The Single Narrative


The Bible, which means the book, is a single narrative that points to one person. 66 books written over the span of human history, and they all stay consistent; Christ, the Word of God, who never changes.

Advertisements

The Process of Dreams


– Gen.37:5-8 – Joseph had a dream. When he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more. He said, “Listen to this dream I had. We were all out in the field gathering bundles of wheat. All of a sudden my bundle stood straight up and your bundles circled around it and bowed down to mine.” His brothers said, “So! You’re going to rule us? You’re going to boss us around?” And they hated him more than ever because of his dreamsThe brothers were saying, “Here comes that dreamer. Let’s kill him and throw him into one of these old cisterns; we can say that a vicious animal ate him up. We’ll see what his dreams amount to.

Joseph had a prophetic dream, but then became a prisoner. He didn’t understand the fullness of the prophetic dream. He didn’t understand that he wouldn’t be a ruler over the house of Jacob, but over the earth, in the house of Pharaoh as well.

What if all the prophecies we receive, have a far larger application than our original interpretation?

Joseph was a great prophet, and he didn’t know the interpretation to his own word. Joseph used his prophet gift to try to manipulate his own jailbreak. He asked the cup bearer, who he helped, to get him out. God didn’t allow him to get out at that moment, because Joseph would’ve gone home to a dysfunctional family; to a father that didn’t believe he was alive, brothers that were trying to kill him, and they would’ve all starved to death in the 7 year famine. God doesn’t always grant our requests because we would settle for less than the best for our lives. Joseph went from the pit to the palace, and he wasn’t a prisoner in Egypt; he was a prisoner to a prophetic process. God puts the film into a dark room when He wants to develop a clear picture. He agitates the film in the solution to get the picture to come through.

Film Development in Dark Room

Don’t give up on your dreams. If God gives you a dream, He can bring you into it. It might not look like it is working out, but it will. There will be no question that it was Him that brought it to pass.


You have to be able to tackle the mountain of ME before you can take another mountain. ‘For the joy set before him, Jesus endured the cross (Heb.12:2).’ 

The cross is the process of getting from where you are, to your dream
– The cross is the contradiction

We need to understand the paradoxical ways God works, and trust Him to take us through the process to our promised palace.

7 Quotes from the Cross

Jesus went through His worst day, to help you through yours. When we go through junk, it makes us masters and gives us wisdom for those going through the same struggles. In one day Jesus was emotionally distraught to the point of sweating blood, was physically beaten, strung up naked for public humiliation, rejected by all his friend, suffered the most agonizing death, and yet he still perfectly taught us how to get through a bad day. He said 7 things on the cross, and all of them are significant for us today:

  1. “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke23:34)
  2. “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” ( Luke23:39-43)
  3. “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” (John19:25-27)
  4. “My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?” (Matt.27)
  5.  “I’m thirsty.” (John19:29)
  6. “It is finished.” (John19:30)
  7.  “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” (Luke23:44-46)

Fix your Eyes on Jesus– Heb. 12:2 (MSG) – keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God.


1. On your worst day, forgive people
“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke23:34)

– Eph. 6:12 – we struggle not against flesh and blood but evil forces in the spirit realm.

If you need someone to be mad at, get mad at the devil.

Leave It, or be a Slave to ItForgiveness is not:
1) Minimizing the seriousness of the offense
2) Instant restoration of trust
3) Resuming the relationship without changes

We need to forgive because:
1) Our own emotions can’t be healed from the pain until we let go of it
2) Everyone has done something wrong
3) If we can’t forgive, we can’t be forgiven by God or man
4) Jesus forgave us
5) The people who hurt us were victims too


2. On your worst day, help someone else
“Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” ( Luke23:39-43)

Criminal on Cross– Luke 23:39-43 – One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!” But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? “And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”

Jesus was dying on the cross, and He didn’t fear piling on more rejection from people, or harm from the soldiers – He still spoke the truth. He talked to the two criminals hanging next to Him. It was a 50/50 shoot. He took the chance and He saved one! One criminal accepted Jesus as his savior. The other, more or less, said, ‘Get yourself off the cross and I’ll believe what you have to say; why should I trust you if you are in the same position I’m in?’ It didn’t faze Jesus.

