Who God is v. What God is Doing

We are not prosperity gospel peoplethis idea that God will reign down blessings if we are only obedient and follow His will – we don’t believe it.
Most of us land somewhere in the middle of knowing that God brings good from all circumstances, God is working to provide for us, and consequences come from sin, but life isn’t cut and dried like the prosperity gospel would have us believe. It’s a confusing business understanding how sin and consequences work in life, and also watching evildoers seemingly prevail at times. What does God mean when he says he will graciously give us all things? What if the thing I need is literally a miracle, and I don’t get it? People look around and end up with questions like “why are there poor people? Why are children hungry and hurting?” We are supposed to hold the answer to these questions as Christians, as church workers and families in the church, but what if we look around and feel just as confused, just as frustrated in the state of the world? (We’re speaking of an external pressure to know, to hold the answers, to always “get it.” Not that we actually believe we hold the answers!)
The answer, as always, lies at the foot of the cross. “He who did not spare his own Son…” The verse isn’t about what we will receive. We can spin our wheels all day and we can come up with some very Biblical answers, but the verse is about who God is. A God, a Father, who did not even spare His own son, for the sake of His children. That is our God. The verse is about relationship with the One who is everything, and relationship with the Son, who is one with the Father. It’s a family circle of Grace and Mercy and Trust.
We may have our own questions about what and when God will provide for whatever need we have on our heart, but God’s answer will always be this- I sent my son. Come to me through Him. He is all you need. The rest is always second.

You see, all of it, what we need beyond Christ is relevant to God. We can share it with Him and praise Him for His very real work in our life. But at the very best, all of what we need or want or desire is second. God’s son really is enough and this is a message we share with a hurting world. This is a message we can share with our hurting spouse or our children struggling. It’s a message God shares with us on the difficult days. Jesus died for your sin. He walks out of the grave with open arms. Everything is redeemable and can be made new in Him. “All things”…everything…given to us new and spotless in Christ.  

Restorer of moldy marriages, moldy lives

 In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth…and God said that it was good.
Everything was perfect, in the beginning. God created space and the atmosphere, stars and sunshine, oceans and dry land, flowers and food, birds and beasts. He created everything and called it good. He created man and woman and called them “very good.”
We can overlook that all of creation is not just subject to God, but proclaims Him and honors him. Creation itself knows the true story of God and redemption and restoration. Creation longs, just as we long, because it knows beauty and it knows the complex rhythms of life put in motion and sustained by a loving and involved Creator. Creation longs because things just aren’t right. We look around and see the beauty in creation, but we also see the thorns. We see and experience death in our lives. Things decay, things mold, things age. Sickness is real, in our lives, and in the lives of animals and plants all around us. Cancer looms, pain is a daily battle for some, and famine and pestilence are reality.
But as creation longs, we too long, and we know that restoration is coming. We hold on to this promise because we have seen with our eyes redemption. All of creation has beheld the Lamb of God walking among her streets and in her gardens. Stones cry out to Him and whales sing His praise for all He has done. Christ is good and redeems that which was begun “in the beginning.”
When marriages decay or become moldy, when families find that their only refuge is Christ, then we see the truth that restoration is still to come and we long for it with the creation. When the negative impacts our lives, we can thank God for His restoration promise still to be fulfilled and thank God for the freedom that Christ has given us through His death and resurrection, to experience restoration now.

Lord, You restore. Restore us today, through Your Son. Restore us completely on the last day, to live with you forever in Paradise. In Christ we pray, Amen.