All Posts Tagged: incarnation
You are together the body of Christ, and individually you are members of Him. 1 Corinthians 12:27
The story line of the The Ten Commandments is from the Bible. God miraculously delivers the Jews from 400 years of bondage for one reason: “They’ll realize that I … brought them out of Egypt so that I could live with them” (Exodus 29:46). After liberation the Jews are immediately instructed to build a transportable tent: “The people must make a Tent for Me, so that I may live among them.” (Exodus 25:8) When construction was complete, God moved in: “The Glorious Presence of God filled The Dwelling.” (Exodus 40:34) Then God said: “The twelve tribes of Israel are to set up camp around My Tent.” (Number 2:1)
What was vaguely illustrated in Exodus was fulfilled in Jesus: “The infinite Life of God took shape before us.” (1 John 1:2) and “fixed His tent of flesh among us; and we saw His glory.” (John 1:14) That’s why Jesus was called “Immanuel,” which means “God is with us.” (Matthew 1:22-23) After Jesus “moved into the neighborhood” (John 1:14) “He chose twelve disciples to be with Him” 24/7. (Mark 3:14)
Imagine a wagon wheel. There are twelve spokes imbedded in a central hub. The rim unifies the spokes in the hub. The twelve disciples (spokes) were connected to Jesus (hub). The Holy Spirit (outer rim) brought unity by keeping the dissimilar members in alignment. Note: there are no Lone Ranger followers of Jesus! If Peter wanted to follow Jesus, he had to relate to eleven other followers: “You are together the body of Christ, and individually are members of Him.” (1 Corinthians 12:27)
You’ve just been introduced to the CHURCH as designed by Jesus! It’s a Community of Life; liberated persons connected to and camped around Jesus 24/7.
I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. John 14:6
“God formed man in His own likeness.” (Genesis 1:27)
Obviously, we must know something about God if we are to know anything about ourselves!
Held every January in Detroit, Michigan, the North American International Auto Show is one of the world’s premier public events, attracting nearly one million visitors. Though generating $2 million at its glitzy charity ball, the primary purpose of the affair is to unveil new models.
Over 2000 years ago a model debut occurred that impacted the whole world. It was so momentous that it altered calendar dating from BC to AD. The event, of course, was the birth of Jesus. In a Bethlehem stable, a most unlikely venue for such an auspicious unveiling, the Maker of Life revealed His authentic design for human living … the Model of Life. He’s the Creator’s Prototype of Humanness! He’s the Original Human Being! He’s the Pattern of Humanity! So, you need not be “in the dark” about the Maker’s purpose for your life! “To be mature is to be basic. Christ! No more, no less.” (Colossians 1:28) “It’s through Jesus that we find out who we are.” (Ephesians 1:11)
In Washington, DC, the Washington Monument sets due east of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool. On a cloudless day the quiet waters of the pool reflect a perfect image of the monument. Jesus is like the Washington Monument. You, on the other hand, are intended to reflect him in the waters of your God-designed personality. “As God’s beloved children, copy God!” (Ephesians 5:1)
No wonder Jesus said: “I am the Way to the Truth about Life!” (John 14:6)
For years I have shopped at a national tool store that promises a 90 day unrestricted warranty on every product. They’ve always delivered on their promise!
The Bible contains a warranty that includes over 3000 promises (check out the Mechanics of Life). I want to examine the first and most important promise in the Manual (cf. Genesis 3).
You’ve probably seen a TV commercial that ends with the line: “But wait! There’s MORE!” That’s the hook “the ancient Serpent, the one called Devil and Satan” used on Eve. The fruit of the forbidden tree held the MORE! “When the Woman realized what she would get out of it, she ate the fruit and then gave some to her husband. At that moment they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness.” Immediately Life was damaged causing dis-ease and death. What would the Manufacturer do?
With compassion Father entered the Garden with a warranty. He promised to free His kids from the shackles of Satan. “God spoke to Satan. ‘I’m declaring war between you and the Woman, between your offspring and hers. He’ll wound your head, you’ll wound His heel.’” The Old Testament is a prelude to the Big Battle: “But when the right time came, God sent His Son, who was born of a woman so that He could buy freedom for the slaves of Satan.” “At the Cross Jesus was wounded for our rebellious acts …” At the Cross the Serpent’s head was crushed: “The battle was won over Satan and his minions through Christ.”
So, “If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing Himself to the worst by sending His own Son, is there anything else He wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? That’s an UNCONDITIONAL WARRANTY!
“The birth of the baby Jesus stands as the most significant event in all history, because it has meant the pouring into a sick world the healing medicine of love which has transformed all manner of hearts for almost two thousand years.” —George Matthew Adams
Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame. (Genesis 2:25)
At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves. In the evening the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the Lord God among the trees. Then the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” He replied, “I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.” (Genesis 3:7-12)
Adam and Eve were created “naked.” Physical nakedness is body language that speaks of a crystal clear spirit, one that is transparent and vulnerable. Nakedness means there are no shades covering the windows of our souls!
Disconnecting themselves from their Creator, Adam and Eve felt shame. Brené Brown says “shame is the fear associated with disconnection.” The couple immediately assumed control of the new situation. They covered themselves and hid. The shades of the soul were drawn. For the first time each experienced the anguish of being alone spiritually. In His infinite love the Father, knowing there’s no healing in hiding, calls to reconnect with the couple. They must come out of hiding and remove their false fabrication of self. They must become vulnerable just as God did in the birth of Jesus.
Stephen Russell observes: “Vulnerability is the only authentic state. Being vulnerable means being open, for wounding, but also for pleasure. Being open to the wounds of life means also being open to the bounty and beauty. Don’t mask or deny your vulnerability: it is your greatest asset. Be vulnerable: quake and shake in your boots with it. The new goodness that is coming to you, in the form of people, situations, and things can only come to you when you are vulnerable and open.”
Dr. Brené Brown has produced a video entitled, The Power of Vulnerability. She is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. She has spent the past thirteen years studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame. Brené is the author of three #1 New York Times Bestsellers: Rising Strong, Daring Greatly and The Gifts of Imperfection.