A couple of weeks ago I found I was asking myself the question, “Why in the world did God create the world knowing the decay and destruction that would occur? How could he possibly create the heavens and earth knowing he’d incarnate himself as Jesus to die the death he died on a cross?”
One answer, God didn’t know what would happen. There’s strong arguments around the foreknowledge of God for and against that line of thinking. I’m not in that camp.
Another answer, God did know what would happen and chose to create the heavens and the earth anyway. God is God. God can choose to do whatever. I’m more in this camp but not fully.
My favorite response, “God couldn’t help but create the heavens and the earth.” God is love (1 John 4:8) and the creation of the heavens and the earth were an overflow of God’s love. Just how large is God’s love if creation was an overflow of his love? Large enough to redeem and restore it all.
Of course this is all speculation and no way provable but I can stop and lose myself in imagination. Everything I see and sense, everything I can smell, or anything I can touch and handle could very much be the result of an overflow of God’s love and if that’s true what if that’s a principle for life?
If I’m created in God’s image and this overflow principle is truly connected to God’s image, then I have to accept that overflow can and does happen in my own life. My best ministry and relational moments have always happened in the overflow of my own life. It’s unfathomable but not unreasonable that these moments could be traced back to the very beginning when God began creating the heavens and the earth.
God is so much bigger than we could ever imagine and his overflow, if he has one, is just a hint revealing the magnitude of, “God is love.”
I have a pulse. You have a pulse.
Jesus has a pulse.
What happens when you trade in your pulse for his pulse? You become a completely different person.
His pulse is compassion and it runs through every artery and vein and neuron of Jesus informing how he sees the world, how he interacts with us, how he approaches others. When you see compassion working itself out in the world, you’re seeing God’s pulse beat through the world.
Jesus sees people created in God’s image, people waiting for restoration, resurrection, and a welcome home party and he sees this whether he’s looking at a world leader, a king, a single mom, or homeless guy on the streets. His pulse, his passion, his mission from God, it’s not about authority and position or success and failure.
When Jesus left his throne in heaven to come live with us, and when he emptied himself of being God (Philippians 2:7-8), he made one thing clear, his pulse, his passion, his heartbeat, it’s something much different than our own. His pulse wasn’t about power, and money, and success.
It was about giving up power and still being the most influential person ever. It was about forsaking riches and walking away only to inherit the entire kingdom of God. He traded life for death and still walked away alive. He could look at the most unfavorable people around and friend them and restore them and leave everyone scratching their heads, knowing that what they saw shouldn’t have worked but did. His pulse is different.
I’m called and you’re called and we’re all called to be followers of Jesus helping to raise up other followers of Jesus, and not just any Jesus, but the Jesus as revealed in scripture. The Jesus whose heartbeat caused him to look past all things uncomfortable and painful and reach out to a hurting and broken world.
Following Jesus means trading in your pulse for his, your heartbeat for his. It means trading in your eyes for his eyes and how he sees the world and trading in your hands and feet for his hands and feet so you can serve others like he did.
Let’s trade in our pulse for God’s pulse so we can be God’s pulse in the world.
We’re called to live out our resurrection but what does that mean? God is all about resurrection. God is the master of breathing life into dead things. God is the perfecter of making things new and giving us hope. When we’ve chosen to follow Jesus, God has brought us back to life by breathing newness into us. We’re given new words to express our hope and through baptism, we experience death to sin, burial of our old selves, and resurrection into new clothes we call salvation. Living out our resurrection is a matter of living out our newness, our hope in Jesus Christ.
We’re no longer walking the path of the dead when we follow Jesus. We walk the path of the living and we the living bring hope to those around us. We the living express our faith by loving others; not by tearing others down with our words. Living out our resurrection means painting words of wisdom that would gently nudge others to consider our way of life. What words are you painting in the lives of others?
Our resurrection inspired faith shouldn’t end up in a list of do’s and don’ts but sometimes it does. Living out our resurrection isn’t so much about pointing out sin in those around us because that’s God’s job. Living out our resurrection is an illustration of God’s love working through us into the lives of others. Someone who is living out their resurrection is obvious. Everything they do and say and touch becomes fruitful because God is the one at work. The only way to live out your resurrection is to let God breathe new life through you.
May God breathe new life through you, and may he love through you into the lives of others, and may your resurrection be in line with that of Jesus Christ’s, giving all honor and all glory to God the Father.
It’s been a hard few weeks. It’s been an even harder few weeks for a family I know who lost one of their own. I’ve always heard it said that death brings things into perspective. It’s a cliché that’s more true than any of us would like it to be. For those of you who don’t know me, I helped co-officiate a funeral of a former student of mine that I had ministered to for four years. It hurt and it was as hard to officiate as much as it hurt. If you’ve read the Eulogy you’ll know that this kid (Matt) was someone I cared very much about and someone I invested a lot of time in.
Switching it up a bit, our high school ministry had winter retreat a week ago and something God-sized happened Saturday night. There isn’t a doubt that the Holy Spirit was moving and in that movement, God spoke to me. Not an audible speaking but a visual speaking of sorts. We had entered a time of worship by praying and singing. As we started this, I could see Matt’s face on every single student that was there, 150+. I didn’t physically see his face on students but my heart and mind saw it.
For the last six months, I’ve been distracted trying to figure out calling but in that moment it became very clear to me what my calling and gifting is. We’re all called to represent Jesus to a broken world, to live out our resurrection before it happens, to make disciples. We’re called to become more like Jesus every day and help others do the same. We all share the same calling.
Gifting, it’s a different story. While we all share the same calling, God has gifted each of us in different ways. Back to the funeral and back to Saturday night at winter retreat; it’s become clear to me that God has gifted me to walk as a student pastor (under various titles, life group leader, coach, etc) the last decade of my life. It’s something I’ve been actively engaged in for a majority of my walk with Christ. It’s something I continue to see myself engaged in for years to come.
Read Ephesians 4:1-16 for more.
How has God gifted you to live out our shared calling?
musikkidonmission asked: I LOVE your blog. End of story. Looking forward to walking this journey with our Lord with you through tumblr :) -Meg
Thanks! I’m digging your stuff as well. Keep it up!