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.

Will You Help God Help You?

We know that God is all-powerful and He doesn’t really need our help (directly). More about that later…

Beginning with Adam and Eve and continuing with every person that descended from them (through the end of time), God gave the gift of free will. It is really an agreement between God and all people, whereupon He agrees not interfere with their volitional decisions.

He will do His best to try to show you the right path but your decision for your next moment rests entirely in your hands – as well as does the consequences for those decisions.

Why is that important?

Since mid-July of this year, (beginning with the post: How The Devil Stole Your Soul), we studied how the Devil convinced Adam and Eve that they were less than perfect by telling them that God lied to them regarding the potential consequences of their disobedience and encouraged them to disobey God so that they could ‘better themselves’ through rebellion.

As we know, God does not lie and Adam and Eve did become ‘damaged goods’ through their subsequent disconnect with God. Then they passed this disassociation down to their descendants, who passed it on to there own – ad infinitum.

When I say ‘damaged goods,’ I mean people who think they are not ‘good enough’ or ‘unlovable’ in God’s eyes, the eyes of others, and in their own.

If someone suffers from a malodorous and fractured sense of self, they look outside of themselves [to others and to a parasite that resides in their mind while existing outside of it (ego / voice in their head)] to find acceptance / validation. Yet because these same people believe they are inherently flawed, they present a false persona to others (a mask) that they hope those others will love.

But, if you’re trying to get someone to love your mask, and even if they do, that’s not remotely related to loving the real you, so your real needs never get met. When you’re engaged in this fruitless, frenetic dance, you take on the characteristics of fear, shame, guilt, anger, bitterness and rigidity – which makes you an extremely poor candidate for healthy, love-filled relationships, as well as making you vulnerable for unhealthy relationships of the most destructive kind.

Seeing as how all of life exists in relationships, your life becomes no life at all…

Praise God we saw last time (Can God Deliver You From Yourself?) that nothing can stand against our God and nothing can block His love from blanketing you. God created you and set you upon a good path:

Does not [God] see my ways and count all my steps? Job 31:4 AMP

You have also given me the shield of your salvation; Your right hand has held me up, Your gentleness has made me great. You enlarged my path under me, so my feet did not slip. Ps. 18:35, 36. NKJV

The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, and He delights in his way…The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide. Ps. 37:23 & 31. NKJV

Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. Ps. 23:6 NASB

Your eyes saw my unformed substance, and in Your book all the days [of my life] were written before they ever took shape, when as yet there were none of them. Ps. 139:16 AMP

It’s just that you were knocked off of your path as a child due to the unconscious brainwashing that took place. All you have to do is ask God to take you back (in confession and repentance) and He will – no exceptions! He’ll clean up the mess you’ve inadvertently made out of your life and restore you to His kingdom, whereupon your life will be a blazoned glory of your Father.

But see the scripture above, ‘steps of a good man’ and ‘The law of God is in his heart.’ Thus, in order to get a good life, you must include God and do your best to be obedient to His word. Only then, will God set all things in good order for you – including all the love and acceptance you could ever want, both from Him directly and from others whom He loves you through.

You have freewill choices and efforts that you have to make to have the kind of life you want:

In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [be empowered through your union with Him]; draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might provides]. Put on God’s whole armor [the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil. For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere.

Therefore put on God’s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place]. Eph. 6:10 – 13. AMP

Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Eph. 6:14 – 17. NKJV

For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God. Rm. 8:13, 14. NKJV

You must make a continuing choice for living God’s way, thus keeping your love-connection with Him intact. That’s the primary way in which you help God help you. Then, God will grant you the highest and best life…

But what happens when you don’t? And I’m talking here about people who are doing their best to walk a godly path. Yet you’ve seen many a Christian (some of them quite famous for their ‘holiness’) come upon hard times, where sin has crept in and their lives fell in ruin.

Why is that? Didn’t they have enough faith? I don’t think that’s true in most cases.

