life

The Most Glorious Revelation You Can Enter Into

The Most Glorious Revelation You Can Enter Into .jpeg

It saddens me that Romans 7:1-4 is such a neglected passage of Scripture by the Church, as it’s one of the most glorious revelations you will ever enter into.

There, we’re told that in Jesus Christ we have died to the law. A lot of people think that’s referring to ceremonial law, but if you continue to read you will see that coveting is spoken about, and we know that coveting is one of the big ten, listed in the Ten Commandments. So no, it can’t be ceremonial law. 

We have been delivered from the law, so that we 

might be married to another. 

You see, Adam plunged all of us into a relationship with the law; a relationship we were never intended to be in. Genesis 3:16 calls it the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” If you've ever wondered what that means, it just means the tree of right and wrong. This is the tree Adam was told not to eat from. We were never supposed to even know right and wrong.

When Adam and Eve ate from that tree, they plunged into the law. They went from having a relationship with a Person, to having a relationship with principles. That's why Genesis 3:16 tells us that it brought death. That death, beloved, had to be redeemed by another, we needed to be set free. Jesus did that for us. 

We have been delivered from the law so that we can now have a relationship with a Person and His name is Jesus! 

It’s also important to know that Romans 7:4 says that relationship is the only way to bear fruit. You will never bear fruit in the Christian life by following the law. You only bear fruit in the Christian life through expressing the living Life of Christ. 

“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”

John 15:5 (NASB)

The Christian life is all about fruit, and you can't have fruit if you don't have Life, and Life is only found in the person of Christ - it is never found in the law, that's why we had to be delivered from it.

Walk with Jesus, beloved, He alone can produce fruit in your life. We've been given a better principle, the principle of life instead of the principle of death. I hope this has encouraged your heart today. 


Each week, Pastor Frank sends several short, encouraging videos to his circle of friends.
Interested in joining? Signing up is easy:
Get on the list here.

The Freeing Truth that Can Radically Change Your New Year

Many of us have recently determined all that we’ll be and do differently in this coming year. We try, we fail, and we try harder, all while getting more discouraged. In this clip Frank shares the simple good news that can change this coming year for you: The moment you say yes to Jesus, God says, “You are now right.” May you be delivered from resolutions as you revel in His saving Life.

----------------------------
Each week, Pastor Frank sends several short, encouraging videos to his circle of friends.
Interested in joining? Signing up is easy:
Get on the list here.

The Freeing Truth that Can Radically Change Your New Year

pexels-photo-769525.jpeg

Listen to what Jesus said, “I came that they may have Life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). He doesn’t make it hard, He said, “Whoever believes in [Me], shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). He said, “I am the way, the truth, THE Life” (John 14:6). And I love 1 John 5:12, “Whoever has the son, has the Life.” That’s a definite article, THE Life.

That's why Paul says in 2 Corinthians 3:5, “Not that are adequate in ourselves.” We're not! We're not right in ourselves and if we're going to have adequacy, if we're going to be made right, it's from God, who when we look at the tense of the verb, has made us adequate. He made us right; not from the Old Covenant, not from the law, not from performing, not from resolutions to do right and not do wrong. Throw all that out! It’s by the One who made us right by the Spirit who gave us Life. 

Paul tells us in Philippians 3:7-8, that whatever things were gain to him—the fact that he was a Pharisee, the fact that he was zealous in trying to keep the law, and the fact that he made resolutions ad infinitum and kept them—none of it brought him Life. That's why he continues and says, “I now count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith.” So it’s not from performing, or from resolutions. No, no, no! It’s through faith! 

Listen beloved, did you hear what he said? The moment you say yes to Jesus, God says, “You are now right.” And you are right. Oh my goodness. Is it any wonder that it's called good news?! 

Paul continues, saying, “This is my one thing: I forget what lies behind and I press on for the prize of God in Jesus Christ.” In the moment we place our faith in Jesus, we are removed from the economy of performing to achieve. We are delivered from resolutions, and placed instead into an economy of the saving Life directly from God, and now, having found Life, we enter into true revelry. The definition of that word revelry, is noisy partying and merrymaking and that's what the Church of Jesus Christ should be known by!

