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Humans Evolving Spiritually

2016-11-14_droplets-1384830-1598x1125Human evolution includes the development of that part of us that exist at our core. What makes this evolutionary period unique is our ability to observe on a global scale this process in real-time.   For thousands of years our developmental feedback has also evolved. Where once we were only shaped by our local tribal community, and then molded by patriotic influences of the nation-state. Today there is a global cross-pollination effecting human spiritual development.

More than anything else, religious traditions continue to provide the greatest framework for human spiritual development. They set the parameters for describing the spiritual nature of humanity. The institutions that keep and dispense the parameters are also subject to today’s global evolutionary influences. The questions proposed in this post concerns itself with the limits of human understanding as it relates to the reality of the nature of human spirituality.

Genesis 1:26-27 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

Exodus 3:13-14 Then Moses said to God, “Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?” 14 And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”

John 17:22-23   And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.

Most, but not all religions define human spiritual nature in relationship to their understanding of God. If that God is infinite then spiritual nature tends to be infinite. Some religions derived their spiritual understanding and practice from a God that is perceived to be finite.

Religious tradition has much to say from both fronts. However, because of its slowness to adapt to the new outside global influences it is losing its ability to shape the moral consciousness of the current and therefore the next generation. Religion had been the go-to institution of society for ethical values. However, Its slowness to adapt has caused secular schools to pick up the slack in human spiritual evolution.

To counter this, there is an emergence of a global consciousness bought on by technology-based, virtual social constructs. Traditional religions are passing on an opportunity by using its resources to defend long-held traditions that they will eventually abandon as human understanding evolves. Technology based schools and technology driven social constructs are by default filling the vacuum by providing new paths to understanding human spirituality and ethical values. Internal to the major religions and yet outside of its hierarchical authority a grass-roots emergence of sorts has been taking place over the last 20 years if not longer.  This emergence has led to a growth of external movements that attempt re-transmit or re-communicate only the revelations of peace and love from the world’s main religion traditions. Members of these technology-based constructs consider themselves no longer affiliated with the traditional institutional culture of these main religious traditions.

Spirituality without judgement is not a new concept, but it flourishes in an environment where there is no requirement for group identity and membership.

Spirituality without judgement is not a new concept, but it flourishes in an environment where there is no requirement for group identity or membership. When group identity is no longer required spiritual understanding expand and evolve. If we live in a world where we change software on our phones every two years, why is it we are afraid to upgrade our beliefs and understanding concerning human spiritual nature? If God and His realm is truly infinite then there is more that we do not understand, than we do understand. Today’s traditional  models effectively binds understanding to that model.  Traditional cultures could provide a greater service to humanity if the ratio between defending beliefs and exploring human spiritual nature were reversed.

Once and individual or a group awakens to the evolutionary waves that are moving through the human species, the resistance to the waves of change decrease. As it relates to spiritual evolution, resistance is futile. However, the developmental journey needs the wisdom of the ages as we chart our unknown course into the future.

It is my hope that both traditional and these new religious social constructs will not abdicate their responsibility to human society and remain engage in the moral and ethical development of humanity’s spiritual evolution. I have no fear because like water, moral and ethical advances will find its way around any blockage and therefore peace and love will prevail. I encourage the non-affiliated technology based adherents that have escaped the limits of major and minor religious faiths of the world, to remain independent.

Our independence is evolutionary for human spiritual development on two fronts. Firstly, traditional institutions of religion are taking notice of opportunities missed when we opted out from them in pursuit of deeper spiritual understanding. Secondly, as spiritual freedom increases so does our ability as a human species to freely and lovingly respond to infinite God. This creativity will only be discovered and experienced as we shake off hierarchical relationships as the only path to seek the face of God. In an environment of pure freedom, prayer and meditation the only judgement that remains are the motivations of our heart. Are they arrogant and presuming, leaning on tradition or are they still and silent, in freedom and humility, soaking in the Presence of God. Human Spirit, locate at the heart of our being, is a manifestation of the infinite and diverse Presence of God.

