You will only know Him in the power of His resurrection as you are made conformable to His death! We DIED, we are not dying daily. Join me in this message which will reveal the finality of the finished work of Jesus, and the victory we now have forever more.
I had an interesting dream this morning in that place between asleep and awake. I thought I’d give it a shot and try to pen what it meant for me. If you prefer short reads then I apologize for the length ahead of time. There’s a small room in most of our homes with a lock on the door. Go there and I promise you’ll have this read before your legs fall asleep. You will find this interesting, and if your little bit tech savvy, even more so.
In my dream there were compartments or divided spaces in my chest or upper torso. Although it didn’t seem odd to me, as I peered into my body, I could see each area had thoughts in them. Not only thoughts, but conflicts and questions about those thoughts. One area or ‘room’, if you will, contained pain. Physical pain. I could actually feel it! ‘Should I go to the doctor? Is this life-threatening? What should I do? God will help me. What if he doesn’t?’ Another room was filled with mistakes or ‘character flaws’. At this point, I didn’t care for either room. But this one was so busy and full of confusion that it was really hard to tell exactly what was going on. I just felt condemned and wanted to shut the door somehow. I could see several other rooms but I chose not to look!
Seeing that there was no solution, my analytical mind jumped into overdrive to try and bring relief. At that time I was reminded of computer programs designed to speed up your system, remove clutter and defrag your hard drive. Almost instantaneously I realized that none of these solutions ever worked for my computer problems. In fact, in most cases, they complicated the situation. Then it occurred to me. Reformat the whole darn thing!
Now if you’ve ever had a virus on your computer or issues that just could not be resolved, then you probably know what that means. It basically means a clean slate. Nothing on it, just blank space. If you would like to save anything, then you need to back it up. And if you’re like me, then you don’t trust anything on your computer after it gets in that condition. Just save the pictures and important docs and burn off the rest!
Well back to the dream. I thought to myself ‘I’ll reformat every room, save some of the memories and take my chances with brand-new’. At that point I heard Cathy telling me that the sausage was done. Lol.
Awake, I understood the dream clearly. The world around us produces and bombards us with ‘info’ continuously. How we have dealt with life is our ‘software’. Our brain is ‘the processor’ and our heart is the ‘hard drive’. Many times, the software on my computer has been the culprit. A lot of software promises great things but are loaded with spyware, adware and viruses. For many of us, how we’ve been taught and learned to respond to life has been marred with ‘ad-ware’, ‘spyware’ and ‘viruses’ from the information the world has given us. Many simple life decisions bog us down because of confusion and fear. Our identity has become so fragmented that we don’t know who we are. We download anything and everything to aid in our quest for our emotional, physical and spiritual well-being. There is a way to reformat! Let me explain.
First of all, in this little allegory, let’s not reuse the old software once we have been reformatted. Keep in mind that when you reformat, you are not adding a program to the old messed up system. You are starting completely from a pristine, clean and un-used place. Quite frankly, the ‘old software’ was the real problem. Like Dr. Phil would say ‘How’s that workin for ya?’ On to the reformat.
No box to check here ‘accepting terms and conditions’. Just press the button when you see the question ‘Are you sure you want to reformat?’ At this time, you understand that the old was not working. You are done with all it offered and you want to start brand new. Fresh with no strings. That has to sound good to you or you will never mouse over the word ‘yes’ and……… click. Ok, now to match the allegory with real life terms. God made us to live life with a clean slate. Not bogged down with ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’. Not in constant expectation with disappointment or ‘please wait’. Not with fearware or painware or unaware. God doesn’t load us with spyware and Trojan horses to make sure we are doing what is right or ‘test’ us to see if we have faith. This is all in the ‘old covenant software’, gone in the reformat known as the finished work of the Cross. You do nothing that Adam did (old software-work) and live in what Jesus completed (new software-rest). Sounds pretty simple? Believe it, it is! The voice of the old software (has a hiss in it) will fight you to the end unless you press ‘yes’.
There is much talk about ‘Radical Grace’ or ‘Hyper-Grace’ in the days we live in. Really, the two terms are complimentary to a love that is beyond our ability to understand and very much within our ability to receive. The reformat process eliminates the confusion over this love, which is the very nature of God Himself. All of the thinking of man concerning God’s love for us is finite. It lacks words and expression to even begin to convey the depth, height and length of how he feels about us. I would much rather ‘error’ on the side of His Amazing Grace than to live ‘correctly’ hoping to earn it someday. If you choose to believe that life is about what you do and not what He has done, then I hope you are happy with the old software. Remember that it is out dated and subject to every virus and debilitating ‘bug’ out there. Fortunately, we cannot have both. You reformat or stay the same.
