Declaring Your Purpose
The time is approximately 28 A.D. Jesus and His disciples return to Jerusalem to celebrate a feast (Some scholars think it was Passover, others the Feast of Harvest). On the Sabbath, Jesus visits a pool called Bethesda, where many people would go to be cured of their infirmities. How so? God regularly sent an angel to Bethesda to ‘stir the waters;’ and the first person to enter the pool would be restored to health.
He came upon a man who was had been sick for 38 years. His sickness had weakened him so badly that he could never move fast enough to be the first in the pool and no one would carry him to it. Jesus healed him immediately. Well, that certainly did not bode well with the religious leaders of the day because Jesus broke the Rabbinical interpretation of the 4th of the Ten commandments, which declares that no work be done on the Sabbath day.
The Rabbis took it to the extreme, saying that no labor of any kind was to be done – including healing or saving lives. So they were frothing at the mouth over what Jesus had done. Indeed, at this point, some were even entertaining the idea of killing Him.
[On another occasion, our brave and bold Savior strutted right into a synagogue on the Sabbath and healed another man. He faced down the Pharisees, telling them that the Sabbath was made for man (as a time to reflect and bond with God), not to be terrorized by it; and He declared that He was Lord of the Sabbath. Thus, He was the final authority. (Mk. 2:27) Jesus further defied their twisted view and told them that doing good things on the Sabbath fell within the Mosaic Law. (Mt. 12:11, 12.)]
Getting back to our timeline, Jesus answers the wrath of the religious leaders over His poolside healing, by declaring who He is and what His purpose was:
My Father has worked [even] until now, [He has never ceased working; He is still working] and I, too must be at [divine] work. Jn. 5:17 AMP
This is the turning point in Christ’s ministry. He is now claiming His deity – saying that God is His unique Father and that He, Jesus, is doing His Father’s work.
Needless to say, His adversaries were lathered into a frenzy because He placed Himself on the same level as God. Jesus does not relent:
“Truly, truly I say unto you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.” Jn. 5:19 ESV
Christ is proclaiming that He is a direct extension of God’s will and that His Father’s power courses through Him. Why does God do that?
“For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all the things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel.” Jn. 5:20 NKJV
In other words, God will enable Jesus to work more miracles in order to try to open the stubborn hearts of the Jews, so that they might choose to enter into His kingdom.
Jesus then elaborates about the magnitude of the authority conferred upon Him by Jehovah God:
“For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes. For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.” Jn. 5:21 – 23. NASB
This is HUGE. Jesus is saying that He has both the power over the resurrection process in God’s ultimate end plan for all the people He has and will create and that Christ is in charge of the subsequent dispensation of those resurrected.
Note too that Jesus says that we are to honor Him just like we would God Himself. This is a big bone of contention with the Jewish and Islamic faiths, as well as some Christian sects. However, Jesus has just said (and He is the living word of God) that when we honor Him, it is a direct honor to God as well.
Jesus winds this up with a jab at His naysayers, trying to get them to see what will happen to them when they stand in opposition to His purpose:
“…the very works that I do – bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me…You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form. But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent you do not believe. You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.” Jn. 5:36 – 40. NKJV
“Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father, the one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have set your hope. For if you believed Moses, you would believe in Me, for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?” Jn. 5:45 – 47. NASB
You can’t say that Jesus didn’t give them a chance. He stood right in front of His detractors and offered life. They refused. He told them that the Old Testament was filled with prophecy about Him – even from Moses himself. (Dt. 18:18)
What does all this have to do with you? When you make your Jesus contact, you become an official child of God. That is your declaration of who you are.
When you are a follower of Jesus, you also have a purpose to declare. What is that purpose?
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded of you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Mt. 28:19, 20. NKJV
And because you are a chosen declarer of that purpose, God equips you to carry it out:
“…do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.” Mt. 10:19, 20. NKJV
Furthermore, you must also declare your purpose, which is God’s purpose, by living it out in your actions:
“…what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the LORD…” Dt. 10:12, 13. NKJV
“…to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; when you see the naked that you cover him, and not hide from your own flesh?” Is. 58:6, 7. NKJV
…to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? Mic. 6:8 NKJV
“…love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” Jn. 13:34, 35. NKJV
If you’re letting Christ shine through you in these ways, people will want to come to you to see what you’ve got and where it came from. Surely then, you are carrying out your purpose by offering them the eternal life of the Light…
Goodnight and God bless.
May 26 2016 | experiencing god's love | No Comments »
Keeping the Message Pure
Jesus and His disciples are having dinner at His latest apostolic convert’s house (that would be Matthew). At this point in Jesus’ ministry, the Pharisees are following Him around to try to catch Him doing something for which they can accuse Him of blasphemy. True to form, they got upset because Jesus’ disciples weren’t fasting. Jesus replies:
“Can you make the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days.” Lk. 5:34, 35. ESV
Jesus is saying that when He (the bridegroom) was with His disciples, it was time for rejoicing, not mourning. He is also alluding (unbeknownst to the Pharisees) that He is also aware of His impending death and resurrection.
In addition, Jesus is insinuating that He is the ultimate authority with regards to the correct interpretation of God’s word. Indeed, He then plies them with His first recorded parable to offer greater illumination:
“No one tears a piece from a new garment and puts it on an old garment. If he does, he will tear the new, and the piece of the new will not match the old. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins.
And no one after drinking old wine desires new, for he says, ‘The old one is good.’ “ Lk. 5:36 – 39. ESV
In the example of the garment, Jesus is describing a process well-known at that time, whereby his hearers understood that using a new piece of cloth to patch an old piece of clothing would tear away unless it was first ‘preshrunk’ with pressure + heat + moisture.
What Jesus was trying to get the Pharisees to understand was that their ways (often twisted) of Judaism could not contain the New Covenant message because His gospel was not a patch for the old system.
Similarly, the people in Jesus’ time also understood that new fermenting wine must be put into new wineskins that could hold the pressure caused by the ‘out-gassing’ in that process.
