What kind of a God do you want to know?

29 04 2019


The most devastating lie ever foisted on the human race was Satan’s statement in the garden about God (Gen.3:5). It has had untold negative ramifications on humanity ever since. Satan deceitfully convinced the first couple the fruit of the tree of knowledge would open their eyes to see a hidden fact of about God. It was a ruse. That secret fact was actually an alternate view of God, one that saw Him as an autocratic being, a judge, and they under His judgment. Their eyes were indeed opened to an aspect of God that He did not intend for them to have. Yes, God knows all things and can judge even the intents of the heart (Ps. 44:21), but was man intended to see himself and God this way? (Gen. 3:22,23). Why else was he excused from the garden?

The devastating impact of this view set up an illusive barrier between man and God. They were now seeing through the eyes of death or as separated from God. Whereas before eating the fruit they had enjoyed unbroken fellowship and union with God, now their view of themselves and God had changed. By knowing “good and evil”, Adam saw himself as “naked” and “afraid”. Consequently, he had to hide. It is clear from God’s questioning of Adam that God wasn’t the one who had revealed this to him (Gen.3:11). Adam’s view of himself, and God, through his eyes of death was a mean trick of the enemy. What you eat is what you become. Read the rest of this entry »

What is God like?

4 04 2019

Son of God 6

My theological training and understanding of God was that He was super holy, a consuming fire, lived in heaven, and could not stand sin. I was told I needed to “fear” Him because of what He could do to me. Jesus was sent by God to earth to be His “appeaser” on my behalf by being the kind and subservient person who willingly died for my sins. God, full of anger at the sin in my life, was satisfied by the death of His Son so I could escape going to Hell. However, I couldn’t take His mercy for granted. I still needed to show God that I deserved the “grace card” by pleasing Him or I would wind up losing the deal and fall back into God’s judgment.

Today, I see God in a new light, largely due to seeing Jesus differently. For example, if Jesus was the perfect revelation of the Father (as God’s Word says) then what should that tell me about God? Furthermore, Jesus said to His followers, “If you see me you see the Father”(Jn.14:9), and, “I and the Father are one”(Jn.10:30). If Jesus and the Father were one in being and appearance then could He be who the Father God really is? Could there be any aspect or a side of the Father that wasn’t revealed by Jesus?

Read the rest of this entry »

Is God testing me?

3 02 2019

Not unlike many families today ours is currently undergoing a season of heartbreak. The usual question that comes to mind is “Why?”. The popular teaching we have heard is God is testing us just like He did the children of Israel (Dt.8:2). This premise says God wants to see if we will obey and love Him. A popular Christian speaker and author recently stated, God orchestrates times of testing to see how we would respond . This is terribly discouraging. I’m not sure that I am capable of ever responding correctly. If it’s up to me then there is not much hope.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Greatest Love Story

1 02 2018


My wife and I have gotten into watching Hallmark movies lately. Yes, they are sappy, sanitized, and predictable but overall they are enjoyable wholesome  entertainment. Each story is a creative variation on the same plot- a man and a woman discover love and unity in their hearts for each other. It’s the oldest and most mysterious story in the universe.

Each time I watch one I am reminded of that divine truth. The greatest lover in the universe is of course God. He is consumed with love for you and me. In the form of His Son, Jesus, He entered the earth seeking a wife with whom He could become one flesh. His love ignites our love as His church and we embrace in a romantic union (Eph 5:31,32).

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? A man leaves his parents, joins with a woman and the two become one, sharing everything in life together. They begin to enjoy a oneness that not even they can describe. Mysteriously, they know each other’s hearts, thoughts, desires, joys, and pains. They experience what the Bible calls being “one flesh” Gen. 2:24; Eph. 5:30,31). As Blake Shelton sings in his current country hit,
I’m talkin’ you and me with the same street name,
same last name, same everything,
It’s a real thing, a how I feel thing.. 1

This is the mystery of our life in Christ. We are joined with Him and are the “same everything” together. The greatest romance story of the universe is being told through our lives with Him, we in Him, He in us, as us. Never consider that you are just friends, you and Christ. He is not just someone you go to for help or look to for strength. He didn’t just die for you, He came to be one flesh with you, to live in you. He wants to live out that great story of love together with you and Him, forever.

