Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Love is the Fuel of Our Father's Family

Many preachers attempt to save or motivate people by telling them "God has a purpose for your life, God has a plan for your life, God has a mission for you." Some people are motivated by having a sense of purpose or a mission to accomplish. But do you know what type of people aren't?  The broken, the distraught, the abused, the overwhelmed..

Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who are tired & burdened, & I will give you rest."

Running your life by having a sense of purpose or seeking a sense of accomplishment by carrying out a mission doesn't take you down the best road & it will eventually leave you empty, without fuel, without rest.

Jesus didn't come to put you to work for His glory. He came so we could know & trust in His Father's love for us.

Jesus said, "I made The Father's name known so that you can experience the love He has for you which is the same love He has for me. The Father loves you just as much as He loves me & I love you just as much as my Father loves me."

Jesus' mission wasn't to suck up all glory & feed on praise but to share it with us, the Father's family. Jesus used family language more than God language.

He once prayed, “Father, the glory You have given Me I give to them, that they may be one, just as We are one."

Glory can mean, good opinion, high value, excellence, magnificence, honor, praise.. Until we are willing to be honored & praised & flattered by our Father (Dad, Daddy, Dada, Papa, Parent) we cannot be "one" with one another. We must first feel our Father's adoring eyes on us before we can gaze at the true beauty of each other.

When you love the mission & the message more than you love the people there is a huge problem because the mission is to love the people & the message is that God loves the people. The message is not that "God so loved Himself that He sent His only Son to accomplish His self-centered mission of gathering up servants/missionaries to do His bidding & give Him all praise."

Jesus said, "I have come so that people may have life & have it abundantly!" What is abundant life but abundant love? What is God but love? Without His love for His family God is nothing. God doesn't deserve to receive glory simply because He is God. He deserves it because of His love. God is love & love is not self-seeking.

What kind of father refuses to praise His children while claiming to love them? What kind of father demands his family be centered around Him & His selfish will? What kind of father or older brother says, "It's all about ME! Praise me & serve me!" A good father is all about loving his family & God is the best Father there is!

"Because of our Father's great love for us He made us alive together with Jesus, so that He can FOREVER show us the overflowing riches of His love & kindness toward us." (From Ephesians 2:4-8)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Father who is also God

People look for answers. Something you can read off of a piece of paper & pass around. Jesus didn't come as God's answer man, writing book after book of pro-God arguments. He came as the Son of God wanting to help people meet His incredible Father.

Jesus invited us to embrace His Father. He didn't come to satisfy our intellectual checklists to make His way make the most sense as the best bet of all world views.

So many wrestle with the questions of "God why do these bad things happen?" or "Where were you during these tragedies?"

Answers cannot replace a Father's love & comfort. Truth is made to speak to the heart first. We need to look for our Father here & now. People don't find God when looking for answers or certainty or even when they say, "God where are you?" God is found, right here, when His children cry for their Daddy.

Sadly Christianity has been made out to be primarily an academic pursuit centered around a book that teaches us how to ACT right rather than a family centered around its loving Father who teaches us how to LOVE one another by experiencing our Father's love for us.

Our Father is not a God who is also a Father but a Father who is also God. Jesus came not to show us a God to serve but to show us our Father as a friend.

The problem with most evangelism is that we seek to tell people ABOUT GOD instead of inviting people, as Jesus did, to KNOW OUR FATHER.

Monday, April 14, 2014

111% GRACE

In SEVEN places God promises, “Whoever who trusts in the Lord will NEVER be put to shame.” (Isaiah 28:16, 45:17, 54:4, Romans 9:33, 10:11, 1 Peter 2:6, Joel 2:26-27, )

Shame is LITERALLY the opposite of grace. It is disgrace.


..but what is grace? Grace is God's favor for you, His unending kind love & adoration of you.

"The Lord your God rejoices over you with singing and shouts of joy! He is so glad about knowing you that He twirls around dancing!" (Zephaniah 3:17)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Why the Knowledge of Evil is Dysfunctional

Satan says, "You need to do something to get what you need."
Jesus says, "You only need me. I will provide everything for you."

In the Hebrew language good is that which is functional & evil is that which is dysfunctional. The original lie to get us to taste evil was "If you know good & evil it will benefit you." Truth is good because truth works, truth is reality. Falsehood is evil because it does not work because it is not real thus it is harmful. You only need to live in reality.

Evil shatters our world when it says, "No no, this does work. You are the problem. If you do this or if you try harder at doing what you are already doing you can make it work. You can make this functional." Thus we spin our wheels trying to operate in that which was never meant to work,  trying to make evil good.

We also do this in how we handle the knowledge of good & evil. We believe the lie that says, "I should always be judging between good & evil. It is best for me to apply my knowledge of good & evil in everything with everyone. Doing so will make me more like God. Knowing evil won't kill me, it will make me stronger."

You see Satan's lie to Eve was the very same lie religion uses, "knowledge of evil is good for you." What does knowledge of evil create? Sin consciousness & self-judgment. Adam & Eve were ashamed & hid from God when they knew evil. They began to evaluate themselves & with that came fear & shame & insecurity. BUT we were designed to live off of God's evaluation of us, TO LIVE BY THE FATHER'S LOVE FOR US.

But the ultimate damage of the knowledge of evil was not that it entices us into dysfunctional behaviors & beliefs that put the blame of their deficiency upon us. The ultimate damage of the knowledge of evil was that it can blind us to God's abundance, His abundant love for us.

The lie of Satan is, "You are deficient, you are evil but you can make yourself better by doing certain things."
The truth of Jesus is, "I love you but you are dying. Trust me & I will give you my life & we can live forever, together."

Related Posts:
Children, The Sin Nature, & The Nature of Good & Evil

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Not How but Who

The book of Acts was never meant to be a model, especially not a legalistic model, of how the church should look. Jesus did not leave us a model for meetings or even a model for maturity. Jesus left us Himself, a life giving Spirit that connects all of us to our Father so that we can live as His children & one another's brothers & sisters.

Jesus didn't want us to get caught up on what to do & how to do it but WHO we are WITH. As we fellowship with our Father we will fellowship with one another & whatever needs to get done will get done.

Problems come when we interject imperatives found or supposedly found in scripture into our relationships with God & one another. Jesus never told us to "follow scripture" or to "follow my apostles" or to "find & follow the methods & models laid out by the church recorded in the new testament scriptures." Jesus said, "Follow Me." The old covenant has ended ,the apostles are out of this world, & the 1st century church long gone. BUT JESUS IS STILL LIVING & ACTIVE. Jesus is still HERE. Trust Him today!

We don't need to repeatedly reach into history to find God's will. Jesus said God's will is for us to trust Him. That trust happens right now. He didn't say, "Trust what I once said" or "Trust what I've told others." Jesus said, "Trust in my Father & trust in Me."

Him saying that wasn't an obligation being laid down but an invitation to a relationship with Him, an invitation to be loved by Him thus gradually finding all the love you'll ever need to give or receive.