First of all, many people think that the devil takes a hike when you saddle up to God. Not so! He doubles down on his efforts to pull you away from Him. God is going to annihilate the devil (through Christ), but that’s not going to happen until the time of this world is done. It’s up to you not to listen to nor act upon Satan’s suggestions.

Second, we are literally swimming in a sea of humanity 24/7, which, for the most part is godless – either by choice of through ignorance.

Guess what? Swimming in that mire can break us down little by little. Incrementally and sneakily, our old humanity (with that voice in our head) creeps back in. We don’t even recognize our descent back into the wiles of our flesh until our lives begin to fall apart once more.

Still, we can always return to God to start anew. Yet, what if we could greatly reduce our backsliding and thus our valleys of suffering, and live the majority of the time on the peaks of our love-filled life?

It is possible. How? We must become a detective and find out all the sneaky ways the world tries to tug at us and uncover the games we unconsciously play to stay in the satisfaction of the flesh.

We can become hyper-aware of all those shenanigans and nip them in the bud when they first raise their ugly heads.

When we do that, we become aware too of the need to return to God with confession and repentance to get our lives back.

So, I’m going to shift gears in our series and look at solutions (Praise God!) to this age-old dilemma. It’s based upon my 45-year study of human behavior (and that includes my own). It’s only one set of solutions, but it’s a way that brought me back from the brink of death and I believe I’ve been charged by God to share it with you should you choose this mission of awakening.

What is this mission? It’s a way to lay the foundation of how to gain instant awareness of when we’ve been sucked back into the ways of the world, so that we can regain our conscious appreciation for whom God made each of us to be. In other words, to reclaim the perfect humanity that He already gave us.

You don’t have to understand that perfection, you only have to embrace it. As a perfectly created image of God, you already possess all the attributes of His Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Gal. 5:22, 23.)

If you let these spiritual qualities manifest (by following God’s path), love, acceptance and happiness would lose its elusiveness; self-judgment would be a bygone practice and you would attract whomever you wanted, to share your rediscovered happiness and love with…

This is the most important task that you will ever take on because it is a matter of life or death: to either live in and by the light of God that He has always planned for you, or to remain in the darkness and die by degrees.

You’ll need the right tools: willingness, God, meditation, steadfast awareness and inquisition, and action.

I’ve listed these tools in the order that you have to apply them.

WILLINGNESS

No one else can give you your life back. You have to take it back and you can only do so if you are willing.

I placed the tool of ‘willingness’ before ‘God’ because He never violates our free will. (He does that primarily because He wants you to willingly send your love to Him. After all, it’s only love that’s freely given without coercion that constitutes real love.)

That’s why it’s so important to make sound decisions, because in order to preserve your free will, God has to allow the consequences of them to play out.

God will do anything you ask of Him (within His guidelines), but you must be willing to call upon Him and make those requests before He can move on your behalf. Also, you must be willing to change your ways of being and doing (repent) in order to shed that unworkable life that you’ve been living.

To be continued…
Goodnight and God bless.

What Does God Say About Your Love?

Love is often misconstrued as a conjoined exercise of the mind or a merging of the flesh, but that is mere infatuation. True love is an employment of the heart – i.e. a spiritual endeavor.

Love is the ultimate state for all of us to attain – a place where we mirror and become one with God, opening the way for us to accept each other and all that is happening around us. (In the case of ‘negative happenings’ note that ‘acceptance’ is not the same as ‘condoning.’ Acceptance allows us to see what is real and what our part is in dealing with it. That concept requires a very deep investigation that we will take up in the near future.)

Love brings the end of suffering; it is heaven on earth.

What does love look like? God tells us; and to do so, He describes Himself:

Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily. It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly.

Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [pays no attention to a suffered wrong]. It does not rejoice at injustice, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.

Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is every ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are faceless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening]. Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]. 1 Cor. 13:4 – 8. AMP

Doesn’t that sound like the spiritual path that we all seek? That’s because from the moment we are born until we graduate from this life, we are called to emulate our God – who is Love itself and loved us even before we knew who He was:

God is love and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 1 Jn. 4:16 NASB

We love Him because He first loved us. 1 Jn. 4:19 NKJV

All God asks is that we love Him back. That cements our connection with Him and allows Him to move on our behalf:

See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 1 Jn. 3:1 NASB

God is impartial with the doling out of His love. He loves all people no matter what. But He can only connect that love to those who seek Him out with love. Those who don’t cannot feel God’s love, nor do they understand His followers’ (saints) love for Him.

How do we show our love for God? Jesus clearly spells it out:

“He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him…and We will come to him and make Our home with him.” Jn. 14:21 & 23. NKJV

We show God our love by lovingly obeying His word; and Jesus is the living word. Thus, Christ’s commandments are God’s commandments:

“Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments;” Dt. 7:9 NASB

“Indeed, He loves the people; all Your holy ones are in Your hand, and they followed in Your steps…” Dt. 33:3 NASB

Jesus Christ distilled all of God’s commandments down into two – and they are both about love:

You shall love the Lord your God with all of your heart and with all of your soul and with all of your mind (intellect). This is the great (most important, principal) and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself. These two commandments sum up and upon them depend all the Law and the Prophets. Mt. 22:37 – 40. AMP

When you love God, He rewards you with His love, which carries with it a plethora of big dividends:

Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore will I deliver him; I will set him on high, because he knows and understands My name [has a personal knowledge of My mercy, love and kindness – trusts and relies on Me, knowing I will never forsake him, no, never]. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show My salvation. Ps. 91:14 – 16. AMP

The LORD preserves all who love Him… Ps. 145:20 NKJV

But God – so rich is He in His mercy! Because of and in order to satisfy the great and wonderful and intense love with which He loved us, even when we were dead (slain) by [our own] shortcomings and trespasses, He made us alive together in fellowship and in union with Christ; [He gave us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life with which He quickened Him, for] it is by grace (His favor and mercy which you did not deserve) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation). Eph. 2:4, 5. AMP

God’s love has us covered on every side – bringing us abundance and honor, delivering us from all that stands against us and it culminates in our salvation through Christ to spent an eternal love-filled life with Him.

The Father’s love is also reflected in the Son. When we love Jesus, it is mirrored back to Jehovah, which allows us to receive the love of Them both:

“…for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God.” Jn. 16:27 NKJV

…know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Eph. 3:19 NKJV

If indeed we possess this love, it will be demonstrated in our behavior:

…make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard on another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Phil. 2:2 – 4. NASB

“…love one another as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples…” Jn. 13:34, 35. NKJV

…he who loves God must love his brother also. 1 Jn. 4:21 NKJV

A friend loves at all times… Pr. 17:17 NKJV

Let all that you do be done with love. 1 Cor. 16:14 NKJV

Out of all things, God puts love on the top of His list:

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have…but have not love, I gain nothing. 1 Cor. 13:1 – 3. ESV

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other, as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. Col. 3:12 – 14. ESV

God loves you. He pours it out like a torrent through His Son to all of His children and nothing can take it away:

…neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor thing to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ our Lord. Rom. 8:38, 39. ESV

Life is love, it’s what you do, it’s who you are and it’s all you need. The Beatles said it best (showing my age):

All you need is love, love – love is all you need.
Goodnight and God bless.

Looking for the love of God

Did you know that we don’t have to look for the love of God? He has already given us a guarantee that His love is ours to have. Read for yourself what God Himself says:

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rom. 8:38, 39.

We want to keep this promise of God at the forefront of our thoughts at all time to remind us that His love is here already. We only have to learn how to connect to it.

Our entire time together will be spent in learning how to make that love-connection with God so that every moment in your life can be filled with God moments.

And, if we also keep in mind that God is love, (1 John 4:16), every moment of our lives we stay connected with God are also our ‘love moments’.

However, it’s in the making of that love-connection with God in the first place that people run into problems….