design

Our Created Design To Love

"By   this   the world will know that we are His disciples, in that  we love one another. "

"By this the world will know that we are His disciples, in that we love one another."

The word "REPETITION" is to a teacher, what the word "LOCATION" is to a realtor. The real estate mantra is "Location! Location! Location!" The teaching mantra is "Repetition! Repetition! Repetition!"

Well, in I Cor 13:3, Paul repeated three times that without love we are nothing.
HE MADE THIS PERSONAL!

Note, he did not say that what we do is nothing. We can do some pretty incredible things but without love, even though we do great things, we personally remain "nothings..."

Why, that is a hard pill to swallow? Reminds me of old Nicodemus in John 3.... "you mean I must go back to the womb, you mean that everything I did counts for nothing?"

The answer lies in the created design. If we buy a drill but it doesn't drill, it is useless as a drill, EVEN THOUGH we can use it as a screwdriver, a hammer, or as a decoration. The fact remains it is useless according to its design.

Now, we can understand we were designed to be the image bearers of God.

That we were designed to experience and express the love of God.
THAT IS OUR SUPREME PURPOSE for our existence.

But even though we might preach a great sermon, speak in tongues, prophecy, give away all we have, or offer our lives in martyrdom.... if we do those things without loving people, we are failing to fulfill the purpose for which we were created!

At that point, WE ARE NOTHING! WE ARE NOTHING! WE ARE NOTHING!

"By this the world will know that we are His disciples, in that we love one another."

Truly Let Go

Just “let go and let God!”   Oh   my friend, to do that is  no  easy thing at all.

Just “let go and let God!” Oh my friend, to do that is no easy thing at all.

One of the main accusations we in the economy of grace receive from the religious world is that we are a camp of “easy believism” and passivity. Some of that ridicule has been earned as people within our camp have heralded the words “let go and let God” as a trite formula for which to tackle all of life. Though this is in actuality a true statement, that method of employing those words can very easily sound like passivity.

Just “let go and let God!” Oh my friend, to do that is no “easy” thing at all.

Remember that we were all birthed into the lie that we shall be as God. We all have a built-in belief system that we are strong, have the knowledge, are in control, and we can tackle anything that comes our way. This must be repented of; the truth is we were never designed to be strong, know all things, or be in control, but we were created to be dependent on the One Who is all those things.

Further, we are as Psalm 139 says, “fearfully and wonderfully made.” We are so fantastically created that we can accomplish so much in any given day without even giving a thought about God. Our very assets with which we were created can enable us to function so well in sight, that we do not see the need to live by faith.

I would put it this way, if our assets hinder us from trusting God,
then we must see them as liabilities.

To “let go” of those assets which we can so easily see and trust, and choose instead to trust a God we cannot see, requires great effort and will. No, my friend, there is nothing “easy” or “passive” about living by faith. It is in fact hard work! I think of the words of Hebrews, “Let us labor to enter into rest!”

Let us STRIVE to truly let go and let us STRIVE to truly let God!

We All Have A Part To Play

So this is cool...

In I Cor 12, it tells us that God gave different gifts to different believers,

all in varying degree and function. Hmmmmm....

There is no one like us that can offer what we offer as an individually gifted believer to the rest of the body of Christ.

There is no one like us that can offer what we offer as an individually gifted believer to the rest of the body of Christ.

God gifted us uniquely as individual believers. There is no one like us that can offer what we offer as an individually gifted believer to the rest of the body of Christ. Therefore, the body of Christ needs me and I need the body of Christ. God established a diversity, that necessitates an interdependence among us, that forces a unity that protects us from uniformity! WOW!

Can I illustrate?

It is like the individual believer is gifted to play a musical instrument. We play like no one else can play. We make beautiful music that no one else can make. Aren't we special? Yes, we are.

But when we assemble together, and each as individuals bring our beautiful instruments, and together we all play our beautiful music together.... it is even more beautiful because it is also POWERFUL! We, the church, when we function like God intended us to function, are like a huge symphony....

That is the word in fact, that Paul used in this passage - sumpheron - that is what we are when we function with others, for others, to the glory of God. And the world hears our beautiful music and for the first time, sees the invisible God through His physical church.

Oh the glory that God intended for His church....  Play your part. Play it beautifully. Play it for others. This is what the Christ Life is all about!

He calls me 'Son', and I call him Papa.

It has become quite popular with the internet age to research one's genealogy. In doing so, we learn who we are in terms of our race and culture. This is an absolutely essential thing to do when it comes to understanding our spiritual genealogy. If we do not know our source, our beginnings in God, then we will be lost when it comes to truly understanding who we are God created us and designed us to function in intimate relationship with Him. Because of the finished work of Christ which enables us to be restored to God, we now have the opportunity to be restored to who we truly are.

And who are we? Well, we were so fantastically created and intended for such incredible purpose, that it takes multiple descriptions to fully define ourselves. The New Testament tells us that we are saints - holy ones of God, that we are soldiers - those involved in a great conflict between God and evil. We are called farmers - who sow seed and reap the harvest of life as we lead others into relationship with Jesus. We are called fellow workers - an amazing thought to be sure, that God has considered us worthy of participating in His kingdom work. We are called joint heirs with Christ - a mind blowing statement that we share in the inheritance of God's own precious son.