----------------------------
Each week, Pastor Frank sends several short, encouraging videos to his circle of friends.
Interested in joining? Signing up is easy:
Get on the list here.

The Only Resolution You Need to Make This Year

You weren’t called to make resolutions! In this freeing short video, Frank explains that there’s only one resolve you need to make this year, and it can radically change your life. Beloved, the self-control you are seeking can be yours without making resolutions. May 2019 be the year you discover freedom like never before!

----------------------------
Each week, Pastor Frank sends several short, encouraging videos to his circle of friends.
Interested in joining? Signing up is easy:
Get on the list here.

A Life or Death Choice

photo-1520127877998-122c33e8eb38.jpg

It is so very easy to be a critic; all you have to do is open your mouth and speak negatively about someone. But have you ever pondered what the Bible has to say about it?

The Bible says that when we slander or gossip about someone that we are actually “Satanizing.” That’s right, we are in partnership with the enemy and joining him in his work to steal, kill, and destroy!

In 1 Timothy 3 the actual translation of a gossip is a “she-devil." Why would we want to do that? Why would we choose to live so contrary to who we are - a vessel of life, and instead choose to live as someone that we are not – a vessel of death? It is not only evil but foolish to do so.

Proverbs 18:21 tells us that every time we open our mouth, we are either going to be extending words of life or words of death. So, what do you want to be my friend? Do you want to be a minister of life or a minister of death? The choice is yours.

----------------------------
Each week, Pastor Frank sends several short, encouraging videos to his circle of friends.
Interested in joining? Signing up is easy:
Get on the list here.

The Life We Need

tumblr_oblzj6TspY1teue7jo1_1280.jpg

One of the misconceptions that I am finding among people who hear us teach grace is that we are against the Law. Nothing could be further from the truth. As true believers, we, like David, love the Law because it comes with a glorious God-given purpose. What is that purpose? Well, it is two-fold.

The first purpose of the Law is found in 2 Corinthians 3:5-9. There we learn that the Law has a purpose, and that is to kill and condemn us. Isn’t that wonderful? In fact, it is even called a “ministry of death and condemnation.” Now, why would God give us a Law that would kill and condemn us? The answer, of course, is to kill and condemn us.

Remember that we as human beings were all birthed under the lie that we shall be as God. Every one of us born on this planet is a god-wannabe. God gave us the Law, which is holy, perfect, and good (Romans 7:12) to keep us from a false hope that one day we just might be able to be like God. The Law came with a demand on our lives but provided no power for us to fulfill that demand. Alas! We are left to our own resources to try and keep the Law, and there is not one of us in and of ourselves who will ever be able to do that – hence the Law kills and condemns us. It pronounces every one of us guilty as sinners before God.

An old proverb went something like this, “Run John, run, the law  demands. But gives him neither feet nor hands.” So the first purpose of the Law is to provide us with a great need for Life, as we are all pronounced dead and condemned by the Law. Wonderful!

The second purpose of the Law is then to lead us to Jesus (Galatians 3:24) because He has the market cornered on Life. He who has the Son has the Life says the New Testament. In John 10, Jesus affirms this when He told the disciples that He came for the express purpose of giving us Life, an abundant Life because the Life He was giving to us was His own Life. Incredible! We have been given the Life of God for us to experience and express, and this wonderful Life came to us because the Law first affirmed our death and then led us to the only true source of Life. Wonderful indeed!

The rest of that proverb goes as follows, “But grace an even greater brings, it bids us fly and gives us wings." The truth is that we would never have found the Life we need without the Law first affirming our need for Life. I love the Law, don’t you? It was the tool that brought us to Jesus.

----------------------------
Each month, Pastor Frank writes a personal letter to a circle of his friends, much like the blog post you just read. If you'd like to receive it, signing up is easy:

Get on the list here.

Living From God

beautiful-sunset-over-hills_free_stock_photos_picjumbo_VH_0318-2210x1473.jpg

Listen to this verse; it is one of the most neglected verses in the New Testament in my opinion. “For through the Law, I died to the Law, that I might live unto God!” (Galatians 2:19).