Spiritual development that is free from hierarchy, doctrines, and practices is evolutionary and its awareness connects to an infinite God in ways inexperienced by the human generations before us. We must remain thankful and respectful to our ancestors who helped us to this point. However, future generations are counting on us to explore and push the spiritual envelope and evolve spiritually.  Infinite God is pure freedom.

John 4:21-24 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father.22 You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

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Celebrity-ism Leads to Cultures of Religious and Secular Hierarchy

2015-08-09_small_rippleAs members of society, we are part of both spiritual and secular cultures and hopefully our desire is for every person to reach their maximum human potential. If that statement is true then you are doing your part to help human evolution. However, I sense  a negative reverberation flowing contrary to the progressive evolutionary process taking place in human society today. I could be wrong, but  I am perceiving in my global connections that there is an ever-increasing part of our human population that are feeling marginalized, losing hope, having low expectation of evolving forward and worse they have an even lower expectation for their children and the generations that will follow. I believe this reverberation is a direct reflection of the value systems with in our various cultures.

We have reached a point in America’s history where its secular and spiritual cultures are beginning to recite a mantra of thought that says to 99% of its citizens that only 1% of it people have a chance to live out the American dream. But the crazy thing is how this 1% is worshiped by the 99% and thus cultural hierarchy is formed.  In other words, 1% of our human brothers and sisters have achieved celebrity status. Our cultural systems have become so perverted  that it only values, the best actor, best musician, largest net worth, the prettiest looks, the fastest runner, the team with the most wins, the pastor with the most followers, the guy with the best job, or the coolest car, or the family with medical benefits.

Phil 2:7-8 (NLT)  Instead he gave up his privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

The original purpose of competition was to bring out the best in everyone. However the effects of over honoring the success of winners creates what I call celebrity-ism and results in hierarchical structures in our secular and spiritual cultures. Examples of this can be seen in reality TV and in the Mega Churches.

If the goal is to convince every human that they are in fact a Child of God then an evaluation of the outcomes needs another review. Well-meaning television shows that try to help people lose weight, dress better or fix their business, in the end only help a few and quickly move their focus to the star of the show for ratings. The same is true for ministries. Likewise, the goal of helping everyone walking through the door of the church quickly becomes all about the tithe to keep the ministry afloat.

Jesus had a way of empowering everyone He met. He was always trying to get each person to look at their life situations from the spiritual perspective as opposed to the material perspective. In Luke 15 Jesus tells three parables about the rejoicing that takes place when something that is lost becomes found. This is the true celebrating that is needed today.

The truth that every person is loved by God, is the heart of what Jesus came to reveal. Humanity perceives itself to be separated from God and so it lavishes affection on the so-called best and brightest among us. We create our celebrity’s or demigods among ourselves so we can create a feeling that we are winners.  Even our electoral process causes us to reveal our feelings openly to the point we feel we must destroy the opponents of our choice. Fixing the competition with the focus on winning and losing is missing the point. Regardless of the last victory or lost we need to recreate our cultures so that everyone enjoys trying to overcome tougher and tougher challenges as a way of life.

Celebrity-ism has become the default perspective of the materialist. Even worst the spiritual perspective that elevates the totality of humanity to a place of equality is lost to many of our spiritual cultures. In the end these hierarchical and celebrity oriented cultures can only motivate out a sense of  jealously.  Today the children of America and the world are spiraling in their need to feel love (like winners) within their own cultures. For most cultures the only way to create this feeling of love is to impart shame and ridicule on others not in their sub-culture. If ever, any love was showed to another by one’s own culture, it would be treated as an act of betrayal.

