The title is Chaos and Coronation, and it is apart of the series that Reality is doing called Identity Issues: God's Glory in Us Through Christ's Work for Us. This week focused on Ephesians 1:10, which says (well here's 9-10 for some context...) "God has now revealed to us his mysterious plan regarding Christ, a plan to filfull his own good pleasure. And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ- everything in heaven and on earth."
He talks about how the mystery is undiscoverable by human wisdom, that the plan is NOT about us, but rather that it's for God's own pleasure. The encouragement of verse 10 allows us to understand that we can thoroughly enjoy Jesus and his creation even amidts the horrible things going on in the world. Therefore... the future promise that God gives in verse 10 provides a basis for our PRESENT peace and PURSUITS to live a life that reflects the love of Jesus Christ. And... thanks to this plan... EVERYTHING is not going to merely continue as it is!! But rather, everything will be brought together by God under the AUTHORITY of Christ...
With regards to Christ's future authority, scripture tells us...
-Return in power and glory
-Be the visible King over the earth
-Rule the world with immediacy and finality
-Be recognized as Lord by every person
-BANISH SATAN AND HIS MINIONS
-Vanquish death, sorrow and pain
-Be the only one we serve and worship
-Be the ONLY ONE WORSHIPPED, PERIOD!
-Make all things new under His authority
-INCLUDE ALL WHO ARE HIS IN THE FINAL BLESSINGS!!!
I listened to this verse as he read it regarding our future homecoming... and literally repeated outloud over and over, "Yes, yes, YES!!!"
"They will COME HOME and sing songs of JOY on the heights of Jerusalem. They will be RADIANT because of the Lord's good gifts- the abundant crops of grain, new wine, and olive oil, and the healthy flocks and herds. There life will be like a watered garden, and ALL their sorrows will be gone. (this was obviously my favorite part...) THE YOUNG WOMEN WILL DANCE FOR JOY, and the men- old and young- will join in the celebration. I will turn their mourning into JOY. I will comfort them and exchange their sorrow for rejoicing. The priests will enjoy abundance, and my people will feast on my good gifts. I, the LORD, have spoken!"
The best part about this whole thing is that we don't have to live, simply anticipating the reality of it... the future reality has present implications for us!!!
So... he threw this one in there: Isaiah 35:3-4, "With this news, strengthen those who have tired hands, and encourage those who have weak knees. Say to those with fearful hearts, 'Be strong, and do not fear, for your God is coming to destroy your enemies. He is coming to SAVE YOU'".
So basically, I'm totally and completely in AWE of the God that we serve. I read the Jeremiah verse to Em and said, "If this doesn't get you beyond excited for heaven, I honestly don't know what will!!". As most of you know, the word JOY has been of the utmost importance to me in this past year of my life. I decided that God has blessed me abundantly with more than I could ask or imagine, and in response to that, I want to live as a JOYFUL reflection of his love and grace! I want to show people that following Jesus isn't supposed to make us feel locked down by "rules" like God is some kind of cosmic killjoy. INSTEAD, loving and serving Jesus is supposed to be evoke immense JOY in our hearts! Knowing that he loves us and delights in relationship with us... should cause an overflow of gratitude! And out of this gratitude, we get to life as lights to the world that is in DESPERATE need for the love, joy and acceptance of a Savior.
So there you have it. The Lord filled me with inspiration as I listened to this sermon this morning, and so I thought I should share it will you all who I love! If you have 45ish minutes... or even if you don't, MAKE time and listen to this sermon. May it bring you encouragement and JOY today!