Did you hear that? One of the purposes of the Law was to lead us to Jesus (Galatians 3:24). By virtue of our union with Him, we would be crucified with Him (Romans 6:3-5; Galatians 2:20) so that our relationship with the Law could end and we could instead be married to Jesus (Romans 7:4).

The verse goes on to tell us that this all occurred so that we might live unto God, meaning that until we die to the Law, we really cannot live unto God! Did you hear that? The Law was the very means that ended our relationship to the Law. You really can’t make it any more clear than that! That is why in 1 Timothy 1:9 it tells us that “the Law was not made for a righteous man.” Now that we have been made the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21), the Law no longer is to be a functioning agent in our lives. We have something far better to lead us, and that is the Holy Spirit Himself. That makes great sense, doesn’t it? The only way to truly live unto God is to learn to live from God!

----------------------------
Each month, Pastor Frank writes a personal letter to a circle of his friends, much like the blog post you just read. If you'd like to receive it, signing up is easy:

Get on the list here.

The Second Worst Lie Ever Told

Words have the power to devastate another human being. We must take great care that when we speak, we are speaking Life into others and not death.

Words have the power to devastate another human being. We must take great care that when we speak, we are speaking Life into others and not death.

The second worst lie ever told. As you hear that I am sure that your brain is working feverishly to determine what that lie is. You know it; “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will “never” hurt me.” Of course, you knew it. It is a universal mantra on playgrounds and in homes around the world. More children know “sticks and stones” than they know John 3:16!

Students, teachers, and parents herald it as a truth that is supposed to heal and protect the heart of a child by minimizing the painful words that they hear; but it fails to accomplish that stated agenda because it is a lie! In my opinion, it is second only to the “WHOPPER” that Satan told in Genesis 3, when he told Adam and Eve, “You shall surely not die, you shall be as God!”

Now there are so many lies told on this planet, so many that could have made the “Top Two” that you might be wondering why these two lies are at the top of the list? What makes them so much worse than other lies? The one is obviously the worst lie ever told because it plunged the entire world into sin and death! I don’t believe anyone would dispute that. The second lie is second because it ministers the same end result of death – only on an individual basis as each destructive word is spoken and heard relationally.

Listen to Proverbs 18:21, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” Have you ever asked yourself, why that is so? Let’s ponder it together. Think back with me to Genesis 1 and 2. There we learn that God created the world and all that is in it. And how did He create? He spoke things into existence. The Creator spoke, and it was so! In a very similar, but much smaller way, that is how it is with us. We are made in the image of God – we are little creators who create in the same way He did, by speaking. Every time we speak, we are either creating Life or death in the ones we are speaking to! OUCH! Ouch indeed!

We have an awe-full (spelled purposely) responsibility. Every time we open our mouths we are either speaking Life or death into someone. When it is death, it hurts, and it hurts bad. I would put it this way – there is murder in our mouths. Proverbs 18:8 says, "Words go down deep into the heart." Words have the power to devastate another human being. That is why “sticks and stones” is a lie… words hurt and they hurt bad. We must take great care that when we speak, we are speaking Life into others and not death. I once heard a sociologist say that negative words are so powerful that we need ten positive affirmations to overcome one negative slander made against us. The tongue has so much potential for ministry but also the potential for murder. Which one will you be choosing to minister? Life or death? The choice is yours!

----------------------------
Each month, Pastor Frank writes a personal letter to a circle of his friends, much like the blog post you just read. If you'd like to receive it, signing up is easy:

Get on the list here.

Another Way to Live

man-with-open-arms-saluting-the-san-francisco-city_free_stock_photos_picjumbo_HNCK3461-2210x1474.jpg

The New Testament makes it very clear that when we come to Jesus, our relationship to the Law has ended. The New Testament also makes it very clear why our relationship to the Law needs to end. In 1 Corinthians 15:56, we are told that “The strength of sin is the Law.” In other words, sin gets its power from the Law. Allow me to illustrate; I am going to give you a command, “Do not think of a green monkey!” You haven’t even thought of a green monkey, but I bet you are now. Some of you are even saying, “Oh yeah! Watch me!” There was nothing wrong with the command I gave you; the problem is that sin uses the Law to make us think of a green monkey. This principle is true, even with the Law that came from God on Mount Sinai!

