Experiencing LIFE Today - November 11, 2013

"The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame." —Oscar Wilde
Human history is like one great big giant movie. It really is. If you could watch it all in one sitting, you'd see that it has four epic scenes:
  • Creation: God created the heavens and the earth and everything in it. He put man and woman into the garden and said, "We are going to rule the beasts of the field and populate the world in union together."
  • Fall: Adam and Eve introduced sin and messed everything up. The problem was born.
  • Redemption: Jesus came to fix the problem.
  • Glory: Jesus comes back and we get to spend all of eternity ruling with God like He intended in the first place.
Where are we in the movie? In the redemption scene. Between the cross and the second coming, Jesus is on a mission of rescue and restoration of fallen souls. Do you get that plot? If you stepped out for popcorn in the second part of the movie, this might not make much sense. Let's rewind:
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.
But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?" He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” —Genesis 3:6-10
Adam and Eve had been naked from the beginning— "naked and unashamed" as the Bible describes it. (Sorry, should have warned you that this week would be R rated.) But as soon as they sin, "BAM!" the whole world gets rocked. They are instantly aware that all is not right anymore between them and God. This is followed by a haunting, terrifying awareness: They are exposed and vulnerable—and it's a nakedness that reaches far beyond just physical nakedness. It's a relational, emotional, spiritual nakedness, and it has been haunting humanity ever since.
The core human fear is finding ourselves exposed when we are confronted with our sins, resulting in a massive array of strategies to protect and hide ourselves. It's the "fig leaf factor," a reaction to the fear that emerges from our inner sense of sinful nakedness before our holy God.
Where are you feeling vulnerable, exposed because of your sin today? Do you think that Jesus could possibly fix that?
Jesus, I stand before You just as I am, wanting to be accepted, but hiding. This week, I ask that You will touch my fearful soul with Your truth and grace, that I might be at peace and transparent in Your presence, finding comfort in Your presence in me. Amen.

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A Countercultural Life: Living Well in a Broken World

 It’s a challenge for most followers of Jesus Christ to live in a culture driven by values and views that run counter to our faith and to the truth of Scripture. And we wonder how best to relate.
Should we isolate ourselves from such a world, trying to keep ourselves “unstained”? Should we be intimidated by what our secular counterparts believe because we feel “out of step”? Then again, maybe we should identify more closely with the values of our world in order to win more people to Christ.
Stuart Briscoe takes you on a journey to discover how to live as a Christ follower in our fallen culture in his new small book, A Countercultural Life: Living Well in a Broken World. By looking at the life of Joseph (Genesis 37-50), Stuart shows you an excellent model for how we should indeed live in our world!
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