Help othersWe feel like we don’t have the right to try to help others when we are going through the same struggle that they are. Jesus shows us otherwise. On your worst day, and in the middle of your worst situation, you can still speak Life to someone else. ‪It probably comforted Jesus to have a friend hanging there next to Him, going through the same pain He felt; especially after all his so-called friends had rejected Him that day. It’s easy to say ‘I can’t take anymore’, but what if helping someone else is God’s way of lifting our pain? Taking our mind off our own problems can ease our anxiety. Seeing someone else go through the same struggle can give us a different perspective that can help us. There are countless ways that God uses helping others, to help ourselves.

– 2 Cor. 1:3-4 – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

– Col. 3:12 – Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.


3. On your worst day, take care of those who are important to you
“Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” (John19:25-27)

Jesus helps Mary from the cross– John 19:25-27 – Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.

Joseph, Mary’s husband, was dead and Jesus, her son, was dying. Jesus’ situation was really bad, but He still did what it took to take care of those He loved; even if it meant getting a friend to help Him do it.

The people closest to you, usually get the brunt of your bad day, but Jesus took care of the people closest to Him. What a great example!


4. On your worst day, you’ll feel like God has forsaken you
“My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?” (Matt.27)

Job forsakenSometimes we try to make God tell us why, before we do what He assigned to us.

– Job 3:23 (MSG) – What’s the point of life when it doesn’t make sense, when God blocks all the roads to meaning?

Realize that there are going to be some questions that you don’t get an answer for. We live by faith, and without faith it is impossible to please God. God says His plans for us are good, so we have to take His word for it sometimes. When you get to heaven, and get the answer, you will say, ‘Oooo, ok. I couldn’t see that, but I’m glad that happened the way it did.’ God’s plan for everyone is good. Job basically said, ‘God, make this mess in my life go away, or at least tell me why my life is so messed up.’ There are 35 chapters of that, before God responds from a scary storm:

– Job 38:2 – Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge?

– Job 38:1-5 – Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!

– Job 38:18-21 – Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth? Tell me, if you know all this. “What is the way to the abode of light? And where does darkness reside? Can you take them to their places? Do you know the paths to their dwellings? Surely you know, for you were already born! You have lived so many years!

– Job 40:2 – Do you still want to argue with the Almighty? You are God’s critic, but do you have the answers?

God creates UniverseBasically, we assume that if God gave us an answer that we would be able to comprehend it. Gods understanding far exceeds our own. Sometimes the answer is too complex for us. We can only understand it once we get to heaven and see how it played out with our new, more capable, mind.

God got a little sarcastic with Job. God who has lived infinite years, said ‘Surely you know, since you have lived so many years!’ The point is, we don’t have to understand everything. We can just trust Him. Paul & Silas did:

– Acts 16:22-23 – The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods. After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison

Was it God’s will for them to be flogged and imprisoned? No. It happened because God gave people freewill, and the ability to make their own choices. Freewill is a gift, but unfortunately it is one that is highly abused. God chose not to control us, or make us slaves, and I thank Him for it, because I’ve had enough control and manipulation in my life to be sick of it. Anyway, they were flogged and most of us would be wondering why God would allow that to happen. Yes freewill, but yes, He could also save them. God could’ve rescued them. God rescued several other people from things like this. Nonetheless, they weren’t offended that God didn’t rescue them. In fact:

– Acts 16:25-26 – About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.

Paul & Silas in PrisonGod delivered them. He came through. Not on their timing, but with perfect timing. They went on the mission to spread the gospel. The free people didn’t receive the message, but God knew who would. The people in the prison had been mistreated the same way Paul and Silas had. Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom. Paul and Silas had freedom, and that freedom got on everyone. God allowed Paul to go through the flogging so he could save all the prisoners. Since that was Paul’s intentions of going to the city anyway, I don’t think he would’ve had a problem with being flogged, once he knew how many people it saved. But Paul didn’t have to know God’s plan in advance. He knew God and trusted that His plan was good.

Remember:
1. God is always with you; even in the depths of hell (Ps.139:7-8 )
2. God is never late (Hab. 2:3)
3. God knows best (Heb.11:39-40)
4. God cares (James5:11)


5. On your worst day, you have needs
“I’m thirsty.”
(John19:29)

Jesus drinks Be human enough to acknowledge your need. We feel like we can’t have feelings or emotions. We like to act like we have it all together, but God Himself acknowledged His need. We need people in the church to start being real with each other.

