In our last post, Mom And Dad Are Working For The Devil, we followed the unconscious parents’ indoctrination of the message Satan created in the heads of Adam and Eve that they subsequently passed onto their children, who passed it on to their children, and so on throughout the ages.
The message was that Adam and Eve were created with a flaw, and the ultimate outcome was that they perceived themselves as unlovable and unacceptable.
Many parents do the same thing by teaching their children to conform to the ways of the world. This conflicts with what the God-nature of the child feels is right in his or her hearts; yet in order to try to get that love and acceptance from their parents, they attempt to become someone else who is compliant in those worldly ways.
They inculcate themselves with the ever-growing laundry list from their parents until this list takes on a life of its own. You see, these enormously creative human beings construct a new personality (ego) within themselves that encompass the laws of man. Ego’s job is to continually remind the child how to conform to ‘the list’ so that they can get some love and be protected from pain. It is a defensive cocoon against the outside world.
Ego is a creation for compensating for a lack that never existed. It is driven by fear and desire, and it mimics the voice of the devil himself – with his twin spirits of rejection and condemnation. This ‘voice’ starts out benevolent enough, instructing the child in how to comply with the ways of the world so that he or she doesn’t get punished and rejected for behavior that is unacceptable to its inhabitants. Life for the child becomes more about survival than about living.
But then it takes a dark turn. This ‘protector’ feeds on the power the child has given it and begins to resent him or her because it knows its existence is reliant upon its host’s perceived need for it. Ego knows that if the child were to return to its essence (God), the light of God would wipe the darkness out.
So what to do? It relentlessly reminds the child of its (imaginary) flaws so that they feel that the voice is necessary to survive in this ‘dangerous’ world. Indeed, the voice begins to sound a lot like an angry mom or dad. But worse, the child begins to identify that voice in their head as its own voice, so it doesn’t question the lies that ego spews forth. He or she forgot that they created this ego. The devil has set his hooks…
You too were a child. There’s a good possibility some of this mental construct is in you. Don’t blame yourself, you were too young to know what was happening and wouldn’t have any idea how to protect yourself if you did.
Mom and Dad aren’t the only culprits here. It’s just that your first exposure to this mental degradation comes from them.
You’re then pushed into schools that are solely invested in forwarding their socialization as per the dictates of the government’s agenda to get children to conform to mediocrity and to rob them of free thought. (Furthermore, they are filled with other kids who are experiencing the evil onslaughts of their own egos and projecting them outwards towards their fellow students.)
Should they not conform, the government / school arm belittles them, tries to drug them into a stupor, and isolates them by sending them to ‘continuation schools.’
[Don’t fool yourselves. Government by man (Babylon) is an evil necessity that God allows to reduce chaos until all the people who desire an eternity of love will return to Him and submit to the rule of the government of Christ. Look at what the devil told Jesus:
Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” Mt. 4:8, 9. NKJV
Satan cannot give anything away that was not given to him.]
Moreover, (at least in the U.S.) we have a media that fawns all over Babylon, never calling it to account over its nefarious intrusions. What they spew is whitewashed by that same government that abhors family values, hates the concept of family itself, and re-writes or ignores the word of God, as it demands your worship. This is the same media that sells human tragedy and criminal behavior as the human norm.
The final outcome? We (our children as well as ourselves) are lied to on every side. Yet nobody talks about it. We all try to hide our non-existent ‘bad parts’ – trying to change (‘I’ve got to improve!) by oppressing these illusions (‘I can’t let them see the real me!’), seeking a love that we cannot find because we’ve forgotten what it looks like, on account of we’ve stopped loving ourselves.
Our children pretend that all is well, but they know what they speak aloud is a lie. The devil sits back now, satisfied that another child bites the dust through his or her own thought processes that suck the life out of them.
Are you okay with that?
God gives each of His children a unique gift, one He wants them to share with the world on His behalf. It is through that sharing that each child grows into what He wants it to be. They become that by exercising their child-like faith and trust. When they do that, they are models of His kingdom:
Allow the little ones to come to Me, and do not forbid or restrain or hinder them, for of such [as these] is the kingdom of heaven composed. Mt. 19:14 AMP.
We as parents have a special stewardship, to the best of our ability, to help our children keep their God-given qualities – to stand in the gap, as a bridge for them, so that they can break away from how the world tries to mold them and return to the shining light of themselves. We need to help them to appreciate their uniqueness and to grow into it instead of trying to imitate someone else.
The best way we can do that is to make the same journey ourselves – to regain consciousness by returning to our God-essence:
‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, “Return to Me,” declares the LORD of hosts, “that I may return to you,” says the LORD of hosts.’ Zech. 1:3 NASB
We need to have an enormously loving, exalting presence in our children’s lives – forever reminding them of how special they (and everyone around them) are. (Big hint: We must own this for ourselves first, before we can pass it on to them.)
They must know that they’re perfect just the way they are, that there was never anything wrong with them, there is nothing wrong with them now, and there never will be anything wrong with them in the future. This builds self-respect and their acknowledgment of the perfection of God in them.
If a child has a need, we must meet it or painstakingly explain why their need may not be appropriate – all the while reassuring them that we love them dearly and that the denial of that need is for their greater good.
Let them know that you understand they may be sad or angry over that denial, that it’s normal, and that you will not judge them for those feelings but will help them work through them. Make them aware of the Godly hierarchy of conscious parental authority that you must exercise to nurture them, simultaneously offering them the opportunity to question your motivations. That is how they learn.
We must teach our children that we sometimes make bad choices and coach them in how to minimize that – simultaneously affirming that who they are remains unsullied. There may be bad things they’ve done, but they themselves are not, teaching them the way to forgiveness through Jesus Christ.
Once they realize there is no reason to reject themselves, they will know there is also no reason to create a false persona. They will also not be as vulnerable to their perceived rejection from others. When our children understand that external rejection only comes from the perpetrator’s pain, they can come from a place of compassion and forgiveness.
Along these same lines we let our children know that there is no failure. There are only outcomes that provide lessons to be learned – signposts that bring them closer to success. It’s not personal and does not devalue them. It’s only an indication that a certain path did not bring the desired result, but it was a victory nonetheless as it opens the way to the next opportunity to meet that challenge. Just like life.
Failure is an external event that happens to them but they control what happens in them. As long as they push through the fear, remain teachable and stay willing to take the next step, they will succeed. The only real failure comes when you stop trying.
Can you see the godly armor they will construct?
Most of all help your children connect with God. Get them into His word and teach them to love and serve His every living creation.
Imagine the victory if we, the parents, did the same thing for ourselves?
Praise God for the road to victory!
Goodnight and God bless.
August 01 2015 | experiencing god's love | No Comments »
Most parents don’t know that. It’s an unconscious process. How did this come about? It was a process that spanned generations – beginning with Adam and Eve. (See last post: How The Devil Stole Your Soul)
When they sinned against God, their relationship with Him was dramatically altered. Adam and Eve subsequently lived in fear of their Creator because their disobedience cut off His connection with them. They believed the devil when he told them they could be something more than the perfection that God created in them, (suggesting there was something missing). Instead, when they acted upon Satan’s suggestion to break God’s commandment, all they got was fear, isolation, guilt and shame because they then felt unacceptable and unloved by Him.
Moreover, they passed this mindset onto their children. How do we know that? We only have to look at Cain – their firstborn child:
…Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous. 1 Jn. 3:12 NKJV
So, Satan infiltrated Cain. The devil cannot plant seeds in your head if your soul has a healthy, righteous outlook on life. Cain’s head was fertile for planting. We can see that he was jealous of his brother (thinking himself less than Abel and that he must be unacceptable to God – which led to rage, and finally to murder).
Prior to Cain murdering his brother, he had a brief conversation with God, whereupon He set him straight:
‘Why are you angry? And why do you look sad and depressed and dejected? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin crouches at your door; its desire is for you, but you must master it.’ Gn. 4:6, 7. AMP
God told Cain that if he pursued living his life in His ways and purposes, acceptance was sure to follow. (We learned last time that the way God makes His love connection with us was through our obedience. God always loves us, but He cannot connect that love to us if we are mired in sinful behavior.)
