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February 2005

funeral-001"Mr. Smith was a man who always clocked in at work on time. He took his job seriously, never missing a day. He always paid his bills on time. He loved his car and was always diligent to change the oil every 3000 miles. His yard was always perfectly manicured. He walked his dog faithfully. He never missed a Sunday at church in all the years we'd known him. He was faithful with his tithes and offerings. He is survived by his wife Betty. They had no children."

How will the eulogy read at your funeral? Will the clergyman talk about all your egocentric exploits, or will he talk of the lives you've touched? What kind of legacy will you leave for others? Will your relatives and friends have anything good to say about you? Or does it really matter, since you will be dead?

What Is "It" That Really Matters?

Many of us take pride in saying, "I don't care what people think!" "It" isn't good to be controlled by the opinions of others, but like "it" or not, "Man is not an island!" We are created to have relationships with others and a big part of healthy relationships is care and concern for one another.

The "I don't care" attitude is easy to reflect in a world that has become very critical and judgmental. For many, life boils down to loose talk about those we live with, as the media spins out of control, reflecting "it" back into our face. Have we become an insecure people, who thrive on looking for a person's faults and reporting them?

Maybe we should evaluate what really matters. Let's try to imagine how "it" will be at the end of time, or at the end of your life. Not what people will say, but what will God say? Will He be pleased by the your final contribution? Isn't this what really matters?

Is Religion "It"?

All my life, I felt that if "it" was going to get done, I'd have to do "it" myself. I placed a whole lot of significance on "it", whatever "it" happened to be. My opinions and judgments always concerned "it", and exactly how "it" should be according to my worldview. As Frank Sinatra sang, "I did it my way!" And "it" turned out just like I saw "it".

How we see "it" is important, but not always how "it" really is. I saw "it" through Manson's eyes. There is a spiritual principle which says, "what we behold, we become." This is why "it" is very important to see "it" in the right light, because how we see "it" will cause our destiny to come forth. For me, the way I saw "it" ended up with me in prison with a life sentence.

Can you imagine how "it" was back in the Garden of Eden with God, before Lucifer tempted Eve and they ate the forbidden fruit? "It" was done God's way. After man's fall, Eve saw "it" differently. "It" changed to something which was viewed from a very cynical and opinionated perspective.1

Satan, the adversary, succeeded in drawing Adam and Eve's focus off of God and onto "it", a concept of creation, rather than the Creator. Man started creating his own gods, in his own image, disconnected from God's love. Man attempted to find "it" through religious practices. In their attempts, man settled for idols, dead gods, even gods representing sexual gratification and fertility. Man began to worship through their own physical bodies, creating gods that looked like themselves and thinking that was "it". 2 As a result, the world's religions say: "It" is all about "self". If it feels good, just do it!" "It" must be right!

What Is It?

Christianity is different from religions, that endlessly attempt to reach God through their works of the flesh. Our Heavenly Father came to us through Jesus Christ to show us what "it" is we're lacking. God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to Earth to heal our broken relationship with Him and to reconnect us to the divine flow of His love.

Many who profess Christianity, believe "it" is their good works that will restore their relationship to God. They believe that one day they will go before God, Who will weigh their good and bad works on Earth, which will determine whether they will enter heaven or be condemned to hell. Others believe that having knowledge of their doctrines is "it". They are lacking "it" too. "It" is not about our "way", but about the "way", Jesus Christ, and His finished works on the cross!

We are to see "it" from God's point of view as expressed in His Word, the Holy Bible. "It" is most important for us to understand, that over 4000 years ago, Almighty God promised Abraham that He would bless his Seed. 3 "Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, 'And to seeds,' as of many, but as of one, "And to your Seed,' who is Christ." 4 The covenant is not with individuals [seeds], but "it" is the covenant [agreement] that God made with Jesus Christ [the Seed].

