Monday, February 15, 2021

Read The Gospels (Letters To My Family)

What kind of legacy do I want to leave my family? What character and vision and story do I want to instill in them? That is the inspiration behind this series of letters--an attempt to set down and share in words the values I hope to lead them in by example.

When I consider the question of what advice I would leave with my family, the first thing that comes to mind is: Read the Gospels. Read the whole Bible, too. But, especially the Gospels. Read about the life and teachings of our Messiah, who is our life. Immerse yourself in the story of the Gospel. Soak up His wisdom and see in Christ the face of God. Walk in His footsteps as He leads you as a good Shepherd. Come to know Him who gave His life for you.

I firmly believe that the Scriptures are a central part of our faith. They form a framework for faith. They tell our story--the story of God and of His people. The story of His plan of redemption as He establishes His rule in the earth. A story we are called to be a part of. We are the next chapter in this unfolding tale. We are invited to play a unique role (however small), to be caught up in the Author's grand narrative, to lose ourselves in the relentless pursuit between two lovers--God and His people. And the climax of this tale is at the cross.

The Scriptures record a conversation between God and mankind. God creates. We rebel. God commands. We do things our own way. Throughout the Scriptures we see a God who reveals and conceals Himself, a people who pursues and flees from their Creator, and an endless discourse that tries to make sense of this broken world. We are not alone in trying to find the answers to the great questions of life. And we are not without a light to shine on the darkness of this world. God desires to know us and for us to know Him. Nowhere is this more evident than in the incarnation.

The Scriptures establish an authority for the church. God speaks through His word--He creates and commands and orders through the agency of the Spirit. The principles of His upside down Kingdom are laid forth in law and prophecy. More than a list of rules, God's commands are a call to a higher life, a call to holiness, to love, to faith and every fruit which the transforming power of the Spirit works in us. In His word we find the baton passed to us to carry out the mission of Israel with a vision toward the Kingdom. A mission that reaches fullness in the words of the prophesied Messiah. A vision that overflows in our lives as King Yeshua ascends to the right hand of the Father and the Holy Spirit descends to indwell us, His people.

The Scriptures are an expression of worship to our King. In the Psalms we find songs of praise, lament, petition, and thanksgiving. Through the prophets we find odes to the greatness, the faithfulness, the righteousness, and the loving kindness of our God. The foolishness of God is extolled beyond any human wisdom. The righteousness of God makes ours look as filthy rags--who can stand before His consuming fire? We are frail, we are small, and yet our God cares to look upon us. To dwell with us. To die for us.

Yeshua is our foundation. Our Cornerstone. The Way, the Truth, and the Life. The very image of the invisible God. Hold tight to Him. And immerse yourself in His story. 

Scot McKnight defined the Gospel this way: "The apostles' gospel was the Story of Jesus [culminated in the Gospels] resolving the Story of Israel [the story of Scripture]"

So, read the Scriptures, especially the Gospels.

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