Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Epiphanies, Text Messages, and the Word

No matter how many times it happens, it amazes me how God speaks in to my life.

He chooses a specific idea or concept and begins feeding it in to my mind until the idea takes root and it grows in to something powerful and significant. This idea is never planted in one occurrence though. I'm too dumb ad too stubborn for that.

Usually I'll be reading some bible, and a specific concept will jump out at me. For the rest of the day, that concept will roll around in my head like a full water bottle in the back of a Jeep Cherokee, bouncing from one end to the other, getting everything covered in water until everything is wet.
And before you know it, that's all you can think of.
Everything points to it.
Everything is a reference to it.
Everyone seems to be talking to it.
And then the pastor breaks a book out that is exactly about what's been ravaging your brain hole. 

"Holy cow! I read about this the other day, and it's been on my mind for days! How did you...??"
Oh ya. 
We serve the same God. 

Sometimes I wish God would just send out emails and texts to help us stay on track and follow Him better.

*bzzt bzzt*: Hey Nate. Make sure you fully stop at that stop sign. The green truck won't. btw you'll have a chance to talk about me today. Look for the crying lady at the bus stop :) 
              See you soon--

How convenient would that be?

But then I wouldn't have these rad inspired epiphanies that fully capture my every conscious thought.

Lately God's put this idea on my mind that seems to be following me everywhere. Not just at work.
In college group.
In my own reading.
I see it in my friends.
I see it in my coworkers.
I see it in myself, and that's the part that amazes me most.

A few months ago, Pastor Bradley came to church and gave a sermon that was exactly what I had been reading two days earlier. The concept was so consuming my thoughts that the next day, I had to cut my reading short because I was only thinking about the words from the day before and only staring at words on a page.
Now Bradley was teaching the same thing.
So I started teaching it in Uth.
Then the college group I attend starts teaching it.
Coincidence? I think NOT!

Here's the concept that has captured me:        the Gospel

 Profound, ya?

Hear me out.
When I say the gospel, I don't just mean that scripted speech they taught us at Dare 2 Share. I mean the living and active work of Christ that is redeeming and saving you every single day. I am speaking of the culmination of God's perfect holiness and His infinite, eternal love manifested in the body of a human being, slaughtered, sacrificed for the unworthy and raised up purely of the power and grace of God. I speak of the only force in the universe that has the ability to not only eradicate the sins committed in our life, but shatter the hold that sin has over us ever since our heart cells began working together to lay down a beat.

The gospel is the reason the apostles were murdered and the reason you're reading this blog.

Understanding the depth and true impact that the gospel has on my own life has been my two month obsession.

I know that at no point in my life will I be able to hold up head high and announce "I now fully understand the complete working of God's grace and holiness in my life, and I have a complete knowledge of the impact the gospel has on my life."
But I want to know as much as I can. It blows my mind that I will spend everyday of my life strengthening my knowledge of God's holiness and my own depravity and still not fully understand or get to a point where I am "good enough". The gospel is the great equalizer. 

Jesus has the right to be with God.
We have the right to be punished.
Jesus takes our punishment on Himself.
Jesus hands us His righteousness.
Talk about an unfair trade.

I've begun to see how our true understanding of the gospel affects every aspect of our existence from the way we forgive others to how much we crave the approval of others. Our fears, our flaws, our habits, our hearts all reveal a piece of what we believe about the gospel.

So these are some of the things that have been bouncing around in my skull, wracking my brain. 

And as a man with an opportunity and an audience, I've been shouting all this at my students every Wednesday night.

When it comes to sanctification, the process of adopting the communicable attributes of God, the most potent and useful tool in our available arsenal is the God-breathed bible.

How can else can we comprehend the works and heart of our creator?

As a result, for the next few weeks, we are walking through the book of Matthew one chapter at a time, focusing on the works and life of Christ and not just the historical events, but how it ultimately applies to their life.

It is through the Word of God that we come to know God.

Man, I haven't made a Stars Wars reference in weeks. I have a bad feeling about this.

Nate T B