Promised Land Living: Importance of Transformation

pharisee

Continued from here.

Before moving on, let’s focus on Grace in the graphic from the last blog entry. People tend to judge one another by what they do, but God is much more concerned about who we are. So, as two people do the same thing (such as giving to the poor), people would see them as the same while God might see them radically differently.

The purpose of doing what God says to do is to transform you into Christlikeness. This only happens if you allow yourself to change, which is why the Bible talks about God loving a cheerful giver. If you are doing the right things for the wrong reasons, then transformation won’t take place, which is why Jesus came down so hard on the Pharisees. Jesus told them to clean the inside of the cup, and then the outside would be clean.

Doing what God tells us to do is putting on the breastplate of righteousness. It empowers us to do what He tells us to do with His help because most of what He tells us to do is impossible without Him. As we act in obedience to God — out of love for God, he cleanses the inside, which produces fruit on the outside.

Where the Pharisees went wrong, as well as the legalists of today, is that they attempted to do the things the Bible tells us to do but for the wrong reasons. They were not seeking internal transformation: they sought to “do better” than other people, which fed their pride … and that’s the key to the state of your heart. If you give to the poor out of love for God, you grow in humility. However, if you give to the poor to “be a better Christian” than other people, you grow in pride and become a whitewashed tomb.

Never compare what you do to what someone else does. The Bible tells us to act justly but to love mercy, so I must hold myself accountable for doing what God tells me to do while, at the same time, extend grace to you when you don’t. My focus must always be on God, not on other people, and I must never compare myself to other people to puff myself up about what a “good Christian” I am. Keep your focus on God, do what He tells you to do, and you will transform.

Continued here.

[Graphic: This graphic is the same one described here, but it zooms in on Grace. Courtesy Bitmoji and Grace Daniels.]

Promised Land Living: Growing in Christ

04_growing_christianContinued from here.

As I stated in my last blog entry, receiving Jesus as your personal Savior is the starting point of Christianity, not the ending point. If you simply invite Jesus into your heart to “get out of going to hell,” you miss the point of Jesus’ sacrifice for you. He came to restore your relationship with God (the cycle of holiness), and he came to give you abundant life. This isn’t going to happen if you live a selfish life, only concerned with staying out of hell and otherwise living your life however you feel like living it.

The Great Commission is to go and make disciples, not selfish Christians who only care about avoiding hell. Jesus specified that we are to teach people to obey everything that Jesus commanded. That means we need to do what God tells us to do and teach others to do so as well. If you are unwilling to do what God says to do, you are not Jesus’ disciple, so don’t expect to enjoy the many wonderful blessings that God has promised for those who love Him. If you love God, you will keep His commandments.

As you can see from the graphic, keeping God’s commands requires us to put on the breastplate of righteousness. While it doesn’t change the unholy energy being pushed in, it prevents some of that unholy energy from being pushed out onto others. This feels unnatural, so obedience is always intentional. No more lazy Christianity – we must choose to do the right thing – what God wants us to do — regardless of how we feel.

As we choose to act in obedience to God, we begin pulling more of God’s holy energy into our souls. This is the key to the sowing and reaping principle. If I need more financial provision, I need to tithe — regardless of how I feel — to pull God’s provision into my life. If I need to experience more of God’s grace, I must extend grace to others – regardless of how I feel. Do you need to feel loved? Be loving to others. Do you need to feel valued? Then value others.

Every action we take in obedience to God’s Word pulls what we have given to others into our own lives. Writing letters of recommendations for others invites God to bring us a new job. Babysitting a friend’s child invites God to provide childcare for our own children. Every act of kindness we choose is love: pouring more of God out to others and leaving room for God to replenish us with more of Himself.

Continued here.

[Graphic: “Growing Christian.” This graphic is the same as for Baby Christians with a notable exception: Grace is wearing the Breastplate of Righteousness, so even though much unholy energy & thoughts are being pushed in and digested, the proportion of holy versus unholy energy coming out of her has shifted, with more holy energy and less unholy energy as compared to the Baby Christian stage. Courtesy Bitmoji and Grace Daniels.]

Promised Land Living: Restoration through Jesus

03_baby_christianContinued from here.

This graphic shows how Jesus reconnects us to God. If you only look at Grace, she doesn’t look much different other than having a yellow heart. However, being connected to Jesus makes a profound difference because, through him, the cycle of holiness has been reestablished.

Jesus is different from every other person who has walked the face of the earth because he never digested any unholiness. He always used (and continues to use) the Helmet of Salvation to send all unholy energy to the cross, where he paid the penalty once and for all. He only digests the holy energy that we send him and then freely offers that energy back to God. He serves as a kidney of sorts, separating the evil from the good in our energy flowing to him so we can be connected back to God.

This diagram shows what an immature (or baby) Christian looks like because from the outside, you don’t see much difference between Grace and people without a connection to God. Grace is still allowing unholy energy and thoughts to be pushed in and digests them, which keeps her soul “sick.” What comes in must go out, so she continues to push out negative energy to the people around her. She can easily blend in with unbelievers because her actions and reactions are going to be pretty much the same as anyone without a relationship with God.

And yet, Grace is experiencing the reconnection of the cycle of holiness through God’s grace and Jesus’ sacrifice. The Holy Spirit now resides in her, which is represented by the yellow heart, and has planted a seed that has the potential to grow into spiritual fruit. God has given her all she needs to live a life of freedom in Christ, but she must do her part before that happens. I’ll address that topic in my next blog entry.

Sadly, too many Christians stay in this immature stage for the rest of their lives. They believe that receiving Jesus as their Savior is enough because now they don’t have to worry about going to hell. However, Jesus did not sacrifice himself to “get people out of hell” – His sacrifice was to restore people into relationship with God, which isn’t happening in this immature stage of Christianity. Being “saved by Jesus” is the starting point, not the ending point.

If this is as far as your walk with God has gotten you, it’s time to grow up! God has many more blessings to share with you, and having a close, deep, personal, and intimate relationship with Him at the top of the list.

Continued here.

[Graphic: “Baby Christian.” This is the same graphic as for Separation from God with two notable differences. The first is that Grace has a yellow heart, enabling some holy energy to be freely offered along with the unholy energy that continues to be pushed out. Instead of Grace being separated from God, Jesus bridges the gap. Grace’s unholy energy goes to Jesus, and his Helmet of Salvation sends all negative energy to the cross without entering his soul. Only the holy energy enters his soul and flows out of his heart back to God, who freely receives it, completing the cycle of holiness despite little holy energy flowing through Grace. Courtesy Bitmoji and Grace Daniels.]