It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter. Proverbs 25:2

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World Religion or Relationship With God

World religion has become a distortion of reality which people use as a means of displaying a false goodness in an effort to get blessing from God or look good in the eyes of people. Work is done and duties are performed to appear important and to be connected to a worldly system of religion created to keep people busy laboring. This busyness can keep one from a close relationship with God and from the knowledge and understanding that is needed for their true purpose and true identity.

With the fall of mankind he was removed from the presence and family of God; mankind lost their awareness of who they were and how to commune with God. Jesus came to take away the sin that distorted who we had become and showed us the path to follow to the true life God has designed for us.

We have been taught by society and our culture that we are to stay busy and work hard to get ahead in this world system. Priority is placed on earthly and temporal things of the world rather than the eternal things of God. Jesus tells us to seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be given to us.

Many people feel hopeless once they hear we are to be righteous, because they do not believe they can live up to God’s standard of righteousness. So they do things their own way. Jesus is our righteousness; He paid the price for us so that we can live in a right position with God as forgiven children. That is what righteousness means- we are now in a right relationship with God and He no longer sees our failures but Jesus’ Righteousness. This is done by a simple act of our will, submitting to God’s way by faith in the completed work of Jesus. We cannot work our way into righteousness, we receive it as a gift and then we work to renew our minds to the kingdom ways and God’s love.

Matthews 6:31-34a Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow

People are trained from a young age to be consumed with getting money, a bigger car, bigger house and bigger bank account. They are so obsessed with satisfying self and getting ahead, they fail to learn how to trust God and to rest on His promises that develops faith. When people do not realize there is a greater purpose, they lose sight of the most important eternal plan of God which is a relationship with God and the people who are created in His image.

Jesus came to show us the Father and to give us a new life, a new family and a new identity. Identity defines purpose and purpose changes behavior. This fallen world wants people to believe in the theory of evolution; that their identity came from animals. If their identity is distorted and they think they come from an animal, then their purpose is to be like an animal and then their behavior will reflect behavior of an animal. Jesus came to show us our true identity so we may understand our created purpose to reflect the image of God. Then our behavior will line up with God’s created purpose, to look like and act like His children with everyone we meet.

When we seek God’s kingdom, we learn that we are to operate through the Sovereign Grace of God which is in Christ Jesus. Many people struggle with religion because it is hard to give up old ways of thinking and old ways of doing things. We all understand the difficult process of breaking old habits in the natural. God has given us His Grace through Jesus to give us the desire and the ability to do His good pleasure. Yet still, so many people fail to ask God to give them the power to be set free of old habits and mindsets through the power of the Holy Spirit. When we seek God while we are still in our mess, God will give us the aspiration and strength to do His will.

Philippians 2:13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure

The pride of mankind is the root of world religion to lift up self and the rejection of God’s Grace. The pride of religion says, “I can do things to please God in my own strength” and the pride of rejecting God says, “I do not need God, I can do it in my own way.” Though it is God’s Sovereign will that all men should come to repentance, His Love for us allows everyone their ability to choose, by the act of their will; God’s life eternal or their own way which is pride and destruction. True love never forces anyone to love them, though they may desire, encourage and pursue. Love always leaves the choice to their beloved to receive or reject their love. Although, God loves us and desires fellowship with us, God will never force anyone to come to Him.

Some people believe Jesus lived His life through His Own power as God, which is why He could do all that He did, but He did not. Jesus laid aside His right to operate as God Divine, to become a man. He limited Himself so He could show us how to live this life by the power of the Holy Spirit and to show us our true identity. He lived to show us how we should live now on earth with eternal life in the kingdom of God and not waiting until we die. Now in this life we should live by the power of Holy Spirit so people will know Him and seek His kingdom. Jesus died so we would be reinstated into the family of God while on earth to reflect the glory and love of God.

We have no excuse not to live the life Christ lived. Jesus lived and suffered as a person. He went through trials and hardships in life. Jesus prayed and cried out to God Who was able to save Him. Yet, Jesus submitted His will to God’s will and He obeyed God. This is the one thing every person who walks in victory must do, die to self and trust their life to God by submitting their will to God’s will. This is a simple act of the will but it is not necessarily easy. The greatest battle one will fight is the battle of one’s own will.

