Category: Christian Love



The Morning Star Rising on the First Day

In our last posting we took a look at the covenant God made with Abraham, a covenant that became the foundation of the three most prolific religions in the world. This covenant promised that Abraham would be the father of many nations and that the land of Canaan would be their possession.

However, all the men of Abraham’s family would have to be circumcised as a visible sign of the covenant. I have included the scriptures of Genesis 17 that communicate the essence of this message here for your review:

for I have made you a father of many nations. 6 I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. 7 I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. 8 The whole land of Canaan (the Promised Land where there are many mansions) where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God. ” 9 Then God said to Abraham, “As for you, you must keep my covenant (the new covenant is a covenant of selfless love), you and your descendants after you for the generations to come. 10 This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised (symbolic of casting away one’s own flesh). 11 You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you (as our love for one another is a sign to others that we follow Jesus.) 12 For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised, including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner—those who are not your offspring. 13 Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant. 14 Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant. ”

Now, one of the things we spoke of last time was that this covenant of circumcision was prophetic of Jesus in many ways. So today we are going to drill down a bit on this idea so that we can see the scriptural foundation for this statement.

Lets start with the act of circumcision itself. Circumcision is the act of cutting away the foreskin of the part of a man that defines him to be a man. God asks Abraham to do this to all the men in his family as a sign that he was in covenant with God. This seems peculiar to say the least and one has to wonder why this would be the case. We hope to address this as we tie the covenant of circumcision to the ministry of Jesus Christ.

As we alluded to in our prior posting, the very idea of circumcision seems outrageous on the surface and yet it contains a powerful message for all the generations that followed. The message is that we were not created as physical creatures but rather as spiritual creatures who were created in the image of God.

Genesis 1:27
God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

Since God is spirit,

John 4:24
God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.

then we are also spiritual creatures, otherwise we could not have been created in Gods image. We took on our physical bodies when Adam and Eve chose to know evil. It was then that they discovered for the first time that they were naked and sought to cover themselves. This means that they took on the flesh of their physical bodies.

Adam and Eve in the Garden

It was at this time that God also told the woman that her childbearing would come with pain,

To the woman he said, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” Gen 3:16

and so, what we see here is that mankind took on a major transformation because of our desire to know both good and evil. From that point on we were all born as spiritual creatures encapsulated in physical bodies.

Prior to the fall from the Garden there was never a report of Eve giving birth to children, only afterwards did she give birth to children. The point of all of this is that we are not our bodies!

Interestingly, science proves that we are not our bodies as well. Scientists have proven that each cell in our bodies is replaced every seven years. Therefore, we are not physically the same being that we were just seven years ago. We are not the baby that we were when we were born, nor are we the teenager that we were in our youth. Yet, there is a consistency that continues to be us despite the physical change in the bodies we inhabit, and that consistency is our spirit. This is the message of the covenant of circumcision: our flesh is irrelevant in seeking eternal life with God. This message is verified by the words of Jesus as reported by John the disciple:

John 6:63
It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.

Therefore, it is our spiritual nature that is important to God as we are to seek God in spirit.

Jesus came to us teaching us by way of parables and therefore one way to view covenant with Abraham is as a parable. This parable tells us that to be in covenant with God we must cast away our own flesh as worthless. In addition, it tells us that the people who we come in contact with must be able to determine that we are in covenant with God as a result of our interaction with them. They must be able to see a visible sign that we have turned our back on our own physical life in favor of a spiritual relationship with God.

Jesus spoke the following words:

Matthew 16:25
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.

So how do we do this? The casting away of our own flesh is the giving of our life toward loving one another. This love is not self centered but rather others centered.

John 15:12
 This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.

It is a love that is enacted by following the lead of the Holy Spirit of God. When we walk in the Spirit of God we will be led into spiritual warfare where the dominions of power and evil are brought down. It is then that we truly enter into the ministry of Jesus Christ. The reason for this is because at this point we begin to do the things that Jesus did.

John 14:11-13
Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves. 12 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

The Holy Spirit

In this regard Jesus confirms the covenant of circumcision by giving up His own body so that He would receive the punishment that we otherwise would justly deserve. He took on the wiping, the spitting, the beating, the thorns in His head, the nails in His hands and feet, the taunting and humiliation of being hung on the cross so that all of us could achieve forgiveness of our sins and live under the new and better covenant that He earned for us.

