Day 39: The Twin Dynamics of Living in Reality

Day 39: Living Daily in Reality: The Twin Dynamics of Living in Reality
=======================================================================

We’ve been saying that you personally have a loving father who made you
part of his only son so that he could express in your life something of
himself and could add something to his creation through you.

He also wants you to accept his adoption of you as his child now that you
are able to see what life without him is like – that’s the other reason
you’re here on this wayward planet.

But he has foreseen what your reaction would be – so he has in his love
remade you and your life and all your circumstances in eternity – in a
kind of parallel universe such as the quantum physicists hypothesize.

Living daily in reality is living by faith that the spirit of the
creator’s son is working with the acquiescence of your human will –
inside you – to reconcile your attitude to his – and outside you – to
reconcile your circumstances to his will. These are the twin realities of
living in reality. Our maker has foreknown all the attitudes that you
would have and all the circumstances that you would face – he has borne
them all in his only son, neutralized their fatal effects, and recreated
them in timeless space so that they can be actualized here. So faith is
simply acceptance of that reality.

Thus the 2009 worldwide recession resulted from banks and home-buyers
acting as if they had more money than they actually possessed. They were
assisted and encouraged to do this by a culture of greed and deception
that gripped society in the first decade of the twenty-first century.
Desire for the security of things and the significance of conspicuous
consumption usurped confidence in a loving Father who knows everyone he
has made. Our Maker was not caught off balance, nor are we able without
him to rectify the internal and external mess, but he has! And his son,
whom we know in his historical existence as Jesus Christ, is working
inside and outside you to manifest this resolution.

So our Maker sees each one of us as we stretch our finances a little more
to buy on credit a bigger house or a better car. He provides warning
signs along the way as we miss a payment or have an unexpected expense,
but we put our trust in the national prosperity and the plentiful loans
available. The bankers and the realtors and the stockbrokers all do the
same. Meanwhile the international bankers are packaging our loans
together with other under-financed loans and using them as partial
collateral for even larger commitments, until the whole world pretends it
has hundreds of times more money than it actually has. So mankind
deceives itself until it is completely dependent on the imaginary
financial assets that do not actually exist.

Only the slender thread of true assets continues to be glimpsed by some

few financial consciences sensitized by the mysterious grace of our
Maker’s mercy. Gradually that mercy begins to manifest the stresses and
incongruities that are built into the world-system of currencies and
deficits, of real estate appreciation and actual housing needs, of
commercial expansion of retail malls and actual growth of demand. The
Maker allows us to move to the edge of the precipice of unreality and
lies so that we see the abyss open before us while his Son’s spirit cries
out faintly through a few consciences and clear minds that point to a way
back.

The urge we have to establish and maintain our autonomy is persistent so
that we want to be healed “lightly”; this means we want to be rescued but
hope to maintain our trust in ourselves rather than in the faithfulness
and authority of some creator-God. Thus there is always this resistant
manipulatory streak that carnal nature cannot get rid of by its own power
– it seems as if it has been perverted into an alien form which cannot do
what it was originally designed to do – live by the power and life of its
creator. In the recession of 2009 this will express itself in strong
tendencies to paper over dishonesties and apply short-cut cover-ups
rather than analyzing carefully the actual errors and lies. Often the
complexities of lies and pretense are so layered that many of us will
either succumb to suicide or emerge from the recession unwilling to face
life without lies and dishonesty.

But our creator allows this kind of disaster to hold the world back from
absolute chaos so that each one of us can enter the reality of life with
our Maker’s attitude and friendship – let’s talk about that next time.

Read More...

