MEETING JESUS ON HIS TERMS


 

There is nothing esoteric or mystical nor one requiring a guru or any form of wizardry in meeting Jesus. Whereas one might search their Scriptures and defining our Lord and Savior Jesus comes to reality and meeting face-to-face. That encounter is found on the streets of our society in the least of these…

Jesus is here and here and here.
One needn’t even come to their knees to locate Jesus and the least of these; they are our brothers and sisters, the least of these as represented by Jesus the son of the living God.

Is that you who extends her hand out? Is that you who feeds Jesus when he is hungry? When he is thirsty? Alone? Poor? Sick? In despair?

And the question grows… Who among you wants to meet, live and dwell with Jesus? Do we praise him for the way he comes and in the manner in which he appears: behold your brother and sister in Christ.

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God’s Not Asking: He’s not saying, “Please…”


As benevolent as God may be, I can’t recall a single instance where he asks anyone to do something. In fact, if my memory is correct, he commands.

Thus, loving your neighbor is not really a request. He is NOT asking. If we are to be his disciples, then we are expected to obey his command and actually do it and not in name only.

As a matter of fact, it comes across to me that God doesn’t ask because…well, because HE is God and not us. That means HE knows what He is doing and more or less, we don’t.

So then: in obedience we demonstrate trust, and love, and commitment and reverence and many other things simply by our performance in doing things. On the less aspect of this equation is that we illustrate our loyalty and passion for God to the world: which in the end, should attract them to do the same.

Yet, my principle point here is that God is not up on His throne as some Mr. Nice Guy barking out requests. In fact, His requests are not requests at all as these are COMMANDS.

The quest here would be to examine how much we follow through with His commands…Will we measure up in obedience, or will we fail?

This is NOT rocket science and an examination is binary: if we pass it will be either a simple yes or no. In the end; we will answer Jesus’ plea…Do we love Him?

And if we love Him then we will comply to what he has asked. Here, there is no neutral ground. Remember, His commands are not merely a request. As disciples it is a MUST DO!

“Go Away from me Kid, you Bother Me.” W. C. Fields


Fields used to also say, “Anyone who hates children and animals can’t be all bad.

And I suppose many of us are like that. At least in the respect in the people department, no, we don’t like them and I guess it spills over to kids even and with today’s standards: we generally like animals more so than people.

In some respects we tend to love our neighbors more if we don’t live next door to them: A gated community is best, keeping the undesirables out.

And too, we can’t be at odds with our neighbors if we have no idea who they are: thus, we remain inside our air conditioning and video games and such. At any rate, we have no idea who lives among us.

How then can we love our neighbor as our self when we have no concept of our neighbors? Sure…everyone knows the motto: Out of Sight, out of Mind. It works for me.

Anyone can see my wake-up call here. For Christians I’m insisting that we must move out of our shell and meet and introduce ourselves and Jesus to those surrounding us. We must get off our comfort chairs and announce the gospel in person, face-to-face and love them as Jesus has commanded us to do.

And no, we haven’t earned any rights to distance ourselves from others. Retirement is NO excuse as retirement isn’t even mentioned in the bible. We are commanded to LOVE and love is in the doing and in the doing is the obedience. To that effect, W.C. Fields and those who join him are wrong and selfish and cruel.

We should not be inducing people to go away from us, but to come near, close to us and to know Jesus through us. Finally, it means one must like (love) people as a whole and to include their children. It also means there is no room for the belief systems such as W. C. Fields in the world of Jesus. He says to COME, not to go away.

Looking “Good” off the backs of others


For those of us Christians who like to come across as so mild and meek, have you ever considered the fact that we pay others to perform our dirty work under the guise of the police or our military?

Sure, for some of us go out of our way to tout non-violent behavior only to relax behind the efforts of others. This is only far too easy to do when we hide behind the ‘flaws’ of surrogates.

Sure we are gentle enough but don’t hesitate a second to call in the Calvary whenever we find ourselves in a physically confrontational predicament. In situations like those, don’t we look indeed so pious and humble? No, we wouldn’t harm a fly.

