Categories
forgiveness

Mercy always triumphs over judgment

When we see others acting in ways that don’t align with our conscience in Christ, we are called to be merciful.

We were forgiven by a merciful God who carried our sins on the cross and set us free to live a spiritual life filled with his love.

The world might judge and condemn, but we live under the power of grace. We speak up for mercy, forgiveness and love for everyone being crushed by the destructive systems of this world.

We must not keep silent when others are being crushed. Indignation has its place as long as we don’t lose our minds and become hostile, giving way to expressions of evil.

When it is necessary to confront others to assert our values, we must do so with calm and loving words.

We should pray with a hopeful spirit and ask that the One who made us converts the perpetrators of hatred and the ones being affected by it into expressions of his love.

His mercy always triumphs over judgment.

And when we allow him to make his home in us, and seek him first, his mercy triumphs over our judgment.

Without him, we would be agents of destruction. With him, we are agents of his peace and cooperators for his loving word.

Categories
faith

We become stronger when we stop defending ourselves

I grew up being told to defend myself. You probably did too.

And I have to admit it: my instincts used to tell me the exact same. Sometimes they still do. But I know now that the best defence that I can ever get is not my own, or anyone else’s.

It is the wise, timeless and powerful defence from the One who is the master of everything we see (and cannot see).

Relying on God to do the weight lifting takes confidence in his love, trust in his ways and faith in his power to transform us.

We become stronger when we stop defending ourselves and let God defend us instead. While we might fail, he always succeeds and does exactly what needs to be done to deliver us from our oppressors and bring peace to our lives.

Relying on God to defend us is a daily exercise.

But his strength becomes our strength when we let him take over from us. All we have to do is step back and watch his love at play making the impossible possible in every aspect of our lives.

Categories
love

Giving the Good News with the right Spirit

The Good News bring us hope and peace. Which is why we should never use them to crush others and frame them as sinners.

We are all sinners and capable of the same things.

As we start navigating the Word, we will realize all these horrible things about ourselves and others. But we do so with the confidence and peace of mind that God forgave us through Jesus.

There are also a million other sins we won’t be aware of. Possibly things this world looks up to. And with God lifting the burden of guilt from us with his forgiveness, we will be able to, under his grace, make better choices as we move forward.

It is only when we put love (=God) first that our lives reflect His love, peace, forgiveness and hope.

And the greatest of all these is love.

We are called to love one another, not judge one another.

Categories
spirituality

Converting from Christianity to Jesus

There are many layers of understanding to uncover when we desire to have a relationship with God, but the hardest one to reach is the understanding that religion has nothing to do with God. This includes Christianity in all its denominations, and even its non-denominations.

Our lives might look a certain way from the outside, but only God knows what’s in our hearts. We are called to follow Jesus, not Christianity, which is a world system that tells us what our lives should be like and who we have to be to belong.

A lot of us seem to refuse to accept that Christianity is a religion and, as such, just as problematic as every other religion that has ever been created by men. Yes, religion is and has always been an obstacle between us and God’s love.

Jesus teaches us that we can not separate wheat from chaff. Yet being a Christian is largely about saying who’s living a godly life and who’s not. This is also why most churches are empty.

As Jesus’ followers, we are not called to tell people how they should live as a condition to be saved. God loves all of us and he saves whoever he wants. The transformation that he operates in our lives is unique to each of us and entirely up to his will.

I am often appalled by the oppressive Christian beliefs about our sexuality, which reveals their legalistic systems.

As a friend of loving people who are gay, I can absolutely not stand the oppressive Christian preaching that singles them out as if they were the worst sinners in the world.

What about the heart of stone ready to exclude and condemn someone for love, albeit same-sex? Is that not sinful? Remember, mercy always triumphs over judgment. God is not going to send a loving brother to hell because of his sexual orientation.

As a woman, I can absolutely not stand the oppressive Christian preaching about virginity and marriage for life. This is being preached among many who are abused, abusers or too conservative to promote a satisfying relationship.

When we pervert Jesus’ message of love to promote a deeply legalistic and religious lifestyle, it becomes evil and oppresses people instead of saving them into a gracious spiritual life.

But God puts his word in people’s hearts however he wants, including people who haven’t heard of Jesus. This truth is offensive to most Christians, blinded that they are by their religious arrogance.

Following Jesus and abiding to Christianity are thus mutually exclusive. Yes, there are followers of Jesus who happen to attend Christian churches, because there is a good community there. Yet the vast majority of Christians are not followers of Jesus.

Christians’ conviction that believing into Jesus requires religious knowledge and practice shows a profound lack of understanding of God’s almighty power and plan for every one of us.

Following Jesus, not abiding to Christianity, is what saves us from our own pursuits of adequacy and worthiness. He calls us to lose our lives so we can become a home to his life-giving love.

Remember, our God is a God of the lost. After he finds us, we still desperately need his loving grace to guide us along the way.

Categories
love

Only Love can renew our thoughts

Love rescues us from the darkness that tries to rob us of our divine peace. As the Lord fills us with his love, our thoughts are renewed and we enjoy peace that exceeds all understanding.

It is this new nature, from God, who is love, that we can now put on. So let’s seek to say only what is good and helpful, so that our words may be an encouragement to those who hear them.

Categories
recovery

A lesson on resilience

I watched Schindler’s List for the first time a few weeks ago. The resilience of those people while facing the absolute worst of humanity could only have come from God. They would have never made it without him, and neither would we.

I believe all our sufferings are relevant. But watching a movie on such a horrific story really puts things into perspective. It is a tough watch, but a humbling experience. Our sufferings look so small compared to these dehumanizing events.

