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
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Seeing Things Differently
I Corinthians 15:22
For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
(I do recognize that the word "loose" in the photo above should be spelled "lose"..it was a clipart photo I copied in order to use it for this morning's posting. My ever alert wife caught the "boo-boo" and informed me of it. Thanks Vicki!)
I love going to the thrift store and seeing what books have been brought in.
#1 - people get rid of some pretty incredible books and, # 2 - they can be bought for next to nothing. So this last week as I was making my run through the book section, I came across a Bible called the "Daily Walk" Bible. Nothing about it stood out....the art work on the cover was kind of generic. I have a Bible. In fact, I have more Bibles than I probably should have, but this one kept drawing my attention, like a little voice that kept saying...."Buy me! Buy me!'. It was only a buck and a half, so I shelled out the moola and took the Bible home. As I began to flip through it, I found some pretty interesting notes and material at the beginning of each chapter. It is from this material I would like to share with you this morning.
The author of the notes asked as question in this mornings passage (I Corinthians 15 & 16).
"Ponder this rather unusual question for a moment. ' Do you feel more or less sinful than you did a year ago?'"
Never really thought about it. Which caused me to pause for a moment and come to the realization that if I am truly honest about this question...I do feel more sinful than I did last year. Then when that thought came to me, it was like a thunderbolt out of the blue...."Wait a minute! I'm not suppose to feel more sinful.....I should not have this thought at all. This must be the enemy planting this "Turnip Green" thought in my brain."
As I continued the reading in my Bible, I came across something that totally made sense. The writer of the Bible notes wrote, "You might think that the more the apostle Paul progressed in his walk with God, the more SINLESS and SATISFIED he felt. But in fact, judging from the apostles own words, just the opposite was true. The older Paul grew in his relationship with God, the more sinful he sensed he was." Could this be true? The closer you got in your relationship with God, the more uncovered your heart became...the more aware of your own sin you sensed? I think maybe yes. Take a look at what Paul wrote.
A.D. 59 - "I am the least of the apostles" (I Cor. 15:9)
A.D. 64 - "Unto me.....the least of the apostles" (Eph. 3:8)
A.D. 65 - "Sinners of whom I am chief!" (I Timothy 1:15)
The writer goes on to say, "Least of all apostles....least of all saints.....worst of all sinners....
The longer Paul walked with God, the more sensitive he became of sin in his life----not because he sinned more, but because he saw more. The closer he drew to God's perfection, the more clearly he viewed his life from God's perspective.
I want to close out today's posting with Paul's own words from Romans 7:24
"O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? "
Paul sums it up with a single statement....Jesus shall deliver me.
So maybe today we need to see our sin as God sees it...not to excuse it or act like we can't change. We simply realize that without God...Without the cross, Jesus' death and resurrection.....our sin would become our very undoing into a live destined for hell. Growing in Christ....getting closer to God only magnifies His holiness and purity, while at the same time reveals the capability of what we could fall into if we don't stay focused on Him.
Praise God! I don't' have to live the old life anymore.
Because of Christ's redemption, I have become a new creation of infinite worth.
God on you...