“Secure in the Heart of the Gospel”

Are you living in true freedom, enveloped in an abundance of joy and absolutely “in love” with life? If not then do you desire such fullness that you would do anything to attain it? Then let me say that there is much hope indeed right in front of you!

“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.”
(Galatians 4:4-8)

God did not have to use the concept of adoption to explain how he saved us, or even how we become part of his family. He could have stayed with the language of new birth so that all his children were described as children by nature only.
(John 1:12-13)

“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”) But he chose to speak of us as adopted as well as being children by new birth. This is for the most part essential and foundational in the picture of adoption which is indeed a portrait to each of as we realize that we are children of God. May we get a hold of this so that it is actualized within the reality in which we live, move and have our being.

“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” (Romans 8:14-17 ESV)

In other words, to put it simply, do not slip back into an old identity, which does not speak true of who that God declares that you are in his Word. If any man be “in Christ” He IS a new creation.

“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1 ESV)
I implore of each you, please do get a hold of this or you may well vacillate back in forth in your walk with Christ if you allow yourself to lose sight of this very vital tenant of faith.

Some walk in darkness because they allow this to become obscured from their vision. I know first hand because I have been there. All praise be to the glory of God the Father through Christ Jesus who has by His Spirit revealed it to me and has thus set me free. He who the Son sets free is free indeed.

To redeem means to obtain or to set free by paying a price. What was the price that God paid for our liberation and adoption? Here the answer: “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree’” (Galatians 3:13). It cost God the price of his Son’s life.

We are thus redeemed from living under the law of sin and death. We are then enabled to live eternally with our minds centered, seated and focused in the mind of Christ, while seated in the heavenlies. As strangers and pilgrims we walk the earth because no longer being “of this world, we are then merely “in” this world as we “take on” a new nature in Christ. We are to “be” then instruments of the righteousness in Christ as indeed reflecting the nature and character of Jesus to a world that is in contrast to such in it’s unredeemed natural state. We are to be then “ministers of reconciliation” of the natural to the spiritual which is another whole subject matter in itself.

You did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God. (Romans 8:15-16)

God does not leave us in the condition of aliens when he adopts us. He does not leave us without feelings of acceptance and love. Rather, he pours his Spirit into our hearts to give us the experience of being embraced in His family. What is remarkable is the picture in the term “abba”. It is an Aramaic word.

This is that it was the way Jesus spoke to his Father, in spite of the fact that virtually no one in Jewish culture referred to God with this term “abba”. It stunned the disciples. They held onto it as a precious remnant of the very voice of Jesus in the language he spoke. In Mark 14:36, Jesus is in Gethsemane and prays, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” Therefore, in adopting us, God gives us the very Spirit of his Son and grants us to feel the affections of belonging to the very family of God. This is the relationship He wants us to experience with Him.

All who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” (Romans 8:14)

I hope this helps you to walk in a greater measure of liberty.

Go Deeper in Love

I seem to be hard pressed in recent days to delve in even deeper to exploring what being “in Christ” truly means. How can I even touch the hem of the garment? I hardly feel qualified yet I will share what He is saying to me. I must. I cannot be silent or still about this. I believe it to be an endless exploration to which in human terms knows no end. It is a destination that I believe one never can attain while in a fleshly body. But chase it endlessly I shall until I breath my last breath. Nothing is more worthy to pursue. When Jesus returns for His bride and we take on a new spiritual glorified body; then and only then will our current state of being be transcended. Until then, may we press in and go deeper. Please have a seat in Jesus’ Name.

This is a bit lengthy, I apologize but I hope you will stay with me here. There is a clarion call for clarity on this. There seems to be an immense hunger awakening in the Body of Christ to understand this now and to enter in to such. It will get out though, one way or another. God will see to that. We can’t truly live on “instant and quick” for very long. Many have lost for the most part the art of process. Patience produces the fruit.

So what is it to be “all in”? First of all unless we are constantly moving towards such then we have indeed become stuck and static and perhaps likened unto the Dead Sea; constantly drinking in and having no outlet. At a standstill, which is not God’s plan nor man’s ideal. Creativity must be in motion. We are born for movement in life.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV)
Let’s look at being “in Christ”, in loving relationship with Him and living out His Word in loving form.