This question arises in a person’s heart. “How is it that you think you have ‘arrived’ and I have not!” Jesus leveled the playing field. It’s not a competition or reward for our labor. As Paul said ‘count it all lost’. There is nothing that we have done or haven’t done in the sweat of Adam’s brow that isn’t lost in the reformat that Paul was speaking of. The gain is clarity, rest, peace, joy and that is just the beginning! If you haven’t and are ready, press ‘yes’ then you will see a life that is truly ‘Amazing’!
To Read This article in the web PDF version, Please click here: GGN_Newsletter_MAY-JUN_2014_Article Evan Beecham or click on the picture to the left. This article will have a profound impact on the way you see God, due to understanding how He has ALWAYS seen you!
We are on Grace United’s Voice of Grace internet radio. This is the July 2014 schedule. Check it out by clicking on the schedule picture, or click here Grace United/Voice. All grace all the time!
Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines a “‘label’ as denoting a name or title and affixed to anything, denoting its contents.” When we go into a grocery store, we see labels that not only have the brand but describe its identity and gives a description of the contents. Vehicles on the road are identified by their emblem. Sometimes that emblem creates a false perception in our minds about the owner’s personal worth by what that emblem says. Nevertheless, their personal worth is not their account balance; it is the label they have accepted in life. We also see vehicles with bumper stickers (labels) which describe what the owner believes.
We can carry invisible labels on us from childhood to adulthood about what people have labeled us. For many, these labels are manifested into our belief system. Which subsequently forms into actions. If you’ve been told, and believe, your stupid, worthless, you never get it right, you’re a failure, too fat, too skinny, don’t make enough money, then those labels become your belief system. We incorporate these into who we think we are. They become our identity.
That is why many people can struggle with The Gospel of Grace, and God’s Love for them. Our belief system is challenged by what we’ve been told about ourselves and God. On the inside we want to believe that yes God is that good. He truly is a God of overwhelming Love. However, the labels can take us back
causing us to question God’s love and goodness, “I don’t qualify so that really can’t be for me?!” We look at ourselves, and all our labels scream I’m not good enough. We’ve probably all tried to fix ourselves to be more acceptable to God and man. We have tried to renew our mind and failed, because we used the law as the mirror. The labels just keep surfacing and dragging us down. Then we are introduced to religion, and what happens?
We are told that God will accept us just the way we are. We accept The Lord as our Savior. We are thrilled, then the labels of religion are placed on us, with it’s “to do” and “not to do” list. We dare not tear off that label, because our behavior now will determine what God will or won’t do for us. We are told to renew our mind to the Word of God. The mirror religion holds up to us is the
mirror of the law to change us. The law is the ministry of death and condemnation so now we keep adding more labels to ourselves. Good enough, not good enough, He loves me loves me not. Blessed now cursed. We condemn ourselves over and over, and wonder why nothing works out for us.
We are to look into the perfect law of liberty, when we do we see Christ, and who He is in us and who we are in Him. You then begin to see you are perfectly loved, and there is nothing you can do or not do to make God your Father love you more. This is the foundation for your true identity, your new label to describe the contents of the new you. You are God’s Masterpiece, His Beloved,
completely innocent, faultless and guiltless in His eyes. You see it has nothing to do with your righteousness, your good works, your performance, or what you’ve labeled yourself. It’s all about His great Love for you, and His righteousness imparted unto you. It’s a free gift. You cannot earn a free gift, or it’s not free. When we grasp this Good News, it forever will change our lives.
Many have struggled with the true gospel. The message that Jesus himself preached in Luke 4:18-21. It is the Gospel of Grace. That when Jesus cried out it is finished it truly was finished. When he died, you died when He arose you arose. You are a new creation something that did not before exist. You are made in His image; His likeness. You are born from above by Love. For those who have believed this true Gospel of Grace, they have torn off the old labels, abandoned religion and the labels they have been labeled with, and they have fully embraced their new identity in Christ. In Him, we are passionately loved at all times. We are accepted and well pleasing to God, just as Jesus is. We truly
believe as He is so are we in this world.
Years ago, I bought two trees. They were labeled Globe Willow. I cut the labels off and planted them. On the second year of growth, I noticed the branches were weeping down. They were labeled wrong. You see we have all been labeled wrong, and we’ve tried to become something we already are, as a believer and failed. It’s time to believe what God has said about us. We are made in His image and in His likeness. We are born from above out of His Love. When Jesus died, you died, all the old labels were forever stripped away, and behold you were raised up in newness of life, as He has re-labeled us “redeemed and innocent.” Don’t let anyone re-attach any old labels, that Jesus removed, back on to you. Simply receive His abundance of grace and gift of righteousness, and reign in life.