What Life Lessons Can We Learn From The Birds? 1. Exchange Anxiety, Fear and Worry for Trust, Love and Peace. I believe some of the most practical and helpful words […]
What Life Lessons Can We Learn From The Birds?
1. Exchange Anxiety, Fear and Worry for Trust, Love and Peace.
I believe some of the most practical and helpful words regarding dealing with stress and anxiety are found in the Christian Bible, especially where Jesus Christ says:
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? – The Gospel of Matthew 6:25 (NIV)
Worry Wastes energy, and Fear Freezes us from moving forward, creating stress and bringing doubt, creating destructive negative energy which is poisonous to our emotional and physical health. The birds are a great example of trust which Jesus, also a birdwatcher, points out to us…
Later in the Christian Bible we find Paul an imprisoned apostle of Jesus Christ sharing how he has learned to be content in every situation in life and goes on to say why…
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” – Paul the Apostle (In his letter to the church at Philippi) Philippians 4:12)
The reason he could say this and have such a supernatural peace in every situation he found himself in was…
“Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and requests, being thankful, continue to make your needs known to God. And God’s peace that he alone gives, which goes beyond all human understanding, shall guard your hearts and minds as you trust in Jesus who is the Christ.” – from Philippians 4:6,7
Many people, have discovered the peace and contentment of hooking into God’s promises and letting Him into their life. This has been an amazing journey for me personally, freeing me from the worry, anxiety and stress I use to experience over the things in life I had no control over, but God does. Worry is simply our attempt to control circumstances we actually have no control over. Our attempt to be in control of every aspect of our life is a sign of deep insecurity and fear of failure which often stems from dysfunctional beliefs seeded in our family of origin i.e. unfulfilled expectations either within ourselves, our parents or our peers, being carried into our adult life. It is only when we realize how much we are loved by God, the value he places on our life and how much he cares for us that we can truly rest and trust him through our anxious times. With this level of trust and security Paul draws from the source of his contentment and courage:
“For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:13
The most repeated phrase in the Bible from God to us is “Do not be afraid” and the statement that follows is the reason why “… for I am with you”says the Lord. It is knowing the presence of God and trusting him that dispels our fear and uncertainty. This has been a mainstay for me and many who have put their trust in God throughout the 2020, 2021 Corona virus pandemic. Fear prevents us from reaching our full potential and is actually the opposite to love, for to live in unconditional love is the most positive, peaceful and trusting state of heart one can experience.
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” – 1 John 4:18
Our perfectionist self focused behavior including phobias, irrational fears and obsessive compulsive tendencies (OCD) form a major reason many seek counselling today. The Bible has been a source of therapy for thousands of years, and many principles in modern counselling are derived from Bible teaching. Professional counselling is expensive, but Bible truth is free and easily accessible by everyone. After all what better help can one get than that of the instruction manual from the manufacturer (Creator).
God’s love expressed in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus frees us from the ongoing effects of self focused fear and anxiety and sets us free to love, with joy and true inner peace, with an outward focus on others and faith and trust to experience a rewarding and enjoyable life.
‘You’re sure to be remembered by the love you leave behind.‘ – Chris Embrick
2. Rise Above It All.
The eagle has always been a great inspiration to me, in a similar way to the Red-tailed Tropic bird, in the way that it rises up and effortlessly soars on the thermals, high above the cares and worries of the world below. From high in the sky the eagle gets a much better perspective of life, seeing the big picture and not just looking at the local scene.
Below is a song I wrote that has encouraged many to trust God’s loving intervention in their lives and to Rise Above It All.
The reason we get depressed and anxious is because we allow our difficult situations to engulf and embroil our emotions and our thoughts, allowing them to steal away and disturb our serenity and peace. We experience stress because we think and feel that the situation is bigger than we can handle safely. However big it might seem, God is always present for us to call on and rest in for help. This has been my wonderful experience when work appears to overload me, and it just seems impossible to get through it. When I ask God to help me and then rest and trust Him to do so, I am often amazed at how I get all my work done, with time to spare, and feel quite at peace about it all.