This is the degree of love that He showed us as He suffered on the Cross, giving up his flesh willingly for us. This is the example that Jesus gave us. It is proof that the flesh profits us nothing as Jesus was resurrected from the dead and then ascended into heaven to be with the Father once again. This is the example that he left us. This is how He wants us to love one another. To love others like He loved us!

Jesus at the Tomb

Jesus also said that we should do the works that He did in His ministry. That means that we should see answers to our prayers. We should see people healed, demons cast out and people raised from the dead. These things come from the Spirit of God. They are acts of love. To tap into this our spirit must become one with the Holy Spirit of God.

John 17:20-23
 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

This is what is required. We must become one with God in spirit and this in turn means that we have to turn our backs on our own flesh. This is exactly what Abraham and Jesus did. It is what the apostles of Jesus did as they all died marters for the Gospel of Jesus. Truly, it is the narrow path that leads to God.

The Power of Prayer

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The Morning Star Rising on the First Day

Jesus Wants us to Follow Him

I suspect that every real Christian knows that Jesus wants us to follow Him. It seems however that we sometimes wind us right where we started. In fact, it even happened to the disciples such that Jesus had to come to them after the Crucifixion to get them moving in the right direction. We find this story by looking at the 21st chapter of the Book of John:

Jesus Appears at the Sea of Galilee

1 After these things Jesus manifested Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, and He manifested Himself in this way. 2 Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples were together. 3 Simon Peter *said to them, “I am going fishing.” They *said to him, “We will also come with you.” They went out and got into the boat; and that night they caught nothing.

4 But when the day was now breaking, Jesus stood on the beach; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5 So Jesus *said to them, “Children, you do not have any fish, do you?” They answered Him, “No.” 6 And He said to them, “Cast the net on the right-hand side of the boat and you will find a catch.” So they cast, and then they were not able to haul it in because of the great number of fish. 7 Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved *said to Peter, “It is the Lord.” So when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put his outer garment on (for he was stripped for work), and threw himself into the sea. 8 But the other disciples came in the little boat, for they were not far from the land, but about one hundred yards away, dragging the net full of fish.

9 So when they got out on the land, they *saw a charcoal fire already laid and fish placed on it, and bread. 10 Jesus *said to them, “Bring some of the fish which you have now caught.” 11 Simon Peter went up and drew the net to land, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not torn.

Jesus is the Light of the Wordl

12 Jesus *said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples ventured to question Him, “Who are You?” knowing that it was the Lord. 13 Jesus *came and *took the bread and *gave it to them, and the fish likewise. 14 This is now the third time that Jesus was manifested to the disciples, after He was raised from the dead.

Jesus at the Tomb

So, what we find here is that four of Jesus’ closest disciples had gone back to where they had been when Jesus recruited them many years prior. Peter, Andrew, John and James were all fishermen. The 4th chapter of Matthew tells us this quite clearly:

18 Now as Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. 19 And He *said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. 21 Going on from there He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and He called them. 22 Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him.

So based on this we can see that these four disciples started as fishermen and then returned to fishing after the death and Resurrection of Jesus. Jesus singles out Peter because he is the one that is the leader of the group. He gives Peter a message that no Christian would like to hear. This message is recorded in the 21st chapter of John:

The Love Motivation

15 So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus *said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” He *said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He *said to him, “Tend My lambs.” 16 He *said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” He *said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He *said to him, “Shepherd My sheep.” 17 He *said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus *said to him, “Tend My sheep. 

Jesus the Good Shepherd

18 Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to gird yourself and walk wherever you wished; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will gird you, and bring you where you do not wish to go.” 19 Now this He said, signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He *said to him, “Follow Me!”

This is  what Jesus want of all of us. So, if we find ourselves back doing the same things that we did prior to our commitment to Him, then we would do well to heed His words and follow Him. Here are a few messages that He gave to us that support the messages above:

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. (Matt 16:24)

 

Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” (Matt 19:21)

Jesus *said to him, “If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!”  (John 21:22)


 

The Morning Star Rising on the First Day

 

What did Jesus mean when He Spoke about Judgment?

