It Has Never Been About God Versus Man

It’s always been about how God loves Man:

There is no fear in love [dread does not exist]. But perfect (complete, full-grown) love drives out fear, because fear involves [the expectation of divine] punishment, so the one who is afraid [of God’s judgment] is not perfected in love [has not grown into a sufficient understanding of God’s love’]. We love, because He first loved us. 1 Jn. 4:18, 19. AMP

God loved us first. He created us in love; and He loves us now and for all eternity.

Sometimes, it’s about Man versus God because we have misconceptions about Him, which then breeds falsehoods that we believe about ourselves. It is when we become aware of these false divisions within, (especially those we think separate us from our Creator) that we come to a place where we can finally begin to be set free.

Freedom commences when we put a stop to the tumultuous cyclone that we subconsciously cloak our lives with – running around trying to do things that we think will improve ourselves or remold what we think we are. In this endless boondoggle, we lose ourselves in meaningless ‘doings’ instead of just being who God created us to be.

But we can’t do that if we don’t take the time to nurture our God-created self, which begins when we see and rise above what the world’s truth tries to impress upon us. All of the evil in the world is produced by the thoughts and actions of the collective subconscious of its inhabitants.

It is this same collective bottled up psyche, that peppers those who might entertain another way of being, with swirling thoughts of ‘conformity or else,’  – to keep these would-be ‘free thinkers’ in shackles by showering them with a deluded mass media and an educational process corrupted by government to bend the minds of the students into becoming a co-opted pool of non-thinkers.

We are lied to incessantly by those who choose to follow the god of this world. Lies breed violence – both towards others and against ourselves. Eventually, the pain of submitting to the world drives us towards false comforts – busyness, distractions and addictions, all of which add to the death of the free-thinking soul.

We must wake up from this nightmare, which can only happen when we return to our true selves. We need to turn ourselves towards Love (God) and become aware of how to tap into His presence on a continual basis, both to experience His love and to know and live out His purposes, which is the only path to true peace and joy.

It is our spiritual duty to learn to know God and how to identify ourselves in Him. When we do this in faith, we can exist in His love and walk along a path where we can spread this good news to others. We can chip away at the stranglehold our adversary has over those who have been blinded by ruthless and loveless domination, by helping them feel the love in the face of a world that denies it.

After all, you can’t just keep this love for yourself. Otherwise, you’ll be like the servant who received a talent (sum of money) and instead of investing it, he put it in a hole in the ground, more fearful of losing it rather than growing it for his employer. (Mt. 25:14 – 26.) Jesus told this parable to illustrate the following God principle:

“For to everyone who has [and values his blessings and gifts from God, and has used them wisely], more will be given, and [he will be richly supplied so that] he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have [because he has ignored or disregarded his blessings and gifts from God], even what he does have will be taken away.” Mt. 25:29 AMP

To love is to share, yes? And when we live in God, accept His gifts (the foremost being Christ), and share them so that as many others as we encounter have the potential to receive God’s gifts as well, we will have been accepted – received His salvation, through our union with Him.

At the foundation of this peace from God, is the peace that He laid in the cornerstone of your being; and it is found when you recognize who you truly are and are meant to be, in Him. There can be no peace with anyone until you make peace with yourself, which comes by seeing yourself in the divine light of Christ.

As we’ve looked at before, God is in the business of reconciliation – so that we reconcile with Him, with all others and with ourselves.

In that healing, you will have achieved the peace that comes from finally being able to be yourself, wearing the mantle of sainthood that is conferred upon all of God’s children.

Then, there will be no more forms of  _____ v. _____ …

For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood to be received by faith. Rm. 3:22 – 25. ESV

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we we’re all baptized into one body – Jews or Greeks, slaves or free – and all were made to drink of one Spirit. 1 Cor. 12:12 ESV

…that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. 1 Cor. 12:25 – 27. NKJV

May we keep this in mind and come together at the start of the new year in this country under God…

Goodnight and God bless.

