Categories
GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY: part 17 God is Present

GOD’S STORY Part 17 God is Present

Here at Preparing the Bride, I’m telling GOD’S STORY. Presumptuous?! Not when simply looking at scripture, because scripture is the unfolding of God’s story to those who read it.

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? We learn GOD’s Story. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked.

Looking at GOD’s Character in Genesis 1 we read, “And the Spirit of GOD was hovering over the face of the waters.” (Genesis 1:2b)

A spiritual GOD is hovering…. present, aware, available, engaged.

Who is the Spirit of GOD?

Hovering suggests to me anticipation (what will happen next?), present (and immediate to the space), aware (conscious), poised (filled with potential energy), watchful (ready to act!)…. to do something!

I’ve heard it said that the Spirit of GOD — known as Holy Spirit — is the power and the presence of GOD. Jesus called Him the Helper. Theologians explain He’s the third person of the Trinity. 

From this scripture, I think He is revealed as eager! Eager to create. Eager to engage. Eager to do: alive and alert to His surroundings and ready to engage. But what would happen? Since the earth was lacking form, what would Holy Spirit do about that? 

He could change what was void into something more. And He did!

Then GOD spoke, and what did the Spirit do?

“God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.” (Genesis 1:3)

How did that happen?

Holy Spirit is the action behind the spoken word.

Perhaps we shall see Holy Spirit as Action Man — the action aspect of GOD and the action within man…. since man has been created in GOD’s image. (Genesis 1:27)

Who is Holy Spirit… in us?

First and foremost, Holy Spirit is GOD. He is one of three personalities in one GOD. 

Holy Spirit is not only power; He is GOD’s power, and GOD’s power put into us when we accept Jesus. He is, always has been and always will be. We first met him in scripture in Genesis 1. He is the power of GOD hovering, ready when called upon, ready when needed. 

Perhaps the single most important take away from this post is, GOD is present with us, active in us, ever with us. 

From experience, I add: the more we surrender to Him -> the more we acquaint ourselves with Him -> the more active the Spirit is within us -> the more empowered we are -> the more we effect society, pointing others to Truth in Messiah Jesus -> and society is transformed to joy, peace, rest.

Holy Spirit transforms us and empowers us to transform the world. As Jesus did when in earthly ministry, so He commissions us to

“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15)

When we are active, doing as He asks us to do, He is pleased, we are pleased and the world is a better place. That’s an integral part of GOD’s Story because what He has always wanted is fellowship. As it is written in Matthew 22,

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. …”

Categories
Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

The Importance of the Truth for 2023

Is it time for a New Year’s resolution? I wouldn’t put it that way. Rather, I think the key is the importance of the truth for 2023.

Tell the Truth

Is that a Commandment, or is “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour” different in its specificity?

“What is Truth?” asked Pilot. Jesus had already taught us, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6) therefore, He could quite rightly have replied to Pilot, “I am Truth”. In fact he had already said to Pilot, 

“You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”

It seems the causes many fight for now — LGBTQ, Global Warming and related issues, are not of The Truth for if they were, the fruit would be love rather than condemnation for “there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1) and “you shall know them by their fruits.” (Matthew 7:16)

We need to discern who is telling the truth and who is lying. There are many voices; who is representing the voice of Jesus and who is not? This is crucial to our society and beneficial to those who seek to walk in the footsteps of Our Lord.

Why tell the truth? 

Because society hangs upon it, thrives on it, survives only with it. 

Look at the damage being caused by lies: we are now living in a society where, out of pity for confused people who wish they were a different sex, we endorse as reality their wishful thinking. As science can now tinker with biological sex through drugs and operations, gender fluidity is promoted as a norm. This untruth, this denial of reality, is harming the education of children and the relationship between parent and child due to government interference and mandate in some western nations.

As those who lie shout their protests and are full of fear (rather than love: “Perfect love casts out fear”), they may believe what they are fighting for, but that doesn’t make it Truth. Consider Extinction Rebellion, Just Stop Oil and other voices supporting the issue to protect us against Global Warming. What is their fruit producing? Do you note the rise of world wide starvation and deprivation for the sake of the limitless fight against Global Warming? Does the end justify the means?

As believers become entwined in arguments not of the Lord, we all become disrupted, even damaged, at our peril. Consider the vaccine issue and fighting Corona Virus? How good is the fruit coming out of fighting over this debate? Regardless of which side we choose to support, there have been family divisions, church divisions. Is that of GOD? I think not.