* When we understand the kingdom of God, then we will not be seduced to go after the things of this world, the world’s way.

* When we develop faith in God to supply all our needs, then we will not be fearful when we are faced with difficult situations.

* When we are identified with Christ as children of God, we can humble ourselves to serve others because we trust God and know we are of the royal family of God. We can die to our selfish, destructive lifestyle and live for the kingdom of God.

Remember, worldly religion teaches us to stay busy doing things and although they may be good things, they may not be the priority God has for us. God places His kingdom and our relationship with Jesus, which produces the righteousness of God, as the first priority.

Transformation- A Constant Loop of Dying To Self That We May Live Like Christ

Being born again is a onetime event that occurs when we die to this fallen world system and are reborn into the family of God in Christ Jesus. Our purpose is to look like and act like our Heavenly Father by being transformed from the old life into the character and personality of God. This transformation is represented as a cycle of life that is a constant loop of dying to self and being renewed to the likeness and the mindset of Christ.

It is a continuous process of being renewed in the things of the spirit while dying to the things of this fallen world. This is a cycle of descending into death to the life we live in this fallen world system and ascending to a new life in Christ. We must die to the things that promote an egotistical and self-absorbed life where the primary concern is with oneself.

When we are born again as followers of Christ, our spirits are reborn to the original purpose, to replenish this world with the image of God. Though our spirit man has been reborn, our mind and bodies remain trained to the customs and way of this fallen world. It is the process of renewing our old mindset to the things above and the things that impact eternity and the souls of men.

Colossians 3:2-3, 5a, 7, 8a, 9b, 10 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth:… 7 in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them. 8a But now you yourselves are to put off all these…. 9b, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,

This process starts with dying to self-interest and living for the Kingdom of God. To tell oneself “no” is something that must be cultivated because this world system has trained us to be self-centered and not to deny ourselves. The word of God tells us to sacrifice ourselves for others and to go the extra mile when needed. Life is about the choices we make.

We can choose to continue in the same life style we were trained by this world system or choose to live a renewed life. The fallen nature of mankind is always looking for self-gratification even at the expense of others. But in the Kingdom system we give our lives so others may live. This is what Jesus did and as He is, so are we in this world.

1 John 4:17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.

When we are born again we are to renew our minds and understand the Kingdom of God has come. This Kingdom works on totally different principles, unlike this world system. We must begin to operate in the principles Jesus taught and live by God’s Kingdom system of seedtime and harvest. Recognizing the process of dying to oneself is the seed that is planted and then this death will produce a new life.

When we choose to die to ourselves then our lives and energy can be planted in the lives of others. Through this others may see and know the love and the life of God. This is eternal life, dying to self in the natural but living eternally in the spirit, which brings forth life and abundant fruit in our lives.

The principles of seedtime and harvest, consist of planting at the present time, with the hope and expectation of reaping later, but greater than we sowed. Farmers live by this principle all their lives; understanding to sow a seed means giving up something you have but with the full assurance that it will return in a greater amount than which was sown. A single seed, when it is planted dies to its original form but it produces abundance once the cycle of harvest is completed. We are well aware of the concept, you reap what you sow; what goes around comes around or karma. All these life sayings speaks of seedtime and harvest. When we sow we will reap later than what we sowed but it will be greater also.

Genesis 8:22 While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, Cold and heat, Winter and summer And day and night Shall not cease.”

When we understand this universal principle of saying no to self, we will have the ability to transform our lives to be like Christ, so that we may bring life to others. When we learn how to operate in this spiritual principle of sowing and reaping, we become like Christ Who sowed His life as the spiritual seed to bring an abundant harvest in our lives for the Kingdom and the image of God.

The Cycle of Life – Cause, Reaction and Effect

The cycle of life is experienced in the completed process of cause, effect and of reaction. Cause and Effect are defined as a relationship between events or experiences where one is the result of the other. It is a combination of actions and reactions.

People living on earth are the “causes” or the reason things are happening. It is because we have our own existence- “life,” that causes us to have opportunities to experience these cycles.. The “effects” are our experience, good or bad. Our reactions are our choices; ability to choose, our “will” to determine how we will respond to unfavorable experiences in life. Our reactions will determine how our lives will be lived out, or in essence, determine our destiny. Our actions may be a conscience decision to deliberately respond or an unconscious response we do out of habit or training. Our actions or reactions will set our life on a course that will result in the consequences of our choices.

