Notes from Brother Jay

     Maybe you were here a couple of weeks ago, when this acrostic entered our hearing.  It came in the sermon, from a memory rekindled through the Grace in Action Conference I attended in Cape Coral, Florida.   Rev. Wes Olds, pastor of the main campus of Grace Church, and someone I met in Lexington, Kentucky years ago, reminded us we are Children of God, Persons of Worth.

     Do you understand?  He was talking about you.  About me.  Despite our flaws, our bad habits, prejudices, and denial, God loves us.  He loves us with all His heart.  He loves us as much as He ever has and will never love us any more than He does right now.

     God takes joy in what we do, but He loves us for who we are!  

     Maybe you’ve noticed, in the Biblical story, how things went from perfect to punitive in the first three chapters of Genesis.  In the developing story, humans failed to improve and God looked for a different direction.  He confused the language, flooded the planet, moved His people from abundance to alienation, all the while attempting to discover some way to remain in their lives.

     For the entire Old Testament, minus 3 chapters, God looks for ways to rescue the people He created for Himself from their self-imposed choice of independence.  First, He chose Abram, a man with a family, miraculously proving both love and loyalty.  He saved them from famine by sending them into the breadbasket of Egypt and delivered them from the insecure tyrant who came to power 400 years later.  Prophet after prophet after prophet brought the message of God’s desire to share Himself with His people.

     When none of that convinced them of God’s love and desire to be shared with the world, He sent One more. God revealed Him through a cousin who lived off the grid, so Jesus could deliver the message of grace and mercy.  After 30 years’ upbringing, Jesus found John the Baptizer and convinced John to anoint Him under the water before God and the witnesses, like all Israel’s kings.  Then Jesus was proclaimed.  Before any acts of faith, of ministry, or public display, words from heaven pronounced, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.” (Mark 1:11 NLT)  The unconditional love proclaimed from the beginning.

     But wait, look at what God said about you and me:

 “31 Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good!  And evening passed and morning came, marking the sixth day.”  (Gen 1:31 NLT)

     He loved you and me before we ever accomplished a thing . . . and He still loves us with all His heart.

Peace,

Brother Jay

Gensis 1:31 NLT

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