Had the opportunity yesterday to work with a client. Was getting her an insurance quote. She looked as if she were possibly lesbian (looking at the stereotypes). I knew she had two teenagers and as we were talking i found out the kids were adopted young, she and her partner have been together 23 years, and even though they share the last name are not married. I did pick on her about fear of commitment at that point. We talked about adoption, I have 11 adopted bro & sis in laws.
She had come in a little after 5:00 so our office actually closed and it was a Friday night so everybody had left early.
That left the two of us alone and as we were working and talking I just felt that I just had to say sorry, I apologized for what Christians have done to the LGBT community and she actually got a little bit emotional when I did that.I did to. I explained I had been in the ministry. I was a youth pastor and was one who was in the category of love the sinner hate the sin. To me now, that is a messed up that mentality is. I had a chance to really connect and I probably spent way longer than I normally would with a client. It seemed like it meant a lot to her but the more I think about it, it meant a lot to me just being able to open up and apologize for the crap in my past.
To be able to love someone for just them being them, not about their actions, character, abilities, sensibilities, religion, sexualitu, excetera that’s where I want to go.
When putting together a resume you want to put it out there who you are and to put the object of your purpose. A resume should say who you are in a short concise manner.
Paul was a very accomplished individual. He was a learned man, a Pharisee, he was known as a zealous man who prior to his conversion he persecuted the followers of Jesus. He was known and feared. He was a brilliant mind, a commanding knowledge of philosophy and religion, and could debate with the most educated scholars of his day.
After his conversion is credited for writing at least 13 of the 27 books of the New Testament. The dude should have an impressive Resume…
Yet when reading the New Testament he does not intriguing himself on his accolades.
In Romans he opens it up on verse 1 with his resume;
“Paul, passionately engaged by Jesus Christ, identified in him to represent him. My mandate and message is to announce the goodness of God to mankind”
Okay, so this is not necessarily his resume but he states his accreditation and his objective.
He is validated by his “passionate engagement in Christ, identified in HIM to represent HIM”
“My mandate and message is to announce the goodness of God to mankind”
His identity was not based on himself, it was not based on his abilities, or his history. It was purely based on Christmas in him. It was determined by not what he could do for God, but what God had done for him, what God had provided already.
It’s relational it’s not ability or accomplishment based.
In the start to his letter to the Ephesians he re-asserts his resume;
1 Paul, employed by the delightful resolve of God and commissioned to represent Jesus Christ to the saints in Ephesus, also to every believer in Christ Jesus,
2 I greet you with the grace and peace that proceed from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 Let’s celebrate God! He lavished every blessing heaven has upon us in Christ!
4 He associated us in Christ before the fall of the world ! Jesus is God’s mind made up about mankind! He always knew in his love that he would present us again face-to-face before him in blameless innocence.
It’s on God’s doing and action not what man could ever do!
1 Persuasion confirms confident expectation and proves the unseen world to be more real than the seen. Faith celebrates as certain what hope visualizes as future. (The shadow no longer substitutes the substance. Jesus is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of everything the prophets foretold. The unveiling of Christ in human life completes man’s every expectation. Col 1:27.)
2 People of previous generations received the testimony of their hope in faith. It was faith that made their hope tangible. (Only the Messiah can give substance to the Messianic hope. No substitute will suffice!)
3 Faith alone explains what is not apparent to the natural eye; how the ages were perfectly framed by the Word of God. Now we understand that everything visible has its origin in the invisible.
4 It was faith that made the difference between the sacrifices of Abel and Cain, and confirmed Abel’s righteousness. God bore witness to righteousness as a gift rather than a reward! Even though he was murdered, his faith still has a voice today. (It was not in what they brought, but in Abel’s faith that righteousness was revealed.)
5 Enoch enjoyed God’s favor by faith, in spite of Adam’s fall; he proved that faith defeats death. (His absent body prophesied the resurrection of Christ; faith does not die!)
