“But God made me this way, right?”
So many folks drive themselves nuts over stuff like this. People get mad at God for being created the way they are.
Here it is: We fell from God’s presence. Before we fell, his perfect HOLINESS surrounded us, even as we formed in the womb. We didn’t have to contend with sicknesses of the mind, body, or spirit. We were designed to be born, procreate, and fill the earth, and live harmoniously with our Holy Father. The only thing that could have messed things up would be if we screwed it up. Guess what? We did just that.
So now, as much as we hate it, we are forced to deal with every little influence that comes at us. First, we develop in the womb, without being surrounded by God. This is where wires can get crossed. Anything can happen. Some of us develop wonderfully in the physical aspect but have very troubling emotional problems. Others may have been affected by mom using too much Nutrasweet while she was pregnant, giving us a heart murmur or something (sorry, Nutrasweet). Still others in utero may develop severe birth defects but have the mind of an astrophysicist. Then, once we are born, we are influenced by our environments even further.
God’s holiness that once surrounded us is what prevented the nasty stuff. The confusing stuff. The stuff we weren’t designed to wrestle with. What we have now is His spirit. His spirit is what we use to overcome the fact that we are in an environment we are not supposed to be in, which is a physical existence without His physical presence.
God didn’t make you the way you are. You developed in this broken physical existence without being surrounded by Him, which is the exact opposite of what was intended. You are not strong enough, nor are you even equipped, to handle this stuff---you weren’t designed for it. But because we fell, we must deal with it. However, we can deal with it by ourselves and remain confused, angry, rebellious, and bitter, or, we can reach out and let our Father do the fighting for us. His Holy Spirit will conquer for us what we cannot conquer by ourselves: Anger, disease, perversion, temptation, discontentment, depression, it goes on and on.
-til next time.
“What about those that die w/o hearing about Jesus”
Don’t let anybody fool you. God (Dad) has a plan for his kids. He loves you even more than you love your own child. His love is a perfect love…He IS love (get your head around that).
He is fair. No one will enter eternity without knowing about Jesus being the only way. Every single soul will have the chance to reject (yes, I said reject) the gift of Christ Jesus, our savior--God in the flesh. I say reject because there will be no default position to fall back on. There is no “wait and see”. If a person dies without physically hearing the gospel (good news) in this world, he/she heard it in one of the spiritual stages between this world and eternity. Jesus was gone for 3 days after He left this world. Proclamations were made in the spiritual realm(s) about His victory over death even before it was known here in the physical! Woooo!
God wants ALL of us to return to Him, but we cannot because of our sin. The sin MUST be removed and there is only one way to remove it without destroying us. We either accept that way or we don’t. If we reject the gift that washes away our sin we must defend ourselves and account for that sin. Spoiler alert: you won’t triumph.
None of this may seem fair to some people. But when you receive the Holy Spirit the veil is lifted. I can’t help but think of how cruel my 5 year old daughter must have thought I was when I was helping the hospital staff hold her down so they could insert an I.V. She has since grown up and gained little wisdom, the veil has been lifted. She understands it was not cruelty, or anger, or anything else. It was simply something that had to be done for her to be healthy and continue to dwell with her daddy. (wiping a tear…lol)
Love you, baby girl.
-til next time.
“How can a loving god hate, or have wrath?”
We are human. We are very quick to anger and even act upon that anger. Our anger comes from the sin we are born into.
God has no sin. His existence is perfect and holy. Anything up against him cannot exist unless it’s perfectly holy as well. Instead, it’s cast out and destroyed. If it stayed, God would not be holy. This “casting out” can be considered His anger. But his anger is righteous and justified. Ours is not because we have sinned and will continue to sin.
We have no justification to judge sin. We are not righteous. LET ME BE VERY CLEAR: We can recognize sin in ourselves and others, but we CANNOT judge it.
-til next time.
“Is abortion wrong in the sight of God?”
If we were to exist as a society 1000 years from now, the people of that time would not look back on abortion as a pioneering tool for a woman’s right to choose. Nor would they see us as a progressively minded and forward-thinking society (regarding the subject of abortion). They will simply say, “They did WHAT to their unborn?”
Yes. Abortion is wrong. Many people I know have had an abortion performed. I still love them. More importantly, God still loves them. God is your dad/mom. A good parent will love their child til the end of the age, even if the child’s actions are horrid.
For most folks that have an abortion, they are haunted by it and usually regret the act, there are some exceptions of course. Some never overcome this “ghost” in their life—the pondering of what their child would now look like or where that child would now be in life as an adult. A conflict is created within because their natural instinct to procreate was countered by their own actions (abortion isn’t natural). But they can overcome this ghost. With repentance and the power of the Holy Spirit, we can overcome things we weren’t even designed to experience in the first place: Grief, Hate, Sickness, anger, Perversion, etc.
