legal glory

legal glory

30 And Broke

Posted on November 11, 2018 in Uncategorized

2016 has been quite a year, literally a bit too much for me to handle. If I accumulate all my past professional, personal and social experiences, and grind them into a big smoothie, it’ll still seem bland in front of the experience I’ve gathered in this year and this year alone. Before I go bashing myself for getting into a soul-strangling mess, let me praise myself a bit. I do deserve some praise. After all, it does take a lot of courage to leave behind everything you’ve worked for and move to a new country with hopes of making it big.

Let me break this down:

City Girl Moves to Another City? Shouldn’t be a Tough Transition?

Moving to another city, how bad can it be? Hey she still knows how to blend in the fast-paced city life, she still has an idea of what to expect! My bad, I underestimated the transition in more ways than one. Another city is so not “just” another city. It’s a whole new world! The people, the culture, the rules and regulations, everything is nothing you would expect. With such minimal knowledge and know-how, I messed up right off the bat.

The Dirty Dating Games

Not only did I leave behind my job, home and family, I also let go of all affiliations I had with my former boyfriend. I wanted to explore the dating territory in a new place among unfamiliar homo sapiens. Most women are wired to want love, to find a husband and create adorable babies. I’m no different! Moving out was motivated by not just career-oriented aspirations, but also love and marriage. I wanted to experience it all. Unfortunately, dating as a newbie came with devastating results. Countless dates started at coffee tables and conveniently ended there. Finding “the one” took me nine months and two dozen cringeworthy dates.

Money! Now You See Me, Now You Don’t!

Let me explain the financial disaster show I am currently hosting. I am broke because I have no job, I lost my job because I wasn’t paid for months. Yes, my previous employers stopped paying, period! Oh and I forgot to mention the psychological trauma that came with non-payments. I took matters into my own hands and exercised my legal rights to not work for free. Now here I am, 3 months into unemployment, living off a tiny income which barely covers my rent.

What makes my matter worse is limited availability of resources. Financial resources are eventually going to run out. I’ve somehow managed to rack up a huge credit card bill? When and how did that happen is a question I often ask myself. And retail therapy is the answer I conveniently provide to sooth my aching existence. Funny thing is, I’ve managed to convince myself that I am depressed because I am broke and that is why I need to spend on me to make myself feel better. I basically went around indulging in retail therapy with money I didn’t own.

Where’s The Glory in Being Independent?

How do I begin my day? There is no beginning or end. There is no schedule. I won’t deny the fact that being unemployed comes with the privilege of endless sleep hours. I can sleep till noon, stay up all night and watch movies all day long!

But there’s no glory in being unemployed. There comes a point when you begin to feel like a loser. You feel worthless. So here I am, living independently, struggling to make ends meet and fighting to keep my sanity intact. I hear people tell me how lucky I am to be here on my own with complete freedom to make my own decisions. The truth is far from all the good. Life is beating me down and I keep swinging back like a blind, mad woman, hoping to crack that imaginary piƱata and hit a jackpot!

How to Distinguish Between Legalism and Grace

Posted on November 10, 2018 in Uncategorized

How can we tell if we are living under law or under grace? There are two important characteristics that distinguish between legalism and grace-living.

1) The Law is a conditional contract; Grace is not.

Under the law obedience is conditional to blessing. God says, “If you do good, I will bless you.” Under grace blessing is based entirely on what God has done for us through Christ. God says, “I have blessed you, now do good” (Eph.1:3). Obedience is our response to blessing.

An example of this is that under the law God said to Israel, “If you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” Ex.19:5&6. Under grace He says to us, “You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people…” 1 Pet.2:9. Law always begins with obligation which is conditional to blessing. Grace begins with unconditional blessing, evoking a response of obedience.

The Bible uses the term “the law” (with the definite article) in reference to the law God gave through Moses. But when it uses the term “law” (without the definite article) it designates any legalistic system of works we may employ in order to gain merit with God. This includes God’s law, our vows, promises, resolutions, bargaining, goals, dedication, rededication, commitment, recommitment, determination, etc. It’s amazing what we will do sometimes in an attempt to impress God and qualify for His blessing! Like the couple who removed the swing from their budgie’s cage on the Sabbath – just in case the budgie enjoyed himself!

2) Law And Grace appeal to a different power base for holiness.

Law appeals to our fleshly ability; grace relies on divine enablement. Law is attractive because it has high moral aspirations. But can the law really help us to change? Can it help us beat sin? Can it help us to live the Christian life? The giving of the law to Israel did not result in an obedient people. Apart from Jesus there has been universal failure in keeping the law. According to Paul the law does not lead people away from sin but rather inflames sin in them (Rom.7:8).

Spiritually, you and I are married to the one we go to in order to bear fruit. You can tell those living under law – they are married to the law. This means they go the law in order to bring forth fruit. Legalism pulls away from Christ and puts us back under the power of the flesh.

Also, legalism is deceptive. Rom.7:11. Sin deceived Paul (took him in) to believe that the law could help him achieve his moral and spiritual goals. Sin deceives us by leading us to expect one thing, while we experience another. We expect life, but experience death. We expect to be fruitful, but we end up barren. Rom.7:18-23. Even New Testament instruction, if attempted in the power of the flesh, will become legalistic and result in failure. The characteristics of people living under the law are self-confidence, pride, criticism and a reluctance to admit failure.

