Fresh is a big deal. Fresh means not canned, unspoiled, clean, pure… new. I cannot help but think about the gospel when I think of the word fresh. With the oodles of messages bombarding us today, the gospel message is the one message that’s a fresh message for us all.
[pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”]God takes great delight in his people as they live out their relationship with him AND as they share with others how they too can have the same relationship.[/pullquote]The gospel is this:
God created a man and a woman in his image for the purpose of being in a perfect relationship with them both. He gave them a beautiful place to live with lots of food to eat. He told them, however, there was one fruit they couldn’t eat; there’d be grave consequences if they did. They ate it anyway. Uh oh…
When God asked them what happened, they blamed the other person for their disobedience to his instruction. What they did completely broke their relationship with God. Everything they’d enjoyed about their relationship was changed forever. Not just for the two, but for all people that came after.
Year after year after year God longed to have the relationship back the way it was. So to repair the damage, he provided a way for the disobedience to be made right. The consequences people were to receive were placed on Jesus instead. From Jesus’ actions came an offer of restoration with God. Those who put faith in Jesus have their wrong actions forgiven and forgotten, and their relationship with God is made right again.
So what’s fresh about this message? What’s fresh is it has a beautiful beginning and a glorious eternal end. Jesus promised us, “The Advocate”, the Holy Spirit, to make us not canned, unspoiled, clean, pure, and new.
Here’s the thing, we Christ followers can’t just have this message and allow it to make us fresh, we have to give it away so others can have it too.
Read Ezekiel. While it’s an account of the prophet’s ministry during Israel’s exile in Babylon, it teaches us about God’s wayward people, God’s faithfulness to his people, God using his people to proclaim his message, and God’s desire for his people to turn back to him and be in a life-changing relationship with him.
Ezekiel 2:3-6 says:
He said: “Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against me; they and their ancestors have been in revolt against me to this very day. The people to whom I am sending you are obstinate and stubborn. Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says.’ And whether they listen or fail to listen—for they are a rebellious people—they will know that a prophet has been among them.
Ezekiel 18:4 says:
For everyone belongs to me, the parent as well as the child—both alike belong to me. The one who sins is the one who will die.
Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways!
And Ezekiel 36:26:
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
God takes great delight in his people as they live out their relationship with him AND as they share with others how they too can have the same relationship.
Remember these words in 3 John:
It gave me great joy when some believers came and testified about your faithfulness to the truth, telling how you continue to walk in it. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.
Know your own not canned, unspoiled, clean, pure, and new message so you can help others find theirs!
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Great post, Terri. It kind of makes me think about watching when my kids started figuring out their own faith, their own relationship with Christ – not OUR faith. It is a beautiful thing when someone gets it.
It most definitely is a beautiful thing.
Just plain great. I live without preservatives so this had special meaning.
Ahhhhh…love this response!
I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. – one of my favorites from the OT. Thanks for giving it this context of fresh – choosing faith, rejecting the stone, getting a fresh heart. Thanks, Ter.
How well you put this into simple words! Appreciate that lots.
looks just like a post you would write Terri, loving on the gospel! 😉 gotta love your heart girl! <3
You know me way too well!
Yep! Never ours to hold selfishly. Just as a parent’s love grows incredibly with each subsequent child, so God’s love increases whenever someone new hears and “gets” His love for them.
Oh, Gretchen!! I love this perspective. Each subsequent child the love increases. Thanks for a “fresh” perspective for me.
As always, thanks for sharing the gospel in such a way that makes it easier to understand.
I will be sharing this fresh story with others.
Tara – I like to share this story over and over and over. Glad you want to share too.