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Tidbits and Mindbytes

Small bits of words crammed together to form thoughts, with a taste of opinion.

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Jesus Christian

A study on Malachi 3:6-12

When we claim to serve God, and only give a small portion of our tithes and offerings to God, He declares we are robbing Him. What kind of tithes truly rob God? Is it just money and material items, or is it something deeper at work?

Verses 6-7

                With these verses, Malachi is telling the people that have left their one true God. Then he describes how they have done so; by turning away from the decrees or the Law. This has made the people become separated from God.

How does this work for us? This means that if we have accepted God but have willingly and/or willfully chosen to wander away from his Law and Person that we are sinning. It also means that sin builds up and causes each generation to go further and further from God especially when we are giving hollow offerings and tithes to the God of all Creation. Malachi also says that because we are faulty and fallible humans that cannot perceive our own consequences to the choices we have made, our hope is that the God that created us all is not and will never be changeable. His constancy and longevity are what make His plans and purposes eternal and solid which enable Him to keep every promise He has ever made by His Word.  So than why is it that we sin? Because we who are human had chosen long ago and still choose to this day our own paths. We can break our word to God, and as we do so we drive ourselves further from Him with each choice in the manner of self service and self-devotion. This means we are the ones turning from Him, and hiding away in the sin of our lives. However, He is awaiting our return and will embrace us again.  This is our salvation that we must return to God.  Re-turn. Turn ourselves back to God in a manner that He can embrace in all His holiness. But, how can we return?

Verses 8-10

                God answers with another question, “Will a man rob God?”

This is perplexing because God is eternal, all powerful, and does not require our wealth. He is indeed someone who has the entire universe as his possession and all in it is His. Therefore, how could a man rob God? This clearly is implying the sin of an ungrateful and greedy heart. But it is also implying the brokenness of the relationship with the Creator. We can see this from the language in verses 6-7 the sin is robbing God of His chosen people. Thus, the result of shallow practices and forms of worship and lifestyle have brought a curse of God upon those who practice this kind of ‘religion’. And the worst curse God has placed upon us all is to be cut off from Him. This is the spiritual death that occurs because of sin.

From verse 9 we see that all this built up sin and false worship, has robbed the storehouse of God. It seems God’s storehouse is running on empty. We think of storehouses as places to store and keep food, clothing, goods, and other material possessions. However, the storehouse of God is supposed to be crammed full of the universe –what would make it run on empty? Because it is the spiritual storehouse that God is referring to here, not the material. It is the supernatural storehouse of God, not just the natural storehouse.  That is not to say God’s power and realm is totally dependent on mankind because He indeed has all authority, power, sovereignty, and all the rights of the true king.  But, what is being said is that we have our part to play in the distribution of God’s power on earth.  In this case, God is lacking the believers in Him that are truly praying, worshipping, and seeking out Heaven on Earth as it should be.

Here on earth, the Temple represented God’s spiritual storehouse on earth. However, the sin in the people had caused this storehouse to leak and lose the blessings that God intended for His works and people, letting them fall into a dead land that was just taking away all the blessings.  We can look it at it as the Leaky Bucket Analogy.  We walk to the well (which is God) and dip our buckets (our prayers worship etc.) into the well pulling up water (blessings) but little did you notice that hole in the bucket. As you walk back to your home, the water leaks out the entire way onto the ground and is gone. By the time you get home, there is nothing left.  What does this mean? With the sin in our lives unrepented and the shallowness of our relationship with God, we have a giant leaking hole that bleeds out all that God has to offer which is material and more importantly the immaterial. The restoration of broken relationships, and healing can only happen when God’s storehouse is full.