We need to know what is truth and what are lies. Then we need to walk in, speak out and thrive with the Truth. The consequence of not doing so is clear… our society is crumbling because the lies are being adhered to and the truth-tellers are being swept aside.

When lies overtake truth, society based upon Judeo-Christian values, crumbles. This is what we are experiencing now. It is not because of one pronouncement but of a slow and progressive erosion based upon distraction and lies.

Is it time to tell the truth?

Isn’t it always?

The truth will set us free and has set us free. We who know Jesus may walk in it, but what of others? How can we speak truth and be heard? It is never too late, for one may set a thousand to flight, even as the still small voice who speaks to us rises up from within us and sets the captives free. 

What is the truth?

I’ve already said it: Jesus is the truth — he is the way, the truth, and the life. No one gets to GOD through any other means. This may not be popular but as we believe it, so we need to speak it.

Historically, not speaking out produced a void and that void has now been filled with lies. Society is imploding as a result.

As we speak the truth of Jesus in love, let us see where it takes us. If we all do it, there is no telling what freedom may come, for assuredly, the truth will set us — and anyone — free.

The Truth

The truth is not religion. The truth is not a particular style or even a particular nuance to the theology. Examining our own theology will raise up questions within us and lead us to search our hearts and our bibles for deeper understanding. Not having all the answers is good ministry to those who have questions.

The basic truth is simple: 

  1. Only Jesus has the right to claim he is GOD. And he does claim it. Theologically, he has the right because he was born of a virgin without a human dad. he wasn’t born with the sin that Adam took on. Like Adam, Jesus was born immortal and reclaims immortality for all of us through his defeating death and reclaiming immortality for us through faith; he defied death and took the keys of mortality which Satan had taken from Adam. We who accept Jesus are born again of the Spirit and receive immortality; we will join him in heaven at the time of our physical death.
  2. Receiving Jesus is a simple act of humility and the recognition we are rubbish. We are not good enough for GOD — none of us is. Once we accept and recognise that, we can receive Jesus who sets us free from being rubbish and gives us our royal robes, not based upon who we are but based upon who he is, and our acceptance of him.
  3. We do not have to do anything to be right with GOD. It isn’t our good behaviour that gets us into heaven. But we do have to believe and repent of what went before our recognition that we are rubbish. That’s what being born again is. And we have a fresh start.
  4. Baptism, obedience, continued faith and fellowship are what Jesus modelled in his love for GOD. Through baptism, he received the endorsement of his father and the Holy Spirit came upon him. Believing and acting our faith without baptism doesn’t give us the public confession which Jesus modelled and perhaps doesn’t give us the fulness of all that the Holy Spirit offers. Jesus sweat blood (metaphorically at least) in Gethsemane when his arrest, crucifixion were close at hand; but he did obey. He models obedience (did you know he didn’t heal everyone but only those whom the Father told him to?). He did not doubt GOD but lived faithfulness throughout his life and ministry. Jesus had disciples and friends. Yes many followed him, but also in particular were the twelve, three of whom: Peter, James and John were particularly close. He did not walk alone and neither must we.
  5. In summary, the focus is not upon what we do or say as followers of Jesus, but upon what our motive is. If we follow Jesus in our own integrity, then we don’t do good deeds because we are supposed to, we don’t go to church because we’re supposed to. Rather, we follow Jesus because he is the truth and we are committed to that truth. We follow Jesus because we know the truth has set us free. We follow Jesus because he is the Way to the Father GOD in heaven. We follow Jesus because we love him and are thankful for our freedom. All our deeds, attitudes and behaviours will flow out of that, naturally and supernaturally. And we need the Holy Spirit to help us for Jesus said he had to go back to the Father in order for the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, to come to us. He doesn’t expect us to manage on our own, and neither need we.

So, let us walk in the truth

Let us live, love, laugh and celebrate our knowledge of the truth and in on our Way accept others to do the same. Let us hold fast to what is true, and not hide in fear of condemnation, but share in wisdom, and hope that others too, who need Jesus as much as we do, will spot his identity in us.

And let us live the truth that we know, and see how society can be transformed by the renewing of one mind at a time…

Shalom, Happy 2023, and may GOD continue to BLESS us all.