Howdy. Have you ever stopped and thought to yourself, 'I wonder what God is thinking about today'? Well, I have. And I'm doing it again today, and well, I'm pretty sure I know what he is thinking about! But first. . . With some new folks adding in to Morning Briefings, here's where we find ourselves: gleaning from the beautiful letter of Ephesians that God inspired Paul to write. In the first three chapters, it contains so much about the great love and grace of God, extended to us through the life and death of Jesus Christ. For it is through Jesus alone we can have relationship with God. And in the last three chapters, Paul then addresses how we ought live in response. Drumroll please . . . . . .here is what is on God's mind today: Get along, and for My sake, behave yourself! I mean, don't you think it hurts God's heart that so many people want nothing to do with the Church? Of course it does. "I've had it with organized religion!" has been said to me many a time, when what is really meant is "you people are always fighting, you're hypocritical and judgmental...people in the church are no better than people outside the church!" What happened to Christians endeavoring to be like Christ? Is it even possible? Yes. Last week, in "The Whole Enchilada" https://conta.cc/3dMvWYm, I supplied you with the text of Ephesians 4. . . it is a treatise on unity and good behavior in the body of Christ. And then there are those who are deconstructing - that is, people who are losing their Christian faith. Why? They have lost sight of the basic things that are true, that we Christians ought hold in common--be unified upon. Friend, I am not talking about denominational stuff or religious falderal, because God is not religious and after all, don't forget that it was religious leaders who Jesus took to task! These are the basics that form the foundation of our historic Christian faith. [The scriptures for each are below.] 1. The Bible is the inspired, inerrant Word of God. 2. God is and always was; he is eternal, not a created being. 3. God exists in three persons - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. 4. God is the Creator--our Creator. 5. Sin changed everything, separated us from God. 6. God made a way for our redemption. 7. God's instrument of grace was Jesus Christ, God Incarnate 8. All of Christianity hangs on the Resurrection. 9. And only because Christ was raised from the dead, so shall we be raised to live with him forever 10. Jesus ascended into Heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father10 After Jesus walked out of the tomb, leaving behind his grave clothes, he tarried 40 more days on earth. He was with his disciples indoors and outside too; he addressed a crowd of more than 500 people11 one time as well. And then, right after charging his close disciples and friends with taking the gospel to Jerusalem, Judea and the outer parts of the earth,12 to make disciples and baptize them, he ascended into Heaven. Jesus literally went up in a cloud as they watched him go into the sky.13 Now this is great news! We serve a living Lord, who intercedes…yes, he prays for us. “Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.”14 11. The Holy Spirit indwells those who have chosen Jesus as Lord.15 Just as Jesus said he would, the Holy Spirit came to believers. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. 16 And because we have the Holy Spirit, we are never alone. Think of it--the Holy Spirit is the only representative of God on this earth! And therefore, we are to be people of the Holy Spirit until… Jesus comes again. We must seek to get to know him and his power in our lives. 12. Jesus Christ is coming again! Consider these words of Jesus: “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.17 Right after Jesus ascended into Heaven from the Mt. of Olives, an angel said to those gathered there: “This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”18 And Jesus will catch us up with him in the clouds, to be with him forever!19. I took the above picture OF THE MT. OF OLIVES from THE HILL going into JERUSALEM 13. We are meant to be followers/disciples of Jesus. Disciples are students of Jesus’ words and life, desiring to be like him. These 13 things comprise essential truths of the historic Christian faith...they do not and will not change. Nonetheless, I love this quote: In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity. Let us be intentional: Study the Word . . . talk to Your Father . . . grow. You are on God's mind today and every day because he longs for relationship with you - isn't that amazing? But he is also thinking about our conduct, as we represent him. Let's do it well.
"God is with us" God & Country, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w87nhz4DrfI
With love, Christine 1) 2 Peter 1.20-21; 2 Timothy 3.16-17 2) Genesis 1.1; Revelation 22.13; Revelation 4.11 3) John 1.1-3; Colossians 1.15-16; Genesis 1.2; Romans 8.26-27 4) Genesis 1.1- Genesis 2.32 5) Genesis 3.8 6) Ephesians 2.8-10 7) John 3.16; Romans 5.8; Galatians 2.20 8) 1 Corinthians 15.3-8, ancient evidence from non biblical sources for the resurrection of Christ: https://www.bethinking.org/jesus/ancient-evidence-for-jesus-from-non-christian-sources 9) Romans 6.5; 1 Thessalonians 4.16-17; 10) Acts 1.9; Romans 8.34; 11) 1 Corinthians 15.6 12) Acts 1.8 13) Acts 1.9 14) Romans 8.34 15) 1 Corinthians 3.16 16) John 14.16-17 17) John 14.1-3 18) Acts 1.11b 19) 1 Thessalonians 4.16-17