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
Saturday, April 1, 2017
Three "R's" To The Kingdom of God
And they shall rebuild the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former desolation's and renew the ruined cities, the devastation's of many generations.
What we read here in this verse is a promise God made to Israel in the Old Testament.
I believe that the essence of the verse can be seen through the eyes of someone who is beginning a new relationship with Jesus.
Men with more degrees than me call the taking of a Scripture and applying to to a situation that it was not originally connected to, Charismatic Exegesis. I believe that we can do that with this verse.
If Jesus truly is the Higher Power we've been looking for that could take us from our old lifestyle of addiction to one of living under His kingdom rule, then we can see that He is all about restoration, reconciliation and redemption. Maybe these are the three "R's" of the Kingdom of God.
Restoration of self: My worth is now found in Christ. I don't need the approval of those around me to validate my own self worth. I find it in Christ. As we say the declaration at Rapha we acknowledge that we are : Deeply loved, fully pleasing, completely forgiven, totally accepted and absolutely complete in Christ. These are not some kind of Hallmark-flowery-words to make a person feel good about themselves. These very words are the truth of who I have become because of Jesus and the redemption He has brought to my table. Redemption that establishes me in a stable place, physically / mentally / emotionally/ and spiritually. Such things are only found in Christ, found in relationship with Him.
At the end of our very first meeting of Vineyard ReCovery a good friend of mine handed me a note that he had scribbled. On the paper, he had written: "The biggest addiction is not drugs, but the addiction of the mind that says we are less than what God says we are. Remember we are in recovery from a broken relationship with God......not drugs. We are all looking for recovery.
The drugs and alcohol only signify that we are suffering from a problem.
That deep seated need to be loved and to love. Some say that woven within this need to be loved is a desire to worship. A desire to worship someone or something. To give our allegiance to, bow down to, and receive from something outside ourselves. So we look to others to fulfill our needs, wants and desires. We look to "things" to fill the empty place inside of us. As this place is filled with the things of this world....sex, money, power, and drugs and alcohol, we find that what we worship is "self". We bow our knees to the great god of self. We give "Self" everything it wants.
I guess what you could say is that we have rejected the one true source of life, Jesus Christ, and have awakened and empowered the sin nature that exists in everyone. Rather than seek the forgiveness and restoration that only Jesus can give, we embrace a life that will only lead us farther and farther into the darkness.
In John 10:10 we read the words of Jesus: "The thief (devil) comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows). in other words, the things that are found in Christ, go above and beyond anything we can think or imagine. He is not a "get-by" God...He doesn't love with half a heart....He is a complete-always-giving-100-per-cent-God.
I think we can bank on that. So don't let the enemy steal your peace today by getting you all caught up in situations and circumstances. Turn your focus and attention to Jesus. Spend some time speaking out loud the promises we find in scripture. Read Psalm 91 out loud and then say, "Yes! I receive this today." You might be surprised by how much power the real Higher Power, Jesus can bring to bear in your life.
God on you....