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Blessings Corrupted ~ John C Calkins

Posted: December 17th, 2016 | Category: belief, Christ Follower, Common Sense | Comments

blessings-corrupted

Most of us have learned or at least heard that the wages of sin are death …. Romans 6:23, but what about the here and now, is this sin sprinkled life a free ride until death? If that’s really the case and we still suspect that what lies beyond death is just an uncertainty at best, then what’s the risk? For the answer to that question we’ll have to dig a bit deeper into the Biblical Word of God’s instructions.

GOD said, “The Man has become like one of us, capable of knowing everything, ranging from good to evil. What if he now should reach out and take fruit from the Tree-of-Life and eat, and live forever? Never—this cannot happen!” So GOD expelled them from the Garden of Eden and sent them to work the ground, the same dirt out of which they’d been made. He threw them out of the garden and stationed angel-cherubim and a revolving sword of fire east of it, guarding the path to the Tree-of-Life.” Genesis 3:22-24 MSG. This was the first recorded human punishment by God, in this life, for sin. Yes, our sin has consequences in the here and now. Why, because God said so and it makes perfect sense! Punishment is not just somewhere beyond the secular mystery of when death ensues, but potentially anywhere, at any time. That’s because we need incentives and disincentives to make good decisions. The expulsion in Genesis 3:24 is hardly an example of corporeal punishment but in this example it’s definitely punitive. What happened later on to everyone except Noah and his family (Genesis 6) is however both corporeal and punitive. These are of course Old Testament examples of punishment for sinful actions or depravity. Just to be clear here, defying God’s directives or commands is the very definition of sin. For the first 5,000 years of human history as recorded in the Bible, we proved this consequential condition of free will, over and over again. But then comes Jesus.

Jesus didn’t alter God’s Word, He explained, accepted and as painfully as possible exchanged His sinless life for our lives of sin from a totally new alter. The wages of sin are still death (separation from God), but Jesus changed the condition of death for those who believe (100%) in Him. He also shrouded the world with blessings from His blood. Here’s the catch, not everyone believes Jesus and not too many of those who do believe in Him do so completely and 100% of the time. There are a lots of dangerous rips and tears in that blanket of blessings which God has draped over the lives and nations who recognize Him. Lots of sin centered holes for the enemy to drift through in the darkness of our apathy, doubts and unbelief. The holes and tears seem to appear where any evidence of unbelief makes an appearance. Here’s an example of that in Jesus’ own life. It can be found in the gospel of both Mark 6:5 and Matthew 13:58. “But Jesus said, “A prophet is taken for granted in his hometown and his family.” He didn’t do many miracles there because of their hostile indifference.” Matthew 13:58 MSG. The blanket of God’s blessings can be lifted or thrown aside but the blood of the cross can not be. The blood of the cross exposed for the first time the previously locked door between spiritual life embodiment and the embodiment of life by the Spirit. Essentially between the realms of earth and heaven. Believing 100% and behaving 100% sinlessly are rare indeed, but they are the ultimate objective. Jesus alone accomplished that objective and then swapped His perfection for the imperfect lives of those who have come to know Him well enough to have no doubts. It seems like a bad deal for Him and good for us, but that’s only because we can’t fathom the depth of His love for humanity. Since there was only one perfect person, the old question of “why do bad things happen to good people” is a nearly moot point. Good to God as used here is not as much a matter of our behavior as it is a condition of our hearts. Jesus proved who He was when He walked among us, beyond every shadow of doubt. Yet doubts persist. It’s not folklore, it’s fact. None of the rest of us are good all of the time and that separates the seams in God’s protective blanket of blessings as much now as it did in Jesus’ time. We doubt, ignore, reject and conveniently overlook (defy) God’s instructions regularly. That is the basis of the penetration of evil into our otherwise blessed world. Our sinful, selfish nature is what has always been the key to our undoing. Being good most of time, isn’t all of the time. Jesus will stitch up the holes of our defiance for those whom He knows, but the rest are on their own under the Old Testament rules. Not just later after the sun sets on this life, but now too. The embodiment of life by the Spirit of God is what we need in order to know doubtlessly. Selfishness, the basis of nearly every sin makes more appearances in a second than selflessness does in a day in our world. That’s a lot of holes. Bad things happen when the blanket is corrupted. Our man made holes are hellish, while the tightly woven, seamless shroud of Jesus is as protective as it gets.