6 There is no substitute reward for faith. Faith’s return exceeds any other sense of achievement. Faith knows that God is; those who desire to respond to his invitation to draw near, realize by faith that he is life’s most perfect gift. (If he is the desired one then no substitute will suffice. Jesus Christ defines God’s faith; he is Emmanuel. He is the substance and evidence of all that God believes. Jesus is what God believes. The word translated “reward” is the word misthapodotes. This word is only used once in the Bible and is an interesting combination of two words, misthoo, a wage and apodidomi to give away; righteousness is revealed by faith as a gift and not as a reward for keeping the law; faith pleases God, not good or bad behavior.)
7 Noah received Divine instruction to save his household from judgment; faith prompted him to construct the Ark immediately, long before the rains were evident. His faith demonstrated the difference between judgment and justification.
8 By faith Abraham acknowledged the call of God which gave him his identity and destiny, as evidence of his inheritance as he journeyed into the unknown. (The word, kaleo, means to call, to identify by name, to surname.)
9 Nothing but his faith seemed permanent while Abraham camped in tents like a stranger in the land of promise. His sons Isaac and Jacob joined him as sojourners; equally persuaded that they were heirs of the same promise.
10 His faith saw a city with permanent foundations, designed and constructed by God.
11 Sarah’s testimony of faith is just as amazing: she conceived and bore a child when it was humanly impossible. She believed that God would be faithful to his promise, and gave that belief authority over her life. (The word, hegeomai, strengthened form of ago, to officially appoint in a position of authority.)
12 Faith brought into reality an offspring beyond calculation; from one as good as dead children would be born more numerous than the stars and as impossible to count as the grains of sand on every distant sea shore. (The uttermost parts of the earth, bordered by the sea shore, will know the blessing of righteousness by faith which is the blessing of Abraham, meant for the entire world.[1 Pet 1:3] )
13 These heroes of faith all died believing. Although they did not witness the promise in their lifetime, they saw its fulfillment in the future and embraced the promise by their persuasion. Convinced of its reality; they declared by their way of living that they were mere sojourners and pilgrims in a shadow land whose geography could neither confine nor define their true inheritance.
14 They clearly declared by faith a hinterland beyond their immediate horizon. (A place of promise where God and man would be one again.)
15 They did not regret the country they had left behind. Their faith took them beyond the point of no return. (Do not allow the contradictions in your past or present to become your reference once again. James says that the person who goes back into an old mind-set immediately forgets what manner of man he is, as revealed in the mirror word, the law of perfect liberty [Jas 1:24, 25]. The revelation concerning who man is in Christ declares that the old things have passed away [in his death]. Behold, everything has become new! In his resurrection we were born anew. [2 Cor 5:14-17, 1 Pet 1:3])
16 Their faith saw a greater reality in the spiritual realm than that which they experienced in their present situation; they reached for their true native city designed by God where he himself is proud to be their permanent address. (The fulfillment of the promise is Christ. He is both our native land and our eternal city!)
17 Faith became a more tangible evidence of the promise than even Isaac could ever be to Abraham. Isaac neither fulfilled nor replaced the promise. Inspired by what faith saw, Abraham was ready to do the ridiculous; to sacrifice his only son, convinced that not even Isaac’s death could nullify the promise that God had made to him. (If Isaac was not the substance of Abraham’s faith then who was? Abraham saw beyond Isaac. Jesus said, “Abraham saw my day!” [Jn 8:56-58] “Before Abraham was, I am.”)
18 Yet Abraham knew that God had said that his lineage of faith would be traced through Isaac!
19 He made a prophetic calculation by faith to which there could only be one logical conclusion based on the word he had received: that God would raise the promise from the dead. (In the context of Abraham’s vision, this was an analogy pointing to the parable of the death and resurrection of Christ. A calculation, logical conclusion, from the word, logitzomai, from logos; God’s faith is God’s logic.)
