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Posts Tagged ‘Forgiveness’

Day 14: How Much do You Love Jesus?

Posted by undergroundchurch on January 14, 2011


Scriptural Nuggets Daily DevotionScriptural Nuggets Daily Devotion

We have lost transparency, and that‚Äôs one of the main reasons why so many people stay bound. ‚Äď Lady Eagle 8

Sometimes I hear a message and just one line jumps out, and I can’t let it go.

This line was uttered by a lady that used to be homosexual until she met the power of God.  She was actually told by people in the church that she shouldn’t tell others about what God did…

Say what?!?

I’m sorry… If God delivered me from something that amazing, I’d be jumping up and down!

But what if Jesus delivered you from… oh, say, drinking or drugs or something radical?

Would you be inclined to tell everybody you saw?

What if God delivered you from your debt? Would you testify to God or your discipline?

What if God delivered you from a headache? Would you testify to God’s healing power or Advil?

Jesus laid out a principle in Scripture that defines how much your are willing to testify about Him, which is found in Luke 7:36-50.

Jesus is at a religious leader’s house and while eating, a woman (most likely a prostitute) comes in with anointing oil and begins weeping at Jesus’ feet, putting oil on his feet and wiping His feet with her tears and hair.

Simon, the religious leader, is disgusted.

Jesus proceeds to tell him a story of a lender that forgave two people of their debts. One owed 10 times more than the other. He then asks Simon, ‚ÄúWhich one with the debt do you think loved the one who forgave the debt more?‚ÄĚ

Simon correctly replies, ‚ÄúThe one who was forgiven the most.‚ÄĚ

In verse 47, Jesus lays the principle out…

Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven‚ÄĒas her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.

Principle:

Our love for God starts at the level of forgiveness we realize is lavished upon us.

Those of us that have been delivered from ‚Äúheinous‚ÄĚ sins tend to fall deeply in love with Christ. Those who have not, have a more difficult time mustering that level of intense love. However, might I suggest that all of us have one thing we have been delivered from that, though we didn‚Äôt experience it fully, we need to get through our heads so that we too can love as she did?

Our Great Deliverance

Every believer was once dead in their sins and on their way to an eternal hell where there is weeping, gnashing teeth, fire and sulfur and a complete utter absence of the presence of God for EVER!

Whatever life Christ delivered you from pales in comparison to the deliverance Christ brought you when you believed.  Once you set your heart on this fact and understand what he really did for you, your love will begin to grow for Christ like never before.

 

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Day 7: Relationship with God

Posted by undergroundchurch on January 7, 2011


Scriptural Nuggets Daily DevotionScriptural Nuggets Daily Devotion

The Christian faith is primarily about relationship to and companionship with God. ‚Äď Fire Bible (commentary on Hebrews 3:12)ÔĽŅ

Every aspect of God’s revelation to man was about relationship, but¬†it seems at times that we emphasize ‚Äúrules‚ÄĚ e.g. ‚Äúdon‚Äôt do this, don‚Äôt do that, etc.‚ÄĚ Rules do play a role in any good relationship, but the rules don’t define the quality of the relationship.

Think of the rules that govern your relationships. You set boundaries around the times you ‚Äúdrop in‚ÄĚ to see a friend. You don‚Äôt cheat (I hope) on your spouse because it demonstrates a lack of love.¬† These rules are important, but they tell you nothing about the quality of the relationship.

Beyond the rules and the trappings of what we call ‚Äúreligion‚ÄĚ, God desires more than anything for each of us to enter a real relationship with Him.

Look at what He tells us about Himself in that relationship…

And don’t forget that the core rule given by God to Love him with all your heart, soul and might (Deuteronomy 6:4-5) only works in real relationship because God first demonstrated His love for us by giving his one and only to die in our behalf (Romans 5:28).

If true love exists, the guideline, “don’t cheat on the one you love” doesn’t need to become a rule because you would not even consider it an option.

This is God’s love.¬† He loves unconditionally, and nothing you can do will sway that love (Romans 8:39)

Religion produces rules designed to sway God to love man.  Relationship starts with God and ends with God. We just happen to be the benefactors if we enter into this relationship.

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The Source of Our Dilemma

Posted by undergroundchurch on October 22, 2010


“Original Sin”, some call it “Ancestral¬†Sin“, is a more pervasive dilemma to our current state than we might even fathom.