May we discover why life is working for and not against us. “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31 ESV)

If we truly be “in Christ” then we are no longer “of “ this world, we are merely “in” it. This by God’s design. He has a plan. “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. “
(Romans 12:1,2 ESV)

When we place our faith and trust in Jesus we take on a new nature.
So why is it that we find soon thereafter that life can still be difficult?

Why is it that the things I want to see in my relationship with God seem to fall by the wayside at times and I end up doing some of the things I would not do instead that are not pleasing to Him?

How do I walk in the true identity in whom God says that I am?

In John 15:1-17 we find the context from which we will be drawing from today. I suggest that you go read this and spend some time with it on your own. Jesus said:
Abide in me, and I in you.

Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that will be fruitful in life. (satisfied, full and abundant)

“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatsoever you wish and it will be done for you.” (John 15:7)
So often this is quoted and claimed but do we really know what this means and to actually apply it to our lives? Let’s break this down a bit so we can understand what God is saying.

We can feel like we lack something in our lives, like something is missing. Indeed there can be something missing like some vital ingredients.

What are some things or areas of your life that you feel are lacking right now? Ponder this and hold your thoughts and let us continue on.

What are the key ingredients that bond or hold relationship together? What would bring a sense of completion to your life? Can you even arrive at an answer?

So how is our reality framed by God? Let’s see what God has to say about such.

A sense of lack can enter until we understand that it is because His Word holds all things together. “For by him (Christ) all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities, all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:16,17 ESV)

We are to speak the truth in love, and in so doing we will in all things grow up into Christ Himself, who is the head. From Him the whole body is fitted and held together by every supporting ligament. And as each individual part does its work, the body grows and builds itself up in love. So I tell you this, and testify to it in the Lord; you must no longer walk as do those of this world do, in the futility of their human thinking. (Ephesians 4:15-17 paraphrased) We are walk together as one. This is a great mystery however there is a picture in marriage for it, in it’s purified form. God is doing a new thing to restore clarity to this picture; to the Body of Christ.

We become fragmented when His Word, which is wrapped in His love, loses its consistent cohesiveness in our expression of the way we live. His Word is the glue which holds our life together.

Then our life weave of tapestry begins to unravel.

We thus begin to feel fragmented, as it becomes intertwined with contrasting thread of this world.

What are some ways that feel unraveled in your life?
Do you feel you have to have it all together before you can find the true fulfillment that God intends for you to come into and experience?

To be “in” His Word, and “in Him intimately we must be first and foremost be centered, focused and grounded “in” His love; where we can reciprocate this back out through our life.

The Living Word, (Jesus), comes out of the Father’s heart of love and bears His Father’s heart, so that we “in love”, with Him will bear the Father’s heart.

As we speak His Word, in the love of the Father’s heart there is a sound that creates newness of life. In the beginning God spoke into a void that consisted of darkness moving upon the face of the waters.
In life everything is making a sound. As God’s Word speaks to you, you hear His Words to you. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God. Your response in sound matters, your movement matters. It is joining in with something you can’t see. If we want to be real Christians then we have to live between two worlds; the tangible world and the unseen world. God saved us so we would live between these two realities and declare to the world that this is what real life looks like! It isn’t just what I can touch, experience, eat or drink, there is something far more than those things. (Eternal vs. transient) I’m not to be a mere spectator, but a participant in God’s process.

Your sound arises out of what you believe.
Living, moving and having our being in fullness here on earth as in heaven.
What you speak you must fully believe in. (with conviction)
What you believe sets your life course.
What you believe determines every relationship.
What you believe determines your joy, peace, contentment, etc.

Living not by physical bread alone, but by every word proceeding out of the mouth of God. Living out of the fullness of the love from the Father’s heart.

