I Believe What You Believe


GodReflection: God Shares His Secret on Unity

garyguarujaI would sometime joke when asked how to raise funds for a Non-Profit Organization: “It’s easy just begin by telling a prospective donor, ‘I believe what you believe.’” Obviously, a person of integrity would never make such an assumption nor believe such an outlandish declaration.

Because each human being is wired and gifted by the Creator as a one-of-a- kind creation and is formed differently through years of unique experiences no two people believe exactly alike.

unity3So how is it possible to live in unity with another person who cannot mirror my belief system—much less attempt unity with millions of individuals who claim to follow a man called Jesus? Especially, when each one differs in the details of the life and worship of a Christ follower.

In Jesus’ last garden prayer, he prayed for the unity of all believers:

Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one . . . I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. (John 17:11&23)

In one sense his prayer was answered, in another sense it was not.

unity17His church stands unified in belief of Creator God. We share unity in our affirmation that Jesus is the Christ.

The church is in agreement that Jesus is the only means of salvation and we his disciples are his ambassadors to all the earth.

The church is united on belief in the death, burial, resurrection of Jesus and the hope found only in him.

Should I take the time and the space to do so, I’m sure I could compile a rather long list to demonstrate the unity and “oneness” we now experience as a fulfillment of Jesus’ John chapter seventeen prayer.

unity26However, we sin when we divide his body into rival church tribes, apply the war paint and throw spears and Satanic missiles at other Christ followers.

When I catch myself in this posture I stand as a roadblock to Jesus’ prayer.

It concerns me when I find myself as a participant in disunity through my own likes, dislikes and prejudices. I am ashamed when I promote a lack of Christ-like behavior by a commitment to my own unbiblical opinions.

unity22I would like to think I am making progress in being less of a disharmonizing person.

It continues to be an enigma to me how on the one hand I know we are all wired differently and think differently and then on the other hand expect others to embrace my opinions as their own.

Could it be that one purpose God has for our walk on earth is to help us gain wisdom in failures; and gain joy in our successes when we see Jesus’ garden prayer being fulfilled in small ways?

Could it be that a primary purpose of my walk on earth is to learn how to, make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:3) so that I can look forward to my next life when unity is the natural Holy-state of all eternity?

unity8I have a current role within God’s revealed secret of His desire for unity. I am to LEARN and to LEAN on His Spirit to be a man of peace.

In my struggle to do so, I am to share with my fellow travelers the secret of peace and unity found in Jesus. A secret learned and expressed through compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

And, all of that because He chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and unity16blameless in his sight . . . God did what He had purposed, and made known to us the secret plan He had already decided to complete by means of Christ.

This plan, which God will complete when the time is right, is to bring all creation together, everything in heaven and on earth, with Christ as head (Ephesians 1).

And, Jesus’ garden prayer will be answered in full.

Stay tuned.

Dr. Gary J. Sorrells

A GodReflection on The Secret of Unity

Gary@GodReflection.org     www.GodReflection.org

The Secret of Light


GodReflection: God Shares His Secret

garyguarujaIn the foothills of the Guadalupe Mountains there it was.

Desert whirlwinds were a common sight. But this one was different it was black with a whirlpool vortex that reached upward beyond sight. What made it spectacular was the fact it was formed by bats.

light1I grew up twenty-eight miles northeast of The Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Thus, I’d heard of the legendary cowboy Jim White who had first witnessed the bat whirlwind.

Curiosity won out and he traced the source to the largest hole in the ground he had ever seen. Today it enjoys National Monument status.

Those days of June 1901 must have been filled with fear and with excitement as he explored the massive dark hole.

He describes his first trip:

light6“Standing at the entrance of the tunnel I could see ahead of me a darkness so absolutely black it seemed a solid. The light of my lantern was but a sickly glow.”

light17After hours of exploration he records a moment of near panic:

“The oil in my lantern had given out, and the flame curled up and died. It seemed as through a million tons of black wool descended upon me. The darkness was so dense it seemed smothering—choking me.”

I tour the now developed cavern on many occasions as a young boy. In the earlier years—backed with the confidence of Thomas Edison’s lightbulb—the Park Rangers would seat the tour participants and turn out the lights. For a moment, we shared Jim White’s “smothering darkness.”

Light is a welcomed and known commodity. From our sun, we receive both illumination and warmth.

light11Moon, stars, wicks, candles, lanterns and lightbulbs light up the night to keep shadows and fear at a safe distance.

It seems perfect and appropriate that God who created sunlight, starlight and moonlight selected light as a descriptive metaphor for Jesus the Son.