We witness similar in the area of national defense. On one hand, we advocate whereas we insist it is GOD who controls and who defends us and we avow these ‘truths’ while at the same time hiding behind the shield of nuclear weapons.

So which one is it: which one do we trust for security? Is it God, or is it our weapons and defense systems? The answer is clear enough: we trust God for our defense as long as we pour trillions into our national defense.

Yes, of course we justify all that we do by quoting a tenuous scripture supplied by Paul to rationalize how God has instituted governments, but really we cite this obscure passage to simply justify our position on war and killing.

In short, we don’t trust God to defend us and love the identity as passive subjects as citizens and as loyal Christians.

In trust, more or less we claim our passivity behind and off the backs of others as for the large part, we hide behind them and permit them to do the defending bit for us.

And truthfully, we should declare a spade to be a spade and admit our faults and that we are just as violent and fearful as all others.

In admitting our role in history, we reduce our ego and too, reduce how we wish to be perceived among others. Whereas we love to be admired as harmless to the world, we are actually raging wolves just like the rest of the world.

To that effect we should attest and then truthfully walk among other sinners in our strives to be like Christ. At least then, our walk with the Lord will be an honest one and one also that owes up to an image that is far less than perfect in the image of God and His son, Jesus our Christ.

Visibility of God(For those who desire an audience of our maker)


In many accounts in the New Testament, we see repeated statements where God made himself visible through the appearance of Christ. For as with most viewers in looking at something requires an active passivity, in the case of Jesus, the real active energy is not in looking but in God revealing. Therein we see the Transfiguration, and after the resurrection even see Jesus walking through locked doors. In these accounts, we are providing illustrations of God as Lord of the material and physical world and to include the spiritual.

Now in the absence of Jesus we are the Vanguard, his ambassadors, his church. As his church, and many aspects we are the surrogate Jesus for those living today who wish to experience Jesus in the flesh. For in Jesus be alive today, he is alive not as an esoteric spirit alone but in the flesh through us.

As the spirit of Christ dwells in us, and as we manifests the fruits of the spirit in obedience to our Lord, thus, the world is able to witness the spirit of Christ through our actions. Naturally, our actions are the substance of the fruit either good or bad. Whereas Jesus was perfect, clearly his church is not yet we are commanded into obedience or at least in striving toward perfect obedience: the obedience exemplified through love.

This means that for the unbelievers if Jesus is to be alive today to them it must be personify through us as living examples. Outside of the examples all that is left are empty words. The words are to encourage action not to be left alone by themselves. The written word might be compared to fertile seeds. If the seeds are not planted, then eventually they fall to waste. However, in planting the seeds, we discover an exact clone of the parent. Such is the case with Jesus to the Christian. Jesus via God is the seed and Christians are those who plant for the harvest. In the absence of sowing, there is a famine of Christians.

Where then will the nonbeliever and believer alike witness the experience of Christ if not through us? This is all in the visibility and here the visibility is by virtue of Christ through our obedience to him in service to others. This is simple enough: The visibility and realness of God to others is nothing magical or surreal. It is by live action and interaction through our dynamics to others. In all of this, it makes the difference if God had ever made an appearance to the world. Outside of this,there are only empty words and only the patience, if any for the true visibility of God.

Will you also go away?


One can almost imagine the pain in Jesus’s voice when asking this most horrifying question to his most loyal of disciples. Of course we all know now, that yes all eventually turned away from him at the cross.

In some ways the disciples were similar to us. It’s not so much that they turned away from him but like us we were never with him to begin with.

Don’t we find the most similar types of circumstances in our life? Are there moments in our life when we struggle with issues, with circumstances, only to discover we are in that episode completely alone? In times like that we have no friends. And desolate predicaments as such we are out there by ourselves.

For all of those who yell hurrah, who avow to be with us always, there are trials in life which contradict the affirmations of our most committed partners in life and in faith. We see this daily in America in divorce, and sickness, and most prevalent in financial calamities.

