Fire Insurance or Life Insurance

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As we approach another religious observation of Easter, aka Resurrection Sunday, what is the take away from reflection on the Cross? I have spoken with many Christians on the topic; it seems the prevailing take-a-way is “Fire Insurance”. The carnal man, as we all are initially, is mostly concerned about avoiding hell fire. He wants that fire insurance. Knowing this, many churches have parked on the gospel of forgiveness to fill the pews. Most see the Cross of Christ as a means of avoiding damnation and relieving the burden of guilt. These are great blessings, but they are not the benefits most emphasized in scripture. A gospel centered primarily on the Cross as a means of forgiveness will always promote sin consciousness. This is so prevalent that most Christians see themselves as mere sinners. What is the result of this perspective? …more sin. Proverbs states, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” If you see yourself as a sinner, then you expect that you will sin. This mindset binds you to the habits of death that the Savior came to free you from. This fire insurance is a carnal interpretation of salvation from those who have failed to understand the true virtue of the Cross.

As far as fire goes Christ doesn’t save us from fire, He assures us of fire. He tells us that our life’s work will be tested by fire, we will be purified by fire, and the Holy Spirit is the Baptism by fire. In fact, He desires that we would be ablaze for Him and His Kingdom. Fire is common for believers.

When I was a teenager, I had a discussion with a man on the bus who tried to persuade me that Christianity was a religion taught to me by my oppressor. He also told me that the cross symbolized death. He went onto to say that he couldn’t understand why people would wear a symbol that represented death. While the Cross does remind us of the death of Yeshua, it also reminds us more importantly of the power of His resurrection. Yes, Christ died for all, but He was also resurrected and obtained new life for all. The teaching of the Cross in Holy Scripture emphasizes this new Life. Yeshua said, “I come that you might have life, and that you might have it more abundantly.” The Cross of the Gospel of Christ is where the eternal life of Yeshua is made available to those willing to lay down their own interpretation of living. Existence outside of the life that Christ gives is filled with the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, the pride of life, and fear. The life given to us through the Cross of Christ is the life of an obedient son of GOD. The obedience in this new life is rooted in Love and is lived out in Spirit and Truth. It is a life that is pleasing to GOD; a life that is centered in GOD.

When the teaching of the Cross is limited only to forgiveness, it leaves men attached to their carnal lives. It offers them compassion without a cure for their suffering. So much more has been provisioned through the Cross. It was nearly impossible to know GOD before the Life of Christ was made available through the Cross. The only life obtainable was the life inherited through Adam, which rebels against GOD and questions His Love in unbelief. This carnal life from Adam is alienated from GOD in that it has made a god of its own carnal reasoning.

We have to leverage the love manifested to us in the Cross of Christ unto a new hope and belief, and to faith in the promises of GOD’s love, which goes beyond forgiveness but also brings the promise of a new and powerful Life.

The powers of darkness don’t want you to know the fullness of the Love manifested through the Cross. It is a divine Love that breaks the shackles of sin and enables you to manifest the Light of GOD. All sin is rooted in selfishness and fear. The scripture teaches us that GOD’s perfect Love cast out fear. Fear is diminished in us as we grow in our understanding of the Love of GOD. The secure embrace of GOD’s love frees us from self-concern and empowers us to love others with divine love. Divine love being that beautiful and sacrificial love, that gives at the cost of self to benefit others.

The true sign that we understand and appreciate the Cross of Christ is that we have also taken up our own cross, by daily sacrificing carnal living, that the spiritual Life of Yeshua might be manifest in us. Just as the Spirit raised Yeshua from the dead, the Holy Spirit is present in the earth to empower new life in us. The Holy Spirit opens the life-giving teachings of Yeshua to us, and affirms the love of the Father in our hearts. He who the Son makes free is free indeed. He frees us through the workings of the Cross.

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Let No Man Take Your Crown

Crowns

As a father, my goal is to equip my children to be successful in life and to align them with a future that is fulfilling and sure. It is to make sure that they are in a place to enjoy all the true riches of life that have been freely given by their Heavenly Father. I don’t just desire this for my children but it is my wish for all of GOD’s children. GOD the Father sent us a savior who is Himself the road map, the Light, the Truth, the Word, the Way but we have to follow Him at all cost for success. He chooses us, but we also have to choose Him. The bride has to agree and surrender herself that she may become one with the bridegroom. There are others people and other things vying for our affections but we must stay true to our first Love, Yeshua the Christ.