I read the following scripture this morning that pertained to judgment. The scripture is from Matt 7:

 1 “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2 For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

I have previously written about the subject of “judgment” several times. Quite frankly, much of this writing communicated my personal Judgment Day experiences at a time that I was near death. These experiences were spiritual in nature and are fascinating in that they reveal the truth about what lies on the other side of this life. If you would like to read about these experiences you can follow the following hyperlinks to them:

Judgment-Day

Reliving-my-sins-before-the-Judgment-Seat-of-Christ

Gods-Question-on-Judgment-Day

Opening-the-Books-on-Judgment-Day

Repentance-Brings-Salvation-Even-on-Judgment-Day

The Judgment Seat of Christ

I have also written about Judgment from a definitional point of view. In it I stated that there are two components of Judgment. In one we attempt to determine the truth and then determine the guilt or innocence of the accused.  If found guilty then the second component of judgment is invoked, which is the punishment for the offence.

So, when we look to the scripture presented above, we should ask ourselves what component(s) of judgment is Jesus speaking about? It certainly can not be about knowing the truth as the Holy Spirit often gives us discernment about such things. In addition, we could also be an eye-witness to the act and therefore know the truth. Is Jesus asking us not to be such a witness? Certainly not! Therefore Jesus must be talking about the delivery of punishment to others. 

The words of Jesus are quite powerful here. What they reveal is that if we can simply stop punishing others for their offences, then God will refrain from punishing us at the Judgment Day. This is an amazing promise because it directly impacts our eternity. What is even more amazing is what Jesus does not say. So for example, He makes no reference to any sin that may have committed in our lifetime. In fact, He does not communicate any other condition that would prevent anyone from being free from His Judgment. Simply put, punish not and you will not be punished.

In essence, we then become our own judge, in that how we deal with others will determine our fate. The measure we use to determine an offence worthy of punishment is the measure that will be used to determine our own guilt. The severity of our actions will determine how we are treated.

Jesus on the Cross

Why would this be? I believe that it is because it requires an extraordinary kind of love to do something like this, but it is precisely this kind of love that God desires from us. Jesus commanded us to Love one another as He loved us and we know that the love He gave us was His life on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins. This is the ultimate love; to give up ones life so that others may live forever with God. This is the love that God wants from us!


The Morning Star Rising on the First Day

Read the truly amazing life story about how the forces of good and evil battle over a man and the vision that God gives him. Joseph W. Gordon’s Possess the Vision (Xulon Press, $12.95, 140 pages, ISBN 1-59781-205-6) tells about the mysterious spiritual experiences that occur throughout his lifetime.

Development of Course Ware in Support of Universal Christian Education

 

A few weeks ago we recommend that the universal Christian Community work together toward the deployment of a Christian Educational system. This system could be available to anywhere in the world by leveraging existing computer, communications and software technology.

A key component of all of this is the development of educational content. Content will be the very heart of the product that is to be delivered to the poor and disenfranchised peoples of the world. This course ware will be developed by Christians from across the world and then donated as a gift to all peoples of the world. In addition, processes will be established that enable continuous improvements to the course work as is appropriate. Educational materials will also be modularized such that good material can be reused in future course ware development.

The course ware will be displayed in a multimedia format much like television but will also have interactive components as well. Therefore, this material will require the interactive participation of subject matter experts to address student questions and needs for support. A major portion of this support is to come via on-line television that connects the student to the teacher via the Internet. The thought here is that subject matter experts can be made available much easier when travel and residency outside one’s native country are not a requirement. This strategy will also be very useful in areas of the world where Christian persecution is a problem.  

The Martydom of Saint Paul - Tintoretto in 1556


For cases where the physical presence of a subject matter expert is required, the recommended course of action will be to use local people who are trained to accomplish this mission. So, while I expect that there will be some cases which will require the physical transportation of subject matter experts and teachers, in all cases a plan to transfer this capability into the hands of local people must be carried out. Therefore, train the trainer programs will be developed to achieve this objective and in some cases practical experience must be achieved by transporting people to the host country.

In summary, the computer systems, networks and course ware will support existing missions with the capability to improve the living standards of the peoples of the world, while also spreading the word of Jesus where it is currently absent. They will be a demonstration of the love of the body of Christ for all people. It will help them be self sufficient, not relying on the handouts of others but rather instilling in them the confidence of their ability to adequately care for their families and lead their respective communities.