The law is like someone who tells us what to do but doesn’t lift a finger to help. The Pharisees were like this. “They bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.” Matt.23:4. They did not lift the burden of guilt, but increased it. Legalistic people are the same. They are good at reminding us what we should be and do, and consequently make us feel guilty about our failures.

Under grace we are married to Christ. We abide in Christ in order to bear fruit. Rom.7:1-4. Rom.8:2-4. Grace draws upon the omnipotence of God and is characterized by that beautiful word “able” (see Rom.8:38-39; Rom.14:4; Eph.3:20; 2 Tim.1:12; Heb.2:18; 7:25; Jude 24.) Grace is God’s ability in the place of our inability. It is not about what you are able to do, but what God is able to do through you.

In Christ we do not have a law, but life, divine life. In contrast to the law working from the outside, the indwelling presence of Christ works from within. “This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD; I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people” Heb.8:10. If the law is a picture of the glory of God, then Christ in me is the hope of glory, i.e. He is my only hope of being transformed into His likeness. As He dwells in me then His law will be written on my heart. As I abide in Him I will be changed into His image. 2 Cor.3:17&18. If you want me to change, don’t talk to me about the law, talk to me about Jesus. Teach me how to abide in Him.

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Should Morality Become a Legal Issue? Morals and God Appear to Be Linked

Posted on November 9, 2018 in Uncategorized

With His crucifixion only hours away, Jesus prayed not only for His Disciples, but also for those who would believe in Him — that is, prayed for us — through the Word His disciples would relate. Of all the many things He could pray for us, He prayed; that we may be one, just as you Father, are in me, and I in you. This is not a cohesive doctrinal oneness, a one organization loyalty, nor an ecumenical oneness. It is a Spirit oneness; that we may be one as Christ is in the same manner that He is one with His Father.

Jesus said, “Whoever has seen Me has seen the Father.” There is no suggestion of a difference between the character of Jesus and that of His Father. Doesn’t it follow then that when those, who choose to live the life of Christ, when encountering others in daily living, that the character of Christ is seen as the motivation to what is said and done? Whoever sees me in my regenerated nature should see the character of Christ.

Jesus talked about the Glory that God had given Him. Jesus also says to His Father; I have given the same Glory to them — that is, to you and me. Glory is the moral unifying character of God. It is what we have fallen short of in our fallen human nature, “for all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God,” Romans 3:23. Jesus talked to His Father about loving you and me, about preparing a way to return humanity to Glory oneness.

The Gospel is the ‘good news’. God’s love for each of us compelled Him to be born in mankind’s image and likeness — in flesh. God became flesh and dwelt among us, and His Name is Jesus. It is in and through the ‘Name of Jesus’ we are restored to Life with God-Father, and become His Glory — at one with Him.

Jesus decided to follow God’s loving motivation to complete perfectly redemption’s plan to renew that oneness in humanity. Is there any better news?

It is in the flesh that Jesus suffered, being tempted; tempted to not stay true to the Glory, the moral character of God. Facing temptations Jesus did not act on the temptations. Jesus didn’t yield to the temptation to follow His own human flesh desires. On the occasion before the crucifixion He decided to follow God’s plan. In the flesh Jesus suffered such that He sweat drops of blood.

All this Jesus did for the Glory that lay ahead — you and me being reborn into the character of the Father. In Jesus’ temptations He was shown to be perfect, therein able to bring you and me into the Glory, the character of God.

Sitting now at the right hand of His Father, He forgives and gives out of His heart because of His earthly experience of excruciating pain and challenging temptations. Jesus reaches out to you and me with understanding and compassion, seeing mankind’s Spirit bankruptcy, ‘poor in Spirit.’ Mankind was out of fellowship with the Spirit of God-Father.

The challenging thing about being a Christian is that our flesh body is subjected to the inherent sensual temptations of fallen nature. In Spiritual redemption the body becomes the dwelling place of God’s moral character. His Spirit unites with our spirit, in our body, so that we indeed become one in character. He isn’t ‘up there,’ and we ‘down here’. He makes His ‘Spirit home’ in our unredeemed earthly body.

Becoming the body of His Glory, His temple (dwelling place) on earth, redeemed humanity is herein motivated to continue Jesus’ mission to bring others into a maturing moral relationship. Occasions to manifest the Glory Spirit — modeling the character of God’s Kingdom — is the process of personal maturation and continues throughout our life time, mentally transforming our heart back to the original creation Image and Likeness of God, ” from one degree of Glory to another” 2 Corinthians 3:18.

It is not that we become clones of Jesus. We remain unique in individuality; our gifts, but the source of our moral character is the indwelling of God Spirit. Our moral character is one and the same as God-Father, God-Son and God-Spirit.

With the moral power of Life with Father and Son, in our human relationships, we become more like our Master, living out His moral character, working out Salvation one with another. Relationship (living and expressing His Love) through our own personality and gifts, is the identifying Hallmark of God’s character, against which there is no law.

Prayer: Father in Heaven, thank you for loving me so much that you came to earth, born as a baby in human flesh, and subject to the same temptations I face daily. Thank you for being first, to lead the way past human temptations. In doing so you became the Captain of my Salvation, and now in your Wisdom lead me in your path, for my Spiritual maturity. I am convinced of the necessary journey Jesus agreed to follow to reunite me to be one with you, Father. I now want to follow your original plan to be who you saw me to be before the earth was formed. I choose to show forth your Glory. Amen

Being Godly in an Ungodly World (c) 2008.

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