Isaiah the prophet wrote: “…but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” – Isaiah 40:31
3. Live life without Unfulfilled Expectations and Rejoice in the Present Experience.
It is a well known fact in Psychology that Unfulfilled Expectations are the seeds of Disappointment which may lead, if one remains in this state to Depression, Bitterness, Resentment and Unforgiveness. Many times I have approached the sound of the Australian Reed-Warbler making its loud music from deep down in the reed bed. Many times I have sought to photograph this elusive and fast flying timid bird, with disappointment. However, in the most unexpected place, at an unexpected time, I was granted opportunity to photograph this bird. I had to be patient, and realized that I had to let go the ambition, and allow God to grant me the opportunity in His good time.
We each share a damaged human nature which is formed in God-likeness, but has fallen into the trap of thinking we are God, and can have control over our life in all aspects. However, as birding has shown me, each time we go out to a location, knowing what has been found there in the past by others, or what we had found previously, may not be there when we explore it again. Birds move about, flying freely from habitat to habitat, and that makes birding all the more interesting and challenging. It is here that I have learnt to accept what is handed to me on each occasion, and be thankful for it. The wonder of this, is that God always gives us something special, a gift, which is uniquely ours for that birding experience, to show us that, he loves to surprise and delight us when we least expect it. The simple truth is, if you have no expectations you will not be disappointed and hurt emotionally and you will find it easy to be positive and joyful, being thankful for each life experience as it comes your way.
The Bible, including Counselors, teach people to live each day with an attitude of gratitude, which has the power to transform one’s life and begin to experience the wonder and beauty of living in the present, rather then living in the failure of the past or the expectation of the future, which may never be the way one wants it to be. Becoming mindful of your present life, choosing to enjoy each moment, is healthy and restorative.
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:20
Birding has helped teach me to appreciate what is rather than be gloomy about what I expected as what could be, or even what we may demand, what should be, which leads to anger and frustration, because we choose to think we do not have control over all our life aspects. The bird I am looking for may not be there when I explore an area, but I have learned to let that go, and enjoy what is there, and be thankful just for the opportunity to get out in the fresh air and the beauty of Creation. This harks back to Bible verse quoted above, which reminds us to let God lead our life, rather than try to unsuccessfully force our own way, only to become anxious, angry, frustrated and disappointed. Take a look at what Jesus Christ said in the parable he told in Luke 12:16-21
4. Learn to View Your Life in Seasons, as the Birds Do.
Birds readily adjust to the changing seasons. Seasons exist to bring the changes needed for the variety required in life. There are two kinds of seasons in life: Seasons which refer to the cyclic changes of Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter as well as the seasons of activity and change that take place in the life of the bird/us. This refers to seasons of growth, development, courting, breeding, nesting, training and grieving loss. Birds have intelligently adjusted their life to seasons and humbly accept them as part of the normal function of life.
The Bar-tailed Godwit pictured above have just returned from a 16,000 km, eight day, non stop flight over the Pacific Ocean from Alaska to Australia where it spent our Winter months breeding and feeding in the Northern Hemisphere. It has returned to Australia to avoid the harsh Alaskan Winter and enjoy the warmth of our Australian Summer. Each year these birds migrate about 32,000 km flying between Alaska and Australia, and they do not complain or refuse to make the journey unless they are juvenile or have some physical impediment. When I see my life as a series of changing seasons, I can calmly and peacefully adjust. The wisest man King Solomon, explained this concept in his wisdom writings in the Bible:
‘There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.’ – Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
In a similar way to the birds we can embrace each new season of life and know that it must occur, and bring necessary change which is needed to help us grow stronger and wiser as a person. We may not like what happens to us or others at the time, but will see the benefits it brings later. Our acceptance of this process will assist to allay the anger and frustration that comes when unwanted changes occur, especially when they are unexpected, such as a death, disaster or illness.