Instead, Cain decided to exercise his devil-generated (but co-created) rebellion. Indeed he did find rejection. He suffered because of his rejection of God.
This spirit of rejection was then disseminated laterally across the world and longitudinally through each generation. People scurried throughout their lives, searching for acceptance, trying to find love – both of which was always available if they had only sought out their Creator. But instead of looking inward to Him, they gazed outward towards the world and its ways.
People in power created human rules that one had to follow in order to gain acceptance from other humans. The Law of God was distorted and replaced with a law of man. Mankind was Pharisaical long before the Pharisees terrorized the streets of Jerusalem…
These human laws dictated how you must be in any particular setting – family, social, workplace, or religious. It was (and still is) the supposed plumb line of acceptance. Eventually though, these laws became tweaked by so many different ‘authorities’ that they became impossible to adhere to.
Satan’s groundwork was done. The people did the rest.
The greatest irony is that the people forgot they made up these false laws and they literally kill themselves trying to achieve the perfections demanded by them. What is left is a life without love, a life without life.
Where do Mom and Dad come in?
We aren’t born with seeds of doubt or a spirit of rejection. They have to be indoctrinated in us.
We are born perfect – fearless, loving, forgiving bundles, each reflecting the essence of God, sent into this world to spread His love to others in a way that is unique to each individual. As a child, we allow our flawless spirit to express itself and we see our universe with untainted objectivity. Everything is wonderful.
And then something happens. Our parents, (and I’m talking about the ‘good ones’) who have been unconsciously shackled by their parents with the laws of man, start drumming these rules into their perfect children’s heads – molding them into an altered persona that they believe meets the demands of those laws.
You see, most parents suffer in some degree from being unlovable and not good enough. (It’s not true, it’s just a belief handed down to them.)
They do not do this to their kids maliciously. They do it because it was done to them – through generational cultivated unconsciousness. Your parents actually think that they are doing you a favor in raising you the ‘right way.’
The indoctrination begins subtly. The child doesn’t even see it coming. It begins with ‘family values,’ (based upon the opinion of others). Many families harbor some unhealthy beliefs. Parents tell their children what is good or bad, ugly or beautiful, true or false, and what has value or not – instead of letting the child create these values for themselves (or far better, to create them from God’s values).
In their hearts, children know what God values:
“I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” Jer. 31:33 NKJV
But their parents continue to layer beliefs upon them that steer them to the laws of man. The children begin to sense a contradiction between the truth in their hearts versus the familial and social dictates they are called to conform to. They begin to question their own hearts…
Mom and Dad continue to parent you in ways based upon the opinion of others (perceived authorities). However, those opinions might be the opposite of what you need.
Let’s say you are afraid of the dark but your parents force you to cry your way through it, or you’re hungry but they deny you because it’s not the proper feeding time. Your parents aren’t denying your need out of hostility. They are basing their decisions upon recommendations made by people who study outcomes on averages based upon a small slice of the infant population. Mom and Dad forget that you’re unique with unique needs.
But hey, you’re just a kid at this point, without access to all this information. All you know, is that your needs aren’t being met by the two people that are the total source of your livelihood. Possibly, you will make the assessment that there must be something wrong with your needs or with you for having those needs. So thoughts of rejection rear their ugly head.
Worse, as you get a little older you become more curious – getting into things you shouldn’t. You might even drop something or do something else that displeases your parents. Perhaps they may sling the same unconscious behavior at you that was slung at them: statements such as ‘Why can’t you ever learn?’ What is the matter with you?’ You should know better!’ How could you be so stupid?’ ‘I can’t believe you’re my child!’ Etc. There’s not one word that comes out of the mouth of a parent that does not burrow its way into their child.
[There’s a difference between:
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. Pr. 22:6 ESV
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. (Eph. 6:4 ESV)]
It’s no wonder that a child gains a sense that something most be wrong with them if the people who love them the most treat them this way (albeit unconsciously).
Still, children are smart. They figure out how to get their needs met – either by acting out or by memorizing their parent’s ever-growing list of ways that they are supposed to make them be acceptable and thus, lovable. In other words, they learn to become something other than who they are.
As they understand this, they begin to suspect that who they really are is unlovable and unacceptable. They are about six years old…
We can stop this cycle by becoming aware of our own indoctrination, removing it and replacing with God’s ways – realizing that we are acceptable and lovable and pass all of that onto our children. (Stop working for the devil and start working for God.)
Until next time…
Goodnight and God bless.
July 25 2015 | experiencing god's love | No Comments »
Throughout time, the devil has stolen just about everyone’s soul. Whether that theft is temporary or eternal is entirely up to you.
At this point, let’s remind ourselves of how God made us to be. We are composed of three elements: a body (our earthly house, molded from the same dust as the stars – meant to serve as a temple to our Creator and to house the other two elements), a soul (our unique personality, i.e. our mind, will and emotions), and a spirit – a piece of God given to us by the Holy Spirit which animates the body and mind. The spirit also functions as our direct connection to God.
In God’s plan, our elements are supposed to live in a hierarchy. The body is to be subject to the soul, and the soul subject to the spirit.
Satan’s very successful attack strategy is to steal your soul by distorting it with lies until you no longer have faith in the original God-construct of your innate goodness, which then becomes relegated to some dark corner of your mind – oppressed by the mutation that the devil helps you create.
When your soul is doing the devil’s bidding, it listens to the desires of the flesh that run counter to your spiritual direction from God – resulting in corruption of that same flesh through sin and produces grievous oppression of your spirit (and thus the Holy Spirit as well):
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” Jn. 10:10 NKJV
For as he thinks within himself, so he is. Pr. 23:7 NASB
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God [do not offend or vex or sadden Him], by Whom you were sealed (marked, branded as God’s own, secured) for the day of redemption (of final deliverance through Christ from evil and the consequences of sin.). Eph. 4:30 AMP
As soon as the devil is successful at stealing your soul, you begin a downward death spiral…
If all this sounds foreboding, it is. It’s a real possible outcome for each and every one of us. That’s why I’m committed to helping all people climb out of the pit that Satan is trying to get them to dig to bury themselves in.
The devil spins a most complex and multi-layered web in order to capture your soul. Once he has, he effectively puts you on autopilot, only popping up once in a while to keep your course steady – gleefully watching you sabotage your life. And he will teach you how to send your children to him as well.
Our adversary takes his agenda most seriously. Satan lives to hurt God. The only way he can do that is to steal His children from Him by blocking their way to His eternal home.
God could easily thwart Satan’s machinations but the devil counts on using God’s gift of free will to His children against Him. He teaches the soul to rebel…
If all of this appears a little vague, it is because we are only barely skimming the surface of this life and death predicament. But, I guarantee that if you will stick with me and commit to literally saving your life and the lives of others, it will become crystal clear.
All you need is endurance. You can do it. The devil is betting that you can’t. He’s wrong. But his thievery is fraught with a darkness that can rob you of your love, peace, and joy. He plants a ‘Devil Disease’ in your mind and then it begins to rot.
We will be taking an in-depth journey as we uncover every mental nook and cranny where his nastiness abides. Descriptions will be bleak and it will appear hopeless; but as we clearly and completely undercover all of Satan’s strategies, we’ll know how and where we are infected and how to seek God to help be rid of him. But first, you have to become aware that you have a problem in the first place.
I promise you that when we get over that hump and delve into the solution, it will be vastly uplifting and life changing.
The Devil Puts His Plan In Action:
We were created for a victorious life; and that victory is gained and maintained on a spiritual battlefield. The first battle took place in the Garden of Eden.
The moment Adam was created He knew the love of God – living in complete harmony with his Creator; and he saw the world through his Father’s eyes. God gave him the Garden to care for and saw to his every need. He only gave Adam one rule to follow: not to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God told Adam that if he did, death would ensue. (Gn. 2:16, 17.)
