Thursday, January 31, 2008
Have you been struggling with some worst sins in your life?
If there is anybody out there bound in any kind of sin, I have news for you: you cannot out-sin the grace of God no matter what...
But where sin increased, grace increased all the more (Romans 5:20)
I would like to share this true story I found on realanswers.net: (Please click the below link to read the story)
Freedom From Bondage
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Like Aida said in her blog, grace really is disruptive . It made my life upside down. It made disruption in my own life and in the life of the ones around me. It is so very difficult to hide the grace of God.
Sure enough, I wasn’t mature enough to take it lightly about fighting legalism with my own energy. I felt deceived for many years. I was seeing church as an entity where people workout in a spiritual gymnasium. I thought, without such a place to ‘work out’ we become nonspiritual. I couldn't think of a spiritual life without it. There I have seen people who think the church-potatoes are more spiritual. People who think skipping a meeting is a sin. Everybody operating on the basis of fear while struggling to put up a peace smile on their faces. People who fear demons, pastors, unbelievers and pretty much everything other than the ones in their own ‘sect’. Sorry if it sounds like a cult. It's not intentional.
The question is should we fight it? I think there is a difference in fighting legalism and opposing legalism. Fighting can produce reformation but ultimately the result could be just another system. We don’t want to replace one system for another. I respect the historical reformations but at the same time wondering if it just erupted another system. Instead of Cathedrals, now we have churches (assemblies, chapel, etc). I am tempted to fight it but it could also mean that it is still controlling me. Fighting could be a sign that I am still in it. Shouldn't we just rest in the all sufficiency of His grace? And if legalism come in our way, just oppose it? I don't mean being inactive. In fact I have never seen a person who is walking in grace being inactive.
'Systems' are generated from fear and it tries to give people a false sense of security. But if there is a bit of fear, the love is not perfected. We can’t perfect in love, unless we see the One who loved us while we were yet sinners.
Systems/Organizations miss the majors and they end up concentrating on the minors. One of the most wonderful Bible study advice I have ever received is – majoring in majors as opposed to majoring in minors. Minors such as building, music, dress, programs, meetings, committees as opposed to the majors such as Jesus, Grace, Faith, Love, Hope, Forgiveness, Acceptance, Discipleship.
Is it time to rethink church? Is it time to rethink community? Is it time to rethink fellowship? Does it have to be organized? Does it have to be planned? Does it have to be formal?
In a hard way I am learning that we can be spiritual without the organ playing and lights dim. I was so used to it and it required a lot of unlearning. I am still in the process of unlearning. Religion has such a power to bind us. It never ever ever can set us free. Music don’t set us free, programs don’t set us free, miracles don't set us free,... But it is THE truth that truly set us free!
I am no more bound in the four walls of religion. Thank you Jesus! I am in a risky ocean of Grace. Yes it is risky, disruptive, dangerous but it is worth taking that risk. Not that I was courageous to take such a risk, but it was Him doing it, it was Him who showed me His radical grace, it was Him who loved me perfectly while I was still a sinner. There is a lot more to explore in this great ocean, there is excitement, there are wonders and miracles. (Warning:There is also pain involved in the process of walking by faith). But it is sweet, it is so freeing, it is so securing in His love. Are you ready to dive in, leaving the securities of your religion?
Friday, January 25, 2008
Isn’t funny that we tell people that Christ died to take away their sins, and tell them how to confess them?
Isn’t funny that we tell people to go where ever God leads them, and then telling them where to go?
Isn’t funny that we tell people that God is love, and tell them how to ‘earn’ His love?
Isn’t it funny that we tell people that salvation is not by works, and teach the ‘steps’ to be saved?
Isn’t it funny that we tell people that Gospel is all about Jesus, and explains them things to ‘do’ to be saved or stay saved?
Isn’t it funny that we teach people from New Testament, and ignore the significance of New Covenant?
Isn’t it funny that we tell people that the curtain was torn from top to bottom, and still build tabernacles?
Isn’t it funny that we tell people that we can call God, Abba Father, and teach them to mug up prayer?
Isn’t it funny that we tell people that God is omniscient, and then tell them to pray to change God’s mind?
Isn’t it funny that we tell people to call God our Father, and refer to Him as God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob?
Isn’t it funny that we teach people that we are under a New Covenant, and then teach them to tithe?
Isn’t it funny that we teach people to tithe, and then serve them pork for dinner?
Isn’t it funny that we tell people to read 2 Cor 3:7-11, and fight for public display of 10 commandments?
Isn’t it funny that we tell people that Holy Spirit is our teacher, and still busy building seminaries?