Many cases of depression and psychological disorders may be linked to people not coping with the changes in life, and reacting to them rather than acting with them, as the birds do. Sadness, anger, frustration and grief can bring a season of Winter to the soul, but the good news which we need to remember is that Spring follows Winter, and with it comes new beginnings and warm bright days of returning hope. There may need for adjustment to the changes and rethinking how life will look with theses changes. We need to ride the difficult season, and learn from it, with hope of a coming Spring. It is true that those who have braved the difficulties of their life, and not just endured surviving the experience, but grown and developed in character because of the experience, are far richer for it and able to assist and encourage others with a newly obtained empathy and understanding.
5. View each challenging Life Experience not as a Problem to Solve but as an Opportunity to Grow and Develop as a Person.
Birding is good for the soul. As I have already iterated, there is a richer and more wonderful way to live life, which I am still discovering more and more each new day. I have a favorite saying (or life principle) that I share with people going through hard times, and often to myself, which is:
Don’t Miss the Treasure in the Trial
Each challenge presented to us in life is meant to be for our good, no matter how horrible it may appear. We usually don’t realize the benefits at the time, but later in hindsight we can see how the hardship and difficulty helped shape our life and character. So why not look for the positive rather than be brought down by the negative emotions that often accompany our hurting situations. It brings a powerful dynamic into our lives. A better saying than the one above is:
Look for the Treasure in the Trial
The Spotted Pardolote is a favorite of ours, one of Australia’s smallest birds, having amazing beauty when viewed from above, though looking quite ordinary when viewed from below. The problem is, most of us never ever see this bird as it usually dwells in the tops of high eucalypt trees, flies very fast, and is very small. I am always amazed at how much detail is painted on the wings, head and back of this bird. However, this bird does not build a nest high in the trees where it seeks its food, but in a tunnel in an embankment at ground level. This bird shows in its life features the two sides of life, and how even under the difficulty of nesting at ground level where it is very vulnerable, but in fact actually protects it from larger carnivorous birds and animals, because the entrance is small and often difficult to find.
It is amazing to watch these birds fly full speed in and out of their nesting holes with mathematical precision. It is not until we appreciate the full picture of the Pardolote that we can appreciate the full beauty of this bird. So it is with our life, if we choose to only look at life from a negative perspective, we may never appreciate or even permit the beauty and maturity, that is being constructed in our life to take place. Our lives are likened to a tapestry being woven by God, which is yet unfinished and in the process of being woven. So often in our life experience we wonder why we can only see loose threads and a messy picture of our life. If we believe and live knowing that God loves us and his purpose is to bless and grow us into the best we can be, we can overcome the deception that we are failures, our life does not matter and we are doing it all alone.
Even our failures are used by God, if we let him, to make and form our character. As a wise man once said: You cannot learn and grow if you think you are are perfect. Thomas Edison had over 100 failed attempts at perfecting the incandescent light bulb, which improved the life of mankind. His optimistic (which means to see beyond) reply was: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” He further iterated that the only failure is to give up. He also stated that none of his inventions were discovered by accident, they came by work. Our lives are our most valuable investment, and what we do with them and feed them has eternal ramifications. We all need a positive vision of our life, to see beyond. This is what we know as hope, which God says when our life is being guided by him: “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us—they help us learn to be patient. And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust God more each time we use it until finally our hope and faith are strong and steady. Then, when that happens, we are able to hold our heads high no matter what happens and know that all is well, for we know how dearly God loves us, and we feel this warm love everywhere within us because God has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” – Romans 5:-3-5 (Living Bible).