Why this rule? Well, for one thing, it was true. Adam was immortal. If ate the fruit, he would become mortal, which of course inevitably leads to physical death. But I believe the primary reason for this rule was so Adam could exercise his free will to obey God. That’s important because God sees and receives our love for Him only through our obedience:
“If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.” Jn. 14:23, 24. NKJV
God improved on Adam’s lot by fashioning a wife for him. Unfortunately, Satan entered the scene and beguiled Eve with his clever lies. We are privy to his wiles as he questions Eve about God’s ‘one rule’ (previously related to her by Adam):
“Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden?’ “ Gn. 3:1 ESV
Here he is trying to both confuse Eve and sow seeds of doubt into her with regards to her understanding of the accuracy of what she heard. The devil deliberately misquotes God – saying that God said she couldn’t eat from any tree in the garden instead of only the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But Eve responds by speaking God’s words correctly. (Gn. 3:2, 3.)
The devil retorts:
“You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God.” Gn. 3:4, 5. ESV
Thus, we begin to see the character of the devil for what it is and who he is. We see that he is a liar – telling Eve she will not die, when in fact she and Adam do. So Satan is an accomplice to their deaths, and Jesus attests to this when He describes the devil’s essence:
“He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.” Jn. 8:44 ESV
In fact, the devil is also calling God a liar; and if God lied about this, what else does He lie about?
If Satan contradicts God, that must mean he stands against love. […God is love. (1 Jn. 4:8 NKJV)] Moreover, look at how he tells Eve that she will be like God; i.e. she will be something she is not – implying that she was missing something. It obviously worked because she went for the fruit and gave some to Adam. (Gn. 3:6)
The change was instantaneous – their minds now filled with fear as they could see the destruction created by their decision, producing guilt, shame, and (what they perceived as) unacceptable nakedness. Their first sin was one of self-rejection because they willingly accepted the lie that there was something lacking in the way they were created (thinking they needed to be fixed), losing faith in the perfect truth of their Creator.
They also succumbed to pride – wanting to become more when in fact they became less. Death was both physical and spiritual because our holy God could not connect with their sin.
Lastly, they were now afraid of God – frightened that He would reject them. This was a new spiritual suggestion from the devil because fear and rejection are not part of God’s make-up.
This is the beginning of human suffering by their thoughts – through self-judgment.
***Man’s relationship with God shifted from one of love to another based upon fear because of their disobedience and subsequent shame stemming from their assumption that they are now unacceptable because they believe that they are less than what God intended.***
People are afraid that God doesn’t love or accept them, so they act contrary to His word, hoping to bring some temporary satisfaction to their flesh to assuage the pain they feel in their spirit. When the post-transgression shame kicks in, they try to hide from God through addictions or obsessions and lose the ability to hear Him at all.
This folks, is the devil’s masterpiece – the seed of doubt in your soul that tells you that you’re ‘unlovable’ and / or ‘not good enough.’ And this is where all your troubles come from…
Goodnight and God bless.
July 16 2015 | experiencing god's love | No Comments »
This is the last of this 5-part series, which consists of a condensed recap of 50 posts from June 28, 2014 to June 6, 2015 – created for those who have not been present for them all. Admittedly, this series is stark compared to the original posts with the enriching deep discussions of the individual scriptures. I highly recommend that those who have not enjoyed this past year of why God, who God is, who Jesus is, what God wants from us and how Christ takes our efforts to fulfill them and covers us with His salvation so that we are positioned for eternity, go back and do so. You will surely be blessed…
Now that we know all of this and are doing our best to walk our godly walk, what’s next?
First we can take a deep breath and remember to sit back and bask in the grace of the Father and the Son from which the gift of our salvation pours forth. (Ps. 84:11; Rm. 3:23 – 25, 5:21 & 6:14; 2 Cor. 8:9 & 12:9; Eph. 2:8, 9; Ti. 2:11& 3:4 – 7; Heb. 2:9.)
And having been empowered by this grace that gifts us in the Holy Spirit to advance the kingdom of God, we are called to do just that – spread the grace. (Rm. 12:6; 2 Cor. 4:15; Eph. 4:7 & 1 Pt. 4:10.)
Now that you are connected to God, He wants to keep a running conversation with you. How do you do that? You pray, just as Jesus prayed and in the way that He taught us to. (Mt. 5:6 – 8 & 6:9 – 13; Lk. 6:12; 1 Th. 5:17, 18.) As we pray, we must take care to make sure our prayers (and ourselves) align with God’s word if they are to be answered. (Ps. 4:3; Pr. 15:29; Mk. 11:25; Jm. 4:3)
If you see anyone who needs prayer, as a follower of Christ you must not withhold it, regardless of your personal feelings about that person (drop the judgment). (Mt. 5:44)
If you feel you need to pray with greater fervor, you can call upon the Holy Spirit. (Rm. 8:26)
And, as with anything concerning God, your prayers must be laced with faith. (Heb. 11:6)
Now that we’re walking and talking with God, everything we do must be packaged in love. (Pr. 17:17; Jn. 13:34 – 35; 1 Cor. 13:1 – 3 & 16:14; Col. 3:12 – 14; Phil. 2:2 – 4; 1 Jn. 4:21.)
We know what love is because all we have to do is look to our God. He is love. Furthermore, He describes it to us. (1 Cor. 13:4 – 8; 1 Jn. 3:1, 4:16 & 19.)
God wants your love. How do you show it to Him? By walking in His word (Dt. 7:9; Mt. 22:37 – 40; Jn. 14:21 & 23.) and y loving His Son. (Jn. 16:27)
When you love God, heaven opens up and surrounds you. (Ps. 91:14 – 16 & 145:20; Eph. 2:4, 5.) And nothing can take that love away. (Rm. 8:38, 39.)
Like I said, God loves you. How much? First, He created you in His image. (Gn. 1:27; Ps. 119:73.) He fashioned every day of your life in advance. (Ps. 139:13 – 16.) He stays close to you. (Acts 17:27, 28.) And He holds you dear to Him. (Mt. 10:30; Jn. 3:16; Rm. 8:29; 1 Cor. 3:16; 2 Th. 2:13 & 19; 1 Jn. 3:1.)
Because of all that, He takes care of you. (Is. 54:17; 1 Cor. 1:9 & 6:11; 2 Cor. 5:17, 18; Eph. 1:7 – 9 & 2:19; Phil. 1:6 & 3:20, 21.)
Why does God do all these things? It’s because He is preparing you (and rolling out the welcome wagon) for your heavenly arrival. (Pr. 23:18; Dn. 2:44; 1 Cor. 7:31; Jn. 14:2, 3.)
Our part is to stay aligned in His will (Mt. 24:36, 44; Lk. 21:34, 35; Jn. 8:51; 1 Jn. 2:17) so that our entrance is guaranteed. (Mal. 3:17; Rm. 5:9 & 6:22, 23.)
How awesome will our ‘forever’ be? (Is. 25:6 – 9, 34:5, 11, 12, 16 & 35:6, 8 -10; Zeph. 3:9, 15, 17; Mic. 4:3, 4; Mt. 8:11; Rm. 6:5; 1 Cor. 15:42 – 44, 49 & 53; Rv. 7:16, 17.)
All God asks of you to do is to tell as many people as you can about Him, His Son, His Salvation and His heavenly hope. (Ps. 145:4, 6, 7 & 11 – 13; Mt. 10:27 & 28:18 – 20; Mk. 16:15; Jn. 20:21; 2 Cor. 5:19, 20; 1 Tim. 4:2, 5; Jm. 2:1; 1 Pt. 3:15.)
When we willingly do that, God will Himself facilitate our effectiveness, and nothing will get in the way of our delivery. (Mt. 10:19, 20.) We do that because we know we are helping save lives. (Rm. 1:16 & Col. 1:28.)
I pray that this series has reinforced those who have been faithfully following our journey this last year and has inspired those who haven’t, to peruse those earlier posts. There’s a lot of God waiting for you…
I hope to have the pleasure of your company next week as we embark upon a new journey guaranteed to open up your eyes to the obtuse chicaneries of our enemy, help you find out who you really are, free you from how you are keeping happiness at bay, and help others do the same. It will truly be a lifesaver.
Goodnight and God bless.
