About yourgodmoments

Father, Husband, Chiropractor, Teacher about all things God. Committed to everyone knowing and experiencing the love of God, and keeping that love-connection forever.

Defenders of the Faith

Who are defenders of the faith? They are those who do their best to spread the gospel of salvation to the unsaved masses, those who take a loving stand against all that is ungodly – with the hope that the perpetrators of ungodliness may be saved, and finally, those who study, teach and / or preach the word of God in its pure form, to drive any potential heresy away, so that the first two aforementioned groups are properly armed with the Truth for their godly endeavors.

 We have recently completed a 7-part study of a 13th century monk, Thomas Aquinas, who was a great example of a defender of the faith. Now, let’s look at Aquinas’s theological inspiration (besides the Holy Spirit), which was a 5th century monk of at least equal renown and Holy Spirit-inspiration, St. Augustine of Hippo, from his book: The City of God, translated by Marcus Dods, D.D.

 He was the author of 113 books and 218 letters. His longest work is The City of God, meant to fortify Christianity in the Roman Empire, which took 15 years to write, begun in 413 A.D. This was just after the city of Rome (referred to as the ‘Eternal City’) was plundered by the Visigoths. 

 Simultaneously, Rome was also crumbling under the weight of overspending on multitudinous military campaigns to increase the size of its empire. Many of the wealthier citizens migrated to more rural settings to escape the extreme taxation that the spending depended upon, which also reduced Rome’s coffers.  

 As the empire expansion was no longer able to sustain itself, the heretofore forcefully inducted slave labor from their various conquests were no longer available, resulting in a labor shortage that reduced Rome’s exports, also driving down the economy. 

 In addition, the eastern and western divisions of the Roman Empire became embattled as to how the empire should be run, and they divided. 

 As with any government, the Roman Empire was excessively corrupt and ineffective. 

 Because soldiers died in so many battles, the military hired barbarian mercenaries to bolster their army, which diluted the capability of the highly-trained Roman soldiers – making victories hard to come by. 

 Also, at this time, Christianity began to spread in the empire, (thanks to the help of the Roman emperor Constantine, who made Christianity the official religion in Rome in 337 A.D.), which stood in stark contrast to the Roman ways of thinking and acting. Subsequently, Christians became the ‘crux of Rome’s problems,’ or at least that is where the blame was laid. The Romans blamed their declining lot on the Christians for serving their God rather than the ‘Roman gods.’

 It is in this atmosphere that Augustine begins defending the faith…

 …we must speak also of the earthly city, which, though it be mistress of the nations, is itself ruled by its lust of rule. 

 Thus, the Roman Empire (the ‘earthy city’) had come full circle, to acutely resemble the fallen state of man on the earth during the days of Noah:

 The [population of the] earth was corrupt [absolutely depraved – spiritually and morally putrid] in God’s sight, and the land was filled with violence [desecration, infringement, outrage, assault, and lust for power]. Gn. 6:11 AMP

 God puts in place every government that has ruled this world. Augustine suggests to the Romans that it would be far better for them to consider that instead of blaming external elements (opposing armies, vengeance of their gods, etc.), they would be far better served to see the hand of God in their situation as a benevolent force to get them to turn their lives around: 

 They ought rather, had they any right perceptions, to attribute the severities and hardships inflicted by their enemies, to that divine Providence which is wont to reform the depraved manners of men by chastisement…these ungrateful men who blasphemously impute to Christ the calamities which they deservedly suffer in consequence of their own wicked ways, while that which for Christ’s sake spared them in spite of their wickedness…

 God is always working on all people to bring them to the right path:

 So that godless men would not rule nor be snares for the people. “For has anyone said to God, ‘I have endured my chastisement; I will not offend anymore; teach me what I do not see [in regard to how I have sinned]; if I have done wrong (injustice, unrighteousness), I will not do it again?’ Job. 34:30 – 32. AMP

 We see God’s compassion throughout history, giving chance after chance: 

Nevertheless, my eye spared them, and I did not destroy them or make a full end of them… Ezek. 20:17 ESV

 Yet they are spared for only a time – a time in which to change from their ways:

 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness…because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse. Rom. 1:18 – 20. NKJV

 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting…who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death… Rom. 1:28 & 32.

 God has given everyone an inherent knowing of Him, in both themselves and in the creations around them. Furthermore, by this time, Rome has had the gospel preached to them for at least 100 years.

 So, there is an infinite penalty for unrepentant ungodliness. Yet, Augustine then tries to show the Romans the fairness in the equity that God practices for the righteous and unrighteous alike:

 …nevertheless does the patience of God still invite the wicked to repentance, even as the scourge of God educates the good to patience. And so too, does the mercy of God embrace the good that it may cherish them, as the severity of God arrests the wicked to punish them. To the divine Providence it has seemed good to prepare in the world to come for the righteous good things, which the unrighteous shall not enjoy; and for the evil wicked things, by which the good shall not be tormented.

 But as for the good things in this life, and its ills, God has willed that it be common to both; that we might not too eagerly covet the things which wicked men are seen equally to enjoy, nor shrink with an unseemly fear from the ills which even good men often suffer.

Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both adversity (misfortune) and good (prosperity, happiness) proceed? Lam. 3:38 AMP

 Augustine is saying that life has its trials and tribulations and it is not a respecter of persons. Everyone is subject to them. It is how we let them mold us that is important. Do we embrace God and His ways, or do we turn our back on Him and follow our flesh? We can see that the ultimate outcome has vey stark differences; and for the rebellious, there is a literal hell to pay.

 Moreover, those who deny God and His ways, create a profound difference within themselves, that without repentance, invites the wrath of God. Augustine puts it like this:

 …though good and bad men suffer alike, we must not suppose that there is no difference between the men themselves, because there is no difference in what they both suffer. For even in the likeness of the sufferings, there remains an unlikeness in the sufferers; and though exposed to the same anguish, virtue and vice are not the same thing…And thus it is in the same affliction the wicked detest God and blaspheme, while the good pray and praise.

