hired tenant farmers to tend and guard it for the harvest. Alas, when He sent his servants to collect the harvest the wicked tenants killed them, and even when He sent His Son, they killed Him, thinking they could steal the inheritance. Of course you recognize the parable from Matthew 21.
So, God fooled Satan and raised Jesus from the dead and through Him we also will be raised from the dead. He paid for our sins by His blood! He is the High Priest and sits by the right hand of the Father and judges all and intercedes for those who come to Him and follow Him. He really has two rules: you must love the Father with all you got, your whole being, heart and soul, blood and sinew. And you must love other people and be kind and generous even with those who are not kind to you. (This does not negate a little "tough love" when appropriate, but just know the yardstick you use to measure others will also measure you.)
We will be called to weather storms and suffer pain and deprivation in this life and we should expect it and not shrink from it so as to avoid our calling from the spirit. And we must cling to Jesus and not fall away; we must run our race to the end, even death.
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