Daily Archives: March 7, 2012

Week 52: Facing the Future

It’s here.

Four more days.

It’s finally here.

And…

 I. Can’t. Wait.

We gathered together last night to discuss our hopes, fears, anxieties, and all things considering our first pre-launch service for The Vine this coming Sunday…March 11. Prayers that chaos would be at ease (it will exist) and that we would have an expanse of peace covering us were lifted up; prayers that the hearts of those in St. Louis Park and the surrounding area would be opened and that they would come if God would allow it; prayers that no matter the number that day that His Spirit would still be present…and that it would move…were spoken.

Personally, I’m excited. Two years ago, Pastor Rick asked me if I would join them in planting a church in Minneapolis. This was long before the church had a name; long before any vision had been put in place; long before any specifics had been given. I was at a point in my life where I was ready to move on. I felt that I had nearly outgrown my role at church and I not only physically wanted more, I spiritually wanted more.

When I graduated from college, moved to Sioux Falls and landed a job I wasn’t sure I would like, I had decided that I would give Him three years there. My roots had been planted in Brookings, so not planting many in Sioux Falls was easy. I had just hit my two year mark when Rick placed that question on the table. The decision was easy. I knew that I would be leaving…I was just waiting for God to open a door (or that window) to let in a little fresh air.

And there it was.

The fresh air…streaming down from Minneapolis…and I didn’t even need to fret over where God would place me next when it came to His body of believers. He had given me a church home. He had given me a new purpose. Not only am I “just the keyboard player,” I am so much more. He’s provided a place on the leadership team (which is scary because it comes with more expectations) and with hospitality, encouragement and mercy being the top three gifts He’s given me, I’m sure He’ll put them to good use, but until we’ve been blessed with those who can handle what I’m not gifted with, I’ll be wearing multiple hats.

I’m okay with that.

It will be uncomfortable. It will be nerve-racking. It will be challenging.

I expect to grow immensely as I’m challenged in all aspects of my life the foreseable future.

The God we serve is such a good God. His will is perfect. His timing is perfect. I believe that He will do something magnificent in the Uptown area of Minneapolis and I can’t wait to see what that is…even if it occurs outside the parameters of my lifetime.

The following scriptures have given me so much peace the last two weeks – know that He is good.

Peace I leave with you; peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. John 14:27

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. John 16:33

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

The Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace. Numbers 6:25-26

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you are called in one body. And be thankful. Colossians 3:15

Our Mediator

For there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity – the man Christ Jesus. He gave His life to purchase freedom for everyone. This is the message God gave to the world at just the right time. 1 Timothy 2:5-6

Our quest to discover Jesus is endless. We could live 100 years and still learn something new about the God we serve.

I once read somewhere that we can never graduate from Bible study until we meet the author face to face. What a wonderful thought!

In continuing my study of Christ, I’ve rediscovered that He was not part man, part God. He was all man. He was all God. It’s a hard concept to accept simply because it seems impossible. But, such are the ways of God. His reasoning and thoughts lie beyond our own. If Jesus were less than a man, then He could die as a man who was sinless. If He were less than God, then He and the Father could never have been one.

There is one Mediator (representative) between God and man and that is Jesus Christ, according to 1 Timothy 2. We are reminded of Christ’s humanity. It’s not the deity of Jesus that represents us, but His humanity that intercedes on our behalf. He knows what it means to be us and can properly mediate to the Father for us. He was tempted at all points like we are and, yet, remained sinless (Hebrews 4:15).

In looking back through what I’ve learned from the Old Testament, I came across many instances where God uses one of His children as a representative for His people. I’d like to look at the story of Moses and the Israelites at Mt. Sinai. Do you remember that story?

Moses had gone up the mountain and returned with words from God. He became Israel’s representative and the mouthpiece of God, first to Pharaoh in Egypt and then the Israelites in the desert. Whatever God wanted to say and do, He would say and do it through Moses.

This arrangement left little hope for the children of Israel. Every time they saw Moses climb the mountain, they knew he would be bringing back word from God. The people grew to despise those meetings, for it was God addressing them and they had no defense.

Moving forward several years, God then provided the priesthood and, more specifically, the high priest. The high priest held the honor of sacrificing the animal for the entire children of Israel on the annual Day of Atonement and sprinkling that blood on the mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant. This blood would appease the wrath of God for another year and Israel would have their sins covered.

As Moses had represented God to the people, the high priest now represented the people to God. The people now had a mediator; someone to plead their case. Through the sacrificial blood, the people appeared forgiven and God would honor the sacrifice because of the consecration and dedication of the high priest.

Then….Jesus came. He replaced the old law with the new; gave Himself as that atoning sacrifice for the sins of all mankind (not just Israel). Hebrews 4:15 reads, “For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.”

Jesus is our high priest; our representative before God. In Him being all man and all God, we have no fear of our representation being marred by our sinfulness.

Take your problems to Him. God may not always answer right away, but know that His answers are always good and given at the right time…His.