buildingbodies4christ

building on the foundation of Jesus Christ

Archive for the tag “Jesus’ reflection”

Promise Keeper

Last Thursday had a special end to it. The family was still at the beach. We had experienced cool, overcast, rainy weather for the better part of the week; not so good for suntan and children who want to play at the beach. But on Thursday evening about sunset, I looked out our sliding glass door and saw a small portion of a rainbow at the edge of the ocean. I wasn’t sure if I really saw it. So I went outside and called the others to see as well. As we stood there gazing out over the ocean, more of the rainbow was revealed.

Minute by minute the rainbow arched over the beach until the end landed on one of the houses just down the road from us. It was a full rainbow, and it was amazing to see. Phones came out up and down the coast to get some great pictures. The rain had finally ended, and we were in for a gorgeous day on Friday – our last day at the beach. And it was fabulous – a perfect day at the beach; we didn’t want it to end. But it did. However, on Friday night, there was another spectacular view from our beach front house. There was a full moon that rose upon the waters. It was a great ending to our vacation.

I love rainbows, don’t you? Rainbows help me to remember the convenient that God made after the flood. He told Noah that He would never again destroy the earth by flood. I know there is scientific knowledge of how rainbows form. I get that. Sun, rain particles, ta da; a rainbow appears. God made a promise. He is the promise keeper. We can trust His Word.

When I see a rainbow, I think of the story of Noah and his big boat. Rain had never fallen before that time. Noah looked foolish building that huge boat when there was not a raindrop in sight – for years. The times were also very evil. There were none who were righteous except Noah. The subtitle for Genesis chapter six is “A world gone wrong.” We find in Genesis 6: 5-6: The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil. So the Lord was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke his heart. But Noah found favor in God’s eyes.

God is always searching for those whose hearts are turned toward Him. He looks for the righteous to do His work. However, evil was not destroyed by the flood; it is still present today as we have witnessed in the last days. Evil hasn’t gone anywhere. I believe current events still break God’s heart. He desires all of humankind to look toward Him instead of doing what’s right in their own eyes.

There are still promises that God has stated in His Word that have yet to be fulfilled. We are told to watch the signs of the times to determine the events to come. I do believe the end is near. I don’t know when it will come; but because God said it, I believe it will happen. The times are evil. Men believe what they are doing is right. But just as the rainbow tells us as a written statement in the sky – God keeps His promise, and He will again bring judgment on this earth. He is also looking for the righteous to step up and do exactly what they are commanded to do; even if it’s to build a boat on dry land for this day and age.

I don’t know what the plan is for today’s building project. God is searching for those who are willing to look foolish to do things that are crazy according to today’s standard. Maybe our job isn’t to build but to tell the story of the building project that has already been accomplished through Jesus’ bridge for humanity. The bridge from us to God has been laid through the cross of Jesus. The cornerstone was His death and resurrection. The foundation is secure because of His promise that if we believe, we will have eternal life. The Body of Christ is being built through the story of Jesus. God made a way where there was no way. He made a promise in the very beginning and all humankind would be blessed through that promise.

The Body of Christ is God’s current rainbow – the Body should reflect the Son. His glory should be revealed for all to see through this current rainbow of color from every nation and every tribe. We are the product of what Jesus has done, but we are not complete. We still have time to do His work. He is showing us through signs and wonders across the globe that time is growing shorter, and we need to finish what has been started. He is watching and waiting. Let’s get out there and shine as we reflect the Son; His rainbow for His glory.

“But the exact day and hour? No one knows that, not even heaven’s angels, not even the Son. Only the Father knows.

“The Arrival of the Son of Man will take place in times like Noah’s. Before the great flood everyone was carrying on as usual, having a good time right up to the day Noah boarded the ark. They knew nothing—until the flood hit and swept everything away.” Matthew 24:36-39 (MSG)

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The Yuck Factor

If you had asked me at some point in the last week or so whether I was a clean person – meaning that I am a neat freak – I would say yes and no. I don’t like clutter. I believe in keeping my house clean, but I am not fanatic about it. I will get into a real cleaning mode at some point within the year and get into those dark places. Recently, I had one of those moods to clean. I started the cleaning spell one Saturday morning when I knew I needed to flip the mattress. I took off the mattress cover and gave it a wash. I even gave the dust ruffle a fluff in the dryer. I was stopped in the middle of the cleaning though to meet a friend for lunch. Like everything else when interrupted, the momentum stopped; the cleaning spell was gone. Until Sunday.

I don’t normally do much on Sunday. But I do cook. The afternoon was sort of overcast, and it was a little dark in the kitchen. With the cooking done and the cleanup now at hand, I started to clean up the dishes that I piled in the sink. I was too lazy to walk over and flip on the overhead kitchen light, so I flipped on the overhead sink light instead. I usually don’t use this light. The overhead kitchen light is usually sufficient and normally on when I am cooking. With this new light shining in the sink, I was shocked to see what is usually hidden by the dimmer kitchen light. There was a “yuck” factor as soon as I looked down. I thought I kept my kitchen sink in good condition. But this light brought out something that was hidden to my eyes. And the cleaning began once again!

I say all that to say, that’s what the Bible does for me as well. The Bible to me is a light to show me “the yuck factor” in my life. Sometimes though, I really don’t see the yuck until Jesus shines a light into that dark place which has been hidden from me. I have been praying recently for my spiritual blindness to be revealed. And the light has been shining in those dark places. I love the song “Amazing Grace” but I have always thought that the “wretch” in the song was only the songwriter’s dirtiness. The songwriter knew his sins of selling slaves as one of complete wretchedness. He saw his sins as God saw them. Yet, when I sing that song, I don’t see my own wretchedness. Sure I am a sinner – aren’t we all? But are we wretched? Is my sin as bad as selling slaves? Or even murder? To God, all sins are wretched. We all fall short of God’s glory as Paul wrote in Romans 3. It’s not until we truly see as God sees that we see the sin in our hearts as wretched.

Our deeds are even filthiness in God’s sight. So how in the world can God look upon us in our filthiness? If you are in Christ, you know the answer. Through Jesus. He is the only thing good in us. I may not see the wretchedness, but God sees all things. It’s by His grace and mercy that He covers that sin and shame with the love of Jesus. Jesus died so that we could live a new life of righteousness. Not by our works; not by what we can accomplish, but what was accomplished through Jesus. As I contemplate my blindness and my dirtiness, Jesus says He has made me clean. The dirt in the corners will be brought into the light so that He can provide a good reflection for all to see. If we are living right with Him, His light will shine through us so that God will get all the glory for the new heart and new life that is now present. He will make everything new.

It’s nothing like the shiny reflection of a new kitchen sink! When the scrubbing has to be done to get the sink back to a good reflection, it’s going to take a little elbow grease. It’s going to take a few pangs along the way. But it’s worth the cost when the reflection is back. It’s a constant battle to keep the grime from building up. But with the Word of God shining the light, the pain is worth it to keep the yuck factor away!

For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable. Hebrews 4:12-13 (NLT)

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