Monday, July 07, 2008

new chapters

I can't help but think that the analogies of journey and story well describe our life in Jesus in this world. Of course we can take journey as fitting into story, and story fitting into journey.

We need to look at life that way, because too easily we can succumb to something less than this. Maybe something like we're just trying to survive, kind of existence. Or simply just existing with one of a number of ways of living which characterize the world. Like: "You go around only once in life. So grab for all the gusto you can get!" Or: "Just do it!" Etc.

But in Jesus, we find a new way which bucks all the ways of this world. And finds hope no matter what. That God is bigger than all the problems and issues we face. Yes, they often will not be easy to work through. But by faith, we can work through them, and live out lives that are godly in Jesus. And best done, and really only done as far as the New Testament teaches us, when done in fellowship with God and with others in Jesus.

What new situations or challenges do you face? Can we see them as simply a new chapter which God can write as we by faith trust him to do so, even through our lives, in all their brokeness, and even sin? Do we believe that God is bigger than all of that, that God in Jesus can and will make a difference in us and in our story, including the lives of others? We need to think this way. We're in the story, therefore we have our part that we must do, but it is because of God that we can do it. By the grace we find, in Jesus.

I can shrink back and overreact to disappointments and challenges and too easily buy into the idea that I'm a failure, or there is little or no hope. But this is not trusting God. Look at the Bible. The stories there are real, about real people facing real, and often seemingly insurmountable problems. But God... That's the answer: God in Jesus can make all the difference in our lives and stories. Let's trust him to write a new chapter. And let's also remember that a large part of what God writes is our very lives in Jesus by the Spirit. Like any good story, true to life, there will always be ups and downs alolng the way. Let's trust God in his good will to work in making it all beautiful in its time, in Jesus.

What might you like to add to this?


Anonymous said...

We can make mistake in many other thing in life but if you pray and serve to wrong Creator we will have a wrong fundamental and mindset. We will never acheived peace in mind.

John 17:3 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)

3Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

Acts 3:13 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)

13The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go.

Acts 4:30 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)

30Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus."

Matthew 21:46 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)

46They looked for a way to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowd because the people held that he was a prophet.

Mark 10:17-18 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)

17As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. "Good teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"

18"Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good—except God alone.

Matthew 15:21-24 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)

21Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession."

23Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, "Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us."

24He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel."

Don't worry I know the bible is very confusing. A friend of mine almost become insane trying to understand the bible which is full of contradictions. There are many Christians who are blind followers and can't even discuss intellectually.

Jesus has warned about this

Let see the warning by Jesus
Mark 7:6-13 (New King James Version)

6 He answered and said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you
hypocrites, as it is written:

‘ This people honors Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me.
7 And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’[a]

Are you included in those who worship Jesus as mentioned above?


Anonymous said...

a good post to enforce trust and faith in God. thanks.

garden news...
there are actually some things growing in the garden, even though the soil is not good this first year. good thing we like zucchini.

summer is wonderful in this part of oregon. hope you all are doing well. hope cleo is keeping cool.

Ted M. Gossard said...

My friend, Arah,
With all due respect to the faith of Islam,
God became flesh in Jesus, the Word- God became flesh and dwelled among us (John 1). Jesus is the way, the truth and the life: no one comes to the Father except through Jesus (John 14).

Jesus died for our sins, was buried, was raised on the third day, in fulfillment of the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15). Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him shall be saved. For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life (John 3). If you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord", and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you shall be saved (Romans 10).

Jesus is Lord!

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks. Sounds like you have a good start with your community garden. And Oregon has been one of my favorite states in my mind, as far as thinking of a state I might enjoy living in.

Rachel Mc said...

Ted, I like the way you have put our journey and story into our life with Jesus. I never really thought about that concept before; that God created a story and we all have a role in the story. But I really can relate to this, because I like to write and I enjoy words.
Just trying to survive - I understand that so well and I need to fight that mind set. I believe it is all about attitude and what you think about and I am trying to practice the presence of God everyday. I find that if I keep a journal with me all day and write short - quick sentences to God with what ever I am feeling and facing, and I am trying to focus on looking at the positive and not be overwhelmed. I am trying to write more positively, think more positively because truly, God has blessed me.

Ted M. Gossard said...

I like your idea and practice of journaling, and you seem to be quite consistent in doing that, unlike myself, over the years.

But yes, story evokes a powerful image for us, true to Scripture and to life. We can more easily find our identity and place in such terms, I think.

And finding the good, and God's hand in your life. Important for me, as well, surely for all of us!