When the issue of death is dealt with – when the fate of death is settled and the fear of death is relinquished – the finding of life is revealed and the freedom to live is released.
BRINGING DEAD PEOPLE TO LIFE
People turn to any variety of self-improvement strategies – diets, exercise, yoga, meditation, positive thinking, religion – all trying to make big people smaller, weak people stronger, dull people brighter, bad people better, and good people “gooder”…yet only Christianity deals with the principal human predicament – that of bringing dead people to life.
Although training your body has certain payoffs, godliness benefits all things—holding promise for life here and now and promise for the life that is coming. 1 Timothy 4:8 (VOICE)
And you he has quickened to life also, who were dead in trespass and sin, in which you walked in time past according to the course of this world, and followed the prince that rules in the air – the spirit that now works in the children of unbelief, Ephesians 2:1-2 (NMB)
When you were dead in your sins, you were not set free from the sinful things of the world. But God forgave your sins and gave you new life through Christ. Colossians 2:13 (NLV)
This “realm of death” describes our former state, for we were held in sin’s grasp. But now, we’ve been resurrected out of that “realm of death” never to return, for we are forever alive and forgiven of all our sins! Colossians 2:13 (TPT)
BE JESUS FREE!
So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free. John 8:36
Are you free – free from comparing yourself to others, competing against others, and coveting what they have? Are you free – free from guilting and shaming yourself over woulda’s, coulda’s, and shoulda’s? Are you free – free from disappointments, failures, and unmet expectations? Are you free – free from prejudice, fear, and hate toward those who are different from you and disagree with you? Are you free – free to be you and becoming the best you that you can be? Are you free?
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1
No one can sidestep JESUS forever, one day everybody has to deal with Him, and we each get to decide when and how. It can be quick and easy or long and hard – you choose.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30
HOW LOW WILL A SPECIES GO?
We humans have gone mad – “angry” mad and “crazy” mad. We may possess the highest intellect of all species, but we behave at the lowest, weakest, and most immature levels in fulfilling the basic purpose of our existence:
Let the conclusion of all of these thoughts be heard: Fear God and obey his commandments, for this is what it means to be human. Ecclesiastes 12:13
We are human, but we seem determined to dehumanize one another. We exercise our intellect and innovation to use and abuse one another in horrific ways. We tend to evaluate everyone we encounter and decide who is above us, who is below us, and who is with us; who is for us and who is against us; who are friends and who are foes.
We all do this. But why? What drives us to devalue and dehumanize one another?
What does one group (or one person) gain in tearing down another group (or another person)? Where do these deplorable acts and despicable intentions come from?
All the things the world can offer to you—the allure of pleasure, the passion to have things, and the pompous sense of superiority—do not come from the Father. These are the rotten fruits of this world. 1 John 2:16
When other creatures do cruelty to each other it is mostly a matter of survival, but not so with us – we humans do cruelty out of spite, and as a way of gaining some measure of significance.
Where does such hate originate?
Why do our differences produce such fear? Why do our differences provoke such animosity? Why do our differences promote such violence?
Our differences should not divide us, but further develop us. When we encounter other humans – people who are similar, but not the same as us – they provide us with opportunities to grow – to consider fresh approaches, to create new solutions, to combine shared visions.
At the crux of this issue, is whether our differences generate a reaction of fear or a response of love within us.
Fear divides, Love unites; Fear creates tensions, Love calms tensions; Fear looks for an advantage, Love looks for common ground; Fear points fingers, Love shakes hands; Fear incites fights, Love invites forgiveness.
As human beings, we are created with a capacity to have “free will.” Yet our wills are not free – as clearly evidenced by the ways in which we demean and devour, maim and manipulate our fellow members; in how we compare ourselves to others, compete against others, and covet what others have.
We have no true degree of “free will” until our wills have been freed – freed by GOD and His true light, His unconditional love, and His eternal life – available by His generous grace, through faith in the death and resurrection of His glorious Son, Jesus Christ.
The problems we are dealing with today are not political matters, but personal ones. Governments cannot dictate decency. The culprits are hardened hearts and haughty minds. And until we are touched by the only supreme and superior One – cleansed in Jesus’ redeeming blood and transformed in the renewing power of the Holy Spirit – our wills are held captive in fear – fear that has us chained and locked in the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life; fear which counteracts our capacity to love those of our species who are like us, but not the same as us.
There is no fear where love exists. Rather, perfect love banishes fear, for fear involves punishment, and the person who lives in fear has not been perfected in love. 1 John 4:18
May our species advance to higher, not lower, levels of existence. May we humans of all countries, colors, creeds, and convictions, learn how to accept and appreciate our differences, and live together in the perfect love of Jesus – a love that cancels, corrects, and casts out all fear.
The nuts and bolts of the daily Christian life is a simple and straightforward state of affairs: being at peace with GOD and at war with sin.
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, Romans 5:1
How will this dying world be delivered from its forever death with such a divided, divisive, and denominated Church?
I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. John 17:21