Where Our Loyalty is, There We Will Find Our Evidence

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Where is your loyalty? I am sure we have all been in situations where this question required us to give an answer or made us wonder it about others. The answer to this question is more a geographic issue than we might think. Also arriving at this answer has plenty to do with our navigation skills. Loyalty is spiritual evidence, and it is about the substance that lies at the core of our being.

We humans have devised many forms of organized relationships such as marriage, friendships, business relationships, team sports, work, and small and large communities. On a global scale, we are members of nations or states, sovereign kingdoms, and multi-national corporations.  In addition, and just over the horizon more of us will enter relationships through user collectives of global telecommunications apps and other virtual products like Second Life and Bitcoin.

Every human enters this world via a family relationship. Some families are biological and others are social in nature. From there, the layers of relatedness such as gender, race and a host of genetic characteristics make us part of various social groups. Christians baptize themselves, some at birth others later in life as a sign to others of their membership as part of a spiritual community. Likewise, other people perform ceremonial acts to celebrate and signify their relationship to others and of their membership in one of the various spiritual communities of the world.

Developing a hierarchy of loyalties (ex. God, family, work and country) is a way to help navigate our many relationships. However, loyalties can still become confused. For example, we can be loyal to our relationship with our religious community and at the same time we can betray our relationship with God. We can also be loyal to a political or military objective of one group and betray our loyalty to other groups like our race, gender, family or humanity.

We each have also inherited the awareness of the many cultures connected to us. At every moment of every day, we knowingly make decisions that help one of our entangled relationships often at the betrayal of another interwoven relationship. However, as ambassadors of God our loyalty is really a manifestation of God’s loyalty. Therefore, when we experience breaches in trust they should not be personal to us because in every relationship we are representatives of God.

Luke 7:47 (NLT) “I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.”

Luke 17:3-4 (NLT) So watch yourselves! “If another believer sins, rebuke that person; then if there is repentance, forgive. Even if that person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, you must forgive.”

Forgiveness, grace and mercy are the tools God uses to restore relationships. The sole mission of Jesus was to help all humans understand that their relationship with God is whole and therefore, living in unity with God is available and possible. It is a bad religious point of view to see humanity today as separated from God. The purpose of the gospel or good news is that any person can live a life in unity with God. Therefore, as we re-present God, when betrayal happens, we have the opportunity to die to self and forgive like the One we represent.

It is my encouragement that we understand the source of our loyalty. Only God, is good, and if we are open and sensitive to His Presence within, He can live through us. It is God’s desire for the entirety of humanity to understand that His forgiveness, grace and mercy have already made every human relationship with Him whole. In all relationships that we are the party to, we should likewise have this same goal when we perceive betrayal of trust. And that goal is to love and make every relationship whole.

If we can let go of the false belief that we never betray others and that others only betray us, we have a chance at peace on earth. Our false beliefs result in unreal expectations, which put others under undue pressure to live up to our unreal expectations. Our loyalty is a manifestation of God’s love and loyalty every time we forgive and extend grace and mercy.

Jeremiah 3131-33 (NLT) “The day is coming,” says the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and Judah. 32 This covenant will not be like the one I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand and brought them out of the land of Egypt. They broke that covenant, though I loved them as a husband loves his wife,” says the Lord. 33 “But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel after those days,” says the Lord. “I will put my instructions deep within them, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.

Therefore, our initial question remains standing. Where is your loyalty? Is our loyalty rooted in false beliefs? No! The true substance of our loyalty is embedded in love, forgiveness, mercy and grace. God gives these inherited traits to every human child. At the core of every relationship we are involved in, if we are actively aware, is the very Presence of God. It is there, where we shall find a treasure of evidence proving the existence of God.

Mark 10:2-9 (NLT) Some Pharisees came and tried to trap him with this question: “Should a man be allowed to divorce his wife?” Jesus answered them with a question: “What did Moses say in the law about divorce?” “Well, he permitted it,” they replied. “He said a man can give his wife a written notice of divorce and send her away.” But Jesus responded, “He wrote this commandment only as a concession to your hard hearts. But ‘God made them male and female’ from the beginning of creation. ‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’ Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.”

Luke 12:33-34 (NIV) Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

 

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Can We Carry The Evidence For a Culture of Everyone?

