Tag Archives: Restoration

Cheapened Grace

Don’t let a cheapened message of God’s grace rob you of your inheritance.

As many people are hearing and receiving the message of God’s grace there are also teachings that cheapen it and in the end devalue not only the message, what Jesus accomplished and his sacrifice but also the person who God ultimately desires to be the benefactor of His grace. God created man in His image and the true and pure characteristics and values that God breathed into man are direct reflections of our inherit nature from God. Anything that is not a part of our inherited nature then is from an outside influence and can never increase our experience in life but only detract from it. Being free from these outside influences is the power of God’s grace in our lives.

With this being said first let me state that in understanding God’s grace if your relationship with God is not based 100% on the grace He shows towards you, then any deviation will encourage you to experience life in a way that will inhibit you from the quality of life Jesus gave his for in your place and that our Father desires for you. You can choose to not be honest with yourself but it is clear that God created Adam and Eve out of love and they existed in a state where they never tried to test or alter the boundaries that defined them. At least not until an outside influence encouraged them to devalue themselves by perceiving their value as coming possibly from another source outside of God. Namely themselves which we know is pride.

The bottom line is then anything that influences us to not live according to our inherit natures will inhibit us from experiencing the quality of life that God desires for us and as an outside influence it is in opposition to God. It is this outside influence then that Jesus overcame so that through Jesus the wholeness that comes through salvation reveals to us our unadulterated identities enabling us to experience reconciliation to our Father. This is one thing that I really get grieved about when I hear those who have been given influence into the lives of others and they try to attach God’s love and acceptance of that person to the very thing that is influencing them to not experience what God has given them.

Allow me to use a hypothetical scenario to elaborate on what I mean. We almost all know something of cancer. Either we, or someone we know, have been under its influence. In fact this is a close subject to me because at the time of this writing my father was diagnosed with cancer only the week prior. Not let’s say that this motivates me to find a cure for cancer and though by the time I do my father passes away. I create a cure where a simple drop of this medicine will destroy the cancer and restore any damage it did. Now after this discovery I have a child who ends up being born with cancer. I have the cure but others intervene and say that because I love the child it is okay that they have cancer. They can keep the cancer because I will accept them just as they are.

Now the claim made is a true statement in that I would love the child unconditionally and accept them regardless of the cancer, but that is not the whole truth. In fact the whole truth in that though my love for my child is unconditional and that I would accept them no matter what is because I could make them whole, then to truly express my love, I would give them the medicine to heal them and enable them to experience the best quality of life possible. If I had made it possible for my child to be free from cancer and it was in my power to make it so then to not do it would question whether I really loved the child or not.

Hopefully this clearly conveys why I have such a strong discontent when people try to cheapen the grace of God by devaluing it with some of the messages that are taught. I understand that a person’s value and identity are not to be wrapped up in the things they do or the influences in their life which are contrary to what God desires. Our identity and value to be totally healthy needs to be derived totally from God. Yet when we choose to say that because God loves you and accepts you just they way you are, which is half of the truth, without encouraging them to receive the wholeness and restoration of their identities free from influences outside of God, then we are conveying a message that it is okay to remain the way they are. In other words yes Jesus opened the way for you to receive the full benefits of salvation but because God loves you an accepts you it is okay if you remain under the influence of death and destruction. There is no gray area is this matter. We should not ever accept falling short of experiencing the fullness of God’s provision by allowing ourselves to become content and try to use God’s acceptance and love as a means to justify our complacency in our flesh or worldly influence.

It is true that our actions and outside influences against us cannot separate us from God’s love. Nor can it undo what has been done by faith in Jesus in experiencing salvation. But to say it is acceptable for anyone to remain in a state that is contrary God’s desire is just cold-hearted and unloving. No matter what the sickness, disease, behavior or anything else is we are to be as Jesus and provide total restoration to every person in every way. To accept the influence in a person’s life that is a result from a fallen state is in no way representing the love of God, because it is approving of something that is contrary to God’s desire and the finished works of Jesus.

