Followers of God have a deeply rooted belief that God is in control of everything in our lives. The only identity that really matters is the one we gained in a relationship with God.
God is the Creator of all things. The source. The beginning. The genesis. The alpha. He is beyond our comprehension. We catch glimpses of God here and there. We mostly know what God is like, because Jesus came to this earth 2.000 years to reveal the heart of God. His passion for humanity! To understand God we must study Jesus!
God is not just the Creator of all things, but He also has the power to manage it ALL!. He sees it all. He knows it all. He watches every single detail of everything that happens on this planet. He controls His entire creation, with infinite precision, unknown to humans. You talk about multitasking? You haven’t see anything yet, until you meet God in heaven, and watch Him “multitask.” The power of computers, the precision of satellites, planets, the scientific research of the brain, the human body, the universe, the depths of the ocean, the incredible advances in medical treatment, are all just a mirror of God’s wisdom!
God did not only allowed sin to show up, by design, in His perfect planet earth, but He had already defeated IT, since before sin showed up! “God victorious,” has been forever! Satan, the demons, and their acts of darkness, are a tiny little dot, an insignificant dent, in the context of eternity. I know it feels like it’s huge to you and me!
God has revealed the end of all matters on this planet, and has described the future. God is the alpha of all things, and the omega. Nothing has ever happened before God, nor will ever happen after God! Does it make sense? God “will ransom [deliver] them [you,Friend, and me] from the power of the grave; [He] will redeem them from death.” Hosea 13:14 No worries, Friend. God is in control! 1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18
God has assured YOUR salvation and eternal life since the times of eternity.! You can live in peace. You can go to your grave in peace. You can be you, human, free to enjoy life, knowing with certainty, that God is not scoring points against you on a board in heaven. The anxiety for being right is perfectionism, but it’s not from God! The drive to be moral, ethical, is perfectionism, but it’s not from God! God makes people “good” differently than religion, culture, society and ethics! God changes the heart his way, in his own time! BEHAVIOR in God’s universe follows NEW BIRTH. Transformation is the work of the Holy Spirit. In the human realm you have to be behave good to be good! In God’s universe, you have to accept Him to be good! You have to have a relationship with Him to be good! From then on, He takes over and transforms you from the inside out! His kind of goodness is the only one which matters to Him.
“When Satan tells me I am a sinner HE COMFORTS ME me immensely, since Christ died for SINNERS.” (Martin Luther) Think about this, Friend! Isn’t this hilarious? God’s perfect Kingdom is being populated by SINNERS only… :-), being transformed by His power!
Romans 8:38-39 says “So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, EMBRACING OUR CONDITION and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? THERE IS NO WAY! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, NOT EVEN THE WORST SINS LISTED IN SCRIPTURE [Did you get that,Friend?] None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that NOTHING—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.” God is on your side, Friend! God… yes, God! If you are a follower of God, your next month’s sins are forgiven, Friend! Your forever sins were forgiven at least 6.000 years ago, before God created Adam and Eve! Please don’t fool around with religious people who try to rob your security in God! Don’t even listen, or try to convince them! You will lose the argument and your peace of mind also! You never win with religious people! God’s love wins!
What’s the distinctive mark of followers of God? The total confidence that God is in control of everything in your life, now, in the past, forever, all the time, 24/7, even when you sleep! God decides how you will die! The one who believes God is in control of life events, all of them, all the time, has infinitely the greatest advantage. He is WITHOUT limitation. There are no accidents in God’s universe, even if you feel like one!
“Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I HAD HOLY PLANS FOR YOU: A prophet to the nations— that’s what I had in mind for you.” Jeremiah 1:5
This is good news for followers of God! There are no illegitimate children in God’s kingdom. There may be accidental parents, but never accidental babies. You were in God’s mind and heart before you were ever born!
King David wrote: “Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something.” Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, THE DAYS OF MY LIFE ALL PREPARED BEFORE I’D EVEN LIVED ONE DAY. (Psalm 139: 13-16)
In any challenge of life. Yes, there is a reason for everything! And the greatest message is this: the the cause of your pain, suffering, and tough moments are not relevant to God, at all!. Romans 8:28 gives us the key! God is powerful enough to take your mistakes, your failures, what people do to you, the dark circumstances you face in this world… He can take anything and change it for good.