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No person is an island; therefore, the number of people who influence our lives in this technology driven culture is increasing daily. Also, true is that number of lives we influence is beyond measure. Gone are the days where the only influence is the members in our small community of friends and family. By influence, I mean every moment in our lives when we have said in our hearts, I want to be a firefighter, teacher, artist, scientist, soldier, or business person. Like an asteroid hurtling through space being bumped by smaller asteroids and pulled by the gravity of large objects, so too is the trajectory of our lives constantly changing.

Following the renaissance humanity saw the emergence of the nation-state and today humans are witnessing the birth pangs of the global-state. Already the mindset of inter-national relations has given way to terms like world economy, global security, global consciousness, global communications and planetary ecology which is now becoming the new human point of view.

When Jesus made the claim that greater works, you will we do as compared to Himself, it was for a day such as this. Our interconnection with the 7 plus billion members of the human family is astounding. If our working definition of love is to dissolve the separation between humans then, we are living the dream. It may seem that we have never been more separate but actually at this moment in human history we have never been more connected.

Revelation 5:9-10 (NKJV) …Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, 10And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.”

Revelation 7:9 (NKJV) After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne

Revelation 14:6 (NKJV) Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people

Today it is important to see and understand that the human community is developing into what I will call a “Culture of Everyone”. This does not mean our individuality will diminish, but it means that the things we have in common will become easily recognized as the things that bind all humans together.

Even the traditional interpretation of the last book in the bible is for the end of a fractured human culture. But what is overlooked is that when human culture begins to come together it will include all the people’s of the earth. Today every religion dreams of an end-time human culture of peace and harmony, but they usually only include people with their cultural background.

Ephesians 1:15-17 (NLT) Ever since I first heard of your strong faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for God’s people everywhere, 16 I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, 17 asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God.

2 Peter 1:3-4 (NLT) By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. 4And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.

My encouragement is that we let go of our fear that there is not enough material or spiritual resources. Humankind must begin to carry the evidence for a “Culture of Everyone”, which is God’s true Kingdom. God who is infinite has placed us humans on this planet and through Jesus’ example, we each have also been given access to the very spiritual Presence of God. Even if the population gets to 14 billion there is more than enough for everyone.

If we can get past the fear of not enough then we can relax and begin to appreciate the beauty of all things. We can begin ponder a life of peace and happiness for all who inhabits this planet. Love is the opposite of fear. Beauty is the dissolution of separation between things and love is that dissolution between people.

We are all on this path set in motion before we took up physical form and now the question is, are we going to help or hinder this inevitable flow? We are more powerful than we think and quantum leaps can be achieved (relationship from the inside with everything and everyone) while we are in bodily form.

The culture of everyone is a reality today. The ultimate question is can we see it and can we begin to carry the evidence of its reality. If our worldview has no limits then, we can begin to use the technology of our day to help forge a reality that is dawning in the hearts and minds of our fellow humans.

When we awaken to the fact that, God is our Father then all other humans become our sisters and brothers. Once lost we have all been found and now we must welcome everyone into our family. Through Jesus, the daughters and sons of Adam and Eve can now awake and be quickened to the actual truth that we all have always been daughters and sons of God. We are all part of the culture of everyone.

Luke 15:31-32 (NLT)   “His father said to him, ‘Look, dear son, you have always stayed by me, and everything I have is yours. 32 We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!'”

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Evidence Of Being

2012_04-15_900410_65609984Some of my favorite scriptures has to do with the creation of man and the descriptions of God. What we humans are beginning to notice as it relates to our development is that we have the ability to gain understanding from the perspective of others. And if we could turn on the quantum engine functions of our brain we could create a mental picture with many points of view giving us a non-local vision and understanding.

There is a movement in humanity that is growing in popularity today and it believes humanity’s next evolutionary step is happening now. But the mind blow is, that for the first time in human history we can observed our own evolution in real-time as it is happening on a global scale. In the past when we humans were evolving, things were happening but due to our localize point of view we could not see the changes happening.

If our next evolutionary step has to do with our understanding of consciousness then our ability to observe this evolutionary process as it pops up in the various communities and cultures worldwide will be a first in human evolution. Our communications technology has enabled a global brain and along with it a global consciousness is emerging and this will allow various cultures and their individuals to perceive from different points of reference.

