[forthright] Remaking A People

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Wed, 24 Mar 2010 06:49:00 -0700 (PDT)
Forthright Magazine
http://www.forthright.net
Straight to the Cross

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COLUMN: HANDS-ON FAITH

Remaking A People
 by Barry Newton

While we might live in a disposable society where the
broken, unwanted and unloved wind up in the garbage
pail, fortunately God does not treat broken lives so
flippantly.

Instead of simply abandoning his people whom he had
claimed for himself at Mt. Sinai, when they violated
his covenant, God determined to purify Jerusalem by
removing its dross in order to forge for himself a holy
city (Isaiah 1:25-26; 4:3).

God's prophet was instructed to announce God's message,
while God would continue to whittle away the evil until
only a holy stump would be left (Isaiah 6:11-13).

These are the actions of a God who cares. These are the
actions of a Physician removing cancer from his
patient. Since there can be no bright future where evil
has infested, God chose to go to work rather than
merely disposing of his people.

Similarly God has and is working for our well-being.
God does not merely abandon us upon the trash heap just
because we have become broken. By sending Jesus to die
for us, God can remain holy and righteous while
purifying those who rely upon Jesus.

With an essential surgery cutting off all that is evil
from us (Colossians 2:11-13), God can cause us to be
reborn through Christ as new creatures who are
spiritually alive. The transforming and enlivening
power of God continues to change lives throughout the
world.

But how often have we acknowledged that God's
transformation in our lives is also a call for us to
deliberately die to a self-driven lifestyle in order to
serve our Lord's will? God's remaking of our lives
entails calling us to pick up our cross daily and
follow him who uttered, "not my will, but your will be
done."

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