Another key aspect of our dark history is how often it takes a monster to defeat another monster. We know God has used ruthless characters to defeat oppressors of his people.

Although it might look like these ruthless individuals are doing what’s right, we are not in a position to justify them or rely on them. Their cruel actions have good outcomes exclusively because God can bring good out of any situation.

We should always remind ourselves that we can only trust and rely on God

It is God who gives us the resilience to walk through the most terrifying moments with the confidence that they will yield good outcomes of a spiritual nature in our lives.

Holding on to his love saves us from losing our ability to be grateful, loving and forgiving in the cruelest of circumstances.

As we walk with God, we know everything is going to pass. At the end of the tunnel, there is light, goodness and unfailing love.

Categories
forgiveness

We heal when we forgive everyone

Forgiveness sets us free, but selective forgiveness has the opposite effect. We only heal when we forgive everyone.

No exceptions.

Serial killers, dictators, rapists? People who have cheated, abused and committed crimes against us? Yes, we are called to forgive them too. Our calling is to forgive the whole world.

If we forgive only the people who we think deserve to be forgiven, we are doing nothing more than judging them based on merit and singling them out.

When we take this path, we inevitably feed resentment. That’s how we end up chained to the people we can’t forgive. 

We have to forgive everyone. Instantly.

Forgiveness is an attitude towards life. Even people who have no relationship with God know that. What they don’t know is that it is only by God’s grace that we can forgive with a loving heart.

When we seek him first, we experience the power of forgiveness as a blessing. And it releases us from our chains straight into his loving arms, where we enjoy his peace and joy.

Categories
spirituality

Mending our brokenness

We all come to a point in our lives where our brokenness becomes unbearable. When we reach this point of no return, if we humbly ask for help, help comes in powerful ways.

Yet most of us will spend a lifetime seeking help for our brokenness in all the wrong places. Going from numerology to philosophy. From therapy to meditation. From hypnosis to healers. From atheism to agnosticism. From buddhism to spiritism. I’ve been there. I just never tried drugs.

Seekers won’t listen if you tell them that none of it is going to work. I was a seeker and seekers are blinded by their own interests. They have to go through it all and see the truth for themselves.

And the truth is that until we hit rock bottom, we are not going to have the completely broken, humbled heart to surrender and ask for help from the only One who can help us.

It is only when we get to that point that we are called to believe in Jesus. And he will mend our brokenness with his divine love.

The peace and light that come with living in a love-filled spirit allow us to clearly see our battles and the beautiful way ahead as we go through them. These battles are our temptations.

Jesus experienced all the temptations that try us on a daily basis. Everything in this world that has crossed your mind has also crossed his, struck his senses and provoked identical feelings.

His humanity is not different from ours. He lived in the same body we have, had the desires we have and felt the brokenness we feel. It is only because he knows exactly what we go through, and yet was not overpowered by it, that he can help us.

It is God who operates in us both the will and the readiness to resist our temptations. We can’t resist them out of our own efforts. His calling is for us to rely on him in our struggles. But he is the only one who does the work and all credit goes to him.

When we don’t rely on him, we give in to paranoid responses to temptations. We become disturbed by each temptation and experience shame, to which we respond with obsessive prayer, fasting and repetitive requests for forgiveness.

It took God incarnated as a human to overcome all our temptations. Jesus’ humanity is our own and, knowing that we are forgiven, we should not feel ashamed. It takes God making his home in us and operating his power in us to resist.

We all need to learn to allow Jesus to walk us by the hand. Our calling is to believe into him and seek him first in our lives, so we can enjoy his peace while he works on us.

Categories
Church of U2 love

I Love, therefore I Am

Love is the I Am. The almighty power that created the universe and gave us the divine ability to be conscious of ourselves.

We know Love when we believe in it, seek it first in the spirit and express it by loving one another.

Love makes it possible for us to love those who love us, those who hate us and everyone in between.

If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them!

Jesus via Luke

When we are fearful or afraid, Love is lacking in us, so we cling to the world. But the world and everything in it is going to pass.

U2 faithfully sings it in their worship song Love is all we have left.

I wanted the world but you knew better
And that all we have is immortality

U2

Jesus teaches us that love has no fear, because perfect Love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.

God is Love. Anyone who knows Love lives in peace and makes a conscious decision to love others, regardless of merit.

We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.

Jesus via John

Nothing can separate us from the love of God except our own freedom to deny him. But why would we?

When we know Love and live in Love, we know God.

Love is God’s imprint on our spirit.

Categories
spirituality

God’s gifts bring joy, not fear

We know that we have a gift from God when it makes us peaceful and when it is used by God to also bring peace to others.

We are free to accept these gifts or reject them. They don’t dominate or overpower us in any way.

God’s gifts don’t make us gloomy or fearful.

If we experience gloom and fear about an unusual manifestation within ourselves, that’s not a gift from God.

God is all good, all light and expresses himself through love.

Any ability we have to see and interact with who’s dead or to manipulate how others think and feel is not from God.

It is only when we rely on his light and love to guide us that we have the strength to rebuke this darkness that offers us pseudo powers that ultimately only aim to separate us from God and destroy us.

As always, God gives us the freedom to say “yes” or “no” to everything. To life, death, hatred, love – even to his salvation!

He is ready to rescue us from the expressions of evil in the world when we decide that we don’t want them.

We can ask God to take away the evil oppression that’s troubling us and he will replace this darkness with his light.

He called us to a life of freedom in the spirit and his loving power is manifested in us when we love one another.