This is not only having an effect on a cultures political and economic structures but this new conscious awareness is having effect on the various spiritual communities throughout the world. These changes in the human points of view are causing fundamental structural changes in every religious tradition in the world today. With this new consciousness our understanding will give way to new spiritual practices and new interpretations of scripture will begin to emerge to the forefront in traditional religion.

Genesis 1:29 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; ….

The traditional way of scriptural interpretation is to look at what is being said from a human (earthly, material world) point of view. The above scripture reads that humans were created in the likeness of God. Traditionally that means we humans look in the mirror of scripture to ascribe human qualities to God and see how God is like us.

But what is now happening and causing big changes in fundamentals of Christianity is that some of us individual humans are making our point of view from heavens perspective and we humans are beginning to understand and relate with one another as having the qualities of God our Father. It is common to hear the term “Sons and Daughters of God” but the traditional hierarchy would prefer that we remain to relate as separated sheep for the sake of unity.

Let’s practice perceiving from a change in our point of view. From the amount of scripture we currently know we can easily create an image of God that looks like us humans (which violates the 2nd commandment). So let’s try it the other way around. What scripture or beliefs (be very careful with beliefs) do we hold that describe unique attributes about God. Here are my top four:

  • Omnipresent
  • Omnipotent
  • Omniscience
  • Never sleeps nor slumbers

So starting today and for the next few weeks while you are going about life see if you can discover if there is any part of yourself that has these qualities. Here is a hint from scripture. When God first gave his name he called Himself “I am”. So what likeness to God do we have that we should call ourself “I”? What is it that makes up our “am-ness” that is like our Father? As we survey these things notice if they have any qualities of God. Let’s look at the quality of love. Also let’s bring heaven’s perspective to earth instead of the traditional way of reading scripture.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Romans 8:28  And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

Romans 8:38-39 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Referring to the 3 scriptures above we can get understanding about Gods love as compared to human love. If we look at these scriptures from a human point of view we can get a much different take away than if we perceive from God’s point of view. God views all human as His children. There is no event, human created or not,  that could ever cause God to stop loving us.

All the problems in humanity today stem from the false belief that God’s has stop loving us and that we are now estranged from our Father. A lot of the practices in traditional human religion is an effort to help us return to this place of unity or oneness with God. Humanity as a whole has no peace nor does it rest, because of this false belief. It is hard to just “be” if you are in fear. Unfortunately a lot of religions perpetuate the fear to validate and justify the need for their existence.

Philippians 2:5-6 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,

If we interpret and understand that to be equal with God means to be one with God, then we will begin to see the God is willing to go to any length to convince us that His love for us has never and will never end. A child continually needs reassurance that a parent really loves them. Our ability to just “be” is a form of evidence of our understanding of God’s love. Our ability to “be” with any human also presents evidence of God love, ability to forgive, and power to overcome worldly sin to the other person we are with. After all if God is in us then at that moment He is with them through us.

This evidence of God’s love is contagious and in our world of global technology God is choosing to go viral. What is needed is for more vessels of God’s Presence (you and me) to walk and relate with other humans while being mindful of our heavenly Father’s love for all His children. We cannot allow ourselves to fall back into the mindset of separation, fear all the while holding onto beliefs that God only loves a certain group of His children. God love rest equally on and in all humans.

We were created in peace and can experience the presence of just being. The great I AM is now living and having His being inside the I am of you, me and every human. As we change our point of view old beliefs will give way to beliefs that are more true. Children who once questioned their parents love will hopefully grow up to be parents that are aware and understand that it will be the perspective of a child to need proof of their parents love until they develop to the next stage.

Be encouraged because inside each of us there currently exist this precious type of evidence. It is the truth of God’s love for all humans. You can call it the Evidence of Being.

Galatians 4:1 Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all,

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Delivering Evidence of God’s Unity with All

2014-09-07_795754_54710131God’s love for all humans equally, can be understood in many ways. One way is through the words in scripture which testifies of His actions and hope for humanity. The story of the prodigal son is an allegory which is being lived out in our current times today. Before I show examples of how this is happening I want to remind us of how the story ends. Spoiler alert!

