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Read: Ephesian 1:1 - 14, AMP
Contributor: Carolyn Sinclair McCalla
The Holy Scriptures have been called many things: God’s Instruction Manual for Living; God’s Instructions for Us Before We Leave Earth; and The Story About God for the People of God, to name a few. Each of these titles does convey something true about God’s Word:
  1. God’s Instruction Manual for Living conveys the truth recorded in Psalm 119:4 “You have ordained Your precepts, that we should follow them with [careful] diligence.” God has uttered His Word so that we, who hear it, may also obey it. (AMP).

  2. God’s Instructions for Us Before We Leave Earth brings home the truth that we will come face to face with our Maker, Jesus Christ, and be held accountable for our acceptance and or rejection of His Word. (2 Corinthians 5:9-10).
  3. The Story About God for the People of God  emphasizes the reality that all of Scripture points to Jesus Christ and is written for the benefit of those who will be recipients of His great salvation. (John 5: 39 - 40 and 2 Timothy 3:15).
However, if I were given the chance to present another title it would be The Very Incredibly True Love Story of God for His People. What do you think?  It is very incredibly true because it is breathed by the God in whom is found absolutely no darkness and who cannot lie. (2 Timothy 3: 16; 1 John 1:5 and Numbers 23: 19). It is a Love Story of God for His People because from Genesis to Revelation the incredibly true words of Scripture form the following plot line: 

THE BEGINNING: 
God sets the scene; before matter (stuff) and time are created there is the uncreated and eternal God. In other words, there is God who has no creator and is not limited by time. God, uncreated and eternal, then begins to speak the creation into existence. Stuff starts appearing everywhere at His Word! Then, God makes this announcement: “Let Us (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) make man in Our image, according to Our likeness [not physical, but a spiritual personality and moral likeness]” (Genesis 1:25, AMP). After this declaration He puts His hands into the work, making the first humans in His image. (Genesis 1: 27 and Genesis 2). At the end of His work God approves it all with a, “Very Good!” (Genesis 1:31).


PROBLEM IN PARADISE: 

God’s most precious creatures (Adam and his wife) sin and all humanity is condemned to die. (Genesis 2:17; Genesis 3 and Romans 6:23). The sweet relationship between God and His creation is destroyed by the intrusion of sin. But, God moves swiftly to repair the broken relationship by shedding the blood of a creature and clothing them. This move was God’s way of telling them that one day Jesus Christ, (a sacrifice more excellent than an unblemished animal), would come to pay the full price for humanity’s sin. This payment would result in the forgiveness of all human sin, the removal of the death sentence and the restoration of relationship with Him. (Genesis 3:15 and Hebrews 9:13-10:18).

 

RISING ACTION AND CLIMAX: 

God’s eagerness to restore fellowship is made clear with sign after sign, the etching of the law and the testimonies of the prophets. Then, in the fullness of time, God sends Jesus-His final Word-God in the flesh. (John 1: 14 and Luke 2: 6 - 7). Why? “For God so [greatly] loved and dearly prized the world, that He [even] gave His [One and] only begotten Son, so that whoever believes and trusts in Him [as Savior] shall not perish, but have eternal life.”  (John 3:16, AMP). God was and is, through Jesus Christ, restoring His family. To all those who believed He gave the right to become children of God. (John 1:12). Children born of His decision and sealed with His Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 2: 8 - 9 and Ephesians 1:13).

 

God, wanting all people to be saved, and appointing that this happen by faithful acceptance of His Word about Christ, gives the great commission: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations [help the people to learn of Me, believe in Me, and obey My words], baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always [remaining with you perpetually—regardless of circumstance, and on every occasion], even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20, AMP). To all believers He gives the ministry of reconciliation (Romans 10: 13 - 15 and 2 Corinthians 5: 20).


FALLING ACTION: 

God, wanting His children to enter into the fullness of their identity as bearers of His holy image, commands us to be led by the Holy Spirit. (Galatians 5). He wants us to lead abundant lives that show we belong to Him. (John 10:10). He wants us to be salt and light. ( Matthew 5: 13 - 16).

 

RESOLUTION: 

God, speaking to the Apostle John on the island of Patmos, makes clear that He will soon return in the person of Jesus Christ. (Revelation 22: 6 - 21). He will return to judge the living and the dead and to finally unite all of creation under His righteous, life-giving, life-sustaining, life-flourishing, liberating and joyous rule. (Romans 14:17 and Revelation 21). He is coming for the ones He has loved from before the foundation of the world. (Ephesians 1: 3 - 14).

 

SO WHERE DO WE STAND IN THE STORY?

When God set the scene He had you and I in mind. He opened His mouth to form the heavens and the earth and mark time, as an expression of His identity as Creator and as part of His preparation for the jewels of His creation: people. He was preparing a beautiful home in which to abide with us.
 

When our fore-parents sinned and corrupted our inheritance, making us heirs of death, God had you and I in mind. He sacrificed the animal and clothed our fore-parents as a temporary provision for them, and a sign for all generations that He would not give up on His family. This is the family to which  He always planned for us to belong.
 

When He sent sign after sign, etched the law into stone, provided the testimonies of the prophets and commanded the disciples, He had you and I in mind. He knew the grace He would give our ears, eyes and hearts so that we could embrace the truth and live.
 

When He gave His Holy Spirit He had you and I in mind. He wanted us to know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that we belonged to Him-that we had found in Him our forever home. He wanted us to have a deep kinship with the truth-to know with certainty His good and pleasing will for our lives. 
 

When He spoke to the Apostle John on the island of Patmos, making clear that He would come again, He had you and I in mind. He wanted us to know that we are not forgotten children. We are children, walking day-by-day with Him through obedience to the indwelling Holy Spirit, and who will walk again with our Daddy God in Eden restored.

 
Provided to YouTube by Ghostlight Records Through Heaven's Eyes · Gary Wilmot · The Prince of Egypt Original Cast Ensemble The Prince of Egypt (Original Cast Recording) ℗ 2020 Sh-K-Boom Records, LLC. The Ghostlight logo is a trademark of Sh-K-Boom Records LLC. 1633 Broadway, New York, NY 10019. All rights reserved.
Heart to Heart Questions 
(We'd love to hear from you! You can use these questions for personal reflection on this week's devotional and to engage in discussion in our community. With your permission, we'll feature select responses that add to our understanding of this month's topic so we can all grow together. Just click on the "Heart to Heart" button to share your thoughts!)
  • God's great story is a living story, so the climax is ongoing. Every second is a moment of decision for a soul somewhere on the planet, maybe even your home.
    • When was the last time you told someone the Good News?
    • What do you find challenging about sharing the Good News in your home, workplace, community (including social media)?
    • What successes have you had with sharing the Good News? What made it successful?
    • Do you have any tips for how we can share the Good News where we are? We'd love to learn from you!
 
  • The falling action of God's great story has us being made more like Jesus through our obedience to the Holy Spirit. We are being prepared for His return! There are a lot of thoughts on the person of the Holy Spirit.
    • What is your understanding of the Holy Spirit?
    • Do you relate to the Holy Spirit from day to day, or is the idea of walking with the Holy Spirit in this way strange to you?
    • What questions do you have about the Holy Spirit?

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