Category Archives: certain uncertain

God’s Not Dead 2 Movie Reinforces Misunderstanding of God’s True Identity e.g. God forsakes You

At least God’s Not Dead 2 movie is not as disturbing as God’s Not Dead Movie was. I did enjoy some of the sequel.

God's Not Dead 2 movie exposes religiosity

But there were several things in God’s Not Dead 2 that perpetuate the misunderstanding of God.

Here are some of the troubling religious points in God’s Not Dead 2, as I see it:

  • God, do not forsake me
  • Stand with the world and be judged by God
  • Come into my heart Jesus, forgive me of my sins – the traditional prayer of salvation
  • Who do you say I am
  • God is good, all the time God is good

Today we will look at being forsaken by God. I’ll address the others later.

Does God forsake you

Grace Wesley, the main character in God’s Not Dead Movie 2, was in a very difficult situation, fearful of the possible outcome, overwhelmed by the circumstances. Throwing herself on her bed one evening, in utter dismay she prays, “Oh God do not forsake me.”

Now obviously difficulties happen in life where it feels like God is nowhere to be found. But if we really knew God, we would never believe that God forsakes us. Religious Christianity preaches a conditional loving God, so it’s easy to think He would.

What Does God Say About Being Forsaken

Heb. 13:5 “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

The Greek tense of Heb 13:5 means spoken vehemently, as if –  “look me in the eyes when I say this to you, I am dead serious”.  Now read the Amplified version with this intensity.

“I will not in any way fail you or give you up, nor leave you without support. I will not; I will not; I will not, in any degree leave you helpless; nor forsake you; nor relax my hold on your life; definitely not!”

Check out the next verse!

“So that, we may boldly (Greek: of good cheer, am courageous) say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear or dread. What can man do to me?” (Heb 13:6)

Talk about confidently and happily knowing you are never forsaken!

Dig In

  • Paul knew the true God, hence he could speak of being hard-pressed yet not crushed, perplexed but not in despair, persecuted but not forsaken, struck down but not destroyed. (2Cor 4:8,9)
  • Because religious Christianity believes in a ‘conditional unconditional’ loving God, confusion and uncertainty under gird many believers’ faith. No wonder some would think God just might forsake them. If you are one of those, please know God does not judge you for that. He wants you to come into full revelation of who He really is, then you truly can rest in His faithful and ever present care for you.
  • Jesus, Paul, and Peter looked forsaken. However:
    • Jesus said the Father has not left Him alone. (Mt 27:46, Jn 8:29, 2Cor 5:19)
    • Paul, while in prison, uses rejoice and joy eleven times in his letter to the Philippians.
    • Peter was sleeping in prison while bound by chains and guarded.
    • Oh, if Grace had just remembered that!

Miracles From Heaven Movie Showed You Can Lose Your Faith But Can You Lose Your Faith Really

Miracles From Heaven movie imageWe took three of our grandchildren, ages 11, 9, and 7 to the movie “Miracles From Heaven”. We all teared up over various parts of this heart-warming and true-life based film. God indeed can surprise us with miracles! It is worth seeing.

But, one of the points in the movie had to do with ‘losing your faith’ – to which I disagreed.

If we really know what faith is, then it is impossible to lose our faith.

In fact, if we understand what faith really is, then even in the most painful, confusing, disappointing, even devastating circumstances our faith remains solid.

What is false faith

Here are a few lies many believe about faith:

  • It is your faith – you must muster up faith to believe
  • If you do not have faith to believe in God, then you cannot be saved
  • Once you have faith you have to grow your faith
  • If you lose your faith God will be disappointed in you
  • If you lose your faith you could lose your salvation

What is true faith

To understand true faith you have to know its source and its meaning.

  • It comes from God. (Heb 12:2)
  • True faith is God’s faith. We have no faith on our own. (Rom 1:17)
  • He freely gives His faith – it is a gift. It has nothing to do with works. (Eph 2:8)
  • Faith literally means ‘persuasion, divine persuasion of the human heart’.

The true Gospel is about God’s faith in you. The Gospel is His full persuasion of what He believes to be true about you, even before time began. (2Tim 1:9,10)

The Gospel does not demand faith from you, it freely provides faith to you.

The point of faith is not what you believe about God, but what God believes about you.