Try on a Hallmark or any other romance movie and see if it doesn’t warm your heart and remind you of the story of the Divine Romance. The ending is always the same beginning.

May you discover a new love and union with Jesus. – His Valentine.

1. From “I’ll Name the Dogs”, Blake Shelton, Texoma Shore, 2017.

One of the most devastating phrases in Christianity

30 10 2017

Survey the crossThere is a phrase I keep hearing these days among Christians that I find grievous. It is usually used to excuse some form of failure or sin on the part of a believer. In trying to make what is assumed to be the appropriate spiritual answer the response is, “Well, I am just a sinner saved by grace”. Is this the truth?

While it is true that all men were born into sin, the label of being a perpetual sinner dramatically changed forever in the cross of Christ. First of all, God says that we have been “justified freely by His grace”(Rom. 3:25). That means that we are no longer held accountable for our sins. The blood shed at the cross wiped away the debt of our sins and we are now ok with God (5:8).

Secondly, grace doesn’t just do away with the debt of our sins it also changed the nature of our being a sinner. God says that we died with Christ to sin. Our sin nature or “old man” was crucified with Him. We are no longer bound to something that we are dead to (Rom. 6:6). He says that we were changed from being “by nature children of wrath” to now “being made alive together with Christ..created in Christ Jesus for good works..” (Eph. 2:1-10). He says that we have now become “vessels of mercy” rather than “vessels of wrath” (Rom. 9:23). We have been given a new nature (2 Cor. 5:17), a new self-created like Christ (Col. 3:10). We are no longer sinners but saints. To claim you are still a sinner is to call God a liar.

But, the question always comes up, “What about when a believer sins? Doesn’t that show that he is still a sinner?”. God answers that by describing us as slaves (Rom.6:15-20). A slave is always a slave, following his master’s orders. But what happens when the master is not around? Will the slave do other things than what his master orders? Occasionally, yes. But that doesn’t change his nature. He is still a slave. As slaves of God, His saints, we still make mistakes, that some may call sins, but we are still saints. Are we in trouble with God? No, because we are under grace and grace teaches us through our failings who we really are, sons of God, filled with the nature and life of Christ (Titus 2:12, Gal.2:20).

Unfortunately, Christians too easily adopt ideas and phrases that have no basis in Scripture. Because of that we still live frustrated lives thinking we are just not capable of behaving as God intended. We need to stop calling ourselves something that God doesn’t and start living as we really are, sons of God, being filled with His fullness (Eph.3:19).

Be Jesus

Where is God when I need Him?!

7 04 2017

hqdefaultPerhaps you have experienced this frustration with God, “I have asked and asked and I don”t get any answers. Where is God when I need Him?!” All of our Christian lives we have been taught how to pray to a God we are told is full of love and grace. We are told that we can ask Him and He will gladly help us. But, then, why at times doesn’t He seem to answer?

The faith teachers say that the answer is in knowing how to properly ask in faith. If we only had enough faith we would receive more from God, they say. Still, others tell us that it’s a matter of simply trusting that God’s seeming denials are actually His way of testing us or helping us develop patience. We just need to love Him more by total submitting to His will.

But there is a much deeper issue in place here having to do with the understanding of our basic existence. Read the rest of this entry »

Have you seen God lately?

27 03 2017


The movie, The Shack, has touched thousands of people with emotional healing, redemption, and forgiveness. It has also helped restore people’s trust in a loving and caring God. But at the same time, it has also opened up a multitude of questions about our conventional understanding of God and the Trinity. As a result, there has been no lack of criticism and warnings that the film should be considered heresy, even though it is only a fictional story.

The debate mostly centers on who God is or how He (or She?) should be perceived. But that overlooks the bigger question. Read the rest of this entry »

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