Day 11: The Release of Living Daily in Reality

Day 11: Living Daily in Reality: Some Difficulties
==================================================

I try to think of the difficulty you might face as you think about this
challenge to live daily in reality. I myself had little trouble with the
question of the historicity of Jesus of Nazareth. In my early university
days I spent time in Latin and Greek and Hebrew and the world of
manuscripts and documenting of ancient history. It was just very obvious
to anyone with even a little knowledge of higher criticism that the
manuscript evidence for the historicity of Jesus was far better than that
for any of the other famous historical figures of that time. The writings
of Julius Caesar and Plato and Homer are accepted by all scholars of
repute on the basis of 10 to 20 ancient manuscripts most of which were
written a thousand years after they died. The manuscripts for Jesus’ life
can be traced to not only thousands of Greek and Latin manuscripts of
various ages which confirm the text we have today, but also thousands of
Syriac and Egyptian versions together with numberless quotations in
non-Biblical literature and letters. But all of this evidence can be
found in books by authors like Bruce and Kenyon – even the most liberal
critics reinforce the opinion of Westcott and Hort – “the words still
subject to doubt can hardly amount to more than a thousandth part of the
whole New Testament”.

What might be new to you is the wide difference that exists between the
other great and respected leaders of the world’s religions and this
person, Jesus. He not only rose from the dead and came alive again as a
real, human-being who could eat fish and talk with his followers about
what happened, but he spoke naturally about his life with his father, the
Creator, BEFORE the world was made. In other words he was not bound by
time and space like all other human-beings, but seemed equally at home in
time-space or outside time-space – and lived that way by passing easily
from one world to the other. Again, the historicity of his resurrection
is dealt with by many sceptics like the lawyer Morrison or the
philosopher, C.E.M. Joad.

Moreover, Jesus himself emphasizes his supra-temporal existence by saying
plainly “I am in my Father, and you are in me”. His disciple, John,
writes “he was in the beginning with God; all things were made through
him and without him was not anything made that was made”. Another of his
apostles affirms that “he was the express image of the invisible God, the
first-born of all creation; for in him all things were created, in heaven
and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or
principalities or authorities – all things were created through him and
for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”

The implication is that we all were first given life in him: indeed the
Greek phrase used by John is literally “all that is was life in him”.
Paul also writes to the Ephesians “for we are God’s workmanship created
in Christ Jesus” while our own poets and intuitions attest to some sense

of our being part of eternity. But certainly this is a claim that goes
far beyond that of being just a prophet – this is a claim that we are
part of him and have been made and sustained by him. This is far
different from its human imitation – reincarnation; for there is no
indication that we come back in some other form in some future life; the
clear indication is that Jesus “goes to prepare a place for us that where
he is there we may be also”.

The other difficulty I thought you might have is one that I had for years
– how can God foreknow what we will do or be? Indeed, how can he
foreordain what we will do or be without making us automatons who cannot
exercise our free wills? My only answer was that God cannot know what
I’m going to do so everything depends on what I will. I thought that he
must be like me and that he would undoubtedly work to subvert my will if
he saw me heading in the wrong direction. So he must not know and
certainly does not foreordain or predestine me since he gives me the
right to choose life or death.

But then I began to see that God makes everything so he makes us capable
of rejecting him and choosing nothingness or death. He can bear that or
let it destroy us; if he lets it destroy us, his will is defeated; if he
bears the rejection, we may be won by his love. Thus he puts himself at
risk and bears the unbearable as God even though he knows each move we
will make. Yet his steadfast love continues forever to work all things
according to the counsel of his will.

Read More...

Day 31: The Time Machine or ‘Starting Life Again’

Day 31: Living Daily in Reality: The Time Machine
=================================================

Living daily in reality means starting again! Doing what many of us
have dreamed of – starting life over again. Living daily in reality is
doing just that. It means accepting what Einstein stated in his special
theory of relativity – that time and space are in fact relative – time
does go more slowly the higher you go up. And you would come back to
earth younger if you had traveled far out into space.

Past writers saw this when they wrote “with God a thousand years are
as a day”. In reality our Maker did see the whole life of the human
race in a moment – saw all your errors and the corruption we brought upon
ourselves, ensured that it all took place inside his only son, then
destroyed it in him, and remade us as we were originally, so that today
we can start a new life! Living daily in reality means seeing and
accepting these facts and living accordingly.

This is the meaning of those profound words written by Paul, one of
the followers of the son of our Creator – “God, who is rich in mercy, out
of the great love with which he has loved us, even when we were yet
sinners, made us alive together with Christ, and raised us up and made us
sit with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus that in the coming
ages he might show forth the exceeding riches of his grace in kindness
towards us in Christ Jesus”.

So living daily in reality means seeing who you are – not the little
child of your human mother, but part of the Creator’s own son – here to
do and be on earth what he has planned to be in you. This means
starting to get to know who your maker is and what he is like and what he
wants for this earth. You know some of this already. You can see
much of his character in the beautiful things he has made – a baby’s
little fingers, a Yorkshire terrier, the magnificent sunsets, people like
Sister Teresa. He’s obviously a nice person who understands beauty
and generosity. And he has transcendent power to control the vast
eternity that contains our little piece of time; together with this he
has the power to manifest here in us the human being He created in his
son before we mutilated it.

The day that lies before you, therefore, has an entirely new
perspective – this isn’t just “your” day; it’s twenty-four hours that
your maker’s son has in order to do his Father’s will here on earth.
So sweep out of your mind all those little nagging thoughts you have
about what this person will do or say to you, what ways you can make
lunch-time more enjoyable or restful for yourself, what you can look
forward to this evening; all these things are no longer your concern,
because this isn’t your life – it’s the creator’s life in you. What is
real is what he wants to achieve through you today – what he wants to do
at work or at school or at home. So, first begin to look at the whole

day from his perspective – he is in you and can enable you to feel what
he feels and think the way he is thinking.

So, our whole life is not one great “how to live like God” technique
or “what would Jesus do” imaginary conceiving of success; it’s not a
mental game or psychological exercise or “power of positive thinking”.
It’s reality – this is how things really are – you ARE part of your
Maker’s Son – and He has a life to live in you this day. He actually
has already foreseen your whole day and has already changed and adjusted
in his cosmic death and resurrection all the things you will meet in
these next twelve or sixteen hours. Your job is to be real yourself
and, as you are, he will begin to guide you naturally in harmony with his
ways and works.

Let’s begin to talk practically now about living daily in reality.

Read More...

Day 22: Our Real Environment

Day 22: Living Daily in Reality: Our Real Environment
=====================================================

Living daily in reality means living in things as they really are.
Yesterday we talked about the futility of life when it’s lived in a
closed universe, i.e. when you think that reality is this little earth
spinning through limitless space with no comprehensible origin or
purpose. It seems impossible to get from the things, people, and
circumstances around us the security, significance, and happiness that we
seem to need. What is our real environment?

The reality is that you personally have a loving Father who made you in
his only son so that he could live the life in you that he planned. His
only son explained this all to us when he lived on this earth in the
first century – you remember we talked about the historicity of this in
Days 1-6 of our early conversations. He said “therefore I tell you, do
not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall
drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than
food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air;
they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly
Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you
by being anxious can add one cubit to his span of life? And why are you
anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow;
they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory
was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the
field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he
not much more clothe you, O men of little faith?
Therefore do not be anxious, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall
we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” For the Gentiles seek all these
things; and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek
first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be
yours as well. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow
will be anxious for itself. Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for
the day.”

But most of us have rejected this reality and ignored any attempt of the
creator’s Son to live in us. We are full of ourselves and our needs and
desires, and have become little willful egotists who regard God as a
myth. Because our creator knows there is no one except him and because he
loves us and has given us free will, he has allowed us to spoil the world
if we wish and to despise and hurt him and ourselves in his son. But in
his great mercy he has limited that by creating time while in eternity he
has forgiven and put his son within us. The result is that each of us may
choose unreality or reality, life on our own or Christ’s life in us, this
transient life or eternal life, life as it seems to be or life as it
really is.

Read More...

Day 47: Does the Mind Understand or Manipulate?

Day 47: Living Daily in Reality: Does the Mind Understand or Manipulate?
========================================================================

As we begin to live in reality rather than the fantasy that we are
self-made, autonomous creatures, our personalities start to work the way
they were intended – from the inside out. This changes the way our minds
work.

Why does the mind think the way it does? Why does it spend so much time
trying to work out what the other person is planning to do or what he
thinks of us? Why do we go over and over the things that have happened
to us that day or what we are going to do to solve the situation? Why is
our mind continually working out how to move the chessmen of our
circumstances and relationships so that we achieve what we wish for
ourselves? Why do we find ourselves unable to think of a way around or
through a certain problem – why do circumstances and people seem so
intractable and unmanageable? Why do we simply run out of ideas? Come
to the end of our own resources? Because our minds were not created to
work out all these things – they were made to understand what our Maker
has planned so that we could then direct our faculties to bring that
about.

But even though Einstein, when faced with a problem would excuse himself
by saying in his quaint English “I will a little tink” and then would
return later with a possible solution, we think we can create things
ourselves with our own minds. Einstein said in his matter-of-fact way
“all ideas come from God”, but we dismiss that as just a figure of speech
– despite the fact that he – and others like him – imply that ideas and
directions come from outside themselves. So Elgar said his music is in
the air, and the poets have always talked of the Muse or the spirit
bringing words and ideas to them. And this, of course, is the way our
Maker has planned that his son would exercise his will and thoughts to
complete his Father’s universe through us whom he made the “crown of
creation”.

But when we try to live this way, we find we cannot – our minds and
personalities are so used to looking outside ourselves to the people and
things and circumstances around us, that we cannot make our minds move as
they were designed to move. Indeed, we have no relationship with our
Maker and we spend no time in spooky activity like prayer or meditation –
there simply is not time for that kind of thing – nor is there any sense
in it. Obviously, our personalities have become twisted out of shape and
perverted so that they cannot work the way they were meant to. Only our
maker can remake them – this is why the cosmic miracle took place – it’s
why we were created in the Maker’s Son – so that he could experience for
his Father all the agony of his own nature being destroyed and twisted
and perverted – and thus be justified in being what he is himself. Only
then would our relationship to Him be justified and realistic – only then
could his love triumph over the unthinkable.

A famous poet was sitting on a rock in the Lake District in England and
remembering his boyhood days there – he said:

And I have felt
A presence that disturbs me with the joy
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean and the living air,
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man;
A motion and a spirit, that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
And rolls through all things.

Even though we may not have expressed our feelings in the same words we
have all had those moments when we thought there was some other mind
present besides our own – this is what faith is – and living by faith is
listening for the thoughts of that mind. The famous German general,
Bismarck, called it ” listening for the footsteps of God”. In no way does
God “MAKE” us do what He has planned; he accompanies us and gently nudges
us as a dear friend – who would bear from us even the willfulness of
Calvary.

Read More...

Day 50: We need a Cosmic Rectification

Day 50: Living Daily in Reality: We Need a Cosmic Rectification
===============================================================

Your Creator has made you part of his own Son – inside himself – so that
he personally would face all the consequences of your rejection of him as
your maker and father. Only thus could he bear your necessary destruction
in his Son’s humanity yet justly recreate you in his Son’s divinity. This
is the eternal millisecond event that alone can transform the perversion
we have brought upon ourselves.

You and I endeavor to live as self-existent, self-made beings. But we
find we have needs that only a maker’s love can supply – security,
significance, happiness; so we look to the world of things, people, and
circumstances to meet these needs. Not only has this produced the chaos
of our present world, but it has deeply perverted and contorted our
original natures. We try to establish our significance or importance by
convincing other people to respect or fear or praise us: even the
involuntary movements of our eyes show how much we seek favorable
attention from others. Thus our bodies seek reassurance for our minds
that we do not need the approval of any god greater than ourselves while
our whole being becomes incorrigibly dependent on others’ opinions.

