Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas

 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 

        Allow this verse to resonate within you, allow it to pour out its blessings from within you and may you see all the wonderful light it is shedding within you.
        This verse has moved me beyond tears, it resides in my very soul and is what I think about when we celebrate Christmas.  We always point out a few things about Christmas such as the birth of Jesus, the Christmas tree, the manger, gifts, and family.  None of which are celebrated at the correct time of year, if we understand that the conception of Jesus was given by the Spirit during this time of year then we know that the festival of tents is probably the more accurate birth-time for Jesus.  
        The physical representation is always looked at when seeking the meaning of Christmas.  I want to turn to a different avenue that I believe is correct and is spiritual.   The statement from above is from Isaiah 9:6,  let's take it a phrase at a time.  

For unto us a child is born, 

           We think of Christ born in a manger and that is exactly what has happened.  you are the manger, the lowly place, the rotten side stable where this new birth has taken place.  Within you a child is conceived not of sinful flesh, but of an eternal spirit.  A new light has dawned within your soul and is now a very part of you.  You are the lowly manger in which this child is born, Jesus the Christ, in you.

To us a son is given: 

           Christmas is a time of giving gifts, and this gift is from the father and deep within you is the Christmas tree or the tree of life.  On its branches are gifts of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control which are fruits or gifts of the spirit.  There is deep within a gift of the son who is sufficient to our weaknesses.  Sufficient means adequate, nothing more nothing less, exactly what we need, and all knowing for eternal life.  A son is given, a gift of grace, and undeserved favor.  do you understand the sufficient gift that exist in you is enough to meet your needs.  This gift is what your kings and tyrants that exist within you will bow down to and they will pay homage to this great gift of a king.  
and the government shall be upon his shoulder:

        The government of what (a question asked by Walter C. Lanyon)?  is so appropriate and this is where the tears shed for me.  Governments give a lair of control over you.  This has nothing to do with Washington, D.C., or state in which you reside, but one thing, your life.  The Government of your life is to be upon his shoulders.  This child born in you as a gift is bearing your life on his shoulders.  Life is found, but where?  upon his shoulders, the onus of you trying to figure out this spiritual journey is on his shoulders, his life is found in you and your life is bound by him in union. This is why we shouldn't worry one moment further about our spiritual growth because it is your Father in heaven who gives good gifts and reveals himself to us and grows us at the right time.

and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.  

        In the book of Philippians chapter 2 we see the verse that talks about every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.  God's promise to Abraham's seed was that he would make his name great.  This child born in us the lowly manger is called wonderful, counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting father, and the prince of peace all existing in you.  What's true of Christ is true of you!

        As I reflect on this verse and all the time I've wasted on the physical, this breeds in me the joyful peace of the season knowing that I am in Christ and he has made in me the union life of the everlasting.

Merry Christmas to you and yours, 

Jason
Monday, December 5, 2011

FBC OLOH

FBC OLOH:

This past weekend Johnny Taylor and I traveled to Lake Forest Ranch in Macon, MS, and spoke to the students of FBC Oloh.

Marked by many factors, this past five months prepared us to go and teach to this group of students about the often taught often forgot subject of "No Condemnation."

Friday Night:  Session 1 "No Condemnation"

        Based from Romans 8:1, a verse that just says it, "there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."  This application to the life of a condemned Christian is the most freeing message they can receive.  The Gospel is not about condemnation, it is about intimacy with God.  Intimacy with God leads us into action...we often throw out comments such as, "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing from the word of God."  This statement boast so much truth; however, we often "hear" but we rarely respond.
        the woman caught in adultery (John 8) brought before Jesus in the synagogue was guilty, so are we!  Jesus could have stoned her and would have been completely just in doing so, yet because of his righteousness that fulfilled the law He asks her, "where are your accusers?"  is there anyone here to condemn you?  He pulls her out from under neath the banner of condemnation and sets her under the banner of "love."  Song of Solomon 2:4, "he brought me to the his banqueting house and his banner over me was love."  Just says it.
        I told the students Friday Night that they had permission to not and try to fix themselves because they would never be able to fix the problem on their own.  I certainly showed up with this idea of not being able to fix them and it freed me to relax and just teach.