In Romans 7, Paul said that the power of sin used the Law to stir up in Paul, “all manner of coveting.” In other words, Paul was not struggling with coveting, until the Law told him not to covet. Again, this is not the fault of the Law; it is simply a revelation to us of how sin uses the Law to stir up more sin. That is why all diets fail. We are told not to eat the cookie! Do not eat the cookie! The power of sin uses that Law to stir up within us desire for a cookie, and what are we going to do? We are going to eat the cookie, right? Wrong! We are going to eat half the bag!

Can I share with you one more verse? It is Romans 5:20. Now before we go there, let’s ponder how life works for humanity. I as a parent, have kids running in the house. It is not safe for them to run in the house, they might get hurt. So I make a law, “No running in the house!” Now, why did I make that law? To stop them from running in the house. This is why we make laws as a people. Our country made a law that there should be no killing. Why did our country make that law? To stop people from killing. Own this reality; we make laws to stop certain behaviors! That is normality for the world.

Now go to Romans 5:20, and hear the other worldly reality that God declares. He says that “the Law came in that sin might INCREASE!” Oh my goodness, did you see that? God gave the Law, knowing full well that it would not stop sinful behavior in any way, shape, or form. God gave the Law knowing full well that we would sin even more! Now, why would God do that? My personal conviction is that God did that so that just maybe we might get sick of sinning by trying to follow the law and cry out to Him for another way to live! Then, and only then, could we be led to Jesus and find in Him the power of His life to live differently! The reason we don’t want a relationship to the Law is because sin will use the Law to stir up more sin in our lives. The glory of the New Covenant is that we have died to the Law so that we could be placed into union with the very Spirit of God Himself instead! Now that is worth living for!

----------------------------
Each month, Pastor Frank writes a personal letter to a circle of his friends, much like the blog post you just read. If you'd like to receive it, signing up is easy:

Get on the list here.

Sin Isn't Your Master

 If I am not "under grace"... but instead look to self-discipline, or principles, or effort, or meeting expectations of myself or others, SIN WILL BE MY MASTER!

----------------------------
Each month, Pastor Frank writes a personal letter to a circle of his friends, much like the blog post you just read. If you'd like to receive it, signing up is easy:

Get on the list here.

What Is Grace?

help.jpg

GRACE! GRACE! GRACE! 

That is all I hear and I am so glad I hear it from Father's Word. "Grace upon grace" - it says in Jn 1. "The abundance of grace" - it says in Rom 5. LOVE IT! LOVE IT! LOVE IT!

May I suggest though that it is only truly wonderful when it is properly understood and applied? When perverted, it no longer remains grace --- even though people continue to call it grace.

First: What grace is not!  Grace is not the freedom to do whatever you want. Paul spoke about this in Galatians 5. He tells us we are not to use our freedom to serve our flesh. This is exactly what happens when a person doesn’t understand that the LIFE they received in Christ is ‘others-centered’.

It’s a LIFE that seeks to serve, instead of being served.
It’s a Life that looks to the interests of others, not its own interest. 

When we fail to realize and live out the others-centered life of Jesus, the inevitable end result is ugly: grace used for selfish gain.

So what is grace? May I venture a definition?

Grace is being delivered from an economy of being IN ADAM, which is an economy of achieving for self; and being placed instead into an economy of receiving IN CHRIST, all that He is, to all that we need, at the moment of faith.

Grace is NOT a doctrine, nor a teaching. Grace is the Person of Jesus offering to express His life in and through a person as they trust Him by faith to do so. That Christ-life is then both experienced by the individual and expressed to others in a spirit of love, acceptance, awe, and wonder as we live out our having become partakers of the divine nature.

