My goal in this series is our greater joy in Jesus, even in complex struggles intellectually, emotionally, relationally, etc. So, each time I will offer a buffet on 8 ‘P’s of good news. Chew and savor whatever helps your joy in Jesus. “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.” (Isaiah 55:1)
Joy comes by Life from God, through God, and for God as revealed in the Bible. (Romans 11:33-36) And the Places of Christ are the venues for His good Purpose. As we noted earlier, these two “P”s are God’s complementary “ground work” on day 3 of creation to journey with Him as implied on day 4. Last time we saw His protection. This time we’re talking about Christ’s provision. Check out the following video.
The places of Christ bless God’s people with many specific, sure hopes. You may remember that the 8 “P”s of the gospel is a paradigm like a sport, musical score, or highway. The interactive dynamics are essential but are background for the main event. And most of us can name the basics for those paradigms: a ball, lines on the court, a net, the ability to read music, musical instruments, highway signs, etc. But God’s main event is living with Him. So, what do we need Him to provide? Because God created us in His multi-faceted image of relationship, values, intellect, action, emotion, etc., He often reveals His good will in historic events that also serve as images of multiple truths. As we noted last time, one of God’s most powerful pictures is being with Him in a garden. So, He provides “fruit” (literally and symbolically) as sources of sustenance and joy to walk with Him. But more and more of our culture don’t know the basics of the Bible, much less the significance of many metaphors. And even born-again Christians sometimes struggle to elaborate on exactly what Jesus provides for His people and why. Those who don’t know Christ need more than Sunday school cliches, and we do, too. So, I’ve outlined some specifics to encourage conversations on the next video.
The practicality of Christ’s places also helps us dialogue with others about day-to-day Life in Him. In the video immediately above, I offered several points to encourage believers to share the good news of Christ’s provision of various “fruits”. In the video below, I offer several talking points to share with non-Christians: a shopping list of “fruits” they need to journey with Jesus. It may sound crass, but the provisions of Christ are truly such a list. Think about it. If you were on a specific, wonderful but difficult road trip and wanted to invite others, you would tell potentially interested travelers about the specific provisions they would need: e.g., a detailed inspection of their vehicle, a map showing points of fuel and food on the way, challenges and highlights to anticipate, a particular packing list for an emergency kit, etc. And we must not assume they know that God’s main event and the necessary provisions are found only in Christ, for the temptations of the flesh, this broken world, and the devil try to redefine what is “True” and “Good”. So, I offer several practical points for discussions with unbelievers on the video below. As you listen ask yourself, “What are some provisions that my friend is missing?
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