Remembering Christ in Christmas

It’s easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of the activities associated with the majority of the western world’s concept of Christmas (or the ‘holidays’ as many westerners refer to it), that perpetuates Santa Claus and leads them to losing themselves in the frenetic quest of purchasing the ‘right’ gifts.

The true gift of Christmas is God’s ultimate free bestowal of love to His greatest creations, which is that of the blessed hope of reconciliation with Him, both in this life and for all of eternity – granted to His children through Jesus Christ.

And it’s such a big gift. All we have to do is get out of our own way and remain focused upon the enormity of God ’s love expressed within His purposes for each of us, allowing ourselves to be the spiritual revelation of them as we are promoted, encouraged and expedited in our realization through the power or Christ within us:

I know how to get along and live humbly [in difficult times], and I also know how to enjoy abundance and live in prosperity. In any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of [facing life], whether well-fed or going hungry, whether having an abundance or being in need. I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill HIs purpose – I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infused me with inner strength and confident peace.] Phil. 4:12, 13. AMP

Focusing on the gift keeps us humble, knowing that we are, by ourselves, ineffective in God’s purposes until we recognize, invite, embrace and lay hold of God within us. And within that union, we finally attain a closeness with ourselves that we’ve so desperately sought, through the grace of Christ’s communion with us.

Only in the strength of that kinship can we rise above the fears generated by ourselves from the seeds of our exposure to this world, ascend above a frequent itch that calls us to apologize for who we are and find our fulfillment in the love of our Creator and His Son:

…present your bodies [dedicating all of yourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship. And do not be confirmed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you]. Rm. 12:1, 2. AMP

This Christmas gift of God’s grace is an offering of unity with Him as His child, which transcends us from what we’ve become to that which He created us to be in the first place – wise, free in His truth, and awakened in our fullest spiritual connection, thus knowing ourselves in Christ, conscious of the nature of God within us.

All in all, we’ve been given a part to play in increasing God’s kingdom by preparing others and ourselves for Christ’s return in the face of a worldly spirit that so desperately fears His coming.

Our Christmas gift has so many loving facets from a God who’s love towards us knows no bounds. Through Christ, He brings our lives to our ultimate fulfillment in Him – in His love, joy and peace as He sheaths us with His image. We are delivered by His grace from who we thought we were, so that we can live the life He meant us to have, through our spirit that is directed by yet another gift, the Holy Spirit.

Let us not also forget the part of the Christmas gift that is the mercy of God, which cleanses us from our sins perpetuated out of ignorance, through the blood of Christ, solely because He loves us so much, so that we can remain in His presence because He put Christ’s righteousness upon you.

All that God asks from you is to surrender yourself to His love. Why? Because He knows that there is no rest for you until you rest in Him.

Thus, we can move away from out old selves and into the living gift of resurrection, forgiveness, acceptance, peace and spiritual perfection…

Goodnight, God bless and Merry Christmas.

God Yearns for Your Return

Return from what? Your foray into the ways of the world.

God loves you, and He yearns for your love in return. That’s why He gave you free will. If love isn’t freely given, it’s not love at all.

We were born into a love relationship with God; but as we grew older, we got sucked into the maw of worldly enticements from the adversary who walks this world and creates the mayhem within it. We fell into lockstep with the example set before us long ago by Adam and Eve.

They stepped into the ways of the world when they accepted the devil’s lie, essentially turning their backs on God, calling Him a liar in the process. And man’s behavior has gone south ever since.

During the time of Moses, God stepped in and left us a signpost, a way to prepare for the salvation through Christ. Why? It’s because God loves despite our sin. He wants to save everyone.

This signpost was the Law (outlined in the Ten Commandments). Not only did He send it’s dictates through Moses, He imprinted it upon our consciences:

“But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it…I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life…” Dt. 30:14 & 19, 20. NKJV

I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. Ps. 16:7 ESV

In other words, God imbued the rules for ‘right living’ upon our souls. Unfortunately, the Law was grossly corrupted by man over time, so that he could feel justified as he lived according to the desires of his flesh.