Luke 15:31-32 “And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. 32 It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.’”

The jealously between humans could be dissolved if we keep active in our mind and heart, the above thought. From the first murder till now the understanding of this scripture is lost evidence to most humans. The understanding of this evidence alone could quell fears, end all wars and bring about the equal distribution of all earthly resources that God has provided for all His human family.

Today in Christianity and in most areas of human society we are experiencing an emergence that is taking place throughout every institution in our modern society. We are witnessing it in the governance of the nation-states of the world, in the social–media changes moving through our global communications, in the restructuring and accountability in world financial markets, we are also beginning to see  joint exploration between the traditions of science and religion.

In this post however, I want to focus on the emergence that is happening within Christianity. When Protestantism was formed, this same world transformation was happening as well. The two sons of this allegory were at it again, and during that time Catholicism was the son that stayed behind. This time it is the Emergent Church that is the son leaving with its inheritance with the belief that it can make a better impact in the world.

The traditional interpretation of the  story referred to as the “Prodigal Son” in Luke chapter 15, only recognizes one son to have an incorrect world view. It was the son who left his father’s home with ideas that he could make life better without his Father, but in the end he squandered his inheritance and returned home defeated. However what is overlooked by the orthodox interpretation is that the jealous son who faithfully remained in his Father’ home also had an incorrect world view in which he thought he alone would inherit everything left behind after his brother went out for his adventure. This is evidenced by his reaction of jealousy when his father begins to give his brother some of his perceived material wealth when his brother returned.

Both cases reveal that both sons were entertaining thoughts of living a life without their father as they enjoyed the spoils of their inheritance. The sole purpose of Jesus telling this allegory was to put an end to the human concept of life without God our heavenly Father. The sole purpose of Rabbi Jesus prayers, teachings and demonstrations was to communicate to humanity that it is possible to be one with God and enjoy the spoils of inheritance during our life here on earth.

John 17:20-22 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:

I have heard it said that love is the dissolution of separation between to people and beauty is the dissolution of separation between objects. When people fall in love we become one with another person or community and when we walk in nature or move within a city built by humans we become one with the sights, sounds and smells of our environment.

If we Emergent’s leave the fold, in our desire to expand the Kingdom, and do it without our true inheritance we will fail to carry God and His loving message to our lost family and we will return home defeated. It is true that traditional Christianity has added baggage to the idea that God is a loving Father that loves all His children equally. This is why Jesus became the demonstration of God’s love that has the power to establish loving relationships between God and each member of humanity.

Likewise if the traditional Christians fears that adding the world to the Kingdom will change or diminish the Kingdom of God then we truly need to question our understanding of an infinite God who took away our sins in this world. If our sins have not destroyed the Kingdom and His grace and glory is sufficient for us, then surely His grace and glory is enough to cover the sins of the world.

In this story both children are lost and hold a wrong understanding of the resources of their father. When Jesus spoke this allegory he told it in hopes that both audiences would hear and see the errors of their materialistic thinking. Life without God is separatist thinking and is the opposite of love and beauty. The idea that we can establish anything new or maintain any tradition without our Father in heaven is just bad theology.

My encouragement is to us all, regardless if we are emerging from long-held traditions or if we are the supporters of existing traditional institutions. This allegory of Jesus is to get us to hold a world view of a loving God as a Father to all who are willing to share His infinite resources with everyone equally. Jesus was sent by our Father to change our mindset so we can see all members of the human family as members of His family and that He loves each member equally and has no favorites. Today this is not our human experience of family but it is the spiritual experience of the Kingdom of God.

If we are the ones who go out and help awake our fellow humans too their membership in God’s Kingdom, or if we take on the responsibility to stay behind and work for greater understanding of family and Kingdom within our existing religious traditions we must always share the substance of God’s equallity toward all, as our evidence. The evidence is the love and beauty that has the transforming power to make all things new. And by new I mean awakening to the reality that any person or thing, is already one with God. In God’s Kingdom there is only unity and the very Presence of God permeates all. God is love and It is the evidence of His Kingdom.

Gal 4:1-6 Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, 2 but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father. 3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. 4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

Philippians 2:5-7 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.

