The Myth of “The One” - Purity 868
Purity 868 10/21/2022 Purity 868 Podcast
Today’s photo of a circular ripple on Hiawassee Lake from the vantage point of the Hanging Dog Recreational Area in Murphy North Carolina comes to us from a friend who posted this scene on social media back on October 12th with the following poem:
“Sunlight starts the day anew
A lifetime I have searched for you
Eyes like the ocean
Reflect sky blue
Hair like the sun
With a golden hue
I've searched in the desert
I've searched by the sea
I came to the mountains
Where you might be
Now I sit by the water
With a mountain view
Watching ripples on the water
Fade away like you
Waterfalls turn into streams
And day turns into night
I’ll only see you in my dreams
Where I will hold you tight.”
Well it's Friday again, Thank God, and while our friend’s poem touches the heart as it portrays the reality that life can sometimes be the desperate but fruitless search for loves lost, but fondly remembered, I am thanking the Lord for showing me His love and for bringing me the love of my who just happens to have “Hair like the sun.” because I can well remember several times in my life that I was obsessed over gaining the love of someone I desired or was lamenting over the loves I had lost.
Before I was shown the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ, I thought that was the meaning of life: finding your “soul mate”. With that romantic world view, the world was a cold and lonely, albeit beautiful, place. But all the splendor of the world or the good things of life, were rendered meaningless without “THE ONE” who was somewhere out there with whom only a man could enjoy the other fruits of life with.
But after a many broken relationships where I had hoped to find fulfillment, and in the midst of a troubled marriage where I couldn’t seem to make a “happy life” or a “happy wife” no matter how much I tried to appease and surrender to another’s will, the Lord revealed to me the truth about the meaning of life and death by opening my eyes to the BIG PICTURE that included the creation of the universe, , the God who authored it, the history and purpose of man, what went wrong, and how we can be made right because of Jesus Christ!
Everything I had tried to find meaning or satisfaction had failed me and in a moment of divine grace and clarity, I saw that everything that I had heard about Jesus Christ was true but I also saw the truth that being right with God wasn’t about me “doing everything right” it was about simply putting our faith in Jesus and surrendering to His Lordship and I discovered that it wasn’t about God’s desire to dominate or control us. Life was about the Creator trying to save His creation and it was motivated by love.
God made us in His image and without Him, we suffer a feeling of inadequacy, that something is missing. We each instinctively know this but the world, the flesh, and the devil come in and offer us alternatives that they promise will “complete us”. One of those lies is of “The ONE” – the myth that there is one perfect person out there that will complete you and make you happy.
But that myth is short sighted. Even if there is someone out there that is perfectly compatible with you who can support and love you all the days of your life, they don’t answer the question of death. To be focused on the search of “THE ONE” is to be blinded of the reality of your spiritual separation from God.
Other myths out their do the same thing: The myths that life is:
· “ALL ABOUT FAMILY” or
· “Having ENOUGH MONEY” or
· “BEING HAPPY” or
· “BEING TRUE TO YOURSELF” or
· “BEING THE BOSS OF MY LIFE” or
· “BEING SMART” or
· “BEING HEALTHY” or
· “BEING SUCCESSFUL” or
· “BEING LOVED”
Equally all fail us. They all ignore the LORD, as if He was somehow not important? I mean how could we be so deceived to think that the One who gave us life is just some minor portion of our lives that can be given homage once a week or a couple of times a year? How can we think we can find the “meaning”, purpose, or a good strategy for life if we haven’t considered the One who made us?
But I know we can, because most of my life that’s what I did. My life philosophy was a composite of all the above myths and even though I was able to support myself financially and have a family and some fun in life if I am honest there was always that sense of absurdity or lack of satisfaction when I looked at my life and thought: “This is IT?”
When those myths are your focus, the spiritual issues are either a sidebar to your life, that we will just have to hope for the best, or we deny the spiritual altogether and say “Yeah, this is it!” as in we blink out of existence, thus we better selfishly live it up!
But God wants us to know that this world and our ideas of it are not “IT”. The idea of “The ONE” – or a soul mate is not IT. Or at least not the way we thought it was.