And may I add that this Grace, Jesus, living in and through us, fulfills the RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE LAW in our lives.  We live righteously because it is the only kind of life the Spirit knows how to live (Rom 8:1-4).

Thank you, Jesus, for your grace. (wonderfully redundant, huh?)
Thank you, Jesus, for giving me your LIFE which saves me from me (Rom 5:8-10).

----------------------------
Enjoy this blog post?

If so, you'll probably really like Frank's monthly emails.
Get on the list here.

Only Goodness and Mercy Have Followed Me

As David looks over his life, he sees that "only" goodness and mercy have followed him.

As David looks over his life, he sees that "only" goodness and mercy have followed him.

Psalm 23.

Everyone knows this beloved psalm. He leads me through the valley of the shadow of death. He is my shepherd.

Interesting insight: Remember, David wrote this as an old man. As he reflects on his life and the faithfulness of God to him, he closes the psalm with these words--- "surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life."

Why did I highlight the word "surely"?

Because it can also be translated "only". As David looks over his life, he sees that "only" goodness and mercy have followed him. What does that mean? That even the pain and sorrow and tears have led to and been overwhelmed by the goodness and mercy of God.

Wow. I think of Rev 7:17 and 21:4 - He shall wipe away every tear and THERE SHALL BE NO MORE PAIN.

May this be the reality for all his saints who journey through this valley of the shadow of death, which is life in a fallen world.

May you see the goodness and mercy in your life so fully that you no longer see the pain and sorrow....

----------------------------
Enjoy this blog post?

If so, you'll probably really like Frank's monthly emails.
Get on the list here.

When The Icing Melts...

I have my  Zoe  life to enjoy even in the darkest days that I experience in a fallen world. 

I have my Zoe life to enjoy even in the darkest days that I experience in a fallen world. 

There are two main Greek words used in the Bible for life. One is the word baios from which we get biography. It refers to life as man lives it. The other word is zoe which refers to life as God lives it! The dynamic of what the Bible teaches is that we have the potential to experience both of those at the same time, which is something the unbeliever cannot do. 

An unbeliever has baios life bestowed upon him by God, and he lives his life in this world. When we place our faith in Jesus, and He takes up residence within us, we now have the opportunity to experience and express the "zoe life”.  We experience life as God lives it, at the same time we experience “baios life". Amazing!

I want to illustrate it this way. Zoe life is like having cake. Cake is a wonderful and sweet thing to have. Cake can often come with icing, and cake and icing are really what I want to have most in this life. Icing is when baios life, is going very well. Icing is when the kids are happy and obedient, and my spouse is happy and content, and there is money in the bank, and I am feeling really good. That is cake and icing, and I really love icing with my cake.

The problem is that baios life, life in this fallen world, is all too often not a very good thing. Very often my kids are in trouble, and I am at odds with my spouse, and there are bills piling up, and there is no icing for me. BUT HERE IS THE KEY! I still have my cake, and will always have my cake. No one and no circumstance can ever take away my cake. I may prefer to have icing, and it may hurt to not have the icing, but I HAVE MY CAKE! I have my Zoe life to enjoy even in the darkest days that I experience in a fallen world. 

Let me put it another way. There may be tears of sorrow and grief cascading down my cheeks (no icing, fallen world baios life), but at the very same time because God lives in me, I experience peace, joy, and rest (cake; Zoe life).

Praise God for this wonderful mystery, now revealed, Christ in us, our hope of glory! (Col. 1)

----------------------------
Enjoy this blog post?

If so, you'll probably really like Frank's monthly emails.
Get on the list here.

Scan The Horizon

You see, God did all those things to us and for us so that His LIFE could flow through us!

You see, God did all those things to us and for us so that His LIFE could flow through us!

Over these last many years we of the grace community have fought hard to proclaim loudly what God has done to us and for us in the finished work of Christ! We have heralded that we were crucified with Jesus, have been resurrected in Jesus, that we are seated in heaven, have been made righteous, have been made the children of God, are now saints and not sinners, that we have been completely forgiven, and so many other wonderful truths that the body of Christ desperately needs to know.