But this sin or autonomy is like quick-sand; the more you try to get out
of it, the deeper you sink into it. So, for instance, our self-help
efforts to produce humility usually end up as self-conscious modesty.
Moreover, we find this self-made willfulness has a stubborn,
self-preserving assertiveness that defeats all our valiant attempts to
root it out: however many self-improvement books or techniques we use, we
find that somehow self-centeredness gets the upper hand and we find our
life contaminated by self in many areas of our lives. We cannot believe
that otherwise mature and balanced people could have such trouble with
attitudes that they wish to avoid and habits that spoil their lives.

Because of this apparently irrational behavior in ourselves, many of us
set out to analyze carefully our inner lives and tackle the symptoms
one-by-one. First we deal with the obvious ones like physical
indiscipline in eating or exercise; then we move on to destructive family
attitudes like irritability, argumentativeness, critical comments and
bitter resentments. Meanwhile we move on to the work attitudes of driving
ambition and desire to be noticed with the accompanying vices of envy,
pride, and jealousy. But we find by the time we’ve found some success in
these, the others that we overcame have sprung up again; so we have to
start all over – until we gradually realize there is some common attitude
here that continues even after the symptom has been suppressed.

This self-existent, self-made conviction that governs our lives seems to
be a many-headed monster that touches every part of life and personality.
The reality is that old-fashioned sin is simply “missing the mark” –
missing or evading the reality that you have a loving Father who made

you. It’s a bit like missing the key on the keyboard – you can’t remember
what others you might have hit in trying to find the right one. The
results of missing the mark are so numerous that there’s no way you can
track down all the parts of your original nature that have gone wrong.
Only God himself can rectify the myriad erroneous connections and
short-circuits that we have created between our spirit, soul and body;
our daily frustration with ourselves comes from our belief that a DIY (do
it yourself) job will solve this. Nothing but a complete replacement will
restore us – we are like the old man who was offered millions for his
little house on a unique building site in the city: he was amazed at the
price, and he spent weeks trying to make it worth the price. At last he
finished all his repairs and renovations: the buyer came with his check –
AND his bull-dozer – he wanted only the site – the house had to be
completely removed and he intended to build a far bigger and better one.
We tinker with our personalities and try to organize the parts, but only
the Maker can remake it the way it was meant to be. It needs to be
bulldozed and remade completely.

HOW CAN I KEEP FROM SINGING?

My life flows on in endless song
Above earth’s lamentation;
I hear the real though distant hymn
That hails a new creation

No storm can shake my calm repose
While to this rock I’m clinging:
If Christ is Lord of heaven and earth
How can I keep from singing?

What though my joys and comforts die!
I know my Savior liveth;
What though the darkness round me lie!
Songs in the night he giveth

I lift my eyes – the cloud grows thin,
I see the blue above it;
And day by day this pathway smoothes
Since first I learned to love it.

The peace of Christ makes fresh my heart
A fountain ever springing
All things are mine since I am His
How can I keep from singing?

Read More...

Day 27: Flashback or Eternal Present?

Day 27: Living Daily in Reality: Flashback or Eternal Present?
=============================================================

Why does it seem easier to do wrong than right?  Why does our
self-esteem depend more on the approval of other mortal human beings like
ourselves rather than on the one really significant other who made
us?  Why do our eyes seek the eyes of others to see if they approve of
us?  Why are we stimulated to draw attention to ourselves when we see
the adulation given to celebrities?  Why do we find it impossible to
free ourselves from the lie that changed circumstances will make us
happy?  Why do we find it impossible to stop worrying when our bank
balance goes down or our house burns down?   Why do we strike out at
others if they express dislike of us? And why do we find it impossible
to change these attitudes?

