You and God, Are You Good?


19_0130_DISCIPLESHIP_Remembering-Your-Confidence-in-Gods-Goodness_1021x640-696x436I often recall with great fondness that time in my life when I first began learning about God. It was in the Spring of 1982 and I had been attending a fellowship with the sweetest people I had ever met. In May, I took a class called, Power for Abundant Living, that literally changed my life for the better. In that 3 week long course, I learned so many things about God from the Bible that seemed to be the polar opposite of who I thought God was and who people said God was. Based on His Word, the Bible, I learned that God was good only and that He wanted the best things in life for me. I learned that He was tender and kind and always on my side. I followed His instructions from the book of Romans (Romans 10:9-10) and got born again, born from above. With my newly found spirit inside, I learned how God would work in me, never over stepping my free-will and teach me things I couldn’t even conceive of before. Best of all, I learned how He was now my Father and that I was His son for eternity. There’s really no comparison for the sweet fellowship I enjoyed with God as my Father during those warm times of learning and growth. God and I were good, really, really good and nothing stood in the way of our family relationship. So, when it comes to you and God, are you good?

Sadly, over the years, our relationship started to change. It wasn’t God who changed towards me, but I had changed towards Him. Some of the folks I was hanging around began to add conditions and rules that were not a part of my early experiences. What was once completely free and based entirely upon God’s grace, turned into behaviors I had to perform to be okay with God. The wrong teaching turned my focus inward and suddenly it was all about what I was and was not doing. Slowly and somewhat imperceptibly, I began to morph into one of those guys that everyone hates to be around, the religious guy. I was so overly focused on my own sin and shortcomings, that I was hard and critical with everyone else. For me, it was no longer about God’s undeserved and unearned goodness, but instead it was about me living for God in ways that others could approve of and endorse. What was once so intimately personal and perfect, became tainted with the commandments and doctrines of men. The odd thing about this, when it happens to you, is that you don’t really see it taking place. All you know, is that what once free was no longer free and the cost associated with the required new life was perpetual misery and a lack of confidence in the One I was supposed to trust the most. Heaven was brass, as the saying goes, and down the slippery slope I traveled. This experience happened for longer than I would care to acknowledge until I finally had the good sense to break away from the folks I once trusted with my life. Some of you perhaps know what I’m talking about. So, when it comes to you and God, are you still good?

Years later, much like a recovering alcoholic, I had to get honest with myself about how I had been living. Instead of relying solely on what men said, I got back to the true doctrine that had once set me free before the bondage set in. I saw again, on the pages of God’s Word, that Jesus Christ had lived a perfect life with God, so that I would not be required to try it myself. I learned again how God had solved the sin problem for me forever and that all that I had or ever enjoyed in my life was completely based upon God’s grace, given to me freely based upon the accomplished works of His son. I relearned that God was not angry with me for my shortcomings; that He wasn’t following me around accusing me concerning my every failure. Instead, like the best imaginable parent, He was lovingly guiding me back to His heart, back to His unconditional love. And, like a flower blooming in the springtime, I started to recover and grow and blossom. I had much unlearning to do and still do at times, but throughout it all I remembered again who my Daddy really was and that He wanted me to enjoy my life. I saw His hand of blessing realized in my life and in the lives of my family. I finally was able to see that it was never about me and what I was and was not doing in my life, but rather what my Father in heaven was and is doing for me; for the people He loves so deeply. It became so clear that what seemed to be good to be true, was so good because it was true. He lovingly and patiently taught me what was really behind my downfall and that the source of my difficulties was an opponent I could not see, working behind the scenes to drown me in religion and the principles and philosophies that man made up in one form or another. It became so strikingly obvious that the practices and teaching not based on the grace filled life He called me to, were error, the same error that makes people hide from God and His kindness; man made doctrines ever focusing on man’s acts and man’s experiences instead of the truth of God’s Word. Once you know, you know and life gets better in a hurry. So, when it comes to you and God, are you good my dear friend?

The truth of Power for Abundant Living still lives in my heart some almost 40 years later; the truth about God and who He is according to His own Word, the Bible. His clarion call to the heart of man is to learn of Him and who He truly is for us, to us and in us. It’s the promise of a life with indescribable peace and assurance. It’s a life filled with abundance in every category of life. It is the constant awareness of knowing you don’t have all the answers, but you know the One who does. It is healing and restoration and repair whenever needed and however needed. It is forgiveness and mercy that has no end point. It is just he greatest possible life there is and it’s there for anyone that wants to learn. You may be just starting out on your journey with God or you may have enjoyed your life with Him for many years now, but either way there’s no denying that life with God is the life He always intended for it be for His precious and beloved creations. So, when it comes to you and God, are you good? Is your relationship filled with happiness and joy and love that has no end? If not, it is always there for you if you still want it.

