Fully Divine Fully Human


20161004_150844 (2)So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.  -Hebrews 4:14-16/NLT

For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. -Colossians 3:13/NLT

Iēsous/Yeshua/Jesus, the name above all names revered in Greek, Hebrew, English and globally points to the God-Man, fully divine, fully human. He was The Good Gift coming from the Father Of Lights, bringing Good and Light into the icons of humanity.

In my weakness I am strengthened by the fact that my life is hidden in the person of my big brother, who not only stokes the fires of divinity in me through the work of His Good Spirit, but gives me leave to fully find myself in this world by boldly embracing my humanity.

I live in a divine dance with the Holy within as wholly human.

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My High Priest wore human skin, experiencing all of humanity’s flavors; each color on the spectrum of emotion, capturing every thought, ambulating his temple (which I picture as being the perfect physical exercise), socially adaptable everywhere, nourishing his spirit, propelled by a divinely pure heart.

I have a learning curve because the Perfect infused the atmosphere with forgiveness before I was born, and grace & mercy are the brokers and bearers of this good news, breathing Life into me each morning I awake, and every night as he seals the thoughts of the day in preparation for the next.

I am free to be fully divine and fully human because The Firstborn of the Resurrection has granted me this beautiful privilege and simply asks that my faith and works grow to reflect this truth.

Amazing!

Lovely words


20161004_150844 (2)The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts. –Proverbs 18:8

Why have I used a negative verse as my entry? Because I want to use the same principle to bless. What if instead of gossip, we glowed with lovely words? They too go down like choice morsels into our innermost parts, and will have the added benefits of blessing.

Our bodies are the Temple of the Holy Spirit, so I picture our mind as the outer courts, and our heart, the Holy of Holies where the Holy Spirit dwells. Our words emanate from our personal Holy of Holies.

These are the days to gather together and encourage each other with our hugs and lovely words.

May the words every day of my life be words of life and love.

I want to depart and talk about funny words that can bless and lift up always. My mother my aunt have been some of the funniest ladies I have known the last half century! From day one, they have laughed and enjoyed each other. We spent some time recently with my aunt and uncle and my cousins, and it was not only uplifting spiritually, but soothed the soul, and comforted the body and mind.

Lovely words do just that! They lift up all around them. A caveat: Even the lovely have tough times and need times of renewal and grieving. But when the grieving is over, the lovely have even lovelier words to share.

I am amazed at God’s economy, giving us a range of emotions and experiences to share with our lovely words. May my words go down like delicious bits to feed and sweeten the soul, like Jesus did. May I not worry about the adversary or adversarial situations, but learn to turn difficulties into blessings.

Thank you Jesus for showing us how to use our words, make corrections, give the grace we’ve been given, and receive the mercy we don’t deserve that we may show mercy to others. And in it all, may our hearts be filled with the Holy Spirit more deeply each day, the maker of Lovely Words!

Amazing!

 

The Miracle of Forgiveness


20161004_150844 (2)How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! –Luke 23:34/AMP

We seek to know a love that holds no record of wrong.

We seek a love that knows no fear.

There is no fear in love.

-Ted Dekker / The Forgotten Way (@theforgottenway)

Raising a teen has been full of wonder and humility. We still laugh at mispronunciations. Monika got in the car and gave some bad news which I won’t go into. But she said “A lady in hair curlers…”

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I said, “Hair curlers?”

She laughed, “No.” And tried once more, “Head curlers.”

“Head curlers”? I repeat.

She laughed again and came out with something different.

“Headquarters!” I said.

“Yes!” and we both laughed for a long time.

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Mistakes happen in all shapes and sizes. Have you ever felt trapped, missed the mark and wondered why you fell for something so foolish when you knew better? I think of Paul’s great dissertation about the same thing in Romans 7:14-25. But as a discerning Christian, I immediately know it is sin in me that needs fixing, and only Jesus can fix it in a way that it is known to others.

Forgiveness is freeflowing, starting from Christ’s finished work on the Cross and flows until now. He stamps FORGIVEN, each and every time I miss the mark and confess my mistep. What’s more amazing is the forgiveness I receive for those things that I don’t know I am doing incorrectly. Yet, in His mercy, He gently offers the correction, confidence and reminds me of my position of place in His Kingdom here and now and forevermore.

It is miraculous! He exonerates me and you! How much more, then should I be so to anyone else, friend or adversary, particularly those in love with Jesus who come from a different place and see the same God from a different facet on the gem of truth. Truth does not change, but perspectives can the closer we get to the gem; they get clearer. Imagine the differences in perspective the apostles may have had, but for the sake of the unity of the church, they came together, worked things out in prayer and were strengthened. Imagine the forgivenss that was freeflowing.

It delights God to forgive a penitent heart, and strengthen the body of Christ through unconditional love.