Therefore competition has become a tool for choosing of winners and losers by many secular and spiritual sub-cultures to express love on its membership.  Our spiritual and secular cultures today desperately need a renewed vision if we are to make winners of all in humanity. Our definition of winning must not remain defaulted to “not losing”, but instead the fulfillment of overcoming the obstacles set before us. Jesus rightly brings out this point in the last part of the parable of the lost son.

Luke 15:31-32  “And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. 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’”

So let us go forth and celebrate everyone equally.

 

 

 

 

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Presence of Sanctuary

2015-02-16_589987_63823545 Why is there a fence around a U.S. Embassy or bodyguards around a U.S. Ambassador? One of my favorite biblical and spiritual concepts has to do with the term “Holy Ground”. I think old western movies and old vampire movies portray this concept the best. When adversaries who were trying to kill each other step on to church property or “Holy Ground” they are compelled to suspend those efforts. Automatically a time out and a ceasefire was invoked while in that location. They experienced a sense of sanctuary, where peace has prevailed. While simply standing on “Holy Ground” the experience of living in a transformed reality becomes apparent.

Matt 28:19-20 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, …

1 Corinthians 15:45 “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

Luke 17:20-21 Now when He 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.”

The idea of making available for people a place of safety is the true spiritual idea behind the term Holy Ground. God establishes this concept today as the prevailing authority for humanity through the ministry of His Son, Jesus. God also provides the power to enforce this concept through the ministry of His Holy Spiritual Presence. This spiritual authority and power, which is active and available in the earth realm today, is delegated through Disciples of Jesus. As Disciples once we have been trained, understand and have become familiar with God’s Presence, love and desire of all humans He will release us to perform our duties as ambassadors of His Kingdom.

Today, Disciples of Jesus stand as the last Adam did when He redefined the human job description of being in God’s Presence. In the full authority given to Jesus, we Disciples provide life-giving sustenance to any persons needing it. Since this holy ground is spiritual in nature there are no fences or a particular place in the dust of earth, where holy ground can be located. Like any ambassador, the Kingdom of God is enthroned in the personal presence of the Disciple. In other words, the Kingdom of God is “within” the person and not outside at some GPS location.

Proverbs 18:10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe.

Matthew 11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.

Matthew 16:18-19 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

Like ambassadors, Disciples of Jesus are trained in the legalities of the spiritual realm and especially in the rules and concepts that govern God’s Spiritual Kingdom. Rescue, sanctuary, ransom and safety are concepts of our Fathers Kingdom. When humans realize the treacherous and precarious ground of sinking sand that they have built, their lives upon they, like me, will run with all abandonment to the only place of safety. That is, into the Kingdom where ambassadors wait with open arms and non-judgmental attitudes representing the grace and mercy of God.

Today, more than ever God’s Kingdom is in need of the next generation of ambassadors. Our world population is moving rapidly toward a population of 7.5 billion people. Also true is that the majority of people on earth have not experienced the true Kingdom of God as a sanctuary from the world system. Even more true is that the majority of people in the world are only beginning to understand the dangerous implications of the world system. The sanctuary of peace, health and prosperity of God’s Kingdom is available for all humans. This is why we need true Disciples of Jesus to work as Kingdom ambassadors.

Matt 28:19-20 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Luke 10:8-11 Whatever city you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you. And heal the sick there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.10 But whatever city you enter, and they do not receive you, go out into its streets and say, 11 ‘The very dust of your city which clings to us we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near you.’

It is my encouragement and hope that more humans will take up the call to become true Disciples of Jesus. Sometimes and unintentionally, the Christian religion stands as gatekeepers preventing people from entering the Kingdom. It has never been God’s intention for Christianity to be an exclusive club. It is also my opinion, that there are too many cases where discipleship programs have become a recruiting tools for religious human kingdoms.

Being lost implies that people are blind to the facts that God loves all humans equally and that sanctuary form the material world is available to all. The world system really has to be offering fun and riches to keep people away from taking up an offer of safety. While that may be true in America most humans live on less than $5 a day. However, what most humans are hearing from religious Christianity is that unless you hold a certain cultural passport or are willing to give up everything the Presence of God is not available to you.