In our ability, we could never fulfill the works of the law and obtain righteousness [right standing with God] for ourselves. 5 In order to make His covenant sure, God made the covenant with Jesus, so "it" couldn't be disannulled. He made a covenant unchangeable forever. 6 When Jesus died, His covenant went into affect for us, providing an eternal inheritance. 7 Jesus rose from the dead to establish His righteousness in us 8. He lives to enforce the Abrahamic covenant established in His own blood. 9 "And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." 10

The covenant Seed was planted through the Holy Spirit into a virgin, named Mary, to bring forth the anointed One, JESUS [Yeshua, Jehovah is Salvation]. 11 His incorruptible Seed is planted in our spirit through the work of Christ when we receive the promised Holy Spirit through faith. 12 Our spirit is miraculously brought to righteousness and life because of God's Spirit that raised us from the dead and lives in us. 13 We are complete [lacking nothing], because of our union with Christ.14

The Love Connection

"It" is because of Jesus that we have the legacy of the promised Holy Spirit. We remain judgmental in all our relationships, until we get "it" right with God and reconnect to love through Christ. The Apostle John said "it" comes down to two things: "And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment." 15 Because of man's fallen nature, he lost his righteous connection with God, but through believing in the promise Seed, that righteous connection is restored, so love can flow through our hearts.

At grave side, people will remember a lot of things about you, but what they will remember most is how they felt in your presence. Did they experience the love connection? Of course, what matters most is if you are born of God, and whether Jesus is memorialized in your life or not. Have you believed in and received God's Son, Jesus Christ? You still have time to receive Him and allow a change to take place in your heart, before that grave side day. John says, "...everyone who loves is born of God [love] and knows God [love]." 16 Only God can heal an angry, judgmental heart and cause the love of the Holy Spirit to flow!

The problem has always been man's hardened heart [mind]. The Apostle Paul said,"But their [Israel's] minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail [the Law] is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, a vail [the Law] is upon their heart. Nevertheless when it [the heart] shall turn [from self] to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away." 17The law can not change the heart or make us righteous [right with God], because of our inability to keep it. Only the ability of Christ can change our heart, making us righteous through the finished work of the cross. The ability of the Holy Spirit sets us free, doing what we can not do in our inability: "...where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberity. " 18

The Lord desires to do an operation in every man's heart. I saw a man come out of a quadruple heart by-pass, broken and in tears, being very appreciative for a second chance at life. Likewise, I've seen God operate on men, who get up from their knees at the altar, their spiritual hearts completely changed; set free and thanking God after receiving Christ. This love connection with one another can only take place through a connection with God first. For He is love, and the only one who can empower us to a life of love.

This is what happened to me several decades ago. Christ delivered me from my fleshly attitudes and placed His Spirit of love in my heart. Today, I have a new desire living in me, a new Seed in my heart, Who desires to love everyone. Many do not know how to receive this love, but still, they experience God's love daily through us. I pray that God will abound His love through us more and more. The Apostle Paul says, "The purpose of my instruction is that all the Christians there would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and sincere faith." 19 Won't you be filled with God's love today?

A PRAYER FOR YOU...

Maybe you would like to pray this prayer with me?

Dear God, I'm lacking in love. I renounce this judgmental attitude in my heart that is producing death. I believe that Christ took my judgment and the judgment of others on the cross. I refuse to judge any longer. I believe Jesus died for my sin, was buried and rose from the dead to declare me right with You. I ask that you open my heart, cleanse me from my sin and fill me with Your love. Holy Spirit, flow through me and empower me to love everyone who comes into my presence. Thank You for making me a new creation and changing my heart. Amen.

If you have prayed this prayer, please let us know so we can keep your new life of love in our prayers. Remember, God loves you, and so do we!

Footnotes:

1) Gen. ch. 2 & 3
2) Rom. 1:21-32
3) Gen. 17:7-9
4) Gal. 3:16
5) Rom 8:3-4
6) Gal 3:15; Heb. 7:22-24
7) Heb. 9:15-17
8) Rom. 10:9-10
9) Rom. 3:25-26
10) Gal. 3:29

11) Matt. 1:21 
12) 1 Pet. 1:23; Gal. 3:2-9
13) Rom. 8:10-11
14) Col. 2:10
15) 1 John 3:23 NKJV
16) 1 John 4:7
17) 2 Cor. 3:14-16; 4:4 KJV
18) 2. Cor. 3:17
19) 1 Tim. 1:5 NIV

 

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