Never once in scripture did I see anyone come under the influence of God’s grace who in choosing to receive it, came short of being restored. We see beliefs and behaviors changed as well as physical healing and demonic influences removed. And again never once do we see any message conveyed that it is acceptable to choose to tell someone it is okay for them to keep living their lives in ways that do not glorify what God has done for us to make us whole. Perhaps that is a part of the equation which is not understood so well. I can remember growing up in church culture, and if I have heard it once I have heard it a thousand times, where the pastor or teacher will start praying and repeatedly say, “We glorify you Lord, we magnify your name.” Really? Yes there are many just that clueless in that they have no idea what it truly means to glorify God. When we are receiving and experiencing the benefits and fruit of God’s love and His sacrifice then we are glorifying God. To say we glorify God by literally saying the words is as superficial as telling someone you love them without ever expressing it.

Remember God’s grace does not enable us nor gives approval for us to experience a quality of life contrary to what God desires for us and Jesus died for. But grace empowers us to not remain under any influences that come from sources outside of God which try to inhibit us from experiencing our inheritance. We should never allow our values and identities to be determined by any sickness, disease, beliefs, behaviors or any other influences, but the quality of life that we experience should glorify God. So as you read scriptures if there is something that you see God move against or disapprove of in any way, in knowing that God never changes, it is clear to say that if these things have influence in your life then seek God’s grace. There is nothing that has an influence in your life, which is contrary to God, that Jesus did not make possible for you to receive restoration in.

In writing this I had to stop and question the motivation behind why people are taking the message of God’s grace and perverting it? The justification that comes to mind, and I would not say that this is the only reason, is that there are possibly areas in their lives where restoration through God has not taken place yet. And if this is the case they are allowing that or those circumstances to influence their value and identity. Instead of continuing on then and receiving restoration and healing in all aspects of their lives they choose to justify their circumstances by teaching others that it is acceptable to not experience change as a result of the gospel in their lives. This justification allows them to experience a form of acceptance and contentment in their own situations. Of course this whole line of reasoning is one that is solely influenced out of pride and is a false representation of God’s acceptance. It is true God accepts everyone and as evidence of this acceptance He freely gives complete healing and restoration in all situations.

When I speak of healing I am not only talking about only the physical aspect, which is included, but much of what we see in the physical is the fruit of beliefs in our hearts that are corrupt and the emotional healing is also included. Almost all behavior contrary to God is a result of an emotional influence which creates a belief that one lives by. These emotional stresses can also produce side effects like physical ailments in the body as well. So in receiving total healing I am not just talking physical, because if the physical is a result of an emotional issue and we receive a physical healing only, the influence of the emotional issue will continue to try to destroy the body.

As I said in the title, don’t let yourself be robbed of your inheritance. Don’t let people sell you on something which is clearly contrary to the context of what you read in the bible. If God was against it there is nothing that was done to make Him change His mind and now accept it. You can earn nothing from God, so no religious routines will justify you to be able to receive anything from God. God freely gives to all who ask and this is the heart of His grace on all to all so that all may experience the quality of life that He longs for us to. There are things of this world that we try to allow, justify and incorporate into our relationship with God, which He has always disdained and always will. He does love us unconditionally and has proven His acceptance of us in spite of our shortcomings, but He has also made it possible for us to no longer be under the influences of this world so we can experience the true liberty we have in Christ Jesus.

We should also never feel guilty, ashamed or condemned about those things that have influence in our lives which are not from God. Again think of it as a disease, and we can choose to live with that disease but God because of His love for us has come up with the cure and desires for us to receive it. As I said before there is nothing that will cause God to ever cease loving us, we can only choose not to receive His love nor participate in the quality of life He desires for us through total restoration and healing.

With all this being said there are some who teach that because of Jesus everything is already ours no matter what. In some ways I agree because there is nothing for us to do but to believe and receive it as you would a gift, which is said over and over throughout the New Testament. What I do not agree with is the teaching that states that all of mankind is saved whether they believe it or not. Though I wish this were true it was not God who caused man to reject Him in the first place, but has made an effortless way to assure us that reconciliation is something that everyone and anyone can freely experience.

When people say that everyone is saved, and in some cases they add that they just do not know it yet, then I see this clearly as a statement that would say God is incompetent. After all everyone Jesus made absolutely no distinction in being saved between the forgiveness of sins and healing. Therefore the overwhelming evidence would distinctly conclude that everyone, everywhere, for all time is not already saved because as a part of experiencing the fullness of salvation that is available one would also have to experience freedom from sickness, disease or any other infirmary that is a result of sins influence in this world. To say that salvation is not something we must receive in order to participate in its benefits then means only one of two things. First either God is not capable of keeping His word or the other being Jesus is a liar.