We as Disciples must use our authority from God and present the truth of God’s love for all. Many are reaching death before they have heard and many disciples are saying that is not an excuse if you failed to hear or make that choice before death. Many religious stand in the false comfort that I have chosen well so everyone should have been able to do the same.

Only our Father’s Presence can generate the love that creates the Holy Ground of sanctuary. Too many are obsessed with the geographical borders of Israel and miss the spiritual meaning of the concept of Holy Ground. In the Presence of God, there is fullness of Joy. Inside each Disciple of Jesus is the fullness of God’s Presence. Therefore, it is also true that wherever we set our foot is Holy Ground and sanctuary for any human is there where we stand. We must understand that when a person or creature comes into our space they are on Holy Ground.

We must ask God and continually check ourselves so we do not act as religious gatekeepers holding up a standard that is keeping people out of His Kingdom. We are Disciples, ambassadors and children of God, ushering in the people of the world into the only true place of safety and peace known as the Kingdom of God’s love.

I did not directly answer my original question.  So comment if you think you know the answer. Why is there a fence around a U.S. Embassy or bodyguards around a U.S. Ambassador?

Luke 6:40  A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher.

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, but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father.

Matthew 25:31-40 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

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Equality of Presence

2015-01-10_1288835_84823660An organizational hierarchy can be a valuable asset. An increase in efficiency of the labor output as well as being a vehicle for quick and thorough communication, are just two of the benefits of hierarchy. However, as a member of institutions, we have all experience what happens when the overhead functions of any organizational structure begin to consume more of the energy and resources that were originally identified for the individual members of the organization.

Psalm 24:9-10 (NKJV) Lift up your heads, O you gates! Lift up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. 10 Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory

John 15:1, 9-15 (NLT) “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. … 9I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. 10 When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. 11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! 12 This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. 13 There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command.

God, as Trinity and God as Kingdom, values above all else, the maximization of each person in His human family. At the beginning of scripture, we see in the creation story the Trinity of God, each part, being one with the whole, in unity and manifesting the fullness of all existence. It is my belief that every human is invited to participate as a joint heir in the ongoing operation of creation by becoming a member partner with each member of the Trinity in this dance of unity with the Holy. Scripture acknowledges humans as ancient gates and everlasting doors through which the spirit and life of God are communicated to all of creation.

As a Christian, I interpret love to mean, to prefer others before myself. As a fan of Star Trek we find Spock’s quote that “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few” a good piece of philosophy. However, I know that only the Kingdom of God is set up to maximize the potential of every individual person. Therefore, only in that type of hierarchical relationship is the sacrifice of the individual a benefit for the whole. When the reverse is true of hierarchy, individual sacrifice is merely a pawn for the good of the collective hierarchy, not for all of ones friends.

In my opinion, no other organization has the maximization of every individual human as its goal. It is also my experience that the sub-institutions of religion; like marriage, family, and spiritual community, are very often corrupted by one member of the relationship for their personal gain above the greater gain of every individual in the relationship. Non-religious organizations operating on a local, state and federal level, as well as the capitalistic and socialistic business models, very rarely state the maximization of every individual as their primary goal.

Therefore, the function of organizational hierarchy is mostly about the maintenance of the organization and the pursuit of its stated goals. In John chapter 15 where scripture talks about the interconnectivity of a branch and vine, it is referring to means by which life, love, and truth are transferred to each individual. In other words, the presence of God’s Spirit is experienced within the Trinity and Kingdom of God. More to the point is that this experience is instantaneously realized in the life of every human that is consciously connected as members of God’s Family and Kingdom.

