Greetings friends, and a happy and purposeful New Year 2015 to you all!
As we depart an old year and enter a new one, we reflect on what the old has been, and what the new will bring. While we contemplate in reflective mood over the past year we’ll find many positives, but I’m sure much negatives too, where we say, “If only I had done this and that differently…” Or, “If only I had been a little more patient…” etc, etc. We all come away with our “If only’s.” We all do, no one is immune. This is what the new year is about, it is a new beginning, a time of renewal. It is a time of new birth, and fresh perspectives.
Modern Slavery. Slavery is Not an Ancient thing – We are all Slaves to Our Own Depraved Nature
We may not realize this, but God is in the business of rescuing and renewing man from his errors into His own perfect image of divine Love. Love is not how we imagine in our human narrative, but the Bible tells us Love is all what God does, and all He can be to us in His Love. And that is why Jesus came to reveal Him to us as a Father to each one of us. He said to Mary, “I am ascending to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God” (John 20:17). That’s what our heavenly Fathers does – He Loves, better than anything or anybody, for He is Love! (1 John 4:8) He says, “I have plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you a future you hope for.” (Jer. 29:11) Renewal is not some abstract notion we conjure up, and it has to be some concrete image we can to look up to and vie for in our heavenly Father’s Love for us.
Recall Israel’s story, they were slaves to Egypt for 430 years. (Exo.12:40-42) Their whole way of life was living as slaves. Every day they existed in this slave mentality as we may have with our mistakes and negative outcomes which has not bode us well in the past year/s. They never knew what freedom was, like we have not known freedom from a life without crippling weaknesses and blunders. We have been prisoners to our failings which has cost us dearly in whatever way they have touched our lives and those of our loved ones. We will never be truly free until we experience life beyond the walls of our flaws that’s tied to our selfish motives. We will never be perfect, but we will receive atonement, and through it God’s Love and blessings. The new year is like the exodus Israel was given by divine intervention, to be freed from the slavery of our failings. We can keep our successes.
However, the Israelites were given their exodus from Egyptian slavery to enter into a covenant with God in the Promise Land. What finally freed the Israelites from Egyptian slavery? Answer: the final miracle of the Passover! (Exo.12) They killed a lamb and used its blood for protection which pictured to them the future Messiah who would come and bring true spiritual freedom to all mankind. He came and died as an unblemished lamb to save us from our sins, wrongs, and mistakes. The covenant Israel was given defined a way of life which would set them apart from other peoples and nations. It also provided Israel with a concrete picture of who they were to become as a people culturally and in their way of life. So they had guideposts for their future. In that future God would be their partner in life to forgive their faults, flaws and slip-ups, and bless them. It was a life wrapped up in the laws they were given which reflected the Love of God. The law (ten commandments) was very personalized which required personal commitment, rather than being nationalistic in its focus. But then, a nation is only a reflection of its individual citizenry.
History tells us Israel did not keep their covenant with God. They were hauled away as slaves once more, this time to the northern kingdoms of Assyria and Babylon. They had forgotten the purpose of their freedom. God made a new covenant to replace the old when Jesus came to save His people anew. Recall, the ancient Israelites were delivered by ten miraculous events God unleashed upon obstinate Egypt. Miracles are acts of God. This tells us that our recurring faults, whether we are aware of them or not, and might I add, not a few of which we don’t have eyes to see – yet. Our Father stands ready to hand us the miracle to free us from bondage. That’s the purpose for sending His Son so He will be our eternal Mediator before Him. The Bible says this of Jesus’ ongoing work on our behalf, “It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God–that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption” (1 Cor.1:30).
The Love of God Depicted in His Laws. Austin, State capital of Texas (Wiki Commons)
The new covenant has this picture which we emulate in the Spirit as He renews us: “This new plan I am making with Israel isn’t going to be written on paper, or chiselled in stone; this time I’m writing out the plan in them, carving it on the lining of their hearts. I’ll be their God, and they will be My people” (Heb.8:10) So we see that God has a plan for us – His spiritual people. If we’re focused on His plan for each of us, we will enter a miraculous life where His Son will provide atonement, and His Spirit will give us the wherewithal to live with renewed energy, purpose, and freedom. Miracle means God has a hand in our lives.
I will close with a favorite passage of scripture, “I have it all planned out – plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you a future you hope for.” (Jer. 29:11)
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to write me in the space provided below, or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until we meet again in my next post, may the blessing of the God who ceaselessly expresses Himself in His dependable Triune Love, be with you in this Christmas season of the birth of Jesus the Messiah. May the Spirit enliven you and make all things concerning you possible in Triune Living as a Bula man-river.*
Kiang, (Your Servant in Christ)
* The “Bulamanriver” is the metaphor describing the union of man with the Love of the Triune God flowing in humans, making possible the “Triune Life” – the source of the miraculous life in man. To read the many facets of life of the Bula man-river, go to my website www.bulamanriver.com where you can order a copy of my Book.
All scriptures are taken from the NIV Version 2011, unless stated otherwise