Saturday, October 31, 2015
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
- God's Perspective
- Living My Life
Saturday, October 17, 2015
This was included in the list of identities. (As I said in the beginning, I did not compile the list, I received it. I would have made sure it was in alphabetic, not quasi-alphabetic.) There are renderings into English of the original language as "the prisoner of the Lord." Other versions put it "prisoner for the Lord." Based on my limited knowledge of the original language, I would say the latter rendering is more accurate.
Which means being a prisoner is not an identity of being in Christ. It is a result of that identity.
Who a person is, dictates what a person does. We are what we are deep in the core of our being. This is true of any person, no matter who. So, the writer was in prison -- literally, in prison -- because he lived from his heart, obeyed God's vision for him, and offended a whole lot of people. (Although, it was probably not his individual behavior that offended. Rather, it was his ontinual confounding of the "experts." The experts were offended, because he kept showing them they were not so expert.)
Although, we always live from our hearts, we don't always live in agreement with our hearts. We have been born into the world, which is corrupted by sin, and chose to give God our allegiance. God has given us a spiritual DNA injection, and our spiritual transformation/restoration to our original design is assured. But we are in the "process" of transformation and restoration.
Moreover, in this life, we have made agreements, and given ourselves promises. This means, because of circumstances we have gone through, we have reached certain conclusions about ourselves, the world and God. This conclusions form a filter and frame of reference through which we live. And too often, the conclusions compel us to live wrongly.
The process of spiritual transformation is assured. We can cooperate with the process by changing perceptions and perspectives ... coming to new conclusions and agreements, and therefore, changing the filters.
So, the process of exploring our identity in Christ is a way of making these changes. We see God more truly. We begin to see ourselves as God sees us. Agreements and conclusions are proven false. And we begin to live in congruence with how God designed us.
The world still lives in agreement with the lies of the enemy. So, if we are living in agreement with our identity in Christ, we will cug across agreements of the world. And the world will react. And we will get caught in the reaction. We will suffer pain as a result.
And it is not pain because of thinking wrongly, acting wrongly or speaking wrongly. It is the opposite. (Doesn't mean there won't be pain because we act like jerks. Which Christians sometimes do.)
The world and this life will be a source of pain, no matter if you choose to live in agreement with the enemy, or live in agreement with the Creator.
In this series, we are contending that God views us in a particular way(s), and that if we embrace it (them), we will move closer to living how God designed us, and we will move the world closer to how God designed it. And we will experience good, bad, reactions for God, and reactions against God. We will fail. We sill triumph. But we should never measure our ultimate value, progress or standing with God based on any of that. We should believe we are, what God says we are.
Monday, October 12, 2015
- He is experiencing pain in this too.
- He is also experiences the same sort of pain with those who do not know him.
- People on TV: refugees, sports stars, reporters, actors.
- People at work.
- People in my neighborhood.
- People in my family.
Saturday, October 10, 2015
When we give our allegiance to God, a number of things happen. One thing that happens, we beome a child of God. God becomes our Father. We become part of his family. A new position. A new status.
A second thing, there is a change in our hearts. It is like God injects new spiritual DNA into our innermost being. As spiritual mitosis takes effect, this new DNA takes root, increases and we undergo change. Change will continue until the old DNA is gone, and only the new remains. At that time, restoration to our original design is complete.
As we have discussed before, this process will never be complete in this life. We will make progress. It should be significant progress.
This DNA transplant will affect every area of our lives, but it will be seen especially in a few areas.
- We will grow in love for the Father.
- We will grow in love for God's other children.
- We will have a new attitude toward God's commands.
● God's Perspective
The main battle against the enemy is getting people to change their hearts, to give allegiance to the Father, to join his family. Once that decision is made from the heart, the Holy Spirit, who is both the carrier of this new spiritual DNA, and the DNA itself, invades our innermost being. At that point, it's all over but the shouting. Our faith has defeated the enemy. We are liberated from the enemy's kingdom. We are part members of God's family. The enemy has lost any claim on us. Transformation to spiritual perfection is assured. Again, not in this lifetime. But the process has begun. It cannot be stopped.
God's commands are not just a set of limitations to keep us penned. They are guides toward Christ's image. All the commands in the Old Testament were intended to guide Israel to holiness. Towards Israel becoming separate from the world. Not a separation of disengagement. A separation of distinction with engagement. A separation defined by the quality of life that demonstrates God's design for people, and, therefore, demonstrates God's superior way of living.