July 11 2015 | experiencing god's love | No Comments »
A portion of what we looked at in part 3 of this recap of the last 11 months’ worth of posts about how to live a godly life, concerned itself against one of the major roadblocks to your spiritual path – the devil.
Today, we’ll concern ourselves solely with our major ally on that same path, our Lord Jesus Christ – the Centerpiece of the entire Bible. The entire Bible revolves around the promise of His coming, His arrival and completed ministry, His crucifixion, resurrection and ascension to His Father, and of His return to shepherd God’s children to their eternal home.
Only the Bible can tell us accurately everything there is to know about Jesus (with the exception of possible future Holy Spirit revelation), and it does so through the mouths of the Old Testament prophets, Jesus Himself and the New Testament apostles.
Beginning with the prophets, we find that Jesus was with God (in His true Spiritual being-ness) at the time that the universe was created. In fact, Christ was God’s agent of creation for the universe and everything that inhabits it. The apostles corroborated this as well. (Gn. 1:26; Jn. 1:2, 3; 1 Cor. 15:59; Col. 1:15; Rv. 3:14.)
The prophets referred to Jesus as the ‘Messiah’ in a plethora of prophecies before they actually knew what His name would be. In those God-inspired predictions we learn that the Messiah and His followers would be engaged in a struggle against evil (Satan and his followers) until the end of time. Thankfully, we also know that the Messiah’s side is ultimately victorious. (Gn. 3:15)
We learn the He will come to earth and in His earthly incarnation will be a Jew from the lineage of King David and reign over the earth forever. (Job 19:25; Dt. 18:18; 2 Sam. 7:13, 14; Ps. 2:6 – 8 & 72:6 – 8.)
Mind you these prophecies were spoken over a thousand years before the birth of Christ. If we leap ahead to 700 years before Jesus arrives, we hear prophecies of His virgin birth, His forever and peaceful reign over all peoples and how He is the exact likeness (image) of God with all His attributes. [Is. 7:14, 9:2, 6 & 7, 11:1-5 & 10, 49:5, 6; Dan. 7:13, 14; (see also apostolic corroborations: Jn. 1:1; Col. 1:15 & 5:16 – 20; Heb. 1:3.)]
In this same time frame, God sent prophecies regarding the horrific treatment Jesus would receive when He was on earth; and yet, He would purposefully step up and give His life for the salvation of all mankind. (Is. 50:6 – 8 & 53:1 -7.)
We also learn the birthplace (Bethlehem) of Jesus (Mic. 5:2), and at 500 years before His birth, we see that this Messiah-King would enter Jerusalem on a donkey and His sacrifice would cleanse the people of their sins. (Zec. 9:9, 12:10 & 13:1.)
Through the apostles, we learn of the events that led up to and surrounded the birth of Jesus – the actual virgin birth of Mary, the name Jesus divinely given to the baby Messiah, the angelic declaration of who Christ is, and how the Holy Spirit strengthened the Child with the wisdom of God. (Jn. 1:14, 16 & 18; Lk. 1:30 – 33, 35 & 2:10, 11, 29 – 32 & 40; Mt. 1:20, 21.)
Jesus Himself had much to say about who He was and of His mission. When He was baptized, (even though He was sinless) Jesus told John the Baptist the baptism was necessary in order for His ministry to begin (for His indwelling of the Holy Spirit). And when it took place, both John and God Himself declared the identity of Christ. (Jn. 1:29, 30 & 34; Mt. 3:15, 16.)
Early in His ministry, Jesus told Nicodemus how He came from heaven and of His imminent death to pave the way for eternal life for God’s children. (Jn. 3:13 – 16 & 18.) He also revealed Himself to be the Messiah to a Samaritan woman during His first journey to Galilee. (Jn. 4:26)
Once in Galilee, Jesus enters the synagogue in Nazareth and elucidates the nature of His ministry as He professes that He is the fulfillment of the prophet Isaiah’s messianic prophecy:
“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 to the sight of the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD…Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” Lk. 4:18, 19 & 21. NKJV
And Jesus turned no one away who sought Him out, regardless of their past. (Mt. 9:12, 13.) His preaching brought the ire of the priests in power because He exposed them for the hypocritical, self-seeking, lying charlatans that they were. They were especially riled up when He declared His divine relationship with His Father and that He was the only open door to salvation. (Jn. 5:19-24 & 28, 29.)
Jesus also taught His apostles and an accompanying crowd at the Sermon on the Mount that His professions were an evolvement of the Mosaic Law but by no means did they do away with it. Mt. 5:17) As He continued His travels, Jesus preached about His God-given authority, the unique connection He and He only has with God, and then He humbly invited those present (and all of us) to be a part of that connection through Him. (Mt. 11:27 – 30.)
After Jesus performed many miracles, He sent His apostles out to evangelize – stressing that the message be strong and clear, and to make sure that their hearers learn that there is no middle road. We must be ready to drop everything and follow Him, tell others about Him, and step away from any worldly possessions or endeavors that distract us from that. (Mt. 10:32 – 36 & 40.)
Why?It’s because only Jesus and His message contains the way to life now and eternally. (Jn. 6:27, 31 – 33, 47*, 51 & 53; Lk. 9:23.)
*“Most assuredly I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.” Jn. 6:47 NKJV
In the fall of 29 A.D., Jesus went to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles. He entered the Temple, whereupon He taught that He was the righteous representative sent from God as the embodiment of Jehovah’s salvation promise. (Jn. 7:18, 29, 37, 38; 8:12.)
But when Jesus declared Himself the Son of God and that His nature was similarly eternal, the priests and Pharisees in the Temple blew their tops. (Jn. 8:19, 28, 29 & 58.) Yet that did not deter Christ from pressing His gospel home:
“If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Jn. 8;31, 32. NKJV
“Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.” Jn.8:51 NKJV
(Also: Jn. 10:7 -11 & 16 -18, 25, 26.)
After Jesus taught in the Temple for the last time, He gathered His apostles and assured them (us) that He was coming back (second coming) with His angels to gather everyone who had ever lived: those who were His followers to their heavenly destination and those who were not to their condemnation with the devil. (Mt. 25:31 – 34 & 41; Jn. 15:1, 2 & 4 – 6.)
Jesus said He was preparing a place in heaven for God’s children. In the meantime, we were to rest in His peace, knowing that now He was ruling the world. (Jn. 14:1 – 3 & 16:33.)
And with that, our Savior willingly gave His life so that we could keep ours forever…
After Jesus’ ascension to heaven, the Holy Spirit came upon the apostles and filled them with complete understanding of everything that Jesus had revealed to them as well as the Old Testament scriptures, and He permeated them with the revelations of everything Christ had yet to teach them – including the grandeur of His nature.
The apostles then began to preach. They reiterated the veracity of the cleansing of one’s sins through faith in Jesus. (Acts 10:36, 42, 43 & 13:38, 39; Rom. 3:22 – 26 & 8:1, 2, 38, 39 & 10:9, 10; Gal. 1:6, 7; 1 Th. 5:9, 10.)
They reassured us of Christ’s second coming. (1 Cor. 15:22 – 26; 1 Th. 4:16 – 17.)
And they revealed the immeasurable grandeur of His person: He is the exact image of God and shares all His attributes and power (Heb. 1:3, 4.), He is our High Priest and our intercessor to His Father (Heb. 2:9,10 & 7:25; Phil. 4:4 – 7; 1 Tim. 2:5, 6.), He has conquered the devil on our behalf (Heb. 2:14), His name is exalted above all names (Phil. 2:9 – 11.), He is the head of the church (Col. 1:18 – 20.), He watches over us and empowers us (1 Jn. 5:4, 5, 11, 12 & 18.), and He places all God’s children in their victorious heavenly state (Rv. 1:17, 18 & 2:7, 10, 11, 17, 26, 28, & 3:5, 12, 21 & 22:12, 13, 20.)
That is your ally on your road to salvation and your gateway thereof. Praise God for Jesus Christ!
Goodnight and God bless.
July 02 2015 | experiencing god's love | No Comments »
What we are doing in this short series is creating a condensed recap of everything God has shown us over the last 11 months about how He wants us to live. I am especially doing this for those who have not been with us for the entirety of that time.