What He’s telling the Pharisees is that they can’t mix His message with their old one. Moreover, He finishes His parable by pointing out that they want to stubbornly cling to their old ways and are unwilling to listen to His gospel.
That is not to say that the Mosaic Law does not have its place, but that’s a long discussion for another time. It’s just that the Pharisees had corrupted it with their own traditions and man-made interpretations. God is very clear about keeping His message pure:
“You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.” Dt. 4:2 NKJV
Every word of God is pure…Do not add to His words, lest He rebuke you… Pr. 30:5, 6. NKJV
So here we have God speaking through both Moses and King Solomon, commanding us to keep His word pure. Jesus Himself speaks of His reverence for the Law:
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass away from the Law until all is accomplished.” Mt. 5:17, 18. ESV
Jesus came to bring the Law into its final evolution.
At the end of the Bible, we have the book of The Revelation of Jesus Christ – a sweeping landscape that encompasses the advent of the first and second coming of Christ and the victory of the gospel over evil. At that book’s end, we find a similar admonishment against distorting the gospel message as God speaks through the apostle John:
If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. Rv. 22:18, 19. NKJV
It doesn’t get any clearer than that. If we’re speaking of things spiritual, we must speak what God speaks and nothing else. After all, Jesus Himself is the Living Word of God; and what does He say?
My teaching is not My own, but His Who sent Me. If any man desires to do His will (God’s pleasure), he will know (have the needed illumination to recognize, and can tell for himself), whether the teaching is from God, or whether I am speaking from Myself and of My own accord and on My own authority. Jn. 7:16, 17. AMP
Jesus speaks for His Father; and as we seek Them out, They will illuminate our spirit to know that.
We have been entrusted with God’s salvation message and commanded to spread it to everyone we can. (Lk. 24:44 – 48.)
Those that ‘do their own thing’ instead will pay a heavy price:
If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth… 1 Tim. 6:3 – 5. ESV
We definitely do not want to listen to them nor be counted among them.
We are privileged with a Holy Spirit-empowered job to do. Let’s keep that message pure, which we can do when we keep our Jesus contact…
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded of you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Mt. 28:19, 20. NKJV
Goodnight and God bless.
May 21 2016 | experiencing god's love | No Comments »
Author Finisher, Founder and Perfecter of your faith
No faith, no God. Oh, God is still there, but He doesn’t connect with the unfaithful. Faith is the bedrock of Christianity:
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Heb. 11:1 NASB
When Jesus began preaching, He lamented over the lack of faith in the Jews regarding His message:
Unless you see signs and miracles happen, you [people] will never believe (trust, have faith) at all. Jn 4:8 AMP
Jesus was approached by a nobleman who urged Him to come to his home and heal his dying son. That’s what prompted His afore-mentioned utterance. Yet, He pours His compassion forth and says:
“Go your way; your son lives.” So the man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him, and he went his way. Jn. 4:50 NKJV
The son was healed before the man got home! Why? It’s because the nobleman had placed his faith in Jesus’ words.
Shortly thereafter, Jesus returned to Nazareth and began to preach in a synagogue. He starts by laying out His entire purpose for coming to this world by quoting Is. 61, 62:
“The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” Lk. 4:18, 19. NKJV
The ‘acceptable year of the Lord’ is alluding to the ‘year of the Jubilee,’ which was a specified year when all debtors and slaves were set free in Israel. Jesus is saying that He came to set them free from spiritual darkness and the consequences it brings.
All eyes are on Jesus when He delivers the clincher:
“Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” Lk. 4:21 NKJV
How did the people of Nazareth respond? They scoffed at Him because they were blinded by their familiarity with Him due to the fact that He grew up in that town. They had no faith. Guess what? Neither did they receive any miracles.
Even Satan and his demons have faith in Jesus. When Jesus was preaching in another synagogue in Capernaum, the devil entered into a man who stood up and said:
Now there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit. And he cried out saying, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did you come to destroy us? I know who you are – the Holy One of God!” Mk. 1:23, 24. NKJV
The people in that town had faith and brought all of their sick and demon-possessed to Jesus for miracle cures, and He healed them all!
While still in Galilee, Jesus was approached by a leper who entreated Him:
“If you are willing, You can make me clean.” Mk. 1:40 NKJV
He brought his faith. He got his miracle. Indeed, many times that Jesus performed miracles, He stated that His ability to do so was facilitated by the recipient’s faith. (Lk. 7:50, 18:42; Mt. 9:22; Mk. 2:5.)
Let’s look at one more. Jesus went into the apostle Peter’s house to preach. Because the house was crammed to capacity, friends of a paralyzed man took the roof off the house and lowered their paralyzed friend to Jesus:
And when He saw their faith, He said to him, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.” Lk. 5:16 NKJV
There were scribes and Pharisees in the audience who went apoplectic with rage over Jesus’ claim to be able to forgive sins. Jesus read their minds and rebuked them, saying that in order to prove He had that power, He was going to heal the paralytic as well – which He did.
Christ has the power to overcome sin. Notice that He cleansed the man of his sins before He healed him. Consider too that it was the faith of the man’s friends that provided the atmosphere for Jesus’ healing power to manifest.
Faith is at the center of everything:
“And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” Mt. 21:22 ESV
“All things are possible to him who believes.” Mk. 9:23 NASB
Faith bonds all of God’s children as one. (Eph. 4;4 – 6.) Having faith is the only way to please God. (Heb. 11:6) We are justified and sanctified by it. (Rm. 3:28) It brings us divine strength (Ps. 125:1) and protection. (Ps. 31:23, 56:4, 71:5, 6.) Faith even wards off the devil himself. (1 Pt. 5:8, 9; Eph. 6:16.) Our happiness is based upon faith, our revelation, (Jm. 1:5, 6.) healing, (Jm. 5:15) as well as all the rest of God’s blessings.(Pr. 28:20; Lk. 1:45.)
So, where do we get this faith?
…God has allotted to each a measure of faith. Rm. 12:3 NASB
But the fruit of the Spirit is…faithfulness. Gal. 5:22 ESV
It comes from God Himself! He’s helping you do the believing. In fact, we can’t even understand the gospel message until that faith is activated. (2 Cor. 4:3, 4.) We must have the gift of God’s grace to be able to know Christ and have Him reside within us.