 To contrast the citizens of the earthy city to those of the city of God, Augustine spoke of how the Romans were distraught and depressed over their lack of worldly items when the Visigoths sacked the city of Rome; whereas those of the Christian faith who had lost their worldly goods as well could take solace in the truth that ‘the will of the Lord is their great possession…they have discovered by the pain of losing these things how much they were sinning in loving them.’  

 “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. Job 1:21 NKJV

 Augustine then begins to answer what appears to be many questions put to him from Roman inquisitors. The first is whether or not one’s ‘length’ of life has any significance. His response fosters food for thought:

 …the end of life puts the longest life on a par with the shortest…death is not to be judged an evil which is the end of a good life; for death becomes evil only by the retribution which follows it…into what place death will usher them.

 Again, this is a great case for getting right with God before that day comes.

 And so, we begin a journey with one of the greatest defenders of the faith…

 

Goodnight and God bless.

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What Does Faith Guarantee?

This post is the seventh and final look at the Holy Spirit-inspired theology of Thomas Aquinas. I hope that you have enjoyed the richness of his insights…

What does faith guarantee? The application of it results in unwavering hope:

Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality – faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses]. Heb. 11:1 AMP

Hope is based on faith in things unseen. Aquinas puts it this way: …even when we have faith, there still remains in the soul an impulse toward something else, namely, the perfect vision of the truth assented to in faith…among the various teachings of faith there is one according to which we believe that God exercises providence over human affairs. In consequence of that belief, stirrings of hope arise in the soul…

After all, we could not have hope if we did not have faith in that God cares about us, and that His word is inviolate (where we search to strengthen that hope):

…by two unchangeable things [His promise and His oath] in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled [to Him] for refuge would have strong encouragement and indwelling strength to hold tightly to the hope set before us. Heb. 6:18 AMP

We exercise this hope in prayer – a necessary exercise in order to petition God for having our hope fulfilled. It is a divine conversation between His Spirit and our soul:

“Ask and keep on asking and it will be given to you; seek and keep on seeking and you will find; knock and keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you.” Mt. 7:7 AMP

Christ Himself gave us a template for prayer content, (commonly referred to as the ‘Lord’s prayer’), for constructing a powerfully effective way to convey our hope to our Father, wrapped in our faith that Jesus, the Author and Finisher of that faith, so generously laid upon us.

We can bathe in our hope, assured in our faith that God can and will answer our prayers if we do our best to walk in His ways:

Listen! The LORD’s arm is not too weak to save you, nor is his ear too deaf to hear you call. Is. 59:1 NLT

The prayer of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect. James 5:16 CSB

So, because prayer is so important, Aquinas offers his insights as to why Jesus choose His particular script for praying:

“Our Father in heaven…” Mt. 6:9 NKJV

Firstly, we consider God as our Father because we are His children:

The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs – heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ… Rm. 8:16, 17.

And if we are also heirs, then there must be a divine endowment:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept in the power of God through faith for salvation… 1 Pt. 3 – 5. NKJV

If that’s not a hope-builder, I don’t know what it.

Approaching God as our ‘Father’ also brings a declaration of our intimacy with Him, which increases our hope through our prayer:

…He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being…’For we are also His offspring.’ Acts 17:27, 28. NKJV

And we say ‘our’ Father as opposed to ‘my’ Father, so that our prayers include our brothers and sisters in Christ:

…we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Rm. 12:5 NKJV

In that same opening sentence, we include ‘in heaven,’ to remind us how BIG our God is, that there is nothing that He cannot accomplish. It also brings to the fore that our petitions must align with God’s heavenly words if they are to be answered. Finally, we recognize that our prayers come before God in heaven itself – where they stay.

“…your name be honored as holy.” Mt. 6:9 CSB

This being the second half of the first prayer sentence, is befitting the first of the Ten Commandments – to love God with all our heart, soul and mind. It is a demonstration of our reverential esteem for our Creator. It also reminds us to honor our ‘Great Commission’ by bringing the gospel to as many as we can – both by speaking it and by being a living example of the best holiness that we can muster, thereby glorifying God.

“Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Mt. 6:10 CSB

This is a petition of hope that we might share in the glory of God’s kingdom – the presence of which brings happiness and peace that transcends anything the world has to offer and is incorruptible and only made possible by forming a union with our Creator. It is an attainment of our divine perfection that is reflected in and eternal joy-filled life.

In that final state, we shall rest in immeasurable abundance, goodness and sanctuary:

“…all who listen to me will live in peace, untroubled by fear of harm.” Pr. 1:33 NLT

Thomas Aquinas rested with the Lord before he could finish Short Summa, (which would have undoubtedly contained the remainder of the Lord’s prayer), but the can be thankful for the blessings he left.

What he did leave us with was citations of these last two scriptures, which lovingly bolsters our faith and hope in that we can choose to be in God’s kingdom and He will make it so…

“So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.” Lk. 12:32 NLT

I declare the end from the beginning, and from long ago what is not yet done, saying: my plan will take place and I will do all my will. Is. 46:10 CSB

Goodnight and God bless.

The Need for Christ

I hope that you are enjoying our foray through pieces of Thomas Aquinas’ Shorter Summa, this version being translated by Cyril Volkert, S.J. – this present post being the sixth in our examination.

The need for Christ actually began in the Garden of Eden…

Aquinas’ sets the stage: …man was originally constituted by God in such a condition that his body was completely subject to his soul.

Adam’s soul was a pure image of God, and thus his body was incorruptible – innocent before God, living in a harmony given by God. Aquinas’ refers to Adam’s state at this juncture, as ‘Original Justice,’ and it was to be promulgated through his successive descendants.

This however, was entirely contingent upon humanity’s continual obedience to God.

When Adam and Even broached God’s commandment not to eat the forbidden fruit, they transgressed the purpose of the prohibition, which was to remain obedient to God. The fruit itself was just the symbol of obedience, as long as it remained uneaten.

The affixed outcome was that our first parents were both exposed to evil and generated it themselves through their actions.

Satan was the agent behind their downfall. He, who had already succumbed to sin, was jealous of the high position that God held Adam and Eve in – whereby they possessed ultimate love, peace, happiness and immorality. But the devil also knew that they had been given free will. Thus, they had the potential to sin. Knowing this, Satan made preparations to thrust a spiritual dagger into God’s heart.