We all have hidden weaknesses, a desire for approval, and past hurts that need healing. We need support, growth, protection, and unconditional love. This is what the church should look like.


6. On your worst day, you need to know that it doesn’t last forever
“It is finished.” (John19:30)

HopeBe confident that there is a purpose, and an end, to every suffering. No struggle is pointless. No suffering is unending. This life is temporary, but the glory to come is eternal and every tear will be wiped away.

– Ps. 126:5-6 – those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.

– Rom. 8:28 – And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

He works everything out for our good.

– 2 Tim. 1:12 – That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.

1. I know that God loves me
2. I know that God wants the best for me
3. I know that God has a plan for me
4. I know that God will bring me through

– Lam. 3:21-22 – Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.

– 2 Tim. 4:18 – The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.


7. On your worst day, you can give it to God
“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” (Luke23:44-46)

quoteJesus felt abandoned by His father, but He still knew that He needed to trust Him. Surrender your day to God, and let it go. I’m going to turn this loose and let you have it, God. I want to hold onto this, but take it over.

– 1 Peter 5:7 – Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

– Phil. 4:6-7 – Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Worry is a control issue. Are you going to be in control or is God going to be in control? The root word means to choke or strangle. It means a divided mind. Worry is unreasonable, unnatural, unhelpful, and unnecessary.

– Matt. 6:27 – Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

RestWorry doesn’t make life better, it shortens life. Ever heard the phrase: ‘I’m worried sick.’ Worry is bad for us. Remember God promises us 7,000 times, in the Bible, that He will take care of us.

– Matt. 6:32 (MSG) – People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

– Matt. 6:33 – But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

1. Get to know God
2. Put God first in every area of your life
3. Live one day at a time


For more on this topic: How to Live Through A Bad Day – Highlands Sermon Series
Worship: Where you Go, I Go, by Jesus Culture


If you enjoyed this post please +follow lovedisciple

The Body of Christ

Some denominations think the body of Christ is composed of only their sect. What is the body of Christ? Why call us His body? What does it mean?

Let me paint a picture for you of the body of Christ:
– Jesus is the head of the body.
– We are the parts of the body.
– The Spirit is the power of the body: the Spirit is the communication system of the body; the neurons, or synapses.

The Spirit is an advanced communication system to the spiritual body of Christ, much like nerurons transmitting information in our physical body.

The Spirit is an advanced communication system to the spiritual body of Christ, much like nerurons transmitting information in our physical body.

When you, a part of the body, are hurting, you pray! The Spirit inside of you sends the message to Jesus, who asks God; God then gives the answer to Jesus (the mind), who gives it to the Spirit (the neurons), who gives it to you (the body part).

So, imagine again that we are the body of Christ. We make up different parts, but we are all joined together by the Spirit of God. We pray and we listen. I can send a prayer request to the mind (Jesus), and Jesus can tell another part of the body, who is listening, to come help me. I didn’t have to know how, or who, could help. I just need to know that Jesus can help. Jesus can send whoever is needed, but He can only use the parts of the body who are listening to the Spirit (functioning in the Body). So, also, I can pray for what I know I need, but then I can pray in tongues, by the gift of the Spirit, so that God is praying for me. The Spirit knows everything, and He can activate the right part of the body to come to my aid, where I couldn’t know the who, what, when, and wheres.

Let’s look at the verses for this painting:

– 1 Cor. 12:13-14 – For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.

– Col. 1:18 – Jesus is the head of the body, the church.

– Matt. 10:20 – For it is not you who will be speakingit will be the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

– 1 Cor. 14:2,14,39 – For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to people but to GodFor if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays.. I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my understanding… Therefore, my brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues.

The true baptism is the baptism of the Spirit; this baptism which Jesus said would be greater than water baptism, was first seen on the day of Pentecost. Now, go and baptism in the name of the Holy Spirit also.

The true baptism is the baptism of the Spirit; this baptism which Jesus said would be greater than water baptism, was first seen on the day of Pentecost. Now, go and baptism in the name of the Holy Spirit also.

– Rom. 8:26-27 – the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

– 1 Cor.2:10-11 – for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man who is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.

To function as part of the body of Christ, we need to be able to function under the power of the Spirit. Any part of the body that does not respond to the signals, transmitted from the mind to that part, is broken.


Now let’s paint a picture of teamwork:
One horse can pull 700 pounds and another horse can pull 800 pounds, but together they can pull 3000 pounds! Here are just 3 ways we can use this concept:

yoked oxen1. Teamwork (exponential power) in Marriage: Taking this concept we can begin to understand why God said not to marry someone who is unequally yoked. You need to be healthy & whole when you marry, and choose someone just as strong as you are. You don’t put two damaged, injured oxen under a yoke and expect them to carry 3000 pounds with ease; the burden becomes heavy and hurts them even more. Likewise, you don’t take a donkey and yoke it to an ox. The ox overpowers the donkey, and it can hurt both animals. So don’t marry an unbeliever, or a believer who hasn’t been completely set free from the pains of sin yet. Someone who is not living in the fullness of the Spirit is dead weight. We cannot help those who are not trying to help them themselves or looking to God for help. Those who are trying, and looking, we can help like this:

2. Teamwork (exponential power) in Life: Jesus set this example for us…

– Matt. 27:32 – As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross.

We don’t take the cross from people, we have our own, but we can help people carry their cross. Look how much it looks like a yoke.

Cross help

We need people to help us through life. We were never meant to walk alone. In Jesus days people walked in groups to their destinations. We still walk in groups in life; we travel short and long periods beside each other, toward like destinations – one day with one person, and 20 years with another. God has a purpose for where He put you. He marked out the timing and location of your life. Get to know the people around you and help them carry the burden.

Acts 17:26 – From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. – Esther 4:14 – For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?

A decree had been made that all the Jews would die. No one knew Esther was a Jew. She could’ve kept living her cushy life as queen, but she saw God’s calling on her life; she put her life on the line to help someone else. She took on the burden. These are the good works God has destined for you since the beginning of time: Help those around you.

– Rom. 12:16 – Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

That guy didn’t want to help Jesus; he saw Jesus as a criminal with a death sentence.  Helping others, helps us too though. We learn their struggles and pain; we learn of their good and bad decisions. We gain wisdom for our own lives, causing the power of exponential growth. Maybe what we learn from them helps us, or helps the next person we meet. Along with helping them, pray for God to help them:

3. Teamwork (exponential power) in Prayer:

group prayer– Matt. 18:19 – Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.” – Jos. 23:10 – One of you routs a thousand, because the Lord your God fights for you, just as he promised. – Is. 30:17 – A thousand will flee at the threat of one; at the threat of five you will all flee away, till you are left like a flagstaff on a mountaintop, like a banner on a hill. – Ex. 17:15 – Moses built an altar and called it Jehovah Nissi.

Joan of Arc with bannerJehovah Nissi means ‘the Lord is my Banner’. The Lord is my victory! God fights for us when we remind Him of His promises in prayer. He is with us when we pray, but when we agree with other people in prayer HOLD ON TO YOUR HAT! Jesus found a man who was demon possessed; the demon called himself Legion, saying he was many. Jesus, one person, put 1,000 demons to flight. Imagine what we can do when we come together, in unity, as the body of Christ, to pray for our nations problems. Demons flee, situations change, and Jesus gives us the victory! For those who are praying in the Spirit (in tongues), there is exponential power available. Everyone in the Spirit is united by the Spirit:

Example:
– Earlier this week, I thought about a teaching I had borrowed. I felt like I had kept it too long, but I wanted to finish taking notes on it, so I ripped the cd’s and put the discs in my purse. While at work, yesterday, the lender called me; I couldn’t answer, but I put the disc in her mailbox. Just then she came through the doors, checked her mail, and said, ‘WOW! God is good! His timing always astounds me. In ten minutes I am going to a meeting, and the person I’m meeting needs this study!’ The Spirit of God knew her heart, mine, and the next persons – and provided for all of us. The lender never asked me to return the study, or asked when I would be done, but the Holy Spirit knew and gave us the tools we needed to keep seeking out His will and ways.