We continue to strengthen that faith by continually immersing ourselves in the hearing of our newfound understanding:
So faith comes by hearing [what is told], and what is heard comes by the preaching [of the message that came from the lips of Christ] (the Messiah Himself). Rm. 10;17 AMP
By faith you touch God, not by works. By faith you accept that Jesus has done everything – making us totally acceptable to God. In that faith, we act on the word of God, to live by it at all times. And what lies at the crux of that work? Your faith:
“This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” Jn. 6:29 NKJV
Your salvation in a nutshell…
So what’s left?
…let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith… Heb. 12:1, 2. ESV
Looking to Jesus, making that contact…
Goodnight and God bless.
May 13 2016 | experiencing god's love | No Comments »
Pursuing Your Salvation
Jesus was passing through Samaria with His apostles on their way to Galilee when they came upon a well. He sent His retinue to a nearby town to purchase food. After they left, a Samaritan woman approached the well and Jesus asked her to draw Him some water to drink.
The woman was taken aback because this Jewish man was speaking to her, a Samaritan, of whom the Jews normally held in great disdain because of their mixed-race (Jew and Assyrian) heritage. But Jesus doesn’t have a prejudicial bone in His body. He answers:
“If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” Jn. 4:10 NKJV
What is Jesus doing here? He’s pursuing her salvation! This is the merciful love of God, pouring out His grace – a free gift that perfects and prepares us for eternal life. We were created for this heavenly ‘love call’ to come in union with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The woman asks Jesus to tell her the whereabouts of this ‘living water.’ He ignores her question and instead begins to reveal the nature of it:
“Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” Jn. 4:13, 14. NKJV
Now, the woman’s curiosity is piqued, and she asks Jesus for some of His living water. However, He keeps her off balance until she can absorb the entirety of the message He has come to share. Instead of responding to her request, He tells her that He knows that she has been married and divorced five times and is presently shacking up with another guy.
Christ does not condemn her. He is bringing the depth of her sin to the light for her examination so that she could perceive her need for salvation. Then Jesus leaves the subject of her sin alone.
Our merciful God confronts us with love even in our darkest state. He provides a Light (Jesus) to help us see that we are living in a misery of our own making, caused by our sins that punish us. Hopefully, when He compassionately brings us to that place, we can dispense with our will to continue in our old ways – in that sensual selfishness that blocks the charitable hand of God.
Because Jesus is able to reveal the Samaritan’s past, she thinks Him a prophet; and the woman asks what she believes to be a relevant question about which temple she should worship at – either the one in Samaria or the other located in Jerusalem. He replies in a way that plunges her into greater contemplation:
“Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews.” Jn. 4:21, 22. NKJV
Jesus is saying that worshiping God will no longer be limited to designated physical settings. He’s also telling her that the Samaritan type of worship is a bastardized conglomeration of Mosaic Law and Assyrian paganism. And He’s letting her know that He is a Jew and that the Messiah comes from the Jews. Jesus continues:
“But the hour is coming, and is now here, when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is a spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” Jn. 4:23, 24. ESV
The time for worship is now. God is a Spirit occupying all space and time (as well as transcending them). Thus, He can be worshiped anywhere at anytime. Jesus is opening the woman’s ears to hear that God is available to all sincere worshipers regardless of race or ethnicity.
How do we worship in the spirit? We begin in baptism when we allow our spirit to subjugate our flesh.
Jesus has worked His wonder. The woman’s spiritual eyes begin to open and she expresses her heartfelt yearning:
I know that the Messiah is coming, He who is called the Christ (the Anointed One); and when He arrives, He will tell us everything we need to know and make it clear to us. Jn. 4:25 AMP
In response, Jesus throws the doors of her salvation wide open. Turning to her in His infinite compassion, He says:
“I who speak to you am He.” Jn. 4:26 NKJV
The Messianic age begins.
God created every one of us perfectly. However, we all carry an Adam-stained soul, which given to its own desires will perpetuate a life of transgression. We cannot solve this problem by ourselves. We need God to wash that stain away and let our perfection shine by living out the loving grace of that God within.
We can only do that if we satisfy that innate thirst we have for Him that He placed in our hearts at birth. And that will only happen when we make our Jesus contact – allowing Him to pursue our salvation…
Goodnight and God bless.
May 05 2016 | experiencing god's love | No Comments »
The Bible tells us that Satan bore enmity towards Christ even at the time of Adam and Eve. (Gn. 3:15; Rv. 12:4, 5.) Much later, he even tried to kill the baby Jesus through King Herod. (Mt. 2:13 & 16.)
But we see that the devil’s first direct encounter with the incarnate Christ happened just after Jesus’ baptism:
Then, Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit, being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days, He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry. Luke 4:1 NKJV
So, the moment Jesus set Himself upon His God-quest, the devil attacked Him with temptations, attempting to sway Christ from fulfilling His Divine mandate.
Similar attacks come against God’s children when they are making an effort to do the same. Indeed, they are continually in Satan’s line of fire. Jesus says:
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” Jn. 10:10 NKJV
The devil is not your friend:
Be sober minded; be watchful. Your adversary prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Pet. 5:8 ESV
Let’s look at how Satan attacked Jesus in this first encounter, as well as the way He thwarted it:
Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” Mt. 4:3 NKJV
Jesus was famished from His 40-day fast. The devil is making an effort to leverage this, trying to tempt Him into satisfying the ‘lust of the flesh’ – to rely upon His own resources instead of keeping faith in His Father to pull Him through.
Check out Jesus’ first line of defense:
“It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ “ Mt. 4:3 NKJV
Christ sets this example for all of us. He defends Himself by using the word of God (in this case, quoting Dt. 8:3). When we use and walk by God’s word, He covers us with His armor by giving us access (through our faith) to His truth, righteousness, unshakeable peace and salvation so that we can successfully resist the adversary. (Eph. 6:11-18.) When we align ourselves with God spiritually, He will see that our physical needs are met as well.