He promised Eve great, heretofore unknown, knowledge that would place her on a high station – supposedly level with God Himself. She then succumbed to her pride and covetousness, and fell under his sway.

Adam did not have the luxury of feigning ignorance. He was intimately acquainted with God and His dictates. He purposely transgressed them to feed his pride and covetousness as well.

In the very moment that they disobeyed God, their flesh was cut loose from the perfection of their soul and became corruptible, beginning the battle between the flesh and the spirit – ultimately resulting in death.

Moreover, they were separated from God and became more vulnerable to the devil’s suggestions.

All of these traits were handed down to all of us, and sin became rampant. Gone was the blessing of ‘Original Justice’ – replaced by the corruption of the ‘Original Sin.’

Unlike other sins, this original sin cannot be removed by man alone, regardless of the vigor of his repentance.

Yet God loves us so much that He made a way for our redemption, so that we may be reunited with Him. First, because God is just, He must mete out justice for sin. Someone had to pay for our sins. And so, God sent a part of Himself in His Son for HIs children’s justification and redemption:

No one has gone up to heaven, but there is One who came down from heaven, the Son of Man [Himself – whose home is in heaven]…so must the Son of Man be lifted up [on the cross], so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life [after physical death, and will actually live forever]. 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. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge and condemn the world [that is, to initiate the final judgment of the world], but that the world might be saved through Him. Whoever believes and has decided to trust in Him [as personal Savior and Lord] is not judged [for this one, there is no judgment, no rejection, no condemnation]… Jn. 3:13 – 18. AMP

Aquinas adds this: …divine Wisdom, who had made man, took to Himself a bodily nature and visited man immersed in things of the body, so that by the mysteries of His bodily life He might recall man to spiritual life. Furthermore, the human race had need that God should become man to show forth the dignity of human nature, so that man might not be subjugated either by devils or by things of the body.

Jesus is our ideal example of everything God meant us to be.

That Christ took upon Himself our likeness is born out in the demonstration of His having had a soul, which displayed human-like moments of fear and sadness:

He was hated and men would have nothing to do with Him, a man of sorrows and suffering, knowing sadness well. Is. 53:3 NKJV

“Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour?’ But for this purpose I came to this hour.” Jn. 12:37 NKJV

And yet Jesus is unique, because He possesses a soul, body and is part of the Godhead, (His divinity). He came to make us (those who willing choose to be) one with Him, through His salvation. God imputed to Jesus His divinity, whereas Mary imparted His human nature.

We see the divinity expressed in Christ through His miracles and His omniscience. Remember that Jesus is the Word of God:

For the word of God is living and powerful…and is a discerner or the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. Heb. 4:12, 13. NKJV

In His humanness, Jesus had to be the perfect sinless Man, to be suitable as the Source of our salvation:

He made Christ who knew no sin to [judicially] be sin on our behalf, so that in Him we would become the righteousness of God [that is, we would be made acceptable to Him and placed in a right relationship with Him by His gracious lovingkindness]. 2 Cor. 5:21 AMP

His divinity also conferred upon Him His veracious wisdom and the grace of His Father, to make us pleasing to God, as well as to be unified with Him.

…Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. 1 Cor. 1:24 NLT

…Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge [regarding the word and purposes of God]. Col. 2:2, 3. AMP

Going back to the fact that Jesus had to be sinless, He would have to be free of the ‘Original Sin’ as well. And that original sin was passed down to us by the seed of Adam through the seeds of all men:

…through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation… Rm. 5:18 NKJV

Therefore, Christ could not appropriate any flesh instigated by the corrupt seed of man. Thus, God, who is the creator of all nature, supernaturally appropriated Jesus’ flesh through the Holy Spirit. As well, that flesh had to be appropriated from a woman, as she is the flesh-giver in maternity. And not just any woman, but one untainted by the male seed – a virgin – energized to conceive by the Holy Spirit:

Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son… Is. 7:14 NKJV

In order for Mary to be the perfect vessel for Christ, she herself would have to have been sanctified before the Holy Spirit stirred her flesh to bring forth life. Aquinas asserts that she must have been sanctified when she was in the womb, similarly to the prophet Jeremiah, which God revealed to him when He called Jeremiah to preach:

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you…” Jer. 1:5 NKJV

God is ultimate justice. His charge against man demands ultimate and pure justifying satisfaction. That can only be satisfied by the sacrifice of one on His level, and there is only one – Jesus. God had to offer a part of Himself (Christ) to exact payment. Jesus willingly took on a mortal body to do so – to become potentially ‘sin-like’ (yet sinless):

There is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death…by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us… Rm. 8:1 – 4. ESV

Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us… Gal. 3:13 NKJV

Jesus stepped up to endure the sufferings that we rightly should have to endure – even death, though He Himself was faultless. He chose to die so that we might live a godly life, and to show us that there need be no fear in dying, because He’ll be waiting.

Adam sinned at the tree, Jesus was hung on one. When He died, His body-soul connection was severed; His body was indeed dead. However, both were still connected to the Spirit of Christ. Jesus’s soul then descended into hell:

“…so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Mt. 12:40 NKJV

Aquinas states that Jesus was freeing all the people in hell that were there solely because of the stain of the ‘original sin’ – establishing Him as the Savior of the living and the dead.

Christ was risen glorified and immortal. His sufferings brought us grace which means the atonement of sins for those who accept Him as their Savior.

Our glorified Savior showed Himself to many after His resurrection, where He was seen, touched, conversed with, shared meals with, passing through walls, and brandishing the scars of His impalement upon the cross.

What Christ’s followers gain, is freedom from the first death (body-soul separation) and from the second (separation from God, which is solely for those who refused Christ). Thus, we get both a physical and spiritual resurrection from the gift of Christ’s life, given for us, rendering us justified and sanctified.

Jesus is a lot bigger than we think:

“No one has gone up into heaven, but there is One who came down from heaven, the Son of Man [Himself – whose home is in heaven].” Jn. 3:13 AMP

Christ is like His Father, ever-present, everywhere. He was in heaven, hell and on the earth simultaneously.