Therefore, it is not just about giving money and materials to God. Even the hollow and shallow can do that, the unsaved can give away all their wealth and property. The sin is thinking that by doing all the ‘giving’ is how the blessings flow from God and that it is the way to get God to do things our way or for us. That sin is great because it hides the real reason we give. It is the relationship to God, the time invested into Him and His will that makes the blessings flow from heaven and it is from a grateful and life full of gratitude that we give our ‘material’ to Him. From a realization that all we have flows from Him, automatically makes us surrender our clutch on the material and the immaterial.  For a truly blessed and abundant life, one must be totally and utterly deeply rooted in a relationship with our Father, and we must place a high value and deeply desire that relationship. It sounds easy, but it requires a heavy price to have that kind of relationship with God; total and complete surrender to Him and to live in His definition of holiness. It takes praying, reading His Word, singing praise and worship, and sacrificing our will to His. It is more than just demanding from God what we want, but asking for and doing what He wants. It is not just the mere empty actions of an entertaining person that gains the heart and blessings of the Father, but a child who is learning and living dependent upon Him that receives deeper blessing and true prosperity.

God doesn’t need our material items; He already has them all for Himself. He demands a true and deep relationship with Him in all holiness and purity. He is the author and finisher and therefore He desires His creation to wholly His in all aspects of a spiritual and physical life. As Christians we are to be the Bride of Christ and we need to truly KNOW Jesus for us to be His Bride. Would you marry someone you had never known? The Church has currently lost her way, and is lacking in her knowledge of Jesus and knowing Him. There are ideologies, and different social pressures and requirements that have generated a waywardness that led to sin. We are a lot like Israel’s tragic history with God, but like Israel God calls to us to return to Him. He called to them over and over, as we see through the Old Testament especially in the Prophets writings.  Malachi hits on this in verse 7.  The return is to REPENT. That means cast off and leave behind that sin. Turn from that and return your eyes to God. Turn from your selfish, self-deluded, and worldly ideas about who God is and what He desires, and get to know the real God. Return to Him. Give yourself wholly a new to Him. This is through constant prayer, praise and worship, and studying the Bible. Restore your relationship with Him and then He will open His arms wide open and throw open the floodgates of Heaven.

Verses 11-12

After God has thrown open the floodgates of Heaven, after all of us have repented and have cried out to God, and sought to restore our relationship to God by turning away from the sin and disobedience that is when God will move. He will be the one to restore the rightness of a unplagued world, where pestilence is no more.  He will provide the life and bread of life for all who have called upon His name and repented. He will make water flow in a dry and empty spiritual land that is thirsty for His presence.  Only then will He turn to His people, both futuristically and presently in the Body of Christ.  But so long as there is leaking bucket, the presence of God will not be sustained.  The leak will bleed out and dissipate the presence, because all sin and any kind of it that is unrepented will create the leak and make it larger. It provides the footstep in that the Opposer needs to bring down the blessings God has prepared for His children.  As Christians, Paul in his letters encourages us to not allow such footholds and strongholds to form because they damage our relationship with the Creator and Father.

Mark 2:21-22, Matthew 9:16-17, and Luke 5:36-39

But when we are truly seeking that right relationship with God that the leak will cease. But it is interesting that God is not going to just patch up the leak. He will provide us with a new bucket. That means we can’t just patch up and old ways and hope they work. Jesus spoke of this in the New Testament with his parable of the wineskins.  However, He does not get rid of the old bucket either. He uses it for bringing glory to Himself as a sign of what He redeemed us from.  It becomes a piece of our testimony of how good, kind, and great our God is. Which than tells of how He has created and Redeemed all the old and the new.  That is how God uses our time of return and repentance. It is a reconstruction of the heart and relationship. Thus His tithes and offerings are more than just the materialistic buyoffs that are so often given by people today. It is all about the gratitude for our relationship with Him.  If you zoom back out on Malachi 3:6-12, you see more power in the scripture than just the ‘material’ tithes and offerings but it is the relationship and the heart behind the giving that is being stolen away from God. This makes the Scripture more powerful, and potent by explaining more about what is really being robbed away. But God is not finished there.

Luke 21:1-4; Mark 12

In Luke, Jesus notices the differences in the people who are giving. It is not the quantity of wealth being given which drew Jesus to notice the widow giving her all. It was her desperation, her broken life, and in her lack hoping above all hope that God is going to provide for her. It was the hope in her relationship with Creator that drew Jesus’ attention. She gave what she had in a manner that brought noteworthy praise which in turn Jesus rebuked the wealthy givers- not on the quantity of what they gave, but their heart in giving was wrong and did not hold the Lord of Israel, God of Jacob as true King. We can see from this passage it was easy for them to walk in a drop a large sum of money and leave thinking they were okay with God.  However, were they? Luke alludes to that they weren’t. Greed had overridden true gratitude and akin to the priests of old, they were consuming the fatted calf for themselves rather than giving it to God for His glory and honor.

