Tag Archive | Christianity

The Answer is a Person

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Over the past months I have been reading and contemplating the New Testament like I never have before. I now understand that the answer is not about me or what I can do. I have previously been or had a mindset that it was about ministry,  about making a difference, and changing the world. It’s not about me or anything I can do. The answer is a man.  His name is Jesus. He was and is I AM. Prior to the creation of the world he knew me/you and he liked what he saw.

Growing up as a kid I had some pretty odd thoughts. I saw God as a creator and I saw us as guinea pigs.  Something he created for fun, but I now know that he created us to be sons and daughters.  We were created in his image. He spoke identity into me prior to the the world, prior to Genesis 1. Adam’s sin was not a mistake.  Adam was a part of a plan outside of time and space. Jesus was the ultimate prototype the template for us. We are his image. A mom and dad have kids not to have servants or someone to sing their praises.  They have kids to be their sons and daughters.  You know,  to have mini-me’s. I hope my kids are like me (well at least the good parts). I love looking at my kids and seeing their moms eyes or my smirk. I love my kids! No matter what the four of them do that is not important. I like them for them.

God is like that. He loves us, he likes us. I used to see religion as man running after God, but the truth is He is running after us, He is pursuing us and has been prior to creation.

Jesus was the redeeming character in the plan. He was and is the key. We were co crucified, co buried,  co resurrected,  co descended,  and co ascended with him. He died once for all mankind. He bore our sins atoning for all and broke the curse of sin. He did it to reconcile us to him. God wants his children to be his children. Jesus is the answer. This desire was poured out through extreme sacrifice and became the ultimate free gift. Salvation, hope, fullness, and grace are now yours for the taking. A FREE gift poured out that we can do nothing to attain/acquire on our own merit. All that God offers is free. My personal effort or any ministry I do mean nothing as far as receiving from my father.

He is the I AM, in me, calling to me. He is and will continue to pursue me/you.

The amazing news of announcing this life which is unveiled in Christ Jesus is what my ministry is all about! The promise is a person! I, Paul, am a man on a mission; God’s delightful desire sponsors me! 

2 Timothy1:1 The Mirror Word Translation

Now, the sum total of his conversation with man has finally culminated in a son. He is the official heir of all things. He is, after all, the author of the ages. Jesus has been on the tip of the Father’s tongue all along! We have our beginning and our being in him. He is the force of the universe, sustaining everything that exists by his eternal utterance! Jesus is the radiant and flawless expression of the person of God. He makes the glory of God visible and exemplifies the character and every attribute of God in human form.

Hebrews 1:2-3 The Mirror Word Translation

The total answer is a person, Jesus Christ! Its part of Gods plan to make us dissatisfied with temporal things, so that we seek life in Him

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Did the big guy know who he was? (A true Father’s Day gift)

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I have been thinking about Jesus as the pattern son or the template we are supposed to emulate. It was around February 2013 that I feel God really started to work in me the concept of identity. One of my favorite quotes has become:

“What I think/say about God does not define me, what God thinks/says about me defines me”

This past week I started to notice Jesus and how he dealt with identity.  He moved  not on what people said about him or wanted of him. I have listed a few verses that show how Jesus moved. There is a common thread in the verses,  and that is in Jesus’s relationship with his Father.  His relationship is that of a son. He knows his identity. He moves in that relationship. He is secure in his identity and his relation as a son.

John 5:18-20

18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.
19 Then answered Jesus and said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father do: for what things soever he does, these also does the Son likewise. 
20 For the Father loves the Son, and shows him all things that himself does: and he will show him greater works than these, that you may marvel. …

John 5:30 

By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.

John 6:38 

For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.

John 8:28 

So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.

John 12:49 

For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken.

Now with that being said,  we are sons and daughters of God.  We are not adopted sons and daughters or black sheep im the family.  Before the creation of the world it says he knew us.

John 1:1

In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Jeremiah 1:5

Before I formed you in the belly I knew you; and before you came forth out of the womb I sanctified you, and I ordained you a prophet to the nations. 