At the end of time, all peoples are brought before the judgment seat of Christ – whose authority to judge is given by God:

“…He has given Him authority to execute judgment, because He is a Son of Man [sinless humanity, qualifying Him to sit in judgment over mankind].” Jn. 5:27 AMP

Christ will appear in all His glory – a joy to His saints, a harbinger of dread to those that rebelled against Him. Everyone will answer for how they conducted their lives. Those who lived a life of faith will be with Jesus, rewarded for how they advanced the kingdom. The faithless will be sifted out for eternal punishment – never to see God, Jesus, or any goodness forever.

Jesus is with us in every aspect of our lives. All the good is found in Him. We need Christ…

Goodnight and God bless.

The Resurrection of Humankind

At the outset, I want to remind you that we are still looking through the lens of Thomas Aquinas’ interpretations of certain fundamental scriptures – this time, taking a glimpse of his views of our final destination.

Let’s begin with his premise:

Reunion with the body is requisite for the soul’s perfect happiness…the will cannot be perfectly at rest until the soul is again joined to the body. When this takes place, man rises from the dead.

Thus, all souls will be reunited with their bodies. Souls themselves are immortal and incorruptible, as they are incorporeal in their nature. And seeing how their bodies all degenerate to dust in death, the bodies cannot ‘rise’ in and of themselves for that body-soul reunion. It requires the resurrection power of God.

When this is accomplished, all the original people are resurrected for their date in eternity. In order to live out the eternal life, the body must be changed to become imperishable:

The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption…the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed…and this mortal must put on immortality. 1 Cor. 15:42 & 52, 53. NKJV

This is true for everyone who has ever lived. Aquinas’ suggests that an incorruptible body no longer has the need for what sustained the corruptive, e.g. food, clothing or reproductive functions. Yet I will take solace at the prophet Isaiah’s Holy Spirit-inspired picture of one facet of heaven:

On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined. Is. 25:6 ESV

(What can I say? It’s my human side.)

Given how God is making all this happen, the risen bodies will have no defects – no missing limbs, no blindness, disease, etc. (Is. 35:5, 6.)

At this point however, comes a great ‘sifting’:

“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate the one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:’” Mt. 25:31 – 34. NKJV

Those on the right hand of Christ are the children of God – those who accepted Christ as their Savior and did their best to live like He did. They will be rewarded with the ability to see God revealed in His essence, in the best understanding their finite minds can grasp the Infinite.

God’s children will be in the presence of ultimate goodness and love. All sorrow will be driven away, and they will live in perfect harmony, happiness and in complete satisfaction.

Their bodies will also take on spiritual qualities:

…it is sown a natural body [mortal, suited to the earth], it is raised a spiritual body [immortal, suited to heaven]. 1 Cor. 15:44 AMP

The children of God are thus prepared for their new environment, which is also incorruptible:

“Behold, I am creating new heavens and a new earth…be glad and rejoice forever over what I create…” Is. 65:17, 18. AMP

However, things don’t bode well at all for the people who refused Jesus as the Lord of their life, those who rebelled against God:

“Then He will say to those on His left, ‘Leave Me, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels (demons)…these [unbelieving people] will go away into eternal (unending) punishment…” Mt. 25:41 & 46. AMP

This is what Aquinas called the ‘final wretchedness,’ the end result of the practices of unrepentant vice – leading to ultimate unhappiness, completely and eternally separated from God, deprived of all goodness and love.

When death occurs, our souls are eternally ’set’ in the condition that it was in that moment – either for good or for evil.

Those who are condemned will still want to indulge in their vices, but that will not have that satisfaction. Moreover, they will be aware of the heavenly status of the children of God, even though they have no hope of ever reaching it.

Jesus illustrated this in a parable about the ‘rich man and Lazarus.’ Lazarus was a beggar who laid at the rich man’s gate begging for scraps of food. The rich man never came to his aid. When they both died, Lazarus went to heaven and the rich man to hell. Lazarus was comforted in the bosom of Abraham, but the rich man was tormented by fire. The rich man called out to Abraham for comfort, and Abraham answered:

‘…between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, no can those from there pass to us.’ Lk. 16:26 NKJV

Judgment is forever as is the torment of the condemned:

“…look upon the corpses of the men who have transgressed against Me. For their worm does not die, and their fire is not quenched.” Is. 66:24 NKJV

“Wail, for the day of the LORD is at hand! It will come as destruction from the Almighty…every man’s heart will melt, and they will be afraid…their faces will be like flames.” Is. 13:6 – 8. NKJV

The bodies of the condemned will feel pain, but remains corporeally intact, so that the process is continual. This eternal torment, which is fire-like yet does not consume, produces an agony which is spiritual in nature.

There is a hell folks. God has warned us about it for thousands of years. God is not about hurting people; it about His inviolate word and the part of His essence that is pure justices.

It sure makes a great case for staying on the right side of Him, yes?

Goodnight and God bless.

God’s Divine Providence

God brought us into this world with an end in mind. That end began with Adam and Eve. They put a detour in that end, yet God’s plan was not thwarted (who could do that?). He re-routed it through the saving grace found in Jesus.

He has a great ending / beginning for us, as well as for the rest of His creations. His non-human creations don’t have free-will, so they are naturally being perfected by God to arrive along with His children throughout the ages. Together they receive His perfection at the gates of eternity:

For I consider [from the standpoint of faith] that the sufferings of the present life are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is about to be revealed to us and in us! For [even the whole] creation [all nature] waits eagerly for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration and futility, not willingly [because of some intentional fault on its part], but by the will of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will also be freed from its bondage to decay [and gain entrance] into the glorious freedom of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been moaning together as in the pains of childbirth until now.

And not only this, but we too, who have the first fruits of the Spirit [a joyful indication of the blessings to come], even we groan inwardly, as we wait eagerly for [the sign of] our adoption as sons – the redemption and transformation of our body [at the resurrection]. For in this hope we were saved [by faith}. Rm. 8:18 – 24. AMP

Thus, according to Thomas Aquinas’ (we’re still in the midst of his theological understandings), this ending that all is drawing near to, is the perfection of God’s divine goodness – a place where we humans finally lay our eyes upon the essence of God and gain freedom from all wants and desires.

