“…asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.” ~Colossians 1:9
The Holy Scriptures are certainly a primary way we receive the gift of the knowledge of the Lord. We are shown through the Bible exactly what our God has done and is doing through our Lord Jesus Christ. It’s a beautiful story, a compelling drama that draws us into the action. It involves us, it inspires us, it moves us to join in. But some of us still view the Bible as something else. We see the Scriptures as a book of rules and laws that must be kept before an all-seeing and all-judging God. No, the Bible is something different. The Bible is the grand sweeping story of God and his faithful presence and activity with his people and his people’s faithful and sometimes not so faithful response. God created something beautiful and he is right now re-creating something beautiful. He’s restoring everything back to its original pre-sin condition. His will — what God is doing — this knowledge of the Lord, includes redemption for all of creation, including us.
What God is doing is a story. It’s a narrative. And this is how we’re going to explore it and experience it together at Central:
Genesis 1-2 Creation – Pattern of the Kingdom
Genesis 3-11 The Fall – Perished Kingdom
Gen. 12 – Malachi 4 Covenant – Promised Kingdom
Matt. 1 – John 21 Jesus – Present Kingdom
Acts – Rev. 20 Church – Proclaimed Kingdom
Revelation 21-22 New Creation – Perfected Kingdom
This more narrative view of Scripture helps us make more sense of things and brings more order to our own lives and experiences. We live today in the 5th ACT of the drama. So, more than restoring New Testament Christianity or going backwards to the times of Jesus or the days of the apostles, we’re called to move forward in the drama. We’re called to live it out, to play our roles and say our lines in ways that move the story forward toward its glorious conclusion.
Sometimes our biggest problems come when we place our lives and experiences in the wrong acts of the play. Leukemia belongs in ACT 2 of the play, not ACT 1. God did not create cancer; cancer is a result of living in a fallen world, broken by sin. Don’t let anybody tell you God gave you leukemia. The affair you’re having with that other man is not something God wants for you because your husband is a punk and God wants you to be happy. The adultery belongs in ACT 2 with sin, not in ACT 1 with the perfect things God created for us. Muslims are living today as if ACT 4 never happened; they’re still fighting the battles of ACT 3. A guy who is sleeping with his girlfriend before they are married because he’s a red-blooded American male and doesn’t really have a choice because nobody waits for marriage anymore needs to be reminded that we are living in ACT 5 of God’s story where our lives are a proclamation of the truth of Christ Jesus and his eternal Kingdom. Our lives are a testimony to the great change that was inaugurated when Jesus rose from the grave.
We need to know where we are. And we need to know what’s coming. We need to know that God is the author of the story and he has the last say. He writes the final word. And we need to see ourselves in the story and join it, live it, with everything we’ve got.
Isaiah says when the Kingdom is finally perfected, when God’s holy will has all been finally fulfilled, there will be righteousness and justice and peace because “the whole earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord.”
Knowledge changes the whole world. And it changes us.
After 22 years of serving the Central family as a member of the church staff, Connie Green is retiring at the end of this month. Connie started out here as a teacher with Kid University in 1993, moved on to work with our singles and membership ministries, and for the past fifteen years has served as a valuable administrative assistant and faithful ministry partner to the preacher. Since we moved here three-and-a-half years ago, Connie has kept me out of trouble and one step ahead. She makes me look good. And that’s a tough assignment: I can be impulsive and last-second.
Connie, we all feel great appreciation and admiration for your selfless service to Central. I’m so glad that you and Jay are remaining here in Amarillo and at Central. We all wish you the very best of God’s richest blessings in this next phase of your lives together.