God reveals in the Bible what he is really doing, and allows us a glimpse of the picture he is creating in our lives on the other side of the tapestry. This is to encourage us that it is all worthwhile, and has an ultimate purpose, to make us more like him in our character and life, to love and live in the way we were intended to from the beginning of time. The Bible reveals to us this reality, that we are loved and cherished by God, and that he is actively at work in each of our lives to bring us to a better place, and by faith we can know his love, forgiveness and restorative power, because of what Jesus has already done for us. We only need to believe and receive thankfully. When we accept his rule in our life we receive his gift of his Holy Spirit who brings us into relationship with him transforming our lives through his love, joy and peace. Why not obtain a copy of the New Testament in modern English and read for yourself about Jesus and the life he offers.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16
If you have never read the Bible, in particular the words and works of Jesus, why not give it a go, as I did, you have nothing to lose and a lot to gain. Locate an easy reading version such as The Good News Translation (GNT) or The New International Version (NIV) from a local bookshop or Christian Bookstore. Otherwise click on this link and use the free online Bible and start by reading the Book of Luke and later John. You only need to read a chapter a day, and find out for yourself. Ask Jesus in a simple prayer to reveal himself and his truth to you. He promises to do so to those who humbly and truly seek him.
God says: ‘You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.’ – ( quoted from Jeremiah 29:13)
If you would like to know more please read on…
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Jesus Christ: Good News to All Who Want the Best Possible Life.
Many have been put off Christianity by hypocrisy displayed in the sinful actions (sexual, physical and emotional abuse) of some so called church leaders on vulnerable trusting children. Let me say, this is not peculiar to Christian leaders, but is found in all religions and is a telling example of how deeply rooted sinful selfish desires are in the human heart, regardless of what these people appear to represent. Jesus was displeased at and spoke up more against hypocrisy in church leaders in his day than about anything else, “Alas for you, you hypocritical scribes and Pharisees! You are like white-washed tombs, which look fine on the outside but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all kinds of rottenness. For you appear like good men on the outside—but inside you are a mass of pretense and wickedness” (Matt 23:27) and they crucified him for it. His message was simple but true. You do not find God in temples or so called church buildings, no matter how fancy they look, you find Jesus by seeking him out through personal experience, seeking him out by reading about him and what he says and then responding in prayer (talking to him with an honest trusting penitent heart).
Jesus said “Ask and it will be given to you, Seek and you shall find, knock and it will be opened up to you.” – Matthew 7:7
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” – Matthew 5:6
How do I know that the Bible is true and that Jesus Christ of Nazareth actually lived over 2000 years ago?
The amazing thing about the Bible is that it is made up of 66 individual writings (known as books) which include history, law (from which our modern day law is based upon), prophecy, poetry & song, letters to churches and eyewitness accounts. These were written by over 40 authors all from various walks of life including kings, shepherds, musicians, doctors, tax collectors, fisherman, occasional millionaires (by today’s standards, prophets and warriors to name a few, but covering a period of some 4,000 years.
The amazing truth about the Bible is its credible authenticity attested to by historians both believers and non believers. The above facts make the chances of collusion and falsification impossible. The historicity and accuracy of translation is supported by many documents and scroll discoveries including the Dead Sea Scrolls and many other historical writings. The great thread that flows through all the books is God’s love for mankind and his plan to restore mankind to relationship to Himself through His Messiah or Christ (anointed one). The history of man is traced from our original ancestor known as Adam to the end of time when God will destroy the earth and gather his people to himself in the new heaven and earth. As this is a brief introduction, further information on any of the aspects mentioned can be found searching the internet.
The Old Testament speaks about the coming Messiah in prophetic terms, the New Testament tells the story of Jesus of Nazareth whom his followers attested to as the Messiah Christ, the Son of God. The historicity and accuracy of the Gospel according to Luke is acclaimed as one of the most historically accurate documents ever. Luke was a medical doctor and wrote in Greek a very technically exact language. Josephus a Jewish historian and non Christian, wrote about Jesus and how he attracted much attention due to his miraculous signs.