Fortuitously for us, God Himself guides us in the way of this ‘good end’ through His Divine Providence. He sets forth a distinct order of actions that we must undertake in order to have Him facilitate our perfect end. God presents us with the Truth that we can both understand, follow, and share – found in His word and through the Holy Spirit and His angels.

“I will lead the blind by a way they did not know; I will lead them in paths they have not known. I will turn darkness into light in front of them, and crooked places straight. These things I will do for them, and not forsake them.” Is. 42:16 NKJV

Man’s steps are ordered and ordained by the LORD. Pr. 20:24 AMP

Given that God exists in all things, we are all recipients of His Divine Providence; to what degree that we receive it, is subject to the use of our free will to align with it.

Therefore keep the words of this covenant, and do them, that you may prosper in all that you do. Dt. 29:9 NKJV

“…choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, by loving the LORD your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding closely to Him; for He is your life [your good life, your abundant life, your fulfillment] and the length of your days…” Dt. 30:19, 20. AMP

Out of His Divine Providence, God works miracles, and He oversees the dispensation of all things. And yet, there are trials and tribulations because there is evil in the world. Evil is not part of Divine Providence; evil results from free-will choices (which God will not violate) to act contrary to His ways.

However, God will still take the results of evil, and do some good with it: e.g. the god results of Joseph being sold by his brothers into slavery:

“…you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is in this day, to save many people alive.” Gn. 50:20 NKJV

Finally, we see Divine Providence at work through God’s grace, offered through the death and resurrection of His Son.

Because we have free will, we are held accountable for our actions – blessings for those that are godly, and punishment for those that are not (it may not be immediate, but it will come).

Aquinas writes:

God infuses into man, over and above the natural faculty of reason, the light of grace whereby he is internally perfected for the exercise of virtue…inasmuch as man’s mind is elevated by this light to the knowledge of truths surpassing reason, and as regards action and affection…to the love of God, to hope in Him, and to performance of acts that such love imposes.

This light is the freely given light of God to facilitate the journey to your good end. Grace is deflected by sin but is restored by repentance.

Your good end manifests as your eternal life in an immortal soul, nestling in God’s fullness in all things…

Goodnight and God bless.

God and the Soul

In part one, we talked about the essence of God Himself. In part two, we examined Thomas Aquinas’ treatise on the trinitarian concept of the Godhead. Now, we’ll follow his progression into God’s creative process – beginning with his supposition:

God is the first and most perfect Being. Therefore, He must be the cause of being in all things that have being.

As we’ve seen, God is existence itself. Therefore, He does not require pre-existing matter to be able to create, because He is the Creator. And because He is infinite and infinitely powerful, only He and He alone, can create something from nothing:

By faith [that is, with an inherent trust and enduring confidence in the power, wisdom and goodness of God] we understand that the worlds (universe, ages) were framed and created [formed, put in order, and equipped for their intended purpose] by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made of things which are visible. Heb. 11:3 AMP

Yet what He creates are finite, because only His essence (which includes Christ and the Holy Spirit) is infinite. We are but a finite representation of that infinitude.

God then guides us towards His perfect goodness, in that if we willfully connect with Him, He will perfect us at the end of time to an infinite transcendent transformation:

And we all, with unveiled face, continually seeing as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are progressively being transformed into His image from [one degree of] glory to [even more] glory, which comes from the Lord, [who is] the Spirit. 2 Cor. 3:18 AMP

Aquinas then describes the created characteristics of the human soul – first stating that intellectual beings (humankind) are closer to being like God than any of His other creations. This is demonstrated by the fact that we have ‘free will,’ as opposed to the ‘innate impulses’ that drive the other animal species. He further postulates that human beings alone possess understandings of universal themes and relationships, which he or she first begins to understand, through their five senses.

The intellect then engages in logistics and conclusions, in a process that occurs outside of the body. Therefore it exists on a higher plane than our flesh. This intellect, this ‘soul,’ is unique to each individual, as each exists in a unique environment (i.e. distinct body).

Aquinas explains that the soul is not endowed with the body, yet it may maintain a union with it, as long as the body lives. Moreover, the human soul reaches for loftier planes, independent of its associated flesh, in addition to whatever expressions it may initiate through the body.

Those capabilities of the soul which are expressed in the flesh, are subject to corruption, just as the body degrades through age; but the intellectual portion remains intact.

Since the soul is incorporeal, it cannot be passed on generationally through biological conception; it must be created; and only God creates. It is the highest part of ourselves, made in the image of God:

“The first MAN, Adam, BECAME A LIVING SOUL (an individual);” 1 Cor. 15:45 AMP

Yes, God has a soul:

“I will make My dwelling among you, and My soul will not reject nor separate itself from you.” Lv. 26:11 AMP

And, we are called by God to find Him and love Him with our own souls:

…seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. Dt. 4:29 NKJV

You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. Dt. 6:5 ESV

Indeed, it is imperative that we preserve this God-connection:

“For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world [wealth, fame, success], but forfeits his soul?” Mt. 16:26 AMP

Returning to God’s creativity in general, Aquinas says this: …everything that is made by God necessarily exists for an end.

What he is saying is that everything will ultimately be perfected at times’ end. God’s promises found in the book of Revelation – for a new body, new earth and new heavens attest to that. What Aquinas didn’t address, which I’ll just bring up as a brain teaser, is that I contend that this wasn’t God’s original intent, because everything was perfect and incorruptible before the fall. Although, we also know that Jehovah is omniscient, so that He knew the fall would come. Food for thought…

Aquinas takes that to the next logical step when he declares: This then, is the reason why all things were made: that they might be assimilated to the divine goodness.

In order to be assimilated by God, we must be perfected by Him through the power of His glory – His divine light…

Is that not the Good News?

Goodnight and God bless.

