Truth

Why do I sin when I don’t want to?

Have you ever found yourself committing a sin, even when you know it’s not even nearly worth it? That the repercussions, guilt, and separation from God far outweigh any fleeting and empty pleasure it might give you, but you do it anyway? How can we do something so contrary to all reason?

It’s not a mere short term mentality that’s the problem, because when we observe how we actually feel mid-sin, we’ll find there’s no joy, no happiness, and whatever pleasure it has is just water off a duck’s back.

It’s because we give in to the lie that we are evil, and incapable of being saved, being good, being loved. We push God away because we believe we’re going to lose Him, because we don’t trust Him to really love us.

“He [satan] was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” Jn 8:44

Satan is called the deceiver, the father of lies, the tempter, and the accuser in scripture, and these are referring to the same thing. Satan tempts us by deceiving us, by making accusations against us, our neighbours, and God, telling us that we are each others’ enemies by nature, and cannot trust each other. We are only ever enemies because of satan’s lies.

throne-of-lies

Satan’s lies are everywhere. We’re told over and over that this, this and this is what you truly need, and then you’ll be a rich, fulfilled George Clooney lookalike with a beautiful girlfriend, or, I don’t know, J-Lo. “If you don’t have these things, you’re a nobody.” We’re told that no one can be trusted, and for that reason, we shouldn’t be trustworthy ourselves. We’re presented with a judgmental God, who begrudges us salvation.

So next time I face temptation, I plan to remind myself of the gospel I stand in. The gospel of God who delights in mercy; God loves and strengthens us; He is Our Father, and we are all brothers and sisters, and this is all that matters. Whatever lies I’m told, even if the whole world repeats them to me, I’ll listen instead to God’s truth.

In a world founded on so many lies, whose prince (Jn 16:11) is himself the father of lies (Jn 8:44), to stand in truth is an act of total rebellion. Jesus said, “Whoever is not with me is against me” (Mt 12:30), and we must all choose a side. Christians have an obligation to reject every lie the world tells us, for our salvation and the salvation of the world.

‘In this day and age unless Christians are revolutionaries they are not Christians.’
-Pope Francis

 

God bless you!

The truth will set you free

Freedom is a bit of an obsession of mine, largely because of its relationship to truth.
If I believe a lie, I am a slave to the deceiver, because I don’t live according to the world I live in. I’m not in accordance with the nature of my existence.
If I tell lies or live a lie, I make a slave of myself, as I deny my own nature in favour of one that does not exist. A lie always concerns the liars nature, at the least by the idea that they know what they talk of.
What is freedom but being true to yourself? But who is yourself? We are such twisted creatures that we seem to be contradictory things at different times, and often at once. And not only are we divided, but we are profound. We contain depths beyond our own knowledge.
That ‘Who am I?’ is a valid question, is enough to show its significance. It is one of the greatest question of all. Whether we study maths, chemistry, animals, people, religion, God, or anything else, we’re looking for where we fit in, and what that makes us.

“If you continue in my word, you shall be my disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth: and the truth shall make you free.”
John 8:31-32

What truth does Jesus mean? The truth about who we are.
According to Jesus and his disciples, we are the objects of God’s love, we are His children, we are called to His family. We are here to love. This is freedom.
But this is not just the answer for humanity. We are not loved just as a part of humanity, but as an individual child of God, made in His image. Our place isn’t as specks in a faceless mass.
We exist for perfect love. What is love?

By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
1 John 3:16

Love is a giving, and especially a giving up. And love is also receiving, and sharing.
Love is giving what is good, and especially giving up what is good, for another’s sake. Love is sharing in another’s sorrows, weaknesses and struggles. And love is receiving another’s gifts of love, with joy, thanksgiving, and the plan of giving back whatever you can. And so, love is the complete sharing of life.
God gave us life and His Son, Jesus Christ gave up his life for us. By his incarnation, Jesus, the eternal Word made flesh, shared in the sorrows, weaknesses and struggles of all humanity. We ought to receive his gifts, including his very self, with joy, thanksgiving, and the plan of offering him ourselves, as we follow him, carrying our crosses. And he will be faithful, and receive our offering with joy, and continue to give himself to us. And we will share in his life, as he abides in us, and we abide in him.
This is what we truly are, this is what we are made for, and this is our freedom.