We have concentrated on how God created us, why we should have Him in our lives and the (godly) characteristics He wants us to express – all in preparation for a spiritual life that is centered around our relationship with God and His Son…
The biggest obstacle that presents itself to throw you off your spiritual path is the devil. (Well, that’s not exactly true. It is really yourself when you listen to the devil but that’s a lengthy investigation that we will begin undertaking in the very near future.)
God is very clear about Satan’s intentions: to steal (your salvation), to kill (keep you dead) and to destroy (your life). (Jn. 10:10)
He began his mission with Adam and Eve – convincing them that God had lied to them and that the world had better things in store for them, by making them feel that there was something ‘missing’ in them. (Gn. 3:1 – 5.)
Lucifer showed his face again when he convinced Cain to murder his brother Abel. (1 Jn. 3:11, 12.) As time progressed, he continually threw adversity at God’s children. (1 Chr. 3:11; Rv. 12:17.)
We next see the dragon as he attempts to connive Jesus into sinning against His Father at the time Christ began His ministry. The devil used the same tactics as he uses against all of us – trying to get us to fulfill the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. (Mt. 4:1, 4, 7 & 10.)
Thankfully for our sakes, Jesus came away victorious in that encounter but Satan continued to try to thwart Jesus’ mission – right up to when He was resurrected and ascended to God. (Rv. 12:4, 5.)
Jesus taught at length about the nature of the devil – showing us that he is a perpetual liar, a murderer, how he steals the word of God out of the hearts of new believers and convinces people to sin and follow him, leading to the same condemnation of destruction. (Jn. 8:44, Mt. 13:36 – 43; Lk. 8:11 – 15.)
Our adversary then convinced Judas Iscariot to betray Jesus, which led to His crucifixion. (Jn. 13:2)
He didn’t figure on the resurrection. Angry, the devil led a rebellion against heaven, which he lost and was subsequently thrust down to earth. (Rv. 12:7 – 9 & 12.) After that banishment, he has continually tried to harvest God’s children for himself and unfortunately, does have a measure of success. (Rv. 13:4)
At the end of time, Jesus vanquishes the devil forever. (Rev. 20:10 & 13 – 15.)
Until then, how are we supposed to deal with him? First we honor and live by God’s ways, in faith, so that Satan has no grounds to hurl accusations at us. (1 Tim. 5:14, 15; James 4:7, 8; 1 Pt. 5:8 – 10; 1 Jn. 5:18, 19.)
Second, and equally important, we faithfully cling to our salvation and to the Agent of it (Christ). (Acts 26:17, 18; Eph. 2:1 – 5 & 6:10 – 19; Col. 1:13, 14; 1 Jn. 4:3, 4.)
Since we know that in order to defeat the devil and stay tight with God we need to live by His ways, let’s take a little time to examine how we can apply some of them:
God created ‘family’ for us to live and thrive within and to propagate. Every family member (parents, spouses, children) plays a special part in God’s design and we need to honor His choices by honoring them as well. (Ex. 20:12; Ps. 127:3 – 5 & 128:3, 4; Pr. 12:4, 18:22 & 31:10; Mk. 10:7 – 9; 1 Cor. 11:11, 12; Eph. 6:1, 2 & 4.)
As with any gift from God, we need to practice good stewardship, e.g. faithfulness to our spouse, educating our children in God’s ways and yielding to our spouse’s desires (Ex. 20:14; Ps. 78:5 – 7; Pr. 5:15 & 17-19 & 22:6; Mal. 2:15, 16; 1 Cor. 7:2 – 5 & 10, 11; Eph. 5:22-25, 28 & 33; Heb. 14:4.)
We can take the same loving ways that we practice in our family and insert them in our friendships as well. We need companionship. (Gn. 2:18; Pr. 27;17; Ecc. 4:9 – 12.) And we need to love in order to position ourselves to attract friendships. (Pr. 18:24) It’s also through our love that we keep them. (Pr. 17:17; Jn. 13:34, 35) In fact, we must have love for all others to sustain a love relationship with God. (1 Jn. 4:21) Why? It’s because if we are actively loving, we are not practicing judgment. (Zec. 7:9; Rm. 14:13; James 4:11, 12.)
Furthermore, (just like with your family members) if a friend has committed some offense against you, you must forgive them to keep the love flowing. (Job 6:14; Mt. 5:23; Lk. 17:3, 4.)
Finally, how better to show love than to place your friend’s needs above your own… (Rm. 12:10, 11; Phil. 2:1 – 4.)
Okay, we’ve been looking a lot at how we live a life that cleaves us to God. Let’s look at what separates us from Him:
God knew exactly how He wanted us to be when He created us. There were no accidents. Yet many people lose their way in this life because they feel that they’ve done something so wrong that they could never be forgiven, or they have made themselves to feel ‘less than’ other people on one or more levels. Then they futilely waste that life trying to separate from their real self by creating a false persona they hope others around them will accept.
Guess what? God accepts you the way you are. When you try to be something other than what He made you to be, you are separating yourself from Him.
Likewise, when we don’t feel good about ourselves, we try to separate ourselves from other people, e.g. through nationalities, religions, gender, financial status or social standing. This does nothing but foster ill will and malicious deeds; and that is totally opposite of what God wants us to do. (Rm. 2:11; Gal. 3:28)
When you do these things, you are playing right into the devil’s hands. (1 Jn. 2:11 & 4:20, 21.)
Another way you separate yourself from God is when you try to shut your mind down and indulge in your flesh to run from the predicament that you think your life is. You choose addictions or distractions to live in, as opposed to living in reality. ( Pr. 20:1, 23:20, 21; Is. 28:7; Hos. 4:10, 11; 1 Cor. 10:21; Gal. 5:19 – 21; 1 Pt. 5:8.)
Instead, the only addiction we want to have (the one that draws us to God) is Jesus… (Rm. 13:13, 14; Eph. 5:18.)
Returning to how to live a godly life, every word of God that we follow to stay on our spiritual path must be girded up by our faith – faith in our unseen God, and for us present-day folk, our unseen Jesus. (Jn. 20;29; Rm. 8:24; 1 Cor. 2:5; Heb. 11:1 & 6.)
But when we say ‘unseen,’ we only mean intangible in the physical sense. (2 Cor. 5:7; Heb. 11:3.)
God and His Son require our faith before they can move on our behalf. (Mt. 9:22, 17:20 & 21:22; Mk. 2:5, 5:36, 9:32 & 1:22 – 24; Lk. 7:50 & 18:14.)
We get our hands on faith because God gives it to us by the Holy Spirit, who sends it from Christ. Many times that comes through the mouths of Bible preachers and teachers. In fact, we even need faith to understand what they are saying while they are helping us shore it up. (Rm. 10:17 & 12:3; 2 Cor. 4:3, 4; Heb. 12:1, 2.)
Our faith alone ushers us into God’s presence, whereupon we are justified, sanctified and made Holy so that we can remain there. (Rm. 3:28). When we exercise our faith, we are filled with God’s strength, covered by His safekeeping, protected from the devil, blanketed in joy, imbued with Divine revelation and are able to receive all of His promises. (Ps. 31:23, 56:4, 125:1 & 146:5; Pr. 28;20; Lk. 1:45; Eph. 6:16; James 5:15.)
How can we depend upon our faith? It’s because God is Himself faithful – never lying or changing. (Ps. 118:89, 90; Heb. 6:18.) That includes all of His salvation promises through Jesus. (Jn. 1:12, 5:24, 6:29; Acts 13:38, 39; Heb. 10:19 – 23; 1 Pt. 1:20, 21 & 1 Jn. 5:4, 5.)
Finally, when we get that faith and depend upon it, it is time to share it and share it with love! (Acts 26:18 & 1 Cor. 13:2.)
Goodnight and God bless.
June 27 2015 | experiencing god's love | No Comments »
As we said last time, what this series represents is the undertaking that we have made over the past 11 months, covering all the things that God has said about how to live out our highest and best life; i.e. a summation. In the first part of this series, we revisited why reaching for our salvation and helping others do the same is so urgent, why we would want God in our lives, how and why God created you in His image and the way He fashioned a universe just for you, how He surrounds you on all sides, how He heals you, about the devastation of sin and God’ presents you with a way out of it, and finally, we looked at a godly characteristic that He wants you to possess and express – that of godly giving and demonstrating gratitude for what God’s given to you.