Humankind lived in self-imposed darkness for thousands of years while God held a secret through the ages—His very own Son would break into history as THE LIGHT of the world.

light15How can I comprehend the full voltage of the Light that illuminates the entire world?

That previously hidden light now enlightens life and shines into hell itself to expose and eliminate death as it shines forth eternal life (2 Timothy 1:10).

The Apostle John describes Jesus as life defined as light. The Christ was no less than “the light of all mankind” (John 1:4).

It is the “light that gives light to everyone” (John 1:9).

Jesus revealed in his own personhood God’s secret. “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).

And so, I live on earth while “darkness is passing and the true light is already shining” (1 John 2:8).

light16And as I watch the light reach across the globe I live for the eternal day when “There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 22:5). 

Stay tuned.

Dr. Gary J. Sorrells

A GodReflection on The Secret of Light 

Gary@GodReflection.org     www.GodReflection.org

www.MakeYourVisionGoViral.com

The Secret to Life


GodReflection: God Shares His Secret

He [Christ] was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake (1 Peter 1:20).

garyguarujaI could not have asked for better growing up years. Sure, there were bumps along the way but I was a dreamer.

It was almost like from day one I knew the basic direction I was to point and follow the compass.

Obviously, there are countless areas where a young dreamer is clueless.

life1So here I stand as the sunsets. I gaze into my rearview mirror and without a doubt I would place at the top of my “dreamer clueless list” as all-time number one: life is hard.

My life’s trail memories are far too crisp of death, hurts, pain, loss, difficult relationships and betrayals.

Like everyone of God’s created children my trials list could continue.

It seems with each measurable distance along life’s walk the trail rises while the rocks increase their sharp edges and become more numerous.

I want to remember the grand secret while I walk.

life14It is not that the rocks will become smooth and the trail will morph onto flat calm meadows.

The secret planned before the beginning of time is that Jesus would come to show me how to live as I walk.

The secret is Christ not only brought life—but immortality. The Apostle Paul tells me:

This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel (2 Timothy 1:9-10).

Ok, I’ll admit that is rather lofty language for a guy born in the New Mexico desert who tries to make sense of a life of sharp rocks and steep trails.

Here is my best shot.

life11When God freed His people from Egypt He did not choose to guide them through a fast and direct route to the promised destination.

The people were not yet ready to love Him nor were they yet prepared to live in their new home.

The desert rocks, trails and trials were forty years of preparation.

From creation to the Christ were thousands of years of hardships as God formed person after person until the time came to reveal the secret of life found in Jesus.

The gospel is Jesus.

baptism3When I look into God’s revealed Scripture I find over and again Jesus came to give life. He is the secret to life. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind (John 1:4).

This is the secret to life. He is the one who walks with me, shines light on my rocky road, shows me how to live and makes me ready for life eternal with the Holy.

And then one day—This plan, which God will complete when the time is right, is to bring all creation together, everything in heaven and on earth, with Christ as head.

Stay tuned.

Dr. Gary J. Sorrells

A GodReflection on The Secret to Life 

Gary@GodReflection.org  www.GodReflection.org  www.MakeYourVisionGoViral.com

Secret Love


GodReflection: God Shares His Secret

 “I have loved you,” says the Lord. “But you ask, ‘How have you loved us?’ – Malachi 1:2

garyguarujaI am amazed at the availability of opportunities to learn new skills. Workshops abound.

Hands on learning is a big deal. Workshops exist to learn how to build Legos, cook Italian food, how to paint, garden and build robotics.  I’ve attended workshops on leadership, fundraising, building interpersonal relationship skills and personality makeup.

love5Most any acquired skill sought is available through guided hands-on training.

Although ever person is born with the capacity to love, I would also argue that it is an acquired skill.

What might life look like without the skill to love? None of us have to look far to see the tragedies created by those who lack love skill.

A theme throughout Old Testament Scriptures is Creator God who cared for His created humans with faithful love—even when they did not love back.

love21He loved them so intently that he built a nation to call His own.

His new nation would play a role in the restoration to the Holy to lost people from every tribe and nation across the face of His globe.

For the most part, His chosen did not return love to their Creator, nor did they reflect His love to others. The global restoration must have seemed smaller than a speck on a distant horizon.

love30However, all along God was at work on a secret plan to place His contagious love among us. It was a love that would spread across His world—pardon the analogy—like a flu epidemic.

Now, back to the secret as reveled through Jesus and described by Paul to first century Jesus followers:

For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love, He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves.

love20In Him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, God did what He had purposed, and made known to us the secret plan He had already decided to complete by means of Christ.

This plan, which God will complete when the time is right, is to bring all creation together, everything in heaven and on earth, with Christ as head.