– One day, while living in habitual sin (wayward from God), I had a desire. Someone living in the same type of sin, or under the same demonic spirit, came to me and brought me the things I had desired. They didn’t know I wanted them, and they knew that I would not use those items with them, but the evil spirit dwelling in both of us knew both of our hearts. That demonic spirit saw that he sinfully wanted to give me the items, and that I wanted the items to help me keep sinning. These items where something strange, and I was not close to this person; even in my waywardness I knew that there was no way this could’ve happened without demonic influence. That demonic spirit provided for both of us the things that we needed to continue growing in our lives of sin. You have an enemy and he mimics God’s ways. Satan has a plan for your life too. God says, if you aren’t for me, you are against me. We might not even see it, but if we don’t have the Spirit of God, we have the spirit of something else.

– Phil. 2:2 – … by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.

– 1 John 4 – Dear friends, test the spirits to see whether they are from God; This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood… He has given us of his Spirit. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.

Simply acknowledging Jesus isn’t enough to be able to discern the Holy Spirit from a demonic spirit. We need the gift of discernment from God. We also need to realize that Satan knows who Jesus is, and he can quote scripture; he tempted Jesus in the desert with scriptures that he had perverted, twisted up, to use in the wrong context as lies. Demons, likewise, can acknowledge Jesus and know scripture, but they cannot produce God’s version of love. They can only give a perverse imitation of the things God creates. They are trying to deceive us.

The Lord said He would light our path, but He does this through the gift of the Spirit called discernment. If you refuse His way, good luck...

The Lord said He would light our path, but He does this through the gift of the Spirit called discernment. If you refuse His way, good luck…

Example:
– God’s version of love is respect and patience; saving sex for marriage and protecting others. True love heals.

– A demon’s version of love can be providing a feeling of love when you have sex outside of marriage; a false/imitation love that never holds true for long. You take what you want and after you have become one in spirit (and body) with your lover, you are ripped from them leaving both people broken. False love breaks.

– 1 Cor. 12:7-10 – Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.To one there is given through the Spirit… distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues…

– Luke 4:33-34 – In the synagogue there was a man possessed by the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, “Let us alone! What business do we have with each other, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are– the Holy One of God!”

The gifts are for today! You need to be unified to the body of Christ, through the Spirit, to be able to pray, and to be able to discern. The gifts are necessary for this day and age, because there are many AntiChrist spirits running amuck. The only way to recognize Truth is through the Spirit of Truth (the Spirit of Jesus) and with the gifts/tools He gave us (1 Cor. 12).

– 1 Cor. 14:1 – Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit


If you enjoyed this post please +follow lovedisciple

The False Gospel

Christians act nothing like Christ, right? Why? Over and over again the Bible shows us that there is a true gospel and a false gospel. Paul talks about this in Galations, but the first allusion to the 2 gospels was in the Garden of Eden. We’ll look to see how this true & false gospel relate back to the Tree of Life (TOL) and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good & Evil (TKGE).

– Gal. 1:1 – Paul, an apostle—sent not from men nor by a man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead…

– Gal. 1:6-7 – I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.

Self-righteousness is the false gospel. It's rampant in the South. It's why people hate 'Christians.'

Self-righteousness is the false gospel. It’s rampant in the South. It’s why people hate ‘Christians.’

One gospel is based on religion, or man’s attempt to get to God; it’s based on how well you can follow rules. This is the basis for most every religion in the world. It asks the question: How am I going to become godly? The other gospel is based on a relationship with God; you fall in love with Him, so you draw close to Him. How am I going to become godly?

– Gen. 2:8-9 – The Lord God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed. Out of the ground the Lord God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

– Gen. 2:16-17 -The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”

– Gen. 3:1-7 – Now (Satan in the form of) the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ ”“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil

the serpent deceived meSatan appealed to Eve’s desire to be godly. He said, eat this fruit and it will make you like God. Once they ate from the TKGE God threw them out of Eden so they would not eat from the TOL. Some of us have already eaten from Jesus, the TOL, but we are currently eating from the TKGE. This is not good. Don’t keep eating or keep living in deception; Salvation is in Christ alone.

