Category Archives: Trusting God, The Roots of Faith

If

If
Jesus is my Lord
And
He came that I might have abundant life 1
Then
I should seek to live the abundant life He worked to give me when:
He died for my sins on the cross,
He was held in death by my sin,
He used His faith to overcome MY sin,
He was raised from the dead,
He ascended into Heaven where He kicked out satan and was seated at the right hand of God the Father!
What
is abundant life? In the Greek, it is the word Zoe which in essence has to do with the quality life possessed by the one offering it. What is the quality of life possessed by Jesus? He is seated at the right hand of God the Father and we are seated there with Him. 2 3 Is there any sickness there? Is there any lack or poverty there? Is there any worry there? Guilt? Shame? Nope!
How
Do I acquire abundant life? Jesus gave us the keys! 4 If it doesn’t exist where He is seated in heaven then we shouldn’t allow it in our lives. If it does exist where He is seated in heaven we are to take hold of those things (like I shared here) and make them a part of our lives!

God wants for us to live amazing lives on this earth. When we live the abundant life that Jesus has freely given, others will look at us and want what we have!

Get wrapped  up in Jesus and let His life fill you to overflow!

What defines me?

What defines me?

My church?

My family?

My job?

If someone were to ask me who I was, what would be the first thing to come to mind?

In reality, that first thought would be what truly defines me regardless of what noble things I come up with after putting thought to it.

What should define me?
Being constantly aware of God’s indwelling presence.

As Paul prayed for the Ephesians 1; “that you would be strengthened with power through God’s spirit in your inner being so that Christ would dwell in your hearts through faith”. Paul continues to exhort us that through this heart communion with Jesus that we would fall more in love with Him and come more and more to understand and experience God’s love.

When love defines me instead of life’s demands, I prosper at whatever I do. Then self no longer dictates my decisions. Touching people with love (that is God’s agape form of love that has value for others) motivates whatever I do.

I am better at loving and serving in church than when church defines me.

I am better at loving family than when family defines me.

I am better at my job than when my job defines me.

I can only be whole when love defines me.
And only through an intimate, loving relationship with Jesus can love define me.

Who I Am. Perception is everything!

Who I see myself as will determine the boundaries of my life. So I have to ask myself, who do I truly believe that I am?

When I do ask myself that question, my intellect will immediately spew out an answer. But, in reality, the real answer lies in the fruit of my life because I cannot bear fruit different from what I truly believe about myself at a heart level. So when I see things in my life that I don’t like I have to ask myself what is the root that is bearing this fruit?

Recently I caught myself dwelling on destructive thoughts. These thoughts made me ask the question why am I thinking like this? God immediately gave me the answer; I don’t perceive myself the way He sees me!

He sees me as his child with all the rights and privileges of a son, an heir!

Seeing myself as royalty changes everything.

When I see myself as royalty like God says that I am in Jesus, I won’t get upset about the things people do that offend me. I will simply send those offenses away where they can no longer bring me destruction. (The essence of forgiveness!)

I won’t allow sickness to remain in me.

I will pursue and live my dreams instead of what society has tried to force upon me.

I will shine like the city on a hill. I will live the abundant life that Jesus died to give me!

the new you

This post is really a sequel to my last post Who Are You?

Modern psychology tells us that we are basically the sum total of all of our life’s experiences. Our minds process data at the speed of light and pass judgements on current events in our lives based upon every past decision and experience that we have encountered. Some studies even suggest that at a subconscious level we begin to develop our sense of self in our mother’s womb based upon her emotional state and her life’s experiences. We think that we are making rational decisions but in reality we are just in a continuation of our own status quo.

The born again experience sets us instantly free from all of this.1 God comes and makes His home in us by His Spirit living in us 2 3 to empower us to walk in newness of life. 4 But for most of us we still struggle with all of the same issues that have plagued us for our entire lives. We may get cleaned up a bit but don’t come close to living the abundant life promised by Jesus!

So what gives?

First, it is absolutely imperative we know that everything God has provided for us is a done deal. We cannot earn anything from God. Everything that we need for life and Godliness has already been given to us. We are complete in Jesus. 5

The problem lies between our ears! Nobody ever told us that we need to change the way we think. Paul told us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. 6 God implanted in our hearts all the wonderful goodness that He has for us the instant that we were born again. But if we don’t change the way we think to line up with what God has put in our hearts we will become hardened to the new love that is in us.7

In the end, the only way to truly experience the life God has to offer is by experiencing Jesus in a real way. He stands at the door of our hearts and knocks. All we have to do is let Him in and spend time loving Him and allowing Him to love us! Jesus living in us will bring light to His word  lighting our pathway making our lives brighter and brighter!

 

Who are you?

Remember who you are. Those of us who have children who loved Lion King will remember Mufasa’s words to Simba. As believers, we are wise to take his advice!

