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



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

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

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

By Faith We Are Worthy

GodReflection: Faith Certainties

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

The world was not worthy of them . . . They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground. These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect. Hebrews 11:38-40

garyguarujaWorthy faith appears in what seems to be two opposite groups—the leaders and the targeted indigent. Both are called worthy.

In Hebrews eleven verse thirty-two through the beginning of verse thirty-five are the faithful who confronted injustice and evil with great courage and energy.

Names like Gideon, David and Samuel illustrated the Hebrew writer’s point. It wasn’t easy but in God they found strength to victory. With initiative grounded in trust and faith in the Almighty they moved forward. God found them to be worthy.

It is always an inspiration to witness the faith of those who seemed wire to move the reach of God’s kingdom forward no matter the personal sacrifice. These are worthy servants. They can be found across the face of the globe.

The second half of the Hebrew paragraph pictures the unknowns who failed to see victory worthy7but in their faith and trust of God they too were worthy.

Torture, jeers, flogging, chains, imprisonment, stoning, sawed in two, killed by sword, destitute, persecuted, mistreated, caves, and holes in the ground are bleak and gruesome word pictures used to describe their lack of apparent victory.

In shear admiration, the Hebrew author’s next words are the world was not worthy of them.”

Twenty-plus centuries later their faith filled decedents still suffer in like manner hidden in dark places on our planet. They are the fulfilment of Jesus’ declaration of the blessed:

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.

worthy16Worthy is found within the glow of Father, Son and Spirit.

Worthy is the exact opposite of worthless. Worthless exists outside of the Holy glow. It is only within the glow that I can claim the worthy label. It too is a gift.

Jesus teaches the worthy way is the way of the cross for Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me (Matthew 10:8).

Paul exhorts disciples of Jesus in the city of Philippi: Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Cross-bearers are to become one with the Christ and take on his identity so that with the cross comes the obligation of worthy behavior.

worthy4He urges believers in the church at Thessalonica to live lives worthy of God who has called them into his kingdom.

On another occasion his prayer for the same church is that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by His power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith.

Once again to be worthy is both initiated and sustained by Father God. He is the Holy glow who provides and maintains his children within the worthy sphere.

In my own walk along the history line the good news is whether I find myself among those who do their best to move the kingdom forward by faith, or among those who by faith suffer the indescribable for the sake of Jesus, I can rest assured that in the eyes of the Holy I am among those who can claim By Faith We Are Worthy.

Stay tuned.

Dr. Gary J. Sorrells

A GodReflection on By Faith We Are Worthy

Life in Holy Scripture AND The Holy Truth

GodReflection: Life in the Holy Presence

garyguarujaFor those who attempt to walk in submission to Jesus we older types find after the half century mark some of God’s riches blessings.

It’s not that the first half of life failed to please the Holy. Nor is it that we failed to make progress in our walk. Rather, I suspect the second half incorporates all past growth and life experience into a greater appreciation and understanding of the richness of the God-walk.

Truth9The second semester of life comes with an abundance of Holy aha moments that previously we missed.

I think of two examples.

I own numerous copies of the Holy Scripture.

Jokingly, I was probably given a little Bible instead of a baby rattle toy in my first crib. I have accumulated multiple copies through the years of both printed and digital versions.

Truth1One is my Grandma’s Bible with a date of August 1, 1938. Another is inscribed by my parents as a gift on September 14, 1956.

In early years I acquired facts and learned to rehearse memory verses. Each week I heard the Bible preached and attend Bible classes. In college I became more serious about the opportunity to learn its content and themes.

To the best of my memory, after college I spent thirty years as a teacher, missionary, and preacher without every methodically starting in Genesis and reading through the Book of The Revelation. I read “pick and choose” to meet the assignments at hand.

At the age of fifty-three that changed.

With the onset of chronic pain probably for reasons that are not even clear to me I stated to read through Scripture each year.

As I look back I stand amazed at how many things Scripture does not address that previously I had thought of as doctrine. In addition, I’ve found a richness in Scripture and themes in the text that I had not encounter before.

Truth10One great aha moment was to find Jesus defined as truth and to find truth defined as Jesus.

From an early age mistakenly, I had understood truth to be a set of doctrines and propositions.

In the Gospel of John, I read Jesus claim: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

When I scan through my New Testament I find at least ninety times where the word Jesus could easily substitute for the word truth. Only in an additional thirteen times does the word truth seem to be limited to the use of right and wrong.

I have a difficult time finding truth used in Scripture in the way I once thought of it as a set of doctrines and propositions.

So here is where I am.

To live in Holy Scripture and to live in the Holy Truth are not the same. To live in Holy Scripture is where I learn ABOUT Holy God, Holy Jesus and Holy Spirit.

truth5To live in Holy Truth is to live in Holy Jesus. It is to allow Holy Jesus to live in me through His Holy Spirit. In Jesus I learn how I should walk Sunday through Saturday.

In that act I don’t get everything right. Nor, do I live life without mistakes. However, as I remain in Holy Scripture and remain in Holy Truth, God see me as holy.

That’s my game plan. Let’s play on the same team.

Stay tuned.

Dr. Gary J. Sorrells

A GodReflection on Life in Holy Scripture AND in Holy Truth.

Life in the Holy Trinity

GodReflection: Life in the Holy Presence

garyguarujaNo doubt about it. Certainly I can be accused of overthinking things. A part of it is my wiring and a portion is most likely my western mindset that tends to want to sort and label.

Trinity2About the time I think I’ve figured out the roles and distinctions of Father, Son, and Spirit, I come across a portion of Scripture or a situation that fails to fit my sorted categories.

The reality of Father, Son, and Spirit being one and yet being individually three is beyond the human DNA to understand and to sort.

This seems like a good time to apply the words of the author of the Book of Ecclesiastes from Old Testament Scripture:

Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few (Ecclesiastes 5:2).

Trinity1Isn’t it enough to act upon the invitation issued in the Biblical narrative that traces the story of creation by the Holy Trinity and live in the Holy presence of that story?

If by faith and trust I live my life in the presence of the Holy Trinity—without understanding every last detail of the Godhead’s actions in my daily walk—isn’t that sufficient?

Perhaps I don’t need to overthink every detail of the Holy Trinity. Why make it so hard?

Why not just enjoy Father, Son, and Spirit and let my actions flow from their presence?

Stay tuned.

Dr. Gary J. Sorrells

A GodReflection on Life in the Holy Trinity