The Law and the Gospel are two entirely different doctrines. Yet they are equally necessary. You cannot understand the Gospel without knowing the Law; and without the Gospel, the Law brings no blessings.

Both are required for salvation. The Law gives us the understanding of why we need the Gospel, and the Gospel leads us to salvation. The Gospel makes no sense if we don’t understand the Law and how breaking it brings us such dire consequences that we cannot undo by ourselves.

The Law (the Old Covenant) reveals both the nature of sin and convicts us when we have taken it upon ourselves to engage in sinful activity – so that we become aware of our need for salvation. Yet, the only thing the Law offers for a path to redemption, is a dictate to follow it to the letter. That is not humanly possible. Until we accept Christ as our Savior, we cannot reach that perfection.

The Law convicts the Law—breaker,  not out of malice, but to nudge us towards the gospel. Until we make that journey to be perfected in the grace of God’s salvation, that conviction will bring with it guilt and shame. And that’s what keeps so many people from returning to their Father.

So we suffer; and we try to insulate ourselves from more suffering by pushing our misdeeds into our subconscious, with busyness, distractions and addictions – all the while engaging in self-flagellation. We yearn for love, but we cannot give it to ourselves because we’re too busy running from our guilt, which only leads to more sin as we try to insulate ourselves against our hurts. In other words, we keep digging a deeper hole.

If we continue to repeat these patterns, we will become both mentally and physically sick. This is not God’s plan. We have to recognize that we cannot work our way to salvation (by living in perfect adherence to the Law), and instead open ourselves up to the grace of God.

It’s hard because we think that we are unacceptable in God’s eyes. Nothing could be further from the truth. God yearns for and works at everyone’s return:

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient towards you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 2 Pt. 3:9 ESV

God is in the business of reconciliation. Other than perpetually denying Christ, there is nothing that He will not wipe from your earthly slate if you come to Him with sincere confession and repentance.

We can bring our offenses before God so that He can remove them from His memory through the blood of Christ.

Sometimes however, we bury our deeds so deep in our subconscious that we need to ask Him to help us learn to be still (i.e. to meditate in His presence) so that He can reveal the wound we’ve been trying to hide from ourselves. Furthermore, we can ask Him to help us give to ourselves understanding, compassion and the insight to rise above our old self – giving ourselves those same things that He does. When we do that, we can forgive ourselves as well instead of making the work of the Cross for naught.

We are at cause for how we live out our lives and for the future that we create. Many times, those do not turn out as we had hoped because of the persistent thorn of our transgressions. Again, we suffer; and happiness is not possible in an environment that lacks understanding, love and compassion.

Yet suffering is the path that goads us to seek God. It also brings us compassion for ourselves and others when He helps us overcome it.

It is vital that we seek healing from the Lord. Avoiding our hurtful situations will never put us in a place where we can receive the heavenly balm that we require. The joy we seek comes when we let go of our own efforts, and give our burdens to Christ. (Mt. 11:30)

As we saw, the Law leads us to the salvation of the Gospel, and what a salvation that is! It is the saving perfection that God gives you through the blood of Christ – not something that you attain by yourself, but is a continual gift of His doing. (2 Cor. 3:18)

That doesn’t mean that you won’t keep making mistakes. There are still revelations to take in, faith to build, strengthening to make us more aware and formidable (by letting Christ fight our battles).

We make our greatest acknowledgment of the gift of God’s salvation when we fully accept that it’s about His doing at the Cross, His work through each of His children through Christ’s sacrifice and completely disregard our self-importance – looking to the Godhead for our purpose and joy.

God transferred every sin in the past, present and future of every person who accepts His Son, upon Jesus. Christ paid the total price for your transformation. He laid himself down willingly to face your punishment so that you might spend eternity with Him. He gave you life when all you had coming was death.

When you make that free-will decision to accept Christ for who He is, what He’s done, and what it all means, every obstacle that stands between you and God crumbles for good. It’s done. That’s all He has been asking of all peoples.