As believers we are to resist all things in our lives that contradict who we are and what we have in Jesus. In Matthew 19:19 1 Jesus gave us the authority to allow only those things into our lives that are allowed in God’s presence. You have been given the authority to live the life of your choosing. If we wait for God to give us abundant life, we are looking backwards because everything that we need from God has already been given to us as His children when Jesus rose from the dead! Romans 8:322. 2 Peter 1:33. Ephesians 1:19-204.

You, as a believer, have the right to forbid anything in your life that is contrary to what Jesus is experiencing now being resurrected and seated at the right hand of God the Father 5.

As for myself, I find that I am in a constant state of training to maintain a living communion with Jesus 6.  As I recognize that Jesus is in me I can comprehend the divine goodness that dwells in me. Experiencing His goodness in me connects me in a real way to the faith I profess7 . Isaiah 26:3 8 tells us if we trust God, we will keep our minds stayed on Him and we will dwell in the place of perfect peace. His peace doesn’t change with circumstances because we know that He is greater!

I know that in the past my abiding thoughts, what I allow my mind to dwell upon, has been the biggest limiting factor in my life. As I learn more to trust God and keep my mind upon Him and His promises I see more evidence of His presence in my life. I am becoming more and more as a little child trusting my Daddy and believing that all things really are possible!

Spend time being quiet in God’s presence. You don’t have to go anywhere to do this because He is always there waiting. Acknowledge what Jesus did for you at the cross and enter God’s presence by Jesus blood that was spilled to forever remove you from your shortcomings. Let His unconditional love bring you to perfection. Experiencing God for yourself is the only way to live the life that He has to offer.

And remember who you are!


First Love. Peeling away the layers of unbelief.

There is something that we must come to understand. This world’s system is designed to destroy our trust in God. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, all of the worlds system is controlled by only a few very wealthy and influential families.  The governments, the monetary system, science, the medical community, the media, and really all secular sources of information that influence people’s lives and opinions are controlled by these individuals. Their agenda is a world free from all knowledge of the one true God and His only Son, Jesus, and elimination of everyone who walks in the power of the Holy Spirit. This agenda hasn’t changed since the original rebellion in the garden when Adam believed satan’s lie and decided that he could have a better life apart from God. Since then man, influenced by Satan and driven by his own lust & greed, has set out to create a utopian society apart from a mean, controlling God and His morals, ethics, and standards. The only problem is that apart from God there is no life!

Unfortunately, most of what the church believes and teaches as truth is what the Bible calls doctrines of devils. After the resurrection of Jesus, the early church under the apostles enjoyed a living fellowship with God and walked in the truth. But by the second century A.D. the church had been greatly influenced by the Roman Empire and most of the church leaders were not even born again. It didn’t take long for the teaching to again become a list of do’s and don’ts along with all the things we had to do to please God. Teaching based on the belief that God is an angry God who has to be appeased which is a lie that satan started in the garden.

Truth is that God’s heart has always been to dwell in and among His people. His family. And for them to have the same quality of life that He possesses!

We are all familiar with the story of Moses going up on Mount Sinai and receiving the Ten Commandments. What we overlook is the fact that God wanted all of Israel to come up to meet Him. (Exodus 19:13) But they drew back in fear and told Moses he was on his own!

Isaiah 40:31 tells us of the life that can be had by those that wait upon the Lord. The word wait in that scripture literally means to bind together perhaps by twisting. Are you longing to be bound to God?

As new believers, most of us experience this kind of relationship with God. But then life happens. Most of us aren’t taught the truth about a loving heavenly Father who has given us all things freely to enjoy. God instantly gave us a new heart. We should have been taught to change the way we think to align ourselves with our new nature. Instead we are indoctrinated into unbelief. We are told all the things we must do to get God to bless us. When our prayers don’t get answered we are told we are not baby Christians any more and God expects us to grow up.

Jesus told us exactly the opposite. He told us to have the faith of little children! Matthew 18:3

Revelation 2:4 was written to believers. They had walked away from their first love. Will you fall in love with Jesus again? Will you go back to the place where you trusted like a little child? Will you believe as a little child that nothing is impossible?

Spend time loving Jesus! Open your heart to Him and let Him fill you with His life! The closer we get to God, the more intimate our relationship with Him becomes, the more that His life influences every aspect of our lives. His life in us gives life to our bodies. It brings life to or relationships and our finances. His life in us causes us to experience effortless abundance in every area of life!
( Hebrews 4:11, John 10:10, James 4:8, Colossians 2:10, John 17:3 )

Experiencing the life and love of God in our lives will restore us to that place of child like faith that we had in the beginning. God longs for that kind of relationship with His children. I long for it. I know you do too!