Original Sin, as understood for this article, is the sin seed that is passed on to every human because of the original sin committed by Adam in the Garden.

Original Sin effects us today because there are multiple components to it…

Original Sin is about Love

The point of God planting a tree in the middle of the Garden then telling Adam not to eat from it was not to tempt Adam, but to see if Adam would choose to love God or love himself.  When Adam sinned, it separated him and us from the direct connection with God.  Remember that God walked with Adam in the garden, something God has not been able to do since Adam sinned.

The most powerful words God ever utters in the Bible are the ones He says right after he says the word, “Now” as in¬†Revelation¬†21:3

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.

This event takes place after everything is made new. ¬†God is looking forward to the day when He can once again “walk with man in the garden” as it were.

It is all about Love because God reached out to us when we couldn’t reach out to him. (c.f. John 3:16, Romans 5:8)

Original Sin is about Penalty

We are still paying the price for the sin Adam committed that fateful day.

Penalty of Death

  • God told Adam, “In the day you eat of it you will surely die” (Genesis 2:16,17)
  • All have sinned, and the wages of that sin is still death (Romans 3:23, 6:23)

Every time someone dies, we are reminded of Adam’s original sin. If Adam’s sin only applied to him, we wouldn’t have death, sickness and sin in the world today.

Penalty of Pain in Childbirth

Every time a woman gives birth naturally, she is paying a price for Eve because she listened to the serpent and not her husband. (See Accountability and Original Sin below)

Other creatures in God’s kingdom don’t go through the pain of birth that humans do; ever heard a dog or cat scream like a human?

Penalty of Snakes

Part of the curse is the form of the snake, which crawls on its belly.  Each time I see one, I am reminded of the curse. (Genesis 3)

Penalty of Thorns and Thistles

Ever been scratched by a thorn? Or have to pull a weed out of the garden? Thank Adam.

Penalty of Gardening

Yep, gardening is a result of the curse.  Makes you wonder how it was before Adam sinned. (Genesis 3) God was going to provide all our food.

Original Sin is about Accountability

Genesis 3 tells us what went down.

Eve ate of the tree first; Adam, who was with her, but didn’t speak up during the entire event, ate it once she gave it to him.

However, you have to go back a chapter to see the setup. ¬†You see…

  1. Adam was created first
  2. God then planted the tree in the Garden.
  3. God tells Adam that if he eats from it, he will die.
  4. Later, God creates the woman from the man’s side.

In chapter 3, we see the man and woman at the tree, she is telling the talking serpent (which should have been a clue) that if they ate from it OR TOUCHED IT they would die.

How did she know about eating it, and where did she get the extra restriction?

We have here the first case of legalism in the Bible, which always adds to God’s word. ¬†God said Adam would die if he ate it; Eve added (probably because Adam told her) that if they touched it, they would die. She ate it first (eyes were not open), and then Adam ate it (eyes were opened to their nakedness after this).

SPECIAL NOTE: The extra rule didn’t help them abide by the command God gave them. (Legalism doesn’t help you be a better Christian.)

The problem in the story is that God told Adam the rule, and Adam told his wife the rules, but Adam did not defend God’s word, nor his wife as she was talking to the serpent.

It was not her fault, it was Adam’s!

Had Eve eaten, and Adam not, there would be no sin today because she was not responsible to God. Adam should have been the one talking to the serpent and saying something like, “Get thee behind me Satan!” He was her covering, and he failed her.

Accountability and the Original Sin Seed

The Original Sin seed does not pass through the woman, it passes through the man because of accountability. ¬†Adam was accountable to God, Eve was accountable to Adam (God never told Eve the rules, that was Adam’s job).

Jesus could only be born as a human, not because Mary was “immaculately conceived”, but because she was a woman and there was no man involved in conceiving Jesus.

The promise was to Eve that the savior would come…

And I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your seed and hers;
he will crush your head,
and you will strike his heel.” – Genesis 3:15

Men and woman are equal in every way relationally with God except one, accountability. Eve was cursed because she was deceived, and did not listening to her husband, but we have sin in the world because the man of the house refused to be the man of the house. (c.f. 1 Timothy 2:14)

Original Sin is about Redemption

Paul states that through one man, Adam, sin and death entered the world (Romans 5:12-21). It is through one man with no Original Sin seed connection through man to Adam that sin is broken ¬†and we can live. Our only hope is in the “Son of God” who became the “Son of Man” without losing his claim as “Son of God”.