Because there is ONE who can fulfill us. One that can make us right. And that ONE is Jesus Christ and God sent Him to tell us the truth and to pay for our sins that separate us from God. Christ answers all the questions of meaning and purpose.
We are made in the image of God. Creation was broken by man’s sin and rebellion. SO God, out of His love for us sent Jesus to reconcile us to Him and it is only through Him that we can find peace.
Just like we thought that the world was a pretty cold and lonely place that lacked the ability without our perfect = “soul mate” - We discover that the reason why we have never been satisfied is because that only One that can complete us is Christ alone!
And the wonderful news is that when we put our faith in Jesus, we can truly live. Through Christ we overcome death and sin, and have the power to enjoy our lives in his acceptance, security, and significance.
In Christ we “become somebody”, we are adopted as royal ambassadors to the kingdom of God. We receive the knowledge of the wisdom of how to live and have peace with God.
In Christ we need not fear, for God is with us and for us, forever.
In Christ we are loved by God and have the mission to live out His purpose for us.
Before Christ, I considered my self to be a Jack Kerouac searcher for meaning, good times, and love as I tried to make sense of the world with just the things of the world. I would wax on philosophically and poetically about all the wisdom I had gathered from my wild experiences of life. But although I considered myself somewhat Kerouacian, I didn’t know JACK!
In all my wanderings I dismissed the Bible, forsook the fellowship of the saints, and it was only through the grace of God, and a gospel radio message, that the Lord led me to the truth.
So, don’t lament about the past, the Christian disciple’s orientation is to be forward looking and to keep our eyes on Christ, to follow Him with the way we live our lives, to meditate on the word of God, and to enjoy His presence in prayer and as we walk through this world.
So keep walking and talking with God, IT turns out that JESUS is THE ONE we should have been looking for all along. And when we know His love, we can discover the new life He has for us and if the Lord wills it He will lead us into relationships with others, maybe even a spouse, that we can share our lives with, lives that are defined by the fruit of the Spirit because no matter what we do, our relationship with God will be the center of our existence and will provide us with the meaning, purpose, and love that we were always searching for.
Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.
This morning’s meditation verse is:
Psalm 51:17 (NLT2)
17 The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.
Today’s Bible versesdescribes our condition when we give up those myths and lies of the world and finally repent and surrender to the Lord.
The spirit of broken man is the spirit of rebellion and self-sufficiency. We try to live independently from God and forge our own destinies, as if we could control anything in an ultimate sense. Or we will try to please God with “good works” thinking if we just perform the right “sacrifice”, God will accept us.
But today’s verse indicates the God desires us to submit to Him and repent. Our surrender to the Lordship of Christ not our sacrifice is the only thing that God wants or will accept.
So remember what God desires and give Him wants by living a life that is repentant and surrendered to His will.
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we continue sharing from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s “Discipleship”, also known as “The Cost of Discipleship”
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Bonhoeffer’s books for your own private study and to support his work. This resource is available on many websites for less than $20.00.
The Sermon on the Mount
On the “Extraordinary” of Christian Life
The Righteousness of Christ continues
Jesus, the Son of God, who alone stands in full communion with God, renews the validity of the law by coming to fulfill the law of the Old Covenant. Because he was the only One who did that, he alone could truly teach the law and how it is fulfilled. The disciples would know and understand this when he told it to them, because they knew who he was. The Jews could not understand it as long as they did not believe him. That was why they had to reject his teaching of the law as blasphemy against God or, rather, against God’s law. Thus, for the sake of God’s true law, Jesus had to suffer at the hands of the advocates of the false law. Jesus died on the cross as a blasphemer, as a transgressor of the law, because he put into force the true law against the misunderstood, false law.
The fulfillment of the law, about which Jesus speaks, could therefore come about only through his being nailed to the cross as a sinner. He himself, as the crucified one, is the perfect fulfillment of the law.
This means that Jesus Christ and only he fulfills the law, because he alone lives in perfect communion with God. He himself steps between his disciples and the law, but the law does not come between him and his disciples. The disciples’ path to the law leads through the cross of Christ. Because Jesus points the disciples to the law, which he alone fulfills, he thus binds them anew to himself. He had to reject lawless allegiance apart from God’s law, because this would be enthusiasm, and, therefore, would mean a disrupture of all bonds instead of being bound to him. The disciples’ anxiety, however, that being bound to the law might separate them from Jesus was dispelled. Such anxiety could only arise from misunderstanding the law, which did, in fact, cut the Jews off from God. Instead of this, it became clear that true adherence to Jesus is granted only together with adherence to God’s law.
