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From Promise to Prophecy to Prize

June 13, 2017
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“Build your hopes on things e-ternal
Hold to God’s unchanging hand”

This gospel song rings throughout history in Black churches compact with truth everywhere. The beauty of the covenant-keeping God is proclaimed. The grace of God is sung. The progressive prize that God gave is revealed.

Promise

Here is the historic promise that God gave to his creation from the outset:

And I will put enmity
    between you and the woman,
    and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
    and you will strike his heel (Gen 3:15)

After the first parents sinned, God promised to remedy the defacing of creation by having the seed of the woman crush the head of the serpent! This crushing entailed a putting to end of the serpent in a peculiar way. The serpent would not be able to continue doing what it had done there in the garden of Eden.

Prophecy

The way one read Genesis 3 and formulates how it will play out is not in fact how it plays out. According to Isaiah 53, God through the prophet tells of the way he will carry out Genesis 3.

But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him

and

Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
    and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin

The covenant-keeping God who promised to crush the head of the serpent has revealed his means of doing so through the prophet Isaiah by crushing the true seed of the woman through suffering as an offering for the sins of God’s people.

Prize

Jesus, the true seed, suffered on the cross in an active and passive obedient way that pleased God, accomplished redemption, and continues to reconcile sinners to God and others. Jesus is the true prize of mankind. What he did and provided for us is the greatest gift known to man. And yet it still hasn’t all been comprehended. What amazing depths of glory.

This is something to build your hopes on. God made a promise; kept his promise; and now the image bearers of creation get the prize. To God be the glory.

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Sow Wisely But Everywhere

June 12, 2017
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It wasn’t until that magic moment occurred where I absolutely had my mind on something else did I come to a grave realization: you’ve been sending mixed signals.

There are times when our actions stem from a single inspiring thought. That thought takes shape and then springs into action. That action can have rippling effects. This can most definitely be a great thing. But then there’s the other side to that coin. The thought hasn’t been tested with other thoughts and most recent actions. The thought doesn’t hold up to the vision and trajectory of life’s inertia. The thought is only prevalently seen coming from our lips and not other crevices. Yes, the action I’m referring to is simply speaking.

So we must be careful about what we say and to what depths that action matches up. For instance, if I as a dad tell my son something that does not allow him to see me do it on a repeated basis, my son may follow suit for a few times or will deduct that dad is a hypocrite, whether it be conscious or subconscious.

However, if I’ve taken the steps to practice said action with him and with others while he is watching, and while he isn’t watching to ensure that it is genuine, then I’ve now placed myself in a position to model something for my son where he is able to see that I have sown a great discipline everywhere in my life. This is the same thing we see from Jesus. All that he spoke of to the crowds he acted out. Even the things we would consider extremely difficult and disloyal, whether it be to our parents or our ethnic groups to whom we identify.

Sow sparingly and you reap sparingly is what the apostle Paul said, and rightly so. But I am saying to all of you readers that sowing in an unwise manner leaves you to reap almost nowhere. There is no return on investment, or it’s very miniscule that you question the worth of such sacrifice. There is no fruit or joy to see and experience to where you begin to doubt the sincerity of your speaking. And in Christian genre focused groups, we can do well in speaking marvelous things that no impact on our lives, and eventually someone will notice.

So let us not be wise in our own eyes as the proverb says, but let us attain wisdom so that we can sow (speak) truth and grace into hearts everywhere that impact us in all of our body areas as well as theirs. For truth is meant to be true everywhere even when we lie and deceive.


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