He knew me before created the world.  He created all of mankind to be his sons and daughters. Many of us have garbage and or baggage to get rid of in regards to identity. The only source for our true blueprint has to be what God says about us. He declares us whole and pure before him. With Adams fall we automatically came with a sin nature. Andrew Farley asks the question “How many sins does it require for us to fall short? ” the answer is not one it is actually zero. This all due to Adam. Jesus died on the cross and we were co-crucified with him.  We were co-resurrected and forgiven one time for all sin.  This act redeemed our innocence.  It restored our original design.  A re-genesis for all mankind if they choose to walk in sonship. That sonship is our identity.  We have that same relationship a shared identity.  Our true identity is found in Him.

2 Timothy 1:1 and 1:9

The amazing news of announcing this life which is unveiled in Christ Jesus is what my ministry is all about!  The promise is a person!  I, Paul,  am a man on a mission;  God’s delightful desire sponsors me!

He rescued the integrity of our original design and revealed that we have always been his own from the beginning, even before time was. This has nothing to do with anything we did to qualify or disqualify ourselves. We are not talking religious good works or karma here.  Jesus unveils grace to be the eternal intent of God! Grace celebrates our pre-creation innocence and now declares our redeemed union with God in Christ Jesus.

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Addendum:

This is in reality a true Father’s Day gift. To know your daddy and to know his heart towards you is priceless. You have a father and in him you are defined perfectly. To be able to walk in the understanding of sonship means more than anything. My identity needs to be founded in him and him alone.
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Where are you looking for your identity?

My origin is pre-earth/pre-birth!

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In Him

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He is, I am, in me.

2 Timothy 1:9
The Mirror Translation

He rescued the integrity of our original design and revealed that we have always been his own from the beginning, even before time was. This has nothing to do with anything we did to qualify or disqualify ourselves. We are not talking religious good works or karma here. Jesus unveils grace to be the eternal intent of God! Grace celebrates our pre-creation innocence and now declares our redeemed union with God in Christ Jesus.

Daddy likes me!

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Hebrews 3:1-7  TMT

Brothers, in context of our inclusion in Christ, we are blameless; we participate in his heavenly identity. We have become fully acquainted with Christ Jesus as ambassadors and Chief Priest of our confession. Our lives co-echo the logic of God’s eternal conversation in him.
Jesus is proof of God’s workmanship; he exhibits God persuasion concerning us. Jesus is what God believes about us. In Moses we have the prophetic model, demonstrated in his complete believe in God’s purpose displayed in the meticulous attention to detail regarding the construction of the tabernacle.

Yet his fame surpasses the glory of Moses, because the one who designs and constructs the house gets the greater glory.

Every house is an expression of someone’s design; God is the ultimate architect and Creator of all things. (He owns the blueprint.)

Moses took responsible charge of the administration of the Tabernacle as a servant of, and a witness to the prophetic voice.

But Christ is in charge of his own household nit as a servant but as a son. Understand this: we are part of this family; this is our real state not playing a role or doing a dress rehearsal.  We are no longer talking prophetically in figures and analogies.  We are bursting with confidence. What good reason we have for rejoicing!  Our expectation, inspired by its foundation in prophecy, has now come to full fruition.

In Psalm 95:7-11, the Holy Spirit said, “Discern the voice of the Shepherd. Grasp the urgency of what God is saying to you today! (Sonship is the Father’s language [Heb 1:1])

Moses was under the Law and was acting as a servant. We have been called as sons,  as heirs.  We are not reacting as servants,  we are heirs to walk in confidence that our dad has our backs.  He stands beside us and wants the best for us/me/you. He has already paid the price of admission.  My sin was taken on the sacrifical lamb Jesus.

I was listening to a MP3 by Bertie Brits on a seven hour drive back from Wisconsin on Sunday.  I listened to it 3+ times. (I often will listen to things multiple timess to get the message,  I might be thuck skulled). He was talking about how in the OT a sacrificial lamb would be brought before the priest. The animal was as innocent as can be, no sin no malice no nothing. The priest would lay his hands on the animal and spiritually transfer mans sin to the lamb. It then would be released into the wilderness taking the sin absolving man from its power.  When John baptized Jesus, John acted as the  high priest and placed his hands on Jesus. At that instance Jesus became that lamb. In the gospels Jesus comes to people and says things like “rise up your sins are forgiven” and people would be healed. He even said when questioned “what is it to say you are healed or your sins are forgiven? ”
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Wow! As I typed that last sentence I had an epiphany!