20 By the same faith Isaac extended the future of the promise in the blessing he pronounced over his sons, Esau and Jacob.
21 In his dying moments, Jacob, in worship to the God of Abraham, as the father of the nations, included in the promise the sons of Joseph who were born in Egypt. (In exalting the two grandsons into the rank and right of Joseph’s brothers, he bestowed on them, rather than on Reuben, the double portion of the first-born. Again, faith exceeds the natural. Even though they had an Egyptian mother, they would have an equal interest in all the spiritual and temporal blessings of the covenant of promise.)
22 At the end of his life, Joseph prophetically reminded his sons of the exodus. He had such a firm belief that they would possess the land of promise that he exacted an oath from them: they were not to leave his bones in Egypt.
23 By faith the parents of Moses did not fear the king’s decree, but hid him from Pharaoh for three months, because they saw a future in the child.
24 It was faith that made Moses realize that he was not the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.
25 By faith he preferred to be associated with the affliction of God’s people rather than with the fleeting privileges of Pharaoh’s house, which did not constitute the true portion of his inheritance. (The word, hamartia, from ha, meaning negative, and meros, meaning form or portion, without your portion, to fall short of your portion; often translated as sin.)
26 He was not embarrassed to be associated with the Messianic promise at the expense of the treasures of Egypt. He deliberately looked away from those towards the greater riches of his reward in Christ. (No reward of the flesh can compare with the wealth of faith.)
27 The rage of the King did not scare him when he abandoned Egypt; faith, giving substance to the invisible, made him brave.
28 His faith saw the Paschal Lamb and the sprinkled blood on the door posts as the salvation of the people.
29 By faith they crossed the Red Sea on dry ground, but the Egyptians drowned when they followed them.
30 By faith the walls of the city of Jericho collapsed when Israel marched around the city for seven days. (They did not conquer through the strength of their army.)
31 Rahab the prostitute’s faith saved her even though her house was built in the wall! While all the other houses collapsed around her, her own remained. She welcomed the spies and acknowledged the God who saved them out of Egypt. (Josh 2:11) Her family also was given an equal opportunity to be saved through her faith. (Imagine their surprise, bearing in mind her life and shameful reputation!)
32 And so the list of faith-heroes continues. There is not enough time to tell the stories of Gideon and Barak and Sampson and Jephtah, of David, Samuel and the prophets.
33 These are they who conquered kingdoms by faith. (Gideon, like Rahab, was in no position to claim any credit for his achievement; faith nullifies boasting [see Rom 3:27, Judg 6:11-16] They accomplished righteousness by that same faith and thus secured the promise [by faith and not by performance]. Deborah told Barak the son of Abinoam that, although he would deliver Israel, he would not get the honor, since a woman would do it for him. [See Judg 4:21] In the principle of righteousness by faith, the flesh will take no glory. Barak, means to worship in adoration, and Abinoam means, “my father’s delight” or “grace.”) By faith they shut the mouths of lions. (Samson, whose mighty achievements were immediately accredited to the Spirit of the Lord who moved upon him. Again there was no occasion to glory in the flesh.)
34 Their faith extinguished powerful fires. They escaped from fierce battles. They were empowered in spite of their frailty. They became heroes in battle and caused hostile armies to flee before them. (Jephtah whose own brothers disinherited him because his mother was a prostitute became the captain of the army of Israel.)
35 By faith women received their children back from the dead. (1 Kings 17:18-24, 2 Kings 4:32-34) Others were severely tortured for their faith and refused to accept release when it was offered them on condition that they would renounce their opinions. To have accepted deliverance then could have saved their lives, but their faith saw a more honorable and glorious resurrection.
36 Still others were mocked and ridiculed for their faith: they were beaten up, shackled and imprisoned.
37 While some were stoned to death, others (like Isaiah the prophet) were sawn asunder with a wood saw. There were yet others who were tempted by the promise of possible release from torture, and then were brutally slaughtered with the sword. Many became wandering refugees with nothing but sheep and goatskins for clothing. They lost everything and were harassed and tormented.
38 The world did not realize their worth. These faith-heroes were often driven from their homes and forced to live in the deserts and mountains; sleeping like animals in caves and holes in the ground.
39 Their lives were trophies to their faith, as the substance of what was visualized by their hope, and the evidence of things their natural eyes never saw.
40 God saw the perfect picture in us; we now complete the history of their lives. (Everything that the shadows prefigured has now found its substance through Christ in us.)
by Mirror Bible – mobile app. http://www.mirrorbible.com
“A bird is defined not by being grounded but by his ability to fly. Remember this, humans are defined not by their limitations, but by the intentions I have for them; not by what they seem to be, but by everything it means to be created in my image”
Man is not to be defined by man’s abilities or accomplishments or even lack of accomplishment. Man is defined by God’s thoughts towards man. God calls mankind his beloved sons and daughters, full heirs to His inheritance now. Not at some future point in time but right now. 2 Corinrhians 3:18 speaks of a man looking into a mirror and seeing God’s reflection. A mirror sees/reflects only what is directly in front of it at that exact time. Not some future point but right now.
1 John 4:17
English Standard Version
By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world.
In digging into grace and seeing things shift in my thoughts and understanding I believe there has been a shift inside of me and sometimes things like this may bring about new themes, Ideas, and perspective on other arenas of life also. The Mirror Word Bible (a paraphrase version by Francois du Toit has also give a new vocabulary to which to speak out and even sing out. Three friends of mine have taken this paradigm and used it to write a song to express this idea or chains of thoughts. If you have read the Mirror Word Bible you may really enjoy this.
The lyrics are below as well as links to the Chord chart and a mp3 to listen to it.
**I have not told them I am sharing this yet so I may take this post down if there are any issues with me posting this at this time.
** Mark clicked the “liked it” button so I’m assuming it’s staying up
He Made His Home In Me – Key of D
Whatever my God believes about Jesus
Is what He believes about me
What’s true of Him is quite true of me
Now I’ve become His glory
There’s not a thing I could do to set myself free
He paid the ultimate price for my liberty
The success of the Cross was full and complete
Now I’m innocent, righteous and holy
For He made his home in me
He made his home in me
He made his home in me
When I look into the mirror of His Word
The reflection I see is me
I’ve come to know now I fully believe
It was Jesus’ delight to reveal Himself in me.
Sin and shame have been defeated
He has called me son
No more distance or delay
For God and I are one
His delight is on me now
I’m covered in His love
I’m perfect and complete in Him
All hiding is done
For He made His home in me
He made His home in me
2015 – Mark Hendrickson, Dan Caudell, John Hendrickson
Contemplating from Romans and Hebrews this morning
There is a difference between a reward and a gift. One is worked for the other is given. It is for lack of understanding of one’s identity that changes a paradigm of “I can do this, it’s on my shoulders” to “it’s been done for me, striving is no more.”
Romans 4:1-4 (Mirror Word Bible a paraphrase)
4: 1 If we look at our father Abraham as an example and scrutinize his life, would you say that he discovered any reason for placing confidence in the flesh through personal contribution? (What qualified Abraham to be the father of the multitudes of nations? The only part he played was his unwavering belief in God’s faith in him.)
4: 2 If he felt that his friendship with God was a reward for good behavior, then surely he would have reason to recommend the recipe; yet it is plain to see that it was all God’s initiative from start to finish!
4: 3 Scripture is clear, “Abraham believed what God believed about him and that concluded his righteousness.”
4: 4 There is a large difference between a reward and a gift: if you have earned something through hard work ; what you receive in return is your due and certainly not a gift
It’s that revelation of that gift, that I do not have to work for a position or standing before God. That sin nature I have fought and struggled with my whole life has in the past crushed me. It has caused pain, depression, inferiority, and a feeling of failure. Identity, how God sees me, has made that view of sin nature far less daunting. I used to spend 90% of my time contending with my flesh. I based my relationship on my ability to control my sin management. The verse in Hebrews below, reminds me of Romans 6:10-11 ” For when he died, he died once and for all as far as sin is concerned. But now that he is alive, he lives for God.
In the same way, you too must continuously consider yourselves dead as far as sin is concerned, but living for God through the Messiah Jesus. “(International Standard Version)
I (God) have deleted the records of your sins, past tense a given, it’s already been done. Our confidence is firmly set in what He has done and how He sees us and defines mankind. It’s this definition that propels me to be or do. If I do a work or deed from this point on it is not out a self doing or self production (hope that makes sense). It is living out of Christ in me, Him living in and through me. He is love, He is love and because of that or through that I can now actually love people and want to see them as God sees them. It’s a paradigm shift. “We have a high priest in the house” and I am that house, I am His address! That freedom to approach Him with and in confidence knowing He sees me as complete, holy, sanctified, righteous, and not a work in progress but as a full standing loved completely son and or daughter. …
It frees you to see yourself not as you see you but how God sees you.
Hebrews 10:17-24 (Mirror Word Bible, a paraphrase)
10: 17 This is final: I have deleted the record of your sins and misdeeds. I no longer recall them. (Nothing in God’s reference of man, reminds him of sin.)
10: 18 Sins were dealt with in such a thorough manner that no further offerings would ever again be required. Nothing that we can personally sacrifice could add further virtue to our innocence.
10: 19 Brethren, this means that through what the blood of Jesus communicates and represents, we are now welcome to access this ultimate place of sacred encounter with unashamed confidence.
10: 20 A brand new way of life has been introduced. Because of his flesh torn on the cross (our own flesh can no longer be a valid excuse to interrupt the expression of the life of our design).
10: 21 We have a High Priest in the house!
10: 22 We are free to approach him with absolute confidence, fully persuaded in our hearts that nothing can any longer separate us from him. We are invited to draw near now! We are thoroughly cleansed, inside and out, with no trace of sin’s stains on our conscience or conduct. The sprinkled blood purges our inner thought-patterns; our bodies also are bathed in clean water. (Our behavior bears witness to this.)
10: 23 Our conversation echoes his persuasion; his faithfulness backs his promises. (His integrity inspires our confession.)
10: 24 Let us also think of creative ways by which we can influence one another to find inspired expression in doing things that benefit others. Good actions give voice and volume to the love of God.
That is my thoughts so far for this morning. Not necessarily fully thought out…
Believing any deception that is less then what God says or believes of you could satisfy more then what He has already provided for you….
Was the first sin the apple or was it the lie that they were anything less then perfect already and that God was holding out on them.
“If you DO this you can become this…”
Adam thought by DOING he could BECOME …
Someone said earlier today that “it is anything that displeases God” I have issues with that idea. I argue or believe He doesn’t see the things that we do or have done that would displease mortal man. He already died and forgave all sin. As far as the east is from the west “who is man that God is mindful of him?” His thoughts are full of you, as the sands of the sea, He knows the hairs of your head! Romans 6:10-11 He died once for all sin.
1 John 4:17 GOD’S WORD® Translation
God’s love has reached its goal in us. So we look ahead with confidence to the day of judgment. While we are in this world, we are exactly like him.
Martyn Lloyd Jones has a paraphrase of the above verse:
“What’s true of Him is true of you.”
Francois Du Toit says it like this “He (Jesus) is not an example for you but of you.” He came up behind me put his arms around me and spoke this to me. It was impactful to say the least.
John Crowder speaks about freedom from the sin nature. Three years ago i would have thought this was heretical but after experiencing what could be called a revelation of my identity as being defined by what God days about me rather than finding it in anything less i see how that can be.
I used to concentrate on overcoming my sin nature, i would strive and contrive to push past the garbage to succeed but to only fall short every time. To become centered on Him at what he says about me is freeing. Knowing i am a new creation and sin is not debited against me and grace credited to cover all my failures. It draws one in to want more.
Just my random thoughts
Excerpt from The Cure by John Lynch
Then, with a pause and a smile, she clasps my hands in hers, “How are you?”
The last time I answered this one, I was handed a mask. This hostess is nicer, but I’m not convinced. “Fine. I’m doing fine…” The whole room is watching me now, and I see eyebrows tilted in skepticism. My heart sinks. I’m so tired of this. I turn toward the room, all eyes on me, and yell out so everyone can hear. “Hey, everybody, listen up! I am not fine. Not fine at all! I haven’t been fine for a long time. I’m tired, confused, angry and afraid. I feel guilty and lonely, and that makes me even angrier! I’m sad most of the time and I pretend I’m not. My life is not working at the moment! I’m so far behind and freaked out about what to do next, I’m almost completely frozen. And if any of you religious kooks knew half my daily thoughts, you’d kick me out of your little club. So, again, I’m doing not fine. Thanks for asking. I think I’ll go now.” I turn toward the door before I have a chance to break down again. As I grab for the knob, a voice booms from the back of the room. “That’s it? That’s all you got? I’ll take your anger, guilt, and dark thoughts and raise you compulsive sin and chronic lower-back pain! Oh, and did I mention I’m in debt up to my ears? I also wouldn’t know classical music from a show tune if it jumped up and bit me! You’d better get more than that little list.” The room erupts in warm, genuine laughter, and I know it’s not meant to embarrass me. The hostess leans in, nudges me, and kindly smiles. “I think he means you’re welcome here.”
I step into a crowd of welcoming smiles. And there’s not a mask to be seen anywhere. Right away, I wish I’d known these people all my life. You’re in the Room of Grace! Grace!
That word appears 122 times in the New Testament. The Judaizers in the apostle Paul’s day hated it. They feared what it would do if it got loose. “Paul, you can’t tell them this!” they said. “These people are immature, lazy and have little religious background. They’ll abuse it as soon as they can. They’ll live Christianity-lite. These people are weak and want to do whatever they want. And believe me, what they want is not good
“He wants you as you are not how you ought to be”
He sees you as you ought to be right now, rather then how you actually are. He is not waiting for you to become something. To him you already are! He knew you before the creation of the world and has been waiting for you… He has never been farther from you then your very heartbeat. He has written your name on the palm of his hand like high school sweetheart. He knows the numbers of hairs on your head. He dances over your every triumph. He holds you and comforts you in your every low point. He does this all without our acknowledgement and notice.
When we see or begin to know how he sees me (us) it changes everything. There is no striving to be something because you already are. he already sees you complete. 2 Corinthians 3:18 relates how you look in a mirror and when you look into the mirror you see his face and He sees yours. His image is yours and yours is His. You are complete “in Him”. A mirror does not see into the past or into the future it only shows what is in front of it at that exact moment. You are His perfection NOW!
Never let anyone tell you that God likes you one day and wants to spank you another…
He loves you unconditionally at all times. This love does not rely on your behavior or reciprocation.
Over the past two years I have been learning this on a very practical and on a personal level. It has been a radical life changing revelation. I no longer have a desert mentality. There are no down times once you know who you are and how you are seen. I no longer base my relationship or identity on my actions or behavior. It is nothing I can do on my own…. No more striving no more worrying about falling short! You can not fall short ever again!
You will get out of God what you believe about Him. If you see or believe Him as a harsh task master or a wrathful judgemental being, that is what you will get. He is LOVE….
Not judgemental, not looking for you to screw up. He is looking waiting for you to see that he is already inside you, with you always, and wanting to reveal his heart toward you.
He will always and only see you as his loved sons and daughters. No strings attached he has included ALL! He has included ALL! Regardless of your behavior. He is waiting for you to acknowledge or see his love.
No strings attached!
Jesus was not an example for us but of us.