Because we find our natures have become corrupted by this choice we have
made – this desire to be independent of our maker by depending on his
creation for our needs. Years ago the scholars explained that we were
totally depraved – what they meant was that our whole beings and
personalities have become corrupted by our life-style. There is only
death – lack of life – outside the one who made us.  When we
choose that autonomy or independence – what is called sin – with an
“Iâ€(cid:157) right in the middle – we experience all the destruction of
death throughout our being. It touches everything and spoils every part
of our personalities and life.   Faced with this situation we do what
every drowning person does: we struggle to save ourselves from the
engulfing egotism. And we struggle with the only thing we have – our
own minds and emotions and wills; but the problem is that they are now
corrupted and depraved and twisted out of shape by their very activity.
So even our minds are impaired just as our emotions are unbalanced and
our wills weakened: this is what the Bible means when it states that
“the mind of the flesh is enmity against God, it is not subject to his
law, neither indeed can it beâ€(cid:157).

But we continue to struggle – incorrigibly independent! So we write our
“how toâ€(cid:157) books, we indulge in our own power of positive thinking. We
will even use our maker’s son as a stirring example by asking “what
would Jesus doâ€(cid:157). But in this situation “the struggle nought
availethâ€(cid:157) – we sink deeper into our egocentricity because our whole
being is under the sentence of death that God’s own life exerts against
all that opposes what he himself is. It is not his nature that we need
– it is him himself; it is not principles that we need but a person –
it is not Christian ideas that we need, but Christ himself. God can only
replace us with his own son if he first bears all the consequences that
follow his giving us free will. He has to face his own rejection by us if
he is to give us a real chance to destroy him. This is what happened in
the timeless, space-less world of eternity – where it is said that
Christ was crucified from before the foundation of the world. In eternity
– before time began – our infinite Maker foresaw what we would all do

with our free wills -Â He foresaw that we would choose to rid ourselves
of the only source of our own existence – and He resolved to experience
that actual agony himself inside each of us as we had been created inside
his only Son.  This is why it is said that “our old self was
crucified with him so that we might be no longer enslaved to sinâ€(cid:157) and
our own egocentricity. Because the perverted egotist that you would
become was crucified in that cosmic death that God bore for us so that we
would have a choice – the reality of depending on him or the unreality
of depending on things and people and circumstances!
So our choice is to continue the death-life of this present world –
which is really a flash-back to what life without God is like –
although our maker himself has borne its whole life in his own son whom
he has put in each one of us.  And because he has borne all of its sin
personally he is able to actualize in time what was done in eternity –
destroy our corrupted personalities and replace them with his own
son’s.

Only that exchange between us and his son will deliver us from
our perverted lives -Â only our maker can remake us – what we need
is a total refit – a complete remake.  We will never bring it about
by the clever use of our own minds – they are enmity against God –
not subject to his law, nor can they be.  Our only hope is that we
“have that mind in us that we have in Christ Jesus, who did not count
equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the
form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men and being found in
human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death
on a crossâ€(cid:157). Our release from the entanglements of ourselves can only
be wrought by God himself if we accept that all that we are has been
destroyed in his son just as we were originally made in him.  Only
then are we able to “have that mind in us that we have in Christ
Jesus”.   And only when we abandon ourselves and accept him as the
real owner of this life – only then can this corrupted nature be
replaced by the divine one.

Read More...

Day 29: Your Money or Your Life

Day 29: Living Daily in Reality: Your Money or Your Life?

The reality of our life here on earth is that our creator is a loving
father who made us as part of his only son so that we could continue to
exist even as we tried nothingness rather than him. Throughout our
lives in his son he has borne the consequences of our choice of
nothingness – borne our sins and patiently kept us alive through his
son’s life. The ancient history book called the Bible states that this
son “was the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation;
for in him all things were created – all things were created through him
and for him; he is before all things, and in him all things hold
together.” Thus you have the opportunity to freely accept the reality
that you are part of your maker’s son who has a life to live through you
or to reject that and choose nothingness instead. Meanwhile your loving
father sustains your life and bears personally all the consequences of
your choice in others’ lives. He has foreseen what you would do and
mercifully counteracted it in his son so that he alone is able to “turn
back the clock” on the effects of your choice if you accept reality.