Ask yourself,

Why is it you can believe in forgiveness from sin (salvation) and not healing?

Dude! According to Jesus there should be no difference! Oh Mylanta! OKAY! More on that later

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I’m going to try and get back to my original thought but my bunny trailism is kicking in.

He walked the last three years of his life in a physical body here as that sacrifice culminating at the cross. His death brought about the full circle of redemption feom the cursw of the law. He brought us back to our original identity in Him. He adopted us as sons and daughters of God. We can now walk with boldness and confidence in him as heirs. Parents don’t want to raise servants but children who walk in relationship with them. They want to raise minnie me’s, someone to carry on in their footsteps. They want to be able to say “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. ” God wants the same for us/me/you. I foresee heaven as a place where I am in relationship with my heavenly daddy. I don’t see myself or anyone chained in place with a harp worshipping him all the time. I see an eternity of continuous relating with him.

Did I mention he’s my dad and he likes me ….. a lot!

Unapologetically!

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Read More…

The ups and the downs, does it matter

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I was at a early morning  prayer meeting and it normally starts with a couple  songs pumped out of the computer. Today  Lloyd chose some oldies.

° This is the air I breathe
° Glory to God in the highest

I’m  not going to hide it. I am going through  some really rough times in my personal life right now. I had a really hard  night (last night). I had to choose to get up early  and go to the prayer meeting. My head was definitely not in doing  it. Every ounce of me was  saying “go back to bed.”  In all honesty the only thing that got me out the door was the thought  of getting on my motorcycle for a morning drive. Well I got up and showed up at least physically. The songs that were played got my attention.

You are the air I breathe made me start to think about what or who is my source. I have been  going through Romans and Ephesians and a key statement is “In Him” throughout the books. I look  to you as my provision. My soul longs for your affection your heart.

Then Glory to God in the highest made me contemplate well what  about the “lowest?”  I feel like I’m in the lowest right now but God I give you the Glory even in my lows. That was a minor epiphany. Glory to God in the highest or lowest of times.” It’s easy to do when all is good but what about the lows? I am not moved or should I say I’m choosing not to be moved by what my circumstances are around me. My life is a mess on multiple fronts it would seem how I react makes a huge difference in the outcome.

Romans 5 :3 (TMT)
Our joyful boasting in him remains uninterrupted in times of trouble; we know that the pressure reveals patience. Tribulation doesn’t have what it takes to nullify what hope knows we’ve got!

Philippians 1 :21 (NIV)
For me to live is Christ, to die is gain.

Because of you, I live in you not in me.  If I choose to live in me call it game over. I will always fall short. You’ve  never had one bad thought about  me. Your heart for me is to receive your affections.

Bunny Trail O ‘ Grace and Adoption (ii)

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In  church today a older gentleman shared  a snippet  that  follows or strengthens a post I wrote  last week.

The gentleman told how he had been at an early morning prayer meeting. When it was over he had a couple  hours  before church. A few people asked if he wanted  to go out  and get something to eat and spend some time together. In his head he heard a small  voice saying  “but I want to spend  some time with you.” He listened to the voice  and went  solo to McDonalds. After eating he went and sat in a parking lot in his car.  He prayed asking “but God I don’t get it, why would  you want to spend time with me?” The response he he heard was “you don’t get  it that’s correct. Think of your grandson Cooper, does Cooper have to ask that question? He gets it because it is what it is.”

Sonship in a right relationship has no need to ask “why do you  want to be with me.”  Children understand the relationship with  their parents. They know they are loved and accepted without having to be told.

With that personalize it,  and internalize  that epiphany. The God of the universe created you not for  servants or minions, he created  us  to be sons and daughters.