But if Jesus stands between his disciples and the law, it is not to release them from fulfilling the law. Instead, it is to enforce his demand that the law be fulfilled. The disciples’ adherence to him requires the same obedience of them. Also, fulfilling the law to the iota does not cancel that iota for the disciples from then on. It is fulfilled; that is all. But that fulfillment is precisely what really makes the law valid, so that now anyone who does and teaches these commandments will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. “Do and teach”—it would be possible to think of a teaching of the law which dispenses with doing it by explaining that the purpose of the law would be merely to let us know that its fulfillment is impossible. Such a teaching cannot claim to be based on Jesus. The law demands to be done, just as surely as he himself did it. Those who in discipleship follow Jesus, who fulfilled the law, do and teach the law in their following. Only those who do the law can remain in the community of Jesus.
It is not the law which distinguishes the disciples from the Jews. Instead, it is ‘better righteousness’. The righteousness of the disciples “towers over” the scribes. It surpasses them; it is something extraordinary and distinctive. This is the first time that the concept of περισσεύειν appears, which will assume so much importance in verse 47. We must ask, what did the righteousness of the Pharisees consist of? What does the righteousness of the disciples consist of? The Pharisees certainly never succumbed to the antiscriptural fallacy of believing that the law should be taught, but not done. The Pharisees intended to be doers of the law. Their righteousness consisted of their immediate, literal obedience to what was commanded in the law. Their righteousness was their action. The goal of their righteousness was complete conformity of their action to what was commanded in the law. Nonetheless, a remnant always remained, which had to be covered by forgiveness. Their righteousness always remained incomplete. The righteousness of the disciples could also consist solely of their doing the law. No one who did not keep the law could be called righteous. But the disciples’ action surpasses that of the Pharisees in that it really is perfect righteousness, as opposed to the imperfect righteousness of the Pharisees. How can this be? The superiority of the disciples’ righteousness is that Jesus stands between them and the law—he, who has completely fulfilled the law, and in whose community they live. Instead of a law not yet fulfilled, the disciples confronted a law which had already been fulfilled. Before they even began to obey the law, it was already fulfilled; its demands were already satisfied. The righteousness required by the law is already there; it is the righteousness of Jesus, who went to the cross for the sake of the law. But because that righteousness is not only a good deed to be performed, but complete, true, and personal communion with God, Jesus not only has righteousness, he is righteousness personified. He is the disciples’ righteousness. In calling his disciples, Jesus granted them participation in himself; he gave them community with him; he let them participate in his own righteousness; he granted them his own righteousness. The disciples’ righteousness is the righteousness of Christ. Jesus begins his talk about ‘better righteousness’ by referring to his fulfillment of the law in order to make this point. The righteousness of Christ is really also the disciples’ righteousness. In a strict sense, it remains righteousness freely granted, granted through the call to discipleship. It is that righteousness which consists precisely in following him. It is that righteousness which received the promise of the kingdom of heaven in the Beatitudes. The disciples’ righteousness is righteousness under the cross. It is the righteousness of the poor, the mournful, the hungry, the meek, the peacemakers, and the persecuted—for the sake of the call of Jesus. It is the visible righteousness of those who in following him become the light of the world and the city on a hill—for the sake of the call of Jesus. The disciples’ righteousness is “better” than that of the Pharisees in that it rests solely on the call into the community of Jesus, who alone has fulfilled the law. The disciples’ righteousness really is righteousness, because they themselves now truly do the will of God and fulfill the law. The righteousness of Christ should not just be taught, but done. Otherwise, it is no better than the law which is merely taught, but not obeyed. Everything which will be said next should be understood in light of this doing of the righteousness of Christ by the disciples. In a word, this means to follow him. It is genuine, simple obedience in faith in the righteousness of Christ. The righteousness of Christ is the new law, the law of Christ.
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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship