He Jumped In

Every action the Father commits is with the sole purpose of getting closer to us. He lives and breathes to connect because He is connection embodied.

On the flip side, there isn’t one action the Father has ever done to cause distance between humanity and Himself—not even one millimeter of distance.

Everything Jesus said or did, no matter how challenging it was, was to bring us closer to Himself and the Father together with the Holy Spirit.

Jesus didn’t die because the Father couldn’t connect with us anymore because of our sin, He died because we lost our ability to connect to Him. He never turned His back on the Son in the same way He never turned His back on us.

When the Father saw we couldn’t connect anymore, it anguished His heart to the such a degree that He decided to send in a rescue team. Jesus was the recon force that jumped into the dark ocean of our sin and delusion to rescue us.

God was dying to connect with us again so much so that He died to restore us to the connection he desired and designed in Eden.

It was our radio that was broken, not His. God never stopped sending out the full signal of His love towards us, we simply lost the ability to receive His signals. So even when we felt afar off and distant, the distance was only in our own minds. We were never separated from His love and favor, we simply thought we were.

I’m not minimizing our pain before Christ: perceived separation still hurts like the dickens and feels real. The good news is, the truth supersedes our own feelings and perception!

Sin separates us from God in our own minds, but sin never caused God to be repulsed by us. It caused Him to lunge in our direction with a lifesaver.

If you saw your own child drowning, would you jump in and rescue them? Or would you let them drown because they weren’t supposed to jump in the pool?

Talking to a Man

Just because you feel doesn’t make it real. Your experience doesn’t define truth. The only person’s experience that can define truth is Jesus’.

Don’t wait for a “revelation” or “encounter” before you believe: Jesus Christ is the all-inclusive revelation of the Father and you are already one with Him. We don’t need another encounter to make truth real, we need to hang out with Mr. Truth and he will give us understanding of what He already accomplished.

You don’t even have to wait for someone else to explain the Bible to you: you don’t need anyone to teach you (1 John 2:27) because you have the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth. If you’re waiting for someone else to teach you then you are not following Jesus, you are following teachers.

Revelation does not impart anything besides understanding of what you already had. It was there the whole time. Revelation reveals something that you already possessed because of your union with Jesus.

Sometimes it feels like when we receive a revelation or an encounter in a certain area that we somehow received a bigger dose of that particular aspect of God’s heart, but that is not the case. Revelation brings understanding, which ignites faith, and your faith comes before experience. So yes, you discovered and experienced a new part of God’s heart, but you weren’t lacking any part of His heart before the discovery.

There is nothing that God has hidden from us or has failed to give us by uniting us with Jesus. He laid out everything He wanted to say in the scriptures and in the Son of God. There is nothing that God communicates to us that is not included in the person of Jesus. He is the central focal point of everything He communicates to us.

Consider Hebrews 1:1-3:

“Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. And now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son he created the universe. The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command.” 

Christians are only lacking two things in the new covenant—understanding and wisdom. Understanding being the comprehension of the fullness of God we already have, and wisdom being the practical application of what it looks like when loving God, others, and ourselves in each situation.

The good news is that both of these are also hidden in the person of Christ! Colossians 2:3 says “In (Jesus) lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” If I told you someone had a critical piece of knowledge or wisdom that you desperately needed, what would your reaction be? You would go strike up a conversation with them and get to know them.

The pathway forward to growing in understanding the bottomless pit of goodies we have in Jesus is by striking up a conversation with a man. It helps that this man is always with us and always has a huge smile on His face.

We don’t lean on our own understanding, but we lean upon a man.

Just remember to thank Him along the way and enjoy the fullness you already have, even if you haven’t opened every treasure box yet. If someone gave you $1 Billion dollars, would you thank them for the full amount they gave you or just the money you had spent so far?

Christianity isn’t a religion, it’s following and listening to a man.

Contagious Sin?

“Fear Sin!” said Jesus, never.

Christians can have an unhealthy tendency to cut people off in their lives who aren’t living right with God. There’s this unspoken fear that bad company corrupts good character. Actually I just quoted Scripture, but it’s important to remember that throughout the Bible, love is notorious for making exceptions—we just need to ask whether our relationships with others are motivated out of need, or love.

While the Bible teaches us to run from sin, the parallel pursuit of holiness must be grounded in our love for God instead of our fear of failure. In love, there is plenty of room to walk in faith as those who live by the Spirit and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. Again, I’m quoting Paul.