Satan launched a second attack against Jesus by taking Him to the top of the temple and asking Him to prove that He is the Son of God by jumping to the ground – depending upon angels to come and keep Him from harm.
The devil quotes scripture to back him up! (Ps. 91:11, 12.) But, he’s using it out of context to suit his own purpose. That’s why it’s so important for you to stay in the word of God so as to know its right application – freeing you from the Satan’s efforts to twist those same words.
In this attempt, Satan is trying to tempt Christ into giving into the ‘pride of life,’ to cast His humility aside and exalt Himself. Jesus fires back again with the word of His Father:
“On the other hand, it is written, ‘YOU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD YOUR GOD TO THE TEST.’ “ Mt. 4:7 NASB
In other words, we are to take God’s words as truth (by faith), believing that they will be fulfilled, instead of arrogantly demanding that fulfillment.
Having failed on his second attempt, Satan finally takes Jesus to the top of a high mountain and shows Him all the kingdoms of man throughout time, offering to give them to Him if He will worship him.
(Notice that the devil says that those kingdoms are his to give – suggesting that he is working behind the scenes of all governments. Hmmm. Still, this is only a half-truth, because ultimate authority always belongs to God.)
In this final attempt, Satan is trying to get Jesus to choose riches and power over the will of God, to satisfy the ‘lust of the eyes.’ Thus, we see that a craving for these things amounts to devil worship.
Jesus is not swayed. He rides this altercation to victory with God’s word – quoting Dt. 10:20:
Begone, Satan! For it is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him alone shall you serve. Mt. 4:10 AMP
The word of God is our life. The devil will attempt to steal it away at every opportunity. Look and see how effective he’s been at doing that around the world. That’s why we need to marinate ourselves in His word daily, so that we own our salvation – rising above the ways of the world with its lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and the pride of life.
Thankfully, we’ve got Jesus on our side:
The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. 1 Jn. 3:8 NASB
The devil wasn’t done with Christ however. He invaded the mind of Judas Iscariot so that Jesus would be betrayed and crucified. (Jn. 13:2) Yet, he didn’t foresee Jesus’ resurrection. Another BIG victory for us:
In the world you will have tribulation and trials and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage, be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.] Jn. 16:33 AMP
Eventually, near the end of time, Jesus will vanquish all of Satan’s followers with the word of God again (…the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him…Rv. 20:21.) and ultimately tosses the devil himself into the abyss for all time. (Rv. 20:10).
Until then, we know that with regards to his attempts to sabotage our lives, he is beatable. He looks to exploit the weakest chink in our armor. However, the devil cannot make us do anything. He only has the power that we give him. We have the free will to choose God or Satan. There is no in between.
When you wear the word of God, clinging to your Jesus contact, you are invincible to the devil’s machinations:
Yet the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen [you] and set you on a firm foundation and guard you from the evil [one]. 2 Thess. 3:3 AMP
Goodnight and God Bless.
April 29 2016 | experiencing god's love | No Comments »
The third example the Bible gives us for emulating Christ so as to facilitate our contact with Him, is when Jesus presents Himself to John the Baptist for His own baptism.
When John sees Jesus approach, he is stirred in his spirit, which reveals to him that this Man approaching him is the Messiah. John exclaims:
“Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He on behalf of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who has higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’ “ Jn. 1:29, 30 NASB
John is referring to Christ’s prior existence as a pure Spirit being, because in the flesh, John was Jesus’ cousin and six months older than Him.
John protests at Jesus’ request, claiming that He should be baptizing John. Jesus replies:
“Let it be so for now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Mt. 3:15 ESV
Jesus did not need to be baptized for the same reasons we do. He was pure righteousness (sinless). He was showing us by example, the path that was vital for the procurement of our salvation.
For Jesus, His baptism marked the beginning of His earthly ministry through His Holy Spirit empowerment.
Later, (after Jesus confronts the devil, gathers His first five apostles, turns water into wine at Cana and drives the money-changers out of the temple), we become privy to a conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus (a Jewish theologian and member of the Sanhedrin), whereby Christ explains the significance of baptism for man:
I assure you, most solemnly tell you, that unless a person is born again (anew, from above), he cannot ever see (know, be acquainted with, and experience) the kingdom of God. Jn. 3:3 AMP
So, you cannot get into the kingdom of God in any other way – not by high standing in government or society, by riches, race, place of birth, good deeds or religious training.
Entrance into the kingdom is only granted to those who allow God to birth them anew by changing what’s in their hearts. One’s continued presence in God’s kingdom is assured when those same people do their best to live by those changes.
“Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” Jn. 3:5 NKJV
[Note: Some biblical scholars believe that Jesus is addressing the physical act of water baptism as well as the Spiritual one. Others think that the ‘water’ He is referring to, is that water God promised for cleansing the heart – prophesied by Ezekiel. (Ezek. 36:25 – 27.)]
Seeing as how we are talking about baptism, let’s explore the first interpretation. Water baptism is required by God as a public confession of our faith in His Son and what He accomplished on the cross. In fact, the resurrected Christ’s final words were these:
“Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved.” Mk. 16:15, 16. ESV
Earlier in His ministry, Jesus revealed His Father’s imperative regarding this act:
“Also I say to you, whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man will also confess before the angels of God. But he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God.” Lk. 12:8, 9. NKJV
Water baptism is also a way that we can help bring others into the kingdom of God by this external example of our faith. Without faith, the act of baptism would be worthless, the water just water. It is through making the connection of the water to the word of God by faith that fulfills our requirement.
However, water baptism by itself is not the way to salvation. It’s a declaration of one’s faith in salvation through the Spirit – a metaphorical demonstration of your being re-birthed as a newly cleansed child of God through the forgiveness of your sins.
You are making a faith confirmation that you’re old ‘worldly self’ has been buried (symbolized by the water immersion) and that your ‘spiritual self’ has been resurrected cleansed from sin (metaphorically by rising out of the water). We must die to the life we’ve lived and the meanings we brought to it so that we can live a new life whose meaning is revealed by the word of God.