Undertaking such an initiative will require a tremendous amount of work. But we already have a treasure of religious educational services in place. Certainly there are educational programs deployed for child education that includes K-12 courses. There are religious colleges that specialize in both contemporary as well as religious programs. There are seminaries and religious programs designed to prepare people for ministry. There are also existing audio/visual materials that are teaching programs, bible studies and religious education. These are the places to start because much of the material is available, well though out and proven to be effective. The work to be required would be to transfer this existing material into a form where it can be made available to others through the facilities we have been talking about.  

One of the benefits of participating in such an effort is that there are several positive effects of developing such subject matter. First of all, it would enable these school systems to deploy this material in their own schools. This would provide teachers with a wealth of material to integrate into their own curriculum’s. This can provide the benefit of reducing the amount of time invested in developing this teaching material from scratch. This in turn could free teachers for other necessary activities like providing personalized tutoring, grading exams, preparing for future lesson plans or administrative paperwork.

The material developed for online course work can also be used by new teachers to reduce their class ware. In addition, since the material will be modularized, there will be times when pieces of material from one course can be reused. In such cases teacher productivity is improved. Other productivity improvements will also be provided such as self grading tests, templates for lesson plans, and student collaboration.  

Read the truly amazing life story about how the forces of good and evil battle over a man and the vision that God gives him. Joseph W. Gordon’s Possess the Vision (Xulon Press, $12.95, 140 pages, ISBN 1-59781-205-6) tells about the mysterious spiritual experiences that occur throughout his lifetime.


 

The Morning Star Rising on the First Day

 


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Read my story by ordering my book, “Possess the Vision”

UNITY AND LOVE ARE REQUIRED IN THE MINISTRY OF JESUS CHRIST

One objective of this posting is to communicate the mission of Possess the Vision ministries. In presenting this mission however, we take a good look at the subjects of unity and love which must be at the heart of any ministry attributed to Jesus Christ.

A mission statement addresses the primary objective of the ministry by identifying the direction in which the people are to direct their activities. A good mission statement should also answer the question, what are we to do? The Possess the Vision Mission Statement is presented below:

Christians from all denominations and sects will work together (unite) to collectively deploy the tools, technology, resources, and support necessary to enable all peoples of the world to improve their lives and living standards through the knowledge and blessings of Jesus Christ.

As we mentioned earlier there are two major components of the mission statement. One component is unity and the other is love.

A major component of the mission is to create unity in the bride of Christ as Jesus commanded. It is clear by looking at the following scripture that Jesus expects us to as one in Him and the Father:

I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me (John 17: 20 – 23).

The Power of Prayer

This means that we must work with all other Christians toward continuing the mission that Jesus left us, which is that we love one another. The vision and mission statements presented here lead us to do this in a organized way. This mission is like that of Jesus in that it is designed to spread His love across the planet. Therefore, we must act as one body in love just as Jesus prayed.

This means that we will have to work around many of the issues that are dividing Christians currently. Therefore, our focus must be on Jesus our savior exclusively, striving to do the things that He did while He was on the earth. Further, we must look past our differences by understanding that they stem from the inability of men to always understand the ways and words of God.

Conflicting interpretations of the Bible for example, only reveals that one of the parties are wrong. Such differences can only be attributed to the fallibility of man since there is only unity and peace in the body of Christ. Therefore we must realize that our differences regarding church doctrine, philosophy and dogma are nothing more than different styles. Often these things make no difference in getting into heaven. What I do know is that we must work together because Jesus taught us that a house divided against itself cannot stand.

But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand” (Matthew 12:25).

In addition, the mission started by Jesus is a mission of love.

Little children, I shall be with you a little while longer. You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, “Where I am going, you cannot come,” so now I say to you. A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another (John 13:33 – 35).

The second component of the mission is love. If we love one another we must find a way to work together so that we will not be a house divided and secondly, so that the world will know that we are the true disciples of Jesus. If we love one another we will carry on the mission that Jesus left us. We will seek with all of our heart to have the same impact on the world as Jesus. The people who followed Jesus were fed. The sick that came to Jesus were healed. The people who heard the words of Jesus received the truth about God the Father and His love for them. The mission of Jesus was a mission of love, and the people touched were much better off for the experience. It is in this way that our mission is also a mission of love. It is to this goal that we aspire: that the impact of our ministry will leave the lives of others in a much better state, both physically and spiritually. A mission based on love is supported by the first two commandments.

You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength (Deuteronomy 6:5).

You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD (Leviticus 19:18).

