Letting Christ Transform You From The Inside Out
As you read the New Testament, please consider the metamorphosis of the companions of Jesus. These men, who were so zealous for their cause while Jesus was with them, completely deserted him at his arrest. Only one of them was even at his execution! Yet, after witnessing the resurrected Jesus and receiving His powerful Spirit, these very same cowardly men eventually became fearless and loyal martyrs , proclaiming the truth Jesus died for and now lives for. What truth? The truth about who God really is, who we really are and how our relationship with both God and each other can be reconciled. The truth that produces SHALOM.
This is the truth that has been veiled since the very beginning of time in the Garden of Eden, by our enemy, Satan. He is jealous that we are the apple of God's eye and that God didn't give him authority over us. Satan continues to lie to us about God's character, about our value to God, and about the path to true transformation, wholeness and inner peace. When we listen to and follow Satan, as Adam and Eve did, we reliquish control of our lives to him and put ourselves in a position of oppression. One of Jesus' goals is to free people from the lies of Satan so that they can take back the authority that God gave them and live an abundant life serving Jesus, their living king.
This website will be providing a weekly summary of questions and deep life-giving insights about God's true nature for those attempting to read through the Bible in one year using the "One Year Bible" or the "Daily Audio Bible APP" by Brian Hardin.
Have you experienced your own personal metamorphosis - the abundant life that Christ talked about? Is the quality of your life characterized by this inner transformation (increased ability to love, increased trust in God, deepening relationships) and a growing awareness of your identity as a treasured child of God? Or, do you feel stuck?
There can be many reasons for feeing like you've hit a wall and don't know what to do about it. If you've been discouraged by a negative church experience or been a victim of abuse, you certainly have had a heavy weight on your shoulders. You might feel invisible and wonder if God loves you. You might think he is always blaming you for something or is angry with you.
The material in this website takes a fresh approach to learning about Jesus' teachings, purpose and heart for you. Our goal is to share what we believe is the "truth" (from the very words of God and Christ in the Bible) so that you can be empowered to let go of your obstacles (lies you believe) and run into God's arms, embracing the abundant life He is offering and so desires for you to experience! We want you to find and live out the purpose for which you have been created!
John 17:1,2 "Now this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent."
1 John 4:9 "This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him."
"For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in Jesus, and through Jesus to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross." Colossians 1:15
1. Jesus came to earth, as the SON (extension) of God to experience life WITH us, to show us the TRUE NATURE of God (LOVE) and help us escape the lies the "devil" has told us about both God and ourselves. Jesus' goal is that we would trust God enough to let Him restore us to our true identities as beloved, children of God, whom He considers to be of great worth! Once we are restored to our loving and bonded relationship with God, and our true identity, we can then live out our purpose (using the unique gifts and talents God has given us) to bring God's merciful love, appropriate justice (healthy boundaries of protection for ourselves and others) and healing to the rest of this broken world around us.
Jesus built our trust in God by removing all obstacles that have blinded us to God's true character of love for us and by giving us a support system. He did this by treating us as God would treat us, by teaching us about God, by being an example to us of what it looks like to live like a Son or Daughter of God, by sacrificing his life for us to pay for our debt, and by equipping us with both His Holy Spirit, the Holy Scriptures (the Bible) and the community of believers (the church), as our support systems.
Follow this link to see how we actually can reconcile with God and be free to become our true selves: Restoring Your Relationship With God
2. Jesus came to earth to Bear our Burden, Pay our Debt and Free Us From Satan's Just Accusations. This encompasses the burden we carry due to all the abuse we have suffered and the debt we carry due to all the abuse we have caused. God's justice is an eternal principle. He understands when people cry out for "blood" as payment for the violations they have suffered. He doesn't deny its existence or its gravity. Jesus chose to be our scapegoat - to give us the "blood" we feel we need as justice, so that we would stop this cycle of abuse and violence and not get revenge.
Jesus names the ways we abuse one another and God as SIN. Jesus bore its ramifications (as our scapegoat) within his very body and shed his precious blood as payment for its just consequences, so that we would not take revenge on one another and not continue the cycle of violence's ripple effect. When we become aware of and acknowledge our guilt and accept Jesus' payment of our debt, we accept him as our savior.