This reality and unreality show themselves in every area of our
lives. An obvious one concerns our sense of security. Most of us
see that food, shelter, and clothing are necessary for our lives.
Although we’ve heard the old saying “look at the birds of the air – they
do not sow or reap, and yet your heavenly father feeds them”, most of us
have smiled sardonically and said ‘God helps those who help
themselves’. So we go to it – get a good education to get a good job
so that we can continue our existence and have children who can do the
same thing over again. But we find there are six billion other
human-beings doing this – and there’s only so much food, clothing, and
shelter, so we determine we’ll get our share. But somehow we never get
enough to make us feel secure or we get it but can’t be absolutely sure
we’ll be able to hold on to it. So begins the life described by the
British poet, Auden – “in headaches and in worry vaguely life leaks
away”. We worry about the stock-market, our job security, our
mortgages, our promotion, our retirement, our health – and on and on!

Of course, we try to change our thinking – especially when we lie
awake at night or take alka-seltzer to get rid of the knot in our
stomachs when a large bill has to be paid. But, however we try, our
minds seem now to be in a rut that we can’t get them out of. We try to
think positively but keep sinking back into worry and anxiety about the
finances, the job, the future – everything.

Our maker knew this would happen to you – and the simple reality is
that – in his son, Jesus (who died in the time of the first century on
earth the death that he died in eternity when you were just an idea in
God’s mind) this life that you have built on your own ability to be
secure – he destroyed and remade in his son. This new life is your real
one but requires you to be willing to let your old self be destroyed in

Jesus so that your new personality can begin to take its place.

So you can stop struggling to stop worrying – what you have to do is
live in reality – accept that you are in this son of your maker – that
you were made in him and be willing to die to the things he died to for
you. Are you deeply willing to die to your salary and job security as
your main hope of success and happiness? Are you willing to accept what
your maker has for you – maybe prosperity, maybe poverty? Are you
willing to live on whatever God who feeds the birds of the air thinks is
good for you? Are you willing to be the failure that everyone thought
this Jesus was in his life?

Will this give you what you want? Maybe not – but this is reality
– and once you start living in it, your life has at last a chance.

Read More...

Day 43: The Cosmic Death

Day 43: Living Daily in Reality: The Cosmic Death
=================================================

Why do we see good and bad in our world? Why do we often witness deeds of
heroic unselfishness on the one hand – and then actions of extreme
selfishness and cowardice on the other? Because our Creator wants us to
see clearly the consequences of the choice we make. This world is a
simple demonstration of life lived as if there’s no God – no creator
– as if we had made ourselves!

When we live like that we become perverted and corrupted. We were
designed to to bathe in the approval of the loving Father who made us to
express his only Son, but we reject that whole plan and try to get from
the approval of others the sense of self-esteem that we need. This
deception develops throughout our being a perversion and corruption that
we cannot correct because our whole nature is affected. This is why all
our self-help systems and religious observances fail.

All of them require the consistent exercise of our wills, but this is the
very place where our failure lies – the despairing cry of human beings
is the same in every country – “the good that I want I do not do, but
the evil that I do not want is what I doâ€(cid:157)! If there is a creator we
want to do what he thinks is right, but we find ourselves instead wanting
to please our peers or our friends. Our little eyes search for the
approval of other human beings even though we know they will die like us
while our maker will live on.

One might say that we are made to live from the inside to the outside –
to get from God’s Son within us what he wishes to do through us; but we
instead live from the outside – from what the world around us wants!
The creator has put us each here to do something that he has fitted his
Son to do through us, but we reject that reality and instead try to do
whatever will help us to survive or gain attention. The result is that we
become little sponges that soak up the praise of other people or all the
material possessions we can get our hands on. It’s as if we cannot help
ourselves, however hard we try. What we think is a little
misunderstanding on our part about life becomes a basic perversion of our
personalities that we cannot change.