Can You Dissect God – part 2

Last time, we looked at an overview of Thomas Aquinas’ Holy Spirit-induced revelations about the essence of who God is, as far as his finite mind could postulate. Now, let us turn to his understanding of the relationship between God, Christ and the Holy Spirit, i.e. his view of the man-made explanation (the trinitarian concept) of this Divine 3-sided cohesive.

He starts off with the premise that ‘God is Father, God is Son, and God is Holy Spirit. And these are not three Gods, but are one God.’ Thomas begins his deductive path by stating we must accept in faith that God left us His word, so that He could be revealed to us.

Moreover, Aquinas declares that God’s word is an outpouring of His essence, so it is related to God and proceeds forth as His Son:

In the beginning [before all time], was the Word (Christ) and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself. Jn. 1:1 AMP

First, we see that there is no ‘time differentiation’ between God and His Son. Jesus preceded time.

So, according to Aquinas, Christ was generated (begotten) by the essence of God.

Last time, we looked at the supposition that God was pure action – that He knew all things and was maintaining the entire universe through His essence. God is identical with His actions. Therefore, if God speaks, it is indistinguishable from who He is. Thus, Jesus, Jehovah’s word, cannot be anything other than God Himself:

“If you had [really] known Me, you would have also known My Father. From now on you know Him and have seen Him.” Jn. 14:7 AMP

And because everything that God does is perfect, because He is perfect, (look back to part one in this series), Christ Himself must be perfect, as He is the begotten of God…

…for God is love. [He is the originator of love, and it is an enduring attribute of His nature.] 1 Jn. 4:8 AMP

If God is love, according to Aquinas, then He must love Himself and expresses this love, this essence of Himself, as the Holy Spirit, living in God, as does His Son, and so also a part of the Father – in equal rank, because He is part of God’s essence.

Aquinas says, ‘…in the Godhead there is something threefold which is not opposed to the unity and simplicity of the divine essence.’

Again, God is a perfect unified essence, consisting of His thoughts, His substance and the exercise of His will (actions). God’s word (Christ) is a ‘representative’ of His thoughts, distinguished as different only with regards to the process of God’s generated words becoming Jesus’ expression of them. Otherwise, They are indistinguishable.

Similarly, God’s love is who He is, yet it is expressed outwardly through the Holy Spirit: This directed process is the only distinction if you will between the Holy Spirit and God; otherwise, the Holy Spirit too, is identical to God.

So, God expresses Himself through the Son and loves through the Holy Spirit. Seeing as how God is a unified essence, He cannot have differing views from His Son or the Holy Spirit. They must, as expressions of Him, be in complete concert with Him. Thus, there can only be one Christ and one Holy Spirit, in perfect harmony with the only one true high Jehovah God:

I will cry to God most High, Who accomplishes all things on my behalf [for He completes my purpose in His plan]. Ps. 57:2 AMP

For You are the LORD Most High over all the earth; You are exalted far above all gods. Ps. 97:9

NASB

Yet, God is the Father. Jesus, the Son, emanates from the Father, and the Holy Spirit proceeds from them both.

God, the Father, the Prime Mover, is at cause in this universe through His active will. That means He ‘begets’ from His own divine essence, whereby we have the begotten word and love – Christ and the Holy Spirit.

Aquinas is an arduous read. But I’m wacky in that way. I love to sift for the pearls of wisdom and revelation. God nudges me to help you meet Him where you are at. It’s my passion. I do so hope that you are enjoying this process.

This is foundational work.

Goodnight and God bless.

Can You Dissect God?

I think not, in a total sense. He is infinite in every way. We are finite on this earth:

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Is. 55:9 NKJV

Yet, God loves us so much that He gave us a huge picture of Himself (in the Bible and in His Son), which we can use. It takes a lifetime and more to get to know Him as well as we can. But that’s okay, because God wants to keep a running conversation with us so that He can continue to reveal Himself. (Joel 1:13; 2 Th. 3:1)

Some people throughout history, have devoted themselves to the pursuit of this increased knowledge – creating dissections of God and His designs, at least as far as a human can perceive. These people were and are deep thinkers, always waiting upon the Holy Spirit for revelation.

One such individual was a Christian monk in the 1500’s by the name of Thomas Aquinas (or Saint Thomas Aquinas for those of the Catholic persuasion).

I am not a fan of church denominations, but I believe that God will bless all who seek Him – especially those who whole-heartedly press towards Him. Tomas Aquinas was such an individual.

Today, we’re going to dip ourselves into the depths of his theological dissections to further enrich our understanding of God, as he understood, through his Holy Spirit inspirations – written in his book Aquinas’ Shorter Summa; a 1993 edition based upon a 1947 translation by Cyril Vollert.

Aquinas begins by examining the existence of God. He calls Him the ‘First Mover’ – the highest God that moves all other things; but concerning Himself, He is immovable.

“For I am the Lord, I do not change…” Mal. 3:6 NKJV

If God is immovable, then He exists just as He is, without change. Therefore, He is also eternal. There is nothing else He needs to be for Him to be complete; He just is. And if He just is, then He is outside of time: past, present and future exist simultaneously for Him.

If God is complete, then He is pure and indivisible. Thus, there is but one God.

‘I am the First and I am the Last; and there is no God besides Me.’ Is. 44:6 AMP

And if God is indivisible, He cannot have component parts, e.g. a body. He is pure Spirit.

“God is spirit [the Source of life, yet invisible to mankind]…” Jn. 4:24 AMP

If He is limitless, God is infinite, as well as is His power.

Given (through your faith) that God created and maintains the entire universe, He also must exist in a state of pure action; and that action is defined as existence.

Observing all of creation, we can see portions of God’s perfection in those creations. Thus, it is a given that God must contain the totality of His perfection, i.e. our God is perfect.

If God is infinitely powerful and perfect, He cannot make mistakes. And if infinite, He cannot be defined by His finite creations.

If God is perfect, then He is perfectly and most highly intelligent. He doesn’t have to cogitate, because He exists in a state of complete simultaneous understanding. God knows all things.

Finally, everything that we have seen about God is what comprises His essence. And God (this ‘first mover’) brings that essence to bear, through His will.

Whetting your appetite. To be continued…

Goodnight and God bless.

