A Blessed Conspiracy and a Significant Anniversary
A Blessed Conspiracy and a Significant Anniversary
Have you ever had an “aha moment” when you paused to reflect and saw with clarity? I recently had such an experience as I reflected on God’s hand in my life. Looking back, I understood in a new way that even before I was born, I was the victim of a conspiracy. It is a blessed conspiracy, and I believe that you will recognize how you have been overtaken by the same dogged and persistent love of the Triune God.
For those of us who know Jesus as our Savior and affirm that He is our Lord, we have been the target of a carefully orchestrated plan to woo us and adopt us into God’s family. God the Father, Jesus the Son, and God the Spirit have collaborated to pursue us with unfailing and steadfast love.
This conspiracy is a group effort, yet each member of the Godhead has played a unique part. God the Father took the initiative and sent His Son to die in my place while I was a messy sinner. His unfailing love pursued me “all the days of my life.” The Spirit inspired the Scriptures, which convicted me of my sin and pointed me to Jesus, making Him my Lord. Jesus willingly left His throne, humbled Himself, sought me, took my sin upon Himself, endured the cross, reconciled me to God, and is interceding on my behalf.
It is important to note that their collaboration is in itself an edifying mystery. I like what Gregory of Nazianzus says of the Trinity: “No sooner do I conceive of the One than I am illumined by the splendour of the Three; no sooner do I distinguish Three than I am carried back into the One. When I think of any of the Three, I think of Him as the Whole, and my eyes are filled, and the greater part of what I am thinking escapes me. I cannot grasp the greatness of that One so as to attribute a greater greatness to the rest. When I contemplate the Three together, I see but one torch, and cannot divide or measure out the undivided light.” (Orations 40, 41)
Before the Foundation of the World
God’s goodness and love have sought to overtake us for a long time. “Surely Your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life.” Psalm 23:6 NLT) Paul adds: ”Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us.” (Ephesians 1:4 NLT)
I have divided each of unique roles into separate sections so you can examine the written record of their activity as recorded in the infallible Word of God.
God the Father
“This is how God loved the world: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him.” (John 3:16-17 NLT)
“God showed how much He loved us by sending His one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through Him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.” (1 John 4:9-10 NLT)
“Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! And all of this is a gift from God, Who brought us back to Himself through Christ.” (2 Corinthians 5:17-18 NLT)
“Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 1:4-5 NLT)
“God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” (Romans 5:8 NLT)
The Spirit of God
“When [the Spirit] comes, He will convict the world concerning sin.” (John 16:8)
(Jesus speaking of the Spirit) “When the Helper comes, Whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, Who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness about Me.” (John 15:26)
(Jesus said) “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about Me.” (John 5:39)
“Above all, you must realize that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet’s own understanding, or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:20-21 NLT)
“No one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except in the Holy Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 12:3)
“God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:5)
Jesus the Son of God
“The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:10)
“While we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son.” (Romans 5:10)
“To all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:12)
“He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:8)
“Behold, the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)
“Christ Jesus is the one Who died—more than that, Who was raised – Who is at the right hand of God, Who indeed is interceding for us.” (Romans 8:34)
God Will Complete what He has Begun
Thanks be to God for successfully redeeming us, adopting us, and making us His own. And He is not finished, for “I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)
A Significant Anniversary for the United States
In December, 1620, the Pilgrims anchored in Plymouth Harbor. The more I read about these intrepid and committed followers of Jesus, the more I admire their faith and tenacity. They established a foothold for Christ in this nation, which many of us call home.
In recent months, God has led me to pray more than I ever have for this country, which was established 400 years ago this month. When I don’t know how to pray, I frequently follow the teaching of Jesus and pray what He taught His disciples: “Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. THY KINGDOM COME, THY WILL BE DONE, on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but DELIVER US FROM EVIL For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.”
I am standing and believing that God will sovereignly revive and complete this good work which HE began on the South Shore of Massachusetts four centuries ago. What God is doing for each of us, He can do for our nation as well.
Last night, I was seeking God, not only for this nation to be truly “One Nation Under God,” but I was also asking Him for hope. Not just a little hope, but abundant hope based on Romans 15:13: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”
I pray that during this Holy-Day season and throughout the coming year, “the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” (2 Corinthians 13:14)
P.S. Podcast 254 on God’s Faithfulness is here.