Sunday, April 29, 2012

Spirit Fellowship Introduction

Before the fall of man, when Adam walked in fellowship with God in the Garden of Eden, he experienced God’s glory with a spiritual connection.  He was alive spiritually. His entire spirit, soul, and body functioned together, as designed by God, on whom he was totally dependent. He had a perfect relationship with God and saw Him face-to-face. God in His vastness was just a breath away.

When Adam disobeyed God and fell, everything changed. He died spiritually and his connection to the spirit realm of God was severed. With his spiritual eyes now closed, he was left with a soul and a body of flesh.  The glory was gone. Not only was Adam’s ability to see into the spirit realm gone, but the glory that had rested upon his physical body was gone as well.

Oh, that old serpent was right when he told Eve that their eyes would be opened to know good and evil, but his deceptive lie did not reveal to them that their spiritual eyes would be closed. The realm of God, yes, even God Himself was darkened to them. They left the presence of the glory of God and entered into a dark world of sin.

Up until then, Adam had lived a sinless life and was destined to live forever, as was his future offspring. However, just as God had warned, on the day that Adam ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he died spiritually and so did all of humanity within him. He became a new creature, a beastly, sinful natured being, and so did we, as we were all in him.

What Granddaddy Adam lost for himself, and all of us, was unfathomable. And for the rest of his life, he must have longed to have it back. What did he want back? He wanted to be as he was, and to walk in fellowship with his Father, our Father. Try as he might, even with all the sacrifices, he would not get it back. It would take a miracle. It would take a savior. It would take the Word of God made flesh to dwell among us, and take upon Himself the blame, the shame, the sin, and the punishment.

The Lord Jesus did just that on Mount Calvary! He died, and then rose from the grave, after leaving our sin behind in hell. He ascended back to Heaven, and reconciled humanity back to Father. Once we, with our free will, repent of our sins, accept Christ Jesus as our savior, and invite Him into our hearts, we are born again into the Spirit, into the kingdom of God, and into God Himself! We are dead in sin no longer. Our spirits are alive unto God as Granddaddy Adam’s was in the beginning. When our bodies die, we will live eternally with Him! Praise God!

But one little thing… Yes we are born again, but our eyes are not open. As the Apostle Paul wrote, we see through a glass darkly.  In order to regain everything that Granddaddy Adam lost for himself and us in the garden, we must regain our sight.

Our spiritual sight must be clear so that we might once again fellowship in the spirit with our Father. In John 17:24, Jesus said, “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory.” Jesus wants us to walk in the spirit with Him and see!

Jesus promised immersion in His Holy Spirit. He told His Disciples to wait for this Comforter. They received the baptism of the Holy Spirit and so can we! When we are born again and baptized in His Holy Spirit, we feel and sense His presence, and receive the capability to see in the Spirit.

In Proverbs 29:18, it says that where there is no vision, the people perish. We must have our spiritual eyes opened so that we truly see the Lord! We need to regain the final portion of what Granddaddy Adam lost!  We need spiritual fellowship with the Lord!

The Apostle Paul felt so strongly about this that he wrote to the church at Ephesus in Ephesians 1:18, “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you.”

In this book you will see what fellowship in the Spirit is, and how God has restored this relationship with His children. God wants us to know Him personally, not just know about Him. He wants a face-to-face relationship with us. You are invited to see and experience what spiritual life in the presence of God can be.

The gift has been given, so let us receive it. God in His vastness is just a breath away. Our prayer is, “Lord, open our spiritual eyes and let us see your glory, and fellowship in the Spirit with you.”


Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Mothering Arms of Forgiveness

Yolanda, a mother who carries a deep relationship with God, mindfully raised her family in the love and admonition of the Lord. Her faith sustained her through every trial, but nothing could prepare her for the trial that lay ahead.
One day a young man coming from a college party made a decision that changed her world forever. He was experiencing road rage. A car had innocently pulled out in front of him and he hit the rear end of the car; causing a horrible accident. This car carried two of Yolanda’s young sons. Both tragically lost their lives that day.

The authorities brought the proper charges. However, the guilty young man was given mercy by the court and placed on probation. After five years of an excruciating ordeal, Yolanda received a call from her lawyer. A meeting had been arranged for the young offender to come face to face with her and give an account for his actions on that tragic day.

They met in a conference room, facing each other across a table while the attorneys and staff carefully observed. The young man spoke. Holding his head down to avoid eye contact, he tried to give justification for himself. He complained that her sons had pulled out in front of him. He clumsily fumbled out unacceptable excuses for his actions, blaming her sons for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Some of the things he said didn’t even make sense. And he did not ask for forgiveness.

The attorneys, the court recorder, and everyone in the room sat in silence, anticipating what Yolanda would say or do. After five years of suffering, she now sat across from the source of her pain, and her heart cried out to the Lord. Like so many times before, the Lord Jesus spoke gently to her and gave her guidance.

“Yolanda,” He said, “That boy is lost. He needs me. He has no one here. His family let him come here alone. He needs me.”

“But Lord,” she asked, “What do I do?”

“Daughter, I have you. I have always had you, and I’ll never let you go. But he needs me. He has nothing, no one. Forgive him Yolanda, forgive him.”

Scripture rang in her ear. “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:36 NIV).

She asked herself. “How can I forgive him? How can I? Yet I know that Jesus forgave me.”

After a moment of reflection, Yolanda took a deep breath and broke the silence in the room. She looked him square in the face, which was still lowered toward the table, and said, “I love you with the love of the Lord. I forgive you!”

Everyone looked at her. Shocked and stunned, they couldn’t believe what they were hearing. Slowly the young man raised his head and for the first time their suffering eyes met. His confused and bewildered expression displayed the inner turmoil that he was struggling to understand.

With grace, which could only come from the Lord Jesus, Yolanda stood to her feet, spread open her arms and said, “I forgive you!”

With that, the young man bolted around the table and into her arms. He buried his face in her chest and covered her with his tears, crying in convulsions. Yolanda held him tight like one of her own. Mothering him, she patted him tenderly on his head and said, “It’s alright baby. It’s alright baby.” He wept uncontrollably.

Then she prayed, “Jesus, take the anointing for ministry that was upon my sons and place it upon him. Give him a double portion! He came in here as a Saul, let him leave as a Paul!”

As she prayed, his knees buckled. Yet she held him up firmly in her mothering arms of forgiveness. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room as the miraculous love of Christ was displayed in this incredible act of forgiveness. They were both freed to continue their lives in peace.

Our God, who is love, displayed His forgiveness as He sacrificed His only begotten son for us. Through Christ, we receive His incredible forgiveness that frees us from sin and shame. Jesus said, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34 KJV).

Because of Jesus, we too can hold our head up, walk in the love of God, and experience the mothering arms of forgiveness.