All things are done according to God’s plan and decision; and God chose us to be His own people in union with Christ because of His own purpose, based on what He had decided from the very beginning (Ephesians 1:4-11).

love17The cross was a stake in the ground of God’s history line to declare that the Jesus event makes it possible for God and humankind to once again live with each other in love.

The Garden Sin that separated the human race from God was set right on the cross. Because, you and I were declared forgiven.

Since the resurrection, the one God loves draws us sinners in union with himself so that we can reciprocate love back to the Father.

love26God shared the secret of how that happened.

It happened through Jesus. In essence He sent Jesus to give me a workshop on how to love.

Jesus conducted a three-year, hands on workshop with a small group of Jewish disciples. The secret shared from the workshop was love.

I learn two basic truths from reading the Gospels.

The first section of Jesus’ workshop was to show us human types how to love God back.

The climactic section was a death and resurrection demonstration to show how much God loves each person who has ever lived on planet earth.

To return my love  I am to feel and to be God’s love to everyone who crosses my trail. Jesus demonstrates what to do when I encounter the hurting, the hungry and the helpless. Jesus gave hands-on demonstrations to help me know what to do when I encounter the happy, the loved and the successful.

love18Disciples by the millions who live—and die—in our 21st century continue to stand in awe at the incalculable loved God shines into their lives.

In turn they carry their newly acquired love skill to everyone they meet.

They do so through the power of the secret that entered our world by a baby in a bed of straw. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 1 Peter 1:20

Stay tuned.

Dr. Gary J. Sorrells

A GodReflection on Secret Love 

Gary@GodReflection.org  www.GodReflection.org  www.MakeYourVisionGoViral.com

Secret Grace


GodReflection: God Shares His Secret

garyguarujaIt was the best Christmas ever. I received a secret gift. You will not believe this but in the bottomless sack Santa carried down the chimney was a bicycle exactly like the one I had salivated over from the floor of White’s Auto.

grace1The bright streak of lightening had all of the latest bells and whistles—front and rear lights, passenger seat, chain guard, whitewall tires, spring shocks, and stylish handlebars.

It was a gift. It was all mine.

Financially, it was out of my reach. Never could I have purchased it on my weekly (weakly) allowance. Funny thing, never once did I question if I was the sole owner. The gift was mine to use or abuse. I enjoy it completely.

Obviously, my bike didn’t compare to the unbelievable gifts God secured in His secret sack.

One of those secret gifts from before the creation would be given only through Christ. It too was free to me as the recipient.

grace6He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace.

This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel (2 Timothy 1:9-10).

God’s grace gift was held in secret prior to His love personified through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

God did what he had purposed, and made known to us the secret plan he had already decided to complete by means of Christ (Ephesians 1:9).

The Hebrew people knew of God’s promise to send Messiah yet, their expectation of the messianic promise was limited and lacking.

Sidebar: I am probably ahead of myself at this point. However, it occurs to me I hold a least one bond of kinship to the Hebrew people.  Although, I live further down on the historical timeline  I too lack in a big way the comprehension and ramifications of the Holy.

Back to the gift.

I can’t help but think of the Apostle Paul’s joyful pen. He must have had goosebumps on hisgrace11 soul as he wrote:

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8) [for] all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus (Romans 3:24).

The process of writing this post causes me to reflect anew.

After a lifetime in an attempt to live before God I stand amazed at how often I need to gaze again at the cross to remind myself of God’s secret grace—it is indeed free. I don’t have to jump through human hoops of religion to stand justified before God.

The Secret gift is mine to use or abuse.

When I look into the mirror I see in myself the reflection of Jesus’ two story book characters—the tax collector and the sinner. Since I was diapered at church and learned from the cradle right from wrong, it is far too easy to list my good works and the times I have done right.

grace12Yet, when I realize anew that I stand only because of God’s gift I too join with fellow sinners and declare, as goosebumps make their way across my own soul, “God is merciful to me a sinner.”  An affirmation I can only make because I experience His once held secret of grace.

Because God announced His grace secret of Jesus’ mission to bring me into the family, I live forgiven of every—that’s every as in every—sin that has ever passed through my mind or has been committed through my life.

And, because of His grace secret I will spend a sinless eternity with Father, Son, and Spirit.

I suspect God wouldn’t mind if I shared His Grace secret far more often than I do—don’t you think?

Stay tuned.

Dr. Gary J. Sorrells

A GodReflection on Secret Grace 

Gary@GodReflection.org     www.GodReflection.org    www.MakeYourVisionGoViral.com

 

 

The Secret of a New Father


GodReflection: God Shares His Secret

And, “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 16:8

garyguarujaA local television station in my area airs a heartbreak segment each week on children who express their greatest wish—a forever home.

father10It hurts to watch as little hearts of a beautiful child or siblings allow their pain to vibrate across the airwaves. Abandoned by father, mother and extended families each long for love and stability.