What does this mean for us?

Your money, your wealth, your ‘blessings’ may not really all be blessings in the manner we think they are. You might be in the depth of poverty of the soul.  The poverty of the soul is where God is not alive, nor are you in a relationship with Him. However, it is this very relationship that needs to be the concern of our Christian walk.  From the repentant and God-centered life will flow deep seeded gratitude.

Tithes and offerings were designed to be given with a grateful heart. One that truly knows God and wants to see more of Him. He blesses those in relationship when their heart is truly centered on God. From Malachi we learn this. We see God calling His people to return through repentance. Many people can hand over material goods but God is calling for your time, your soul, your mind, will and emotions to be fixed upon Him. God truly isn’t looking for your things; He is looking for your heart’s condition. When you restore the proper vision of God, that He is your sole reason for your universe’s existence, you begin to understand the complexity God offers to you through giving Him all your GIFTS.  Not just the material but the immaterial gifts and talents, your time and energy. The whole person giving with a grateful heart to the Lord.

Fast. Pray. Repent. Praise. Pray. Fast Repent…these are parts of drawing closer to the God of all heaven and earth, to the Savior of all, the Lord on High. As we go through this cycle, God reveals in us the sin and destroys it.  But all the while we should be studying and reading the Scriptures where the God is speaking most clearly to us, and praying in the Spirit so that we may grow in strength, power, purity, and hope.  It draws us deeper into the cycle, and we repent more readily. It opens the lines of communication to the Creator, and it helps those floodgates of heaven to flow through us, His people. As a nation that is gleaming to the world the hope of salvation found in Jesus.

Therefore, true prosperity is not found in the richness of the material wealth but in the richness of relationship with Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the Father above.  We must remember that the true greatest gifts we have are salvation, redemption, and life eternal that God has given us through the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross.  The relationship with God should be and is the number one priority of a Christian because we should be living our lives as the sacrifice, the living sacrifice to the tithes and offerings of our walk with Christ. To only give the material wealth lacks the necessary components for a deep relationship with God. He is looking for your heart, for that is where your true self is. So, even if you’re giving and attending a church, if He cannot see your heart you have turned from Him and are in sin and rebellion. Which means that you could outwardly be doing all the right things but are lacking a right relationship with God because of your reasons for why you are doing ‘all the right things’. Are you doing out of a heart and desire for God? Or are you doing it for other reasons and motives? You could be doing them all without God as your reason, like Israel had over and over again. And like Israel, you will find yourself in a barren land.

An empty and robbed store house means an empty and robbed state of relationship with the God of all creation. If you’re filling your storehouse with a desire after God’s heart, you are filling your relationship with the God of all. It is difficult in an age where everyone is connected to anyone by instantaneous actions to see beyond the superficial connections and alliances that we make. It damages the longevity of a deep, formal, loving and spiritual relationship with God and people. It distorts our perceptions of what it means to ‘know’ someone, and what a ‘relationship is’.  True long-lasting connections and relationship are not instant. Superficial and haughty relationships are instant and fall away just as quickly.  Relationships develop with spending real time, and quality time with another person or people. You don’t make relationships based upon social networking, true relationships develop through the pitfalls, the downsides, and the upsides, the valleys and mountain tops of life. Shallow relationships develop through the moment, and can easily pass away. Therefore, when we are dealing with our Creator, are we looking at the depth or are we seeking our own best interests? To put God in the way many Christians have, a distant and disconnected being, we have limited His relational value to us. This is where another large sin resides, and is part of why in Malachi 3 God is calling out to a broken and desolated nation. Not only has Israel been robbed of their material blessings, but they as a people have gone wandering in the desert again. Malachi is trying to call his brethren back because he knows the value of true repentance is the restoration of relationship with God.