I wonder though if we have focused so much on what has been done, that we might be neglecting what needs to be done! You see, God did all those things to us and for us so that His LIFE could flow through us! Case in point: Titus 3:8.

“This is a faithful saying” – Own that statement! Paul only uses it in the Pastoral letters. Just released from prison, realizing that he is on borrowed time, he uses this phrase to highlight very important issues like Jesus came into the world to save sinners (I Tim 1:15). So what he is about to say is VERY important!!!

And what does he say?

We who have believed in Christ are to “be careful” – Normally we use this phrase in a negative context to maintain a diligent scrutiny of our environment. BE CAREFUL – there are lots of bad things out there in this world. This is the only time Paul uses this verb in the New Testament and he uses it in a positive instead of a negative manner. BE CAREFUL – Scrutinize your environment, be watchful, be aware, scan the horizon --- so that we can “engage in good works”.

We are to scan the horizon, looking for every opportunity to “DO” good works!

To not only live our lives in a righteous manner as individuals, but also to live in such a way that we sacrificially love and serve others whenever and wherever we can. In fact, the word “engage” is actually used elsewhere to “take the lead, or be the best”.  In other words, the grace of God NEVER makes us lazy or slack in our walk with God. It actually intensifies our walk as we release the LIFE of Jesus to the world around us.

Grace people are intended by God to be the best servants, the best friends, the best helpers, the best worshippers. I have a plaque on my wall that says, “Do the kindest things in the kindest way” – That is what real Grace People do.

It just comes naturally to them, because the “GOOD ONE” lives in them.

Let me put it this way: We are to so live our lives that people see that we have been given new and beautiful hearts in the New Covenant economy (Ezek. 36), and their being able to see our beautiful hearts will prompt them to ask, “I love your heart! Where do I get a heart like that?”

And then, we can simply introduce them to the One Who transformed our lives – We can tell them about Jesus!

----------------------------
Enjoy this blog post?

If so, you'll probably really like Frank's monthly emails.
Get on the list here.

Eternity of Relationship

The constant eternal unfolding of an eternal and infinite God.

The constant eternal unfolding of an eternal and infinite God.

Heaven! What will it be like? Though no one knows for sure but the people who are there, we get many glimpses throughout the Bible as the Spirit describes what really cannot be described.

One thing I am convinced of is that it will certainly NOT BE THE ETERNAL CHURCH SERVICE IN THE SKY! Hallelujah for that!

I would describe it as THE GREAT ADVENTURE! The constant eternal unfolding of an eternal and infinite God. A bucket list that grows ever longer no matter how many things on that list we fulfill, experience, and enjoy! WOW!

One of the supreme things I believe that will bring us ECSTACY is simply the awe and wonder and sharing heaven in relationship with other people. What?

I know, when I think of relationships on planet earth, I think of hard work, masks, social niceties, --- I also think of AVOID! Yes, there are people that are hard to have a relationship with and we all know that we try and avoid such people. BE HONEST!

But in the kingdom, we will be enjoying the company of a glorified human being, one that if they showed up on this planet right now, we would be in danger of worshiping them, because they are so glorious. They will also be experiencing and expressing through their glorified person the VERY LIFE OF THE PERSON OF GOD flowing through them in unhindered fashion!

In them, I will be experiencing God Himself expressing Himself through their unique personhood like light flows through a prism! WOW!

In heaven, just sitting down for a cup of tea with another glorified human being is going to be SHEER ECSTACY!

What does the song say, "I can only imagine?"

-----------------
Enjoy this blog post?
If so, you'll probably really like Frank's monthly emails.
Get on the list here.

No More Fish Out Of Water

...we got caught, cast out of God onto some very dry land where we flopped around, gasped, entered the dying process and were really getting eaten up. 

...we got caught, cast out of God onto some very dry land where we flopped around, gasped, entered the dying process and were really getting eaten up. 

The shortest sermon I ever taught was out of Romans 11:36. One verse.

"For of Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things!"