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In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents [that is, changes his inner self—his old way of thinking, regrets past sins, lives his life in a way that proves repentance; and seeks God’s purpose for his life]. – Luke 15:10/AMP

Following the story mentioned above of the woman who found the lost coin is the story of the Prodigal Son.

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In the end, the father runs to the returning son, puts a ring on his finger and asks his older son to plan a party. The father was energized to see his son return. But the older son surprisingly was unhappy, a spiritual prodigal who “did it right,” but felt unappreciated until the father declared, SON, YOU ARE ALWAYS WITH ME, AND ALL THAT IS MINE IS YOURS. But it was fitting to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours WAS [as good as] DEAD AND HAS BEGUN TO LIVE. He was lost and has been found. – Luke 15:31a-32/AMP (emphasis mine)

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Ted Dekker makes the point in Section 2, Part 3 of his book The Forgotten Way, that both sons were in a grievous situation; one rebelled, the other judged, and yet the Father forgave both, happy to have his sons under his roof again. I think of Christ commissioning his disciples to bring Heaven to earth, and what is more Heavenly than a clean slate?

imagesTed Dekker states Today I stand whole and complete, for I am new, I am risen, I am in Christ.

In the1997 book Fresh Wind Fresh Fire by Jim Cymbala, he speaks of a missing element today in many churches. Power. (@zondervan.com/fresh-wind-fresh-fire)

 

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…Acts 4: “Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders…”

 

pexels-photo-380283In Chapter 9, Cymbala goes on to tell the story of a homeless man who wanted no money. He only wanted the Jesus he heard about at the meeting. He was so transformed that he eventually married and at the time of the book’s publishing, he was in charge of 10 maintenance people at the church.

Cymbala challenges Christians to believe in the power of miracles and at the top is the power to receive God’s forgiveness and offer forgiveness. It’s transformational because it delights God’s heart.

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Jesus is the way, the truth and life through the power of offering forgiveness. The Heart of the Father is delighted more everyday one more heart turns towards Him, accepting Christ’s forgiveness and offering it freely allows the Holy Spirit to work wonders in our lives. It sets all parties free and grows grace.

Amazing!

In Assembly God Gifts Me with His Encouragement


GodReflection: Is Worship for God or for Me?
For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope (Romans 15:4).
gary portraitI don’t think it’s just me; I find life to be hard. Mr. Discouragement like a video game villain pops his head up with uncanny frequency.

The seeds of discouragement seem to be embedded both in the encouragement1humanness of my DNA and within the dark recesses of culture. “You are not good enough, you will never arrive, you must do better,” the culture shouts. “Is God really aware of the speed bumps that consistently appear in my path?” When I listen discouragement results.

As age creeps up, body deterioration with related challenges becomes a daily experience. Reality sets in and medical appointments become more frequent on my agenda than dreams and goals from the days of healthy vitality. Limitations tend to discourage.

Here is what I think.

encouragement3When I peruse my Bible, I find Jesus offers the antidote. He prescribes encouragement. The taproot of encouragement is nurtured from three springs. God gifts me with His encouragement through my closeness; to Scripture, to the Holy Spirit, and to other Jesus followers.

To the degree I open my life up to consistency on these three fronts I will find lesser or greater victories over discouragement. I want to live in such a way that Scripture, Spirit and siblings in Jesus are more than a scheduled worship encounter with the church.

However, that is not to say that I can do without the worship assembly. I have a deep need to meet God through worship for my own encouragement.

encouragement4For it is in the presence of other disciple where simultaneously I experience all three sources of encouragement. I am encouraged through the Holy Gathering from brothers and sisters. I hear from Scripture and led in the process by the Holy Spirit.

It is when I engage in communal worship that I receive through assembly a word from God and encouragement for my soul while led by the Holy Spirit of Father and Son.

In the Acts of the Apostles I discover a summation statement at a certain point in the life of the early church: Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, . . . (Acts 9:31).

encouragement8Here is what I wonder. Could it be that the worship assembly is designed to benefit me? Is it a place where in the act of the presentation of my gift to God—through all aspects of the assembly—the Holy Spirit is at work to gift me in return with the gift of encouragement?

I would love to hear your thoughts. What have I missed? Are there other ways God gifts encouragement to you?

Stay tuned.

Dr. Gary J. Sorrells
A GodReflection: In Assembly God Gifts Me with His Encouragement

Gary@Godreflection.org
http://www.GodReflection.org
http://www.MakeYourVisionGoViral.com

 

The Secret Body


GodReflection: God Shares His Secret—We are Body

“This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:19) “. . . for we are members of his body”. (Ephesians 5:30)

garyguarujaJesus, on the eve of his crucifixion spoke of his body gift for the disciples. I doubt that any of them had a clue at that point what he meant.