Isn’t it funny that we tell people that the church is the body of Christ (group of believers), and invite them to a building calling it ‘church’?
Isn’t it funny that we tell people that we are under Grace, and teach them law?
Isn’t funny that we tell people that Christ came seeking sinners not the righteous, and bash sinners?
Isn't it funny that we teach people that what matters to God is not the education but the heart, then hire only seminary graduates?
Isn't it funny that we tell people that Jesus's disciples were poor, then tell them to pray for prosperity?
Isn't it funny that we tell people that Jesus used uneducated to change the world, and put M.Th and M.Div at the end our names?
Isn't it funny that we tell people that they are free in Christ, and then bash them for not obeying the law?
Isn't it funny that we tell people that money is evil, and pray to bless them financially?
Isn't funny that we tell people that we cannot serve mammon and God at the same time, and inviting them to testify about the 'financial miracle'?
Isn't it funny that we tell people that sinners are welcome to our 'church', and bash them with law?
Isn't it funny that we tell people to be like 'Bereans' (Acts 17:11), and then excommunicate them if they question?
Church loving – People loving
Pastor loving – Jesus loving
Church praising – God praising
Giving 10% - Give in ‘free will’
Control others using law – Proclaim that the law is fulfilled in Christ
Not questioning anything – Challenge law and legalism under new covenant
Showing off love – Sharing genuine love
Bashing sinners – Tell them Christ took away all their sins once-for-all
Evangelizing everybody – Proclaim the unconditional love of God to those who are ready to listen
Trying to convert people using law, guilt and fear – Trying to show people love, grace and freedom in Christ
Being active in church programs – Being active in ‘growing in Grace’
Being social – Being who we are
Bound but acting free - Free and acting free
Showing off Bible knowledge – Knowing Bible for what it means, not what it says
Being busy – Walk by faith
Acting holy – Being holy
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Pastor loving – Pastor hating
Church praising – Church bashing
Giving 10% - Not giving at all
Control others using law – Ignore the lost
Not questioning anything – Questioning anything and everything
Showing off love – Suppressing love
Bashing sinners – Okaying sins
Evangelizing everybody – Not evangelizing anyone
Trying to convert people using law, guilt and fear – Ignoring the lost in the name of love.
Being active in church programs – Abandoning community life and fellowship
Being social – Being isolated
Bound but acting free - Free but no action
Showing off Bible knowledge – Not reading Bible at all
Being busy - Being idle
Acting holy - Acting unholy
Is it possible?
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
The gospel of Jesus Christ is - Revolutionizing, changing, challenging, soothing, healing, loving, forgiving, accepting, revealing, completing, giving, consoling, instructing, reminding, opening, living, sustaining, freeing, redeeming, questioning, liberating, shaking, motivating, encouraging, piercing, dividing, uniting, relieving, building, destructing, calming, opening...
Monday, January 21, 2008
Where is hope found? Celebrities who have everything we all strive for - money, fame, sex, fans - are suicidal! But we still want all that.
We brag about our intelligence, brevity, adventures, technology but still hallucinated in our depraved mind to think that there is no hope this world can offer. All our intelligence becomes pseudo-intelligence. All our self sufficiency becomes false. All our money becomes a monster.
The provision for flesh is in every nuke and corner. Most times - one click away or one call away. Should we hide? Should we isolate and make ourself monks? Should we live in a state of denial? Or celebrate the sins and indulge more and more. Why are we so depraved that now we are able to brag and celebrate our sins and do pride parades!
See the impact in churches. 'Pastorship' is a carrier. Salary is bargained. It is an industry where resumes are built and benefits are determined on 'ability' and experience. The level of success is counted on the numbers and quantity. The word discipleship is not in their dictionary.
This world and everything in it makes us short of the truth. Everything looks as if it is contrary to the truth.
(I don't know how to end this post... I have a BIG 'thank you, Jesus' deep inside me chocking myself. There is absolutely, absolutely, absolutely no hope in anyone/anything other than Jesus!)
Friday, January 18, 2008
When I feel good in flesh, that generates pride and I am headed to fail soon. When I don't feel good, there is that internal conflict of what am I doing wrong. In both case it is my doing or not doing. I am tired of me!
Times where I feel that nothing is in my control - kids being sick, I feel tired, not feeling like taking a shower, being lazy, over eating, sleepy, watching lot of television, not doing anything spiritually, having worldly thoughts, being anxious about everything such as job, finance, economy, unsaved loved ones, having the pressure to act holy and joyful, not feeling like calling friends and relatives to stay in touch, unable to love others, unable to forgive… haa.. the list goes on and on.
One day there is ease and laughter, the other day there is impatience on everything. There are days I feel like I am trapped in the wind wheel of secularism, a common phenomena we see everywhere.