Dig In

  • Religion said the mother had lost her faith, even the mother thought she had lost her faith. But in reality God remained fully persuaded about her. He never lost faith in her. And He knew how to woo her back to Himself.
  • What a relief it is – if we are faithless, He remains faithful because He cannot deny (contradict) Himself. (2Tim 2:13) When circumstances get overwhelming or confusing – remember to rest in His faithfulness to work it out – even in the midst of sorrow, grief, pain, loss.
  • Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Heb 11:1) Jesus is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. His faith brings certainty. His incarnate faith is rock solid. Don’t let religion tell you it is up to you.

If God Is Gracious Why Do We Ask God To Be Gracious To Us?

Have you ever cried out – “Oh God, be gracious to me.”?

Perhaps in intercession you have groaned – “Oh God, be gracious to them.”?

Maybe a heartfelt prayer like – “God, be merciful, God be gracious, God forgive us.”?

Is that scriptural?

Well some psalmists certainly prayed that way. Thus, we should too. Right?

But were those psalmists right in their request? Did they really know God?

Misguided Scripture praying

Some Christians believe you must pray scripture in order to be more effective. So they comb the Bible to find key verses that God will answer. Been there, done that.

Is that how it works? Did God give us the scriptures so we can maneuver Him  and then expect Him to answer our formulaic request?

Hey, what if you totally misunderstood the meaning of a verse and dogmatically prayed your ‘gospel truth’? I confess.

What if the scripture you are praying is not even true about God? Have you ever considered that the Bible also consists of some expressing things that are inaccurate, misunderstandings, even lies about who God really is?

Here’s an example. Ever prayed from the book of Job? Maybe you never noticed towards the end of the book what God said about Job’s friends’ eloquent comments about who God was? God Himself said that what they had spoken of Him was not right, not accurate, not the truth! (Job 42:7)

Is God Gracious Or Not?


Scripture Cannot Make Up Its Mind

I found ten verses in the Old Testament where the cry was ‘be merciful/be gracious to me.’

Now why is that a big deal? Because, it illustrates our confusion of who God really is. It also reinforces the dynamic of many Christians’ identity crisis.

Did not God describe Himself as “gracious” to Moses?! (Ex 34:6) If He is gracious, then why do we ask Him to be?

But, some got it. There are also ten verses where the Psalmist, Jeremiah, Joel, and Jonah said God was gracious! Of course Moses would know that too. There is hope for us.

The Confused Psalmist

Here’s a blatant example of identity crisis of God and of self – right in the Bible.

The Psalmist cries out –

“You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious (chanan), longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth. Oh, turn to me, and have mercy (chanan) on me! (Ps 86:15,16)

Yee gads! Make up your mind!

Now how many of us can say “Uh, that’d be me.”?

Meaning of Gracious

In the Old Testament the Hebrew word for gracious is:

chanan (khaw-nan’) – to show favor, be gracious. In late Hebrew Aramaic chanan also means – yearn towards, long for, be merciful, compassionate, favorable, inclined towards

What a beautiful description of God! And it also implies how God feels about you.

So when the Psalmist is crying out ‘Have mercy on me!’ – just figure God is trying to get him to hear – “Hey, I already do yearn towards you, long for you, am inclined towards you, am favorable to you, am compassionate towards you.”

FYI – chanan is often translated ‘be merciful’ in the Old Testament. Please realize the fullness of chanan!

Remember Moses Glory Goodness Gracious

When Moses wanted to see God’s glory, God told him I will make all My goodness pass over/upon you. (Ex 33:18,19) When this goodness passed over Moses, then God proclaimed “The Lord God, merciful (rachum – compassionate) and gracious (chanan), longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth.”

Just think about this glory, goodness, and graciousness coming upon you – just like it did Moses. No longer be confused about identity. You can be certain. Experience fullness!

Dig In

  • There is no ‘I might be gracious’ or ‘I will be gracious’ (future tense). Like, “Let Me think about it, let Me see how you behave first, let Me hear you say the right things – then I will be gracious to you.” No! Never is God like that!
  • When all this glory, goodness, and graciousness was passing over and upon Moses – it was a prophetic picture of Jesus – the One who came to make clear the fullness of our gracious God. We must look for Jesus when reading the Old Testament.
  • If you cry out for God to be gracious to you – stop it! 🙂  Instead shout out “Oh God, thank you for being so gracious to me, for longing for me, for being inclined towards me, for yearning for me, for showing me favor. Hey, You really like me and enjoy me!”

