Secure in His Love
This one begins with sexual orientation politics in California and the ongoing debate in Christianity over the reality of hell, but soon Brad and Wayne settle into a conversation about how easily our insecurities can be manipulated by religion. Instead of inviting us into a transforming relationship with Jesus it provokes our guilt and sense of responsibility to drive us into a variety of activities that weigh us down and undermine what God really has in mind. People driven by religion are usually obnoxious in human relationships instead of being as endearing as Jesus was to the people around him. Only by finding our security in God's love for us, can we find the freedom to truly be his light in the world simply by the way we live and love.
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Hey Guys, Again, great stuff. I believe the more we are driven to “prove” our love for our FATHER through the “bible” the less secure we seem to become in HIS love. HIS love is not based on knowledge or performance. His love flows freely through those who truly know who and what they were created to be. A free-willed being able to return HIS love or not. HE can only be the judge of what that may look like to others. After all, HE is the author and finisher of our faith and the love that grows from it. Gman. P.S. Didn’t Judas fulfill the “purpose” that GOD had for his life? Didn’t he repent by killing himself? Was his kiss a death sentence or a shared moment of a love that cannot be explained?
Your discussion today hit on a long journey I have had about witnessing. I come from a background of heavy emphasis on “soul winning”. You really weren’t living the Christian life if you weren’t constantly trying to win someone’s life for God. I have struggled with that concept for years, and have had numerous conversations with God about it. There is a story in the Old testament about Ahimaaz begging Joab to let him run to David with the news of Absalom’s death even though Joab had sent a different runner. Joab finally let him run, but when he got to David, he only had part of the message. Out of that story has come a couple of questions I continually ask myself about the whole witnessing concept: “How can you run if you don’t have a message? How can you go if you haven’t been sent?” I don’t have a message just because somebody has written out a set of Bible Studies for me to give to my neighbor, or the person sitting next to me on the airplane. I don’t have a message without a relationship with the God about whom I am speaking. And unless God “nudges” me to action, I have not been sent. What I do out of a duty to witness is simply manipulation. Over the years, I am growing in my sensitivity to God’s nudges. I have seen God nurture people’s hearts as a result of my response to those nudges. It’s taking longer to know in my heart that I myself am truly loved by the God of the universe, and so it is hard for me to speak of that love to someone else without my words sounding fake. Your honesty about your journeys has been an encouragement to me. I’m coming to understand that God is not in a hurry or impatient that I “get it” in a week or a year or a decade. And just perhaps He’s delighted in the process, slow as it seems to be to me.
Back when I thought I was Important I was leading bible study one Sunday and had this great idea to bring up the thought that hell was a litteral place but maybe the biblical discrption was to help us under stand what it is because our minut minds probably can’t grasp it. One lady in the church was shacking she was so upset with me.
She said ” how can I witness to someone if I don’t have a scary picture of hell!?” I had no answer at the time but as I thought about it I relized she had a real problem understanding grace
You guys are so right if we are not in relationship with the father and others then our witness just become fear and or annoying tactics to maybe impress or grind away at someone who won’t follow through on that love of the father because they will see as something they have now checked off on the good list.
Now that I’m no longer important and find myself at 42 trying to figure out whAt I want to do when I grow up. It’s only through that relationship that I can move forward. All those years of preformance I the hopes to honor God and stay the gates of hell fail incomparison to just being a truck driver following his heavenly father.
Thank you for putting this out there. I am new on this journey. Actually, Wayne visited our church this past summer in New Hampshire. This is exciting for me because I always knew that it shouldn’t be as complicated or convoluted as the institutions made it seem. Lip service to God’s love is given, but I never understood what it meant. And the first I even heard of this concept was when I read “He Loves Me.” Wow!
When you discussed hell, I thought of Adam, Eve and the fruit of the tree of knowledge. It was there, but they weren’t supposed to eat it. . .Yet. My interpretation of that is that God would have freed them to eat it, but they weren’t ready for it then. Just like you don’t give orange juice to a 3-month-old. I believe our ‘understanding’ of hell is something like that. It’s there and we should know about it -some descriptions are given- but it’s a matter of fact thing and it’s reserved for those who choose freely to have nothing to do with God. It’s not supposed to be our focus because if it is, it can paralyze our knowing God.
The other thing I was struck with is how liberating all this is. I have such a concept that I am useless to God -did I mention my novice status? I don’t have a mission, at least I can’t see it. And I never thought that I had a ‘testimony’. But if it’s just a matter of telling your experiences and how God’s love and patience has seen me through them, then I have plenty.
I do have a question. There are some things that Jesus said to do, like communion or however you term it. I guess my question is how do you ‘do’ church? Is it just as God leads, do you meet regularly, what does it look like?I realize that you don’t ‘do’ church, but I have a hard time with a lack of structure.
Again, thank you for helping me to find God’s love for me.
I guess I’m still in the process of sorting out my understanding of the Bible, what is absolute versus what is relative and how my life experience and perceptions often shape what turn out to be erroneous interpretations. I do believe the Bible does contain absolutes, but not as many teach or believe that the absolutes the Bible contains are the very absolutes they are able to adhere to. I subscribe to the Mark Twain quote that ‘it’s not the parts of the Bible i don’t understand that bother me, it’s the parts i do understand.’ God help me.
Thanks for another thoughtful conversation. Leaves me thinking about how learning to put burdens down is a long process (long in my case anyway) : ) rather than a once for all type deal. Even though from my perspective the process is very slow I’m thankful that I can even see a little bit of transformation otherwise i would just give up. I notice that you continue to point to ppl to a relationship with jesus rather than formulas or even to come to either one of you. Thanks again…even if the message seems repetitive it does seem that some of us need to hear it over and over and it is getting through. So much more freedom to follow Him where He leadsrather than when we attempt to live within a system of rules. Blessings.
