Monday, March 24, 2014

The Deeper Things Behind Spring Fever

Believe it or not, even we desert rats get “spring fever.” Even when spring brings words like dry, brown, dusty, and WIND (which must be know why if you’ve ever experienced it). I want to hit the trails and run. Partly because it’s warmer outside and I like the warmth, but also because it’s Monday. Monday’s the day I start work on the sermon for the following Sunday, and I’m preaching through Genesis 1 right now.

I love what our Creator has made, and I love being out in it. Before dawn this morning I started sermon prep the way I always do when I’m preaching from the Old Testament – I make sure I’m looking at Jesus, because I don’t want to miss Him.

Now that I think about it, this is true when reading the Old Testament or when reading the revelation of nature. I don’t want to miss the point while staring at the Word right in front of me.

So, before dawn, I re-read the text of Genesis and reminded myself that Creation is Trinitarian. This is the full depth of its glory.

“...there is but one God, the Father, from Whom are all things and we exist for Him” (1 Corinthians 8:6). God the Creator is God the Father. Out my early morning window Ursa Minor slowly crawls the sky...most mornings of the year I look out over the cup of coffee I hold near my beard and think, “my Father Who is in heaven put that there...and I’m thankful!”

But it’s not just the Father. God is one, but He is three Persons. The Son Whose earthly life earned my justification and Whose death paid my debt is the very Word by which all this beautiful creation has been made. “...God said...” (10 times in Genesis 1!). This is the only Savior of lost humanity, the King of kings and Lord of lords Who has all authority in heaven and on earth. He is the Word of creation. He is the eternal God the Son Who is one God with the Father but is not the Father. He is the Son.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being” (John 1:1-3)

“For [the Father] rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in Whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn [a statement of authority – see Psalm 89:27] of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities - all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:13-17).

“God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, Whom He appointed heir of all things, through Whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power” (Hebrews 1:1-3).

The Creation moves me to praise this Son Who is the Word of Creation.

God the Holy Spirit is there, too. “...the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters” (Genesis 1:2). He is the breath of God Who brings the Word forth to create out of nothing. We see them together in the song of the Psalmist: “By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and by the breath of His mouth all their host” (33:6).

The Hebrew רוח (and the Greek πνευμα in the New Testament) is translated “Spirit,” “breath,” and “wind.” I think of that often in the desert springtime, when the wind threatens to carry us all off. A lot of folks here grumble about it, but I love it. I think of Him Who moves as He wills and brings the dead to life. We cannot see Him, but we certainly know His effects.

“Jesus answered, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, “You must be born again.” The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit’” (John 3:5-8). This is one of my favorite of Jesus’ illustrations – mainly because I’m a desert-dweller and I’ve known wind. (By the way, 3:5 is also a really cool allusion to Ecclesiates 11:5!)

Monday morning. Coffee. The beauty of the Creation. The Trinity. The full revelation of the Word of God.

And my salvation.

“The hand of the LORD was upon me, and He brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of the valley; and it was full of bones. He caused me to pass among them round about, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley; and lo, they were very dry. He said to me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live?’ And I answered, ‘O Lord GOD, You know.’ Again He said to me, ‘Prophesy over these bones and say to them, “O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.” Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones, “Behold, I will cause breath to enter you that you may come to life. I will put sinews on you, make flesh grow back on you, cover you with skin and put breath in you that you may come alive; and you will know that I am the LORD.”’ So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold, a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to its bone. And I looked, and behold, sinews were on them, and flesh grew and skin covered them; but there was no breath in them. Then He said to me, ‘Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, “Thus says the Lord GOD, ‘Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they come to life.’”’ So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they came to life and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army” (Ezekiel 37:1-10; cf. James 1:18; 1 Peter 1:23-25)

By the will of God, His Word fills us with the Spirit and we live.

Spring fever. I love being outside. Even if “outside” is the desert in the springtime. As magnificently glorious as the creation is, it tells of an infinitely deeper and glorious Reality. One I look forward to enjoying with all my being forever and ever and ever...
Dust storm, July 2013

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