Times when I feel that all the 9 fruits of the Spirit are in the high gear in my life, next day the same I, wondering do I even have the Spirit! What a 'wretched'...
Times when I feel the verse "do not be anxious about tomorrow" was for the first century, not for today. How do we live in this world without being anxious? Acting as if we are in perfect peace all the time is an intellectual suicide. Putting a false gown of 'courage' and acting fearless is stupid.
Wonder why Jesus said, "you will have trouble in this world"? you bet!
The force to serve 'mammon' is unbelievable. The pressure to serve 'schedules' is unavoidable. It is getting tougher and tougher to serve just one master. Escaping is not an option. Escapism is not faith. Faith is pressing on.. no matter what... looking forward for that glorious day...
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
What is the solution to bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, evil speaking etc?
Understanding the total forgiveness in Christ!
How can we be kind to one another, tenderhearted and forgiving?
By understanding the total forgiveness in Christ!
"..and the truth will set you free"
Friday, January 11, 2008
Though most of the time I have the 'grace filter', sometimes I get in to the trap. I wish there was no statements in the Bible which looks as if we have to 'do' some stuff to keep up.
But the fact is that there are so many such verses. Books like Galatians comes to my rescue, but still...
The grace filter is affected by the clouds of law and blocking what the Spirit wants me to see...
The world around me contributes to this problem, church I attend can contribute to this, the stuff I read, the things I think, the people I listen to. It is as if everybody is against the beauty of of such grace and trying to adulterate it... It looks like people are struggling to put God back to the box where they like to see him and enjoy that little god.
Everybody like that 'god genie' and not the God of the universe who is beyond any of our comprehension but came merely as a man (so that we can know Him) , humbled himself to death, even to the death on the cross, finally crying out 'it's finished'. We, a bunch of idiots (sorry!) sitting here and trying to prove that He was wrong when He said it's finished.
How can I resist this spirit of law? How can I resist this spirit of 'works'? How can I dive (without diving suits, oxygen cylinders, goggles or anything) in to the sea of grace, fool around there enjoying the freedom. There is this assurance of Him being there as my life giving oxygen and the suit of righteousness.
Sometimes I feel that I have no strength to resist the powerful (at least it appears powerful) spirit of law. I want to stop stopping and start starting. I want to stop my focus on stopping, and put my focus back to start believing. I mean completely, stop trying to stop sinning and start walking by faith. When I try to stop, I fall into law.
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Friday, January 4, 2008
Is this possible? This is something a carnal mind cannot comprehend. There is so much spiritual truth in these words Apostle Paul wrote, and it is purely spiritual. Yes, it is possible to be sorrowful and still always rejoicing. Rejoicing in the Lord, taking the delight in Him, acknowledging the fact that nothing can separate us from the love of God. No forces of the devil can snatch us out of our heavenly Father’s hands. Even death cannot separate us from the love of God.
Biblical prosperity is not materialism and money. Biblical healing is not bodily healing. Apostle Paul, the religious fanatic turned grace-preacher whom God used to write 2/3rd of the New Testament was poor, sick, imprisoned, hungry, beaten, dying, sorrowful and possessed nothing.
genuine, yet regarded as impostors;
known, yet regarded as unknown;
dying, and yet we live on;
beaten, and yet not killed;
sorrowful, yet always rejoicing;
poor, yet making many rich;
having nothing, and yet possessing everything.
(2 Corinthians 6:9-10)
Where is the so called ‘prosperity gospel’ here? Where is the materialism here? Where is the ‘divine healing’ here?
I think the people who are looking for divine intervention of God such as divine money, divine prosperity, divine job etc are looking for a god other than the one they already have, or they do not have the God of the Bible. It was revealed unto Paul, the reality many Christians do not understand – Jesus is all we need, His grace is sufficient for us. That is the revelation which enabled him to say ‘I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses’. Christian life is about growing weak and being glad in the fact that we are weak, because His strength is made perfect in our weakness.
Having nothing, and yet possessing everything. Thats is so special and only a child of God can claim that. His children possess the supernatural and their eyes are not on the things ‘seen’ but on the ‘unseen’. They walk by faith and faith alone.
it is okay to be sorrowful in this world, we still have everything we need to rejoice. It is okay to be poor here , we still have everything a King's kid can possess. It is okay to be beaten, but our 'eternal life' cannot be killed. it is okay to be imprisoned, our 'freedom in Christ' cannot be bound. it is okay to be hungry, we can still be full in the Spirit. It is okay to be sick, we are eternally healed by His wounds. it is okay to be dying, but we are present with God while absent form the body.