Many people fail to see the correlation their choices and the consequences of those choices. Most people are taught to respond out of feelings, not conscience decisions that realize the effect of those responses. Therefore, they lose the connections that their negative reactions to life situations can start another process of cause, effect and the cycle will continue or begin again.

We see many feuds and or family tendencies continue for years and even generations because they continually respond in the same manner. Many people facing life challenges tend to respond in a way that produces a continued negative cycle. But, when positive reactions are consciously made, as a result of an individual choice, then that effect will also change. Thus a new life cycle is created.

In every situation we will go through this cycle of life. We will encounter a life event that will affect our being and then we will choose a response to that event. The choice we make at the time of this encounter will set our lives on a trajectory and the outcome will be a direct result of our choices. The thing about life experiences and mistakes are they cannot be undone. However, we can go through them and face the consequence of our choice of action and then hopefully make better decisions in the future.

Our past does not have to dictate our present or our future. Our present choices will determine our future. As the saying goes, you have to do things differently if you want different results. We cannot change the past but we can press through and live through the current consequences so that w can make better choices for our future.

How we respond to what life throws at us will govern the outcome of our lives. We are all part of the larger circle of life in our families and communities. But, we are the first circle in this cycle of life for our own destiny and that of our children as we decide by the choices we make.

In this new life, with a new birth, we have a Sovereign Lord and live in the kingdom of God. This fallen world system tells us to respond to our feelings but God tells us to respond in light of His word. The world says we have every right to be mad, angry and to hate those who have wronged us. God says love your enemy, to do good to others and to pray for those who have wronged us. These are two totally different reactions to the same effect of being wronged. Hate will lead to bitterness and destruction but it is the automatic response in this fallen nature. The Holy Spirit gives us the ability to forgive and to respond with love.

The circle continues with its circular motion and it has no definite end. Cycles will continue to go on until deliberate actions or deeds are taken to alter that cycle. It takes a new way of thinking and new decisions to choose to respond differently than what you have been taught through life. It must be a choice of the will to forgive and love those who have harmed us and it is because of love God and for God that constrains us.

2 Corinthians 5:14-15 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.

To change the cycle of a destructive life style we must change the belief system, which governs the circle of life –“cause, effect and reaction.” Dying to self with a renewed mind in Christ will place us in a new circle of supernatural life in Christ.

Life is a series of events. How we navigate these with our thoughts, words and deeds will affect us and our future generations. Mistakes cannot be undone but we can move past them as we go through the completion of the full circle of cause, and reaction to situations with different choices. This is a difficult thing to do in the natural but God has given us a new nature, in Christ Jesus.

Life is Experienced In Cycles

This life process is the sum total of the experiences that we have while living in our God given, earthly bodies. This process of life is lived and experienced in cycles. We should understand life is experienced through a series of cycles that we call failures or successes with the aim of maturing us for our created purpose. When we experience failures, they are only the compost of life that leads to growth. If we see these set-backs as stimuli that help us flourish, then we would not give up on our lives or our dreams when we have these catastrophic experiences but allow them to propel us forward. These challenges should be filtered through knowledge that they are part of life’s cycles. This can lead to a great expectation and hope for our future, because we understand, that which appears to be failure, is just part of the process of success in the cycles of life.

Genesis 8: 22 While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, Cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease.

God gave life cycles in the very beginning. He declared, while the earth remains, there will be seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer and day and night, which shall not cease. We see in nature the cycles God has given life. It is seen as a constant loop of birth, life or the survival of life, death and birth again. This cycle symbolizes nature’s way of giving endless life back to earth and it expresses a natural and spiritual principle. Life is a continuous process, it is sacred and divine, which represents the infinite nature of energy that flows from God.

Jesus spoke of this principle with the parable which says, unless the seed falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone. But if it dies, it produces much grain. This is a spiritual process or the cycle of life; to die to one’s self-interest, to humble ourselves as to die to pride and self-importance so to give one’s self freely for others. This life will produce much fruit in the lives of those that are impacted. To those who refuse to die to self, pride and narcissistic tendencies, will remain alone. We see this all too well in the lives of people who live selfishly. They tend to end up alone but those who sacrifice themselves for others, tend to live a fuller life.

John 12:24-25 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

The Bible tells us to observe things in nature, so it may teach us life lessons on how to live productive lives. The natural world is a tapestry where spiritual lessons of life are seen. People are born and the events of their lives tell their story until their bodies die in the natural state. But, because we are spirit and energy, our spirits will never cease to be. This is the cycle of life; we see life being born, the body dies and then is transformed into a different form of energy that enriches the ground and produces more life. We can do the same spiritually; die to self, so we may sow good seed into the lives of others.

Though our bodies will die, our spirit will live eternally as it is the created energy of God who is eternal. Our few years of life are gifts from God that we have been given for the purpose of being God’s representatives and ambassadors for His kingdom as we go through this process of life on earth.

Proverbs 30: 24- 28 There are four things which are little on the earth, But they are exceedingly wise: The ants are a people not strong, Yet they prepare their food in the summer; The rock badgers are a feeble folk, Yet they make their homes in the crags; The locusts have no king, Yet they all advance in ranks; The spider skillfully grasps with its hands, And it is in kings’ palaces.

Life works in cycles, seedtime and harvest. The earth is circular and the galaxy rotates in cycles around planets. Time is viewed in cycles; the rising and going down of the sun, winter and summer seasons and the truism of what goes around, comes around. If we see life’s events as a process lived in cycles, then we will understand that everything will change and nothing will remain the same. These things we are experiencing, bad or good, will in time pass.

When we learn to live life in light of these cycles, then the things life takes us through will be seen as life lessons learned so we may grow and mature through these times. We can live a life full of expectation with hope for what the future has in store, because we understand the process and have faith in God who created us for the purpose of succeeding and reflecting His life.

The cycle of life is a gift from God, regardless of how it is conceived or viewed by this world system. Every life that is born is precious to God and has the potential of being like Christ’s life.

Our Life Experiences Are Great Opportunities To Impact Eternity

Our life experiences do not have to dictate our successes or failures in this life. They are truly opportunities for us to display our true beliefs. It is our responses to these experiences that will let people know what we really believe. Our actions will determine our future of failures or successes. How we respond to the things we go through and experience in life are the very occasions that will impact our families and communities and eternity. There is a way that seems right, in the sight of mankind, because it is what everyone does, but it leads to death and destruction. There is another way that appears to be foolish in the eyes of the world because it is God’s way and leads to the truth and everlasting life.

Proverb 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death. NKJV

In the beginning God gave us a purpose and a process. Our purpose is to look like Him because we were created in His image. The process is living this life in a way that may be fruitful and multiply His image to fill the whole earth with His reflection. This is done by having dominion over the things of the earth.

Genesis 1: 27- 28A So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion… NKJV

With the fall, mankind lost sight of his purpose and lost their created identity to be the image of God on the earth. Mankind was transformed into the likeness of the one whom they obeyed, Satan, and darkness prevailed. Instead of mankind subduing his enemy and having dominion over the challenges, they listened to the father of lies and became like him. Yet, God did not lose sight of the purpose and plan He had before the world began, which is to be in fellowship with us and for us to be in the family of God.

Though every society and people group tries to dehumanize and humiliate different segments of people groups, but their value are beyond any natural price. Only the life of God Himself could purchase and redeem us. Many people go to great lengths to create hate, self-hate and disunity for the purpose of exalting themselves even at the expense of others. Every life is valuable to God and is worth the high cost of Jesus’ blood.

The highest commandment is to love God and the second is to love those who were created in His image. Some people see God’s commandment, to love and to forgive others, as a light matter. Many think because of God’s love, He would not require them to go through such humiliation of lowering themselves to forgive others. Many have endured some horrendous wrongs and injustices and they believe a loving God would not require them to forgive. The refusal to forgive others and being concern for one’s own rights are results of a fallen nature and not the nature of God. However, it is the very love of God and His Mercy towards us that requires us to die to pride and self-centeredness and forgive others.

1 Corinthians 1: 21 b, 27 …the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.
But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; NKJV

This world values knowledge and intellect, but this too, is part of this fallen world system. Many refuse to acknowledge the truth and wisdom of God. Just as in the beginning, mankind went after the knowledge of good and evil rather than believe the truth of God’s word. Some people today would rather give up the truth of God’s word so they may appear to be intellectual and knowledgeable in the world’s eyes.