I really do not think people understand that damage done when they teach such nonsense. To put in context would go along the lines of something like this. Imagine walking up to someone who has been crippled all their life and in a wheelchair. They have been suffering day in and day out in pain for over 30 years and just wish in many cases that they never existed. Then you say the following. “Why are you in a wheelchair all crippled up and in pain. Don’t you know that you were saved by Jesus and you are not crippled.” After all my point here is to keep this in context you can’t show the mercy that is shown scriptures because you cannot offer salvation but must demand that they are saved. To offer salvation or pray for healing like in the bible would mean that it is in fact not something that has been thrust upon all of humanity.

I do believe that most who teach this way and in others that are not the gospel of grace, do in most cases desire for people to experience what God has for them. There is an honest effort being put forth to in some quasi fashion to help others become aware of their relationship to God. But it does border insanity to say that you already have everything and you cannot receive anything even though your experience is not in agreement. Is it available? Absolutely yes and freely it has been given to us, but it is quite evident that it is something we must choose to be a participant of to experience any benefit.

There is also one other question when we really look at this from a big picture view, or at least has big as we can see, and that is what is the point. If God alone without our involvement can rectify the situation that we are in, why would He allowed it at all. Obviously God knows everything through His eternal existence. So in creating man with free will to at least allow sin to enter into the physical realm but then say that God can and has overrode everyone’s free will to save them, why would God who is love permit suffering such an atrocity to begin with? If man’s input or participation is not required why not express mercy and grace on mankind by eliminating the situation all together prior to man’s existence? My personal answer is because no matter how great the love, if it one can not let go then the relationship has gone from love to pride and greed.

Since God is love He allows us to be who we are, for better or worse, and is always willing to receive us back with open arms when we come to the realization that we were never able to produce life on our own but freely receive it as part of our relationship with Him. The focus always ends up on being our relationship with God and do we trust and believe He only desires and has provided all things for us to experience the quality of life He desires for us.

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Jesus Is A Reflection Of Us

      “Every human life is equally valued and represented in Christ. He gives context and reference to our being as in a mirror; not as an example for us, but of us.” Every since I read this quote by Francois du Toit I have had to reevaluate the way I look at things in my relationship with God. I have really been  blessed in that I have had the privilege this past year of doing nothing other than studying the Word and listening to others. Thankfully this path started out in a message of grace and God’s unconditional love, which I have come to realize that is the only way  love can truly exist or it is a counterfeit. In retrospect month after month the revelation that God really loves me and there are no strings attached has continued to grow and now after 14 months of experiencing this growth I finally think that my heart has been prepared to not only hear but to start believing the truth. It seems like it has either taken this long to finally hear something that caused a paradigm shift in what I thought or that my heart was finally softened to be able to agree with what my mind and ears were hearing; quite possibly both worlds colliding for just such a time for this.

 I can honestly say that in these past 14 months I have spent well over 3,500 hours just reading, praying, and listening to teaching that has helped condition the soil of my heart. In all that time I have learned that God is love, in fact it is the very essence of his existence, and all throughout the bible this love manifests in pointing to his Son Jesus. In these past months the religious theologies and doctrines I grew up with have been challenged, debunked and purged out of my belief system. I would not say 100% of them as there were things that I believed to be true which still remain true and very foundational basic concepts. Occasionally in this process something that I was not aware of still pops up, but in these cases there is not much of a struggle because it was usually hard for me to believe much of the things I had originally learned seeing that it did not bear the fruit of Christ. Yesterday was one of these days, when I read that quote. I had known from reading and hearing that we are complete in Jesus yet even with everything I have come to believe in just being a son, just existing in the way God desires for us to walk for the maximum fulfillment of life, I had not realized I was still trying to become like Jesus. But when I read, “…not as an example for us, but of us.” I had to change my focus and beliefs about myself and just like Adam quit trying to become who I am already.