Righteousness

Righteousness… One of those misunderstood religious words. What comes to mind when you think of righteousness? Since the Bible says that as believers we are the righteousness of God in Christ, I am thinking it would be a good thing to understand. And not only understand but to know and experience! Like all things about God, being righteous only benefits you when it surpasses intellectual  acknowledgement and it becomes your experience!

Sin. Well there it is. To really understand the concept of righteousness we may need to take a moment and address the Biblical principle of sin. Romans 3:23 says that all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God. Wow. Two grossly misunderstood religious terms. In this context, sin means to miss the mark. Like an archer who misses the target. What is the target? The Glory of God. Okay, what is the Glory of God? Sounds unobtainable. Not really. In fact, to live in God’s Glory is what we are created for. So, what is the Glory of God? We need a short Greek lesson.  That word translated glory here is the Greek word doxa. And yes, it has with it the attributes of splendor, majesty, to hold in awe and many other such descriptors but at the root of it is view and opinion. Quite simply, living in the Glory of God is living in that state where you are not falling short of His opinion of you!

Oh Jeez, most of us dread God’s opinion of us. But what does the Bible say? Psalm 8:5 says that God created us just a little lower that Himself and crowned us with glory and honor! (Footnote needed here. Some versions of the Bible translate this verse to say we were created a little lower than angels. We were never lower than angels. In fact the Bible says that angels were created to minister to us!) In Romans 8:37 we are called more than conquerors. In other words, Jesus has already defeated the enemy and we walk in His victory. 2 Peter 1:4 tells us that we can have the same nature as God. We are told in 1 John 4:17 that we are just like Jesus!

And you know what the greatest part is? This is how God sees you! You are hidden in Christ Colossians 3:3 ! When God looks at you he sees Jesus!

Where does that leave us? God has an opinion of us. We have all fallen short of His opinion but He has never changed the way He feels about us or His opinion of us. We are still beings created in His likeness and His image. We were all created for greatness. To walk in love, dwell in peace and have an awesome life, a life of abundance.

This is how it should be. This is Righteousness. A life filled with the life, light, and love of God. Not some religious obscure term but a concrete reality evidenced by a fruitful life.

God will not leave us where we are. If we reach out to Him with a sincere heart He will reveal Himself to us. Hebrews 11:6

Righteousness. As it should be. Jesus living in us. Empowered to live beyond anything we can ask or even imagine. Start seeing yourself the way God sees you!

Who Is God?

I have mentioned in my posts here and on my Facebook page that we have to believe in who God says He is. Well, just Who does God say He is?

One of the best ways to know who God is is by the names He calls himself.  When Jesus taught us to pray He told us to start out by giving God’s name reverence and honor. Well, we have to know God’s name to honor and reverence it, don’t we?

There are no less that forty and as many as fifty different names that God uses to describe Himself in the Bible. Here we will look specifically at the ones that describe the covenant He made with Jesus and we share in through believing in Him.

So, here we go.

In Jeremiah 23:6 He is called the Lord our righteousness. We have many ideas as to what righteousness is but simply it means as it should be or as God meant it to be. He never meant for us to be apart from Him. In the new testament we see that in Jesus we now have God’s righteousness that cannot be earned but we accept as a free gift. 2 Cor 5:21, Romans 5:17, Romans 10:10, and the list goes on. When we see ourselves as being righteous in Jesus, we will live life as God meant it to be lived without struggling to earn something from God! In Jesus you are at the same level of “as you were meant to be” as God is!

In Exodus 31:13 He is called the Lord who sanctifies. In other words He sets us apart from the world for Himself! There are many scriptures in the new testament that describe this relationship through Jesus. 1 Cor 1:30, Galatians 2:20 (which says we are dead to this world through Jesus), 1 Cor 6:11 (set apart by His Spirit), 1 Peter 2:9, and more.

In Judges 6:24 He is called the Lord is peace. God is never the author of chaos. See Romans 15:33, Romans 8:6, Philippians 4:7 and others to see where peace fits into our relationship with Jesus.

In Psalm 46:1 He is present in times of trouble! Actually He is always with us according to Hebrews 13:5, John 14:17 (present by His Spirit), John 17:21-23, and Matthew 28:20.

In Exodus 15:26 he is the Lord who Heals. Matthew 8:17, says that Jesus took all of our sickness. We are free from the curse of sickness in Galatians 3:13. We have life through His Spirit in Romans 8:11. And the list goes on.

Genesis 22:14 tells us that God is our provider and He is not the Lord el cheapo! John 10:10 which applies to every area of life including material things says Jesus came to give us abundant life. Romans 8:32 says He freely gave us the most precious gift of Jesus and then asks the question; why would He withhold anything from us? 2 Cor 1:20 tells us that every promise God made to anyone is now ours in Jesus. That’s a lot of promises! And the best part about having all the promises is that Jesus already became the curse that was the flip side of the promises!