He sent his Son to bridge that connection or transformation from just an organic being to an eternal son.

If you haven’t read the first Bunny Trail O’ Grace and Adoption (i) ….. .

Bunny Trail O’ Grace and Adoption

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I’m taking a class and me being me I have a tendency to go on bunny trails. Here is one of my bunny trails.

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If you notice I’m only on the introduction but I’m in micro-contemplation bunny trail mode. One of the questions that was presented to us to get us to think was “What is God’s greatest purpose for His children?” Some of the possible answers in the manual were;

●  Serve the Lord
●  Obey the Lord
●  Love the Lord
●  Glorify the Lord

Does anyone ever say I’m having kids so that they can serve me. This might work if your Amish and need lots of hands on the farm but I doubt many people would make that statement.  Or how about “I’m having children to obey me. Also, probably not a politically correct response. The last two, love and glorify, are a little easier to understand or work with.

Think on this, what does it mean “to glorify God?” Try changing it to “what does it mean for a son/daughter to glorify their parents? ” or ask yourself “my kids glorify me when?    Fill in the blank.

My kids glorify me by;

● showing kindness  to people.
● when they succeed at something.
● reach a goal.

I like this concept but in honesty I have to admit something,  even if they didn’t show compassion, be a success,  or reach a goal I would love them unconditionally no matter what. I have four kids and I have a different relationship with each of them. At the beginning and end of the day no matter how they treat me or how I react to them I love them with my whole being no matter what. They don’t have to reciprocate this love I will love them no matter what.

My immediate thought to the classes question was to walk in sonship. The greatest purpose in my relationship with my children is that they would walk as my kids. I desire for them to come to me with their ups and their downs,  their success and their failures.

This is how I see God. I have been going through Romans (if you’ve followed my blogging you may notice my pattern). I desire my children would walk in that identity as “my kids.” As a dad I want them to have a relationship,  an open relationship where they know they can come to me no matter what the condition of their heart.  As a dad I want to be the one they come to when they get a scholarship or they need bail money. If they know and are confident that in both extremes I have done well as a father. (*disclaimer, not sure if I’m there yet.)

By Christ going to the cross and being crucified and resurrected we were co-crucified and co-resurrected with him. He died and took our sins we were put into a re-genesis state where the curse of the law was and is now forever broken and grace was given freely to all at that precise time. He died and paid for all my sins both past, current,  and future! It was a free gift! He doesn’t see my sin any longer. This is not a license to sin but an invitation to step into His fullness. We do not have to work for gift. There is no 12 step program to walk in a grace. It is simply a gift.

Often,  christians feel they are not worthy they feel they have to compete for God’s affection or acceptance.  I remember when I was a teenager and it was home group night I would do everything possible to be gone before people would show up. I was scared of the church people showing up. I was scared thst they would be able to read my spiritual mail.  I lived in fear and condemnation.  I didn’t like going to church because I felt like I missed the mark with God. I lived under the paradigm of works.  I needed to meet all requirements of the ten commandments and live holy. I felt I always fell short.  I lived like that over 30+ years. I was in full time ministry for msny of those years and ministered under that influence. Recently I have experienced grace and had the breakthrough into the realization of what the act of Jesus’s death on the cross and what the resurrection did for mankind. Romans 8:1-2 has become more than just words,  it has brought freedom.

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. – Romans 8:1-2

The analogy I heard tonight was very insightful. Imagine a vagrant (Tom)who is penniless.  He had a distant billionaire uncle who died and left all his money to Tom. Tom is now a billionaire but since he is homeless they are having a hard time getting this information to Tom. Is he a billionaire?  Yes! Yes, but he is not walking in this new identity because he has not been education about his new status/identity.

This is how mankind is. We are walking around like vagrants. We are unaware of what are true identity is.  We are heirs. We are sons and daughters adopted in to God’s family with full access to the throne. 

 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” – Romans 8:15

He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace – Ephesians 1:5-7

Keys to life…

Ok, this is going to be short and it comes from personal experience as of late.