His burden is easy and his yoke is light. Yet we allow ourselves to feel condemned if we are not serving Him as we seem to think. I do not blame organized religion, although they capitalize from it, but rather religion is the grave clothes of the sinful nature. Religion is innate in all of us at birth. It came from Adam and Eve when they tried to correct their nakedness by sewing fig leaves together. The fall of man released death from the original plan of God as the means of growth and regeneration. Christ’s death and resurrection put death back into its original purpose so through death we may all be born again.
But angels do not regenerate and death was not part of their design. Therefore the Lake of Fire was prepared for Lucifer and his followers… which means all who reject the gift of life through Jesus Christ.
Hell is not the Lake of Fire because Revelations tells us that death and hell will be thrown into the Lake of Fire. Hell, therefore is jail time until the White Throne Judgment determines that they rejected Christ. No one will be in the Lake of Fire because of sin, rather it is because they choose the sinful nature, which is living death, over the righteous nature freely given to all as the gift of life from Christ.
As Wayne and Brad said, no one can be forced to accept Christ. We only speak of what we know first hand, which is the only definition of a witness… anything else is perjury if we do not qualify what we say by this is what I heard someone else say.
All the world is based upon mortality. We only have so much time to live, so get the gusto while you can. Organized religion sanitizes it by saying we only have so much time to live, so save as many as you can. The folly of this logic is that it still remains the world, even though sanitized; and we can save no one. That has always been the job of the Lord alone.
Thank you for your encouraging comments on these topics.
Great Podcast- I am convinced i have not grasped the art of being Secure in his Love in order to be gracious with myself as well as others-but more often than not “perform out of a sense of duty; guilt or shame” or because I “want something”-so this was enlightening. You also touched on a pet peeve of mine-with so many of us talking in terms of the Holy Spirit “convicting” us -when however -as you stated-the only real time the Holy Spirit takes on that role is in John 16-and it is convicting “the Godless World”- not the believer saved by Grace. In fact-this is a great link to a wonderful article written by a Christian Lawyer wondering about the concept of how the Holy Spirit really works–if he is on the side of the Defense (Jesus being the chief Defense Attorney)-then how can he suddenly shift gears to the side of the prosecution and seek a “conviction” —it didnt add up. ( http://spiritualklutz.blogspot.com/2010/05/holy-spirit-is-not-your-personal.html)-webite for “The Holy Spirit is not Your Personal Prosecutor”. I thought it was a great article and is consistent with the Grace-based-not-Religious-Conditioning-based theme of your messages 🙂
I think this is the podcast you made mention of “prayer warriors” and ya know, I found myself praying with thankfulness that I’m not a “prayer warrior”….don’t want the responsiblity. I see the word used often and it turns me off. I’m thankful our older brother is the prayer warrior.
I am a little late listening to this one. As always enjoying the conversation. To Brad not sure you are familiar with Brad Jersak he has written extensively on the topic of the atonement and hell. He cautions against our presumption regarding any definitive answer on hell. Smart people can find supporting scripture for eternal punishment, annihilation, and universal redemption. He urges all of us to guard against rigidity and cling to the hope in Christ. I like that. We can continue to love each other and walk together while we wrestle with our faith. Thanks Brad and Wayne for this podcast.
I can very much relate to the whole “prayer warrior ” thing. My mom “proclaimed ” me a “prayer warrior” at the age of 12. Bless her heart, but she thought I had a extremely good connection with God,.. (like He had ME on speed dial LOL! ) and was convinced that I was the puzzle piece to every prayer concern she had. Although I have never minded talking to my Father, but that placed such a burden on me that I lost all the joy of just talking to my Papa. I felt bad if I forgot something I promised my mom I’d intercede for. Talking about religion messing up a beautiful thing….and it took until four years ago to help me see that it was OK,..nay preferable for me to return to my pre-12 year old praying self and once again let it just be Father and Me. It’s been so wonderful since,..I’ve gone from thinking I really had prayer figured out and knew HOW to do it, to throwing it all out, and realizing I knew nothing about it and that it was not even important to “know how”. Now,..I LOVE NOT KNOWING anything!!!!!!!!!!!!
Dwight, I kind of agree with you and that author. I can certainly pull verses that seem to be indicate both, just look at Romans 5, 18 and 19 ( the whole chapter really) and I can swear he will save us all. But I am not making that statement. I don’t know for sure what is going to happen.
That author says to just cling to hope in Christ, while I agree with that for sure, I have to admit, if there is a possibility that he would condemn or “allow” some to suffer in eternal flames , that tends to dash ones hope and the good news of the gospel quite a bit.. I just wish it was more clear cut.
I recently listened to you talking about how well you know your wife and that if someone said something about her you would know the truth of it. Not your exact words but I hope you know what I mean. Anyway, because we know God’s personality to some extent, I can tell you that I am sure He did not create a place where people would be tortured for any length of time, much less eternity. Ask Him and He will tell you. It is important because truth matters and because He is not a monster and when you love someone you don’t want terrible things to be believed about them. Everything was created by Him and for Him and there are good reasons for even bad things that He has made. But there is no good reason to torture anyone forever and my Savior would not make such a place. It’s faulty interpretations. I know Him well enough to know that. I was raised to believe that but I asked Him and He told me and He will let you know too if you want. Your talks have helped me a lot. Thankyou