If you are praying His Word out of the Father’s heart
then whatsoever you ask then of the Father in Jesus Name, will be fully granted because His Word is flowing out of you in purity. You become the living expression of His Word. As His Word becomes part of you can have a conversation in your own words of expression and just talk with Him as you would sit down with anyone and share intimate conversation; one to one.

Know that you are secured and met in your beloved. We can short change ourselves if we miss out on the intimacy Jesus longs to have with you and I. This intimacy includes an outlet which spills out and over and into the relationships that we come into with others. This I believe is essential instigating the thriving passion that will set your soul on fire. Do you hunger for such? Sure you do! God designed us for such. We can get into denial over this and never chase it. Please don’t deny yourself the adventure of a lifetime. You have no idea what you are missing.

May we in every way and in every day, thus fulfill His commandment in keeping the royal Law; which is loving God with all of mind, soul and strength and loving all others as self. The love we extend is selfless and gives and multiplies as the Father gives and sustains us.

Thus speak to the mountains in your life and they will move. I discovered that “what” I do doesn’t make things happen. It is “what I believe” that matters. We don’t pray to do things, we pray because we are believing in something. Jesus sets us up for a lifestyle of faith regardless of what we see. Faith sees what cannot happen but stands in the place of possibilities.

Whether or not the “mountain” is moved or not – will your faith be unwavering?
Faith is not to move the mountain, it is so that you are bearing witness to what God is doing. Faith is the catalyst to love in action. It’s all about believing God, so that He can make those things happen!

John 8:31–32 (ESV) says “So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” What this passage doesn’t say is, “If you obey every word of Jesus you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” It says if you live in what Jesus has said, if you dwell there, then you will know the truth and the truth will set free.

Let it be on earth as it is in heaven. Ask for the daily “manna” in your life.
It is your inheritance because Jesus’ blood flows through your veins and His breath fills your lungs. This is “being in Him”.

Be balanced in grace and truth, basking in His love; will you?

Your life will be full and complete amidst trial and test.
Yes, there will be pain and discomfort because of a body of flesh.
However there is fullness of joy that transcends it all.

I can say “it is” worth it all because of what the process instills in me. So seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness; “in Jesus”.

“All” things are added “as” we have need of them. Now do you get the picture?
You don’t have to micromanage it, just “be” that which God declares that you are.

This “is” living – to love = living in abundant fullness. By this, is the Father is glorified as Jesus is magnified in and through us.

Your joy in your freedom is Jesus’ highest mission. This is all about relationship.

Now go and bless all that others that you meet and life will meet you the same.

The Freedom that Loving Brings

Life can offer some of the finest and most fulfilling moments within the serenity of simplicity. You don’t have to go on a quest after the riches and wealth of this world. That may appease the emotions for a temporary interim however that will come to an end very quickly if you are leaving out the primary ingredient in life. Now don’t get me wrong here; it is nice to have money and with it you can bless others in special ways as long as that comes out of heart and expression of love.

All I want to say this morning is please don’t leave out the key ingredient to acquiring a life that is truly rich beyond measure. Many times it can come in the simple exchanges such as a splendid meal shared with a special friend or companion in the least anticipated times and places . Sometimes the most treasured moments in life truly come to us freely.

It is the gift of love that caps these treasured moments in life isn’t it? Yes, we never forget such times; they have a way of staying with us.

Love has a beginning or starting place before it graces walking out our life expression.

“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.
The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.
And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure. (1 John 3:1-3)

It begins with God and continues in you and I.
Jesus said, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:29-31)

For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love one another. Whoever does not love abides in death. This kind of love cannot be self generated; it must originate from the very heart of God.

Jesus already did all the complete work of this for us at the Cross. By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for others.

By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.

Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.

Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.

The true gift of life is to receive the love of God and then become the express reflection of the love that He is. So you see the best in life is freely given and freely received. This is because it cost Jesus everything in His sacrifice for you and I so that we would not have to sacrifice our lives for eternity.

It is so blessed to offer back the sacrifice of extending God’s love to another. To give such can be one of life’s greatest pleasures. So I choose to live to love to live. My prayer is that you choose the same. Live a life that can be truly legendary.

“Even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve and give his life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28 ESV)