Jesus experienced this in the ultimate: for Jesus was there in the singular, hanging on the cross in abandonment. Retched with agony, our Savior pivoted in isolation.

So then in our own day-to-day activities, we ask that penetrating question to society to the world and to our friends: when things get tough will they to go away?

Of course the answer is rather simple. Of course, more than likely they will all not only go away but turned against us just as he did our Lord, just as we did our Lord.? And there lies the separation between man and God. God through Jesus, will never cast us aside only to go his own way without us. While this might be with groups, the question falls also on one by one. So then I ask you, will you too go away?

Insomuch you say that you love me, and this is good, you will fail because you were born among men. It is only through Jesus that our imperfections are made whole. Eternity then does not reside with man but is propagated by God. As Christians we should recognize our callow weakness, our failures expressed as sin.

Until that recognition arises we are still trapped in the void and the chasm of darkness. Standing in the gap, is the extension of God’s hand to his son Jesus who is the light. And to that life there is no measurement of man that can stand against his stature. For not only will we go away over and over again, at other times we were never even there.

Discovering the God, the Christ who is alive


Popular among religious folks is to tell people in particular when referring to the masses: to return to God.

All this is good enough however where or how are these people to return to God?

I believe the general consensus on this consists of a two-pronged approach; the first approach obviously entails the person on their knees. And second, is in referring the person to the Scriptures.

The Scriptures however explain it a little differently. With Jesus explaining to the disciples how to pray – – – Jesus is not on his knees, he is standing, his head lifted up toward the heavens. Here we see a relationship between the person and his maker. This is not esoteric, nor essentially intellectual, only a simple relationship that involves father and son. We see consistently where Jesus refers himself and his miracles in reference to the father. Even Jesus’ own existence is an relationship to the father.

The discovery process, the lively process is expressed in terms of relationships. This is true also of the extension of his own body, the church. Christ showed and demonstrated to the world that his father not only existed but loved his creation. And Jesus illustrated this by means of his relationship to people while here on earth.

Hence, witnessing the evidence of God to others – – – showcasing the evidence of God is now performed through his disciples known as his church. God is alive through Jesus. Jesus is alive through his spirit manifested by us. In pointing to God and his realness we should be pointing the fingers to us. For if there is a God, today we as Christians are his evidence.

Think about it. If Jesus is real to the world then his words are also real or else it is a farce. As Jesus said he dwells in us or else he doesn’t. There can be no two ways about this. We are either speaking the truth or else we lie.

In searching for God one should turn to the brethren. His church is his word: his pledge: his legacy: his body: his spirit: his help: his kinship: inheritance and much much more.

If God is alive then he must be discovered through us, the Christian. The truth resides in the manifestation of the evidence. The question is not whether the truth resides in God yet if the truth dwells in the Christian. This separates whether the world will discover God through Jesus.

Christians love Jesus as long as He is dead


Of course, a question would come to mind after reading a title as such as above: why would someone say that about our Lord, Jesus?

And the answer is an easy one and straight to the point: If Jesus were alive he’d be celebrated and obeyed as an active savior and as the Son of God and King that He is.

Jesus himself said that God was the God of the living not of the dead. And thus, if we loved Jesus as if he were alive, we would serve him out of obedience, out of love introducing him to the entire world as a vibrant and powerful Messiah.

The truth though is that we don’t. Most of us point to the sign of the crucifix hanging around our neck. We illuminate the cross where Jesus is hanging, as if this were the present tense and where Jesus had yet conquered death.

For if one conquers death in the present tense and we act accordingly in the present tense of Jesus truth and power and glory. We don’t.

Instead, we lament his death, grieve, petition and pray is if God through his son Jesus were so far away rather than dwelling here inside of us on earth.

Clearly, we love Jesus’s wretched body that hangs eternally on the cross remote and distant from us. Indeed, that is the God of the dead. We should be paying tribute and following Jesus among the living. Yet, where are we going to find Jesus among us?

