...as I sit all snuggled up in my warm blanket with my "Atlanta" Starbucks coffee cup, filled to the brim with that morning wake me up warmth, I read my Bible. This year our church has chosen to go through the Bible in a different way. We are studying from Genesis to Revelations with the Bible called "The Story." Written by Randy Frazee this Bible is straight from the NIV, no chapter/verse, just novel form.
This way of studying the Bible has shown our church amazing things in the lives of our community of believers. In small groups all over our city people are opening up and seeing , some for the first time, their relationship of their lower story compared and how it connects to God's upper story.
Today I read Chapter 17 "The Kingdoms' Fall" ...wow~ The bio of all the kings who worshiped idols and their sons who (some) chose not to worship idols. The prophetic words of Ezekial and Jeremiah. The clear end to Jerusalem, the tears of Jeremiah and the rising up of the dry bones to complete an army to bring glory to God. It was a lot to absorb. The weeping prophet had much to weep for, his beloved city Jerusalem was going to be seiged, people were going to die, they would not return to their God. After all their evil ways, in their desperation King Zedekiah begged Jeremiah "Inquire of the Lord for us, King Nebuchadnezzar is coming for us. Perhaps the Lord will perform wonders for us as in times past so that he will withdraw from us." ..........REALLY? After all the evil they did through all those years and years? After they found themselves backed into a corner...NOW they want God to intervene?
God reveals His story, his plan to Jeremiah. (my paraphrase) Even though Judah had turned their backs from God for years and years, God was going to come in and save the day...NOT because of their pleas but because of His name sake, for His glory. He wanted to (once again...remember the Red Sea, burning bush, etc. etc.) prove His power and mighty hand. God went on to say that He was going to cleanse them from their sins, resettle their towns and their ruins would be rebuilt. God said, "I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it."
My mind went to America...where are we in this story of God? Are we like Judah? Do we worship, respect, honor God with our lives until we see an attractive idol of our own making? We play with it for awhile, get tired, become broken, call out to God for rescue? God sweeps in like our hero and fills us with His Spirit again and we are free, whole and cleansed from our sin once more. We recognize God for who He really is and all is good. Maybe until the next time our eyes rove toward an attractive idol?
God's story is one of promise. He promised that the Messiah would come from Judah, so although Israel and the 10 lost tribes were and always would be in disarray, Judah would bring forth the coming Messiah..so God kept His promise to Judah...and He kept His promise to all mankind. Jesus!
Praying for my life, praying for America! God is our constant. Our source of strength, the one who loves us more than life itself. Focusing on Jesus today, how about you?