His Father is God, born of a woman, which allows him to be fully man and fully God and gives us hope that the power of sin and death is broken for those that receive the gift of life. This only comes through the power of the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

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How to Defend the Gospel

Posted by undergroundchurch on October 4, 2010


NOTE: This article contains strategies for believers and is not intended for those of you that do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ because it contains strategic information (trade secrets). ¬†If ¬†you wish to establish a relationship with Jesus prior to reading this article, shoot me an email and I’ll be glad to talk with you. Then you can read the article and get more out of it.

Call me a pacifist, if you will, but I do believe that there is a right and a wrong way in which believers defend the good news (a.k.a. the Gospel) of Jesus Christ and that for the most part, we get it wrong.

Do our methods hinder the message?

Personally, I am appalled at the way the world treats the God who came and died in their place, took on their guilt and shame, and made a way back to himself.  I mean, what did Jesus ever do to deserve the bad rap He gets from unbelievers?

The answer to that question may lie more with His followers more than in His own life. ¬†While it is true that Jesus saidthe world would hate us because of him, we aren’t making that attitude any better with our public pulpit¬†indiscretions, our internal disputes played out on the world’s stage where we are mocked, our church splits, and even how poorly we drive when we cut off another driver while we flash our “I love Jesus” bumper sticker.

We can learn from Paul in Philippians 1:7 that there are three basic ways to reflect the good news: in chains, defending and confirming.   We spend a lot of time on the second, and not much on the other two.

In Chains or In Battle

What does it mean to be in chains for the Gospel?  And more importantly, what does that look  like in America?

Paul represented this aspect of his testimony by being shipwrecked, beaten, imprisoned and stoned all of which only reflected Jesus attitude on the Cross when he forgave his killers while they were killing him. ¬†This is a lost art with the Christian world in America. ¬†There is a¬†proverb that reads, “in doing so (being nice), you will heap burning coals upon their head”. ¬†Our tactic tends to display defensive¬†aggression¬†and not much offensive conversion.

We followers of Jesus need to follow Jesus. ¬†We need to understand that the world is lost and they don’t need to Adopt godly standards, they Need God.

I was reading an article about an artist showing his “art” where he depicted Jesus in, shall we say, non-biblical ways. ¬†Now here is the question for all the believers reading this article; how should followers of Jesus respond?

A) We can respond the way the Christians are reported on in the article and protest.  What does this do though to the witness for Jesus? If we get them to take it down, then what? Do people come to Christ because the art is not longer there?

B) We use the opportunity to show people what Jesus was really like. Oh, you might need to turn the other cheek, but in so doing, you may make them look away long enough to show them a better way.

What is the intent of our defense?

I guess it comes down to this. ¬†We can make noise and protest the world’s…. uh, worldliness. In so doing, we might even change the look of things… less strip clubs, less bars, less cheesy art exhibits, but are people coming to Christ, or have we just won moral victory that makes us feel better, but really does nothing for the advancement of the Gospel?

I’m not saying that we should just let the world do their thing and build strip clubs on every corner. ¬†We have an American right to live in a place that reflects morals (Constitutionally¬†backed), but the¬†dilemma¬†we face is that moral legislation, moral victories, moral indignation, does not bring people to Christ. ¬†Sometimes, we need to put on the chains for Christ in order to set people free. Through our chains, we confirm Jesus’ good news.

What does our testimony reflect?

Is our testimony to the world reflecting Christ or leaving a bitter taste that becomes a stumbling block to the message?When they think about the church of Jesus, what image comes to their mind?  Is it the image of a group of zealots that want to change their laws and restrict their freedoms?  Is it a group of holier-than-thou people that live paradoxical lives?  Is it a church that burns books from other religions, protests funerals of soldiers or removes evolution from text books in public schools?

Or… should it be the image of a church that first and foremost ministers to widows and orphans and feeds the hungry, helps the needy? ¬†Is it an image of a church that has hope for eternity and knows where they are going and knows how to show them the way? ¬†Is it an image of a church that spends less money on their buildings, parking lots, sound systems and salaries than they do on their outreach to communities through helping others and ministering Christ to a lost and dying people?