Moses and the Ten Comandments

In addition, much is expected of him to whom much has been given. This places a great deal of burden on us in the developed countries of the world, who do have the goods of the world at a time when there is much poverty and depression in undeveloped areas.

Jesus is also clear about loving unconditionally.

But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back. And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise. But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you (Luke 6:27 – 38).

Therefore, our goal is to love even those who hate us and abuse us. In addition, the love that we give is what we have and what we are. It is a love that will improve the lives to whom it is given. This love includes providing food, medicine, and clothing when needed. In addition, it includes telling the truth about Jesus, which should be evident, based on the demonstration of our actions. In today’s world, our love should show others how to better care for families. We must share our knowledge and technology and, therein, provide the capabilities necessary to achieve this objective. In this we will take them from the darkness and into the light.


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Read my story by ordering my book, “Possess the Vision”


UNITY AND LOVE ARE REQUIRED IN THE MINISTRY OF JESUS CHRIST

Jesus is the Choice of Love

The world is a stage where we demonstrate our choices for either good, or evil. God stopped eternity to give us time (there is no time in eternity) to give us an opportunity to demonstrate where we choose to spend eternity.

Things are not like they we in the Garden of Eden where the perfection of God was everywhere. In the garden all but one choice was good. In addition, there was no knowledge of evil except for the forbidden Tree of Good and Evil. So, I would think that things were easier then. We only had one thing to avoid.

Adam and Eve in the Garden

Things are much more difficult now. God’s perfection is continuously being destroyed by the activities of man. There is only one choice for good and that is the Tree of Life that is Jesus. One the other hand the knowledge of evil is everywhere as people seem do evil without conscience. People seem egger for the evil choices that make them feel good, or that lead to riches or that make them seem important in the eyes of others. All of these can become stumbling blocks for Christians as well. Even Jesus was tempted by these things.

Jesus Tempted in the Wilderness by the Devil

But one thing is certain and that is we all have the power to choose and we demonstrate our choices every day. We choose to either love or to hate, to reveal the truth or lie, to save life or to kill, to be a friend or an enemy, to help others or to help ourselves, to live for God or to server the devil. The choices are all up to us. The power is in our hands.

Our choice to follow Jesus is the difficult road, the road less traveled; the narrow path if you will. It is the choice of love (see our postings on love). It is a difficult path to walk down because the world does not understand why anyone would do it. It makes no sense to them. They see self giving love as illogical. Since they live in darkness they can not comprehend the light of God.

Those who take the road less traveled will find themselves on a genuine search to find God by following the pathway to His door. They will find themselves doing His will, attempting to become like Him, knowing Him and having a personal relationship with Him that lasts forever. In this relationship they become one with Jesus. They will find that our life here on earth is to prepare the way for His return in a similar way to that of John the Baptist, who prepared the way for His first coming.


Do We Have the Love of Jesus in our Heart

Continuing our discussion from our past posting we now address another important point. Based on the scriptures presented in that posting, we suggest that the law of the Jews is replaced by the love in the hearts of the true followers of Jesus. To illustrate the case in point, the law states: “Thou shall not commit adultery,” but Jesus teaches us that it is a matter of the heart:

You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Clearly this is a higher standard that simply refraining from the act alone. This higher standard requires a change in heart, something that the law could not provide.

After all, what kind of heart will not resist an evil person but turn the other cheek? What kind of heart will give a thief both the cloak as well as the coat? What kind of heart will give to those who ask and not turn away? What kind of heart gives love their enemies, blesses those that curse them, does good to people that hate them and prays for those who despitefully use and persecute them?

Disciples Carry Jesus Down From The Cross

It takes a perfect heart. What kind of heart does it take to pray to truly seek and worship God rather than pray for our own selfish desires? What kind of heart will fast simply to shed the bonds of the flesh so as to move closer to God? What kind of heart will turn aside the treasures of the earth in favor of the treasures of Heaven? What kind of heart will sell all they have and follow Jesus? Whose heart will trust Him in all things?

Hearts can only be changed by the infilling of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit

This infilling comes only when we seek to move closer to God, to change our lives and to become more like Jesus. The Holly Spirit comes only to those who seek Him. It is our choice to do so and our actions and commitment reaffirm this desire. God will not come to us uninvited.

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost

So seek Him with all of you mind, body and spirit.  And pray!

The Power of Prayer


The Calling of Jesus is Our Calling

The calling for those of us who follow Jesus is that we demonstrate His compassion and love.