P.S. Grace (‘chen’) comes from gracious (‘chanan’). More to explore in the Old Testament about grace – next post!

How Good Is Your Good Friday? Is God Good On Good Friday?

(Note: taking a little side trip from my focus on grace, to explore Good Friday in this post.)

Why is Good Friday good?

Since Good Friday focuses on Jesus’ crucifixion and being marred beyond recognition, was God good that day?

After all, Jesus was smitten by God, and afflicted. (Is 53:4) In addition, Jesus said, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?” (Mt 27:46)  More on this later.

Back to Good Friday.

Does God feel good about our Good Fridays?

If you recognize this day, does it make you feel good?

Have you ever realized how Religious Christianity uses Good Friday to heighten our guilt and condemnation?

Is this heaping on of guilt a part of how good God is?

I remember, years ago, participating in a Good Friday service where we had opportunity to literally hammer nails into a huge cross drug into the sanctuary. As we hammered away tears, sobs, remorse, guilt, condemnation freely flowed. There was a strange mixture of ‘what a wretch I am’ and thankfulness happening in ‘God’s house’ that evening.

Certainly nobody felt good that evening, with nail and hammer in hand. How about God? Did He feel good about that Good Friday and how it made us feel about ourselves? At the time, I would have poignantly responded, “Yes.”

Now I realize the true answer is a huge, “NO!”

Traditional Good Friday

Traditionally in the church system Good Friday is melancholy, sad, doleful, mournful, and introspective. The lights low, the cross draped in black, the message heavy, the music somber, and interaction minimal. It is time to be pensive, reflective, regretful.

Wonder if God is participating? In fact, I wonder if He thinks – “Here we go again. They still don’t get the good news.”

The truth of Good Friday

God did not smite Jesus, and afflict Him. The truth is, “we esteemed (considered, thought, reckoned) Him smitten by God…”. (Is 53:4 Emphasis mine) Do you see that? We thought that.

God did not forsake Jesus at the cross. Now, we think “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” means that God turned His back on Jesus because He could not look on sin. Once again our false understanding of who God really is. We overlook or are ignorant of these truths:

  • “Indeed the hours is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.” (Jn 16:32)
  • “I and My Father are one.” (Jn 10:30)
  • God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them. (2Cor 5:19) This is huge – Jesus wasn’t the only one on the cross!

Why then did Jesus cry out “why have You forsaken Me”? Remember, even though Jesus was God, He was also fully human. In His humanness He felt all of humanity’s pain and confusion. His cry was the cry of humanity – “Where are You God, don’t You care?” Jesus was expressing our lie. He was voicing our misunderstanding. God was always with Jesus, even on the cross. Even as God is always with us, even when we think He isn’t.

The fullness of Good Friday

  • One died for all, therefore all died. (2Cor 5:14) Hey, that means, besides God the Father, we were also on the cross! Whoa!
  • By one man’s disobedience (Adam’s) many were made sinners, so by one Man’s obedience many made righteous. (Rom 5:19) Note – it’s the same ‘many’!
  • By the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift of the one Man, Jesus, abounded to many. (Rom 5:15) Note – it’s the same ‘many’!
  • We rejoice in God through Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation – right on the cross! (Rom 5:11)
  • Since God was in Jesus reconciling the world to Himself – God is pleading “be, reconciled”. (2Cor 5:20) In other words realize your redeemed true identity!
  • For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross. (Heb 12:2)

Stop wallowing in guilt and condemnation. There is no condemnation in Jesus. He didn’t come to judge the world, but to save it – make it whole. (Jn 3:17)

Turn up the lights. It’s time to shout and rejoice on Good Friday!

Rejoice Its Good Friday!


Dig In

  • Come into the revelation of the incredible joy that was happening on ‘Good Friday’. Discover certainty and fullness.
  • Throw off that sackcloth, wash off those ashes. Stop believing lies about who religion says you are.
  • Rejoice! Don’t wait for Resurrection Sunday. The joy started at the cross. God was very good on the true ‘Good Friday’ when He made you very good again. (Gn 1:27,31) Embrace the revelation of all this happy goodness!

Huge Meanings Why Jesus Stooped Wrote On The Ground and Raised Up Jn 8:2-11

In scripture, when something is repeated two or three times, that means we need to pay attention. It is important. Take heed. Ponder.

Jesus repeated three actions TWO times concerning the woman caught in adultery as she had to stand before her accusers.