Water baptism begins with your repentance of the actions of your flesh and ends with your declaration of faith in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
True salvation (becoming righteous in the eyes of God through the blood of Christ) is fulfilled when you ask God for your Spiritual new birth. (Jn. 3:6 – 8.) Once baptized in the Spirit, you become a child of God – eternally related to Him in the most intimate way.
The spirit and the flesh are separate from one another. Our spirit animates the flesh. When we are born again, the Holy Spirit changes us inwardly, taking us from sinfulness to holiness so that we can enter into the presence of God. You are ‘born again’ when the Spirit brings the word of God to life in you. That rebirth is continually preserved through your obedience to that word. (1 Pet. 1:22, 23.)
It is vital that you be born again because prior to that act, you are spiritually dead, morally corrupt and living on borrowed time. There is nothing that you can personally do to change that other than to petition God, in faith, to access His free gift:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 1 Pet. 1:3 – 5. ESV
Thus, declaring Christ as our Savior is part of our water baptism public profession and our confession of faith to God as we ask for our Holy Spirit re-birthing. Jesus is why salvation is possible.
Our part is not to satisfy ourselves with an intellectual baptism. There is no strength or permanency in that. The flesh and its cravings are strong. We must yield our will to the Lord, allowing Him to mold us into His original intentions for us (Jer. 29:11), strengthening us to walk a godly walk even in the face of temptation. (1 Cor. 10:13)
When you truly own your baptism, sins (past, present and future) will become a reason to celebrate the love of God and His mercy as He pulls you out of them, giving you the opportunity to glorify Him.
We pay tribute to God for filling us with His life through the Holy Spirit, and to Christ for living that life through us (Gal. 2:20). We cannot walk our godly walk under our own power. Only through Jesus is that a possibility.
Because God loves you so much He made a way for you to meet the demands that His righteousness and holiness make upon you and to satisfy the punishment that He said would be meted out (death) when you violated that. He gave over His sinless Son to die a vicarious death for you so that His blood could make you free.
When we accept this gift, we are delivered from our obsession over the guilt we associate with our transgressions, which is a sin in and of itself because God never intended for us to mercilessly punish ourselves.
We understand that we are sinners, but it’s not about what we do but what Christ has done and continues to do for us. It’s our faith in God’s grace and mercy that makes them manifest – uniting our spirit with His. Our divine pardon is not based upon our feelings but on our trust in God.
Even so, we don’t want to focus on our transformation for assurance (setting up our transformed self as our savior) but must always return to Jesus in every moment for His mercy – clinging to His promise of forgiveness, a covenant that remains unshaken because God never breaks a promise.
Your baptism is a celebration of life, a tribute to your Jesus contact, and acknowledgment of God doing the work through Christ on the cross. We are initiated into the Church of Christ. We are free from the manipulated intentions of the devil and set upon the beginning of the path of our eternal spiritual fulfillment.
As we saw last time, to be about our Father’s business was to bring His salvation message (the very same message that we acknowledge in our baptism) to as many people as possible. But you cannot do that until you invite Christ to live in you and you look to find Him in everyone else…
Goodnight and God bless.
April 20 2016 | experiencing god's love | No Comments »
About Our Father’s Business
In order to have a Jesus contact, we have to listen to how He communicates and watch how He acts. Why? Because the only way we make that contact is by emulating Him. That positions us for having a direct experience with Him.
The first time we are given an example to emulate (by looking at Jesus’ first recorded physical act) is found in the gospels when Jesus was approximately twelve years of age. He was with His family in Jerusalem for the celebration of Passover. They had traveled in a large retinue and during their return to Nazareth, Mary and Joseph discovered that Jesus was missing! Immediately, they returned to Jerusalem whereupon they found Him in the Temple:
…they found Him [came upon Him] in the [court of the] temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking questions. And all who heard Him were astonished and overwhelmed with bewildered wonder at His intelligence and understanding and His replies. Luke 2:46, 47. AMP
Obviously, Jesus was heavenly-equipped at an early age for His task. And what task was that? Well, we get to find out when Mary and Joseph came upon Him and expressed their magnitude of worry over His absence. Jesus’ reply tells all:
Did you not see and know that it is necessary [as a duty] for Me to be in My Father’s house and [occupied] about My Father’s business? Luke 2:49 AMP
If we are to try to be like Jesus, we have to be about our Father’s business as well. And what is that business? It’s to bring the message of the light of salvation to everyone we meet – just like He did:
“Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” Jn. 1:29 NASB
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” Jn. 3:16 – 18. NKJV
I am the Door; anyone who enters in through Me will be saved (will live). He will come in and he will go out [freely], and will find pasture. The thief only comes in order to kill and steal and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows). I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd risks and lays down His [own] life for the sheep. Jn. 10:9 – 11. AMP
God loves us all so much. He wants all of us to take that eternal ride with Him. This is a life or death message! As you can see, those that don’t know Christ are potentially condemned; and those who reject Him, well, there’s no ‘potential’ about it.
God is not asking you to take on a supernatural task, to become a super communicator; He’s only asking you to tell the Truth. God will do the work for His intended outcome.
You will be blessed in return. Let’s face it. No human being fully realizes him or herself and their happiness until they are freely practicing their rightful purpose – to serve God by serving others, i.e. by answering your highest calling.
Of course to serve in this fashion you will have to make some changes. Not in yourself. Christ never asks us to change who we are; He asks us to change our thoughts and actions. So we need to express these changes that our hope in the gospel has brought us – presenting ourselves as levelheaded, sensible, loving and filled with integrity and godly wisdom in spite of the swill that surrounds us in this world.
We’re here to share the joy in our salvation, telling of the ‘yes’ that God is holding out for everyone – a guarantee of eternal love and reconciliation in spite of one’s history. He did that by sacrificing His Son for His fallen children, so that they might receive the Holy Spirit to facilitate their repentance and bolster their faith in the grace of God’s forgiveness.
Every time we speak of this gracious gift, we are speaking for Christ, acting for Christ, and thus journeying towards greater contact with our Jesus…
April 15 2016 | experiencing god's love | No Comments »
Contact: the state of meeting or communicating
Unarguably, the coming of Christ to this earth was the most important event in post-creational history. He came to save us from ourselves – to unite us with the Father, through Him, for all of eternity.