“I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one may rob you and deprive you of your crown..”   (Revelation 3:11 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition)

A warning to the children of GOD in regards to guarding their crowns. The crowns represent the spiritual authority they have as a result of being unified with Christ, in having taking up the sufferings of Christ through crucifying their flesh with its carnal affections, in walking in obedience to the spirit as children of GOD, and in putting on the mind of Christ. The crown goes on the head and it reflects the Glory of Christ through all of those who have made Christ their head by putting on the mindset of Christ; the mindset of being obedient, even unto to death.

 

We have an adversary trying to trick us out of our inheritance and rob us of our very life. The alarm system that alerts us when evil is present is judgment. Darkness pervades where there is no judgment, which is why the enemy promotes tolerance without judgment. Judgment with tolerance can save lives but tolerance without judgment is the real condemnation to death. Judgment will save all of those seeking the light but those that love darkness will detest the light that judgment brings. Tolerance without judgment is subtle and tricky, and comes as counterfeit love, but it proliferates evil and causes the destruction of life. We all have the same chance to make it in, but only the ones that lose their life will find it. Go through the pain of releasing that thing that the Word of GOD has judged as cursed and you will find life.

 

So, since Christ suffered in the flesh for us, for you, arm yourselves with the same thought and purpose [patiently to suffer rather than fail to please God]. For whoever has suffered in the flesh [having the mind of Christ] is done with [intentional] sin [has stopped pleasing himself and the world, and pleases God],  So that he can no longer spend the rest of his natural life living by [his] human appetites and desires, but [he lives] for what God wills.” (1 Peter 4:1-3 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition)

 

I have throughout my life encountered people who would discourage me from harshly regulating my carnal appetites, but I have ignored their carnal counsel understanding that some things look like liberty but the end is bondage. There are spiritual things that look very restricting to carnal people, but they bring great freedom. Don’t let the carnal counsel of the world cause you to lose your crown waiting in heaven.

 

Yeshua the Savior has always told us the truth. He is love and He is what love looks like. We don’t have to wonder what it means to love; we can just look at the testimony of Christ and His teachings and be in the know. Our heart may utter things just as the disciples did, “Yeshua, that is too harsh,” “Yeshua, that is offensive,” “Yeshua, who then can be saved.” We just have to humble ourselves for the rebuke that comes when we are out of line with the spirit. When Yeshua informed the disciples that he had to suffer great things and be put to death, Peter told Him that He was speaking non-sense. Yeshua rebuked the spirit speaking through Peter saying, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” Yeshua went on to tell the disciples that if they were going to be in unity with Him, then they would have to take up there cross as well, and so it is with us. People will try and talk you out of it, you will try and talk yourself out of it, but there is no way around it if you want to keep your crown.

 

This is a long post but it is important. I have one more scripture I wanted to share.

Ephesians 5:1-7 (Amplified Bible, Classic Edition)

“Therefore be imitators of God [copy Him and follow His example], as well-beloved children [imitate their father].  And walk in love, [esteeming and delighting in one another] as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a [slain offering and sacrifice to God [for you, so that it became] a sweet fragrance.  But immorality (sexual vice) and all impurity [[of lustful, rich, wasteful living] or greediness must not even be named among you, as is fitting and proper among saints (God’s consecrated people).  Let there be no filthiness (obscenity, indecency) nor foolish and sinful (silly and corrupt) talk, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting or becoming; but instead voice your thankfulness [to God].  For be sure of this: that no person practicing sexual vice or impurity in thought or in life, or one who is covetous [who has lustful desire for the property of others and is greedy for gain]—for he [in effect] is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.  Let no one delude and deceive you with empty excuses and groundless arguments [for these sins], for through these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of rebellion and disobedience.  So do not associate or be sharers with them.”

Love is about what you need and what is best for you, not what pacifies you. Speaking the truth will bring conflict because there is so much falsehood in the world, but it is the way of salvation. It is better to walk in truth and be alienated from the world, than to compromise for carnal affection and be alienated from the true love and liberty in Christ and lose your crown. Don’t be lukewarm, be on fire for GOD and plan out your salvation in fear and trembling. The one with whom we have to do is very tolerant but with judgment. Read revelations chapter 2 and 3 for a sobering perspective of Love.