Among our contemporary churches Jesus is dead to the homeless, to the poor, the drug addicts, the infirmed, the rejected, the outsiders, those who are are outside the social elite, the dejected, the desolate, the hopeless, the suicidal and most any who are searching for Jesus among the brethren.

It is sad but true, we love Jesus as long as he remains dead. And as long as Jesus remains dead, is dead to the world for it is the Christians job to introduce Jesus through our own personalities. The question remains: will Jesus always be dead? Will his congregation always be separate and divided among those of whom we should serve and yet even be part of in the absence of the separate identity? Until that time we will mourn the loss of our Savior as the rest of the world mourns the loss of us and our compassion. Amen

Behold! I Knocked… And A Camper Trailer Opened (Please Pray!)


Knock, Knock Knocking on Heaven’s Door

Fat Beggars School of Prophets

Three days ago (long enough for a Savior to lay in a tomb and the disciples to find it empty) I sent an email/letter to the shepherds of the church knocking on the door.

3 Days.

I have not received a call, a reply, a text, email, personal visit – absolutely no response.

Could it still come?  Could we still get a favorable outcome?

Yes.

There is nothing stopping a response or favorable outcome except contempt.  And we can pray about that!

If this knock at the door had not been ignored but instead received with ANY sense of urgency, I could have/should have received some kind of reply by now.  Even if it merely said, “We hear you and are talking about it….”.

But before the wagons circled to block me out and shun me several months ago, I received a very angry, wrathful response to a previous effort…

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Jesus as the tree of Life


Remarkably, John the Revelator describes Jesus as a living tree providing life for all in the midst of the new earth. In some ways, we can experience a similar offer in the book of Genesis at the Garden of Eden. The tree of life is the icon, the symbol of eternity, wholesomeness, and the emblem of reward as a result of obedience to the father.

The source of food here is not a literal symbol, yet that which is born of manna, the same as Christ demonstrated he was the bread of life.

Jesus stated: I eat meat which you know nothing about but out of every word of God which proceeds from the mouth of God.

We can also see the tree in this situation as a tree of genealogy. Numerous scriptures in the Bible describes God speaking to trees and as trees speaking to other trees. Even our own modern day version in reference to trees is such whereas we speak of this is our genealogy.

Whereas Adam and Eve rejected God’s word in the garden, henceforth we were all banned and in a way made mortal by virtue of death. Men being man rejected God’s law in the presence of God’s life: the tree.

It really is no different today for we continue to reject God’s law even as we reject his son Jesus. The penalty for rejection is the same today as it was then. Rejection equals death. Acceptance equals the tree of life.

Hence, the nature of man has remained the same since Adam and a consequence of sin also remains. The consequence was death then and death now.

The tree of life then equaled eternity. And Jesus today also equates the tree of life.

Whereas Jesus is our tree of life and in spite of Him we continue to sin.

With these identities we cannot expect anything different than what we see by our own experiences. And this is true either inside the church or outside the church.

And where they should not be it was the same inside the garden of Eden. And it was the same for we were in the same then as we are now. Where Adam was offered the tree of life, we are offered another tree Jesus. In both cases God expects obedience. As far as we know, Adam had but one law to obey and he failed.

The expectation with Jesus is that we no longer fail, that in spite of our flaws we can overcome our imperfections by virtue of his spirit.

So then the question remains… Are we fighting inside the Gates of Eden orare we outside and without… With a flaming sword pushing us away?

Truly this could be determined by how we treat the least of these as expressed in Matthew 25 through 26. For it comes down to a question of who we know and in turn by how we are known.

Jesus exemplified this term by a fig tree. When that figtree failed to produce, it was cursed withered and died.

Where do we stand in our obedience? Where are we in terms of our distance to the tree of life? Are we inside the garden of Eden or simply another voiceless champion silent alongside the road for those who beg for the mercy of God. In the end, I would hope at least that all Christians are gathered together around the tree of life would a report of good news… All holding hands and in one voice, shouting the proclamation of Jesus Christ through the evidence of the works of his church. And there we come to know Jesus as we should inside that garden as we experience each other face-to-face knowing each other through obedience.