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
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
He came out of nowhere.
He didn't look like them. No long flowing robes or ornate head coverings. He was unkempt and was single focused in his life and his delivery of the message. You might say his very appearance was repulsive.
He was strange and yet there was something very familiar about him.
He didn't come and mingle in their midst trying to curry favor.
He didn't smooze with the leaders or look for opportunities to advance his own career.
He didn't perform any miracles.
Seas didn't part.
Ax heads didn't float.
No one was healed.
No one was raised from the dead.
Giants weren't slain, but the very foundation of an entire nation was shaken to the core by this man.
A man who was picked by God, before his birth, to the one who would be a voice...a herald...to a nation who no longer listened. Spiritual ears that had been deaf for centuries were about to be opened to a new reality.
Who was this man?
John the baptizer.
He came armed with a message.
Repent.....change your minds, your hearts and your ways.
The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.
He stood on the outskirts of a major city and they came to him.
From all walks of life.
From every socio-economic level you could imagine.
They streamed forth to hear and to see for themselves.
What did they see?
Dressed in ways that reminded them of the prophet Elijah. In fact some believed that it was Elijah returned. But it really wasn't about the man.....it was the message. Such had never been heard in years. No flowery words. No theological wrangling of doctrine.....just a pure, heart piercing of truth that either drew you in or drove you away.
This man revealed the cracks and holes in a religious system that was strangling the very life from a nation. What once was good and Holy was now corrupt and pretentious.
This man did it with words.
He did it with language.
Spoken forcefully and not held back for fear of what others might think or do.
Oh these weren't just any words.
These were words spoken through this man by God Almighty Himself.
This man was merely a conduit for God to act through.
But it was the Words....words formed by the Holy Spirit that lived within this man.
When the religious rulers approached to hear this man for themselves, they were met with "You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?" Not the way to influence people and win friends. Now they were without reason to see the truth. It had been spoken to them.
We want flash and glitz today.
We want current and hip.
What we need are words.
Stripped down, unadorned, truth from the Word of God.
We need to "hear" God for ourselves.
We need to return to His written word. Church has devolved into a system that seeks to save a person's lifestyle rather than their life. "Come to the Church of Ease!" Cast all your cares upon the church and be free to find your comfort-destiny. I do not want you to think I am doom and gloom...but life is, how do you say it? Real! There IS pain. There IS suffering. There IS want and need. But the reality is that Jesus stands above all this and desires to be the way for all who would come unto him. In him nothing else matters. In him I lose my attraction for the things of this world. In him I see beyond my circumstances. In other words, I have a hope and a faith that pushes me everyday to keep moving no matter what I face, or what comes my way.
We need to be awakened.
How does this happen?
You'll hear the Word of God saying, "Wake up!"
We want miracles but we will not invest the effort to see the greatest miracle of all.
The church wants to be entertained.
Above I wrote that we would not invest to see the greatest miracle of all.
What is this miracle I mentioned.
A life changed.
A life changed by Words.
A live connected to the living God through the salvation that is offered by Christ.
"Come to Me all who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest."
God on you........