The Calling

As a church, we are called to take on the image of Christ and to reflect Christ to each other and to the world.  When we defend the good news He brought us through the cross, does our defense become an offense to those that need to know the news?

A lost world is lost and trying to find their way in darkness.  By default, they are going to do things that repulse believers. It is the nature of the world.

We carry the light of Jesus Christ and have to use that light to bring people to Christ FIRST. If we change the heart, we change the world.

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Where Faith and the World Collide

Posted by undergroundchurch on September 29, 2010


With all these¬†ridiculous¬†“religious knowledge” surveys going around, I got to thinking about “faith” and just what it is.

I think there are two primary pieces to the “religious” experience with which some just don’t understand– Faith and Hope. I will address faith here.

There are two facts about faith that must be understood:

  1. True faith is not blind
  2. True faith is not void of substance

Those that steer clear of faith in God tend to do so because they see it as a futile, wishful-thinking belief system empty of reason, understanding and wisdom. However, this could not be further from the truth.

Faith is not a childish look into a fantasy world, but a childlike trust in a revealed reality.  The goal in faith is to connect with God through relationship.  The problem is that if you try to prove God to yourself first, you fail to take the path God intended for you to take to produce faith in you.

Faith follows a specific path РObedience to Jesus first, revelation of Jesus second and finally faith in Jesus is born.  Notice that all three have their source in Jesus.

God calls us to a path that begins with him.  Faith is not based on my understanding but His understanding.  I have to trust Him first, demonstrated through obedience, and then I can receive a faith that comes from God, for He rewards those that diligently seek him (Hebrews 11:6).

Abraham is a perfect example. ¬†He walked with very little faith for most of His life. ¬†Yes, he followed God’s leading and that was out of obedience, but never really trusted him. ¬†God said, “leave your family”, but Abraham took his father. ¬†God promised him that his children would be plentiful, but he lied about his wife to protect his life.

It wasn’t until Abraham was challenged to give back to God the only son he had been given by God, through a black and white act of obedience,¬†that Abraham achieved the level of obedience to God that God was looking for. ¬†Just as Abraham was about to plunge the knife into his son as a sacrifice to God, and angel stopped him and said these powerful words, “Now I know that you fear me, for you did not withhold your son from me.” (Genesis 22:12). It was during the trek to the altar that Abraham answered his son’s question concerning what they were going to sacrifice with, “God will provide”. (Genesis 22:8)

The scriptures say multiple times that the “fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom“. Strangely enough, the path to faith comes through a fear in God which produces in us obedience.

Once we obey, God can then respond in building up our faith.

You see, if the faith you have is your own, it is bound to fail.  But if the faith you have comes from God, then the source is solid and produces in you a revelation of God that makes Him real in you.

Nature cries out that there is a God, but it doesn’t tell you how to establish relations with Him. ¬†Only when God reveals himself to you through faith, do you discover that your faith is a sure foundation.

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12 Days of Christmas Correction – Why a Virgin

Posted by undergroundchurch on December 20, 2009


The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel РMatthew 1:23

Why a virgin?  Why did God choose this method to bring Christ into the world.  After all, He is God.  He could chose to just make Jesus appear on earth without any mother or father.  Why did God choose this particular approach.

The virgin birth is a core element to Jesus birth for many reasons, and I’d like to show you some reasons you may know and others you may not have thought about.

It is Miraculous

OK, this is a cop out, but yes, being born of a virgin is quite a miracle in and of itself.  It takes two (male and female) to make one person, so by only having a human female bear a child without the human male interaction would be quite the testimony.

It was Prophecied

The verse quoted above in Matthew 1 came from the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 7:14). ¬†By some accounts there are over 300 prophecies in Scripture about Jesus. ¬†Everything from his birth, to his ministry, to his preaching style to his death and victory over sin is prophecied about. ¬†Many of these prophecies are what I call “passive” prophecies, which means that you couldn’t make them come true if you tried because it takes outside forces to cause you to fulfill them.