 The first scripture that I thought of when I had this shift was Romans 8:29 “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” I will not debate this but the simple fact that God predestined us means that it was his will or desire for us and not something where we have no choice in the matter. After Jesus went to the cross everyone from that point going forward became a new creation and here is a simple why. Adam made a choice to try to become like God and in doing so sin entered into the world through his unbelief. I think we are missing something here because even though man could not keep the law for righteous requirements, as Adam instantly proved, we know that is was not impossible to do because Jesus did. My point is that it was not impossible because of the law itself but because of man. With that said now as a new creation the law cannot come into play at all because Jesus removed the law, so if in ignorance we try to fulfill it in some capacity, it has no bearing on our righteousness. We also have a born again spirit. Some debate on when this occurs and personally I think this was a one time event that occurred already at the cross. Personally my opinion, and that is all it is, is that just like being born through the womb in that we had no choice in being born again spiritually we had no choice. Some think that being born again is equated with believing on Jesus for eternal life and no where in scripture does it state that. Jesus said that unless one is born of a woman and Spirit they cannot enter in the kingdom of Heaven and Jesus in fulfilling prophecy made this possible. The reality is though whether it was at the cross or if it occurs when one believes does not matter as long as it did  and because until one believes nothing is going to change in their lives anyhow.

 O.k. so I know I said a few things on this one scripture but I still did not say why this scripture stood out first. The reason it did is like I said I was inadvertently trying to become like Jesus or as the scripture here says conform to his image, and though this is a way of interpreting this scripture it is correct to say that God designed us to be like his Son, remember we were created in his image and likeness. So we are not becoming like Jesus, we are like Jesus and Jesus made it possible for us to live like him. In this being predestined to conform or as I said designed to be like Jesus, we know Jesus coming was a part of the overall process for us as sons to be able to be who God designed us to be. We know that Jesus played a part in this overall process of mankind’s design because he was the lamb slain from the foundation of this world, meaning that he was to be sacrificed before man was even created. In that Adam failed, because he could fail, Jesus came and by removing sin, fulfilling the law for righteousness and destroying the works of the devil making it impossible for mankind to fail, because our quality of life and our relationship with God have nothing to do with what we can or cannot do but solely on the fact if we believe on Jesus. Our works have no bearing on our identity and the only thing they can do is reflect what we believe to be true in comparison to the truth.

 Romans 8:18 “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” This made me wonder if this great revealing was based on our unbelief in the fulness of our identities. What if I choose to believe and am fully persuaded in my heart that Jesus and I are one in union and walking in that understanding choose to believe that Christ in me is the hope of all glory, the physical manifestation of the goodness of God. Col 1:25 Under these circumstances could this glory that is to be revealed actually reveal itself now and not in some distant time? I guess the point that is so important for me to understand and to make to you is Christ is an example of who we already are and that by simply believing we can allow who we are to surface. We have Jesus as our example, not to become like him by changing what we do, but he is our example of who we already are and has we believe in the truth and walk in it we by default will conform to his image, which is God’s desire for all of us.

 Paul said in Romans 12:2 “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” I have heard many teach on this saying that we can attain three different levels of God’s approval and I never agreed with that, even if they say they are preaching the grace of God. I really believe Paul is trying emphasize the point here in by changing what we believe about ourselves, specifically our identities, so that in simply being who we are created to be we will prove not only to ourselves but to others the entire will of God for our lives. Looking at Jesus we all know he faced persecution and scripture tells us that as believers we will, but this is not supposed to influence our identities and I always see Jesus just being Jesus. He isn’t trying to be a healer as he is healing. He is not trying to be loving as he is love. These are attributes that just because he is in the room they are going to flow out of him and these same attributes along with others are the very essence that make us who we are because we have become one with Jesus. The same Spirit that dwells in Christ dwells in us. 1 Corinthians 6:17 “But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.”

 I read some details on the life of John G. Lakes, which probably many of you know who he is, and the one thing I noticed was the transformation in his life over the years in going from one who did not necessarily believe in healing to one who understood that there is no excuse for not being whole. I think this renewing of his mind came about in seeing time after time the finished works of Jesus take effect and manifest in the lives of others regardless of what they believed or where they were at in the circumstances of their lives. There is the reality that Jesus took sin out the equation so the effects of sin have no place manifesting in the life of a believer, but also just as importantly Jesus bore the effects of sin upon himself so that whatever has manifested in the life of anyone, whether they believe or not, has been redeemed in his body broken for us so they are whole. We are God’s only limit because of what we choose to believe. Jesus plainly said that these signs will follow those who believe and just after that the statement was made the scripture continues on by saying that they went forward preaching the Word with signs following. Mark 16:17,20

 I wanted to bring this up because as believers we tend to think that because we intellectually accept something as true then we believe it. This is part of the equation but what we believe in our heart is really what matters. If I say that I believe that by Jesus stripes we are healed and I am not walking in total health then I have to humbly accept the fact that my heart is still be persuaded of that fact. Jesus said if we have faith the size of a mustard seed and we say to that mountain move then is will move. Mat 17:20 Point being the evidence of faith is not in commanding the mountain to move but that it went. I also therefore think just as Mr. Lake grew in the revelation that wholeness and life is a part of our identity in Christ we too need to grow in our identities.