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Believe It Or Not ~ John C Calkins

Posted: December 2nd, 2016 | Category: belief, Faith | Comments

Let’s take a few minutes to talk about the differences and subtle qualities of belief and faith. Understanding this is a matter of great importance to God and there are several very good reasons why it should be equally important to us. Belief is our level of commitment to someone or something while faith is a (usually)  silent demonstration of our love and trust in someone. Given that, what’s the difference between a 99% commitment to something and a 100%… read more

The Book of Life ~ John C. Calkins

Posted: October 26th, 2016 | Category: belief, Eternity, Hope, Love, Promises, Spirituality | Comments

The (Lambs) Book of Life (original edition) is the only book that I am aware of which has never been published or for that matter read by any of us. Yet this book is one which everyone with any spiritual bent has or should have heard of. It’s God’s book and it is referenced in many places throughout the Holy Bible. Biblical scholars have often presented God’s Book of Life as His muster-roll which lists for God’s eyes and use,… read more

Freedom ~ John C. Calkins

Posted: September 28th, 2016 | Category: belief, Eternity, Hope, Inspirational, Love, Spirituality, Truth | Comments

We have developed some strange ideas about what presents and then actually constitutes  our personal freedoms. Some think age? Others believe, financial independence? Business or home ownership? Zero commitments? Laws? Unlimited choices, resources, opportunities? In reality, each of those only tend to more securely tie us up with different kinds of knots, responsibilities and challenges. I’m going to make this next point without any exception. Until we have a permanent relationship with Jesus Christ we can never hope to be totally free. We… read more

Even Better Than Hope ~ John C. Calkins

Posted: August 3rd, 2016 | Category: belief, Christ Follower, Hope, Inspirational, Jesus Follower | Comments

Imagine that the road of your life is built on a foundation of Hope. That the many miles you’ve traveled, detours taken, storms encountered, accidents experienced are at least in part resolved and restored by the Hope that your road continues with options. That’s most of us. We live on a street named Hope. What could be better than that? It may be an unknown, but it’s something! Some people have no hope what-so-ever which is extremely discouraging. Hope really… read more

Relationship With God? ~ John C. Calkins

Posted: July 28th, 2016 | Category: belief, Church, Faith, Inspirational, Love | Comments

Why would it be important for us to have or to be in relationship with God? If just believing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that He came (here) and died in our place, for our sins, then what would be the further point of any relationship? It was a done deal 2,000 years ago. Wasn’t it? That may be the most misunderstood concept of faith and belief today and such misunderstandings carry the worst of long term… read more

Becoming Transparent ~ John C Calkins

Posted: May 26th, 2016 | Category: belief, Christ Follower, Deception, Faith, Inspirational, Spirituality, Truth | Comments

“The Woman said to the serpent, “Not at all. We can eat from the trees in the garden. It’s only about the tree in the middle of the garden that God said, ‘Don’t eat from it; don’t even touch it or you’ll die.’” The serpent told the Woman, “You won’t die. God knows that the moment you eat from that tree, you’ll see what’s really going on. You’ll be just like God, knowing everything, ranging all the way from good… read more

Earth Shattering ~ John C Calkins

Posted: April 16th, 2016 | Category: belief, Christ Follower, disciple, Inspirational, Jesus Follower, Understanding | Comments

Those 3 men of amazing influence. Have you ever wondered just what they talked about? “Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.” (Matthew 17:3 NIV). They were separated by thousands of years but they came together to talk? I have wondered, just what was said? The Bible doesn’t really provide any insight into what was communicated as the meeting was recorded in Matthew 17:3. The encounter itself illustrated life after death, which of course addressed… read more

The Harvest Of Perfection ~ John C. Calkins

Posted: February 2nd, 2016 | Category: belief, Christ Follower, Faith, Inspirational, Jesus Follower, Love, Understanding | Comments

Why does God want or need so many people in heaven? The answer seems clear if every person around us brings us joy. More joy with each person. More joy is better. Yet that somehow seems too simplistic. A bit below the genius and work of God. It is also unrealistic? Would joy even be special if we’d never known sorrow? We shouldn’t be looking at this from our point of view, we should just be looking at it from… read more

Never Underestimated Again ~ John C. Calkins

Posted: January 25th, 2016 | Category: belief, Faith, Jesus Follower, Truth, Understanding | Comments

Does anybody really know who you are? Yes you, that floating vessel moored some where in mystery. We might believe that someone close to us knows everything about us, yet in reality, that’s nearly impossible. It certainly would make life simpler, but that’s not how we’ve learned to live our lives. It’s not how our minds-eye works. We have fears, hopes, dreams, thoughts and secrets that we’ve consciously chosen not to share with certain people or in some cases with anyone at… read more