By spending quality time with the Father of all through fasting, praying, studying Scripture and worshipping Him through song and praise as we live our lives out in the world, we begin to restore and build up our relationship with God and our faith in Him. Faith is a correlation of our relationship with God and is what drives our walk. The weaker the faith is, the weaker your relationship to God is. The stronger the faith, the stronger your relationship is with Him. To strengthen both requires attention and time, like all true relationships. God, our Father, requires us to spend quality time with Him. God moves in the deep, personal, broken messes that are our real lives. He knows all of our sins and failures, but He is slow to anger and is a just God. He is a kind and enduring King who is fair to all (Joel 2:13). He desires to meet us down in the depths of our darkest corners and shine light in there to reveal to us His love, and our true dependency upon Him for all things especially our weaknesses.  To refill the storehouse of God, one must return to God fully. Our relationship with God is the factor that determines our spiritual state. If we are dry and parched, there might be something we need to repent of that is leaking out the blessings that God has for us. If we are in abundance, are we being deceived and hiding away our sins?

God still moves through our sinfulness, don’t mistake the power that God has for dependency on us. He does prefer to work through us, and therefore will use all means necessary. Because the storehouse also represents those who know God, and are His children. Through our relationship with God, we are being the lights to the darkest world where God can draw in more people to Him and create a larger storehouse of faith and fellowship. That is why the tithes and offerings are simply just an outward expression of all the gratitude we have for what God is doing, and for our personal and long lasting relationship with Him. It’s not because we wish to be solely blessed, but because we have a far more superior gift in Him. It is the conduit for more and greater blessings to flow from not the means. God is the means and control and power and authority behind all things on Heaven and on Earth.  Apart from God, we can do nothing. Tithes and offerings simply reinforce our relationship with Him, and remind us that He is the one who does all. Our lives are the offering and sacrifice that God is using for His glory and that means we need a deep and personal relationship with Him.  Pray.  Study. Sing. Repent. Pray. Live for Him.

As C.S. Lewis wrote, “Aim at Heaven and you will get Earth thrown in: aim at Earth and you will get neither.”  Through our right relationship with God, we tithe our time, our materials, our talents, and we serve in accordance to God’s will. This must all first and foremost be founded on a deep, personal relationship or else it will all be empty and hollow forms of worship. The tithe and offering is simply us recognizing our deep seated relationship with God, and we can serve Him by giving to organizations and people where our money will serve the best and be broadcasting the Gospel around the world. The truly good news is our relationship with God is personal because Jesus came and died for each person. We make the choice to enter into that relationship. Your relationship is the storehouse that God is seeing robbed, and empty. Not the material tithes and offerings, but your relationship to Him.  Repent, and return. That is the call and prayer for us all.

 

Summary:
1) Your relationship with God is the focal point for all things. Not what you do or how much you give, not even your Church attendance is the focal point. God ultimately doesn’t need your ‘materials’ He wants your heart, mind, soul, and a relationship with you.

2) As our relationship with God increases, we give and serve out of a desire to return what He has done for us. This in turn allows us to spread the Gospel.

3) We are lacking in relationship because we have allowed sin to carry us away. Therefore, we are tossing money hoping to pacify God. We are doing the routine hoping that God is pleased rather than investing time with Him.

4) The fix is praying, fasting, repenting, and drawing closer to God rather than living like we always do and wishing for the best. The best is to get to know God personally, and deeply.

5) Then all the other things have true meaning, and are a sign of our deep, close relationship with Him. This the focal point, and all our ‘works’ become ‘right’ because of the focus.  Prosperity is the relationship with God not the money in the pocket.

6) Stop judging your giving as the size of your ‘relationship’. Faith is the correlation to our relationship with God. Weaker Faith, weaker Relationship with God. The stronger the faith, the stronger the relationship with God is. Faith is believing in HIM; and anything else.

7) Aim for Heaven. Stop focusing on Earth you’ve lost sight of God. Restore your relationship with God and everything else falls into place because we are focused on Him not on the problems of the World.

 

 

Thoughts on Writing

Hello everyone,

Yes. The year is now 2017 and I still haven’t posted very often.