  • stooped down
  • wrote on the ground
  • raised Himself up

Looks like we need to pay attention!

There is HUGE meaning and significance to His, what I call, prophetic actions. Out of all my pondering, these past few weeks over His actions in this story with the adulterous woman, I was amazed to discover truths about our true identity and the Good News.

You know, if we begin to realize how much He is for us, how He came to show us who we really are, that He has never changed His mind about us, and get free from the ‘traditions of the elders’ (AKA religious tradition) – then we will begin to see this wondrous pattern of unconditional eternal love.

Click here for the video to see and hear for yourself what Jesus was saying by His actions. You will be wowed!


Dig In

  • Jesus knows the times when we were brought low. Please realize, He will get even lower than us, because He came to lift us up. We were always made to be lifted up and highly valued.
  • Jesus has nothing but terms of endearment about us, even in the midst of our blowing it. Open your heart to the truth of who you really are.
  • Don’t let accusers define you. Only God’s evaluation of you counts. Come into the revelation of His elation over you! Certainty of this is part of fullness.

P.S. The next post will explain what Jesus truly meant when He told the woman caught in adultery, “Go and sin no more.”

Your Sin Influences God and God Judges You. Really?

Do you believe your sin influences God in His attitude, feeling, or actions towards you?

Judgment on sin

  • Is God going to judge you for your sin?
  • What if you have repented of your sins, is God still judging you for new sins?
  • Does God send people to hell because of certain sins? How about those people who are cutting off heads, of late?
  • What about Robin Williams, was he judged for his sins?

If “Yes” is to any of the above questions, then know that you are bound up in a religious Christian mindset that believes in a false Gospel.

The true Good News really is good news, not ‘kind of’ good news.

The False Good News – YOU must deal with your sin

Traditional Christianity teaches that sin still needs to be dealt with.

And if you don’t deal with it by

  1. Acknowledging you are a sinner
  2. Repenting of your sins – i.e. feel sorry for your awful self and be deeply remorseful
  3. Ask, plead, beg God to forgive you
  4. Ask God to cleanse you
  5. Ask Jesus to be your Savior and Lord

Then you cannot go to heaven. In other words you get to go to hell.

It’s up to YOU

It is up to you to determine your eternal place after this earthly life.

My, what a big responsibility and requirement we put on ourselves and everyone! What bondage the traditional religious mindset has put on ‘believers’ and ‘unbelievers’!

Horror or delight

With this kind of conditional ‘it’s up to you’ religious ‘Good News’ comes our clear determination of who won’t or will make it to heaven. Our determination will be much to our horror or much to our delight.

Here’s how it works

  • horror if your beloved relative or dear friend has not done the religious steps to secure a place in heaven
  • delight if your beloved ones did go through the steps to attain heavenly security
  • delight because certain one, for example – ‘vicious head chopping terrorist’, have to go to hell (because we know there’s no way they will do the salvation steps and obviously are not worthy to go to heaven anyway)
  • horror to imagine that someone like those ‘vicious head chopping terrorist’ could possibly even get into heaven – just the possibility of it is nauseating

Sin Controls God is impotent

Do you realize this kind of religious thinking gives power to sin and implies that God is impotent?!

It says in effect

  • the torture Jesus experienced was not sufficient
  • Jesus’ death was not enough
  • God’s love is conditional
  • you have to live in uncertainty in your relationship with God
  • your sin dictates God’s actions
  • your sin determines God’s feelings toward you
  • evil ultimately controls and influences God
  • your actions determine whether you are on God’s good side or God’s bad side
  • God is fickle, schizophrenic, unpredictable, partial, demanding

Many Christians are fixated on this delusional perceived power of sin and the requirements to clean up their act.

Crap or Truth

If you identify with any of the above ‘crap’ (excuse my language, but remember even Paul used ‘dung’ to describe all his self-righteous efforts – Php 3:8), then please know God does not want you stuck in this.Scoop Shovel of Truth Deals With Religious Crap He has a big shovel to get rid of it for you.

 

This scoop shovel is powered by Truth. Truth sets you free. Jesus came to set you free, free indeed. (Jn 8:22) Hey, do we even know what that means?!

 

Dig In

  • Know up front, your sin does not in any way, affect how God feels about you. He thinks you are wonderful and have always been wonderful.
  • Religious Christianity focuses on sin. That is not God’s focus, so why should it be yours? (Heb 10:17)
  • Do you really understand judgment when it comes to God? Do you realize that we put our notion of judgment onto God? You will be amazed at the judgment already wrought by Jesus. God’s justice and judgment are nothing like our worldly way of justice and judgment. His wonderful judgment on you is part of your fullness and your certainty!