To believe in God’s supreme sovereignty and management of life, does not free you from responsibility. It does not allow you to do whatever you want. It simply means that beyond your own human wisdom, failures, darkness, difficult moments and painful occurrences, THERE IS GOD! In control of your destiny. God working out His master plan for your life on this earth.
This is the distinctive mark between followers of God and non followers! You can be religious, and have it all figure it out, but you will not be a follower of God, without this reality in your life!
God is with you! God walks with you! God will never drop you! No one, no one, can ever even touch you without God’s consent! Read Romans 8! Let the Word of God transform your life right now!
Jesus Died to Destroy the Hostility Between Races
Jesus Died to Destroy the Hostility Between Races
Jesus Christ has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. (Ephesians 2:14-16)
The suspicion, prejudice, and demeaning attitudes between Jews and Gentiles (non-Jews) in New Testament times was as serious as the racial, ethnic, and national hostilities in our day. One example of the antagonism is what happened in Antioch between Cephas (sometimes called Peter) and Paul. Paul recounts the story: “When Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party” (Galatians 2:11-12). Peter had been living in the freedom of Jesus Christ. In spite of the fact that he was a Jewish Christian, he was eating with non-Jewish Christians. The dividing wall had come down. The hostility had been overcome. This is what Christ died to achieve. But then some very conservative Jews came to Antioch. Cephas panicked. He feared their criticism. So he pulled back from his fellowship with Gentiles. The apostle Paul saw this happening. What would he do? Serve the status quo? Keep peace between the visiting conservatives and the more free Christian Jews in Antioch? The key to Paul’s behavior is found in these words: “I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel” (Galatians 2:14). This is a crucial statement. Racial and ethnic segregation is a gospel issue! Cephas’ fear and withdrawal from fellowship across ethnic lines was “not in step with the truth of the gospel.” Christ had died to tear down this wall. And Cephas was building it up again. So Paul did not serve the status quo, and he did not maintain a gospel-denying peace. He confronted Cephas publicly. “I said to Cephas before them all, ‘If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile (non-Jew) and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?’” (Galatians 2:14). In other words, Cephas’ withdrawal from fellowship with non-Jewish Christians communicated a deadly message: You must become like Jews to be fully acceptable. This was the very thing that Christ died to abolish. Jesus died to create a whole new way for races to be reconciled. Ritual and race are not the ground of joyful togetherness. Christ is. He fulfilled the law perfectly. All the aspects of it that separated people ended in him—except one: the gospel of Jesus Christ.
It is impossible to build a lasting unity among races by saying that all religions can come together as equally valid. Jesus Christ is the Son of God. God sent him into the world as the one and only means of saving sinners and reconciling races forever. If we deny this, we undermine the very foundation of eternal hope and everlasting unity among peoples. By his death on the cross, something cosmic, not parochial, was accomplished. God and man were reconciled. Only as the races find and enjoy this will they love and enjoy each other forever. In overcoming our alienation from God, Christ overcomes it between races. - Source: Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die by John Piper
Your True Identity in Christ
Extraordinary people don’t just happen. Ordinary people do happen. Beautiful people are never accidents! Gorgeous and handsome people may just have the right DNA. That’s not what changes the world. Compassionate people are not produced from one day to another. It often takes a life of pain and suffering. Efficient, productive, motivated, and cold blooded people may succeed in what they pursue but will never leave behind an inspiring legacy for the next generation. How you deal with your crisis, your challenge, your point of suffering, will ultimately determine how beautiful, how compassionate, how extraordinary you will become.
The ones who run away from trouble end up empty, very often alone, and no standing values others can follow. The crafting of one’s character takes a relationship with God, time, commitment, and very often untold suffering.
“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” -Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
Do you want to be average? Stay on the planes, and enjoy the good life. Do you want to be extraordinary? Climb up the mountain of challenges facing you. Stick to your marriage. Keep loving the unloving. Keep looking for ways to serve others. Don’t settle for money and comfort. Seek to serve and love first. Learn from suffering and pain. Take every betrayal and hurt from another person as a chance to get better. You will. And not only you will become better, but you will become extraordinary, and bring honor and glory to the name of God.
