Saturday, February 23, 2008

God Is All About ... Life

To really understand God (and ourselves) we must begin with this one thing: God's purpose in all of creation is... LIFE.

The first and last books of the Bible (amazingly encompassing the whole of human history on this earth - beginning to end) are marked by two trees, the trees of life (Genesis 2 and Revelation 22).

God created human life... "Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being" (Genesis 2:7); and then redeemed it through Christ... "For God so loved the world that he gave his only son so that whoever believes in him might not die but have eternal life" (John 3:16).

God's all about life. Life for the body, life for the mind, life for the heart, life for the spirit... eternal life. Sounds reminiscent of God's commandment in Deuteronomy 6:5 quoted by Jesus in Mark 12:30, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength." It's the command Jesus explained as the one that embodies the very heart of God for humanity (along with loving others as ourselves).

Good and evil are defined by God's heart for life and against death. That's the standard that dictates what is "right" and "wrong" in his eyes. "The mind set on the flesh (i.e. sinful nature) is death but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace" (Romans 8:6).

Does this change how we feel about God and his plan in human history? Does it help us unlock some of the mystery surrounding our understanding of him? Does it help us see some of the raw essence of his heart? How do our hearts connect with all this?

(P.S. Real life is far more than mere survival. Our tendency to reduce things to their unrecognizable minimum is maybe why Jesus emphasized in John 10:10 that he came to give us life "abundantly".)

God is all about life. Everything flows out of this one thing... But then again, there is one other reality even deeper than this. More on that in the next post.

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