"OF HIM" --- God is the source

"THROUGH HIM" --- God is the means, the ability

"TO HIM" --- God is the purpose and the goal

God is everything that pertains to what true life is all about. Kind of like a fish in the water. All that fish knows is water. When you catch that fish and pull him out of the water onto dry land, the fish gasps, flops around, enters the dying process, and then dies. (Then he gets eaten up)

This is what happened to us. We were like that fish in water. All we knew was God. Then, we got caught, cast out of God onto some very dry land where we flopped around, gasped, entered the dying process and were really getting eaten up. 

However,

If you had compassion and intervened, you threw that fish back into the water and the fish "lived" once again.

This is what happened to us. God had compassion on us, and through the work of His Son placed us back into God and put God back in us and now we really "LIVE"...

No more gasping. No more flopping around. We have found God to be our source, our means, and our home. Enough said!

-----------------
Enjoy this blog post?
If so, you'll probably really like Frank's monthly emails.
Get on the list here.

In His Royal Family

...the Bible says that when we receive Jesus as our Lord, Savior, and Life, that we have the authority to be called a "child of God."

...the Bible says that when we receive Jesus as our Lord, Savior, and Life, that we have the authority to be called a "child of God."

I love the Bible. It is a gift from God that tells us of His great love for us. It is a manual on man. It explains why we live the way we live and how to change the way we live by finding the real source of LIFE. This is so important because we will never really know who we are until we find Who He really is to us. 

In the Bible, God mostly heralds His truth to us, literally screaming them to us, so that we do not miss them. There are, however, other truths contained in His Word that are found not by direct declaration, but through deduction. 

Deduction = the deriving of a conclusion by reasoning; inference in which the conclusion about particulars follows necessarily from general or universal premises. This is the old if A = B, and B = C, then A must equal C. Make sense?

So where are we going with this? Well, the Bible says that when we receive Jesus as our Lord, Savior, and Life, that we have the authority to be called a "child of God." Wonderful! But we are not done yet. The Bible also tells us that God is not just a king, but the King of Kings! Wonderful! Now let's make a deduction.

If God is the King of Kings, and we are His child, what does that make a man/woman who becomes His child? What do you call the son/daughter of a King? You call them a prince/princess. That is how God sees you, and that is how you desperately need to see yourself.

This is why the Bible says that "through Christ,
we will reign in this life..." (Rom 5:17) because we have become part of the "royal family"
(I Pet 2)

This is not just something to know, it is something to live. How does one treat a prince/princess? With incredible respect, honor, and dignity. How does a prince/princess treat themselves? With incredible respect, honor, and dignity. It is time for us, the true royal family, to live like the true royal family we are so that the world will wonder where we have found such a distinctive life.

Then, we can point them to our King, Who loves to add people to His royal family.

-----------------
Enjoy this blog post?
If so, you'll probably really like Frank's monthly emails.
Get on the list here.

Words Matter

What we really want is “the Christ Life” which has been placed in us  fully  and  completely  to be released through us as we abide in Him by faith.

What we really want is “the Christ Life” which has been placed in us fully and completely to be released through us as we abide in Him by faith.

Words are so important because they communicate meaning. Because this is true we must take great care in the use of our words, so as not to communicate what we really don’t mean.

That is why Proverbs says, “The wise man ponders how to answer.”

This is especially true when we speak words about God because there is the ever-present danger that we will speak what is not really true, even though what we say may sound really good or may even be laced with enough truth that the subtle error we have just added is not easily recognized. 

Recently, I was speaking at a conference and I heard repeatedly the thought of our being “Christ-like.” I am going to be picky here, but it is out of necessity. Listen closely to the language that was being spoken. “I want to be more “Christ-like.” “I am becoming more “Christ-like.” I understand what they are trying to say, but stop for a minute and ponder those words. Do we really want to use such language? Think about it. Who is Christ? He is God, the Son. So when we say, “I want to be Christ-like” – we could be mistakenly communicating that we want to be “like God”… Have you heard those words before? Of course, you have, that is the language the enemy used to seduce Adam and Eve. It is the language of "The Fall.” “In the day that you eat, you will be like God! 