Stick with me here, there’s two more that we will cover.

God is our shepherd in Psalm 23:1. Totally awesome! I don’t know about you but I need a shepherd! We have a lot of sheep in the country around here and talking about something that is lost without a shepherd! But we are no different now are we. Our relationship with Jesus is again filled with promises of guidance. Romans 8:14, Colossians 1:9, John 16:13, John 10:11 just to mention a few.

And we can’t leave out Jehovah-Nissi from Exodus 17:15 the Lord our victory or the Lord our Banner! He is our protection! 1 Cor 15:57, 2 Cor 2:14, 1 John 5:18 all show this part of our relationship through Jesus.

Those are just a few of the many names that God calls himself. We are told not to take the name of God in vain. What is vain? The definition of vain in this sense would be without real significance, value, or importance; baseless or worthless. There have been many times that I have accepted circumstances in my life that were contrary to who I know God to be and what He wants for my life and what has been freely given in Jesus. I had to repent (which literally means to change your mind or opinion) for taking God’s name in vain and asked Him to lead me back into the path of light. He always does because He is faithful!

We not only have the names of God but Jesus showed us God. He said many times that if you have seen Me you have seen the Father. Jesus is the only one who has seen God. He came from the presence of God. He was is and always will be the only begotten son of the Father (we are adopted children 🙂 ). Read the Gospels. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Don’t just read to form doctrines but to see how he treated people. The only people he rebuked were the religious leaders of the day who were making it hard for the people to follow God. He healed everyone that came to Him in faith. He fed the hungry, freed those enslaved to sin, reached out in love to everyone who reached out to Him. If you really see Jesus, you will see the Father.

We have to accept God for who He says He is and who Jesus showed Him to be. We have to interpret scripture based on our relationship with God through Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. God’s wrath has been poured out on Jesus. For Him to pour out wrath on anyone let alone His children would be denying what His own son did for the whole world.

Isaiah 52:5-7 says that God’s people are taken captive because of what they have been told about God. Because of what they believe about God, His name is blasphemed. Sounds all too familiar. But it also tells of the day when truth about who He is will be proclaimed and the people will rejoice!

God wants now and has always wanted a family to love and make an example of in love. Will you believe he is who he says he is?

Beyond Religion

The bible is filled with words encouraging us to have a living, vibrant, Loving relationship with God that most just don’t get.

In a world where most Christians just go and pay tribute to God at church and have an intellectual understanding of God, He is calling out to all that will hear his spirit saying “I love you my child, I long to dwell in you and be with you always”.  Ephesians 3:19Matthew 28:20.

An intellectual understanding of God is kinda like having a pen pal on the other side of the world. You read about who they are and find out what they are like but until you meet them face to face, hug their neck, and spend time with them you don’t really know them. If we read God’s love letter, The Bible, and find out what a loving Father we have without having an intimate relationship with Him, he might as well be a pen pal on the other side of the world.

In John 15:4-5 Jesus uses the illustration of us being branches attached to Him as the vine. The Wuest translation of these verses reads “Maintain a living communion with me, and I with you. Just as the branch is unable to be bearing fruit from itself as a source unless it remains in a living union with the vine, so neither you, unless you maintain a living communion with me. As for myself, I am the vine. As for you, you are the branches. He who maintains a living communion with me and I with him, this one is bearing much fruit, because apart from me you are not able to be doing anything”. The word communion has a religious meaning to most but it literally means sharing things in common. Jesus wants us to live a life of sharing all things in common with him! It makes the concept of bearing fruit or doing things for his kingdom so simple. He goes on to tell us in that chapter that we should ask for our hearts desires and they will be given to us so that we would glorify the Father in bearing much fruit and then we will be his disciples!

In  Romans 8:15 I see a picture of God’s spirit in us crying out to God “Daddy!” as a little child with out stretched arms!

1 Corinthians 2:12 tells us we need an intimate loving relationship with God to be able to see how wonderful he intends life to be!

Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10  What? In today’s hustle bustle who has the time to be still? In Matthew 24:11-13, Jesus tells us that in the end of these times this close personal relationship is imperative for survival!  And many false prophets shall arise and lead many astray. And because of the multiplication of lawlessness, the love of the many shall grow cold. But he who has persevered (in this love!) to the end, this man shall be preserved from destruction.

Nurturing this living relationship with God is the easiest thing that you will ever do. We are hardwired by God to live this life. If you will just take time every day, starting with just a few minutes, to sit in a quiet place, relax your mind and your body and reach out to God with your heart, he will respond. Revelation 3:20 is commonly used to reach non believers but was written to the church. Jesus longs to be your most intimate and closest friend you just need let him in!

The reality of it is that Jesus said that apart from Him we can do nothing. BUT, reality is that with us in Him and Jesus in us nothing is impossible!