Continue reading “Thoughts on Writing”

Personal Rant on Native America in Media/Literature

Honestly, I am disappointed by the portrayal of Native Americans in literature and media that is continually enforcing the stereotypes that flood the American Culture about Native Americans. Frankly, most authors (even some of those who are Native American) who write their stories for young children, young adults, and create movies off the books have fashioned their images of native American lifestyle to “The Classic Indian” that was stereotyped decades ago.

Why does it bother me so much? Because I want to change those stereotypes, those misnomers. I want students to have an enriched view of Native American life, not some romanticized, fairytale of what they were like. I don’t want the Native American’s to be thought of as invisible any more. They have not ‘disappeared’, they are not ‘gone’, America has just robbed them of their memories, their lands, and their place in society. America ignores the Native American because first of all, all other races and nationalities are FOREIGNERS to America. They were not here first, they were all here last. They wish to forget they’ve stolen lands, lied, cheated, and bribed their way into history as ‘dominant’ while sweeping under the rug the Native Americans.
I believe the biggest tragedy is the inability to overcome this ‘Romanticized’ view of Native Americans. That they were either swept away from this place, or that they’re all like Dances With Wolves…Or classic cowboys and Indians. Frankly, these ideas offend me.  Native Americans are tribes, tribes that have different cultures and different beliefs all under a giant bow tie called “Native American”. There is no “one” Native American, there are many.  And it’s sad to see that so many generations have been impacted by no knowledge of these differences. They’ve all been glumped into the Hollywood version of Native America, and have been tricked into believing lies and deceit.
Now, Native American history is not pretty either! It’s not some clean story that we can all deal with. The truth is, there is violence. There were things that were a part of Native American life that ‘moral Western’ culture does not and cannot hold to. The infantcide of children with diseases and deformed limbs (oh wait…American’s still do this practice under the cover of ‘abortion’). Elderly were ousted out of their communities to die alone (oh wait…what are nursing homes?). And many other travesties. I honestly know, because I am mostly ‘white’ (Oh hey yeah I’m actually also Cherokee and Comanche, you try being born in the Northeast Corner of Oklahoma) that there is a difference of cultures between the West and Native America, but these differences can be learned and appreciated if you are willing to step outside of yourself. Maybe if America would come to terms with her own past, and her own neglects and wrong views…Maybe than Native America would be redeemed. But after centuries of broken promises, and ill fated disasters of ‘treaties’ and politics, no wonder most of the remaining Native Populations don’t have a desire to be part of the American world…the popular world. In fact, many of them are more willing to fade away because of the pressures to fit the American mold…

Can America—Native and Non-native—Bridge the gap? Can they work together? I hope for that future, but in all reality, it will be hard work of forgiveness, repentance, and restoration.  I think the first place we can start though, is by removing these Romanticized Lenses of Native American populations, and the stereotypical lenses that all native peoples are one ‘people’. Recognize their differences, recognize their cultures, and you might have a chance at making some head way…Irish, Chinese, Indian (From India), Korean, Hispanic, Jewish, German, French, British, people out there…all you Non-Native American…need to wake up and see what is going on for real.

Sorry, but that’s my thought. My voice on this matter. I have been bugged by it for a long time…

Over Coming Worry and Fear

Right now my life appears to be in shambles.
I owe close to 500 dollars on my car.
And have little to no money to spend on myself for myself for food. But thank the Lord I have a wonderful roommate who is in the same circumstances as myself. I don’t have to be ashamed that I am poor in terms of finances, but I do have God who is the provider of all things. I have found people who can relate to my situation, and we can share each other burdens and become more like Christ wanted us to be.
So many times I have been tempted to run away from my problems, or to just bury my head, but I was not born with that kind of conscience. My burdens eat at my thoughts constantly, and I have to keep reminding myself that God is in control. All things will work out for the good. I just have to keep focusing on that. I know that God has good planned for me, and he will grow me into the righteousness that He deserves. I will not be held down by the world, because the World has no authority over me. I will submit to the authority of God an no other.
So, if you take every thought captive and toss it down when it does not align with the Word of God, you will find yourself at peace even when the circumstances scream for you to be troubled and worry. Ultimately, God is in control, and all things will work out according to the goodGod has planned for you, me, and those who stand firm on God’s promises for our lives. AND it can all happen tomorrow. God has no restrictions on life, but our brains put the limitations up. That is why Paul encourages us to take every thought captive, because those thoughts will lead you down the path to worry or the path to peace.
So, I keep holding on to the fact that God is working all things out for my good. Life tries to throw us down the hole, and Satan loves to mess with the believers mind. We need to be strong in our reading of Scripture, the prayer life we live, and the praise and worship we give to God for for these are our weapons against the enemy. We stand on the Word of God, and we lean to not on our own understanding. We run this race with the will of God on our side, and know that nothing can hold us down. For if God is for us, who can be against us?

