200 To Choose From!

John 14:20 In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. (ESV)

And there it is in black and white.

So this post is number 200.  I would say the “proof” of any “work” in Jesus is the fruit.  200 in 17 months…you do the math.  I hope you find answers, find questions, find understanding, find peace…FIND JESUS in at least one of these posts.  For number 200 I’ll give you a quick summary of where we are.

John 8 is an awesome book in the Bible.  I would recommend that right now you pick up your favorite translation (or on-line Bible) and read John 8.  Here is a good verse:

John 8:58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” (ESV)

This is where Jesus ends.  He begins John 8 by demonstration of who He is…mercy and Grace for the woman caught in adultery.  He goes on to tell the Jews that they “just don’t get it.”  Then He finishes with I AM.  He tells them He is God.  Not just God in Heaven but God with them.  GOD IS WITH US…that is the truth Jesus came to reveal.  That is the belief that we believe.  We must know and believe that God is with us.  That is what Jesus is talking about in John 8:34.

A life apart from Jesus is a life of unbelief. We are slaves to unbelief when we are slaves to anything other than Jesus. In Jesus there is no unbelief.  In Jesus there is freedom. (LLT)

Jesus used Abraham as the example in this chapter. The Jews said Abraham was their father. Jesus said God was His father. What these Jews missed was what Abraham understood… “GOD WITH US.  We need a revelation of Jesus.  We need to see clearly that God is with us.  We need to be born again to see.

The truth that Jesus reveals is simple but so hard for us to accept.

God is with us and has never been against us.

The incarnate Jesus, Immanuel, Son of God is the undeniable revelation of that truth. That truth however, is the one that drives the religious crazy. The religious lose their identity in the truth of Jesus.  Their identity has been derived from a falsely perceived, self-effort power and control over their lives. They are certain that God is against us and they must do something to change His opinion. They are nothing more than Adam and Eve sewing fig leaves. This is why the simple truth of Jesus, His infinite Grace, the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit and His loving mercy is so vehemently opposed by the religious. They declare “there must be strings attached.” The underpinning of all the religious attacks against Grace and the miraculous is nothing more than childish, selfish, whining: “If God has always been for me then what is there for me to do?”  The answer is simple, get born again. Jesus said when we are born again we see the Kingdom of Heaven. When we are born again we enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.  When we live His life from outside the gates of hell we clearly see the lies of the devil. God isn’t mad at us. God wants nothing of our performance. Even our oBEdience is to BElieve in Him. The works we do are to believe God is with us (John 6:29).

If we can see clearly what happened in the garden we can see who God really is and why Jesus is the exact expression of Him. We hid and God pursued. We were naked and ashamed and God gave us clothes. We disobeyed and God provided. We sinned and God gave us mercy. We were dead in condemnation and God gave us a way out. If we can just see that God doesn’t have issues with us, but we have issues with Him.  Because of our fallen nature we have run from Him. When we see that God’s expression is Grace, then the totality of the truth of Jesus becomes so clear. Jesus is our sacrifice, not because God needs one, but we need one. Jesus is our payment, not because God needs one but we need one. Jesus had to go to the cross not because God needed Him there but we needed to see Him there. It has always been God providing.

John 14:6 Jesus is the way the truth and the life.

Can you see it now?  Can you see the way, the truth and the life?  He is Jesus. He has always been Jesus. He still is Jesus.

The devil and his lies have always been the real issue. He used poisoned fruit and a lie about God to set the stage. He is still doing the same thing today. Often he uses religion and church to keep us quaking  in the same bushes, hiding under our fig leaves and believing God wants us to make our own clothes. But there is Jesus, our robe of righteousness. We have been blinded by the ruler of this world to such an extent that even His righteous robe is something the devil tells us we can take off or lose if we mess up. If we would only just believe. Can we believe in who God really is? Let us stop believing the lies. God wants you to do nothing but believe everything about who He is. It is that simple.  And like all things with God, when we begin to see His goodness, there is more. This saving work of Jesus ushers in a new Kingdom and it comes with power to back it up.

Just like in the garden, when we are at our lowest point, God gives us heaven tailored and empowered suits of freedom. It is the goodness of God that leads to repentance and the gospel is the power of God that brings salvation. We are saved, healed, delivered, set free and given life by Him and through Him. It isn’t a fairy tale story of an afterlife existence. It is now and it is real and it is powerful. This is where our faith gets most tested. We ponder in our human hearts “is God really that good?” The devil doesn’t want us to know we are free from condemnation.  The devil REALLY doesn’t want us to know that the power of God works through us, just like Jesus, to bring the Kingdom of Heaven to earth. Christ is in us as the hope of glory. His power in us is assurance of hope. His power through us is the evidence of things people can’t see. We have become His very expression of faith on the earth. This faith in our powerful, merciful and loving God changes everything.

Our freedom is from Him and it is indeed freedom that can’t be influenced by circumstance. It is freedom that brings solutions. It is freedom that has power to change circumstances. It is the freedom of Jesus that we get to bring everywhere we go. His power through us liberates people. It sets them free. Think of all the chains: sickness, poverty, anger, offenses, neglect, lies, remorse, pain, illness, disease, broken relationships, broken hearts, broken promises, deceit, destruction, condemnation, shame, guilt, regret…and the list goes on and on ending with the ultimate bondage…death. Jesus has victory over all that stuff including death. Jesus sets everyone free from that list and every other work of the devil.

Guess what?  We play a part in that liberation. We GET TO be a part of His freedom imparting solution. We are filled with Him. He chooses to use us to be like Jesus. We get to heal the sick, cast out demons (list above), raise the dead (spiritually and actually) and cleanse the lepers (incurable and rejected).  We have the breath of life living in us. We are His kids. We are Jesus to every lost and captive person on this planet. I think that is a pretty good deal. We are set free and get used by God to see others set free. We get to see the Kingdom of the world replaced by the Kingdom of God. We get to step on the head of the devil and all his minions. We get Jesus.  We get God with us.

John 1:1-5 In the very beginning God was already there. And before His Face Was His Living Expression.  And this Living Expression Was with God, yet fully God!  They were together— face to face In the very beginning!  And through His creative inspiration This Living Expression Made all things,  For nothing has existence Apart from Him!  Life came into being.  Because of Him, For His Life Is light for all humanity.  And this Living Expression Is the Light that bursts through gloom.  The Light that darkness could not diminish! (The Passion Translation)

So go back and read some old posts. I think you will see some progression in thought and understanding. That is a good thing. That shows growth. 200 to choose from. Pass it on. Begin your journey of seeing people set free because you spread the truth. Maybe one of these posts is just what someone needs to jump a hurdle, make a decision or just get in the pool. Jesus saved the world and often he uses people just like you and me.

Yay God!

Lance

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