God foresaw that our very natures would be perverted and that only he
himself could rectify them and remake them: this is the meaning of the
statement in the Bible by Paul in Romans 6:6 – “for we know that our
old self was crucified with Christ so that the body of sin might be
destroyed and we might no longer be enslaved to sinâ€(cid:157). Sin is simply
living as if there’s no God – living as if he does not exist – as
if we are self-existent creatures. Thus our natures have developed to get
all we need from the world and our fellow-creatures; we have developed a
“body of sinâ€(cid:157) – a physical and mental organism that operates as if
it is on its own – self-dependent – with no maker – no loving

Father. It now exerts its perverted habits on us so that we cannot do
what we know is right – what we were made to do. Our physical and
mental natures have become a “body of sinâ€(cid:157) that is no longer ruled by
our own wills but responds in knee-jerk reaction to the world around us.

This is why God expressed in his son’s death the cosmic death that he
suffered in each one of us in eternity – that great present moment that
is eternity. He alone can radically change what he has made and what we
have perverted. This is the meaning of the cosmic death expressed by his
son in 29 A.D. – “for we know that our old self was crucified with
Christ so that the body of sin might be destroyed and we might no longer
be enslaved to sinâ€(cid:157).

Read More...

Day 69: Between Two Worlds

Day 69: Living Daily in Reality: Between Two Worlds
===================================================

Our Maker designed each of us to express a unique part of himself through
his only Son to whom he has entrusted the completion of his creation.Â
Our willingness to let his son express himself through us will determine
what our world is like and whom we are like. He has foreseen both of
these outcomes, and Christ has borne the corruption of the world and our
nature along with their redemption outside time in eternity. In this
present time we are therefore between two worlds – in us and around us
is the nature and the world which we have corrupted, while ahead of us in
a parallel universe is our new nature and world graciously re-created by
our Maker in his son’s death and resurrection.
Â
In this life, you are living either in the reality of our corrupted
nature and world or you are living in the reality of our new nature and
world that our Maker has already remade outside time. Who determines
which nature and world you are living in? You do – you throw the
switch – then the cosmic death and resurrection expressed at Calvary
actualize here in your life! Just as even our crude high-frequency
trading computers can analyze in a milli-second hundreds of buys and
sells and send hundreds of alternative offers to the stock exchange, so
our Maker can in a millisecond arrange thousands of events which protect
the exercise of your free will yet move everything a step nearer his own
plan. But you alone determine how long you spend crucifying or exalting
your Maker.
Â
While you are in this world as part of the Creator’s son you are
therefore either letting the spirit of his life shape your nature and the
world or you’re succumbing to your nature to exploit the world. The
uncreated spirit of his son applies the eternal work of real change
wrought by the Maker himself in his son’s death, whereas our nature
applies a temporary band-aid; the first deals with the actual corruption
whereas the second deals with the symptoms. The first forms Christ
within more fully, the second tries to imitate his nature.

Both require human action but one is based on the final renewal of the
world wrought by God in Christ’s resurrection while the second is based
on man’s own attempts to save the world. The first is initiated by
Christ within, the second by man’s best thoughts – your will is the
pivotal-point for both.  Moses tried to free the Israelites by killing
the slave-driver; then he freed them by the effect of the plagues wrought
in Christ’s resurrection in eternity. Later he had to stretch his
staff over the Jordan, but it was Christ’s supra-time power over the
world of nature that divided the waters.

So in our twenty-first century we will continue to see the deterioration
of our human nature and our world repeatedly exposed as abnormal and
unintended by the creator.  But alongside the encroaching chaos there

will persist the counteracting effects of the uncreated spirit of the
maker’s son in things like the bacteria-killing penicillin discovered
in fungus, the power of non-violent resistance in Mandela and Gandhi, and
the built-in capacity of an angry man to be calmed by a soft answer.
As we begin to apply reality to the diverse ways in which our world seems
to be going wrong, let us see how this real power of our Maker’s
uncreated life in his son can work through us.  As we do that we may
find there are two ways to “leave the world a better placeâ€(cid:157)…  Â
But more importantly, you may find why your Creator has made you so
different from the rest of us – and you may grow up into the fullness
of Christ.

Read More...
>
Scroll to Top