Today, like every day, is a new one. Yesterday is gone, today is here, and tomorrow is not yet. One step at a time, one day at a time. That is how you overcome circumstances. Does not matter how long it takes, nor the pains you go through to get through it all because God has something richer in store for you than just the wealth, and temptations of the World. He has eternal long lasting rewards that out live ANY gold that the world offers. This is my encouragement to you all, hold fast on to your faith. Know that God is there for you, even when the hour is at it’s darkest, for that is when you know that light is on it’s way and day springs forth. Keep your eyes FIXED ON CHRIST, not on the shrinking, breaking crumbling earth beneath your feet.

A Theological Look at Who Jesus was.


Jesus was conceived through the Spirit unto the Virgin Mary (Lk 1:33-36, Matt 1:18-23). His conception was the virginity, but his birth(Gal 4:4, Lk 2:6-7) was messy and normal like all other births. Jesus is fully man.  He was born in Bethlehem(Lk2:4-5), and grew up like any other normal human(lk 2:40, 52).  In fact Jesus was so normal, that when he came back from his temptations ( Matt 4:2 Lk 4:1-2, Heb 4:15) his own town did not accept him because he was ‘normal’.  He had a human mind, grew up like a human, and had all the weaknesses of a human body, for example he got tired and hungry (Matt 4:2, Jn4:6, Jn 19:28). This is why his own town rejected him as the Messiah. However in all things he did them without sin(Jn 8:29, 8:46, 15:10, 1Pet 2:21-23, 2 Cor 2:20-22, 1 Jn 3:4-6, Heb 4:15, 7:26) using human means to overcome them, such as quoting scripture, keeping a regular religious life (Lk 2:41-42, 4:16) and fellowship with believers(Jn 2:13,7:14,Matt 26:24-26 Mk 11:27)  prayer (MK 1:35, 6:46-46, Lk 5:16 6:12, Jn 17:1) and the other means of grace that we have been given as humanity.
Jesus is fully divine. The two natures of humanity and divinity are distinct but unified in the person of Jesus Christ.  He is the Son of God (Matt 27:40 27:43 27:54, mk 1:1, 3:11 Lk  22:70 Jn 20:31 Acts 9:10) who bore the full weight of our sins on the cross ( Matt 1:21), but also through obedience in life made the way for all to come to God through faithful obedience (Phil 2:6-11, 3:9). Jesus was crucified at his own free will (Jn 10:10-18)for the redemption of the World. His work on the cross made God’s entire wrath cease for the redeemed the Earth, and his sinless life is the reason why God exalted him above all others (Phil 2:10-11). Jesus fulfills the roles of the High Priest because he has given his life in atonement ( Mk 10;45, 1 Cor 15:3), but also is continually interceding for those who believe (Rom 8:34, Heb 7:5). Jesus is the ruling King because he comes from the Davidic lines of kings and because God the Father gave him all authority and power upon resurrection from death and upon ascension he fulfilled the role (Col 1:7, Phil 2:10, 1 Cor 15:34-38 2 Tim 2:11-12). Jesus is the prophet not just because he spoke the Word of God ( Deut 18:14-22); he was the Living Word of God (Jn 1:1) for the entire world to see. He was both the message of the Gospel and the bringer of this message for only through him can the world be saved and the world saw God (John 1:18, 14:6, 14:9) world by maintaining his divinity while he took on the flesh of humanity to veil his God-self to walk among sinful man to partake in their sufferings.
His natural body died on the Cross but through his divinity and in obedience to the Father, he was raised again. Jesus is still living currently in heaven as Man in flesh and God in nature at the right hand of the Father, which gives us our resurrected hope.  Jesus was given all these things because of the humiliation he suffered coming to Earth and dying as a “criminal” in a human body. Jesus during his period of humiliation (Phil 2:5-11), or his life as a mortal ( Mat 8:20,  Lk12:35-38, Matt 26:56, Heb 5:8)) where he was challenged, abandoned, and partook in death, yet he spoke with authority, as God would which is part of the reasoning for his death from the Scribes and Pharisees. He was also constantly referring to God as father, and using alluding to Daniel 7 reference to the Son of Man as his identity. He also received worship when it was given properly or denied it when it was not. When the Father resurrected Jesus, he was given the keys to the kingdom, which had him ascended beyond the World with both his humanity and divinity still unified(Rom 6:4-5, 1 Tim 3:16).  This proved that Christ was both God, because only God could rise from the dead and ascend into the heavens, as well as his humanity for he suffered and died.
              