For example, Jesus was to be born in Bethlehem. ¬†Jesus could only fulfill this prophecy on purpose if he were God before he was born. ¬†He couldn’t just tell his mom and dad from the womb, “Hey, I need to be born in Bethlehem so that I can fulfill a prophecy.” They had to make the¬†decision¬†that affected Jesus – a passive prophecy would be fulfilled.

One odds maker took 8 prophecies about Jesus birth and ran the numbers on these passive prophecies. ¬†To have just 8 fulfilled by one person would be one in 1 x 10 to the 17th power. ¬†or 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000. ¬†You have better odds winning the lottery one million times in your lifetime than Jesus fulfilling 8 prophecies. That’s not only an amazing example of the power of prophecy, but quite miraculous too.

It Made God Human

Jesus is the Word of God (John 1). ¬†He is God and yet he would have to become man to dwell among us (this the Imannuel effect – Click here to read my book on this subject). To become human, God had to be born of woman, and since men can’t give birth, this was the obvious method of introducing Jesus to humanity. The Holy Spirit became the Father of the Son of God the Father (I know, it’s confusing). And in so doing, Jesus became fully man and yet was fully God.

In Order to be Born Sinless

This is probably the biggest reason of all. Any person born of a man and woman are born into sin, and could never be the sacrificial lamb of God needed to cover the sin of all mankind.  There is a reason for this, and it goes back to the Garden of Eden.

When Eve ate the forbidden fruit (Genesis 3:6,7) her eyes were not opened to the sin she had committed.  It was only when Adam ate the fruit that their eyes were opened.  This is because God told Adam before Eve was created not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  It was Adams responsibility to tell his wife, Eve.  He was the only one accountable to God for the rule.

He stood there next to his wife as she ate the fruit. ¬†He then followed her lead. ¬†This is backwards from God’s plan of accountability, and sin entered the world when he failed in his responsibility.

Had Eve eaten the fruit, and Adam not eaten, there would be no sin in the world because the sin seed does not pass through the woman… it passes through man because he is the one responsible to God (this is a huge subject in the discussion of marriage responsibilities).

Notice the promise given to Eve through the curse pronounced on Satan,

“And I will put enmity¬†between you and the woman,¬†and between your offspring¬†and hers; he will crush¬†your head,¬†and you will strike his heel.” – Genesis 3:15

The redeemer would be in the offspring (literally, “seed”) of the woman. ¬†This is the only mention of a “seed of a woman” anywhere in the ancient world. ¬†Men were the seed spreaders. ¬†It almost didn’t make sense, but the women understood one thing. ¬†One day, a redeemer would be born of a woman that would crush the head of the serpent.

Every woman in the ancient world strove to have children partly because of this promise.  It was a curse not to have children.  They all hoped to be the mother, grandmother, great-grandmother of the redeemer, and man was to be left out of the loop.

Was Mary sinless?

The Catholic Church has tried to cover the loophole of God being born of a sinful woman by saying the Mary was ‘immaculately conceived”. ¬†In other words, she was without original sin. This was put forth in 1854 by Pius IX and based on other Catholic traditions. ¬†There is no Scriptural basis for this unless you first draw the conclusion that Mary was sinless and then read the passage in Luke 1:28, “Hail, Mary, full of grace”, which has become a core prayer of the Catholic Church.

Mary was favored, yes, but the favor was to be hers because she would bear the Son of God. God didn’t need her sinless first, because the sin seed, though present in her, was not passed by her if the human seed was not present. She even calls Jesus her “savior” in the prayer she prays. (Luke 1:47)

All of this was part of the plan God laid out before the foundations of the world.  God was not caught off guard, but knew what needed to be done, built the framework to make it happen and then when the time was right, entered this world fully God and fully man to crush the head of the serpent, Satan, and set up his kingdom forever and ever.

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My Thanksgiving Story

Posted by undergroundchurch on November 25, 2009


There certain people in your life that teach you lessons just from the very way that they live their life. Sometimes ¬† they¬†say things that tie it all together. When this happens, it’s like an epiphany. It’s like the bow on top of the package. It’s like the flowers on top of the cake or the cherry on Sunday. It’s that one thing that brings everything into focus even if you heard it time and time again. I had one such encounter with my grandpa back in 1986.

I had driven from my army base in Fort Stewart, Georgia to St. Augustine Florida where my grandpa lived in a trailer. I was a selfish 20-year-old only caught up in my own self gratification. I really didn’t think about how my actions would affect other people. In my life, I had only received things and never really given anything back.