In order to have that happen, we have to come in contact with Jesus. We can’t do that with our five senses, which are but elements of our flesh. Christ is a Spirit, as is His Father.
Jesus petitioned for, and God provided us with, the Holy Spirit so that through our connection between the Spirit and the piece of God our Creator planted within each of us (our spirit), we could make that contact. We make it through Holy Spirit-enabled prayer, in the course of revelation from observing Jesus’ life and by making His word the light by which we live. Doing that, we can have the intimate experience of Christ in order to receive His grace in this world and beyond.
He laid His life down so that we might once again be part of His Father’s temple – where God Himself resides. This new series then, is about that journey to full contact…
In the beginning [before all time] was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself. He was present originally with God. All things were made and came into existence through Him; and without Him was not even one thing made that has come into being. In Him was life, and the Life was the Light of men. Jn. 1:1 – 4. AMP
The Word existed prior to any physical beginning – no universe or inhabitants thereof. Christ is the eternal Word that God spoke to create everything. Jesus in turn, spoke about the Father to us. He made contact.
The Word was with God, so He was distinct from His Father and yet in complete harmony because they were distinctly alone with each other – creating in unison.
The word was God. This is the cornerstone of the Trinitarian concept. Whether or not you accept that man-made treatise has no real consequences, as the complete understanding of the scriptural root of it is beyond our present ability to fully understand it. Nonetheless, according to the word of God (which by faith we must see as the unequivocal truth in order to be His child), Christ shares the powers of God (Heb. 1:3), He holds the entire universe together, God redeems the universe and its inhabitants through His Son and Jesus is the exact likeness of His Father. (Col. 1:15 – 20.)
God is a Spirit being, as is the Holy Spirit. The pre-incarnate Christ was also a Spirit being but is now a Spirit (God)-Man, the nature of which is beyond our comprehension. All Three share equal Divine attributes and exist within a unique harmonious relationship.
The Father puts forth His designs, which are created by the Son. Christ reveals God. The Holy Spirit reveals Christ and brings the spark of life to His creations. Similarly, God planned for our redemption, Jesus made it available on the cross, and the Holy Spirit imparts that salvation to God’s children.
There was a 1700’s theologian (Edward Swedenborg) who explained the ‘Trinity’ in this fashion: Jesus is the Son of God; and because God is infinite and cannot divide Himself without being finite, He must exist in Christ. After Jesus was resurrected, He re-arranged His human mind and body (was ‘glorified’) and became the God-Man. Prior to this glorification, Jesus’ human elements were not yet divine, which was why He spoke as if He and His Father were separate. But afterwards, God embodied Christ so that man could approach Him in his fallen state. Finally, Swedenborg taught that the Father was the Divine Soul, living in Christ (the Divine body), which proceeds out through the Holy Spirit (Divine love and wisdom) to work the salvation of man. Makes sense to me.
This first scripture also says that Jesus is the ‘light of men.’ The prophet Micah said:
He will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold His righteous deliverance. Mic. 7:9 AMP
Micah was speaking of God, who was going to bring His ‘light’ (Christ) for the deliverance of man.
See too how God prophesied over the baby Jesus regarding the same, through a man named Simeon when the Christ child was presented at the Temple:
“For my eyes have seen Your salvation which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel.” Luke 2:30 – 32. NKJV
A ‘light’ for all peoples of this earth. Can you see the immeasurable magnitude of who Jesus is and who and what He represents? It’s mind-boggling. As we get to know Christ, our contact begins…
Goodnight and God bless.
April 09 2016 | experiencing god's love | No Comments »
The way we were:
It started out innocently enough. A voice inside said, ‘This world and the people in it are dangerous. Let me show you the way not to get hurt.’ It called itself ‘you,’ and you believed.
Immediately, a dark spirit entered and layered the voice with malevolent suggestions, hoping you’d take ownership of them. The spirit hoped for your death, physical or mental, so as to try to take a stab at the heart of God.
The real you was buried at the bottom of a dark well of furiously swirling thoughts, designed to get you to sleep through life. That’s not what God wants for you:
…if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. Jn. 8:36 NKJV
God sent His Son to die, to deliver your spirit. It’s time to claim that deliverance. That freedom is readily yours – even in the pitfalls of the worldly experience that tries to make you its own.
We begin by looking at the prison we constructed to barricade the person that we thought we were. We can compassionately acknowledge ourselves for the powerful creativity we possess that constructed this intricate (if warped) survival mechanism. Then we seek to understand what the payoff has been: a life lived in a safe (?) cocoon of melancholy, where we believe we’ll know everything that’s going to happen next. Also realize the cost: a life without love.
This is the foundation of human suffering. Only when we acknowledge our suffering can we be ready to receive God’s deliverance from it.
Stepping into change:
There comes a time in your life (if you want to have a life) when you have to stop intellectualizing about your problems, get off of your butt and apply the solutions to them. Why?
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. Pr. 23:7 NKJV
It has always been a head game that you’ve been playing against yourself. Thus, you need to change the rules of that game. If you want change, you must do change. No more status quo between your ears. You must become a perpetual seeker of truth and align your thoughts and actions with it. You’ve lost some precious time, but your true heart still lives inside you; you only have to let it out.
Make a contract with yourself that you will adhere to assiduously. I found what I thought was an exceptional construct in a book titled The Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz. They are:
1. Be impeccable with your word
If you are, you’re always speaking the truth, speaking from your heart. Life only works when you live by the truth; and the truth can only be comprehended if you’re conscious.
2. Don’t take anything personally
Most of the time, what you hear coming out of the mouths of unconscious people are the ramblings of that voice in their head. Being that it’s mostly lies, taking them personally makes no sense.
3. Don’t make assumptions
Assumptions are never based upon truth. They are guesses at best, and so they have at least a 50% chance at being false.
4. Always do your best
When you do your best, you create a space for truth. So what if that voice in your head complains? * When you do your personal best that’s all God asks of you. The outcome is whatever it is, and it is certainly no place for judgment.