And all of the commands in the Old Testament are intended to guide people to Jesus. It is impossible to obey them.
Commands are valuable as guides. They give clues for life and conduct. Jesus said we only need to know one ... "love." "Love" obeys all the commands of God. Now, Jesus does instruct in other areas how to give love further resolution. But all we really need to know is love.
● Living My Life
Many people walk in fear. They give their allegiance to Jesus. They get adopted into the family. Now, they feel they need to toe the line, or God will get angry, and toss them out of the family.
Before someone gives their allegiance to Jesus, they ars rebels and enemies. And God views people and their sin in that light. Sin is an act of war and rebellion.
After someone gives their allegiance to Jesus, they are beloved children. These people are dead to sin and alive to God. God views those people and their sin in that light.
Please do not misunderstand. Sin is still serious. God still hates it. But I think to God it tKes on a different flavor. It becomes less an act of war, and more an interference.
God designed men to have relationship with God. This relationship is man's main heart "fuel." Man is "powered" to experience life truly. Sin in his children does not make God mad as much as it makes him sad. Sad, because his children have chosen an inferior life. Sad, because the relationship God has made people for is broken.
The relationship can be fixed. As we chose to follow Jesus in repentance and faith, we can choose relationship again in the same way. Still, too often, we rob ourselves by delay.
And if we walk in fear of our Father rejecting us, it can have the same effect as sin. Our focus is not on experiencing the relationship with our Father, and not expressing life as we intended to live it.
We need to focus on living the relationship, knowing God, being present with him. The relationship leads directly to connection to our main "fuel" and directly to accelerating spiritual transformation.
Saturday, October 03, 2015
Because unity is one of God's foremost values for his people. this needed to be taken seriously. So, the writer addresses the issue. He points out that:
- The men they admired were all servants of God, and each has their part of God's mission.
- Their parts are all important, though each one is different, but God has the most important part. It is he who causes the growth and the spiritual transformation.
- The objective of God's work, and the work of each of these men, is the increase and growth of God's family in Christ. Christ is the core, the end and the foundation.
Then, the writer says "Everything belongs to you."
- God's Perspective
- grown in their relationship to the Father.
- gone further in being restored to their original design.
- consistently serve others by helping others grow in their relationship to the Father, and make progress in reclaiming their original design.
And God demonstrates that he is a leader, because he gives 100% of his time, 100% of his energy, 100% of his attention, and 100% of his resources to each one of us, to foster his relationship with each one of us, and to rebuild our original design.
God does not consider leaders more than others. He had put his kingdom at everyone's disposal.
- Living My Life
Ultimately, nothing can stop god's plan. The only thing that might slow it down, is God's children not rising to their destiny, not living out their identities, not using their resources and not obeying Jesus' commands.
There have been movements of God in the past, and God will begin movements in the future, because men have put impediments to God's Spirit flowing through people. Such as, only certain men have the resources to do certain things. God has given us all things. There should be no check to the move of God's Spirit. If there is a check to God's Spirit, God did not put it there.
Thursday, October 01, 2015
- We see God in a new way. As Lord, Father, Friend, Helper, Guide and Teacher.
- We see the world in a new way. If it filled with people who are enemies and rebels of God, who is the rightful ruler of the world. But rebels and enemies who are loved by God. He has literally invested blood, sweat and tear into each and every one.
- We see ourselves in a new way. We were once one of those rebels and enemies. We are now accepted and valued members of God’s family. We are a strategic part of God’s mission. All of these identities become ours, the moment we choose allegiance.
- We have gone through Jesus’ cleaning process. We were crucified with Christ. We died, were buried, were resurrected and were glorified (and will be glorified) with Jesus. We went through God’s judicial process, and found guilty, but the penalty was already paid.
- He put his Spirit in our hearts. He is god’s guarantee that we will always be part of his family, and one of his children.
- We are going through God’s transforming process. His Spirit makes us God’s possession, child, subject and friend. It also inject new spiritual DNA into our life. Cell by cell, it grows this new life in us. Moment by moment, he speaks to us, encourages us, teaches us, and guides us. He works through the barriers in our hearts, creating channels for this new life. Over time, whole walls – habits, thinking patterns, past decisions and agreements – will collapse, allowing whole vistas of new life to flow through.
- God’s Perspective
Living My Life