The Spirit of Christ arises to remove the veil of ignorance that says the Presence of God’s Spirit is separate from the individual. Under Old Testament law and tradition, God’s Presence was organizationally revealed to only be embodied in the office holders of the Prophet, Priest and King of Israel. Many of today’s religious traditions reaffirm that only positions of hierarchy indicate God’s invisible Presence in someone’s life. Heaven on earth is simply that place where we understand and recognize God’s life, love, authority and truth as it freely manifests and operates.

 Galatians 3:27-28 (NLT) For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Romans 8:15-19 (NLT) So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” 16 For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. 17 And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering. 18 Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. 19 For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are.

Galatians 4:1-3 (NLT) Think of it this way. If a father dies and leaves an inheritance for his young children, those children are not much better off than slaves until they grow up, even though they actually own everything their father had. They have to obey their guardians until they reach whatever age their father set. And that’s the way it was with us before Christ came. We were like children; we were slaves to the basic spiritual principles[a] of this world.

Today there is dawning within the consciousness of humanity that is recognizing the equality of God Presence in all humans. Traditionally, we humans made judgments based on the use of our eyes, ears and other material senses as detectors for the spiritual Presence of God. However, through a more enlightened interpretation of scripture our faith is beginning to understand what science is confirming. That we are more interconnected and the world is less hard-wired by materialistic objects that we traditionally understood.

Quantum Science and Faith practices have a lot in common. They both understand that any attempt to observe the truth and make sense of the expressions in this material world is directly affected by the consciousness of the observer. Also true, is that judgments, concerning things that can’t be observed with the human senses is not something that can be done by using tools and techniques constructed with our material senses.

However, the revealing of God’s possibilities as depicted and interpreted through scripture can enlighten consciousness of the human observer to these invisible relationships. Also, bringing to light, material evidence of the invisible relationships that affect this material world can be consciously understood by everyone in humanity.

Luke 20:1-8 (NKJV)  Now it happened on one of those days, as He taught the people in the temple and preached the gospel, that the chief priests and the scribes, together with the elders, confronted Him and spoke to Him, saying, “Tell us, by what authority are You doing these things? Or who is he who gave You this authority?” But He answered and said to them, “I also will ask you one thing, and answer Me: The baptism of John—was it from heaven or from men?” And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘From men,’ all the people will stone us, for they are persuaded that John was a prophet.” So they answered that they did not know where it was from. And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

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.

Hebrews 11:3 (NLT) By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.

My encouragement is that each human finds the freedom and confidence to see and hear the spiritual realities that govern all things in this material realm. Especially, if we consider ourself a Disciple of Jesus, I encourage us to focus on how Jesus is able to demonstrate the reality of God’s realm or God’s Kingdom. My hope is that people will rely less on tradition and become open to perceive the very nature of God’s invisible Presence. It is available to all humans, despite what we currently consider as common sense or believe to be traditional religious or scientific truths.

To start, I suggest we learn to recognize life and the beauty of it in every piece of creation. Assume that everything, that exist, is alive and has a purpose. Embrace life in all its multiplicity of forms and prefer relationships of love over relationships of fear. Finally seek a deeper understanding of our personal relationship with all that exist. With that, let’s begin to see if we can recognize an equality of God Presence in the existence of everything.

The Parable of the Wicked Vinedressers  Luke 20:9-15 (NLT)  Now Jesus turned to the people again and told them this story: “A man planted a vineyard, leased it to tenant farmers, and moved to another country to live for several years. 10 At the time of the grape harvest, he sent one of his servants to collect his share of the crop. But the farmers attacked the servant, beat him up, and sent him back empty-handed. 11 So the owner sent another servant, but they also insulted him, beat him up, and sent him away empty-handed. 12 A third man was sent, and they wounded him and chased him away. 13 “‘What will I do?’ the owner asked himself. ‘I know! I’ll send my cherished son. Surely they will respect him.’14 “But when the tenant farmers saw his son, they said to each other, ‘Here comes the heir to this estate. Let’s kill him and get the estate for ourselves!’ 15 So they dragged him out of the vineyard and murdered him.

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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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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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