Now, let’s look at another godly characteristic: that of forgiving. God always leads by example. He is a forgiving God, regardless of what we’ve done – if we confess our transgression and repent. (2 Chr. 7:14; Ps. 103:2 & 130:4; Dan. 9:9).
The only reason we have to forgive anyone (including ourselves) is because we indulge in judgment, which is in itself a trespass against God. (Mt. 7:1 – 3). God requires us to forgive that person we have judged before He will bestow His forgiveness upon us. (Mt. 6:14, 15; Col. 3:12, 13.)
Forgiveness is so important to God that He will not even listen to your prayers unless you first make reconciliation with anyone with whom you are withholding your forgiveness. (Mt. 5:23, 24.)
Forgiveness is the highest act of giving. It is where we give our love away regardless of whether or not we think it is deserved. After all, who doesn’t deserve love? When we forgive, we are emulating Christ, who went to the cross for our forgiveness and acknowledging that it was enough…
God also asks us to live in a manner that demonstrates our trust in Him – a life lived by faith, beginning with the belief that He exists and rewards those who seek Him and that every word He speaks is pure truth. (Heb. 11:6; Pr. 30:5; Is. 40:8.) That trust is completely solidified when we also place faith in Jesus as the Son of God, in the fact that He died for our sins and was resurrected to the Father. (Jn. 1:14; 1 Pt. 1:2.)
God and His Son further explained that the way we show out trust in Them is to follow their specific directives. It is how we express our love to Them. (Dt. 10:12,13 & 12:32; Jer. 11:4; Jn. 14:15; 1 Jn. 5:3.) When we do that, our present and eternal blessings abound. (Dt. 7:9, 12:22 & 28:2; Ps. 112:1; Is. 55:11; Jn. 6:63, 8;31, 32 & 51, 15:7, 8; 1 Pt. 1:22; 1 Jn. 2:5, 3:21, 22.)
Another way we demonstrate that love is by giving up our worldly notion of independence and leaning on God to see our way through this life. After all, God had every aspect of our lives planned out for all of us before we were even born. (Ps. 139:16; Jer. 29:11.) In fact, His plans far exceed our expectations. (Eph. 3:20; Phil. 4:19.)
You can lean on God because He loves to help you and He sends that loving help through His Son, His Spirit and His angels… (Lv. 26:13; 1 Kings 1:29; Ps. 9:9, 16:8, 20:6, 27:1, 32:8, 91:10, 11, 138:8 & 147:3; Is. 42:16 & 49:25; Lk. 4:18; Rm. 8:26; 2 Cor. 1:3, 4; Phil. 4:5 – 7.)
Continuing in building our godly character, our Father asks us to be holy. (Lv. 19:2; Eph. 1:4; 1 Th. 4:7; Rv. 22:11.) And yet He tells us that nobody is. (1 Sam. 2:2; Is. 64:6; Rm. 3:9, 10.)
But God does not leave us hanging. He offers us a holy transformation through faith in His redemption through Christ – whose blood cleanses us, so that we shine brightly in righteousness before our Creator. (Rm. 3:25, 26 & 5:17; 2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 2:16; Heb. 10:10.) Then, we are privy to every heavenly blessing. (Ps. 5:12, 34:17; 2 Cor. 7:1.)
We don’t have to be perfect. We only have to practice walking in God’s word the best that we can (in faith) and He makes up the difference… (Gn. 15:6)
All our godly characteristics emanate from our spiritual self – that portion of us that connects directly to God’s Spirit (Holy Spirit), which He places within us. (Pr. 20:27; Is. 26:9; Jn. 4:2; 1 Jn. 3:24.)
That same Holy Spirit reveals all that Christ is, all He has ever taught and unveils all that He has yet to tell us. (Jn. 14:26 & 16:13, 14; 1 Cor. 2:9.) As a result, the Spirit sets us on the path to Christ’s salvation – the path of godliness. (Rm. 8:6; Gal. 6:8.)
Yet we cannot walk this path without rendering our free-will sacrifices to God; e.g. a tithe. (Ex. 23:19; Lv. 19:5.) Another type of sacrifice is walking in righteousness in the face of a world that tells you to do otherwise – to persevere in advancing the kingdom of God. (Ps. 4:5 & 51:17; Pr. 21:3; 1 Pt. 2:5.)
Your gratitude is also a form of sacrifice. (Ps. 107:21, 22 & 141:2; Heb. 13:15.)
God receives all your sacrifices, acknowledges them, remembers them forever and blesses you eternally for them… (Ps. 50:8; Is. 56:7; Jer. 33:11.)
Returning to godly characteristics, God also wants you to sacrifice your anger so that you may live in peace with all people. It is one of a group of spiritual qualities that He wants you to possess:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control… Gal. 5:22, 23. NASB
Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Eph. 4:31, 32. NKJV
If possible, so far as it depends upon you, live peaceably with all. Rm. 12:8 ESV.
Anger is destructive to those who practice it and to those for whom they thrust it upon. If one practices it unrepentantly, it bars their own way to salvation. (Pr. 11:17 & 15:18; Amos 1:11; Mt. 5:22; James 1:19, 20; 1 Jn. 2:11.)
God loves you and He wants you to be with Him forever. To accompany Him, that anger must be quelled:
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God.” Mt. 5:9 NKJV
The last godly characteristic I want to consider today is ‘living with integrity'; i.e. living by our word. (Dt. 23:23) Speaking of our words, God takes the content of them very seriously, letting us know that they can literally determine our outcomes in life. Moreover, He says that we will have to account for every word that leaves our mouths. (Pr. 18:21; Mt. 12:34 – 37 & 15:11.)
If we use our tongue to curse, lie, boast, self-serve or mock, degradation of our lives will follow. (Pr. 11:9, 12:1317:5, 19:9, 20:20, 26:28, 27:1; James 4:2, 3 & 16.)
But when we speak with the wisdom of God, our lives will blossom. (Pr. 12:19, 13:3, 15:1, 4, & 28; Eccl. 10:12; Col. 4:6.)
God gave you a voice to exalt Him and exhort one another. (Ps. 105:1, 2; Eph. 4:29; Heb. 13:13.)
The highest calling for the use of your tongue is to tell others about God’s salvation through Christ… (Rm. 10:8,9; 2 Tim. 4:2.)
So, what are we doing when we consider and act upon all these characteristics God wants us to wear on our persona? We are examining how to prepare for a spiritual life in relationship with God now and forever. (Job 22:21 – 23 & 25 – 28.)
We cannot find any valid information in the ways of the world for that path, so we need spiritual coaching. Thankfully, God provides with the Great Coach, His Son. (Mt. 7:7; Jn 6:27 & 15:5; 1 Jn. 2:15 – 17.)
It’s imperative that we embark on this preparation before we die or before Christ’s second coming (whichever comes first). There won’t be another chance. (Is. 55:6; Mk. 1:15; Rv. 3:11.)
Our preparation consists of walking in God’s word and serving Him by emulating Jesus. (Ps. 15:1, 2; Eph. 5:8; 1 Pt. 2:21 – 24.) We must train diligently, with perseverance, exercising our faith and taking on the tasks that our Creator assigns us. (2 Tim. 2:15; James 2:20; Heb. 6:11, 12 & 11:6.)
Ultimately, we will then rise in His victory. (Phil. 3:12 – 14; 2 Tim. 4:7, 8.)
Goodnight and God bless.