I wonder who the first person was to use the body analogy? The apostle Paul was the first to express it in written form but I wonder if he heard it from fellow apostles or from Jesus himself? Perhaps, it was a Spirit inspired idea given directly to him.

Doctor Luke, as he summarizes Jesus post resurrection activity cites from his eyewitness research: He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. (Acts 1:3)

body22I am curious how much Jesus told them as he spoke about the kingdom of God? Did he tell them about his plans for his church that would cover the face of the earth? Did he tell them that his body would remain on the planet in the form of his church?

It was a secret held by the Holy for thousands upon thousands of years.

The revelation came shortly after the ascension. The Godhead announced the body secret with the prelude of a loud roaring wind sound and with flames aglow above the body12head of each disciple as a visual aid.

Before it was all over  three thousand men and women repented of their sin, identified with the Son of God, and submitted their lives to Jesus through the death, burial and resurrection in baptismal waters.

And . . . Viola! The church appeared. It was them and they were it.

Twenty-plus years later—for the first time in Scripture—the apostle Paul uses the analogy of the body as a visual for this ever-expanding assembly.

For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. (Romans 12:4-6)

Yes, to be clear he wants all of us who make up the church to understand, you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. (1 Corinthians 12:27)

body15And, our corporate body has only one head the risen Christ who is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. (Colossians 1:18)

I don’t know if Paul was the first to share the secret that the church—you and I—are the body of Christ. However, I have to believe it is a shear genius idea from the Holy.

Here is what I think:

It doesn’t matter if I am a big toe or a little pinkie. I am body. I am to function as designed. It is not my role to judge you or your function. I am a vital part of the whole body4just as you are a vital part of the whole. I united with you and you are united with me because we both belong to Jesus.

The body operates with cleansing blood. When any member of the body aches, I feel the pain.  At any given time, a portion of the body hurts and so do other members. Through Jesus the body is always in the process of healing.

The big toe and little pinkie are united by the Holy Spirit. When one pumps Jesus-blood it flows from a healthy member toward another member. Together we are a work of art. Together we grow in wisdom and understanding. Together we grow toward immortality.

body14The headline for all to read is that the secret body functions as one unit because Jesus is the head. Whatever function I may have I am not the head. Only the Christ functions in that role.

The head too is part of the body. My role is to seek to know what the head is thinking and march in unity with those thoughts.

Fortunately, the Gospels show me his thought process.

I want to tune in as a body member.  The head thinks forgiveness. The head generates love. The head serves and wants me to follow in his steps.

The head values peace. As the big toe or little pinkie, I’m not to be jealous because your body17function is the smile or the beautiful eyes. We are both holy because Christ leads.

The former body of Jesus was broken for me. With him as my head and my example, I am willingly broken for others. With him as the head we are to function out of a spirit of thanksgiving.

And just think, His invitation remains open to join His secret body.

Yep, I have to believe it is a shear genius secret direct from the Holy.

Stay tuned.

Dr. Gary J. Sorrells

A GodReflection on The Secret Body

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

 

 

My Identity Transcends Resurrection


GodReflection: Power Words

garyguarujaI don’t recall God precisely speaking to this in Scripture.

Maybe it is so obvious there is no need.

It could be every page in my Bible speaks it between the lines.

I’ve known it all along but have never attempted to express it.

Perhaps with age the contrast increases.

identity12I am me.

I am who I was as a child. I am soul.

Sure, as a kid I was a more immature version. Yes, through the years I acquired maturity and a certain set of skills. However, I feel great continuity to the “me” on the playground of Hillcrest Elementary School.

identity3I think what bothers me with age is the attempt to correlate my eternal soul—that feels as young as “me” did when I played childhood tag with a heart that has matured, a body in massive decline, and a mind that has lost some of its quickness.

Here is what I think.

My body will continue its decline as I increase in years. As a body part, the brain that allows my mind to function while on earth will likewise decline with age. Both body and brain became terminal with the Eden exit.

identity1My soul will not grow old. It will pass intact from this life to the next. I will continue to be who I am.

What will change is my heart. I suppose my heart started its transformation when the Holy Spirit entered in.  I wish my heart-growth could be further along. However, it is what it is. I suspect that is my fault rather than the fault of the Spirit.

My expectation is to see additional heart/spirit progress. A limitation of life and my Eden heart means my God-turned heart will not reach its greatest potential this side of the grave.

identity15Here is how I see it. Both body and mind will decline with age. My heart (spirit) will increase in its capacity to beat more like the heart of Jesus. And, I will still be the me I have known all of my life.

Now, finally the best news:

identity19After the resurrection, my heart will reach its full capacity to beat in precise rhythm with Jesus’ heart—and my mind and body will be sharp and eternal. And—I will still be me.

All of that combined makes identity a personal word of power to guide my walk.

Stay tuned.

Dr. Gary J. Sorrells – A GodReflection on the Power Word Identity.

Gary@GodReflection.org