Welcome to the Greene Street Letters. It has become my venue for sharing what is going on at Vineyard Recovery Church. Don't let the word Church scare you. The Greene Street Letters is a daily posting to simply say that there is more to life than what you see. More to life than "stuff". My simple take of 60+ years of following Jesus. Some days were good days...some days I managed to get off in the ditch. He is worthy of the pursuit, so that is what I do........I pursue Jesus in everything I do. Not the Jesus of the church. Not the Jesus of the denomination. Nothing wrong with those things, but Jesus is so much more. Thanks for dropping by and I hope you return from time to time to stop and ponder your own relationship with Jesus. God on you....mb
Friday, September 2, 2016
In the beginning God...............
Has ever such a presence caused so much upheaval as God has?
People get in an uproar over Him, and because of Him.
People don't believe in God....
Some who do, want to create Him in their own image. They may not say so in so many words, but if you look at their actions and their beliefs there is no other conclusion you can come to.
Denominations split off and start new movements because of disagreement over what God believes. As Mark Heard state in one of his songs...."Everybody Loves A Holy War".
In all this upheaval in the world and in His church, there is one thing that I have found to be true.
God does not change.
But yet God does not, nor has He ever changed.
God is a constant.
Mankind, on the other hand, is constantly changing. And might I add that the change hasn't always been for the better.
We have governed God right out of the collective conscience of our nation.
We no longer give approval to talking to God.
Heaven forbid we acknowledge that God talks back.
We have relegated His book of love letters to us to the dark recesses of humanity...
Back row, bottom shelf of our library's. Not to mention that most would classify it as fantasy or fiction.
Even the church has tried to create a God in their own image.
Maybe that's why we were told, at an early age, never to discuss politics or religion. Such is a powder keg waiting to be ignited.
Yet with everything that is wrong with humanity (even though we think we're doing all right, and are becoming more enlightened everyday) God still reaches out to us. In spite of all our efforts to remove God, He has doubled down on His effort to reach us. Whether we, as humanity, wants to admit it or not, the cross of Christ is the great equalizer.
I can stand in the shadow of the cross with Donald Trump AND Hillary Clinton, and know that without the finished work of Jesus applied to us, we are lost. No amount of intellect or wealth will let me or anyone else enter into God's presence. Only the shed blood of Christ applied to my life and my sin.
To believe in God, and to follow Jesus is the building of a foundation that we can rely on in our daily life. We are influenced by events in our home.....in our work place.....in our city....in out state...in our nation...and in our world. Now that is a lot of influence, is it not? So if I do not have a foundation that I can stand on as I move from event to event, I will be overcome by the sheer magnitude of all the influence that comes to me without my asking for it. I will be drowning in all this influence washing over me by the society I live in. My God has called me to a life of purity. Have you notice the thought of someone being pure is laughed at. The thought of someone actually remaining a virgin until their married is seen as being out of touch and archaic. Yet these are principals that God has laid out for us to follow. I don't view such behavior as being a rule or regulation, as much as it becoming a desire of my heart when I begin this journey with Him.
You see....I'm not to good at keeping rules.
I'm not very good at following regulations.
But my love for God is such that I do not want to ever disappoint Him, so I live my life to please Him. When I seek Him first and allow Him to change me, then the doing I struggled with becomes second nature, and simply becomes a part of my makeup.
As I see it.....
Those who are truly following Christ in their daily lives are minority when it comes to our society. Maybe it has always been like that. I've always said that there are two churches...or a church within the church. You've got the professing church..those who claim to be believers and followers of Christ, but their daily life shows no evidence of such a claim....
And you have the true church. Those who truly have given themselves to a life of following after Jesus. Now don't get all gooey religious as you read this. Following Jesus is not always going to a mission field in some foreign country. It isn't about answering a call to pastor or teach. Sometimes it's being His hands, feet, heart and voice in your neighborhood. It's buying groceries for someone, or helping with a ride to the doctor. The true church isn't always seen or recognized. IT quietly loves behind the scene and has no need to be up front or in the headlines of the local paper.
I guess maybe it's time to wrap up this edition of the Greene Street Letters. There is one reason and only one reason why I wrote this particular posting today. I care about people soul's. I do not want anyone to leave this life only to find themselves in hell, separated from the love and presence of God for eternity. I know that such thought and belief is not popular in our time and day. But simply because you don't believe in hell....simply because you think it archaic or part of a mean-spirited God to allow anyone to go there....remember one thing. God never sent any person to hell. We wind up there because we have rejected the one gift that would free us from such a penalty. We rejected Christ and His gift of salvation.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
Think on this...
God on you....