Categories
forgiveness love

How to be aware without judging

Thanks to sharing God’s divinity, we are able to love everyone. This love is His power operating in us. At the same time, He gives us discernment, so that we can make better decisions in life in accordance with his teachings through Jesus.

It is important to be aware that someone’s behavior doesn’t reflect the teachings of Jesus, who is God incarnated and thus teaches us how to become the best human beings we can be.

But if I turn to attack this person, using Jesus as a weapon, and feeding my attack from a place of condemnation and sense of superiority, I have lost the battle against the evil in me.

Acting this way is no better than any other person in this world who doesn’t know Jesus. In fact, when I claim to know Jesus, my attack is far worse than if it would have come out of ignorance.

When we are of the same mind as Jesus, we are aware of what is not good without judging others. Even He, being God, didn’t come here to judge us, so why should we judge one another?

He teaches us to pray for others who we believe to be misguided.

We might not like their behavior, and God is not asking us to keep or seek company that doesn’t do us good. But we can love them and pray for them to be transformed.

Categories
forgiveness god

We can only repent when God forgives us

Genuine repentance, sincere and fruitful, produces change of mind, attitude and posture. But we are only capable of repentance when God forgives us.

God’s forgiveness is what produces repentance.

The blessing of repentance comes from God. He crushes us, provoking our heart. He knows us, he wants us, and he forgave us through Jesus across time and space.

Yet we are creatures of spacetime and, every time we sin, we need his eternal forgiveness to provoke our repentance.

Repentance is always preceded by divine forgiveness. We have to be crushed by God’s sovereign forgiveness that turns us inside out to surrender. As we surrender, we are transformed.

Our spirit recognizes a sovereignty that comes before any human conclusion. So even those who don’t genuinely believe in God experience repentance. Repentance is God’s power at play.

When we repent, we know that God has forgiven us.

Categories
god love

We are not alone

We all have tasted loneliness at some point in our lives.

It isn’t simply about not having company, but about having quality company that does us good. And that is not easy to find.

But the good news is, we are far from being alone. We are meant to be. And this loneliness that clouds our judgment and keeps us from seeing with the eyes of faith can be defeated.

So how do we defeat it? Well, the answer is: we don’t. It is the One who made us with unconditional love who defeats it. But he can only defeat our loneliness when we humbly accept his love.

Our lives are transformed when we become conscious of this love and gain the confidence, through faith, that we are not alone.

When we follow his ways, there’s no reason to feel lonely, because he gives us every opportunity to be with others who reflect his love.

Yet if we still feel lonely at times, we just have to call his name and he will be there through the people he brings into our lives.

Categories
love spirituality

Love is the only way

When I was an atheist, I nurtured a fondness and admiration for Jesus. Almost a reverence. I just didn’t believe that he was divine or that there was even such a thing as divine.

I remember a good friend of mine explaining to me that him being divine was the very reason why he was the way he was. Being an atheist and a well-read intellectual, I had a firm conviction that she was living an illusion that helped her find solace from the hardships of life. An illusion I associated with religion.

Since my conversion, my experience has radically changed. But it’s still obvious to me that many people talk about a Jesus, not the Jesus.

So next time you hear about Jesus, take your time and evaluate who they are talking about. When we seek to be of the same mind as the One who is unconditional love, people might not agree with us, but they will experience that love through us and feel a sense of peace.

But if we talk from a place of judgment, to exclude others and elevate ourselves, that’s coming from our own evil nature, not Jesus.

Jesus is a deeply personal experience that starts with a calling and becomes an entanglement with his Spirit. That’s how we share his divinity and are able to live through him, enjoying a transcendental freedom from the slavery of the evil systems of this world.

We already know about the love, mercy and forgiveness we received from the One who called us. So let us be expressions of his love for others who haven’t yet received his calling.

Categories
god love

A relationship like no other

Every time I find myself in a situation where someone is trying to understand what I believe in, I realize how tricky it is to explain it with just words.

When we are called, we know who called us and we develop a foundational relationship with him. But there is no name for it, because this relationship isn’t a religious one or a secular one or a pagan one.

It’s a love relationship with the one who made us, who also happens to be the One who made everything in the universe and who came to the world he created to show what being his offspring looks like when we do his will.

There’s no name or even explanation in this world that could possibly do justice to such a transcendental relationship. And this is the point I want to make. Cause often times, we create road blocks for others to walk with us by accepting a religious label as a way to define who we are.

Being simply a follower living under God’s grace is also what’s helped me have inspiring conversations with others along the way who are seeking God, but don’t even realize that’s what they’re doing.

I personally like to keep it simple by saying I follow Jesus. Over the years it’s become easier to manage the expected confusion that most people experience when they notice I seem religious, but in reality am far from it.

We are God’s children, not Catholics or Protestants. Even calling ourselves Christians has its challenges. It is wonderful to find a congregation where we feel built up by our family of believers, but there’s no need to adhere to its label.

Categories
love spirituality

Grace is an act of love that frees us from the slavery of merit

Being raised in the cause-and-effect systems of this world, where what we get is directly associated with what we put in, we struggle to accept grace. Indeed grace is not from this world.

When we know that we receive grace without deserving it, we experience a powerful humbling effect. And we are humbled further as we understand that there’s nothing we could possibly do to deserve it. Ever.

Living under God’s grace also means that the outcome of just about any situation in life will always contribute to our own good, as long as we love him. As a result, what we call good and bad times become completely relative.