 

 

 

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Our Spiritual Maturity is Evidenced by the Liberty We Extend to Others

6-22-2013_543574_28914537One of the trends in Emergent Christianity and in the other novel expressions that are a part of this run-up to the establishment of Christianity 3.0 is the exploration for greater expressions of love and liberty. As we members of mainline Christianity begin our expedition for something more in our relationship with Christ and our fellow humans we will soon encounter two very different sensations as a response to our search for the hope we have for the next generation of Christianity. We are not people who are giving up on Christianity but we are a people who are desperate to find and be a part of spiritual communities that will love all humans equally.

Romans 8:20-22 (NLT) Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, 21 the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. 22 For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.

Luke 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed;

As people emerge from their traditions they begin to seek Christian thought which is presented in a way that remains truthful to their beliefs but provides fresh expressions and novel ways to communicate the main point delivered by Jesus, our leader of this two thousand-year old movement. That main point being is love of God and love for all other humans equal to the love we have for self.

This sensation that people will encounter is either one of more bondage or one of freedom. As we grow spiritually we are no longer fooled by words. We begin to rely on a deep relationship we have with God who lives and speaks to each person equally on the inside. This voice continually speaks into every little detail in our lives, guiding us on how to bring liberty in every relationship we take part in. From the cashier checking us out at Target, to all of our co-workers including our bosses, to our neighbors and friends we interact with when taking our kids to ball games and to every member of our many spiritual communities old and new, we hear God’s voice saying love deeply.

As we all move from childhood toward spiritual maturity we no longer need the rigid outward rules to guide us. We can live, dress, eat, and pierce or tattoo any part of ourselves and still remain pure in our ability to sense the difference between spiritual liberty or spiritual bondage. Can you imagine the students on a college campus holding on to a rope being led by a teacher to get from one class to another? No we can’t because with maturity of any type there is an implied expectation of responsibility and devotion to purpose.

Jesus made one point very clear. Love is liberty. So if we have a loving relationship with God, one of mind, heart and strength then we will achieve max freedom with God. Jesus also places almost equal importance on this love/liberty that we experience, be at the root of every relationship with any human. And the point He makes is that this experience of love/liberty be shared equally with everyone.

Jesus the master teacher, even while bound by his Jewish tradition, was able to communicate this love/liberty relationship and start a new movement in the fabric of humanity which we have all inherited. Under the tradition of rabbinic Judaism after a disciple has completed his training he can become a rabbi. Like the kings and presidents of old these rabbis were itinerate but they would use their understanding of the Old Testament theology and Jewish law to help settle disputes in their region. Each rabbi had what was called a rabbinical yoke. It was his personal prioritization of the laws according to his understanding and relationship with God. Each rabbi used their understanding to help resolve conflicts of either spiritual or material nature when rendering his judgments concerning these disputes. Also each rabbi would also train a set of disciples that he chose to carry on and advance his yoke. Jesus willingly died that we all might be His disciples.

My encouragement for every Christian, is to more lean on the yoke of Jesus, because he has chosen us to carry on His interpretation of love and liberty. Rabbi Jesus summed the 613 laws down to 2 laws and when asked which of the 613 laws was most important to He responded “love God with all that you are and love everyone else with the same love you have for yourself.” As each year passes we become more spiritually mature and we come to understand God better and the result is that we will come to love and live in more liberty and understand ourselves and God better. Therefore our love/liberty relationship with all other humans should be maturing equal to the love and liberty we each experience with God.

So today in your mind take an inventory of everyone you personally know and then think of every group of people known to you including groups formed because social status, racial, religious, cultural and national characteristics. Then begin over the next few months as the situations rise in your conscience, to evaluate your thoughts, actions and words you express about these people you know and the people who make up these groups. What is it that you say and do with any of these persons. Everyday multiple times a day spiritually mature people work on their relationship with God. So I know we are all always changing in our relationship with God. And this personal change is the main cause of the Christian emergence.

In case you missed the memo we live in a global community. In my opinion the main reason for the move of those that are emerging is that our traditions require us to relate to other humans in ways that we sense remind us of bondage. Jesus however wants us to learn to love until we can see every human we meet as our brother or sister. Jesus does not want us to fall back and become like the enemy but He encourages us to express love and liberty in new ways that will create new lovers of God and lovers of humanity.