As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. (John 15:9 – 13)

Jesus Sheds His Blood on the Cross

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. (John 15:13)

That we take action based on the empowerment of His Holy Spirit to bring life changing impacts on the lost world.

And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” (Mark16:15 – 18)

Saint Peter Healing the Cripple - Raising Tabitha - Masolino

That their diseases be healed, that their pain be eliminated, that their demons be displaced, that life be restored, that their sins be forgiven and that their relationship be restored with the Father. In this way we will have demonstrated through our life choices how we are changed from what we were before we accepted Jesus as our Savior.

For believers the law has no impact when we are following of the Holy Spirit into truth, light and life. The Holy Spirit brings compassion and love into our hearts and this replaces the need for formal laws to govern our behavior. For it is written that Jesus came to fulfill the law and in this regard He taught His despises as documented in the following passages from Mathew:

Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Jesus Speaks to the Multitude

You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lamp stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

The Transfigured Jesus With Moses And Elijah

Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire. Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny.

You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Jesu and the Adulterous Woman

If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. Furthermore it has been said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.

Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.’ But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.

You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also.

Jesus Nailed to the Cross

And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away. You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly. And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.

Jesus Prays in the Garden at Gethsemane

Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness! No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces. Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

Jesus Knocks

For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them. Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name? And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall. (Matthew 5:3 – 7-15)


The passages above go far beyond the law provided by Moses. The law will remain as a reminder from God to the world as to what is good and what is evil. But Jesus commands us to change our hearts such that we have no desire for evil. Following rules in an effort to get into heaven does not make your heart acceptable to God. It is our heart that he wants us to change! This is what we strive for in attempting to by like Jesus. We strive to change our hearts such that we no longer contemplate doing evil. When we reach the point where we have no desire to do evil, then there is no evil in us and as a result the devil has no power over us.

In reviewing the scripture presented above we find Jesus communicating many of the characteristics of true love in His sermon. I have outlined them here as an easy reference and review:

1. Merciful
2. Pure
3. Peace maker
4. Bold in the Lord
5. Steadfast in the Lord
6. Being visible for the Lord
7. Non Judgmental
8. Reconciled to brothers
9. Promising nothing
10. Non resistive
11. Going the extra mile
12. Giving
13. Loving all including enemies
14. Not drawing attention to self
15. Forgiving
16. Creating treasure in heaven
17. Positive
18. Putting God first
19. Letting God provide
20. Seeking God
21. Seeking improvement
22. Asking God
23. Doing on to others as you would have them do unto you
24. Seeking the narrow path


    Read my amazing true life story about how the forces of good and evil battle for my life and the vision that God has given me. My book, “Possess the Vision,” communicates my supernatural experiences and as a result, provides insight into the realm of the spiritual warfare that is raging for our souls and our purpose. This is a must read for all Christians. Learn more by following this link: Possess-the-Vision-at-Amazon

    The Meaning of Life Is Found In Love

    Our core purpose here is to better understand Jesus so that can direct our life toward becoming more like Him.

    Jesus while healing a young man, who is Demon-possessed, with no hearing

    In this regard we have revealed the core fundamentals of Christian Love in previous postings.  Now we hope to initiate a series of postings that will help us better understand of the meaning of life.

    In this posting we will seek to tie the two concepts together by proposing that the meaning of life, which is founded on our life choices, is found by choosing to love, which is to give ourselves away out of compassion for others. Out of this come some insights on how to demonstrate love properly in our lives.

    Today we will cover the first of these insights. It is based on the proclamation by Jesus not to judge on another less we ourselves be judged. This judgment on the last day is in turn a key component of the meaning of life, so let’s start with some background material prior to delving into the main subject.

    Jesus is the Light of the World

    The law has been fulfilled with the advent of Jesus Christ which means that we are no longer judged in accordance with the letter of the law or mans interpretations, but rather in accord with the love in our heart. Jesus will be the judge of our heart.

    I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. (2 Timothy 4:1 – 2)

    In addition, His judgment will be perfect because He seeks not His own will but rather, that the will of the Father be done.

    John 8:15 – 16 You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. And yet if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone, but I am with the Father who sent Me.

    Jesus taught us to love God and to love one another, and if in fact we have God’s love in our hearts then our choices will reflect that love.

    Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:29 – 31)

    In addition, if in fact we act in accordance with the love in our hearts, then no man can judge us. For this reason Jesus taught us not to judge.

    Do not Judge

    We will now look at judgment and investigate why Jesus taught us not to judge others. Prior to diving into this subject however we must start by defining judgment precisely.

    There are two major components of judgment. The first component is making a decision of the innocence or guilt of the suspect. The second component is determining the appropriate punishment for the offence.

    We will address the first of these two components of judgment now. Our current legal system provides us with a good example of one way to determine the innocence of guilt of the person charged with a crime. This judgment is man’s best attempt at ascertaining the truth about the matter. This type of judgment often requires that we use imperfect or uncertain information in making the decision. Because of this the judgments of man are often imperfect because we only see the circumstances and have no visibility into the hearts of men.

    While it is true that we all will be judged on the last day, this type of judgment will not be required because the Lord will know the truth by simply looking at us (at our garments).

    You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. (Revelation 3:4 – 5)

    Our judgment on the last day will be as simple as separating goats from sheep for the Lord.

    When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; (Matthew25:31 – 35)

    The point to be made here is that the Lord knows the truth because He has perfect knowledge of the facts of our lives.

    My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him. For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. (1 John 3:18 – 20)

    Since our judgment is imperfect and the Lords in perfect, we should defer all judgment to Him and not speculate about others based on circumstantial evidence.

    This brings us to the second form of judgment wherein a decision is made about the appropriate punishment of the guilty. This is component of justice is also well demonstrated in our court systems. For example, the court judge often decides the sentence to impose based on the rule of law and the nature of the grievances.

    In a like manner the Lord will judge us on the last day.

    And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: (Matthew 25:33 – 35)

    If we are followers of Jesus (sheep) then we will spend eternity forever with Jesus. If on the other hand we are followers of our own self interests (a goat) then we will be cast into the everlasting fire along with the devil.

    Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’ (Matthew 25:41 – 43)

    Now we will return to the reason that we do not judge others. Because the judgment of the Lord is perfect and ours is not we should withhold all forms of punishment upon others, understanding that appropriate punishment will be executed on the last day by the Lord. Restricting our judgmental punishment on others is an acknowledgment of our limitations and is a form of Christian love.

    Clearly, the meaning of our lives is to demonstrate the love of Jesus to those around us such that we will then be called by Jesus into His kingdom on the last day. One of the ways that we demonstrate that love is by eliminating judgmental punishment of others as Jesus demonstrated to us. We will present an example of how Jesus achieved this in our next posting, so that we can all have a reference to His real world actions in this regard.

    Until then, may God bless you all!

    Papa Joe Gordon

    These things I command you, that you love one another. (John 15:17)


    Do We Demonstrate Love like Jesus

    If the meaning of life is manifest in our life choices (as communicated in a prior post) then it may be a good time for all of us to examine our choices. What do our daily life choices say about us? Are our choices a reflection of God’s will? Do they reflect unselfish Christian Love or are they focused on what is best for us. What do we choose to watch on TV or to listen to on the radio? How do we react to people who are rude to us? What do we do when a beggar asks for money? What do we do when we know that an orphan or widow needs help, or a friend is in need? Do our words create life or death? Do they bring good or evil? What do our life choices say about what is in your heart? Is there Christian love in your heart? Are you making the types of choices that Jesus did in his life?

    Jesus Washes Disciples Feet

    If you want more help in determining if your life choices are reflecting Christian love, or if you would like to contrast you life choices to those of Jesus, then click on one of the postings listed below. They will provide insight into the attributes of love and will present examples of how Jesus that demonstrate them. Here they are:

    What-is-Christian-Love

    Christian-Love-Suffers-Long

    Christian-Love-is-Kind

    Christian-Love-Does-Not-Envy

    Christian-Love-Does-Not-Parade-Itself

    Christian-Love-is-Not-Puffed-Up

    Christian-Love-Does-Not-Behave-Rudely

    Christian-Love-Does-Not-Seek-Its-Own

    Christian-Love-is-Not-Provoked

    Christian-Love-Thinks-No-Evil

    Christian-Love-Bears-All-Things

    Christian-Love-Believes-All-Things

    Christian-Love-Hopes-All-Things

    Christian-Love-Never-Fails

    Choose now to accept Jesus Christ as the Savior of you life and reject Satan and all evil in this world. Open you heart to the one true source of all Love. Do it right now.