God Wants You to Live – part 2

Last time we talked about positioning ourselves to be able to live a good life. It’s crucial to get a handle on life because it’s so short:

“Remember, O God, that my life is but a breath…” Job 7:7 NIV

Yet you do not know [the least thing] about what may happen in your life tomorrow. [What is secure in your life?] You are merely a vapor [like a puff of smoke or a wisp of steam from a cooking pot] that is visible for a little while and then vanishes [into thin air]. James 4:14 AMP

We cannot take it for granted. God gave us a life to live; and to do that, we must engage life for every second that is allotted to us.

…[look forward and confidently wait for [the coming of] His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead – Jesus, who [personally] rescues us from the coming wrath [and draws us to Himself, granting all the privileges and rewards of a new life with Him]. 1 Thess. 1:10 AMP

At the end of time, we are rewarded by Christ for the fruit of our godly walk. At the spearhead of that walk is our ‘great commission,’ bringing souls to Jesus. And we are to have many other godly interactions with people. Thus, we must also engage with the people in our lives. This means we must not succumb to the electronic gizmo addiction that is isolating us from others.

This begins in our family. We must pour our love into each member: children, parents, siblings, spouses, etc.

Bring back your passion for your spouse. Make a serious effort to know him or her at depth. Review where your relationship is going; and if it’s taking a bad direction, work with your spouse to redirect it. Nothing is more important than love, and your spouse should be the #1 target for your heart.

Live life with love reigning over every aspect of it, even if you are engaging with someone who is ideologically opposed to you. Ask them why they take that point of view. Look for common ground.

The servant of the Lord must not participate in quarrels, but must be kind to everyone [even-tempered, preserving peace, and he must be], skilled in teaching, patient and tolerant when wronged. 2 Tim. 2:24 AMP

If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Rm. 12:18 ESV

All things in life are fleeting (e.g. fame), but true love stands forever if those who practice it keep working on those relationships – stoking the flame and staying committed to continual dialogue.

Be transparent with your kids. Allow them to see you successfully overcome your challenges, showing them your talents and strategies. Shower them with love. It nurtures them, strengthens their sense of self-worth, and fills them up so that they don’t have to hunt for love from bad people.

Let them know what you had to work through to create your good life, so that they don’t have to waste time treading the same path. Also, be adamant about cleaning up any ‘messes / wounds’ you may have between you and your kids. At the same time, hold them responsible for their behaviors.

Most of all, talk to them. Communication is everything. Ask until you understand. Support them on their paths. Give them the space to have a different point of view.

Ask God what He wants you to accomplish in this life. He’s already given you the gift He wants you to bring to the world at this time. Your gift will be associated with whatever has greatly moved you in your life so far – be it good and bad. For the good, look for how you could promote that; for the bad, you now have tools to help others overcome what challenged you. You can be a healer.

Use your time wisely and love every moment. Live healthy. Contribute to others. Do what’s right, regardless of how you feel.

You have to do before you can have. Take that good idea and act on it. Go beyond saying you love someone, show them. Make the changes you need to make.   

Life is cyclical – filled with peaks and valleys. You have to grapple with life at times. Yet each effort will bring you strength because you’ve got God on your side. Life can be difficult, but it’s the only game in town. if it was easy, everyone would be happy. Any dose of nightly news will tell you that they are not.

As we said last time, happiness is a choice. If God points you in a certain direction, go for it. He wouldn’t set you up to fail. You were born for your path. Rekindle your awe at the wonder of life and work to grow your soul in every moment, by being inquisitive about life.

God gave you a life. What you do with it is up to you. Don’t waste a blessed moment…

Goodnight and God bless.

God Wants You to Live!

…’As I live, says the Lord GOD, ‘I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back (change your way of thinking), turn back [in repentance] for your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’ Ezek. 33:11 AMP

“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” Jn. 10:10 NKJV

God is telling the Israelites that if they straighten up and return to His ways, they will preserve their life. This is still applicable today. Yes, God also has a focus on the eternal aspect of our lives, (after all, that is the total focus of the Bible), but here, He is telling us to adhere to His words so that we can have a good life while on this earth!

Jesus is the centerpiece of God’s salvation for your entrance into eternity. Yet also here, He is telling us to embrace Him, so that we can have a full life in present time! You don’t need a more abundant life in heaven; you will have everything at your fingertips when you make that transition.

You’ve all known well-meaning Christians whose lives are in disarray for one reason or another; who stay locked in that confusion and chaos, instead of actively trying to remedy their situation (with God’s help). Many of them repeat some form of this mantra: “Oh my life is horrible. Nothing can be done. I’m just waiting for Jesus to take me to heaven.’

That’s a slap in God’s face. Life is His greatest gift to all of us. He obviously wants us to enjoy it to its fullest.

So why don’t we?

It’s because we become indifferent to life. We’ve lost our thirst for the awe and wonder that life used to bring. Why? Because life hasn’t turned out the way that we though it should, and we feel a helplessness when we contemplate the possibility of changing that outcome.

The problem is almost always because we are locked in the past.

Our past begins with our parents. We didn’t pick them; and many of them consciously or unconsciously indoctrinated us with some version of what they were brainwashed with. And some of this indoctrination may have been harmful – words and actions that instilled a sense of self-doubt.

Perhaps, mom and dad, through their own lack of self-awareness, spoke harmful words, such as: ‘What’s wrong with you?’ ‘When will you ever learn?’ ‘How could you be so stupid? There are multitudinous examples of bad parental behavior. And a very common result is the formation of children branded with these two damning sentences that curse them for life if they don’t wake up:

“I’m unlovable,’ and / or ‘I’m not good enough.’ Yet they pretend to be, by trying to present themselves to others as someone they are not – a totally ineffectual and sad way of being.

Further, children are then thrust into schools where other unhappy children are trying to survive that environment of through fight or flight. Then they get their minds twisted up by the dysfunctional social engineering being passed off as education these days.

Ultimately, many of these lost souls waste their lives away searching for something to fill ‘what’s missing in their lives’ – e.g. addictions, erratic behavior, cheap sex, etc.