June 18 2015 | experiencing god's love | No Comments »
What He says about your life is essentially what we have been exploring these past eleven months. Because I cannot know for sure when each individual has come on board to read these messages and because the messages are so vital for connecting with God, living our highest and best life and guaranteeing our eternal place in God’s love, I’m presenting a condensed recap:
We began looking at the urgency of reaching for our salvation and then helping others do likewise. The urgency presents itself in our mortality. You will either physically die or Christ will first show up in His ‘second coming’ to harvest the children of God. Either way, you must choose Christ for your salvation before one of these events occurs because there will be no second chance. And because you do not know the date and time when either of these events take place, there is not a moment to waste… (Eccl. 9:12; Mt. 24:2)
Next, we considered why we’d want to have God in our lives in the first place and we listened as God told us:
God has a plan. You are a part of that plan. (Gn. 1:27, 28 & 31; 15:1 & 28:15; Ex. 15:13 & 23:26; Lv. 26:9; Dt. 7:6.) Your part is unique to you and integral to God’s plan.
He looks after you in every area of your life and does so with the utmost love and care. (Ex. 15:26 & 33:14; Lv. 26:6 & 13; Dt. 1:29 – 31; 31:8 & 33:3; 1 Sam. 14:6.)
Our Father created us to be the greatest of all His creations and to enjoy, care and have dominion over the other created things. Yes, Adam and Eve pulled us down temporarily on God’s hierarchy but He redeemed us with the crown of Christ. (Mt. 18:11 & 20:28; Jn. 3:16, 17.)
God is our eternal beacon, always there to show us the best path to take; and He surrounds us with angels to watch over our every step and He never breaks His promises. (Dt. 33:12; Judges 2:1; Lam. 3:22, 23; Job 10:12 & 31:4; Ps. 32:8 & 91:11.)
He listens to you. He comes to your aid without fail, restores you and He showers you with goodness from here to eternity. (2 Chr. 30:9; Ps. 49:15 & 56:13; Pr. 23:18; Is. 43:1 – 3 & 46:3, 4.)
Finally, nothing can keep God from delivering His love to you – unless you reject it. (Rom. 8:38,39 & 11:29.)
What’s not to love?
We also examined how God created your perfect home (with spiritual building blocks). (Heb. 11:3) He created a world that would nurture and sustain you and He put you in charge of taking care of it. (Gn. 1:26 & 2:15.)
You were made in the spiritual image of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Immediately afterwards, He blessed you and perpetuated those blessings through Christ. (Gn. 1:28; Gal. 3:13, 14.) For you to be available to receive your blessings, you must be faith-filled and obedient to God’s word. (Dt. 11:26 – 28; James 1:25.) These blessings are both physical and spiritual, for both now and eternity. All He asks is for a little show of gratitude and for you to share your new abundance. ( Dt. 28: 3 – 8 & 11; Eph. 1:3.)
We had a good look at our humanness and how (out of our weakness) we commit sins against God. (1 Kin. 8:46) Sin is what we do, it is not who we are. (Gal. 5:19 – 21.) Yet sin brings with it devastating consequences that can lead to death unless they are dealt with; and it affects God, the perpetrator and those around him or her. (Pr. 14:21; 1 Cor. 8:12; 1 Th. 4:7, 8; 1 Jn. 3:8.) In fact, it separates us from God. (Is. 59:2)
Thankfully, God gave us rules to live by so that we would know what not to transgress. He also left paths for us to follow to both overcome them and receive forgiveness when we do. (2 Chr. 7:14; Jer. 31:33; Ezek. 18:29 – 32; Mic. 6:8; Mt. 22:37 – 40; Gal. 5:22, 23.) And the path for forgiveness always involves confession of the misdeed and repentance of same, (Ps. 32:5; Pr. 28:13; Is. 1:18.) and it requires the blood of Jesus. (Rom. 6:10; Eph. 2:1, 2, 4, 5; Heb. 9:22; 1 Jn. 5 & 7.) Then forgiveness is guaranteed. (Ps. 103:10, 11; Is. 43:25.)
Then we checked out all the ways God stays related to us. The best news is that He is accessible! (Rv. 3:20) That accessibility is through Christ by our faith. (2 Cor. 5:7; 1 Jn. 4:15.)
We were chosen for this special relationship and God stays by our side when we enter into it. (Ps. 121:7, 8; Hos. 13:14; 2 Th. 2:13). This relationship also includes our Lord Jesus, the Holy Spirit and the angels of God. (Ps. 91:11; Mt. 28;20; Lk. 17:21; Jn. 10:27, 28; 14:16, 27.)
Another benefit of our relationship with God is having access to His healing – both physical and spiritual. (Ex. 15:26; Ps. 103:2, 3 & 107:20; Is. 30:36; Jer. 3:22.) And like every gift from God, you must have faith to have it manifest. (Mt. 9:29).
Next, we spent a great deal of time looking at the (godly) characteristics that our Father asks us to possess and exhibit. First we looked at how God wants us to give. We must recognize that all our gifts (including our characteristics) come from God. (1 Cor. 7:7; James 1:17; 1 Pt. 4:10.)
He wants us to hold all of our gifts in ‘open hands’ so that we may freely pass them on to others and at the same time be ready to receive the next blessing. (Dt. 26:12, 12; Pr. 11:25 & 18:16; Mt. 5:42Acts 20:35; 2 Cor. 9;6, 7; Heb. 13:15, 16.)
Jehovah also wants you to apply the same principles to your money. After all, your money (wealth) comes from God. (Dt. 8:18; 1 Chr. 29:12; Eccl. 3:13; 2 Cor. 3:5.) The quantity of your money is not something to worry about. If you are being a good steward of it, both physically and spiritually, God will not let you run out of it. (Job 36:11; Mt. 6:31 – 33 & 21:22; Lk. 6:35; Phil. 4:19; Heb. 13:5.)
We just want to be sure that we don’t get hooked on our money – idolizing it and / or becoming miserly. (Ps. 62:10; Pr. 11:28; Mt. 19:24; Mk. 4:19; Lk. 16:13; 1 Tim. 6:9.) If that happens, our money separates us from God. Instead, we need to keep our focus on the abundance of our almighty God and of His most precious gift of all – our salvation. (Mt. 6:19, 20; 1 Pt. 1:18, 19.)
Let’s see so far. God blesses you with abundance, saves your soul from death, grants you an eternal home with Him through that same salvation through Christ, heals you and takes care of your every need – all of which He performs with love. What does He want from you? Gratitude.
He blesses you every day when you have faith in Him and love Him by obeying His word. (Ps. 1:1 – 3; 16:5 & 11, 6; 37:4; 63:7; 118:24; 145:20; 1 Chr. 16:8 – 10; Is. 61:10; Jer. 3:41, 42; Jn. 16:24; 2 Cor. 4:15; Phil. 4:6; 1 Jn. 4:19, 10 & 19.)
God loves your gratitude; and being thankful is a small price to pay in exchange for a full and satisfying life with a promise of an eternal abundance lived in the presence of your loving Creator. And you know, all that gratitude is going to rub off…
To be continued.
Good night and God bless.
June 13 2015 | experiencing god's love | No Comments »
God gives each and every one of us the same mission (through Jesus) after we ask Him to come into our hearts:
All authority (all power of rule) in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go then and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you, and behold, I am with you all the days (perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion), to the [very] close and consummation of the age. Mt. 28:18 – 20. AMP
This scripture is commonly referred to as the ‘Great Commission.’ All followers of Christ are called to honor it.
Jesus asked us to love God and love one another. (Jn. 13:34; 15:12; 15:17.) Our entire spiritual walk is based upon these two divine directives. If we truly love one another, then aren’t we bound to share the source of that love (God) with others? Everyone deserves the opportunity to seek and receive the limitless peace, joy, love, abundance and eternal salvation that our Father freely offers. But they can’t have that opportunity unless we tell them!
So when should we begin our heavenly proclamation? We commence it upon our baptism.
Jesus began explaining baptism with these words:
I assure you, most solemnly I 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
Christ is alluding to the fact that you cannot enter the kingdom of God by way of having high rank in government or social circles, nor by riches, race, place of birth, knowledge of the world, or through personal deeds. What He is saying is that the entrance into God’s kingdom is only accomplished by allowing God to birth one anew – by changing what is in their heart and by the recipient of that change doing their continued best to live by those changes.
