Tag Archives: Future

Hello 2019!

“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.” Romans 15:4 NIV

I read the Scripture from Romans early Sunday morning before church. It caught my eye because my last post had been about letting our history become His Story in the New Year.  I thought of history as being wiped away to clear the slate for a new year.  Then I went to church and heard “The promise of salvation doesn’t always look like what we expect or want.”  It wasn’t a sermon about wiping away the unexpected and unwanted interruptions that happen in every life.  It was a message of recognizing the promised presence of Jesus with you in the midst of the worst news or circumstances.

Later that day I read this from Henri Nouwen’s Creative Ministry: “We are…invited to look at our history as the sequence of events that brought us to where we are now and that help us to understand what it means to be here at this moment in this world.” 

History has impact on our present, our future and our imperfection.  The ultimate unwanted and unexpected interruption of the perfection God created happened way back in Genesis 3.  Even in the consequences that followed  that sin I see God’s hope for history in His unexpected provision for those first two people.  “The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.”  There are many other examples of people in the Bible who endured the consequences of their own imperfection but found strength to hope in God’s Word.

We’ve just completed the celebration of God’s ultimate solution for our imperfection, the birth of Jesus Christ.  He’s our evidence of “everything that was written in the past.”  The details of the promise of our salvation won’t always work out as we expect or want. We’re still dealing with the consequences of imperfection but we can trust and depend on God’s perfect solution “so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.”  Faith in Jesus is evidence of God’s hope for our life and that makes it a part of His Story.

Negotiate? [Pray?]

Genesis 18:25 Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?” 

Did Abraham speak to reassure himself or God?
“The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous” the Lord chose to go and check it out for himself.  It’s personal for him.  “I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.”

It’s personal for Abraham too.  The fruit of the promise the Lord had given him long ago is in sight.  “…the Lord said to Abraham…I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”  Two of the guests had left for Sodom and Gomorrah but “Abraham remained standing before the Lord” to negotiate? [pray?] about how many righteous people it would take for the city to be spared.   His heart was filled with concern because now this would be his son’s future too. 

Did Abraham speak to reassure himself or God?
The Lord said, “If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.” Fifty righteous people became 45, then 40, 30, 20 and finally  Abraham said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?”  He [God] answered, “For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.”  When the Lord had finished speaking with Abraham, he left, and Abraham returned home” …to wait for the future. 

Did Abraham speak to reassure himself or God?
The answer to my question is “both.”  We negotiate? [pray?] to reassure ourselves and the Lord that we do care about the righteous and the unrighteous no matter how shortsighted our faith is as we wait for the future and wonder “Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?” 

Seed of Innocence

Matthew 13:3 Then he [Jesus] told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.” NIV

I am a confirmed believer the Spirit of God uses repetition to direct my mind. Repetition of a recent word or thought gets my attention and that’s exactly what God desires. Remember my reference to the “mustard seed” in the last post? This truth about seeds just “happened” to pop up in this blog by raincitypastor, Richard Dahlstrom, Step by Step Journey.
“One of the most famous parables in the Bible is the story about the seed and the sower. “A farmer went out to sow his seed” is how it begins, and by the end of the tale we discover that not all the seeds reached their full potential. The seed, though, was never the problem; it was the soil. Too many rocks. Too many thorns. Not enough depth. It’s a powerful tale, because later in the Bible we’re told that “His seed abides in us.”

That thoughtful commentary recalled yet another recent repetition of thought for me – the book of Genesis and our future.  We all know the long-ago story of Adam and Eve and their “original sin” that became our heritage.  Thankfully that is not the end of the story at all.  1 John 3: 9 says “No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.”

I think God’s  provision for Adam and Eve was more than clothing as they left that perfect Garden to begin a life of “painful toil.” He chose to leave a little seed of his “original innocence” within them insuring there would be a new heritage for all their descendants – the possibility of overcoming their own sin.  Innocence was no longer a given but there would be “good soil” that could produce a crop of purity — “a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.”