We could go on and on with declaring our multi-faceted identity that we have been restored to through faith in Christ, but I want to stress what I believe to be the supreme aspect of who we are. In the New Testament, we are told that we are now a child of God. Why do I say that is the supreme statement of our identity? Because it is the only aspect of our identity that comes with "THE RIGHT" to say it is so. John 1 says, "when we receive Jesus, we have the "RIGHT" to be called a child of God! Ponder the glory of that --- by faith, I am a child of the Sovereign Mighty God of the universe! He calls me son... and I get to call Him "papa".... This is my RIGHT because He said it is so. WOW!

Starting My Day

Since we cannot live the Christian life, and Jesus is the only one Who can do so...
Since we were designed to live in a garden paradise and THIS IS NOT IT...
Since we are living in a world that we were never meant for...
Since we now experience what we were never designed to experience...

Let me share with you how I start my day and attempt to live my days:

"Father, I am living in a world that I was not designed to live in and today I am going to experience many things that I was never designed to experience...

Father, I am not up to the demands of this day, but you are!
I do not have the strength nor the wisdom for this day, but you do!
I can't, but you can. Father, I place my trust in You!
I believe you, please help by unbelief.
Bring on the day."

And then, with eyes fixed on Him, I seek to live according to the Friedmann Family motto:

"TRUST GOD AND KICK BUTT!"

We live in a world that allows no room for wimpy Christians! Jesus is the Lamb of God... He is gentle, and kind, and patient, and tender... Wonderful! But He is also the Lion of Judah... A warrior! Strong, Courageous, Powerful! He is all that we need, brought to us in the moment of faith!

I will say it again: TRUST GOD AND KICK BUTT!"

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

In the various tasks of life, there are usually many different ways that we can accomplish the tasks at hand. For example, when mowing my lawn. I can edge first, then, weed-eat and trim, and then mow... or I could mow first, then weed-eat and trim, and then edge... or - you get the idea!

When God created man, there are of course many various ways that He could have done so. When He created the birds, and the sky, and the earth the method He chose was "to speak" those things into being.

But when it came to man, God chose a very different method. He made man with His own hands. Significant? I think so. God made our bodies special and unique. As such, we are to treat them with respect and dignity. The human spine, if you have ever studied it, is a hugely powerful apologetic for the existence of God. We are truly, as Ps 139 says, "Fearfully and wonderfully made."

But let's go further.... that fearfully and wonderfully made body was not yet alive. Here again, God could have just spoke life AT US and we would have been alive. Instead, He chose to "breathe the breath of life into us." Significant? Absolutely, and missed by so many of us. God never does anything without meaning and purpose.

May I suggest to you that you ponder how intimate this method of bringing us to life was? He literally "kissed us into life." And what is a kiss? It is an intimate expression of love. God did not speak us into life, He kissed us into life with a kiss of love. He wanted us to know from the very beginning of our existence, that our purpose in being created was that we were created to be loved by God! HE LOVED YOU FROM THE VERY BEGINNING AND LOVES YOU STILL TODAY! His intention in our very creation was that we would literally breathe His love. WOW!

How Did Jesus Do What He Did?

We are going to take a test today. Question: How was Jesus able to do all He did?

  • He walked on water. Healed the sick. Raised the dead.
  • He loved His enemies, was kind and compassionate.
  • How was He able to do all that?

(Stop reading and answer the question!)

Most often, the answer I hear is that He was able to all that because He was God. If that is correct, then that is BAD NEWS for us! Why? Because we are called to live as He lived. Of course, that does not mean that we are to walk on water and raise the dead, but we are called to love our enemies and be merciful and compassionate. The problem, of course, is that we are not God and therefore lack the resources to live as He lived.

Is there a better answer to how He lived the life He did? YES! John 6:57 says that Jesus lived "OUT OF" the Father. Jesus, (Phil. 2) lived in a dependent relationship with the Father. That is why Jesus said He can nothing apart from the Father. He spoke and judged only as the Father told Him (John 5, 8)

Jesus made this reality very clear in John 14 when He said that the works He did were the works of the Father.

So who walked on the water? Jesus did. 
But He would say the Father did it through Him.

Who fed the 5,000? Jesus did. 
But He would say the Father did it through Him.

So did Jesus or the Father feed the 5,000? YES! 
They both did.

This is GOOD NEWS because this means we can live the way He lived. NOT by imitating His behavior but by imitating His method. To live the Christian life we depend on Jesus, the exact same way He depended on His Father. John 6:57 affirms that to us. There, Jesus said, "As I live 'OUT OF' the Father, so you live 'OUT OF' Me!"

By the way, that is why Jesus said in John 15, that without Him, we can do nothing. The Christian life is not something we do, it is really a Someone we get to participate with by faith. Living the Christian Life is really experiencing the living Jesus living His LIFE through us.

This world, especially in these dark days, desperately needs to see and experience His love, compassion, and mercy multiplied in as many lives as will trust Him by faith...

Shall We Dance?

There are a lot of things about us as humans that make us unique. We have a spine structure that allows us to stand on our two feet as opposed to most other mammals. We have the ability to think and communicate thought in language. We have the ability to use utensils. And how about this one.... we have the ability to dance.

I believe that dancing is part of what makes us unique as man made in the image of God, and that we got that "ability" from God. Early theologians, talking about the love of God, called His love the "perichoresis".... a compound word meaning to dance around.

And so we, made in the image of God Who was motivated to create us in love, dance as God Himself dances... This is what makes us unique among creation... Dogs don't dance. Cats don't dance. And our "evolutionary" grandfathers (as some people believe) the monkeys don't dance.

But we dance, because we were made to celebrate the love of God... (remember David?)

So we really should be "dancing in the aisles as we celebrate His love... The only problem is I DO NOT HAVE VERY MUCH RHYTHM!!! HA!