In fact, upon your salvation, God sees you as if you were His Son; and indeed, they have both taken up residence within you. You are a new creature in Christ:

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Cor. 5:17 NKJV

So, what is your part in all of this? Thomas Merton said it best: “My job is to press forward, to grow inwardly, to pray, to break away from attachments, to defy fears, to grow in faith, to seek an entirely new dimension and perspective in my life, and let the Holy Spirit take care of the rest – to really desire this and to work for it.”

You are Christ-made acceptable to God, a true child of the Father.

Isn’t that exciting? After all, Jesus is the reason for this season, yes? MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Goodnight and God bless.

We Make Spiritual Life Too Hard – part 2

There is no deed we can do that will make us spiritual. A spiritual life, in the Christian sense, is only gained when we connect with God through Christ and honor His word to the best of our ability.

As long as we do that, we needn’t have a continual dark cloud of worry over whether or not we will be the target of God’s wrath. God created you. He knows your limits and He accepts your best efforts.

The greatest condemnation you will ever experience is that which you lay upon yourself. However, if God loves and accepts you, shouldn’t you do that same? If you do that, and you walk in God’s ways, you can look forward to standing in front of the judgment seat of Christ, because all that is waiting for you is His welcome to your eternal rewards. Jesus exemplified this in the parable of the talents:

‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you a ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ Mt. 25:21 NKJV

The ‘good servant’ was faithful over a few things (his best efforts), not over all things.

You are not charged by God to change anything about yourself; He is already at work in you, to bring your original perfection back to realization. (2 Cor. 3:17, 18.) In other words, you are already who God wanted you to be. He’s only removing the damage that the world has inflicted upon you.

What you are charged with, is testifying to His salvation. Period. And of course, if you are a living testimony, you are engaged in walking your best Christ-like walk. So, you can just relax and let God have the helm.

Martin Luther said, “The message of Christ was ‘Repent’ not ‘Be better!’ “

Luther also said this: “Lord Jesus, you are my righteousness, just as I am your sin. You have taken upon Yourself what is mine and given me what is Yours. You have taken upon Yourself what you were not, and have given me what I was not.”

Doesn’t that make you grateful? It ought to lighten up your spiritual walk as well.

Our only major concern in this walk is to stick to the truth of God and deny that which opposes it (i.e. the lies of the enemy, who has already been defeated by the resurrection of Christ). In addition, we want to remain humble and teachable, so that we may receive God’s grace.

Satan lies in order to mold us into someone other than ourselves – to try to be something that we are not. When we attempt (and that in and of itself is always a struggle) to live out a false life with a false self, we are denying love for our true self. And that is the beginning of sin.

When we accept Christ, we die to that false self:

But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Eph. 4:7 NKJV

…you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. Eph. 4:17, 18. ESV

…put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. Eph. 4:22 – 24. ESV

When we die to our false image (simply by rejecting the lies of our adversary), we, by embracing our true self and our birthright, become open to receive everything that God has to offer. And when we receive the love God has for us and put in us and we reciprocate by loving God and ourselves, our spirituality will flow out of us in service to our Creator – to enlarge His kingdom and make the world a better place.

Guess what? That’s the source of limitless joy – letting Christ live His life through you.

To have that joy and peace, we must continually remind ourselves of Jesus’ work on the cross. Thus, we need to drop any self-condemnation over past sins. Christ has cleaned that up through His blood, manifested when we open the door of our repentance; and He continues to do so whenever we need to rinse and repeat.

Drop the fear, because we cannot make ourselves righteous; only the mercy of our gracious God can do that.

Thomas Merton said, “The deepest communication is not communication; it is communion. We are already one, but we imagine that we are not. What we have to be is what we already are.”

Amen. In doing so, we renounce the ways of the world – letting loose of our obsession with its busyness and with its illusion of importance.

The spiritual life is God’s gift to you. He removes all the barriers that stand in the way of your receiving it. He did not set before you an arduous, exhausting and seemingly impossible task. God only asks you to live in His love and go forth and teach others how to do likewise…

Goodnight and God bless.