Tag Archives: Jesus

Love’s Bigger Picture

2016-02-20_ripples-1455224-637x285The life of Jesus provides revelation to humanity in a twofold way. Firstly, He made known the legal standing that all humans have with God. Secondly, the Son of Man provided the revelation of what is possible in human, bodily form. In both cases, love is the common function to activate and make these revelations a reality in the life of any human.  Any person can become a disciple of Jesus for the purpose of study and training in these two areas of revelation.

The search for love is a quest that every person makes and God alone can provide the answer to that quest. Legally, all humans are heirs and are children of God, the One who is the source of all life in the universe. However, if you are like me, you may be well into your fiftieth year of living before you begin to accept the fact that we are truly loved by God. Until then we search for peace and fulfillment in objects, substances, and relationships.

What we accomplished in bodily form is a function of our understanding of the revelation of our inheritance. Thus far, cultural segments of humanity have tended to only show love to other members of their cultural group and those alone do they view as inheritors of the blessings from the God they worship. In other words each cultural group appropriates God exclusively and maintains that they alone are the inheritors of that God.  However, God’s inheritance, which is love, is bigger than the current imagination of most humans.

For example sharing the Love of God has mostly been reduced to a corporate endeavor. In society groups of people band together to feed the poor, care for the homeless, provide clothing, and care for the sick. While this is good, God’s love is also available to empower any and every  individual to fulfill the need of the many. Nevertheless, we as individuals tend to become overwhelmed in the face of humanity’s need. We tend to lose our awareness of God’s presence inside of us and become more aware of the external material need.

The feeling of helplessness in the face of others need is designed by God to encourage us to look for His Presence within ourselves.  Instead of taking that feeling to prayer and meditation, we organize to alleviate and push-off these feelings onto some other person. The saying “I gave at the office” was a popular defense mechanism until we erected social laws to stop people from making direct appeals. How can one justify perusing the American dream while others are starving? Not a problem if one gave at the office.

Yet, Jesus demonstrates that within all humans God provides a resource that is more than capable to solve any human need. The Kingdom of God is commonly thought of something that is only accessed in our next life. However, Jesus clearly demonstrates that if we could love at a different level these supernatural resources are available to all humans today. Something simple as turning water to wine or turning stone into bread is a demonstrable and practical reality for any human.

Material reality requires that we love ourselves above all others in order to survive. In our capitalistic culture it has been proven time and again, that the person with the greatest ego has the most resources to share. In every sector of society including political, business, entertainment, and even religious, the winners possess characteristics that are envied by the rest.

However, the real Jesus held a different view of the world and even some revisionist of history try to conform his teachings into the capitalistic model of reality. Jesus spoke openly and in parables of the inheritance, the every human has within. He also spoke of the love that is required to access that which is within every person.

Many have mistakenly interpreted prayer and meditation as the method to access God’s Presence. Jesus may have used these methods but they were not the means. Love of God and love for others as equals to self are the truth and the way. Luke 6:40 clearly states that we all can be trained in the ways of Jesus to the point in which we become like Him.

Providing health from cancer, healing eyes blind since birth and even restoring life to the dead are all within the realm of possibility for disciples that have completed their training. These are not popular beliefs in the materialistic culture we live in today, but they are nevertheless true.

I encourage any human looking for love in all the wrong places to look for the love that is closer than your breath. God has promised through the revelation presented by Jesus that God will never leave us or forsake us and that there is nothing that can separate us from God’s Love. We just need a little faith and believe that God has already rewarded us with an inheritance of His Presence if we seek that Presence within.

Luke 17:20-21 (NKJV)  Now when He (Jesus) was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; 21 nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”

 

 

 

 

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The Heart of our Reality

2015-09-15_water-ripples-bubbles-1-1393338The reality we experience is very programmable. And the substance with which our reality is created comes from the core of our being. Depending on our cultural background we may use terms like, our heart or our spirit or our consciousness to describe this center or core area of our being. But what is the substance or stuff that makes up our reality? And just how flexible and programmable is our reality?

Proverbs 4:23 (NKJV) Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.

2 Corinthians 4:18 (NKJV) While we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Hebrews 11:3 (NKJV) By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

We live in a perpetual state of now, as eternal beings.  Yet because we understand ourselves to be separate beings, our minds have created dimensions of space and time to make sense of reality. These dimensions give meaning to our relationships with “other” things we believe to be separated from us. But, is this understanding of reality fundamental, or is this just a mirage that allows us to operate cooperatively?

If our reality is programmable, how do we access and lay hold of the fundamental substance of our reality? Typically religion has tried to fix the problems in reality and bring peace to our world by trying to control human behavior so that individual and collective faith can create a state of Nirvana or heaven on earth. But there seems to be these continual exceptions that appear to be outside of human control. Even when faith is placed in a big God there seems to be calamity like sickness, death, weather related incidents or big social events like war, economic discord and viral infections that randomly occur and opposed to our faith.

Science tries to increase human understanding by breaking down the individual objects and reducing them to their fundamental components. However even with the best tools developed by the human species such as the particle accelerator in CERN Switzerland, or the Hubble space telescope we continue to find the edge of our understanding. Then we have to create more theories to explain phenomena such a dark matter, and re-organize our understanding into systems such as quantum, string or unified field theories.

So let me suggest a different strategy one that does not preclude any humans from participating and one that should be compatible with existing explorations in our cultures of religion or science. I must give credit to author Melody Fletcher and her book Deliberate Receiving for suggesting some really practical ways to explore the programmable-ness of our reality. I do believe our answer lies somewhere in the combination of our beliefs about spiritual truth and our beliefs about objective truth.

Here are two simple but profound beliefs to add to our understanding and our exploration for ultimate truth?

  • Firstly that our being is not limited to this human body, its thoughts, feelings and perceptions; because the nature of our true being is infinite in scope, eternally present and consciously aware.
  • Secondly that we understand ourselves fundamentally to be unified with God and all of creation (human, animal, plant and mineral). Which could mean that our material world is not made of ideas or matter that are external; but is made of the consciousness at the core of our being?

Genesis 1:27 (NLT) So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

John 17:22-23 (NLT) I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. (Jesus praying to God about every human)

With these two simple beliefs we can begin to contemplate, pray or meditate a bout our relationship in reality. What we will begin to see is that the tens of thousands of our existing beliefs are immediately in opposition to the emerging worldview being spawned by these two simple beliefs. As we contemplate these two simple beliefs let’s not do so in a vacuum but search your current cultural traditions for existing hints of the emerging reality that is coming into focus.

Many may agree that fundamentally humanity is not evolving the way we imagined it would go. As technology increases our ethics, kindness and love for everyone including the whole of creation must also grow. The traditional concepts of space and time will not disappear but we will soon learn to operate outside of the limiting beliefs  that formed these concepts. As a disciple of Jesus I see that this deeper understanding of reality will increase our faith and enable us to feed more, heal more and love more.

Human evolution does not have to go the way of the dystopian world view. The spiritual visions of reduced suffering and greater compassion resulting in heaven on earth is a possible reality. What is needed is courage to self-reprogram from our traditional belief structures. Those that accomplish this will begin to experience the programmable-ness of our reality. We will notice that the substance of our so-called material  is not hardwired because the substance of this world’s reality is the same substance at the heart of our being.

Hebrews 11:1 (NLT) Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen: it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.

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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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