Our past can be tense if we don’t learn to keep it in past tense. No one makes the conscious choice to be wounded. However, those wounds will continue to fester if we don’t shed that past.

Whatever happened to you in the past may or may not have been your fault. It may or may not have happened in the way you remember it. Whatever happened, it doesn’t matter! What matters is that you learn from it and move on.

You can never get that time back, or undo what has been done. You must ask God to help you let the past go.

Most human misery is a product of their own making. That was not God’s plan. Thus, the world is not a very happy place. What’s to be done? Stop doing things the way the world does them:

…do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind… Rm. 12:2 NKJV

What God is saying is to get the garbage out of your mind and listen to your spirit.

God put us here and gave us a choice:

“…I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, so that 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 and the length of you days…” Dt. 30:19, 20. NKJV

God asks you to choose life by choosing Love, instead of just surviving the ways of the world. It is an appeal for you to follow your heart. Ask God to show you what’s haunting you so that you can give it up to Him. He promises to help:

“Fear not for I am with you; be not dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Is. 41:10 NKJV

We must build a relationship with God in order to be free of our mental fetters, so that we can build a healthy relationship with ourselves, which makes us great material for have relationships with others.

Start with bringing your ‘willingness’ to take your life back – to return to the authentic ‘you’ that God made, before you were corrupted. People think that they can do this without God, but clearly, the world reflects the fruit of this lie.

Given that most people are swimming in the same soup, the only guaranteed help comes from God. With God on your side, you can get your slate made clean with Him (through confession and repentance – Jer. 31:34; Is. 43:25, 26 & Heb. 10:17.) with regards to anything you may have committed that was contrary to His word, that has been ravaging your life. In fact, if you’re a child of God, it was already made clean; but you forget that because of your suffering – even though it is mostly based upon illusions.

Why is it so important to clean up our thinking?

For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. Pr. 23:7 NKJV

We literally become what we think! If we are carrying the baggage of the past, we can be sure that we are re-living it in our minds over and over, which freezes us in time and gives us the life that we have. Why? It’s because we are world-focused instead of God-focused. Not a good place to focus, because in the eternal scheme of things, this world will not survive. (2 Pt. 3:10)

When we focus on God, what happens?

…those who seek the LORD understand all things. Pr. 28:5 NASB

And if we don’t?

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Hos. 4:6 NKJV

We look to God for the true meanings in our lives instead of the fiction that we built around it. When we engage in ‘right thinking,’ we can let go of our obsession with the past (which we don’t accurately recall anyway). Then, we will be predisposed to living right, and we can start living anew in present time..

Most of how you’ve handled your past has been an unconscious process. Not really your fault, but neither is it a reason to make yourself a victim. it’s time to dig into your head to see what you have been cultivating.

Questions are powerful. They put those voices in your head on notice that there is a new sheriff in town. Take a week and write down everything you hear in your head that denigrates you. (That will be your ego). Question everything it says, answering to yourself, ‘Is that so?’ ‘Is that really true?’ ‘I’m far better than that.’ ‘What would my life be like if I didn’t believe this lie?’ If it says you don’t deserve something, go get it for yourself.

When you feel the mental jabs, ask yourself, ‘What is real, true and important in this moment?’ That voice will begin to whimper.

Interrogate yourself to find out what your unconscious self has been up to: knee-jerking to your past and living it out in the present. Ask yourself these questions:

1. What is it about other people’s behavior that bothers me? (Note that we tend to reject in others what we don’t like in ourselves). People who irritate us can be some of our best teachers.

2. What keeps you from being happy? (The answer is ‘you,’ because of your obsession over a dead past that you haven’t buried). Happiness is a choice. You have to think happy thoughts.

3, What makes you sad? (‘Being sad is what we do when we consider how a loss of something or someone affects us). It’s a hurt that needs to be healed so that you don’t cling to it and have it morph into ‘suffering.’

4. What is your Life Story? (You know, that embellished past that is used to justify your present station in life.) It’s mostly a lie; give it up to God and return to the present moment.

5. Who is in your life? (Who you hang out with our don’t says a lot about you). Are they ‘safe people’ who don’t call you out on your unconscious shenanigans? Are they abusive because you have a low opinion of yourself? Is it toxic family members? Not worth keeping.

6. Who are the people who cause you pain? (Big hint: you must choose to be hurt). These are the same people who you have chosen not to forgive, who you consider to be your enemies.

7. What are you afraid of? (You’ll be found out? Failing? Relationships? Dying? The unknown?)  Fear is only based upon unexamined beliefs from meanings that you made up as a child.

Don’t waste your present by waiting for a future when you’ll finally get it all together. No one gets it all together.  Life is a training ground; we are all a work in progress. There is no goal! Life is the goal!

Discover the meanings that you brought to life that aren’t working for you and disgorge them. If your dissatisfied with life, look at the meanings you brought to the events in your past that is shaping your present life.

Drop the meanings and how you act them out.

You are a child of God. Have compassion with yourself and your journey of actions and thoughts that you thought you had to do and have to survive. Once you have compassion, you will finally come to accept yourself.

Yes, you are a child of God – a gift to everything in this universe that no one else possesses. God put you here by design. You bring that gift by just being who God made you to be, special beyond measure, like everyone else as well.

The past is dead, the future unknown. Life is now, and God wants you to live it! You do that by living in the present moment – where life lives and works and where love, peace, contentment and joy are found. And when you’re quiet in your head, you will be able to hear the voice of God.

Our life is lived best when we let God drive:

You will show me the path of life; in your presence is fullness of joy. At your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Ps. 16:11 NKJV (see also Ps. 16:11 & 36:8, 9; Pr. 12:28; Mt. 16:25 & Jn. 1:4)

Happiness is what happens when we accept and love ourselves, and when we embrace God through Christ – letting all that love and peace flow through us. Then we can see life as the incredible gift that it is; and it’s always available when we stand in truth and reality. living as our genuine selves by walking with God.

Happiness is always available when we accept our experience of life rather than a belief about it – when we trust Jesus and drop the suffering over the meaning-less meanings we brought to life, take nothing personal, give up the search for happiness and just be happy and at peace. It’s our natural state…

Goodnight and God Bless