Jesus continued: “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” Jn. 3:5 NKJV
He who believes [who adheres to and trusts in and relies on the Gospel and Him Who sets it forth] and is baptized will be saved [from the penalty of eternal death]… Mk. 16:16 AMP
God requires a water baptism. It is the first formal public confession of your faith. It is also a way that we show others their opportunity to have the same – through our example of faith in God and obedience to His word. Baptism is an outward sign that our faith is blossoming. Without the faith, that act of baptism would be worthless. Water is just water. It is the connection of the water to the word of God through faith, which fulfills our requirement.
Yet water baptism by itself is not the way to salvation. What it is, is a declaration made by the baptized of his or her faith in salvation through the Spirit – a metaphorical demonstration of being re-birthed as a newly cleansed child of God through the forgiveness of their sins.
You are confessing that your old worldly self has been buried (signified by the immersion in water) and that your spiritual self has been resurrected without sin (indicated by rising out of the water).
During baptism we are dying to the life that we had previously lived and to the meanings we brought to the events within it and beginning a new life – the meaning of which is found in the word of God. It begins with the repentance of the actions of your flesh and is sealed as you profess your faith in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
The cleansing blood of Christ completes your true salvation when you ask God to fill you with the Holy Spirit in order to be spiritually reborn. Then, your mission begins…
We are instructed to boldly speak of the power of our Creator to everyone around us, including our children:
They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds, and I will declare your greatness. They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness and shall sing aloud of your righteousness. Ps. 145:6, 7. ESV
One generation shall praise Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts. Ps. 145:4 NKJV
They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom and tell of your power, to make known to the children of man your mighty deeds, and the glorious splendor of your kingdom. Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures throughout all generations. Ps. 145:11 – 13. ESV
Most importantly, because our message is so vital to the present and future state of our potential recipients, we must not judge as to who is worthy to hear it. Everyone has the potential to open his or her hearts:
…do not hold your faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality. James 2:1 NKJV
Go into all the world and preach and publish openly the good news (the Gospel) to every creature [of the whole human race]. Mk. 16:15 AMP
God made us and chose us for this:
…He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 2 Cor. 5:19, 20. NASB
“What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops.” Mt. 10:27 NASB
“As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” Jn. 20:21 NKJV
…preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction…be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. 2 Tim. 4:2 & 5. NASB
Always be ready to give a logical defense to anyone who asks you to account for the hope that is in you, but do it courteously and respectfully. 1 Pt. 3:15 AMP
Furthermore, God equips us for it:
…do not be anxious about how or what you are to speak; for what you are to say will be given you in that very hour and moment, for it is not you who are speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Mt. 10:19, 20. AMP
Don’t forget that it is our actions as well as our words that call people to God:
…in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe. 1 Tim. 4:12 NASB
“You are the salt of the earth…You are the light of the world…let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Mt. 5:13, 14 & 16. NKJV
It won’t always be easy because of the resistance from the world, but we can rise above that:
Go your way; behold, I send you out like lambs into the midst of wolves. Lk. 10:3 AMP
No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. 2 Tim. 2:4 NKJV
And we will be blessed for our efforts:
“And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.” Mt. 11:6 NKJV
“Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time…and in the age to come, eternal life.” Mk. 10:29, 30. NKJV
Indeed, there is a curse for those who forsake their mission:
“…I have made you a watchman…Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. If I say to the wicked, O wicked one, you shall surely die, and you do not speak to warn the wicked to turn from his way, that wicked person shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand.
But if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, that person shall die in his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul.” Ezek. 33:7 – 9. ESV
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is a blessed and holy one, a matter of life or death for those who receive your efforts – a message we have the God-given privilege to bring, that opens the way for the heavenly journey of their spirit:
Him we preach and proclaim, warning and admonishing and instructing everyone in all wisdom (comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God), that we may present every person mature (full-grown, fully initiated, complete, and perfect) in Christ (the Anointed One). Col. 1:28 AMP
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes… Rm. 1:16 NKJV
There is no greater mission.
Bless our Holy Father for the love He gives and entrusts us with. May we embrace a compassionate love for our fellow human beings and be driven with the zeal of the apostle Paul as we deliver it:
…the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me. But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. Acts 20:23, 25. NKJV
Turn to the person next to you and tell them the Good News…
Good night and God bless.
June 06 2015 | experiencing god's love | No Comments »
In the first of this 2-part series, we looked at the nature of the kingdom of God, including its eternal manifestation, how it’s going to be a good thing (prepared by Jesus) and of the urgency regarding accepting Christ as your Savior and living a godly life in order to position yourself to receive it.
We also briefly looked at the horrendous set of events that will take place near the end of time, which will bring suffering upon those who don’t side with God; and we ended with questioning whether or not these events would apply to the children of God as well. Thank God, the answer is a resounding ‘no!’
Instead, God creates this vast holy city called ‘New Jerusalem’ for all of His saints to dwell within and He lives there too! In addition, the earth and the cosmos it was suspended in are both transformed into an idyllic paradise for His children to spend eternity in. (Ps. 102:25 – 27; Is. 65:17 – 19; 2 Pt. 3:12, 13; Rv. 21:1 – 7 & 22 – 27.)
The unbelievers’ outcome? Not very pretty. (Rv. 21:8)
But I know our human side. We all want to know, ‘What exactly has heaven got in store for me?’
First, you are plucked out of the moral cesspool that the world has become:
For you shall go out [from the spiritual exile caused by sin and evil into the homeland] with joy and be led forth [by your Leader, the Lord Himself, and His word] with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Is. 55:12 AMP
“They were scattered for lack of a shepherd, and they became food for every beast of the field and were scattered”…For thus says the Lord GOD, “I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out…and will deliver them from all the places to which they were scattered…I will feed My flock and I will lead them to rest…bind up the broken and strengthen the sick;” Is. 34:5; 11, 12,15, 16. NASB
God will sift out His children (sheep) from the unrepentant sinners (goats) and harmonize them:
“For then I will restore to the peoples a pure language, that they may call on the name of the LORD, to serve Him with one accord.” Zeph. 3:9 NKJV
“In that day you will feel no shame because of all your deeds by which you have rebelled against Me; for then I will remove from your midst your proud exalting ones, and you will never again be haughty on My holy mountain. But I will leave among you a humble and lowly people, and they will take refuge in the name of the LORD.” Zeph. 3:11, 12. NASB
“The LORD has taken away the judgments against you; he has cleared away your enemies. The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst; you shall never again fear evil…a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” Zeph. 3:15 & 17. ESV
In that day of our heavenly embrace, we shall be transformed:
Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb sing. For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert. Is. 35:5, 6. NKJV
And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Way of Holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it. It shall belong to those who walk on the way…No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it…but the redeemed shall walk there. And the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. Is. 35:8 – 10. ESV
For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection… Rm. 6:5 NASB
It is sown a perishable body, it is raised and imperishable body; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. 1 Cor. 15:42 – 44. NASB
And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man…For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 1 Cor. 15:49 & 53. NKJV
Strife will be a forgotten memory:
Then they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation will not lift up sword against nation, and never again will they train for war. Each of them will sit under his vine and under his fig tree, with no one to make them afraid, for the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken. Mic. 4:3, 4. NASB
Neither shall there be sorrow or unfulfilled needs:
“They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” Rev. 7:16, 17. ESV
..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. And he will swallow up on this mountain the covering that is cast over all peoples, the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death forever…and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the LORD has spoken. It will be said on that day, “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.” Is. 25:6 – 9. ESV
And if that wasn’t enough, we also get to hang out with everyone that was ever created who turned to our God:
“And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.” Mt. 8:11 NKJV
Let’s see. If you accept Christ as your Savior and live out a godly life to the best of your ability, you are then chosen by God for heaven, all strikes against you are wiped out, you are filled with happiness and joy, living in a new body (all old ‘defects’ removed) that is immortal, becoming one in the likeness of Christ, living fearless and at peace with all the rest of the children of God, eating fine food and drinking fine wine and all the while you bask (up close and personal) with the Father and the Son.
Do you see a downside? Nope. Neither do I. All God asks of us is to keep our eye on the prize…
Goodnight and God bless.
May 28 2015 | experiencing god's love | No Comments »