Thursday, October 22, 2015

From Chaos to Christ! Part IV

     The whole point of Jesus' ministry was God’s final and most profound imposition to replace sin’s disorder with His order.
     Jesus counters destruction with healing:  When Peter cuts off the servant’s ear, Jesus heals it.  When Jesus sees the money-changers in the Temple destroying its purpose and value, He drives them out, reestablishing the nature of the place, which is to be a house of prayer.
     Jesus counters disease and disfigurement with healing and health. 
     Jesus counters the destructive occupancy of demons and their evil with the peace of His Father’s presence.  He drives them out and away from people.
     Jesus counters the decay of death with restoration.  Lazarus was not only dead, but he was starting to decay.  Jesus put a stop to that.
     Jesus counters death's finality and grief with new life.  Sin's ultimate legacy was reversed by His power.
     Jesus own death would be the ultimate reversal of sin's legacy: “But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, ‘DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory. ‘O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?’" (1 Cor. 15:54-55)
     Jesus Christ was and still is an invasionary force: taking back the planet, one person at a time. Love and compassion over sin and defeat:  this is our call to battle.  Love and compassion are equally our weapons of warfare under our Leader.
     So, in effect, Jesus is restoring us back to Genesis 1.
     He is newly creating in us the original design of His Father.  Let's review…
     "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters."   
     Christ brings God’s form to earth: “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation” (Col. 1:15). He hovers over our darkness, our formlessness, our emptiness. 
     "And God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness."
     When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life" (John 8:12).
      He is the light over our darkness, separating it from our lives.  His light is good.
      "And God said, 'Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.'”
      "Jesus answered and said to her, 'Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life'" (John 4:13-14).
      He is the water that replenishes, satisfies and brings life.
     "And God said, 'Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.'  And it was so. God called the dry ground 'land,' and the gathered waters he called 'seas.'”
     Jesus says, "Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it” (Matt. 7:24-27).   
     We stand on Him.   He is our Ground and He stands sovereign over the seas of life that threaten to flood over us. 
     "Then God said, 'Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds'”
     Jesus says, "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:4-5)
     We draw our growth and regeneration from Him. He asserts growth in the seed He is planting: "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” (John 12:24)
     "God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars."
     James 1:17-18 says, "Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures."  1 John 1:5 says,  "This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth…"
     His light governs our lives. Why?  Because He is Light and those in Him cannot help but radiate what He places inside them. 
     "And God said, 'Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.'” "Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.'” (Matt. 26:16-20)
     We are to share this abundant life He has produced in us so others may share in His kingdom.  
     "And God said, 'Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.”   Jesus says, John 10:9-11: "I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep…” (John 10:9-11).
     Our life is a reflection of His work in us.  He produces abundant life in us and consequently works through us to reach a hurting world. 
     "Then God said, 'Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.' So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them."
     We reflect Him and thus His order.  As we move out into His world, reclaiming it in the name of His Son, we see the image of Him in every person we encounter.  They may be in bondage, but they are still His sons and daughters. 
     Jesus reintroduced goodness and order back into this world.  Chaos is banished.  Jesus brought us form, fullness and light, the exact opposites of what God was originally hovering over back in Genesis 1 and now what is currently ruling the planet.
     Jesus’ ministry invaded the chaos, brought on by sin. Remember:  Sin will not win!
     The Book of Revelation details chaos’ last fight to overtake and fully dominate the planet. But, as we read, Christ will not allow that to happen. 
     Why?  He has too much at stake: us. 

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