While down in St. Augustine, I asked my grandpa to help me install some speakers in my newly acquired 1977 yellow Mustang. Of course, he being grandpa, happily obliged. After a few hours of cutting, tearing and mending, we finally achieved success. So the next thing that I asked, being a young self-absorbed 20-year-old, was, “What have you got to eat?”

That must’ve been the straw that broke the camel’s back. Throughout the course of the previous two or three hours, my grandpa must’ve been observing the way I handled myself. Because I never really expressed how thankful I was that he was there to help me.

He said in the most stern voice, “You never show appreciation!”

Those four words struck me so deep, that I have never forgotten them to this day. It was like a light went off in my head, and for the first time in my life I realized that there were other people in my life, and that my every action affected them.

I realized then that I really was not thankful for all the blessings in my life. I took so much for granted. I live for myself, and I did not live my life as a blessing to those around me.

It’s not to say that I am perfect or have finally arrived, but it set my feet on a path that I have not changed from to this day. God used my grandpa that day to plant a seed in my heart of serving others.

True thankfulness, true appreciation, begins in the heart. It bubbles up and comes out of the mouth, but it is most effective when it materializes in our hands.

This holiday season, I challenge everyone, including myself, not to be just be thankful in our hearts, or even in our words, but to express our thankfulness, our appreciation, in our actions and our deeds.

I intend to physically show people how thankful I am for them. I intend to show with my actions my love and appreciation. People will not always remember what I say, but they will never forget what I do.

In this, I hope to reflect the life Jesus lived. He didn’t come just to say he loved us; he came to show us he loved us by taking our place in death. It was his actions, not his words, that saved us. It is in my actions that I hope to reflect that heart of love to my family, friends and those far off.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL!!!

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Predestination: How God Sees Time

Posted by undergroundchurch on November 17, 2009


We are temporal beings. ¬†We see things in terms of chronology. ¬†So when it comes to eternity, we have a psychological problem. ¬†It’s a hard thing to grasp.

Consider this… Eternal life means you will never cease to exist. ¬†EVER!!! Take a few moments and try to think a million, billion, trillion years down the road. ¬†Well, you have just looked at the first seconds of eternity. ¬†As difficult as that is, try this on for size. ¬†God never had a beginning.

I can sorta imagine never ceasing. ¬†I can’t, for all my attempts, ¬†put my mind around never having a beginning. ¬†My problem is that “time” is a factor that I just can’t let go of.

Scientifically speaking, time is a property of matter. ¬†This was part of Einstein’s postulations, but God is spiritual, so how would time affect Him? ¬†Actually, it doesn’t because He invented it.

Let me help you realize the difficulty you have by looking at the three dimensions we live in.

The First Dimension

1D

1D

Imagine for a moment, you saw a one dimensional world.  That one dimension would be a line like the one to the left.  Now look at the dots (1,2 and 3); they represent people in that world.  When person one looks at person two, what do they see?  A Dot.

Do they see the line?  No.  They have no depth perception in that universe, they can only see the dot.

Now what is dot two tells dot one that dot three exists. ¬†Dot one would have to take dot two’s word for it because dot one and three can’t see each other because dot two is in the way.

Confusing? ¬†Try being the dots. ¬†But you have an advantage… you can see the linear component to their world. ¬†They are a line of dots, but they don’t know that and have to take it by faith if I told them.

Now, try to describe to the one dimensional person a two dimensional world like the one to the left. ¬†The one dimensional person can’t even fully understand their world, how can they even conceptualize a two dimensional world?

Looking at the two dimensional world we see two people (illustrated by the stick figures).  When the stick figure people look at each other, what do they see?  A line.

The limitations of their world present challenges similar to the one dimensional world.  But like the one dimensional world, they too cannot fully grasp their own world.

2D

2D

 

Lets add a third dimension to the equation. ¬†With the third dimension, many new things come into play. ¬†I can see all around an object and get a pretty good idea about what it happening, but even here, I am limited. ¬†I can only see one side of an object at a time, so I have to walk around it to get a better understanding of exactly what I’m seeing.

With each dimension, we gain a little more understanding, but we still have struggles understanding.