The things this world calls foolish God will use to disgrace and dishonor the mighty things of this world’s systems. When we allow knowledge and intellect to rise above the truth of God’s word and His love, it will eventually lead to destruction. It takes a mind schooled and trained in the wisdom of God to understand that we must die to our self-interests. It is when we humble ourselves to the love of God, we will be exalted in due season.

Jesus displayed a life of humility and service to others. He is our Sovereign King, Lord and Teacher. He shows us how we are to live this God given life on earth. Though Jesus was equal with God, He did not think He was robbed when He took on the body of a man and became a servant to all mankind. Jesus is God and yet He humbled Himself to wash the feet of a traitor, who was about to have Him killed. Jesus was reflecting the image of God on the earth by His acts of love and dying to Self-interest so others may live.

John 14:7-9 If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.” Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? NKJV

Life experiences will always give us opportunities to impact eternity, just as Jesus did and in similar ways. Everyone that follows Christ should reflect and speak the love of God, to the wicked and the just. So people who see us will see the love of the Father in and through our lives, because we live like Christ. The things we experience in life are great and wonderful opportunities for us to display God’s kingdom life, love and the light of God in this dark world.

Life Is A Process With A Purpose

Life is a process with a purpose. Life is a God given process for the purpose of displaying His glory and love on the earth. Everything that exists was made and sustained by God. God’s original purpose for creation was for the world to be the reflection of His love. Through the process of life we should strive to be like God and to display His love in every cycle of life. Many people ask the question, why am I here or what is my purpose? They have simply lost sight of their created being and purpose.

All life comes from the source of life, God. God spoke and life’s energy came from Him. This energy and life is a continued process that will never cease because it came from the source that is everlasting, the Divine nature of God. Scientists tell us energy never dies; it may change forms but it will always exist. Mankind was created to live forever like God but after the fall this life process transformed from its original state. The consequence of the choice made in the beginning caused the whole world to be taken into a different trajectory.

Colossians 1:16-17 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. NKJV

Everything was created by God, for God and that includes every person born and every living thing. We are told to die to self, so that is to give up what we were never created for, self- indulgences and extravagances of self. There is a fallen system vying for our time, attention and life. This fallen system is set up to train and teach us to be something we were not created to be, and that is to be narcissistic and self-focused.

As the result of the fall, every civilization, society and people group spawns a culture of divide through hate and self- importance. No matter how civilized or primitive the people are, this fallen system has trained everyone from the time they were born to be concerned with self-preservation. This has become an intrinsic attribute of us all because of the fall. Life cultivates a fallen system to teach people to dislike those things that are not like themselves.

Our battle in life is not against family, friends or people who do not look like us or those who are called our enemy. Our fight is against the lies and systems that have been put into place over time to cultivate and to continue this cycle of disunity, hate and destruction. There are territories, domains, and systems set up in high places of authority to perform evil and cause wicked things to happen for the assurance of one person, race or culture to flourish, while it decapitates and destroys those who are unlike them.

Ephesians 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. NKJV

The battle is for us to be set free from the lies, principalities, beliefs and attitudes of this world, that life has instilled into us. We have been “home-schooled” in a fallen system to cultivate, to bring division, hatred of others, to be egotistical and self-indulgent, for the purpose of getting ahead in this life.

The only true way to be successful is to go back to one’s original purpose, which is to display the love of God on the earth. This can only be done when we die to self and give up this narcissistic life style that we were not created for. God’s love gives so that others may live and this is the life Jesus displayed. Jesus is our example and our role model on how we are to live this life.

John 12:24-26 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor. NKJV

Jesus gives us a powerful life lesson in this parable on how to be successful in this life and life eternal. He gives us a preeminent statement in saying, according to the Greek meaning, “most” (greatest or utmost) – “assuredly” (defiantly, certainly, or unquestionably) when we humble ourselves low, as to die to one’s self, it produces much in life. Those who love their lives in this fallen system of egotistical self-indulgences, more than they love and obey God, they will lose not only in this life, but eternal life also.