*(It’s going to scream bloody murder in the beginning because change heralds the demise of its control over you.)
What is this change? It’s really about going home – back to the center of yourself where God resides, as does your authentic self. Give thanks to God for returning your awareness of your salvation so you can begin life anew in a sea of possibility.
Pray, which can only be done in the present. Ask for healing love, faith, and the revelation of your part to play in God’s plan. It will always be a way in which He can use you to express His love.
Open yourself up to receive God’s mercy. When you’re in a state of grace, the voice has no opening for attack. Love yourself like God loves you – unconditionally. Claim that perfect image of God that you are, and draw upon His limitless strength.
As you continue working God’s plan, your detours in life will be minuscule; and as God continues to unfold your shining spirit, the closer you will resemble His Son. See every event in life as an opportunity to get to know God better.
Acknowledge yourself for trying to survive life the best way you knew how with the tools you had at that time. Then shift your focus to what God wants, and how you can make that happen using your new contract with yourself – staying awake and living consciously. Let go of any beliefs and / or strategies that get in the way. As you let go of your dark trappings, your essence peeks through: luminescent and already on the job.
Live your life with no expectations except that of receiving the next surprise in the present moment. Flow with the flux of life. Every time that something you thought was essential to your security is removed from your life, know that it is a blessing from God – a reminder that your peace of mind is found in Him.
Embrace this ‘enlightenment’ that is not a mental epiphany, but is a celebration for being unshackled from an unworkable life – a commemoration for reconnecting to your heart. Take comfort and joy in the metamorphosis of your new life with the real you. Allow the memories of the dark places to remind you of the vital importance of staying on your journey through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Acknowledge and reward yourself daily for your progress. Journal your victories. Focus on the things you like about yourself as you become reacquainted with your authenticity. Set exciting goals that align with who you know yourself to be. Speak them; write them down – cradling them in present time and in a positive light, as you picture yourself within them. What do you want to be, do and have? By when? Create goals that are associated with what makes you the happiest, brings you the most growth and adds to the greater good of everyone around you. Ask God for help.
Project yourself outwards. God lives within you. You are love. When you share that, you reinforce your love. Commit to acts of love, compassion and kindness that recognize the sanctity of life, demonstrate justice and righteousness and nurtures loving communication.
Consort with others who walk your path to remind you of your quest, help you stay committed, to rekindle your hope and to hold you to your authenticity. Find a mentor in that circle that has accomplished themselves further along on the path – someone trustworthy to reflect your mind back to you to help you root out any unconsciousness, to get you in touch with the answers already inside you and to mercilessly spur you on, so that you don’t stop along the way to congratulate yourself for finally ‘knowing everything.’
Enlightenment is a life-long process for getting closer to God and to better reflect His love. In addition, when you open your heart wide enough, everyone will have something to teach you.
The sooner you return to your authentic self, the faster your life will commence. The cost of not sitting with reality is great. Your battle is not with the world. The world is neutral. It only reflects back to you what is going on in your head. Happy head = happy world. The world can offer you nothing that you don’t already have inside of you.
Have an immense respect for time! The world was made for you – perfect for your time in it. However, your allotment of that time is finite. You can’t afford to drown in unconsciousness, waiting for a better time when all things come together perfectly. THIS IS THE BETTER TIME. IT IS THE BEST TIME. IT IS THE ONLY TIME!!!
Life teeters on both the resplendent and the heartbreaking – both keeps us in check. The heartbreaking fuels our compassion and loving-kindness for others and ourselves. The resplendent inspires us on to greatness. Celebrate your victories, cultivate your present, and your future will be rich. There is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. The journey itself is the gold. God did not intend for you to have hell on earth. Life is different than what you have known. Take a leap of faith:
“This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!” Gn. 28:17 NKJV
Finally, Don’t let your path for enlightenment become part of the problem:
Don’t punish yourself by thinking you aren’t practicing your path correctly or with enough vigor. Otherwise, you’re using your path as just another way to denigrate yourself. There is no ‘right way’ to practice, only the next level of consciousness to grow into. Conversely, don’t allow yourself to become ‘puffed up’ with your newfound spirituality. That will only lead to you using your practice to build yourself up by tearing others down. That never works.
Finally, don’t use your path as a security blanket. It’s for helping you to engage with the world and its reality, not to help you hide from life…
Eight months ago, I began this journey with you. My intent was to help free people (Christian and secular alike) from their false concocted selves. I was met with some resistance from a few ‘Christians.’ Some were dogmatic saying that I wasn’t part of the ‘right denomination’ (the truth is I believe denominations are the root of most confusion about Christianity), another said I was quoting from the ‘wrong Bible’ (Really?), another was beside himself because I taught about meditation, telling me that one only had to pray, instead of leaning on ‘psychology.’
I purposely quoted from four different Bibles. I guess I didn’t pick the right one. (I’m only having a little fun here.) As far as mediation is concerned, not once did I propose someone convert to Buddhism. The Bible talks about meditating. It’s only just a tool for focusing your mental attention. As far as psychology is concerned, all I did was glean the observances of human behavior over many a millennia. There is no mystery, and it was all well-researched before Freud ever came along. (Eg. Proverbs.)
We are far better Christians when we support each other in our endeavors to extend the kingdom of God.
My purposes for this monumental exercise are clear: The devil has been on the attack since Adam and Eve. One look around you will tell you that he’s pretty successful. Only when we understand how he works will we be able to resist him. Only by seeing the nature of the common suffering of the human race can we attend to a correct application of successful solutions.
With an emphatic ‘yes,’ prayer is the right solution. My only hope in this entire quest is that you come away with the ability to ask better questions when you do, and act accordingly when you receive your answers. It’s about damage control.
The path I presented for getting to know oneself and live a happy life is one that I’ve gleaned from the wisdom of God and from others who got theirs from God. It’s only one path. Take what you need (that which resonates with your heart) and mold your own path. Your journey is unique to you.
