Category Archives: Faith

Simple Algebra

I have been a Christian for quite some time now. At least I’ve been going through the motions for many years of attending church on a weekly basis, praying, volunteering and tithing. I always figured, the more I did this stuff the closer I would be to God and my assurance of everlasting life would be secured.

I had the same attitude toward high school algebra class. I felt that if I kept going, it would eventually seep in. But if it wasn’t for my buddy James I would’ve never made it. I would whisper in a panic, “Hey man, what’s the answer to this one?”

It wasn’t until college when I really had to buckle down when it came to algebra. I think I dropped out of algebra class about 3 or 4 times. As the semester went on and I got farther and farther behind, I would just drop out to avoid failing.

Finally I took the class with a sense of determination. I sat in the front of the room. I completed all of my homework. I participated in class. I aced every test. I think I missed 3 questions the whole semester. I did so well that I could’ve failed the final and still got an A in the class. So, I didn’t go. I got the A I wanted.

In my Christian walk, I started practicing some simple disciplines of getting in the Word daily to gain the knowledge I thought I needed to be a “good Christian”. It was more like a race or a sense of accomplishment, really. I downloaded a Bible app and started knocking out reading plans. The shorter ones were great because I could complete more of those. It was a numbers game. I was earning points for Jesus.

Coming from a background in fitness, I thought about those workouts where you’re just trying to get it done. You are going for quantity and not quality. I often asked myself, “Who am I cheating?” No one cares that I did x number of reps and x number of sets. But did I focus and endure the pain required to move to the next level?

I think the same goes with our spiritual lives. Are we meditating on the words we just read? Are we studying further what we just read to get the full context? Are we devoting time to the Lord and being patient in our learning? I thoroughly enjoy quiet time with the Lord. I look forward to it. That is the time when I sit still and listen. That is when the words I just read start having meaning. That’s when the connections are made and the understanding is revealed.

For the longest time my prayer has been for God to soften my heart. I felt like I had this thick, black heart which was immune to compassion. It was consumed with pride, lust and greed. Only God has the power to transform me. But I had to wait. I had to wait for God to perform a miracle. And I waited and waited. I prayed again and waited. And waited some more.

Then, as I was reading scripture I noticed this simple algebraic equation. Actually I didn’t see it while I was reading but afterward while I was meditating on that Word. They are the words from Jesus as he was praying to the Father.

20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. John 17:20-23

Here is the equation which is a bioconditional statement: if and only if x+y = y+z, then x=z.

I was floored. Literally I was on my knees praising God for setting me free. If God is in Jesus and Jesus is in God then they are together as one in unity. And if we are in Jesus, as God is in Jesus, then we are one with God. We are not one with God but only by being one with Jesus. That means my heart is no longer that dark, hardened heart. But I have the heart of Jesus dwelling within me. I have been transformed in Jesus name.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17

Music has been “instrumental” when it comes to intimacy with God in my own life. Close your eyes, listen to the lyrics of this song and enjoy His rest.

Forever is a Long Time

I love the Church. We all believe that Jesus Christ died and was resurrected so we could be in right relationship with our Heavenly Father. Because of the shedding of His blood we were made righteous.

Yet why do we have so many divisions? I thought we were supposed to be united. Does the love of God have different translations?

I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. 1 Corinthians 1:10

One of the biggest divisions I have witnessed lately, and is quite controversial, is the manifestation of the Holy Spirit. Before Jesus ascended he gave us these words:

15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. 18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21 Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” John 14:15-21

The scriptures state plainly that the Helper (the Holy Spirit) was given “to be with [us] forever”. Now I’m just spit-balling here, but forever seems like a pretty long time. However I have read countless articles stating those manifestations have ceased.

I have a source which I refer to answer questions with biblical references. But I recently noticed something contradictory to the previous passage.

Healing – Although God does still heal today, the ability of men to produce miraculous healings belonged to the apostles of the first century church to affirm that their message was from God. Christians today do not have the power to heal the sick or resurrect the dead. If they did, the hospitals and morgues would be full of these “gifted” people emptying beds and coffins everywhere.

That sounds like a pretty weak statement in my humble opinion. Is there any supporting scripture for such a statement? Now, Jesus is “the same yesterday, today and forever”. Jesus said He is in the Father just as we are in Him and He is in us. Did the Holy Spirit one day decide to stop being powerful? I thought forever was forever. Or better yet, did the Holy Spirit decide to only use its power in some areas and not in others?

10 Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. 11 And behold, there was a woman who had had a disabling spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not fully straighten herself. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your disability.” 13 And he laid his hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and she glorified God. Luke 13:10-13

Why would only apostles, prophets and disciples from thousands of years ago need to affirm the message of God more than we do today? Just by reading the news we see that history is repeating itself. Shouldn’t we be asking the Holy Spirit, who already indwells within us, to start taking action?

Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. John 14:12

Are you kidding me? Jesus said we will do greater works than He did. It is written right there. If He was speaking only to the disciples around Him at that time, why is it written for us in the bible? And if the Holy Spirit is with us forever, why is that so? To convict us of sin that was already washed clean by the blood of Jesus?

Let me interject my opinion for a second. I think God is a lot smarter than we are and He knows we can’t do this alone. He wants to build His kingdom. The disciples used signs and wonders to affirm God’s power bringing people to Himself.

3 Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. And a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple that is called the Beautiful Gate to ask alms of those entering the temple. 3 Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms. 4 And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” 5 And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. 6 But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” 7 And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. 8 And leaping up he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. 9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 and recognized him as the one who sat at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, asking for alms. And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. Act 3:3-10

As Christians from so many different denominations, we need to start agreeing on some stuff. We are bringing the Hope of the world.