Rom 6:11 - When you let God love you, God stamps on you, what was promised to you from the times of eternity. “Saved, Perfect, yet to be Perfected to the end!” But you see, Friend, God doesn’t just rescue you from eternal death; HE GIVES YOU A COMPLETLY NEW IDENTITY.
- When you let God love you, you are completely forgiven and reconciled with God (1 Cor1:2, 2 Cor 5:17-19, Gal 2:16)
- When you let God love you, you are made completely new and are given eternal life. (Eph 2:5-6, Col2:13; 3:1; 1 Peter 1:3-5)
- When you let God love you you begin to experience the POWER of God in you life (Gal 2:20, Col 1:27)
- When you let God love you, He stamps you as “PERFECT” in His eyes. Your flesh is not a part of His equation. Of course, that doesn’t mean you will play games, as if you would have two selves inside of you, that you have to balance all the time. When God takes over He takes everything.
- I am created in God’s image Genesis 1:27
- I am a child of Christ John 1:12
- I am united with Christ 1 Corinthians 6:17
- I am one in the spirit with Christ 1 Corinthians 6:17
- I am a citizen of Heaven Philippians 3:20
- I am able to do great works for Christ John 14:12
- My old life is crucified with Christ Romans 6:6
- I can live victoriously. I am more than a conqueror Romans8:37
- I have been given the victory! 1 Corinthians 15:57
- I have everything I need for serving the Lord 2 Corinthians 9:8
- I am God’s special possession 1 Peter 2:9
- My body is a temple of the Holy Spirit 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
- I have become the righteousness of God 2 Corinthians 5:21
- I am righteous before God Philippians 3:9
- I am complete in Him Colossians 2:10
- I have the mind of Christ 1 Corinthians 2:16
- I am being transformed into His image 2 Corinthians 3:18
From Ego to Oneness
I like to describe my journey on this earth as a relationship with God, from “ego” to “wholeness.”
“Ego” is the source of our fragmentation, our disconnection, our dis-ease, and all our relational conflicts. “Ego” in Jungian thinking is consciousness, which in turn fights unconsciousness in order to fit culture, religion, and morality. “Neurosis” develops in very personalized shapes and modes as result of such tension. The more the “ego” attempts to control the “shadow” the more “neurosis” will be a part of such personality.
Cultural mores, religion, and morality are collective ways to control what is considered evil. “Ego” is the force which keeps things in “order,” thus walking further and further away from “wholeness.” A relationship with God reverses the direction of the process.
Carl G. Jung said, “An inflated consciousness is always egocentric and conscious of nothing but its own existence. [selfish] It is incapable of learning from the past, incapable of understanding contemporary events, and incapable of drawing right conclusions about the future. It is hypnotized by itself and therefore cannot be argued with. It inevitably dooms itself to calamities that must strike it dead.” (Carl G. Jung, 1944. CW 12.p. 563)
Julian of Norwich experienced her “showings,” as she called them, on the night of May 8, 1373. Then she lived in the same room for twenty years, trying to process and communicate what she had experienced on that one night. Julian wrote about those “showings” (or revelations) in her book “Revelations of Divine Love,” which happened to be the first book published in English by a woman! Fascinating! experienced and wrote of a compassionate, RELATIONAL, and joyful God. All mystics tend to speak of a relationship with God instead of religion. She writes: “For before he (God) made us, he loved us; and when we were made, we loved him. And THIS IS OUR SUBSTANTIAL GOODNESS, the substantial goodness in us of the Holy Spirit. It is nothing we create; it is our substance. God revealed to me that there may and there will be nothing at all between God and the soul. And in this endless love, the human soul is kept whole as all the matter of creation is kept whole.”
Here is the most fascinating aspect of Julian’s writing regarding her “showings” or revelations. She uses the Middle English word “oneing” to describe this whole-making work of God, which is what I describe as the journey towards wholeness.
