simple

The WOW of Christ

As I get older, I am finding myself less and less interested in the new and novel. Rather, I'm finding myself increasingly focussed on what Paul referred to in Corinthians as... "the simplicity of Jesus"...

----------------------------
Each month, Pastor Frank writes a personal letter to a circle of his friends, much like the blog post you just read. If you'd like to receive it, signing up is easy:

Get on the list here.

Simplicity

Black-Heart-1024x678.jpg

When all the theological discussion has been dissected, heralded, and argued... it all boils down to this simple truth:

Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.

The Corinthian letter tells us to not lose the simplicity of Christ. 

----------------------------
Enjoy this blog post?

If so, you'll probably really like Frank's monthly emails.
Get on the list here.

The Simplicity of Jesus

Paul said we are to take care that we DO NOT LEAVE the simplicity of Jesus...

Paul said we are to take care that we DO NOT LEAVE the simplicity of Jesus...

Many people come to me, as an older man who has walked in the grace of God for a long time, with their fresh, new ideas regarding some passage in the Bible. I would never want to question the heart of any other man or woman, but with their questions and a lot of the speculative discussion I see going on, I have to wonder what the purpose of seeking the new and novel is all about?

Perhaps it is to "wow" their own hearts with God; perhaps it is to "wow" the hearts of others... let me share wholeheartedly - agreed! There are so many glorious truths in Father's Word that can indeed "wow" our hearts.

I am, however, finding myself less and less interested in the new and novel, and the speculation, to focus my attention on what Paul said in Corinthians about "the simplicity of Jesus".

In fact, in that passage, Paul said we are to take care that we DO NOT LEAVE the simplicity of Jesus....

Maybe because the sheer simplicity of Jesus is so full of complexity.  God became a man, to die for man, so He could live in and through man.  That is more than enough "WOW" for all of us.

I have to wonder, does not the "WOW" of Jesus, squeeze out all the other "wow's" that would compete with His "WOW"? Agreed?

----------------------------
Enjoy this blog post?

If so, you'll probably really like Frank's monthly emails.
Get on the list here.

God LOVES Man. Period.

The “great verse” of the Bible is John 3:16. Millions of people throughout history have made it their favorite verse. It is in summary, the Bible in miniature. “For God so loved the world…” That is our starting point. The love of God for man. GOD LOVES MAN! End of discussion! No matter what man has done, no matter how many times man does it, and no matter who man does it with… and “it” can be very, very bad… NOTHING can hinder the love that God has for man.

But how can that be?

Because as I John 4 says, “God is love.” Note very carefully that it does NOT say, “God HAS love.” If God has love, then someday God might not HAVE love. But because love is what God is, God will never NOT have love or He would cease to be God. Isn’t that glorious? In other words, God has love for us, not because of what we do or who we are, but because of Who He is! 

Now, because He loves, He gave His Son… This too is wonderful, because for love to be love, it must be not just stated, but demonstrated. It is not enough for me to say I love Janet, I must show her that I love her as well. If I say it, but not do it, then my love would be in question. No one ever need doubt the love of God, for all they need do is look at the cross. In the cross, God shows us that He loves us.

Then, for love to be love, there must be the receiving, experiencing, and then expressing love back to the original lover. And so the verse says, “that whoever believes would not perish but have eternal life.” But what is belief? Remember the context of this verse, earlier in John 3, we are instructed by Jesus what faith is all about. He reminds all of us how in the wilderness when a man or woman was bit by the serpents, all they had to do was look at the brass serpent that Moses had placed upon the wooden staff. So it is for us. This is not the faith of great devotion and sacrifice --- oh no! All that is required when you are bit by the serpent, lost in sin, its venom flowing through your body and killing you --- again, ALL that is needed is the “glance of faith” to the One who has been lifted up on His wooden cross --- And the promise is you shall not perish, but have Life and that Life eternal. Glory! 

Oh my friends, if God wants to save mankind, and He does, why would He make it difficult? He has made it so simple… all that is required is the ”glance of faith” to the One Who has laid down His life on our behalf. GLORY!

The Race of Faith is About Jesus - Not Law, Creed, or Principle.

In the Corinthian letters, Paul warned them NOT to ever leave the simplicity that is in Christ. We have one supreme responsibility as a believer, and that is to abide in Him. In John 15, Jesus used the analogy of a vine and branches. A branch is absolutely useless, unless it is connected to the vine. Separated from the vine, the branch is dead, unable to produce "anything".

That is why in Hebrews 12, as we run the race of faith, the call is to fix our eyes... NOT on the law, NOT on principles, NOT on a creed, but on Him alone, for He is not only the Author of our salvation, but the Perfecter of our salvation as well. 

Anytime, we fix our eyes on anything other than Him, we will forfeit the simplicity of Christ for complexity. Anytime, we fix our eyes on anything other than Him, the emphasis of our lives will be on that "other thing", and ultimately on how we are doing pursuing that "other thing"... and we will end up with a man-centered Gospel instead of a Jesus-centered Gospel...

... and that will be no Gospel at all.