I understand that people are afraid of compromising their walk with the Lord, but when your own personal spirituality is prioritized at the cost of others, it inherently becomes a self-centered focus. I would dare to say that in this scenario, whatever you’re growing in, it’s not God. In contrast, the heart postured in love is always in pursuit of the prodigals. Remember, Paul is the same guy that said he would gladly go to hell if it meant his Jewish brothers could taste of the Lord’s salvation.

We are never called to condone sin, simply for the fact that sin inevitably destroys those that we love. However, we cannot exercise our God-given authority as ministers of reconciliation if we believe we are called to remove our witness from the lives of those who have missed the mark. Reconciliation never comes through isolation—that is the devil’s domain where fear, shame, and despair fester in the darkness. As Christ’s representatives we are called to provide a light in the darkness and a path to the Father. We are meant to open doors, not leave them shut.

So are we to fear sin? Absolutely not. We should be much more concerned about the  souls hidden in the dark should we selfishly choose to withhold our light. We must ask ourselves when we will we start believing that our freedom is greater than their bondage. “Whom the Son sets free is free indeed!” Now that was Jesus.

Finding Freedom

“Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” (2 Corinthians 3:17 NIV)

Let me ask you a question—what do you do with all your free time? To clarify, I’m not wondering about those couple of hours at the end of the day when you frantically catch up on emails, to-do lists, and that load of laundry that really can’t wait any longer. What would occupy your time if you found yourself free from all your work responsibilities, family commitments, and social obligations? After all that pressure you’ve been put under is finally lifted, you might just need a holiday—you know, a vacation.

Here’s a little fun fact for the day: the word holiday evolved from two other words in the English language. Can you guess which two they are? Holy Day. The word “holiday” is a direct allusion to the Sabbath, the Jewish holy day that conveniently occurs every Saturday. Another fun fact: God instituted the Sabbath for the Jewish people right after they were freed from slavery, probably because after 400 years of indentured servitude the Lord thought that they might need a break. Maybe you do too.

Although, sometimes deliverance looks a lot different from what you might have envisioned. As the Israelites marched out of Egypt a free people for the first time in centuries, they thought they were being led to paradise—instead, they got a desert. Disappointment is a common theme surrounding God’s people in Scripture.

Fast-forward a few thousand years, and another excited bunch of oppressed Jews thought they were being liberated from the evil Romans by the long-awaited Messiah. Instead, their leader got nailed to a tree. There was plenty of reasons to be disappointed with that outcome—but what they actually received was a freedom that they didn’t know to ask for.

The angelic heralds of the new liberation movement announced that what the people could expect was “good news that will bring great joy to all” (Luke 2:10 NLT). Instead of freeing the people from their oppressors, Christ came to free people from themselves. He brought with him an upside-down kingdom, and he wasn’t at all concerned with sweeping social reforms or violent revolutions—he was dead-set on changing people from the inside-out.

This is the remarkable truth of Christian transformation—the Gospel has brought us great joy, and the uniqueness of our Christian joy is that it is the inward response from having our hearts made new—and the best news is that joy is here to stay.

So you might need a break, but quite possibly what you need most is to find relief from the bondage that’s made you a slave in your own mind. Take a holiday with Jesus and ask him what it looks like to be free from the weight of all those obligations. I promise you’ll enjoy his answers more than you know.

Discover what it means to invite the Spirit into every aspect of your day-to-day life. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” Yes, but we need to understand that it’s not only freedom from something, it’s freedom for something—and that something is the ability to play, laugh, and love in his presence as we are invited on an inward adventure with God.

100% Freedom

Jesus offers 100% freedom from 100% of issues. Not 97% and 50%, not 30% because you had crappy parents, and not 10% freedom with the chance of more if you act right.

You can’t do anything to get this freedom. You can’t do anything to get more of this freedom than you already have. There is no action to unlock this freedom like reading your Bible or going to church or joining a small group. He accomplished the whole thing himself, you can’t add 1% on your own. Don’t throw your freedom away by thinking you can do something to pay for it — He already paid the full price.

All you can do is believe it, but even your faith doesn’t contribute to it. Believe it over your feelings, your past experience, and your current habits. This freedom supplies the faith to believe, it doesn’t ask for faith as a payment for it.

Galatians 5:1-4 for the truth.