3. Jesus came to earth to lead us out of the "wilderness" of a purposeless life. Jesus lived as a Jewish Rabbi (Teacher) and taught those willing people who accepted his offer of apprenticeship. He called all people to turn away from their old way of living (where they were their own "god", who determined their own standard between good and evil) and turn to His new way of living (becoming his apprentices and letting Him be "God"). When we make this decision to walk with Jesus daily and let Him teach and lead us daily, we accept him as our lord.
When we decide to both accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord is when we are adopted into God's family and receive His Holy Spirit. We no longer have to identify with our old self - the one that caused all that pain or the one that experienced all that abuse. We get a new identity. However, God created water baptism as a means by which He allows us to "experience" the process of being reborn into our new identity and as the means by which he announces to the spiritual world (all types of angels and even demons) that we now belong to Him! Baptism is the celebration of our union in a manner similar to a wedding/adoption ceremony. There is no such thing as an "altar call" in the bible. Water baptism is God's idea and God's way of validating our decision and our new identity. He created us and our senses and knows what it takes for us to truly absorb something!
It is God and Jesus' greatest desire to free us from our brokenness, fill us with their Spirit, and make us whole again. As we seek to learn from Jesus daily as his apprentice, we will become more and more like Him. Jesus will teach us how to trust in God, listen to His voice and rest in His presence. Over time, like Jesus' very first disciples, we will undergo a transformation - a metamorphosis - into our true calling and identity as God's children, who reflect His nature.
My prayer for YOU: May you be able to heal from a distorted and unhealthy view of God as you develop the skill of listening to His Voice. May you be strengthened in your faith and open to letting God transform you into His image, as you learn how to live in His Presence.
The Foundations section can be compared to the "feeding stage" of a butterfly's development. It's goal is to equip us with everything we need to build a solid foundation of faith in God. It contains bible studies that shed light on topics such as God's character, our true identity, Jesus' identity & purpose, the Holy Spirit's role in our lives, baptism, the church, the kingdom of light, the word of God, discipleship, truth, faith and freedom from darkness.
The Worship section can be compared to the "resting and digesting stage" of a butterfly's development. It is one thing to read and gather information about God and the people in the Bible. It is another thing to absorb and digest it! Investing in any relationship takes time. Our relationship with God is no different. This section helps us to quiet ourselves an meditate on God in a way that enables us to hear God's voice. We learn about worship here.
The Christian Journey section can be compared to the "activity stage" of a butterfly's development. It contains helpful articles and bible studies that will enrich your relationships with God, others, and yourself. It deals with relationship topics conflict resolution, identity issues, listening, developing healthy boundaries, healing from abuse. A new feature is a weekly summary of questions and insights for those attempting to read through the Bible in one year using the "One Year Bible" or the "Daily Audio Bible APP" by Brian Hardin. Week #1 is ready for you.
The Resources section contains links to many interesting websites, authors and books that will feed you nurturing spiritual food and inspire you. It has recommendations for Christian Fiction, Christian Non-fiction, and Christian Ministries (some with a special focus). It also has links to impactful sermons from different speakers and churches. It is filled with information.
Dreams and Visions, Is Jesus Awakening the Muslim World? - What would you do if Jesus appeared to you in a dream? What if He came to you in a vision and told you to follow Him? What if these visions continued for over thirty days? Would you believe? Would you put your trust in him? Would you devote your life to him?
The Story: The Bible as One Continuing Story of God and His People - Imagine being able to read through and understand the major themes of the Bible in only 31 weeks? Max Lucado and Randy Frazee of the Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas have created a way for you to do just that! Get the "big picture" of the TWO stories in the Bible: the Upper Story (God's multi-dimensional perspective) and the Lower Story (our linear perspective on earth). Join others who are also seeking to know God and themselves better.
The Artisan Soul - Erwin McManus of Mosaic Church has a great way of describing our uniqueness as a species. We are empowered by God to create. His talks are truly refreshing and are in line with the truth that Jesus taught.
Healing the Gospel: A Radical Vision for Grace, Justice, and the Cross - Why did Jesus have to die? Was it to appease a wrathful God's demand for punishment? Does that mean Jesus died to save us from God? How could someone ever truly love or trust a God like that? How can that ever be called "Good News"? It's questions like these that make so many people want to have nothing to do with Christianity. Healing the Gospel challenges the assumption that the Christian understanding of justice is rooted in a demand for violent punishment, and instead offers a radically different understanding of the gospel based on God's restorative justice.