So my friends keep emerging by dropping the yoke of bondage and become more deeply yoked with Jesus. We Christians are disciples of Jesus, first and foremost. He alone is our Shepherd, Master, Teacher, Everything, in other words He is our All in All. Our evidence to the fact that we are disciples of Jesus is that we freely give the liberty that we were freely given and personally experience.

2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

Gal 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.

2 Peter 2:19-20 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage. 20 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. 21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them.

Matthew 11:28-30 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Acts 15:8-11 So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, 9 and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. 10 Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? 11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they.”

Matthew 23:1-5 Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, 2 saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do. 4 For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. 5 But all their works they do to be seen by men.

 

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Removal of Shame is the Evidence of Intimacy

2014-07-27_1369026_73305527As ambassadors of God’s Kingdom our number one job is to make known and make available our Father’s Kingdom to all of humanity. It is my belief that God will not hold us responsible for another person response to His invitation through us. But He will hold us responsible if we pre-judge and only offer that invitation to those we think deserve intimacy with God.

Romans 8:38-39 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord

God’s love is unconditional and there is a big difference between the religious persons who feel that God’s love should fall on a privilege few and those spiritual persons who understand that God’s love is universal and that he loves equally all His human children. This is God’s point of view and it is the true spiritual point of view.

Today however, there is a prevailing point of view in many of the Christian religious circles and it has a materialistic perspective which falls short of God’s spiritual point of view. Likewise there was also time when people on earth held in common a point of view that the sun revolved around the earth. This perspective remained the status quo until human understanding was able to accept the illumination of an alternative perspective. Today this perspective of God’s love for some remains as the status quo in many parts of the Christian religious experience, but that is changing fast.

Even though the words of scripture reveal what is true, the religious (or materialistic) interpretation misses the point concerning which persons have received God’s love. The desire to feel special and wanted is as natural as breathing and is the unfortunate motivation behind this interpretation of scripture. To paraphrase, Jesus rightly said love God and love other humans equally as you love yourself.

What Christianity knows more than any other religion is that Jesus removed the sin of the world. Therefore every human can have a wonderful and beautiful relationship with our spiritual Father. But how does that make one feel special if God loves all equally? And so even though the sin has been removed religion allows people to hold on to their guilt and shame. It even unconsciously (I hope it is by unconscious motivation) constantly reminds people of their sin, shame and guilt.

A shepherd needs sheep to have a purpose. As long as local congregations are full with sheep the status quo can be maintained. But discipleship means the training and maturing of God’s children. Jesus was the first human child to possess and demonstrate this understanding of God’s love since Adam lost that perspective after his sin. Yet again from God’s perspective His purpose for sending Jesus was to mature His children so they would understand His point of view. God has nothing but love for His children and He only desires an intimate relationship with each of us.

John 7:28 Then Jesus cried out, as He taught in the temple, saying, “You both know Me, and you know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know.

Matthew 16:13-17 When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” 14 So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.

Only children of God can be ambassadors of God’s Kingdom. That means that any human that has matured in their spiritual understanding of our Father and His love for all could operate as an ambassador to His spiritual Kingdom. Kingdom ambassadors are mature children of God who help people to understand that their sin has been forgiven and that they no longer need to carry the shame of something that God has already forgiven. That my friend is true freedom.

To be able to live in the Presence of God or should I say to enjoy the Presence of God living inside of us is the ultimate definition of spiritual freedom. Adam enjoyed walking in the Garden with God all the while having a tangible experience of an intimate, two-way relationship with the creator of our universe. Jesus who is called the last Adam demonstrated that we all can have this type of relationship with our Spiritual Father. His work as the Christ made that available to every human.

I read in a blog post recently where this person had asked many people over time the same question. Why did God make humans and give them free will? He said the best response to that question was simply that God does not like to dine alone. God loves us and He loves us all. Part of the paradigm shift that is occurring now in Christianity is this simple truth about God’s love.

Those that have made that shift have no problem loving equally people of a different gender, race, culture, religions, lifestyle, economic background or national affiliation. Jesus came to remove the separation between God and humans. As this spiritual shift in our perspective spreads throughout humanity we will begin to notice a new global consciousness as it relates to God’s love.