Did you know God is always “oneing everything”? He is always bringing lose ends together. God is always mending broken relationships. God is forever taking the broken pieces and “oneing” them in a sacred task of wholism. God makes twos, and threes, (trinities), and fours, and divisions, and dichotomies, and inconsistencies, and polarities, and dualisms, INTO ONE.
As Julian herself explains, [My explanations] “God wants us to know that this beloved soul [unity] that we are, is preciously knitted to him in its making by a knot so subtle and so mighty that it is “oned” [united, made one] with God. In this “oneing” it is made endlessly holy." [Noticed, that holy, health, whole, all come from the same root word: complete, harmonious, integrated, one]. “Furthermore,” Julian says, “he [God] wants us to know that all the souls [people] which are one day to be saved in heaven without end are knit in this same knot and united in this same union, and made holy in this one identical holiness.” Profound statements!
The Apostle Paul speaks of this journey from “ego” to “wholeness,” what Julian called “oneing,” in a magnificent chapter of the book to the Ephesians. I will only quote excerpts of chapter 4.
“In light of all this, here’s what I want you to do. While I’m locked up here, a prisoner for the Master, I want you to get out there and walk—better yet, run!—on the road God called you to travel. I don’t want any of you sitting around on your hands. I don’t want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere. And mark that you do this with humility and discipline—not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love, alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences. [Notice the emphasis: moving from “ego” (self) to “wholeness,” community and harmony]
“You were all called to travel on the same road and in the same direction, so stay together, both outwardly and inwardly.
You have ONE Master, ONE faith, ONE baptism, ONE God and Father of ALL, who rules over ALL, works through ALL, and is present in ALL. EVERYTHING you are and think and do is PERMEATED WITH ONENESS. [Wholeness]
“But that doesn’t mean you should all look and speak and act the same. Out of the generosity of Christ, each of us is given his own gift.”
“He handed out gifts above and below, filled heaven with his gifts, filled earth with his gifts. He handed out gifts of apostle, prophet, evangelist, and pastor-teacher to train Christ’s followers in skilled servant work, working within Christ’s body, THE CHURCH, UNTIL we’re ALL moving rhythmically and easily with each other, efficient and graceful in response to God’s Son, fully mature adults, fully developed within and without, fully alive like Christ.”
“God wants us to grow up, to know the WHOLE truth and tell it in LOVE—like Christ in everything. We take our lead from Christ, who is the source of everything we do. He keeps us in step with each other. His very breath and blood flow through us, nourishing us so that we will grow up HEALTHY in God, robust in LOVE.”
“And so I insist—and God backs me up on this—that there be no going along with the crowd, the empty-headed, mindless crowd. They’ve refused for so long to deal with God that they’ve lost touch not only with God but with reality itself. They can’t think straight anymore. Feeling no pain, [no shame, no guilt] they let themselves go in sexual obsession, addicted to every sort of perversion.”
“But that’s no life for you. You learned Christ! Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything—and I do mean everything—connected with that old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely NEW WAY OF LIFE—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you.”
“What this adds up to, then, is this: no more lies, no more pretense. Tell your neighbor the truth. In Christ’s body WE’RE ALL CONNECTED TO EACH OTHER, after all. When you lie to others, you end up lying to yourself.” [The Apostle Paul goes back and forth from “Ego” (Sinful, fragmented way, to wholeness, God’s way!]
“Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry—but don’t use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don’t stay angry. Don’t go to bed angry. Don’t give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life.”
“Did you use to make ends meet by stealing? Well, no more! Get an honest job so that you can help others who can’t work.”
“Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift.”
“Don’t grieve God. Don’t break his heart. His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for himself. Don’t take such a gift for granted.”
“Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. BE GENTLE WITH ONE ANOTHER, SENSITIVE. FORGIVE ONE ANOTHER as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.”
When I read this chapter, I say, “Wow!” An amazing spiritual journey from “Ego” to “Wholeness.”
Why Am I so passionate about what I say and do? Because I believe we are living in the last days!
Nothing will protect you from the confusion coming upon the masses on this planet, except the presence of God, His grace, His love, His power, His wholeness inside emotionally, and outside in your relationships! His permeating ONENESS, as the apostle Paul calls it.