Posts Tagged doctrine

Love Quantified

John 17: 23

I am in them, and you are in me. So they are completely united. In this way the world knows that you have sent me and that you have loved them in the same way you have loved me.

This is one of those verses you may want to read in several translations. Although, the same point is made in all, they have slightly different nuances. As you will have perceived, these are the words of Jesus. This speech is conversation with the Father. The first observation we may make is how normal Jesus’ dialogue with the Father sounds. It is not stilted, formal prayer. He is simply talking.

Then, as we begin looking at his words, we learn that he is in us as the Father is in him. If we stop right there, we have a very powerful concept to meditate on. What does this mean to our lives? Jesus is to us as the Father was to him in his walk on the earth. Everything the Father is resided in Jesus. He is the all in all. Then all that Jesus had, which included the fullness of the Father, came to reside in us. Isn’t that what Jesus says in this passage? He is in us in like manner to the Father in him. This joining of the Father in Jesus and Jesus’ residence in us is supposed to bring us into complete, and even perfect harmony or unity. It does not say that we agree on all doctrine. It does not say we do not have differences of opinion. It does say, though, that we are united in him, completely and totally. If we are not in unity, I hazard to say we are not truly in Christ or allowing him to abide with us. There is no disunity for all who are in Christ and in whom Christ has made his home. I don’t care if you are Catholic, Baptist or even a Messianic Jew. There is only one body and we are either in or out, it is our choice.

This is a crucial message of the times. As we approach the end of this age, we must come into a united purpose in Christ Jesus. Only a united body will reach the world with the good news of Jesus, the risen Christ. As long as we are back biting and disparaging one another, the world will not come to know that God sent Jesus or that He loves us all, even the heathen unsaved, as much as He loves Jesus. Only our love and tolerance of one another will show the world the love of God. The doctrinal and theological points we tear the house apart over are of no importance to God. In fact, I very much believe we will get to heaven, run to Him and argue our case only to find we were all wrong. Those things just don’t matter. What matters is that the world, which is suffering and broken, sees the love of Christ. If we cannot love our brothers, if we constantly fight with one another, then how is the world ever going to believe in the love of God?

Jesus tells us in this passage that the Father loves us all as He loves Jesus. How much larger a revelation do any of us need than that. If you think God loves Jesus, then you must also accept that He loves you that much. He also loves every single non-believer in the same quantity and quality of love. Whatsmore, He even loves those crazy people in the church down the street.

We are not going to gain ground by telling the unsaved what decrepit, wicked people they are. In truth, I can’t think of much the Father despises more than that. They, like all of us, need to hear that God loves them. They also need to see us loving one another. So, regardless of our doctrinal stripes, let us wrap our arms around each other, joining in one united purpose – that is to share (and show) the love of Christ, the love that gives all for the other person. We need to major on love and learn what it means. There is a graduate study for you. It is a subject so rich and so deep that it will take the rest of our lives, here and beyond, to fathom its depths. Let’s just do our best to let a little of Jesus seep out of us today. You will have challenges today, especially if you have to drive anywhere. You will encounter unlovely people whose mind is solely on themselves. Reach in and touch Jesus within you and let him shine on those people. Let the world see for once and for all that God is love and that He loves ever single person.

Christ is in you today.

Let There Be … Revelation

Genesis 1: 3, 14 & 16

Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.

(14) Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years … (16) and God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; He made the stars also.

In verse 3 God said, literally, “Light Be” and there was light. How is it then that we have to wait until verse 14 for God to get around to making the sun and the moon and what happened in verse 3 since it obviously was not the creation of the sun and moon?

One of the lessons I learned while I was away from you on vacation is that you know much more than I have sometimes realized. I spend a lot of time alone in my office reading and writing so when God gives me a revelation it seems to me that I have received it in a bit of a humanity vacuum. Somehow I lost touch with the truth that He gives me revelation in order to support you. So, I have had several creation theories running around in my spirit for several years that I have shared with few people because they seemed kind of “out there.” What I now understand is that God has been ministering the same revelations to you and has just given me the job of confirming what you are already hearing. I was also concerned about blowing away some of the newer believers with ideas that I thought might be beyond them but they are coming into the body with big ideas already. Therefore, I begin this New Year apologizing to you and with the promise that I will not hold back what I hear God saying. 

So, here is what I believe happened at creation. I believe that when God said, “Light be!” He actually released Himself into the cosmos. We know from John 8: 12 that Jesus is the light. I believe Jesus is the light that was released when God said “Light be!” As scientists dig deeper and deeper in the physics of the earth they find that the smallest particles are made from energy. We know that everything we see is made from molecules and that those molecules are made of atoms. And we know that within these microscopic particles is great energy. Nothing is really static, not even iron. All atomic matter is moving even in the hardest materials. No matter what you allow your eyes to fall upon right now, it is moving at the atomic level. So your desk, although stable, has energy in it being expressed through the movement of atomic and sub-atomic material.

Look at Hebrews 11:9 from the New Living Bible: “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.” Or in other words, that which we can see was made out of that which is invisible or unseen. God essentially made everything out of His own substance. He released Himself into the cosmos and created the entire universe. He is the substance of our lives. He lives within us and is our own substance. We are made up of Him and without Him there is no life. Jesus is the light and he is the life. Everything that has life derives it from our Father who released the life and the light from within Him and created all that see, hear, touch, smell or sense. He is the source. You’ve heard it before. He really and truly is our source and He really and truly lives within us. His life force, His substance is in every cell of our bodies.

This isn’t doctrine. You do not have to believe this in order for us to be harmonious but I need to start giving air play to that which I believe God is speaking to me. If it blesses you, then “Hooray.” It is my hope that as we explore and push our boundaries this year you will find new freedom and new expression for your faith in God. At the end of the day, it is all about Him. He is the beginning and the end and He is the rock upon which all must be anchored. We are not entertaining heretic theories. We are engaging with God and allowing Him to show us more of Himself and how His truths impact our lives. The creation story I presented today only has substantive meaning if it can positively affect your life and most importantly your relationship with our Father. For example, if God is living in every tissue of your body, in every single cell, what does that mean for living in divine health? That is where we are going – into a life of more of Him, and more impact from living with Him.