God desires intimacy and He is capable of creating personal and private experiences individually with all seven plus billion of us humans. He is also able to create experiences that can be shared by small or large numbers in and without the many sub-groups and divisions that make up the human community on planet earth. But we humans must continue to grow in how we interpret these spiritual experiences so that we do not conclude that God’s love prefers or favors us as chosen above all others.

So I encourage us all as ambassadors to help those we come in contact with to remove the shame that blocks true spiritual intimacy with God. There are enough people and thoughts in the world to remind us of the  false-truth that someone is love more by God that we are. In the immortal words of the songstress Dionne Warwick “What the world need now is love sweet love. No not just for some but for everyone.”

John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

 

Chime in and let us know of your thoughsts about these questions below:

Are you constantly reminded by others about stuff you repented of?

Does the spiritual community you are a part of cause feeling of guilt to come up?

Do you look at others through the lens of their past sin?

Does the sin of others offend you?

 

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Encounters That Reveal Our Evidence

2014-06-21_1403062_37268119Let us imagine that we are walking down the street of a big American city and we encounter the following people; a male of obvious means, a middle class woman with a baby, an indentured servant going about his task, and a carefree youth walking with her girlfriend. Now imagine we experience these encounters as a time traveler not once but in the year 1810, again in 1910 and again 2010 and finally in the year 2110.

On the surface the culture in each time period would dictate what protocol we should use if we want our encounter to blend in and not standout. But what if we want to present some evidence of our revelation and understanding of God to each of these people we encounter? Social protocol reveals the status quo and reinforces the social order between each person involved in the encounter.  And that is what we can tweak a little because the evidence we carry goes to the heart of human social order.

If we only fulfill expectations of the current protocol our encounters will become lost in their memory and we will nearly always become background noise for the reality of each of these persons we meet. Likewise going to the opposite extreme will in many cases cause people to be turned off and reject the evidence we are trying to transfer. Today we live in a very pluralistic society and those that can adapt and match the social protocols will become effective ambassadors of God’s Kingdom.

John 18:36 (NLT) Jesus answered, “My Kingdom is not an earthly kingdom. If it were, my followers would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish (Religious) leaders. But my Kingdom is not of this world.”

For every human we encounter we carry evidence for a trial that is going on in that person’s heart at every moment of their day. The charge is always the same. “This person thinks that they are a child of God.” The secular world says we wash our hands of this stuff and the religious world say those thoughts are blasphemous and they want to you put to death so that others will not begin entertain thoughts of also being children equal in the sight God.

Matthew 16:13 and 15 (NLT)

When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”

Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?”

The evidence we carry proves the reality of another world and it upsets and threatens the social order and the standing people have attained in this material world. More important it confirms our relationship and their relationship with God. If Jesus is God’s Son then all of humanity is capable to understand we are His brother. If we are His brother then we are children of God. This is radical thinking and these thoughts have already changed the world.

When I first became a Christian I use to hand out tracts of information but what I was failing to give was evidence of their already existing love relationship with God our Father. I carried a protocol that expected them to do something or say something to prove they were worthy, ready for me to accept them into my family of God. For example when we greet a brother or sister of our flesh we communicate on a level that only acknowledges a reality of what is already true (they are mine and I am theirs). There is a recollection of memories concerning our shared experiences of birth, relationship to parents, food we have eaten, clothes we worn. Why is this not true of our spiritual relationships within God’s Family?

Let us return to the original four people in our opening encounter. If we learn to be more mindful of the love protocol of God’s Kingdom then the time of the encounter will not matter. But if our encounters are based only on the protocols of the social order of that time period, then the encounter becomes a missed opportunity to transfer the evidence of our Father’s love. But the truth remains that God’s love relationship for each human transcends our materialistic interpretation of human history.

My encouragement is that we remain conscious of our love relationship with God our Father and Jesus our Brother as we have daily encounters with people who are also our brothers and sisters. People can tell if we believe that they are of our family or not. Strengthening our family ties is the very love evidence that Jesus bought to this earth realm. Love ensures that our encounters will be remembered. However if our encounters are without love they will have no power to communicate the evidence from the heart of God our Father.

John 14:10 (NLT) Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me.

Mathew 23:37 (NLT) “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, (people of religion institutions) the city that kills the prophets and stones God’s messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let me.

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