When we were created as a species, we dwelt with God both in the physical and the spiritual. He was to be with us as we procreated and filled the earth, but we fell. The physical relationship was cutoff from our Father, yet we are still physical beings. We develop physically, from beginning to end, but now it's without His physical presence. We were so much closer to our Father that in his presence we were protected. Protected from the all the ill effects that sin has on one's spiritual, physical, and mental wiring. Now we develop without his presence, which makes us susceptible to all manner negative influence while we rest in the womb (disease, rebellion, anger, perversion, etc). His physical absence continues as we are given birth and go on to live our lives.
Our Father know we are cutoff from the originally designed process. But He has a way. We have His spirit, the Holy Spirit. Although we are cutoff from Him physically, we continue a relationship by using the common denominator between us and Him…His Spirit. We can return to God because of what He did on the cross as a human being, and we can enjoy God in this existence because He left His sprit on the world so that we can have a REAL relationship with our heavenly Dad. It's His spirit that can handle the things we cannot. It's the Spirit that helps us walk straighter, see clearer, overcome heartache, appreciate peace, give glory where it's due, etc.
His children broke the process. Therefore, the good Dad has cut out a path for his children to find their way back. Many will reject the path, but rejection does not change His truth or His plan for us. I’ve said before, “Even if we believe it's sunny outside, the rain keeps raining.” Our perception does NOT alter the truth.
The Spirit lets us experience some of God's wisdom. It's amazing when you receive some of It. Through the Spirit is the only way we can expect to overcome certain pains and temptations of this existence; Yes, I said temptations---you simply don't have the wiring to resist some temptations, you'll need help. Only a fool thinks he can do this stuff by himself.
Let's look at something as terrible as losing a child; Do you know anyone that's lost a child? If so, how do they seem to be getting along in life. Do they harbor a bitterness or a hollowness? Have they turned to the bottle, or pills? Maybe they've focused anger and blame onto their spouse and eventually divorced. Now think about those folks that have lost a child but they seem to have reached a level of peace and acceptance about it. Of course they don't forget about their decease child or pretend they never existed. That's crazy. So what do you suppose their “secret” is? I would propose to you that those parents have God’s Holy Spirit to help them overcome a level of grief that they weren’t designed to even experience, let alone be equipped to overcome.
But even with God in your life, the problems do not cease. On the contrary, they seem to grow…you become a spiritual target of sorts. But the ability to overcome is given to us through His Spirit, and of course for His glory.
I hope you are blessed in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
-til next time.
“Would Jesus be a Democrat or a Republican?”
It’s been said that one party is all heart, while the other is all brains. Or, one is the mommy, and one is the daddy. Regardless, politics are politics and they are man-made. I’m also not ruling out some diabolical origins to man’s political structuring, or at the very least I would think there might be a sinister muse in its history.
The short answer is: This is a ridiculous question because the Lord would not get wrapped up into man-made ridiculous politics. He was asked many politically-spirited questions during his time here on earth, to which He gave wonderful answers.
Some would argue that Jesus would actually be a socialist. Well, that’s kind of true. However, His would be a perfect and righteous socialism, based on his grace and mercy. He would be the hub of the wheel. Modern socialists aren't too keen on the idea of Jesus--they tend to believe that only man, and his progressive mindset will be the solution to our ills. But alas, only through HIM would socialism even have a chance, let alone thrive.
-til next time.
"Why are so many young people angry, depressed, or have severe anxiety issues?"
My daughter and I had an impromptu conversation about faith and God (I always love when this happens). She asked me why half of the people her age (teens), including herself, are depressed, anxious, and are easily enraged.
I thanked the spirit of the Lord for giving me some immediate words: "Baby girl", I said, "Mankind yearns to reach out to our creator, we must have a spiritual relationship with something, we can't help it. Even atheists that claim to have faith in only themselves unwittingly admit the existence of God. The fact that a person has faith in anything, even themselves, puts us into an exclusive category. No living creature, other than man, is given the gift of faith: they all operate on instinct (which is amazing in itself). We are the only creatures on the planet that are designed to search for a spiritual connection! But when our stubbornness blocks reception from the true God, we simply create a god. In man's past, we have worshiped the sky and the wind, the sun, the volcano, and even the darkness".
I asked my daughter to consider a queen bee, for example. She is born knowing her purpose. She doesn't confuse that purpose by contending with any external force that suggests she should ignore her own internal mechanisms. It's these mechanisms that allow her to carry out the very tasks she was designed to perform.
