Hence I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands; for God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self-control. – 2 Timothy 1:6-7
Jesus, The Name above all names, is the best reason for stroking the fires God has placed within each person to speak The Name. And the beauty of living with The Name written on our hearts is when words do not suffice the God-lover, The Name oozes from our pores and fills the room with the sweet aroma of Grace.
I have always been bent towards the arts having grown up in Brazil with all its colorful spirit, my family’s love of music and good artwork, and a deep love for The Name and its spread among all peoples.
I have no need of worship aids. I also take seriously the command to not worship any idols, whether personal ideas or visual aids. I have seen firsthand the psychological and emotional devastation of philosophical and material idol-worship; the destruction it does to the teacher and the student.
No need to panic. Even this is character trait is redeemable by approaching the throne of Grace.
Yet, I don’t apologize for a healthy artistic expression of my own walk with Christ, as I know love for The Name drives one far away from idol worship…at least chances are much lower that one is caught even in “accidental” idol-worship.
In fact, Christ was the first artist/miracle-worker being a part of the formation of the very earth we walk on every day. I seek to imitate Paul as Paul imitates Christ through my artistic soul, being a quiet hand of positivity in a world bent on running away from The Name.
I seek to kindly show people God’s great love and to not fear The Name, but to run to The Name, asking Him for salvation and wisdom. It is only after grasping the Creator’s deep love for each soul that a healthy fear of God can begin to be apprehended.
Therefore I don’t have to be anyone else’s Holy Spirit. He does his job very well.
I have come to believe today that to force an unnatural fear of God onto a soul who already knows they are condemned is more akin to co-operating with The Accuser of our souls.
I don’t want any hint of this evil spirit in my own soul.
But one may ask, “What about teaching morals?” I believe today more than ever that morals are a foundation, not the ceiling in Christ’s Home. Jesus said that unless our right-ness surpasses the [morality] of the contemporary “perfect” examples of religion and life, we can have no part of His Kingdom. I believe it is important for me to get right morally every day while breathing an air of grace towards all peoples as Christ did.
It’s a tall order, but less stressful than it sounds. Why? Because Jesus means what He says when he asks us not to worry. If anything can distract one’s mind away from the very morals one seeks to clothe oneself with, it’s worry. The Word says worrying leads to all kinds of evil and what I think about comes true in my own heart and actions.
So if I curse the outward moral-code breaker in my soul, I too am guilty of inward moral-code breaking. But if I bless, I will become a blessing to others, even on my worst days. Why? I believe it is because Jesus’ Name stands between me and Holy God, finishing what I cannot and kindly correcting me along the way. Jesus is less harsh on me that I am on myself. He is less judgmental than some of my most well-meaning siblings in Christ who have not trained their impulses in the ways of Jesus’ grace.
As I seek to see things the way God does, I fall immensely short. But one thing I know, unity is crucial for The Name to continue to be spread. I wonder if having the simple, modest and humble symbol of the fish on our places of worship – regardless of architecture – might be a more God-honoring and a Gospel-spreading act than what we see today. Might it be more honoring to the The Name, particularly since there is way too much division over The Name?
What if those who claimed to be a part of The Church learned to love more deeply everyone who claimed The Name for themselves? Isn’t this The Picture of Heaven? No more tears, no more wars and rumors of wars?
What about helping Jesus-lovers rekindle one gift of many that God gives each of His Own for the Name’s Sake?
In that vein, thank you Gary for helping God rekindle a fire in me for writing. My prayer is that all glory go to Him and any reader be one step closer to salvation in The Name or more encouraged on their journey Heavenward. But I confess, I still need encouragement as I cooperate with God’s warfare in the Heavenlies by bringing more of Heaven to earth that it might swallow up any hellish corners yet to be conquered in this age.
It is amazing what people of The Name can do when unifying under The Name and walking the Way of Love.
What gifts are needing rekindling among God’s own today?