“And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world. But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died” (1 Corinthians 15:19-20)
Greetings once again Friends!
I hope I can help you to see the inescapability of Jesus in your life. Wherever you are, whether you a king or pauper, beggar or rich man, healthy or unwell, in pain or pain-free, employed or out of a job, married or single, schooled or unschooled, a commoner or royalty, whatever ethnicity in whatever station in life, …we all need Jesus in our lives, it’s just that we lack the capacity to see that yet. We don’t yet know His utter necessity in life. We have not seen nor understood only He can make sense of all our struggles, and to matters for which we don’t have answers, and ultimately to the question of life itself.
I am not pointing you to a Jesus whom you have seen as a religious figure. He is not! For truly, He is your personal Savior – a Savior is in the work of saving, rescuing and restoration. Man has made Jesus into a religion – not God! Religion is man’s way of explaining the deity they believe in with all its appended rules. God is our “Father,” He’s not religion! Jesus is our “Brother,” He’s not religion! Herald (Holy Spirit) is our “Friendly Helper,” He’s not religion! You can relate with the Triune God intimately. You will never relate with religion in the same way. Religion demands you obey and bow to its edict, God values and Loves you as His own child He will never spare any pains to have, hold, and caress in His bosom.
Jesus Defeating Satan in The Temptations for Man (Wiki Commons)
The freedom and courage to believe would be the first place to begin. We must discard our preconceived ideas that God and religion are somehow related. They are not! Religion is the invention of man, not God. If we are going to come to a place where God can have a direct hand in our lives in a practical hands-on way, then it begins with the true concept of God. For some this can be hard because they think they can’t be anything else apart from the set of religious beliefs in which they are raised. They think, if you are Indian, then you have to be a Hindu. If you are Muslim then you are Islamic. If you are Asian, then you are born a Buddhist. If you are a Jew then your religion is Judaism. If you are a Westerner, then you are Christian, and so on. This is absurd! One of the first things we learn about being human is we are creatures with the freedom to make up our own minds. Freedom is a divine attribute given to us by the Creator to help us make good choices in life. God made beasts, fowls, marine life, and life forms to behave in a prescribed fashion through inbuilt instincts, but not so, man! Man is given a mind with the freedom of choice. Religion wants man to behave in a fixed manner they impose. The problem with religion is they hide rather than reveal the true God from our view, let alone understand His true purpose for each of us.
If religion answers to the meaning of humanity’s existence and purpose on earth, then we have to conclude they have been an utter and dismal failure. Why, because we only have to look through history and around the globe today to see religion’s utter ineffectiveness. In fact, history tells us more than anything else that religion has been the groundswell for many human conflicts, suffering, and death. The reason seems obvious – religion has been framed as part and parcel of entrenched nationalism and political aspirations of people and nations. History tells us when man mix the two we will have a recipe for a perfect storm for prejudice, intolerance, and segregation which leads to all kinds of conflict. Religion becomes the plausible and persuasive ‘face’ for people to be politically and deceptively manipulated. Today we openly decry racial segregation, yet religious segregation stands above all forms of discrimination. In the final analysis, we are all one people under God, no matter our ethnicity or nationality and religion. This is the prime reason the framers of the American constitution provides for the separation of church and state. Why? One word, history! The lesson of history proves religion otherwise. The original colonizers came to the new world (America) to escape religious persecution.
Jesus Healing the Centurion Servant and Declares Himself our Savior both Physically and Spiritually (Wiki Commons)
What we must understand as a matter of first importance is: God is in the work of saving mankind individually as persons. If He knows the stars by name, (there are 10 billion galaxies in the observable universe, and 100 billion stars in each galaxy, giving a total of 1 billion trillion stars in our observable universe), He knows each one of us likewise. (Psa.147:4; ) By that I mean He’s not in this world to build a religion or for that matter a nation. He is making children of mankind He can Love individually – person by person! It is true the Bible speaks of a “church,” but it is not by any stretch of the imagination, a religion. The word church, taken from the word “ekklesia” means people who are “the called-out ones.” It comprises those who have personally responded to God’s call of Love to have a direct relationship with Him. The church is merely the term given to the collection of people who have an intimate personal Father/son-daughter relationship with God. It is like the word family. God is a family with children He loves intimately. The church is a family, not a religion. Much like a soccer or basketball “team” – each member is personally selected to play a specific position in the family team. God is our Loving and ever-present Father and life-coach. Unfortunately, many “churches” have grown to become religious. It becomes a religion when man forgets God’s covenant and proceeds to become nothing more than a human institution. (Read Jeremiah 23) The Christian “church” is not a religion, period.
Understand this, the beauty of the Christian message about God is He is having a personal hand in your life as a person. He is not speaking to you through the priest or minister (Christian), a pujari (Hindu), a rabbi (Jew), an imam (Muslim), a monk (Buddhist), or any other religious leader. His covenant is clear He speaks and addresses us in person as children, because He Loves each and every one of us individually. We are not objects for manipulation to Him, He Loves us and Love is never self-centered but outgoing.