Like the queen bee, we too are born with certain mechanisms--"spiritual" mechanisms. These spiritual mechanisms cause us to seek the spirit of God, our Dad. After discussing spiritual mechanisms with my daughter a bit further, I continued with my answer to her question, "But your generation has been robbed, baby girl. You've been influenced to scoff at any of the old beliefs about God. You've been told those beliefs take us backwards as a society and they're not progressive. They're just plain bigoted and hurtful. But these secular forces never mention why your heart seems so hollow, or why you seem to feel incomplete and unhappy."
Like a tree sapling constantly growing towards the sun, mankind is spiritually compelled to reach out to a spiritual creator--even ATHEIST scientists are agreeing with this (we'll touch on that in another post). We were created to physically dwell with Him but our fall prevents that. It's our physical-minded existence that serves as the barrier against our physical link to God. But being the loving and caring father that He is, He already had a plan ready. Since He can't be with us physically, or "in the flesh" (imagine standing next to a nuclear blast--it would destroy you), he provides us with His Holy Spirit. Since He does this, the part of us that is spirit can enjoy the part of Him that is spirit. Are you getting it? He's using spirit as a common denominator! Since we can do nothing to get to him, He builds a bridge for us to receive Him! All because he loves us. And when we do receive him, Boom!, the magic really starts to happen. It's through this process that we receive so much.
But as I mentioned, there are spiritual mechanics to this process, just like mechanical laws of flight, or gravity. Many have had the Holy Spirit dwell in their hearts only to repel it again. We will always be saved but walking with the Spirit daily is no easy task in this world (guess what...we'll cover that in another post).
As for God's love, it helps if you think about how much you love your own child, or how much your mom & dad loves you, when you're thinking about God and His relationship to us--his kids. Think about your child doing something wrong and then think about your love for them. Take me for example: I want nothing more than for my children to be happy adults that comes from knowing God, or having their own children, or living a content life. I want them to see that there is so much joy available to them. Now, if they would only follow my will, I could show them a smoother path to gain such peace and happiness. But they'll have to listen...please Lord let them listen...for goodness sake just listen! Don't they know if they'd just trust me when I tell them their idea is bad, or certain experiences will crush their heart, or that some decisions will haunt them for years. If only!
It bears repeating: You should think about how you look at your kids and what you want for them, when your thinking about God and what he wants for us. This is crucial.
Let's fast forward a few years into the future, my children are grown and they've made some bad decisions. Horribly destructive decisions that they would've avoided if they would've heeded my advice. So, do I turn my back on them out of spite because they didn't listen to me? No. Of course not. My love for my girls is always strong; If they need a bed to sleep in, or some money, maybe just some coffee, or whatever it is...If I have it, they'll have it. This is in my nature as a father. I can't help it. I'm compelled to give to them if they know me as father.
Now, if you take me, a man with a history of sin and bad decisions, and I want only good things for my kids, how much do you suppose God's PERFECT nature compels Him to want good things for me, His boy.
Are you a good dad/mom? A good parent loves their kids, even if they don't follow the parent's will. They know their kids are stubborn and rebellious (sin) and won't always listen. But their goodness forces them to be good to their kids, they can't help it. The rebellious heart of their kids doesn't change the parent's love for them. Instead, they are always at the ready when the kids' stubbornness bites them in the butt. Mom & dad willl always have a place for their kids to lay their head when life is hard on them. No matter how old their babies get, mom & dad will always have a soft spot in their heart for their baby boy or girl. And of course, they'll always have eternal love for their kids. This is our Father in heaven. Thank you, Lord.
If you're a parent, especially an older parent, I hope those last few sentences really resonate with you they way the resonated with me as I was gifted to write them. Your love doesn't stop because of your child's shortcomings.
We are truly created to have a relationship with God. It's just that simple. Without a relationship with our Father, we are hollow. A flower that's placed in a dark room will eventually wilt and become a part of the darkness.
I hope you are blessed. In the name of the Father, the Son, & the Holy Spirit.
I'll try to keep future posts shorter. :)
--til next time.
"Why do Christians do evil things, like war, or murder, or theft?"
Mankind has "fallen". We are born into a sinful state. Man is a creature that sins, just like a fish is a creature that swims. But this was not the intention. We messed it up.
But now, unless we put on the mindset of our Father DAILY, we will default back to our natural "fallen" state. We are born to do it. Just like breathing.
Do you have to teach a child to be bad? Nope. Comes natural. We even think it's cute:---
We see little Bobby with cookie crumbs on his face...
Parent: "Bobby, did you eat the cookies?"
Bobby: "No, mommy. It must have been a cookie monster, or maybe an alien."
Parent: (to themselves) aw, that's cute.