As for me and God, we are good, so so good…

Just some good thoughts…

The More Than Abundant Life


If you are like most people, I think you would be happy to live an abundant life. I mean, isn’t that what we are all really after? We have a limited time to experience life on Terra Firma and subsequently limited chances to get it right. Before you know it you are celebrating your 30th birthday, then your 50th and suddenly, retirement looms just around the corner. In that space of years, you will have had the opportunity to make many decisions and choose paths that led you somewhere, both good and bad. If your choices were poor, you probably were forced to seek survival and felt like you had to settle for a mediocre existence. If your choices were mostly good, you may have even touched upon an abundant life. However, God’s promise to you is that you can have a more than abundant life no matter what decisions you may have made in the past. Wouldn’t you like to live a life overflowing with abundance in every facet and phase of life? Indeed, wouldn’t you want to live a more than abundant life?

God’s Word, the Bible lays out the two primary forces working behind the scenes spiritually. One of them is called the thief and his objectives are always to steal, to kill and to destroy. The other one is God and He sent His son Jesus Christ that we might have life and that we might have it more abundantly. (John 10:10) When you remove all the covers and peel back all of the layers, your life always boils down to the affects of one or the other. Those aspects of your life wherein you struggle; those places you just cannot seem to get it right, will always be the result of the thief who, by any means possible to him, has stolen something from you. He not only steals your prosperity, but he steals your health and your vitality and your enthusiasm for living. He steals the results of your efforts and labors. He steals your peace of mind. If successful and always in secret, he will steal away your life and cut short your days. And finally, he seeks to steal away your positive impact in this life and destroy all that was beautiful and good and noteworthy. He is not a cartoon character made up in the minds of men, he is a real, dastardly, dreadful being, separated from God, hating God and hell-bent and ruining anything or anyone he has access to in the world. Not understanding how he functions, how he influences decisions, how he leads people astray is the total cause of every life not well lived. The total cause.

God, as the very source and originator of life, is quite the opposite. His desire is for you to live the more than abundant life. His will is for you to experience an over abundance in every facet and phase of life. As such, He wants to prosper you abundantly. He seeks to restore your health. He will breathe life and enthusiasm and vitality back into your existence. He promises to pay back the years the enemy has gnawed away from you. He offers you His peace that surpasses understanding. He works in you to protect you from all harm and danger in order to help you live a long and fulfilling life. And, while He is at it, He works to ensure the impact of your life is long lasting and rewards you for all eternity in those things you did out of love with Him. This is the more than abundant total life.

The question that begs for any human being; for anyone experiencing this thing called life; for anyone that has been sorely beaten and wounded by the world, is how can I gain access to this more than abundant life? How can I tap into the power source; that most excellent power source? How can I turn things around in my life that have fallen off the rails? How can I escape my past life of failure and disappointment and enter into the ranks of those blessed and protected by God Himself? The answer is so plain, so unbelieving easy that people have missed it for a lifetime. The answer is to turn to the true God from idols. The answer is to learn how to live life as God intended it. The answer is to get born again; born from above! Getting born again means to get God’s holy spirit inside of you; a spirit that never goes away no matter what foolishness you may engage in; no matter whatever you have done in the past or will do in the future. It means to get a permanent, unchanging, incorruptible connection to God that will never depart and will last throughout all eternity. It means to gain access to a power source that will work in you and with you to help you overcome all of life’s challenges and difficulties. It is just the greatest thing ever and it is yours for the taking.

In order to get born again, you have to access spirit how God says to access it. It has everything to do with your believing God and nothing to do with your good works. In this God has made it foolproof. You simply confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead. For with the heart man believes unto righteousness and with his mouth confession is made unto salvation! (Romans 10:9-10) That is literally all that is required to get born again. Next you have to learn how to operate that spirit of God born inside of you. It has nothing to do with feelings and has everything to do with what you believe. Once that spirit is born within you, you are born again. Then you can manifest that gift inside of you by operating the nine operations or manifestations of the spirit. (I Corinthians 12:8-10) This is the victory that overcomes the world. This is the power you have needed all of your life. This is the difference between success and failure. This is the connection with God that will never, ever leave you. This is the more than abundant life!

Surely you want that! I know I did and will help you get there if you want it. Not only will you go to heaven, but you will have one hell of a good time getting there… This is the more than abundant life God is offering you! God bless you abundantly.