Saturday, January 3rd, 2015
All Things New (Part 3)
Not Everything Old Is Bad
He said to them, 'Therefore every scribe instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old.'
Matthew 13:52 (NKJV)
Having abolished in His Flesh the enmity, that is, the Law of Commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace.
Ephesians 2:15 (NKJV)
When I became a committed Christian in late 2006, I plunged in heart-first. Halfway is not my calling card. His Book was my Love, His Spirit, my Teacher, and prayer, my communion. For two years, I lived alone on a mountain and didn't rush to find a church. In hindsight, I believe my early isolation was just what God intended.
I was taught on a need-to-know basis. If God's 'Wonderful Counselor' (Isaiah 9:6) was my Need-to-know, then church divisions were weeds-to-avoid: labels and libels among so many Bibles. Where was Jesus in this mix?
Consider Old Testament Christians and New Testament believers: rigidly ruled reverends vs. popular prosperity preachers.* For me, one was hard to stomach and the other too sweet to eat. If church is a restaurant serving the Bread of Life, were my choices starvation or gluttony? If God is our Father, is He fierce and punishing or kind and rewarding?
Actors, models and talent for Christ: The God called 'I AM' (Exodus 3:14) is exactly Who He needs to be. He is still the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. But He is also the Father Who loved us so much that He gave His only begotten Son... so we might live in joy, peace and unity.
You are called to the 2nd most influential platform in the history of mankind. The top spot went to Jesus on the Cross. His performance changed everything. But now we have modern media: a worldwide web spun by a giant bully of a spider, 'The prince of the power of the air' (Ephesians 2:2). His spin has harmed millions.
Upon this stage of entertainment you are called to rise and shine.** If the Old Testament is the foundation for the New, if Jesus stars in Both, then read both Scripts Cover-to-Cover. Yes, Jesus updated the Rule Book, but the Latter does not void the Former. It fulfills and affirms It.
'There is too little both Old and New Testament language meditated on, understood, believed, realised and felt. There is too little Scripture substance, Scripture strength, Scripture depth, and Scripture height, in our prayers' (Alexander Whyte).***
So respect the old, love the new and unite in both.
To Be Continued...
* 'Not Just A New Testament God' (Christianity Today): http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2014/february-web-only/exorcising-marcions-ghost.html
* 'Is Tithing for the New Testament Believer?' (Crosswalk): http://www.crosswalk.com/family/finances/is-tithing-for-the-new-testament-believer-11579309.html
* Prosperity Gospel (Got Questions): http://www.gotquestions.org/prosperity-gospel.html
* The Prosperity Gospel (Washington Post): http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/opinions/outlook/worst-ideas/prosperity-gospel.html
** Isaiah 60:1-3: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+60%3A1-3&version=NASB; Matthew 5:16: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+5%3A16&version=NKJV
*** Alexander Whyte http://christian-quotes.ochristian.com/Alexander-Whyte-Quotes/; http://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/wbc/view.cgi?n=114
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the All Things New series.