Romans 5-8 has totally rocked my world in the past 5 months! I believe it is a key to changing ones spiritual and emotional identity. Around January I was challenged to study chapters 5-8. I took the challenge and I’m so happy I did. Grace and the ramifications of the cross hit me like a nuclear bomb, blowing away all of my pre- established beliefs.

What changed? My identity or how I perceived myself. Jesus died on the cross and we (all mankind was co crucified with him AT THAT MOMENT) were co-raised with him. This act was a re-genesis of our spiritual man. Our sin man was decimated. The law of sin and death was revoked. The free gift of forgiveness and grace was appropriated to all mankind. We were given the ability to accept this gift and step into His fullness. The verse ” there is now, no more condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, behold all has become new!” actually means literally what it says. I no longer have the notion that I have failed and fall short and and am filled with guilt and shame.

My identity is defined by God, I don’t define myself, he does. He says he sees him in me! (2 Corinthians 3:18)

I said I would keep this short so if you have questions or comments please reply below.

Grace grace!

The Contradiction of the Cross

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By Andre Rabe On April 22, 2013 

The cross is the greatest contradiction. It is an evil act of murder and it is our salvation. This horrific death is the ultimate goal of false accusation, but simultaneously it exposes the deception of this accusation and so forever strips it of its power.This scripture summarizes the tension of this paradox: “For the Son of Man will go just as it is written about Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.””(Mark 14:21 HCSB)

In other words, it is God’s plan but it is an evil act that should not happen. The scriptures simultaneously declares that he was innocent, that he was unjustly accused, that those who murdered him was guilty of the blood of all innocent victims … it was wrong in every way, yet the scriptures maintain that this was exactly what had to happen.

If we become so familiar with the story that we no longer see the contradiction, then we’ve missed the central revelation contained in it. Like all other pagan ideas of sacrifice, much of christianity looks at this sacrifice and are mystified by its magical powers – we allow the very revelation it is supposed to bring, to be swallowed up by sacred awe.

The murder of the innocent man Jesus Christ can never be justified – it was wrong! He was falsely accused and brutally abused by a frenzied ignorant crowd. Nowhere else was the true nature of our religious and secular institutions revealed more clearly than in this senseless violence. This is where God in all his innocence, in his most vulnerable state, faced evil in its most articulate expression – the unjustified violence of man. Evil incarnate met God incarnate.

Yet it is exactly here where evil is most real, that God intersects, turning our act of murder into our salvation. He uses the occasion of our most brutal violence to demonstrate His most extravagant love. He bore the brunt of our hostile minds, of our sinful thoughts. The event in which we bruised him and wounded him, is met with healing. At the very moment in which our rejection of him is absolute, he demonstrates our absolute acceptance.

However, we have often ascribed both the good and the evil of the cross to God! Lets expose that myth.God obviously anticipated these events. He knew that the open display of truth, in a world bound by myth, would be a confrontation with only one possible result. The very fabric upon which our societies were build, the false accusation, the prince (principle) of this world, the father of lies, would not take to this exposure kindly. Yes God knew and planned to make the most of this confrontation, but in no way is He the source of the violence that it exposes. In no way does He delight in the suffering and death of Jesus Christ.

The unjustified torture and death of the innocent Jesus Christ does not satisfy God’s justice in the sense that He delights in this punishment. The blood of Jesus does not satisfy the blood-lust of an angry God. Such theories is a mixture of ancient pagan thought and the very biblical revelation that came to expose the corruption of these myths. We were the angry deities who satisfied our blood-lust in this iconic murder.Why would God then use such an event? The scriptures describe this event as God’s victory over evil. In what way did He conquer evil?

This was the event in which the deceiver would deceive himself; the act in which our unfounded accusations would be exposed for what it is. The story that would deconstruct all our myths into the nothingness that they are.

These false models are exposed in the very moment when our true model is revealed. We are now able to see the true God and reflect Him – a God who loves and adores; a God in whom there is no accusation.

Wherever the gospel is declared and understood, sacrificial systems cease; victimization ceases, the oppressed and downcast are given hope by a God who identifies with them; a God who is able to overthrow the established corrupt overlords and make all things new.

http://www.hearhim.net

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