When a three dimension being intercects the world of a two dimensional being, how does the two dimensional being interpret it?  As a line.

If I took a piece of paper and put my finger through it, only the part inside the paper would be visible to their world, the rest of me is invisible because it is outside their world.

I, in my three dimensional world, have a much better handle on their world and can give them greater insight than they can even dream. ¬†What they think is reality, really isn’t. ¬†But with my insight, they can grow in understanding beyond their limitations.

That’s what God did with us through Jesus. ¬†God intersected our world through the physical manifestation of Jesus Christ. ¬†God is always here, but we don’t see him because we only see in three dimensions. ¬†However, the reality is that He operates outside our sphere and understands how it works far better.

3D

3D

He can see the end from the beginning because he is beyond time.  He can see things in our world like we can see in that two dimensional world.

So how does God see time? ¬†He sees it as an obstacle for us to overcome. ¬†He isn’t concerned with it. ¬†We are the ones that struggle day in and day out with hurrying up, waiting in lines and rush hour traffic. ¬†We are the ones that think God isn’t working fast enough. ¬†We just don’t get that time doesn’t affect Him or His plans.

God’s sacrifice of Christ took place before time began (run that through your cranium). And yet he died in our world too. ¬†He preknew who would be saved, yet He fights for every one of us.

He knew Judas would betray him, yet he gave him every opportunity to stop… He made Judas the treasurer; he told him he would betray him to his face; and he sat him right next to him at the last supper. ¬†That’s the kind of God we serve. ¬†One who knew all about you, yet died for you anyway.

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Hope vs. Hope

Posted by undergroundchurch on October 11, 2009


People that buy a lottery ticket hope they win.  I hope to spend eternity with God.  There is a difference between those two hopes.

Romans 5:4-5

Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

Hope, with the possibility of failure

This is the type of hope that we usually think of when someone uses the term “hope”.

  • Boy I really hope we win this game.
  • I hope I get a raise.
  • I hope I win the lottery.

This type of hope has varying levels of confidence in failure.  In other words, the desire is to have the dream come true, but in the back of your mind, you have a serious doubt issue going on.  This is a shaky hope in biblical terms because usually, the assurance is weak at best.

Hope with assurance of a positive outcome

This is the hope that is understood by the first century church. ¬†This is the hope that comes as a result of understanding that God loves you. ¬†It is a hope that kept the early church going even when being thrown to lions, burned at the stake and stoned. ¬†It is the hope that say, “I KNOW in whom I have believed and that when my breathing ceases in this life, my next breath will be in the presence of God!” ¬†Doubt is banished, fear – erased. ¬†The hope of salvation is a guarantee.

What is your hope like? ¬†Do you hope you’ll make it to God when you die, but you aren’t really sure? ¬†Maybe you think you have to do something, to earn a chance to be with God. ¬†Maybe you think you are good, but you are really gambling with your eternity.

The only path to assurance is accepting what God already did for you. ¬†You don’t have what it takes to earn back his good graces. ¬†Only God has that power, and he already did all the work. ¬†Have you received it? ¬†Do you believe it? ¬†Is your hope found solely in Jesus Christ?

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The Power of a Geneology

Posted by undergroundchurch on October 9, 2009


This is the most amazing Bible study of which I ever had the privilege to be part. ¬†I can’t take credit for its discovery, (That would be Chuck Misler), but I love to use this to open people’s eyes to the true power of the Word of God.

The genealogy we are going to look at is found in Genesis 5.  It takes up the whole chapter Рso I will abbreviate it here. The list of names and their meaning are below:

  • Adam – “man”
  • Seth – “appointed”
  • Enosh – “mortal”
  • Kenan -“having”
  • Mahalalel – “sorrow” “God”
  • Jared – “shall descend”
  • Enoch – “dedicated” “anointed”
  • Methuselah – “his death shall bring”
  • Lamech – “the lowly”
  • Noah – “Comfort”

If you take these names and read them out in order as a sentence in English, here’s what you get…

“Man appointed mortal and having sorrow but God shall descend anointed; his death shall bring the lowly comfort.”

Read that again….

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is embedded in the very genealogy of Scripture.  God breathed every word in this book.  There is a reason for every letter and word used.  The power of the word of God oozes with the good news of our savior no matter how deep you look and no matter where you look Рeven in a genealogy!

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