Humanity in 3 minutes or less.


God is the creator (Gen 1:1).God created mankind to glorify himself; he did not create man out of a deficit (Acts 17:24-25, Psalm 50:9-12, Job 41:11).  God was sufficiently loved, loving, and in abundance of love within the Trinity. Therefore, when he created man, it was to crown (Isa 62:3-5) his work for man is the only created being that is made in the image of God ( Gen 1:26-27, 5:1,9:6).  Therefore man is representative of God on earth in their being.  Humanity is designed with purpose and design (James 3:8, Matt 22:37-40).  They were created to have right relationship with God (Jer 9:23-24, John17:3, Matt 22:37) and to glorify him in worship (Isa 43:7, Eph 1:11-12). However, in man’s own selfish rebellion they fell from that right relationship (Gen 3). When mankind fell from their original mandate from God, they were distorted with sin and what appears good is evil, and what is evil appears good and the soul got separated from the body and the earth groaned beneath the weight of sin (Gen 3). Man lost relationship with God because a holy God hates sin ( Deut 12:31, Prov6:16-19 Jas 4:4 Rom 5:10), man lost relationship with others of mankind (Gen 3), and lost their own soul connection ( Rom 6:23) . Through Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, tragic sin and death has been passed down generation upon generation, each new one being far worse(Rom 1:34-37) than the preceding generation (Eze 8:13, 15) which is total depravity.
Yet, man is still created within the image of God and therefore he shares some of the attributes that God has ( Gen 1:26-28). Spirituality, mentality, emotions, and relational aspects are all reflections of the immense God that created us and we are limited in these areas( Gen 5:1). However all that man does is sin, and even our greatest selfless acts are sinful. That is why there is division among people (Jas 3:8) and competition for resources, and why Christ had to come .  In Christ’s selfless act, he lived as a perfect human and fully God at the same time ( 2 Cor 4:4). He experienced all the trials and temptations that we as humans go through, and conquered them at the Cross through his death and resurrection paving the way back to God with his shed blood (Col 1:15). Jesus also restored the proper relationship between man and woman (Gal 3:28). Since the fall, there was always division between man and woman (Gen 3:16). God designed man and woman to be equal essence but distinct in roles (Gen 1:26-27), a representation of the Trinity lived out on Earth. However, with the fall man has been reigning over woman, and this has fractured their ability to relate to one another causing untold friction between them instead of unity. Christ’s work proves that man is to be selfless for his wife, and that they are to be one, like Christ and the Church ( 1 Cor 11:3).
God still is in over all the earth, and knows all things and controls all things ( Prov 16:19, James 4:13-15, Prov21:1,  Matt 10:29, Ps 145:15). However, just because God is in charge does not negate our responsibilities as people to obey God and his Laws (Phil 2:1s2-13).  That is why we see such debase actions coming out of the world, for they are shaking their fist at God and blaming him for all their own actions and responsibility and pointing fingers at each other passing the buck. Humans were designed for relationship with their Creator, and with each other not this blame game that happens. Jesus provided us with a direct access to God so that we are not captives of the World system but slaves to Christ for God’s perfect will for us.