… “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

Religion can give us a knowledge of what is good and what is wrong. It can make us look righteous on the outside, and make us look like we are wise, but it always makes you naked. Every person has fallen short of the glory of God. We all sin. If you trust in your own ability of knowing good vs evil, you will still fall short. You cannot save yourself, nor can this knowledge always keep you from sinning. Partaking of the TKGE will always result in your nakedness, shame, and failure. What are the two different gospels? 1) One focuses on what you do: You aren’t thinking about reading your Bible because you love the Bible – you’re thinking about how many chapters you’ve read. You think you have it together because you haven’t missed a Sunday all year, or you’ve checked all the boxes on the spiritual to do list. One focuses on what Jesus does: You aren’t focused on how much you read, but on how much Jesus you can find in what you’ve read. You aren’t applauding your scheduling, but all that Jesus has done in your life and around you during the year.

– John 5:39-40 – You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.

2) One focuses on getting God’s approval: This is the inherent belief that God is mad at you. There was a study done on how different regions see God, and the South predominantly believed that God was mad at them or that He was hard to please. This thinking says, I better not clap too loud today cause God knows I’m a hypocrite and didn’t act right this weekend. You think you have to memorize the book of Proverbs to have God’s approval. You treat sinners as beneath you. One focuses on receiving God’s love: You aren’t focused on gaining His approval; you are resting in His approval. You may sin, but God still loves you. He doesn’t like the sin, but the sin didn’t change His love for you. You show sinners God’s love, right where they are, without condemnation about anything. Love is Alpha and Omega.

– Rom. 5:8 – While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

We don’t get our act together to get to God; we go to God to get our act together. Within His love there is no condemnation; only conviction that raises us up from our sin, and shows us how to love on the same level that He does.

– 1 John 4:19 – We love because he first loved us

3) One focuses on external duty: I have to do this or do that. One focuses on internal desire: I want to do this or do that.

– Jer. 17:10 – I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds

The Lord sees the heart and knows which tree you are eating from. He does not want to punish you. He wants you to choose to eat from the TOL.

– Gen. 3:24 – guard the way to the tree of life – Rev. 2:7 – To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God. – John 14:6 – Jesus answered, I am the way and the truth and the life.

Jesus, the Tree of Life. I love the paradox of Christianity.

Jesus, the Tree of Life. I love the paradox of Christianity.

Jesus is the Tree of Life. We need to partake of Him and His grace. We should not partake of the AntiChrist (TKGE/religion) that says 1)I know Jesus, 2)I know what He says is good and bad, and 3)I can follow those rules to save myself. Self-Righteousness cannot save you. Trying to obey the law cannot save you.

– Eph. 2:8-9 – For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. – James 2:10 – For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.

– 1 John 5:3,12 – In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome… Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

His commands are burdensome if you are eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good & Evil (TKGE). It is burdensome to take the whole weight of the law on yourself and think that you can carry it by your own power. It’s only when we eat from the Tree of Life (TOL), the grace of Jesus, that the burden of the law is lifted and we can live in the freedom of His Spirit.

– 2 Cor. 3:17 – Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom

How do I eat from the Tree of Life (TOL)? 1. Fall in love with Jesus (Think about who He is (Love), and the death He endured to save you.) 2. Don’t allow condemnation 3. Make the choice everyday

– John 14:15 – If you love me (Jesus), keep my commands

We can read this from either tree: TKGE: If you love me, you will obey me and show me that you are a good person. TKGE reads it backwards; they make it say: Keep my commands to prove your love. TOL: Just love me. Just love me, and you will automatically do the things that show me love. You’ll want to do the things.

– Deut. 30:19 – This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life

In every moment, take your thoughts captive and test them to see If they line up with the Tree of Life. Lie: God is mad at me because I sinned. The TKGE says I will be punished for my sin. God must be mad with me. I should punish myself and allow others to punish me. Truth: God loves me. Jesus, the TOL, says He died to take away my sin. When I ask Him to forgive me, He does so immediately; And though He knows everything, He chooses to never again remember my sin. He took on the punishment; He is not interested in punishing me. We are in right relationship and our love can freely flow. He is proud of me. I am His child, and He is my patient, loving Dad. He takes delight in my honesty that I messed up, and He says ‘I’ve already got you covered, now go have fun and make the right choice next time.’


To learn more listen here: The Two Gospels – Galations Series, by Highlands If you enjoyed this post please +follow lovedisciple