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Showing posts from September 4, 2011

Joy and Bearing Our Sins

The message this morning as I was waking up was 'joy'. Joy was what empowered Jesus to endure the cross. Joy is to be the magnetic power that draws all of us to follow His example. As long as the devil can keep us from becoming addicted to joy he knows he can very likely succeed in keeping us from becoming a threat to his kingdom of fear. More on this to come.
Another message that came soon afterward was on my questions about what it really means to bear sins for someone else. If Jesus is to be my example, how about the part where He is supposed to have born my sins on the cross? We are not expected to do that are we? Or maybe this is another case of mistaken definition again where we have little to no clue as to what the terminology we are using actually means.
What does it really mean to bear someone's sins in the context of my new understanding of a God who is not vengeful, does not hold grudges, forgives instantly and never seeks revenge or retaliation? I have been learn…

Rethinking Evangelism

I have been thinking about the subject of what is termed 'evangelism' lately and have come to realize more of my misconceptions that have kept me in fear and crippled me from being more effective. As with nearly every other issue in religion, the more I learn of the true meaning of words and the higher purpose that heaven has for everything we are told about in the Christian walk, the more sense it makes. Yet at the same time these new insights usually contradict accepted assumptions.
Some time ago I learned from a wise minister some very important things about this idea of evangelism that really startled me and that I need to bring into focus again. I say that I consider him a wise man because he was years ahead of most of us in realizing that the really important thing, the primarily vital part of living as a Christian is to put at the very top of our priorities cultivating an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ and getting to know His heart in our own heart. Any other di…

Core Trust

I am currently going slowly through the book of John to grasp what it really means to believe. It is starting to make more sense all the time and this morning many of the pieces began coming together even more clearly as I was reading the devotional for today.
At first the language used in the devotional seemed like legalese that triggers a strong reaction in me given my upbringing. But I have been seeking for some time to reconcile the legal language of religious talk with a greater view of truth that I have been discovering over the past few years. Because of this it is becoming easier to discern the deeper meaning of legal references and translate them into language that makes more sense in the higher view of the universal controversy taking place and the background of a proper view of God's character.
This reading referred to Adam and Eve's sin in eating the fruit as a terrible consequence. This already is in stark contrast to the assumption by many that death was a punishme…

Joy or Wrath

It has just occurred to me more clearly than ever the relationship between true joy and the essence of what the Bible calls God's 'wrath'.
Joy, as I have been coming to learn, is the description of what we experience inside whenever someone is glad to be with us, one who cares deeply about us and wants to be close to us in every way possible – spiritually, physically, emotionally – no matter what we are experiencing or feeling. Our deep cravings to experience companionship, bonds of caring and love and intimacy lie at the very foundation of the human psyche. Scientists have observed this in their recent studies of how the brain is designed to function and have even decided that one of the best words to describe this fundamental need of our makeup is the word joy.
I don't know why I have not thought of it this clearly before (or maybe I have and have just forgotten), but it suddenly struck me this morning that the exact opposite of joy is what the Bible describes as wr…

Divine Traffic Controller

In my dreams as I was awakening this morning my mind was trying to sort out some kind of formula or something to do with how people functioned very early in the history of this world before becoming deeply masked by the darkness of pervasive deception. I don't know why my brain was working on this idea but it was. I was analyzing how intuition works and how intelligence might operate in its simplest yet most efficient form. Of course I can't remember most of the details of the dream now but I remember pondering the difficulty of trying to transfer musical information from one person to another. When the need for musical notation came up I immediately realized that this was the introduction of the concept of a code that would inevitably be foreign to anyone who was not initiated into that language. I sensed that there must have been a much more effective way of conveying this information that likely may now be largely lost to us at this point in history.
I also began to sense …

Valid Testimony

Our testimony is invalidated if what we say is not totally based on personal experience. Hearsay is invalid in a trial; only personal testimony based on personal knowledge from personal experience is acceptable to hold weight in favor or against the person on trial.
This is why it is so vital that for God's sake we come to know Him personally and have a personal transformative experience of His grace in our life. Knowing facts about God or trying to keep up good religious appearances or 'live a good life' does not qualify as effective testimony in favor of God that will help vindicate His case. Jesus spoke about these kinds of attempts in His analogy of the judgment in His story of those surprised that their religious activities did not admit them into the kingdom. Significantly, the reason He gave for their disqualification was a lack of a personal relationship with Himself.
As a result, religious knowledge is only truly useful as it contributes to the enhancement of a pers…

Confusing Priorities

One of the teachers of the law came to Jesus. He heard Jesus arguing with the Sadducees and the Pharisees. He saw that Jesus gave good answers to their questions. So he asked him, "Which of the commands is the most important?" Jesus answered, "The most important command is this: 'People of Israel, listen! The Lord our God is the only Lord. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.' The second most important command is this: 'Love your neighbor the same as you love yourself.' These two commands are the most important." (Mar 12:28-31 ERV)
Why are these two commands listed in this priority?
One way to flush out an answer to this question would be to invert them and observe the effect. Another is to take into account the essence of what love itself is and how we are designed to participate in love. If we bring confused ideas about love to these passages then we are likely to get faulty answers to our …