I don’t want to try to be like God and neither do you because all we can ever offer in such an attempt is a cheap and very poor imitation of God. What we really want is “the Christ Life” which has been placed in us fully and completely to be released through us as we abide in Him by faith. What we really want to say is that we are experiencing and expressing that Life, His Life, which has been placed into us in the glory of the New Covenant – as Colossians says, it is “Christ in us, the hope of glory.”

One more thought, there is a sense in which I do want to be “Christ-like” – but that is NOT in terms of trying to be like Him in behavior, but like Him in His method.

He lived a life of faith, a life of complete and utter dependence on His Father.

He said in John 5, “I can do nothing without My Father.” And that is exactly what He called us to as well. “He told us in John 15, “Without Me, you can do nothing.” In John 6:57 He declared, “I live ‘out of’ the Father, now you live ‘out of‘ Me.” 

DO NOT try to act like Christ, or seek to be “Christ-like” in your behavior. But do indeed be like Him in His method --- trusting Him to be all that He is to all that we need.

-----------------
Enjoy this blog post?
If so, you'll probably really like Frank's monthly emails.
Get on the list here.

It's Not Just Sin, It's The Aftermath

This is what grieves God's heart. You do know that man was NEVER supposed to be concerned with doing right or now doing wrong.

This is what grieves God's heart. You do know that man was NEVER supposed to be concerned with doing right or now doing wrong.

When Adam ate from the tree, he sinned. No buts about it, he sinned. He "missed the mark" and this has been the proclamation of the church ever since. HE SINNED!

Though that is true, I do not believe that is the supreme issue when it comes to our Father's heart! May I illustrate. I also play the role of father, a role given to me from God Himself. When my children sin, when they miss the mark, that bothers me as a father. Of course, it does! They sinned. They missed the mark.

But hear me please, that thought is not what dominates my heart. My heart is consumed with a much greater thought --- and that is not so much that they did wrong, but that they are going to have to suffer some ominous consequences because they did wrong. That is what grieves me... I NEVER want my children to experience what they were never designed to experience. Does that make sense?

Let's run with this then. When Adam sinned, of course that grieved the heart of God. But what grieved the heart of God even more, is what man would have to experience because he did wrong.

Now man is going to experience death.
Now man is going to experience loss.
Now he is going to experience fear, grief, sorrow, anxiety,
guilt, shame, isolation, independence, and on and on we could go.

All of these are going to occur because man was now divorced from God and now married to the law. A system of performing right and avoiding wrong in an effort to make himself "like God".   And all in an attempt to be "right" independent of God. Now man is going to experience guilt and shame when he does wrong, and he is going to experience pride when he does right.

This is what grieves God's heart. You do know that man was NEVER supposed to be concerned with doing right or now doing wrong. That mindset, that economy, only came into the experience of man because Adam sinned by eating from that tree of right and wrong. Before this event, (this sin) man had no idea of what right and wrong, good and evil were.

All he knew was God, and that was enough.

Sadly, ever since that fateful day, this has been the struggle of man. Not trusting that God is enough. Always laboring instead to do right and not do wrong in a feeble attempt to make himself "ok" independent of God. 

Do you see why the sin of Adam (and any sin of man) grieves the heart of God so? It is not just that man has chosen wrong that sorrows God, but the fact that man is going to now experience the consequence of other than God. As a Father, He wants so much for us as His children. He does not want us pursuing the "doing" of right and the "avoiding" of wrong. That economy is an economy that only came into our experience as a consequence of Adam's sin. 

He wants us to experience Him as the only One Who can make us right,
and express right, through us as we trust Him by faith.

That is why throughout the New Testament He heralds loudly how He rescued us from the law through the Person and Work of Christ so that we could once again be married to God!

What a Father we have. His great concern is not just that we have sinned, but that we have to experience consequences from that sin. And know this, His concern is so great that it led Him to send His Son, not only so that He could remove our sin, but also remove the consequences of sin. He delivered us from the code of ethics, the system of right and wrong, THE LAW so that we could be restored to Him. 

WOW INDEED!

-----------------
Enjoy this blog post?
If so, you'll probably really like Frank's monthly emails.
Get on the list here.