P.S. Next post – exploring His wonderful Scoop Shovel of Truth.

Why Did The Foolish Virgins Have To Buy Their Own Oil? Did The Foolish Virgins Go To Hell?

Why did the five wise virgins tell the five foolish virgins to go buy oil?

Those wise ones were loaded with oil. They should have shared, right?

Actually, they did one better. Far from being selfish, the five wise virgins were passing on wisdom and understanding they had ‘bought’.

Was it really oil the five wise ones bought? Or is Jesus trying to tell us something deeper about His kingdom in this parable? You bet. Figure deep and good.

Rejoice, this parable is not about judgment, who’s in, who’s out, you’d better be ready or else.

Check out the video for the REAL meaning of ‘get your own oil’ and ‘I don’t know you’. Be surprised and delighted.

 

Dig In

  • If your filter or mindset is connected to Old Testament judgments and requirements, then you will not see the Good News found in the Ten Virgins parable, or any of the Parables. Get free from that mixture of legalism and grace. Otherwise, you are limited to a little lamp and no jug.
  • Make the exchange – buy without cost. He has abundance for all. His provision of excess makes you ready for every challenge and seeming delay.
  • The Kingdom of God has to do with ‘knowing’. Knowing your true identity. The five wise virgins is a picture of those who ‘knew’ and knew how to direct the five foolish ones to know too. Do you know? Do you really ‘see’? He sure wants you to.

P.S.  Jesus wants you to know what He knows about the real you, and that He knows that you know, and that you know that He knows. ‘Buy’ without cost. Enter into certainty and fullness.

Who Are The Ten Virgins? What Do The Ten Virgins Show About The Kingdom of God?

Have you ever considered how the traditional religious punitive retributive mindset about God will keep you from understanding the kingdom of God?

The parable of the Ten Virgins is one of many parables that Jesus used to mystify us rather than inform. The Kingdom is so full of goodness for all that most were blind to that fact. Hence their conclusions (and ours) on this parable meaning would focus on judgment, punishment, and hell.

Ah, but there is good news in the parable of the Ten Virgins!

Check out the video and be surprised at what these virgins show us about the fullness of the Kingdom of God:

 

Dig In

  • Do you have your walk figured out, kind of like the five ‘foolish’ virgins? You have enough. Or do you think God only has a little bit for you? Or are you open to getting so full of Truth that you would be like one of the five ‘wise’ virgins lugging around a jug of oil?
  • Do you think God has delayed, is delaying, or will delay in things you are waiting for? God doesn’t delay. “Behold the Bridegroom!” HE IS HERE NOW! Fill up your jug!
  • Has your religious teaching put a hard edge on the parables and programmed you to see the negative? Do know you really can grasp the fullness of grace that is hidden within them. Repent! 🙂 In other words change your mindset and enter into the inclusiveness, joy, and fullness of the kingdom, of which the parables point.

Did the Apostle Paul Get Born Again As Religion Teaches and Requires?

Do you know the steps one must take to get saved? Have you been taught the “Four Spiritual Laws”? How about “The Romans Road”? Maybe the “ABCs of Salvation” is the better way to get saved?!

Yee gads, how did becoming a believer get so formulated? Man. Man likes to help God out.

Paul, the Apostle, knew none of those formulas. In fact his life is a prime example to blow up all our religious ways of ‘getting saved’ or ‘born again’.

Check out the  to video see if Paul really got born again the way we think it should happen –

Here is a free PDF download with all the details and scriptures –Did The Apostle Paul Get Born Again As Religion Teaches and Requires?

Dig In

  • If any aspect of your walk with God involves a formula, steps, a system then beware. These man made ideas have no LIFE in them. Only Jesus is the life!
  • It was revelation that awakened Paul to who he really was, even in his mother’s womb. His violent action affected NOT the security of being in Jesus and Jesus in Him.
  • True salvation is not dependent on feeling bad about your sins and asking forgiveness. You were forgiven at the cross – all mankind was forgiven at the cross. Now to wake up to that powerful truth! Sin is in NO WAY  more powerful than His eternal love expressed in Jesus’ death and resurrection. There’s certainty and fullness in Christ’s final words –  “It is finished.”