In the beginning — God!
Those words are where faith begins. They plant the foundations for trust.
God was here — in the beginning — perfect love in perfect community, selflessly giving and overflowing in creativity.
That’s when God spoke and there was light.
Sun, stars, moon.
Fish, birds, cattle, wild animals.
And, finally, humankind made in the very image of God; infused with the breath of God.
And it was good …
Shalom rested on creation.
God made the earth his temple and was pleased.
Creation overflowed from love and love is risky; romance is bursting with mystery.
Love requires freedom — the ability to choose for oneself.
And creation did choose …
God’s plans came under attack — not with guns, swords or lightning bolts, but with words, questions, and deception.
The purpose for creation was called into question; the trustworthiness of God was under scrutiny.
“Did God really say?” planted the seed and caused an idea to grow … and grow … and grow …
“Can God be trusted?”
“Is he good?”
“Does he truly want what is best for his creation?”
“Surely he is hiding things from us, keeping us from true fulfillment, buying our loyalty and punishing us when we don’t obey.”
“Is he even love? How could he be if he can’t be trusted?”
A fateful choice was made …
… and continues to be made every day.
The adversary presented an alternative reality — a twisted view of God and his desires for creation — and challenged God’s very nature.
And we were deceived.
We exchanged truth for a lie.
Chose darkness instead of light.
Beauty was replaced with toil.
We continue to choose wrongly. Every time we trust our own way or the ways of “this world” over God’s perfect way, we are saying, “God, I’d like to trust you, but that’s not how the world works. Your ways just don’t make sense in reality.”
The creator’s order and perfection has been marred and bent in distorted ways to disastrous results and yet we continue to resist trusting he may actually hold a clue to how things are intended to work.
We’ve turned creation upside-down.
It’s not the kingdom of God that is backward, it is us.
And this perfectly describes sin.
A beautifully ordered creation has decided it knows how things should work better than its designer.
The one who animates it all.
We choose paths that lead us off-track; shoot arrows at the wrong targets; all the while focussing inward on ourselves rather than outward in the same creative overflow stamped within us by our creator – in who’s image we are made.
We are out of focus.
But this is not the end of our story.
The creator became the pursuer and has made it his mission too woo us back to him.
Back to trust.
Back to the path that leads us to a full, perfect, complete and eternal life.
Love became flesh and made his bed in the middle of our mess. The word that created, entered in and tied his future to the fate of his off-centred creation.
“Greater love has no man than to lay down his life for his friend,” but this love sacrificed his life for a creation that remains distrustful and refuses to accept he is even relevant to living.
That is love in its perfected form.
That is the very essence of God.
That is the ultimate risk.
That is the way God intends to vindicate himself before creation.
An idea grows as long as no evidence exists to disprove it and people are willing to accept it and spread it as true.
The cross provides the evidence …
Can God be trusted?
“See my hands that were pierced to pay the wages of your choices.”
Is God good?
See my side that was opened because I would rather die than see you punished for the path you have chosen to walk.
The cross also reveals the adversary for who he is.
God allowed evil the freedom to blossom until his fruit could be fully revealed. It is this fruit that finally showcases his desire to destroy the land he now rules.
God does not destroy — he pursues. The enemy seeks to destroy.
God does not punish — he entices. It is the accuser that seeks punishment for those who have disobeyed.
It was on the cross that Jesus destroyed the works of the devil. He took the responsibility and the consequences for the sins of all creation.
He revealed to all what this world’s ruler desires — to steal and destroy — while showing his perfect love for a wayward bride.
We still have the same choice that existed in Eden.
We can choose to trust a God who is love, truth, kindness …
A God who pursues, sacrifices his own comfort, reputation and life for our benefit.
Or we can trust an enemy who seeks to destroy and who’s path leads to our ruin.
We have been presented with the light and the choice is now before us.
Two places to put our trust.
Will we run from the light or embrace it and trust it is the way to life?
Will we believe one who’s very nature is to deceive and destroy or the one who made it all and finds it beautiful?
The one who purposefully tries time and again to push us off-track or the one who runs after us and creates a new path back to life from wherever we are?
Light and darkness …
I for one refuse to accept the deceiver’s lies and to spread his view of God. I choose to believe in a good God who can be trusted; who’s righteousness has been displayed by the faithfulness of Jesus.
The bible reveals God slowly and the full revelation of God is given with the incarnation of our messiah – Jesus!
God is just like Jesus.
God would rather die than see us receive the consequences of our sins. He would rather suffer the pain of our choices than put us through the hell of bearing them ourselves.
This may sound different than what we think we see in the Old Testament, but our interpretation of the Old Testament must line up with the full revelation of God given in Jesus, not the other way around.
That is good news!
Love has come and love has won!
2. A Brief History of God
3. Concentric Circles
4. Jesus & Judaism
5. As It Was vs. As We Are
6. 100% God – 100% Human
7. Revealing God or Revealing Culture? (pt1)
8. Revealing God or Revealing Culture? (pt2)
9. A Gradual Revelation (pt1)
10. A Gradual Revelation (pt2)
11. Checklist Time
12. Wrath + Love = ??
14. Who is God & What is He Like?