In Christian belief we use these words of the New Covenant as the basis for this person-to-person activity of God in humans, “AND THEY SHALL NOT TEACH EVERYONE HIS FELLOW CITIZEN, AND EVERYONE HIS BROTHER, SAYING, ‘KNOW THE LORD,’ FOR ALL WILL KNOW ME, FROM THE LEAST TO THE GREATEST OF THEM” (Heb.8:11). In other words, God will be their teacher in Person. Religion, which purports to be the intermediary between God and man, is effectively sidelined. Remember, this is essentially a section of the covenant which God makes with man, and part of the Christian faith. How does God do it in man? His answer is in another passage from the Bible, “But you have received the Holy Spirit, and He lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what He teaches is true–it is not a lie. So, just as he has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ” (1 John 2:27). Yes, each one of us is a temple the Spirit indwells. (1 Cor.6:19) The Holy Spirit is the presence of God in man who teaches us the truth about ourselves in relation to life and God. Our identity as persons which enables us to relate with Him is our gift He confers in us through His Spirit. (1 Cor. 6:19)
Jesus Dying For Humanity’s Forgiveness (Wiki Commons)
The only way is to come out of the mold of religious tradition we have been conditioned by keeping an open mind free of prejudices and bias. Everyone has the freewill to do that at the least. God, who declares Himself to us as a caring and gracious deity wants more than anything to have a personal relationship with you and me. (John 3:16) That’s hard to comprehend if you are brought up in a religion whose view of God is a Being who is untouchable and unapproachable, and most of all not personable. No, He cares about you – personally!
So, I am going to share an important principle from the Bible which teaches that makes this belief so relevant to your life and those of your loved ones. We all face issues in life that are unique to each of us, yet, we can’t find the answers in the religion we are raised up to believe. If anything, because of religion we have been taught to have this arms-length existence with God. Religious leaders are no more helpful than their own religion. Instead, we find religion demands our support more than it provides answers to the issues that are pressing in life. Even in death the Christian message provides comfort and hope. (John 11:25-26)
There’s an important element about Jesus which answers to the covenant God makes with humans, and reveals all that we aspire Him to be for each of us, Paul said it like this in a brief but weighty declaration, “You are complete in Him” (Col.2:10). By leading with “You” God is emphasizing a personal relationship with you. He is not speaking religion to you through a pastor, priest, monk, rabbi, imam, or pujari. He is speaking to “You” directly and personally! The Greek word for complete (πληθύνω/ pléthunó ) means to fill to individual capacity, i.e. to the extent it is “meet” (appropriate). That is God’s plan for you in His Son. It expresses totality, and implies full quantity (“up to the max”).The idea God is putting across to us is His Son is your answer to life and all that life means and can be to you and your loved ones.
Why is it, that in a modern setting of the Christian faith, for example, and this goes for all religions, do we teach that the church, temple, or mosque, synagogue, is the place one goes to for direction and answers, when it is clear in the Bible that God, through the Spirit, is the guide and power in our lives? The answer is because we have been condition that way through religion. Religion reveals the motive of man – it’s sad but it is for reasons of power and financial and other forms of gain. When man stands in the place of God between man, that is called “religion.” It is a man-made institution without divine sanction.
So, in a manner of speaking, you can say Jesus is to our innermost spiritual being what air is to our outermost physical being. What am I saying? Quite simply, man has two forms of life expression – one is physical and material, while the other is spiritual and divine. A person denies this basic truth to his or her own detriment. The two are intertwined and cannot be separated. The physical is the outward expression of the spiritual, not vice versa. So, when the Bible speaks of Jesus as the total answer to life, we are speaking of the basic spiritual element which controls the physical and material outcome. Jesus said it this way, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and His righteousness, (inner spiritual life) and He will give you everything you need” (outer physical life) (Matt.6:33). Of course “kingdom” means Jesus’ reign in your life. Or, we can have religion dictate our spiritual life.
Life is like a clock, we try to meddle with the hands, without realizing the pendulum is the only thing that regulates the clock. No matter what you do in life, your inner spiritual gauge is what guides your thoughts, emotions, and actions. When your inner life is in harmony with God’s true purpose for you, your life-clock is giving the correct time. Anything else is a fabrication and deception.
I sincerely hope you will have an open mind to consider Jesus, or at least give Him a chance to show Himself and prove He is the One you have been seeking all your life and cannot do without. He is the answer for all things good in your life and those of your loved ones.
Until we meet again, may the blessings of the God who ceaselessly expresses Himself in His dependable Triune Love, be with you always. May the Spirit enliven your spirit and make all things concerning you possible as you live the “Triune Life” as a Bulamanriver.* Be strong in the Lord’s joy.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to write to me in the space provided below, or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
* Bulamanriver” is the metaphor describing the union of man with the Love of the Triune God flowing in humans, making possible the “Triune Life” – the source of the miraculous life in man. To read the many facets of life of the Bulamanriver, go to my website www.bulamanriver.com where you can order a copy of my Book.
All scriptures are taken from the NIV Version 2011, unless stated otherwise.
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