Taking the Beatitudes Seriously

Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them.
He said:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
————
You may wonder why I have chosen to put the whole passage up instead of just the one Beatitude that I would write about. That is because context of the passage is greatly needed and under-appreciated. It makes and breaks everything in how we think about a passage of Scripture.

So, today, I am focusing my energies on the first Beatitude. “Blessed are the poor in Spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.” (Matt 5:3)
Here’s what the Amplified Bible has to say: 

Blessed (happy, [a]to be envied, and [b]spiritually prosperous—[c]with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the poor in spirit (the humble, who rate themselves insignificant), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven!
What is this poor in spirit? What does it mean to be poor in spirit? Having just started the Doctrine of Christ, and gone through the Doctrines of God and Humanity and Sin, there is a deep revelation that humanity itself is the very essence of needy. But those who are poor in spirit must realize they are lacking in all areas of their life, and they have come to the realization that they are not superior, and are in fact inferior. They don’t have a haughty self reliance, but rather they realize they are dependent upon a Creator beyond their sight. BUT they are not hopeless, for they know that their Creator God has made a way for them. Jesus, the holy son of God and Man, has paved the way for us to have the kingdom of God. He was the one who proclaimed the ushering in of the Kingdom of God. Therefore, as he is the one who brought the kingdom, being poor in spirit would open the eyes to this revelation. Jesus Christ is the Savior, the one who brings the kingdom of God to those who are lacking. Jesus Christ is the only one who can redeem our souls so that they no longer are narrow visioned. Jesus Christ, the living God seated at the Right Hand of God the Father is EVER able to restore the kingdom of God to the poor in Spirit. THAT is what Salvation is. It is the restoration of the kingdom of God to man. We have a relationship with the Holy God because of the Sacrificial Son who paved the way to the kingdom.
So what is Jesus saying? He is saying those who are needy see, I am here and I will bring you the kingdom of God…only I can do such a thing because only God can bring what is God.

Selah

Dreams



Are you running, are you chasing?
Do you see the moments where we meet?

This is the plane where I escape,
Drifting among the stars and seeing the earth from afar.
Space is clear, and bright, the moon gleaming.
There you are, alone and vacant in the sky.

Are you running, are you chasing?
Do you see the moments where we meet?

The jungle encloses around you,
Echoes of the past screech at your heels.
Deep sense of fear seeps like the raindrops from the season,
Torrents of water stream from the leave above.

Are you running, are you chasing?
Do you see the moments where we meet?

The waters are rising around you,
The flash flood is overcoming,
Desperation seeks it’s hope,
Where the land meets the water there is someone…

Are you running, are you chasing?
Do you see the moments where we meet?

The air feels cool and damp against your face,
Ice falls from the sky,
Gentle moments recall memories,
Moments that are not long gone.

Are you running, are you chasing?
Do you see the moments where we meet?

Darkness drowns the rest out,
A deep dark void,
A light that never ends,
Shines just for you.

Are you running, are you chasing?
Do you see the moments where we meet?

You awaken, you look, you see…
Do you remember me?
©RJD 10/12/2012

Two New Poems

I come, weary. 
 

Simply I walk oblivious to the space,
Drowning in this consciousness,
Beating the soul to shards,
While wasting in wailing,
The depths of despair are wrought,
The breaking of the heart is heard.
More painful than anything else,
Many different emotions let loose,
A rushing torrent cascades from the soul,
Longing, desire, fear, shame, pain,
Love hope dreams and strange joy and peace.
Feelings that express the myriad,
The seas of uneasiness in the heart.
Sanity seems to at last return
Or what seems to be sanity
But there was always this glimmer,
A light a far that always brought hope.
So, back to the toil I go.
Hope my source of energy.
©RJD 10/4/2012

“Walking Away”

I need to walk away for a little while…
I see the need and desire but I don’t want to be there.
A place that is unsafe and it scares me.

Yes…I need to walk away for a little while.
I’ll see you soon enough…
But for now…I need to be still among the trees.
There I normally find comfort…
But the trees even taunt me.
There I usually feel the breeze but it haunts.

Where will I walk without these thoughts?
Where can I be settled again?
Calm my heart, my mind, and soul…
©RJD 10/2/2012

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