In a perfect world, every child would have a wonderful father.

There would not be even a microscopic hint of anything less than—“my dad loves me.” In a perfect world, every child would have a father who made it a priority to be involved in the life of his child.

father2In this idea relationship, the Father is the ultimate personification of dependable.

We guys continue to fail at the perfect father expectation. Since time began not one of us lived up to the ideal.

Then it happened. History changed.

It would be an unbelievable story were there not dependable witnesses.

Creator God impregnated a virgin Jewish girl who gave birth to a son who lived among the people. During his stay on planet earth the son brought a secret from the Holy to humankind.

God shared what had not been understood in prior times:

God did what he had purposed, and made known to us the secret plan he had already decided to complete by means of Christ.  This plan, which God will complete when the time is right, is to bring all creation together, everything in heaven and on earth, with Christ as head (Ephesians 4:9-10).

I learn in the above two sentences where reality is headed regardless of all that is happening in our world.

father3I don’t have to wait until the end times to begin to experience God’s plan.

There is an aspect of God’s secret that provides for each one of us the perfect father in the here and now. I continue to read:

For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight.

In love, He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will—to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves. (Ephesians 1:4-6).

father18Because of what happened on an ancient cross and in a now empty tomb through Jesus I am a son of Creator God. I have a new Father-son relationship that will last through eternity.

Once that relationship was sealed, regardless of what happens on my walk across my earth life, I have a forever Father. I can count on Him.

I understand that to mean He will be with me when I find I am blessed with good times and He will be with me when I walk the darkest of valleys and the blackest most confused mazes.

The neat thing about the secret God shared with me is that He also shares it with you. Pretty cool don’t you think?

Stay tuned.

Dr. Gary J. Sorrells

A GodReflection on The Secret of a New Father

Gary@GodReflection.org     www.GodReflection.org   www.MakeYourVisionGoViral.com

The Secret Deliverer


GodReflection: God Shares His Secret

He (Christ the Messiah) was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 1 Peter 1:20

garyguarujaWe humans want to think of deliverance in military and political terms. From the base of power the value of freedom is promised. At the end of the day deliverance and freedom are never fully supplied.

Our expectations come from our shallow experience and from the failure to understand the nature of misguided expectations. My wrong hopes come when I fail to see God’s bigger picture.

Both patriarchs and prophets spoke of promised land and freedom. The Prophets told of a future time when God would send Messiah to deliver and set right all wrongs.

God’s people interpreted those promises through the lens of their own experiences. messiah16Reasoning from the political  resulted in misguided expectation.

For them Messiah was to come in the linage of King David as the God sent conqueror and liberator of the people.

The Hebrew nation would know when the deliverer arrived. They would know him by the actions of his sword and shield. He would be their conquering and liberating king.

As history evolved and Rome came to power Messiah’s arrival could not come too soon. There was one problem. Their expectation was misdirected. Their version of Messiah was not God’s version.

messiah1Their Messiah was tied to palaces not pastures.  They did not see God’s big picture. It was still God’s secret knowledge within the Holy Trinity.

Thus, the true identity and methodology of Messiah was covered behind a secret cloud.

Only the Godhead knew.

We people types had to wait until a baby was born in a hillside cave where livestock was sheltered and fed.

The infant Jesus grew to manhood and took the veil from Messiah to revealed his identity. The secret was out.  Messiah in human flesh was Christ the deliverer. This Christ man personified sonship, grace, love, justice, life, light, body, unity. He was a walking portrait of humility and service. He reflected the way I am to live while on this globe.

Yet, the religious missed him. He did not align with their daily rituals of Temple church messiah13nor with their unshakable belief in the way they defined religion.

Here’s my danger.

I have lived my entire life within a highly structured religious system. With good hearts my church tribe has always desired to follow God.

Like all humans, we have a tendency to institutionalize into a religious form beliefs created by previous generations along with our own conclusions. Often, we see only our closely focused picture rather than the secret God’s unveiled on our behalf.

I must be careful not to miss the revealed Jesus because I am obsessed with right religion rather than Messiah recognition.

As the veil drops I learn:

messiah9He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace.

This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,  but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel (2 Timothy 1:9-10).

The ultimate secret shared by God through the Christ child’s birth is I am the benefactor of a God’s secret Deliverer, Jesus the Messiah.

Stay tuned.

Dr. Gary J. Sorrells

A GodReflection on The Secret Deliverer 

Gary@GodReflection.org     www.GodReflection.org