This is a hard truth. Not many can bear it. Only those whose minds have been renewed and trained in the household of God the Father may receive it. Life shows us we can train the mind to think it is impossible to be free. We see it in the training of an elephant when it is young. It is taught the chain around its foot is too strong to be broken and even as an adult, when it strong enough to break free, it does not. The elephant has been trained to believe it cannot be free and it remains in that state unless a great situation of danger, such as fire, arises and causes the elephant to want to be free.

Mankind was created with the purpose of living and walking in the love of God with all creation on the earth. Through the fall, we lost not only God’s Spirit but our identity and purpose of showing His love. God did not lose sight of us and who He created us to be. He sent Jesus not only to save us from sin but to bring us back into the family of God and to bring us truth.

If we are a true follower of Christ, then we are servants and His servants will follow His

Being Offended – The Stumbling Block That Causes Many To Fall

The feeling of being offended is one of the most crippling snares. It is cloaked, disguised and concealed in the pretense of being right or defending one’s rights. When we take this natural life so personally, our sex, race, religion or culture we are offended in these areas. We feel we have every right to get upset and defend who we are. When we are insulted, overlooked or injured in some manner, we are offended because “self” sits on the throne of our hearts and not the love of God.

Mark 4: 17 And they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble. NKJV

The spirit of offense is so subtle, we hardly recognize its effect on our decisions, character or even our future. Offense happens because we have placed our attention on ourselves. When arguments or conflicts arise, those who are offended will respond most likely in a natural but fallen way and that is to defend or vindicate their own interest. Followers of Christ are told to renew their minds to a new way of thinking in light of God’s word and His love for all people. People are often offended when they look at things from a personal perspective and rather than God’s perspective.

John 15:18-20a If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you…

Followers of Christ are called to be dead to this life but to live their lives hidden with Christ in God. It is impossible to offend a dead person. They can be kicked, insulted and even injured, but there will not be a response. This is how a life hidden in Christ will respond because we trust Jesus. We know we can trust Him with our life and our situations. God is able to orchestrate circumstances and work them out for our good and His glory. Just as He provided and protected Daniel in the lion’s den and the three Hebrews thrown into the fire, He will bring us out of our horrible situations. God did not keep them from going through their difficult times but He was with them in them and He will vindicate us. God will bring the high and lofty things down and the lowly up. God knows the plans He has for us to give us hope and a future.

Colossians 3:2-3 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God

Many feel they must vindicate themselves because they do not trust God and believe He will fail them. Many blame God for all the hurt, wrong and death in this world. They do not understand it is because of the fall of mankind and sin that these things exist. Many may trust God with their souls and their eternity but not with their present hurt, pain and life conditions.

When our minds have been renewed to God’s way of thinking, we know we are seated in the heavens with Christ. Our perspective should be different when we are seated high above the things of this world as kings and priests with Jesus. We should no longer view situations as personal attacks and allow life to offend us. We are to see these concerns and problems as opportunities for us to display the love and the life of Christ. It is when we are no longer offended by life that we can respond in love. The world will be taken by surprise by our actions. They will ask the secret to the strength, which allows us to forgive and love those who misuse or even hate us.

It is when we lay down our lives for another and act from a position of love and not self, that others may see God’s heart. When we respond in love, the love of God is planted into the lives of people. The pain of life may have hardened some people’s hearts because of what they have been through. When we display God’s love, though there may not appear to be a change or acknowledgment of our acts of kindness, the seed of God’s love will be sewn in their lives. Everything has a season; a time to plant and a time to harvest. It is God who changes lives with the seeds sewn by His children into the hearts of those who are lost.

Matthew 11: 6 And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.” NKJV

John 16:1 These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble

We should not be so easily offended. When we understand our battles are not with people but with the principles of this fallen world, then we are able to show the love of God. When we die we must entrust our bodies and the fate of our bodies to others. So it is with those who trust God with their fate and even their vindication. God knows the beginning from the end; He is Alpha and Omega and knows the motives and intentions of a man’s heart. Jesus is the One who lives for eternity and His heart is to love those who are created in His image. We must dethrone “self,” our pride and our egos so Jesus may reign on the throne of our hearts. As Jesus gave His body to save others, we as the body of Christ on the earth, must live in love and not offense.

John 15:33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

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