Love doesn’t seem to be perfect freedom. What if we were slaves? Would we not then be free by resistance and disobedience, rather than love?
No, because if we consistently disobeyed, for example, the masters could just tell us what not to do. My point is, we can even become slaves to resistance itself.
Undoubtedly, there are times and ways to resist all injustices, and it is an imperative of love to take such opportunities, but resistance is not freedom itself. Even in such conditions, love is the greatest freedom, because by love, we are our true selves no matter who or what may oppose us.
To love our enemies is not only righteous and relaxing, but genuinely liberating, as we live by the truth of us, of them, and of God, that no one’s actions can ever change.

I’d like to finish with a prayer:

Heavenly Father,
Help us to know, remember, and live by the truth;
Help us to live in freedom, and to liberate others;
Help us to live by your love, always.
Give us to love and seek the truth with all humility, and with great joy and zeal.
Teach us to be grateful to you at all times, for our existence and for our redemption, and so for our entire lives.
Teach us, by your Holy Spirit, to pay without ceasing, so that we may thank you always, serve you always, listen to you always, and accept you always.
Amen.

May God bless you, and your family.

Freedom

I’ve been thinking a good deal on what freedom is, and have come to the conclusion that freedom is living by love. Our love is our defining quality. We are defined as the image of God, and children of God, and this God is love.

Love is our truest self. It is our original form. Sin is a horrible add-on, and nothing sinful defines us any more than cancer defines the human body. Being true to yourself is living by and nurturing the love in you. As the cancer and the healthy body are enemies, where the service of one hurts the other; so too is the sinful self and the image of God. The image of God, our true selves, will be tortured when sin is served, but when God is being served, sin is being put to death.

You cannot be lost and free. If you do not know the way, the availability of many ways is useless. Jesus is the way. Live in him, and as he did.

Some say being free is about not living for others. I disagree, because my love, makes me live for others.

However, I agree that we are not free until we are true to ourselves. That means not lying about yourself, what you like, how you feel and what you believe, no matter what you‘ll miss out on. To pretend to be something you’re not for some gain, is to sell yourself, and so be a slave. Even if you are totally honest with some, you will be a slave around the others. If what you are is controlled by the wants of others, they own you.

The strange thing is that disowning yourself, dying to self, and being a slave to God are major new testament themes, as well as being made free in Christ. And they aren’t in contention! We are free from sin, to live as slaves to God, as we truly desire!

Disowning self and dying to self means sacrificing all we have to God who lives within us. You aren’t free until you’re willing to give up all but the aim of your freedom. The aim of our freedom is God. If anyone demands your everything, you are their slave. So freedom in God, is slavery to God and vice-versa! We are slaves to God BECAUSE we are FREE IN GOD!

Can I hear a hallelujah! (Roughly translated that is “lets party with God!“)

‘according to my earnest expectation and hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, and in all freedom, as always, also now Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether through life or through death.’
1Corinthians 1:20 (while in chains for the gospel)

God bless you. I began this post with a small idea of freedom, and finished with a big idea of freedom and slavery to God! Thank you.
God bless you again.

The meaning of a life

I’ve recently been grabbed by the question of the meaning of my life. I know the meaning of life as a whole (it’s love in its purest, most self-sacrificial form [Jesus-like love] [God is love]) but now I am faced with the unexpected question of what to do with my life.
I’ve been looking for grand things to do, and new ways to reveal and manifest love to the whole world.
But it striked me, just minutes ago, that we are unaware what the most significant thing we ever do is. Tomorrow I may begin to revolutionize the world, through a tiny gesture of love, or through sharing some tiny portion of truth, and perhaps never know my effect on the world.
I wouldn’t underestimate the impact a tiny but pure amount of love and truth could have.

The point I’m making here, is that because of the nature of human inspiration, its a life that is pure that will save the world, rather than a life that is grand.
This doesn’t give me the final answer of what I’m doing with my life, but it has made me more at peace, as God can use me whatever I do, so long as I live in Him and listen to him. I’m sure I‘ll be used greatly, but I don’t know that I will know at the time.

God is love, and he who is remaining in the love, in God he doth remain, and God in him.

1John 4:16

God bless you.