God’s grace cannot be reconciled with the cause-and-effect ways of the world.

And it is the very self-righteousness of wanting people, including ourselves, to deserve what they get, or not get what they don’t deserve, that keeps believers from enjoying the freedom that God’s grace gives us.

As a believer, I know that struggles are particularly good at building me up, while the worldly good times I have add little to no growth to my spirit.

We can only transcend what seems to be an “incoherence” from a worldly perspective when we accept grace as the divine force that transforms us into who we are meant to be. And trust the ways of the one who made us.

Categories
forgiveness love

We live in peace when we become agents of peace in the world

Right after my conversion from atheist to believer, I had this group of friends who were Christian libertarians. They loved guns and hated minorities – just not publicly.

Being new in the faith, I took all that as normal human flaws and tried my best to be patient with them. But as my understanding of the word deepened, the strong shift from love to hate just didn’t feel right.

Friends, there’s a moment in our lives when we need to take a stand if we want to walk with Jesus. We can’t walk with Jesus and invite violence into our lives.

The first one you kill when you buy a gun

Following Jesus transforms the animalistic beasts that we are into the pacified, loving little Jesuses that we are meant to be. But when we’re not seeing this transformation in ourselves, we need to search our spirit, as God already does, to fully understand why we sometimes still shift from love to hate.

The one we claim to follow teaches us to love and pray for our enemies. If we can’t, we’re either pretending to follow him, or we are deliberating to follow that other one that he gave his life to save us from.

Thanks to God’s grace I found peace, in him, to fight the good fight and dare to love in an unforgiving world. It is a daily exercise, and one that we can absolutely achieve as long as we rely on him who makes everything possible.

Categories
healing love

How you can put grief into perspective with love

Death ceases to have a pervasive grasp on us when we know exactly where we came from and the beautiful home we’re heading to. We just have to let love lead us there.

As contradictory as it seems, fear of death is the very cause of a lot of the self-destruction that many people inflict on themselves – and it rubs off on others around them too. Without the certainty of eternal life, this life becomes all about self-indulgence and, needless to say, that always leads to emptiness.

I have personally experienced the hurtful side effects of someone choosing the path of self-destruction while grieving. I tried to support this person that I was close to, only to realize – a little too late – that there was really no amount of support that could possibly help someone without a spiritual life. Someone who decided to treat himself and others as if their lives were meaningless.

I was traumatized by this experience, and I know there are a lot of relationships out there being shattered because of grief. It is traumatic to be around someone who chooses to bury themselves with the dead instead of choosing to live and love the ones who are alive. And who love them.

The separation from a loved one is painful, but we must remind ourselves that it is only temporary. And if we live our lives under God’s grace, we will not fall into the destructive darkness of grief. His love will strengthen us with the ability to hope, heal and love ourselves and others.

While we might miss the absence of a loved one, the gracious response to it should be an overwhelming joy for the fact that our loved one is with God.

This joy proves that we have a genuine relationship with God. On the other hand, its absence proves that we haven’t really accepted God as the master of our lives and still live deeply attached to the deadly systems of this world.

Everyday we are called to live our lives in spirit and truth by the one who conquered death and saved us from it. All we have to do is follow him.

Categories
faith love

Why gender is irrelevant to God

I know it is important that we feel comfortable in our own skin. But only love provides that comfort. When we are filled with love, we transcend the body and live peacefully in the spirit.

We, believers, know that this world is full of struggles, so we don’t wrestle with it. Being accepted, liked or even respected aren’t our battles. Our only battle is with evil trying to keep us enslaved to the deadly systems of this world.

We know that the one who has loved us from the beginning was neither accepted, liked or respected in this world. So why would we?

God invites us to live in spirit and truth. He doesn’t care whether our bodies or genetics spell male, female or anything else in between this world fights for.

We can start living an eternal life – in the spirit – while still in this temporary body. But instead a lot of us are attached to the body.

And make no mistake, friend: this attachment is not just random. This focus on the body takes away the focus from the spirit and is just another way evil finds to keep us trapped in its many cycles of self-destruction.

The good news is that instead of wrestling with our bodies, we can choose to thrive in the peace that only the reality of God’s love gives us.

All we have to do is accept his love.

When we are filled with his love, we are able to love ourselves for who we are as a path towards who we were always meant to be.

Our imperfect bodies might not be able to reflect our spiritual perfection, but we can live a fulfilling life regardless. We just need to choose love as our master instead of idolizing gender.

Categories
healing love

God healed overnight what therapy couldn’t heal in years

When I was an atheist, two psychologists helped me navigate and cope with a series of life events that crushed me. But they never healed me.

To say that I was hanging by a thread would be an understatement. And although I have a lot of appreciation for deeply humane and loving psychologists like the ones who helped me, there’s only so much they can do.

I couldn’t imagine myself going one week without therapy. At that point I felt emotionally crippled. My life was a full-time burden.

That’s when I did the unimaginable. One night I surrendered and asked God for help. Being an atheist, I had no idea what I was doing. But I had a crushed, humble heart as I called him. And God listened.

God healed overnight what two different psychologists couldn’t heal in years.

For the first time in my life I knew that there was one who loved me just the way I always wanted to be loved. And his divine love set me free.

God’s love worked in me to forgive others who had been the root cause of a lot of emotional turmoil in my life. And he also taught me to forgive myself.

Without God’s love, I could never have healed.

It is his divine and eternal love in me that makes it possible to forgive everyone and the world everyday, regardless of merit. And heal.