Seems harmless, right? But even cute little lies are sin. Here's the thing: sin cannot exist where there is a sinless being/creator, it is destroyed automatically, like darkness in a room scattering away once a light is lit. When sin is destroyed, whatever vessel it inhabits is destroyed too. For our protection alone, God keeps a physical distance (we can't stand next to a nuclear blast, or the sun). Instead, we have his Spirit.
A two year old quits playing with a toy, so another child picks it up and plays with it. What does the two year old do? They freak out, right? Even if they want nothing to do with the toy, SPITE takes over. They can't help it because natural human sin compels them in the physical. This is solely in mankind, I've yet to see spite in the animal kingdom (not to be confused with instinct--if a bear cub is done with a stick, he doesn't care if another cub plays with it...food is different story of course--his instinct tells him he'll need that food to survive).
Sin grows in us as we grow older. It becomes strong. Secular forces won't let us call it sin. Instead we try to diagnose it or medicate it (I'm a big believer in modern medicine by the way...we'll cover that in another post). We are not capable of putting our sin in check: we weren't designed to do so. Only the Holy Spirit can do that.
We were created to dwell with God, the Father. Created to have families and live our lives, the whole time dwelling in His presence. But we ruined it (yes, Adam and Eve were real--they weren't dumb, and you would have done the same thing. Of course, we'll cover that in another post). So now, we are forced to fight whatever ailments we receive while we form in the womb. His holy grace is not there like it was designed to be. Now we are born with anger issues, leukemia, diseases, etc.. But He gives us the Spirit to handle the things we were never designed to handle. Let me say that again: We are simply not designed to handle some of the grief we must endure in this world: pain, lust, temptation, perversion, sickness, etc. But with the Spirit he provides us, an "armor" if you will, we overcome.
The Holy Spirit is the key to getting through this realm as we march into eternity. The things we endure here may very well determine our eternal purpose. Perhaps your duties in eternity require more steadfastness than my duties in eternity. The process of forging your spiritual steel may be more extreme than the process I go through. But some of us definitely go through more, much more, than others. But when we finally start walking right with the Holy Spirit, it will not only comfort us and allow us to endure, but it will also convict us into doing things that are beneficial to the existence of ourselves and our fellow man. HOWEVER, when we repel the spirit, those sinful mannerisms come right back.
Our heart is not a vacuum. It's a home for the Spirit. But if we lose the Spirit, the heart will not remain empty. Something will fill it.
--til next time.
"Do my actions get me to heaven"
No. Nothing, I mean NOTHING anyone does is good enough to enjoy a place in Gods presence, or in his sinless eternal kingdom. Not Mother Theresa, not Ghandi, not your sweet grandma, NOBODY.
In God's presence, not judgement, but presence, You're on equal footing with both Hitler and Billy Graham.
The only one thing that gets us to God?, His grace!, PERIOD. If there were anything we could do to get to Him, He wouldn't be holy because that would mean that our deeds are worthy of Him.
No other "religion" (man-made term) mandates a doctrine like this...even more examples of authentication its truth.
Many preachers have posed the question, "What will you tell God when he asks you--What have you done to deserve my kingdom?" These preachers are simply wrong if they say ANYTHING other than, "I have done nothing that deserves you, Oh God. But I gladly accept the gift of mercy that you gave me through the blood of Christ, Jesus. Because of his death and resurrection, my sin is not placed before you."
--til next time.
"Isn't the Bible just a book put together by old men from back in the day just to get people to behave?"
This question is a close cousin to many other similar questions: "How do you know the Bible is real?" or "Isn't it just another book about religion?"--just to name a couple.
If you put 10 people in a line and tell the 1st person a one paragraph story, and tell him to pass it on, by the time you get to the 10th person, you're lucky to have the same premise.
Now imagine 66 different books, written by over 50 different authors, over a span of 1500 years plus, without modern technology. What do you think the odds are that these books, under these parameters, would stay on point and not have any contradictions (yes, you heard that right...no contradictions---ex: Though shall not kill (murder) is different from execution (justice). The odds are billions to ONE. That means impossible.
Now consider that many empires and dictators have tried to ban this book and it's message, only to have those countries' people and governments become believers (without violence).
Now imagine people willingly, and without fight, being fed to lions, or burned at the stake, or face a firing squad, unless they recant their faith, or in some cases just keep it to themselves.
Now imagine people who receive the spirit from this message feeling compelled to go forth and share the news like it's the only thing that matters. Then these people set up charities and organizations for any and all in need, even if those that accept the help don't accept the faith.
Now imagine how some seem to find peace and contentment even if they've experienced immeasurable suffering (loss of a child) without turning to the bottle, or pills, or violence, etc..
There's something to this book. I'm tellin ya.
This message that started out with a tent dwelling people is blanketed with divine protection.
I hope you are blessed. In the name of the Father, the Son, & the Holy Spirit.
--til next time.