Categories
god love

Do you really want to understand?

After my conversion, I was amazed that some people I knew could quote passages from the bible. Word by word, number by number. It was incredible.

But after living as an atheist for 15 years, and having been raised as a Catholic for another 18, I still had the misguided notion that I did not need to read the bible.

In my first attempts to read the bible, starting with the new testament, it was painful. I was not ready to see myself as the sinner portrayed in so many passages, because I didn’t know at that point who God was and what Jesus Christ actually meant.

In fact, at that point, reading the bible did nothing for me. It really was just a book.

It was only a few months later into my conversion, and after a series of misguided pursuits of new age, pagan spirituality, that  I received guidance to understand the divine message of love that is present in all of the books of the bible.

This guidance came in the form of a non-religious pastor who does not belong to any denomination – and I know that it was God who lead me to him.

It’s been a few years since my conversion and my relationship with the bible is of a completely different nature now.

I read the bible daily, using four different translations on three different mediums (phone, kindle and print). I still follow and am deeply grateful for that pastor’s guidance on a daily basis, but God has also given me understanding as I read the bible on my own.

When I say understanding, I am referring very specifically to a level of consciousness, meaning and feeling that deepens as I revisit all the different books.

There have been times when reading a chapter, or a whole book, left me completely humbled, overpowered and transformed by God’s love.

The time I spend reading the bible is by far the best moment of my day. It takes me to a place of peace filled with love of a nature that does not exist in this world.

And the point I wanted to make with this post is that we genuinely need God to give us understanding in order to seek to know him further by reading his word.

It is pointless to advise anyone to read the bible in order to seek a deeper understanding of God and his word. I know better than that. That is not how it works.

So whether it is you who does not yet seek to know God’s love for us further or a loved one that you wish would: just pray that the Lord gives you or him/her understanding.

When the time is right, he gives us that powerful understanding. And he takes us on a journey of deeper levels of that understanding as he sees fit.

Of course we must first want that understanding. 

So the question is: do you really want to understand?

Categories
love

To whom shall we go?

The more I read the gospels, the more I realize how Peter’s reaction to Jesus asking if he also wanted to go away echoes what many of us Christians believe in.

If we wouldn’t follow Jesus, to whom would we go?

Even from a logical standpoint based purely on worldly ideas, there is no one else that is worth following in this world. And things here ain’t getting any better!

I don’t know about you, but I consider myself extremely blessed for believing. Because believing and having faith are not my merit, but the fruit of God’s grace in me.

What have I (and you) done to deserve such a blessing that allows us to transcend the limits and struggles of this lifetime? Nothing!

We are looking at eternal life without any merit whatsoever coming from a world where merit determines who you are, what you can do and how far you can go.

So let’s celebrate the way, the truth and the light everyday through love.

Because God is love.

Categories
love

Believing in God

There are a lot of people out there who are seeking the truth about the meaning of life – and the existence of God.

As a former atheist who experienced a conversion, I feel for them because they are searching with their intellect. And that will lead them nowhere.

Our intellect, being strictly limited by the rules of this world, cannot grasp God.

Faced with this impotence, some of us have been touched by God to believe. And that’s really the only way to believe, because:

“The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

Categories
god love

There’s just one way

I’ve known a lot of people in my life who were searching for answers to quench their spiritual restlessness. All of them tried out different things, from religion to mystic practices. Most settled with a way that seemed more graspable.

But there’s just one way: love.

This love doesn’t come in isolation, you are compelled to love and to be loved.

This love is God. And God visited us incarnated in Jesus. Jesus teaches us very clearly the way.

You don’t have to be a Christian to know this love. God reveals himself to whomever he wants – at the right time. In fact, many Christians know a lot about the bible, but little to nothing about this love.

This love is not negotiable and there’s no bargain. It’s unconditional.

You know when it’s in you, through God’s grace, because it changes you and it changes the way you look at the world.

There are other ways, ways without God, that are known and visible. They might seem exciting, but can you handle the rejection? The emptiness? The loneliness? The hopelessness? The indifference?

There’s only one way that leads you to fullness, hope and genuine love. Step into the abyss of what you don’t know yet. And let God pave the way for you!

Categories
god

Many religious people are atheist. They just don’t know it!

There’s a lot of backlash these days against religious people coming from atheists. But membership to a religion doesn’t warrant a relationship with God.

If you don’t have a personal relationship with God, chances are you don’t really believe in him. At most you might have become attached to a certain concept of God – the concept that your religion sells and that conveniently supports their business.

Atheists reject this God of religion. Indeed this is a mediocre God that could only have been made up by men to control their fellow men.

Atheists are absolutely right! There is no such God!

If you are religious and attached to a concept of God that does not correspond to the true God, the God personified in Jesus, then you are as much an atheist as those who don’t believe there is a God.

Categories
god love

Love is the platform to connect with God, not the intellect

Trying to intellectually grasp passages of the bible as a means to strengthen faith is very common, but also the wrong way to connect with God. 

Given our limited intellectual ability, God makes little to no sense. It is not surprising that so many Christians are practically atheists or that there are so many atheists and agnostics in the world.

The way to connect with God is to seek him with a humble heart that surrenders, transcend this world and embrace love as our ‘platform’. 

Categories
faith

Faith minus religion

cropped-6644851861_614b5d53b8_b.jpg

It is easy to understand people’s reluctance to associate with religion. It is also understandable that a lot of people turn away from religion and become atheists. I was one of those people. But here’s the catch: faith is not dependant on religion. And, yes, religion is man made.

You can have faith and never step foot in a church. Why? Because we are the church. The church was never a place except when men decided to conceptualize it as such. But that’s not what Jesus taught. If anything, the church is ‘inside’ of us – it is that ‘shrine’ within our soul where we connect with each other and with God.

What about the Bible? The Old Testament gives testimony to everything leading to Jesus’ coming. And the New Testament is the good news from God incarnated in Jesus. Is there a difference in tone between the Old and New Testament? Of course! Times were different, that’s the ‘language’ we understood. Can a father speak to a child and to an adult using the same type of language and logic?

When we set aside our human expectation of deceit and our human intellectual arrogance, we’re humbled enough to start facing the Bible as testimony about our nature across time and the good news of how we can become better. With Jesus as your hermeneutical key, you will be able to access wisdom contained in the Bible that is unparalleled – and you’ll also be empowered to disregard any wording or message that doesn’t align with Jesus’ teachings.

That’s how you can subtract religion from faith. Empower yourself to attain the wisdom contained in the Bible. Don’t let religion stop you from walking this beautiful and empowering path – the only one in this world that will genuinely set you free.