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Sunday, June 7, 2009

Speaking of Jesus: June 2009

People are very confused about many things in this world. God is not the least of these things! Many of our friends are unclear about who God is, where He is, what He does, and if He cares. There is a great amount of fear that comes from the confusion when God is taken seriously, because this confusion leads to the truth that we cannot control God and we cannot figure Him out. For our friends who don't know Jesus, this confusion likely leads people to be unnecessarily terrified of God or just to write God off as something unimportant and not worth the worry. Some in their confusion even redefine God by pouring their own ideas into what they think God should be. For us who have been called to spread Good News about God it is important for us to know how to get through the confusion.

This begins when we are able to recognize things about who Jesus is. When we talk about the Gospel we find that it is like a jewel. There is one gospel that can be looked at from many ways and each of those ways is beautiful. And these various ways of looking at and thinking about the Gospel help us answer the various questions and struggles that people have about God and faith. They help us bring clarity to whatever is confusing people about the faith.

One of the ways at looking at Jesus' life (the Gospel) is by looking at Jesus as being the One who reveals God to us. Jesus can be seen as a revealer. When we speak about Jesus to our friends they will come with many questions about God. And, as Christians, we know that Jesus is the answer to all of those questions. For example, they may wonder, if God is so loving, why did He allow for sin and evil in the world? Though we cannot answer that definitively (because we don't know), we do know that God has done something about it in sending His Son to die and rise to start a new heavens and a new earth. This work of Jesus reveals that God is both concerned about the evil down here, He cares enough to endure it for us and to bring us through it with Himself, and that, in raising Jesus from the dead, He is the one who has the power to redeem this world. Jesus' words and life REVEAL God to us.

Or, someone may say, "God doesn't love me, look at how awful my life is!" And again, we respond by going to Christ. In Christ, God entered into our suffering because He knows the pain we endure. He endured the worst pain so that you would not have to face an eternity of that pain. And now, He gives you His Holy Spirit to carry you through the pain and the hurt. And, in saying this, Jesus reveals that God is both incredibly concerned for the life of this person and loves them passionately.

Jesus reveals God to us as He demonstrates and carries out God's love for us by dying and rising. In our conversations with those who are confused about God, let us always return to Christ who is God in human flesh revealing His love and mercy.

Pastor Bob

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Faith Lutheran Church • 123 Park Lane • Moorpark, CA 93021 • (805) 532 1049 • Send Email