Be kind to yourself. Find out what works and what doesn’t. Listen to your heart because that’s where God packs His wisdom. It comes out while you pray and when you concentrate on His word. Trust in God to bring you what is best.
Don’t be afraid. You knew how to fly as a child. It’s like riding a bicycle. You still can. Take that jump and let your spirit shine.
Everything will happen in its right time as you find the authentic perfect you – living the perfect life, wrapped up in perfect Love. I am profoundly awed by all who commit to living from their heart. I hope that I have made a meaningful contribution to yours…
The Native American Indians talk about the ‘Red Road of Life.’ It is a righteous path that one walks in a sacred manner, in order to please the Great Spirit and be at one with Him and His creations. They say it was created even before any of us were conceived and that it is available to all who seek a spiritual way towards a life of enlightenment that has no end. According to a publisher (Dorothy Daigle) who studies the Hopi Indian culture, the Red Road requires that one utilize seven principles of behavior to be able to walk upon it. I find those ripe with metaphorical innuendos and thought you might enjoy the similarities with our Christian principles:
1. Show awe, gratitude, love and respect for all creation.
2. Trust in the Great Spirit and accept my circumstances, knowing that when I overcome the adversities within, there will be spiritual growth.
3. Seek to purge my heart of evil intent.
4. Repent and humbly surrender my will to become one with the Great Spirit.
5. Communicate with the Great Spirit and live out my insights.
6. Learn true abstinence (selflessness) – serving others with loving kindness, and in turn receive the flow of living waters, which purify my heart.
7. Become harmonious with the Red Road – loving others unconditionally because that is who I am.
It sounds exactly like what God (the Great Spirit) has been telling us in His word for over 3000 years. It is my sincere wish to meet you all on the Red Road of Life – on that path devoid of anything but what the Great Spirit wants us to embrace, immeasurably joyful in each other’s presence, smiles deeply creasing our faces as we wait in an unknowing awe for whatever the next precious moment will bring…
God bless you everyone.
March 31 2016 | experiencing god's love | No Comments »
The best way to stop our age-old adversary dead in his tracks is by empowering our children with the truth – by keeping them aware, creating a safe home environment and helping them see the strength of God within them. That way, they won’t open the door to the enemy in the first place.
So if we want to raise conscious (godly) children, we ourselves need to become conscious parents first, so that we don’t infect them with our old unconsciousness. We need to think and act the way we want our children to.
How does that look? Mom and Dad need to co-create a home that provides peace, love, joy and exhortation – a place that nurtures a thriving family in an environment free of hostile conflict. This breeds an atmosphere where the children could immerse themselves in the experience of being a child as long as possible.
‘Family’ is the single most important, most sacred expression of relationship. God Himself created it through His first established institution – marriage.
The commitment to that marriage is inviolate in the minds and hearts of conscious parents. The children draw from the strength of that commitment – forming bedrock they can cling to, a template that is planted into their consciousness from which they can successfully base their future relationships upon.
Conscious parents spend time with their kids rather than shipping them off to government-indoctrinating preschools or after-school programs and sports they have no interest in – just to satisfy vicarious needs some unconscious parents attempt to satiate through their children, in order to fill some perceived hole in their own upbringing.
Mindful Moms and Dads express their love for one another – setting the example by practicing loving speech, with no tolerance for criticism, sarcasm or disrespect. We don’t want our children to suffer the pain of the unconsciousness we had thrust upon us. However, we must teach them about this deleterious mindset so that they can find a place in their hearts to grow selflessness, compassion and a desire to reach out and help others find freedom from their pain.
Children are mini versions of us. They want the same things: love, acceptance, understanding and acknowledgement. They need to get those things from their parents and see Mom and Dad giving them to each other. We can help them be peace and love by seeing that in us.
Let them know that your love (just like God’s) will never be withdrawn. Teach them that who they are is totally lovable, and that the only thing they ever need to do in life is apply their best efforts. Tell them it will always be enough.
Inform them that we don’t have all the answers. It will make you more human, allows them to be the same and takes the pressure off of all of us. As a family, come together to pray to have those answers revealed from the One who does have them.
Tell your children life is sometimes difficult and that they will make mistakes. Whatever the outcomes, they only constitute lessons to be learned; but who they are remains flawless. They are a unique gift from God and everyone else possesses their uniqueness as well.
Break bread as a family. Mealtime provides for bonding, structure, routine and it increases your kid’s ability to communicate. It allows them to be children a little while longer yet teaches them civility as well. They eat healthier, their vocabulary increases, they learn problem solving and everyone gets to know each other on a deeper level.
What it’s not is a place for entertainment media distractions (computer, headphones, telephone, TV, radio, etc.) That only leads to inattentiveness and a loss of connection with the juice of life.
Give your children reasons for wanting to stay home. Make it fun, interesting and exciting through your interactions with them. Strive to make their experience different and transcendent from your own.
Children will be children. The tools that they have are limited to their level of maturity. There will be infractions. Mom and Dad must present a ‘united front’ regarding discipline. Consequences must always be delivered for noncompliance – in exactly the way you taught your child they would if they disobeyed. Parents must enforce their own boundaries so that the children will do the same and have respect for the boundaries of others.
Remember, all discipline must be applied with love and forgiveness.
A child cannot get too much love. Praise them for who they are. Let them see the joy that they bring you. You are their world. They are lost without you. That’s why it’s such an abomination when unconscious parents are cruel to their kids. As you’ve learned, a child does not blame their parents for their atrocities they blame themselves. Your children need to know that you are a safe refuge in times of trouble. If they don’t feel that way, they’ll go to someone or something else for comfort.
Give them all your attention so they learn how to live in the present moment. Channel their interests into beneficial and moral pursuits. Teach them to love learning. As we teach them, we must evaluate the contents by asking ourselves, ‘How is my child likely to interpret what I’m saying? What will it cost them to do what I want?’ The right answer to both these questions is ‘In ways that will make them grow.’
Finally, teach them to trust the guidance provided by their spirit and to seek their true value from God.
We cannot be a perfect parent, but we can give them perfect love…
Goodnight and God bless.
March 26 2016 | experiencing god's love | No Comments »