 It is quite possible that most of us deal with what we call the chicken or the egg debate. We can dwell for eternity on the debate of which came first, though I did find it amusing that a while back I saw something that “scientifically” that had proven the chicken itself did. Anyhow it is quite possible in how we relate to faith that we stumble across a barrier. I am not giving justification to this issue just pointing it out. In many cases we find faith never becomes active in the life of a believer until they see faith in action. And there may be something to this in that this may just be how some people function in their learning. Jesus did several acts of faith before sending out his disciples. There are also a handful of scriptures that basically saying that upon seeing they believed. This does not mean that everyone who sees something will believe it, but that is their choice to make. And in the relationship aspect of things between us and God the sooner one believes the truth the better off they will be because if they have to wait till they see a miracle to believe then they are just existing in life and not living it in the quality that our Father has created for them. Basically no matter how good one who does not believe thinks they have it, it cannot compare to the quality of life we can have from God.

 God has designed all things in this world with us in mind so that to whatever measure is possible in its fulness we could continually walk in and experience the goodness of God. I have heard many say that I am just living in a dream looking for some imaginary utopia or Garden of Eden but I know that there is a reason behind all of humanity seeking such things. God designed us to live in an environment like this and as part of our design to exist in a state of just being which is basically a normal life from God’s perspective for us, otherwise why would we all desire something similar. We only seek after something that is lost, and if something was never a part of our life to begin with, that is also not there now, we would never desire to seek it.

 In writing this and thinking about the what this means to me I noticed something that stood out. Every time we do the works that Jesus said we would do in His name and not through our effort, it affirms our identity as sons of God. Fruit is produced out of simply being a son and believing on Jesus which continuously grows the bond we have between us and our Father. So everything that manifests as a byproduct in our lives of just being a son of God reinforces our relationship with God and everything we try to do out of our own effort starts tearing down this relationship. When we lay hands on the sick and heal it is a way of receiving affirmation that we are sons. I am not stating that this is the point of healing nor even a desire from God in any way but just stating it as a fact.

 Hopefully this has inspired you to think about your life from a different perspective. I know it has caused me to start looking forward in life from a different point of view and caused a new desire for me to clean off the mirror I have of Christ so I can see more and more each day who I am already in his reflection of me.


Life Through Our Daily Bread

     O.k. So I just had one of those Doh moments (Homer Simpson for those of you who don’t know, not even sure if they still exist) Anyhow I was looking at the Matthew 15:26 (also found in Mark 7:27) where Jesus told the woman that it was not right to take the children’s bread and give it to the dogs, talking about healing. Then instantly I was taken to what is referred to as the “Lord’s prayer” where Jesus in teaching his disciples how to pray states give us this day our daily bread. I really have not thought about this outline for prayer too much because of all the perverted teachings I have heard about it. I had been taught that this part was praying for our daily needs like food or any other provision, even including financial. But these teachings always conflicted with me because they conflicted with Jesus who had said to take no thought for these things but to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things, our needs, will be added unto us. But the Holy Spirit as usual put the connections together (He is just so awesome) in that we need to pray for our daily bread because we daily need to receive the health or quality of life that Jesus provided through his body broken for us daily. We are still existing in a mortal body that is subject to attack in this fallen world so we have the opportunity to daily receive the benefits of being a son of God in making sure this temple is kept healthy. There is no excuse for us as believers to live as victims in this fallen state since Jesus had sacrificed himself to ensure that we do not remain subject to the effects on sin. We are not sinners but saints and we are not to be sick but whole.

     BreadI know of some who daily take communion and though I had no real opinion about that one way or another I now see that this is a really neat way of actually honoring the Lord’s provision through his sacrifice and receiving this day our daily bread. Jesus the bread of life…. if I get any more excited thinking about it I just might explode