Every Sunday I provide videos and valuable links to the Truth or Tradition teachings. We’ve been following the Truth or Tradition teachings for many years now and they have truly blessed our family. We have found peace and happiness through our beliefs and we walk confidently for God. My hope, by passing on this information to you, is that what you find here, or on the Truth or Tradition website, will guide you to a better, more blessed and abundant life.
If you would like to read my views on religion and how we got started with the ministry, you can read this.
Let’s get started:
When I was first witnessed to about Jesus Christ in 1971, I was so ignorant about the Bible and the Christian faith that I did not know that Christians claimed that Jesus had been physically resurrected. I have yet to meet anyone else who is that ignorant of the resurrection as an historical event, but we could all better understand the significance of the resurrection of Jesus Christ to our daily lives. As the Apostle Paul wrote, experientially knowing the power of Christ’s resurrection was one of the focal points of his life:
I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings…
Paul’s desire was to know intimately the Lord Jesus Christ, especially the power of his resurrection. Note that this power is connected to “…the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings….” That means that Paul saw a connection between the power of resurrection and his facing various kinds of “death” in his life. Without a death of some kind, there is no need for, or value in, a resurrection.
The pattern that Jesus lived in the days of his “passion” (i.e., suffering and death) is one that he invites us to follow and to model our lives after. Thankfully, in this day and time we will not have to be crucified, tortured for 40 hours, and humiliated publicly in every way imaginable, but we are going to have to follow this pattern in the footsteps of our Master if we want to grow to our full spiritual potential. Here is the progression:
a) A struggle in our own personal Garden of Gethsemane that invites us to relinquish our will in favor of accepting God’s purposes in our lives.
b) A period of suffering and trial that will lead to
c) the death of something in us that we have held as dear or necessary so that we can
d) experience the power of his resurrection and
e) live in “newness of life” under the authority and Lordship of the resurrected Savior.
Let us examine each of these in turn.
“…not my will but thine…”
In every life that is devoted to God, there are times when one must decide whose will is going to be decisive. Jesus modeled complete trust in God, which included the belief that God’s purposes for his life were superior to his own. This truth, by the way, cannot be embraced from a Trinitarian perspective, which sees Jesus as God instead of as a man having a God and having to trust Him. Clearly the latter view gives us a better opportunity to see ourselves doing what Jesus did.
Jesus’ trust in God his Father was not something that always came easily, as in the Garden of Gethsemane. He prayed intensely into the night, hearing God’s “No” the first and second times he asked, but continuing to pray for other alternatives. Finally, he was able to embrace the death that was ahead of him, and go to the Cross with the joyful expectation of resurrection and eternal rewards (Heb. 12:3). Did not God reward Jesus abundantly for his faith? Will He not do this for us as well?
Will God sometimes ask us to do things that we don’t want to do? Most definitely. Just ask Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Paul, et al. When what He wants is very different from what we want, this can be a struggle. Too often we will not give up our self-centered perspective without the Lord having to wrestle us to the mat! As we grow in faith (trust) by obeying him, we see that the Lord’s ways are the better ways, and we learn to trust him more and more.
There are many examples of this clash of wills that we have encountered through the years. Maybe you can relate to one or more of these:
*God convicts a husband to stop his angry outbursts against his wife and kids that he has used to keep them from annoying and frustrating him—and concentrate on loving and accepting them instead.
*God asks a wife to stop criticizing her husband for his apparent lack of interest in spiritual things and learn to respect him just the way he is—to be thankful instead for all that her husband does to serve her and their kids.
*God wants a teenager to call her parents to come pick her up from a party where the liquor and drugs were brought out after the host parents went to bed, risking being thought of as “uncool.”
*God wants a man to accept a lower paying job with another, newer company in order to have more time with his family—risking both his job security and the comfortable lifestyle made possible by the higher income—not to mention the wounding of his pride.
*God calls an “empty nest” couple to sell their house and belongings and become missionaries in Africa.
*God asks a mature minister to step aside so that others can have an opportunity to minister and learn. She is asked to take on a mentoring more than a performing role.
In each of these situations, God asks someone to give up something they value in order for Him to enrich their lives in other and new ways. Is this not an invitation to “die” to something? Of course we are not going to want that, and will typically resist it as long as we can, but when we finally understand that God’s purpose is to free us from bondage and fear, we can learn to embrace this “death.”
The husband fears losing control and being humiliated. The wife stands to lose her sense of spiritual superiority over her husband. The teenager risks losing social standing. The employee risks financial deprivation. The older couple must face their fears of not being taken care of in their old age. And the minister will lose whatever boost to her self-esteem she gained in performing as an effective minister.
But in every one of these cases, can we not see that the resurrection power of God could bring much deliverance? The husband could find less control but more love and acceptance. The wife could find more joy, peace, and personal fulfillment. The teenager could find better friends with similar values and less pressure to conform to what is considered “cool.” The employee is freed from the need to keep climbing the corporate ladder and finds satisfaction in reasonable job expectations and a richer family life. The older couple finds greater satisfaction in living a life of serving and loving that completely trumps their fears. And the minister discovers to her delight that she derives more pleasure from seeing others succeed with her help than from performing herself.
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Thanks for reading.