Saturday Morning:  "Life as it relates to Law and Torah"

        I shared my journey to ultimate life in Christ and it wasn't a 7 step process or a formula but it was about how God ambushed me rescued me from a false Christian Identity based on my works for his acceptance.  I was given life based on His works not mine, that freed me and messed up all my theology up to that point in life... I'm not sure what god I was serving but it was not the creator of the universe.  The god I served fit nicely in the shape of my box and looked an awful lot like me...!  I make a terrible god.   When I found that I didn't love God first, but that He loved and pursued me with reckless abandon and began to live loved, it ruined me.  Living Love allowed me to pursue him with reckless abandon just as he was pursuing me...His pursuit of me caused me to pursue him!  I discovered that this journey meets up with a symptom that I cannot repair and it is "dependency."  Living in grace, Living loved, and pursuing God causes dependency.  I began to hear the word of God and doing the word of God (James 1:22) yet, this doing was not about works it was about dependency.  But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness Romans 4:5.  Now that just says it!  What did God reveal to during this time of growing and currently revealing to me to this day...

"Law and Torah"

the difference in these two words freed me to read the bible from a way of life and not a demand.

Law in the Greek is Nomos  which gives a judicial view of living...the law then carries out the purpose of condemnation, judgment, and death.   This view of Law makes sin increasingly sinful, because that is what we are "sinful."

Torah in the Hebrew is translated in to Nomos in Greek but does not mean the same thing, the idea behind the torah is "teaching or instruction a way of living."  Torah was not meant for condemnation, judgment, and death but for life.  Torah can condemn, judge, and produce death because it contains the in it a holy and just standard given by God that makes sin increasingly sinful. The Torah is a covenant promise of life in a person.

When we think of Law we think of the Ten Commandments, the ten commandments was not a law but a marriage covenant over the people of Israel who then once it was received rejected its standard to intimacy. Just like the Israelites of the time we too have decided that it is better for us to have someone go in our place and come and tell us what God says...!  That's not what he wants from us, he wants us to come through the blood of Jesus and live our lives in his presence, the scriptures say, be holy for I am holy... that is we have to go through Christ to live holy.  

Saturday Night "Law is Christ"

        Jesus is for us the graceful revelation of the Torah, he is the fulfillment of these scriptures.  John 1:1 gives us the revelation of this word... what do we call the word?  Scriptures right, what is the torah made of?  Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.  These are the Torah, but these scriptures are not merely words on paper, they point to a person.  You cannot have a relationship with words, the scriptures are shadows of a real person who we call our savior, Jesus Christ.  
      Colossians 2:17 says that these are the shadows of the things to come but the substance belongs to christ...(just says it).   John 5:39-40  says that you search the scriptures for knowledge...however, it is not in the scriptures that eternal life exist, but he tells them you refuse to come to me for life...

The point of all this, Jesus is the Law, Jesus is the Torah.  Matthew 5:17-18.... says that Jesus did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it therefore becomes the law on our behalf and meets its righteous demands for us.

The importance of finding our life in Christ is essential to living not condemned by the law.

Sunday Morning.  "God hasn't Changed"

simplicity is the key to understanding that you are not condemned, the question is do you believe?

The Shema says, "Hear, O Israel, The Lord our God, the Lord is one from Deuteronomy 6:4...

Hear is a simple request, listen to notice of my voice.  Israel is the loved bride of Christ... The Lord our God, is Elohim (plural) giving us the concept of this triune God who is a Father who loves us, The spirit who reveals to us, and the Son who took our place to rescue us.  The Lord is one, (James 1:17) in whom there is no variation.

The word became flesh and dwelt among us... (John 1:14)

The weekend was exciting not because we did anything to fix, but gave the freedom to allow God to fix... we just need to live in his grace, experience his love, and be dependent on his life.

have a great day,

Jason

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