The most astounding fact that I have found after reading the personal accounts of several ardent atheists, was how they ended their research attempts to discredit the death and resurrection of Jesus, convinced that Jesus did exist and had died and been raised from the dead. A lawyer who set out to deliberately discredit Jesus and his death and resurrection, only to be convinced by his findings of its authenticity due to the compelling evidence, was led to believe and receive Jesus into his own life. You can read Frank Morison’s account in Who Moved the Stone .
This book is easily available from Koorong and Amazon. The amazing truth about Jesus is that he actually fulfilled all the prophesies spoken about for his first coming which is an amazing credential for his authenticating Jesus as the Messiah, and mathematically beyond any shadow of doubt to be authentic fulfillment. Our modern day world history (in particular Israel and the surrounding nations) is also spoken of in the many prophecies referring to these last days before Jesus returns in power to finalize life as we know it now and bring in the new age (Read in Revelation 21). It is also interesting that the current history of the world is calculated around the birth of Jesus Christ, BC (before Christ) and AD (after his birth ‘in the year of our Lord’).
Throughout history man has continually ruined the simplicity of the Father Creator God’s message. A message of acceptance, love and compassion to all who come to him. Man has made laws, like the Pharisees of Jesus day, which have perverted and added to what Jesus has made so simple. True hunger for love and relationship leads us to a true encounter with him. However, many have tried to fill this God sized love void in life through countless means, and many forms of addiction resulting in spiritual, physical, moral and emotional poverty. This was my own personal experience, outside of traditional Christianity or church buildings. God put curiosity in my heart and he led me to simply read an easy reading account of his Gospel message in the New Testament. His Holy Spirit started showing me how important Jesus is to living a truly peaceful, joyful and fulfilling life.
This simple presentation is an introduction to Good News about Jesus the Christ, Son of God Almighty, and how coming into relationship with him, positions one’s life for the very best of what life has to offer. Why can I say this? Not just because this has been my own experience, wonderful as it has been, but because it only stands to reason that the Designer and Creator of you and everything else around you, has a much better understanding of how you are to live, than you do yourself. Stay with me while I briefly explain. If you would like to read the message of Jesus for yourself on your computer try www.biblegateway.com and choose an easy reading translation such as the Today’s English Version or New International Version.
“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” – Genesis 1:27
If God is real and has Created me in his own image or likeness, ‘Why don’t I know him?’
The reason we are all born without knowledge of God is that it was meant to be taught to us by our parents, through their loving relationship with God and each other, but over the many thousands of years man has turned away from the righteous loving God their Creator to follow his own selfish sinful way of life, in whatever form that may take. The Christian Bible shows us that man has created his own empty deceptive gods, and in his attempt to replace God in his life, has formed various religions and belief systems. Secular humanism and the so called theory of evolution have become new godless belief systems that are eroding respect, dignity and understanding from our present day society, as neither of these give any hope or contribute any moral good to our lives. They think we have outgrown belief in God, yet they fail to realize that the benefits and freedom of western society came historically essentially from a Christian era.
The so called Great Enlightenment, was but an attempt to explore science and human behaviour by cutting God out of the picture, including all responsibility to him. Sinful behaviour is justified by choosing to believe that us and everything around us was formed without any intelligent design. It takes more faith to actually believe this, than to believe in God, considering their is no solid evidence to support this case. Removing God, his love, faith and hope from life has caused the counselling industry to boom as people medicate their lives to try and fill the faithless fearful sense of empty living formed from a life that was made to have God in its centre. This is why in recent years a considerable number of atheist scientists have become Christians, purely from examining the evidence and trying to make it fit the philosophical framework of Darwin’s theory, which Darwin himself, realized before his death, he did not have enough evidence to support it. The overwhelming evidence points to Intelligent Design and not some random process.
Both Christianity and Evolution are faiths or philosophies. Science is observable fact examining and testing theories in the present. We can not validate or test a theory if it was in the past where no one has recorded or witnessed what actually occurred. All we can honestly do is see how well the observable scientific facts, of what we do know for sure, fit into their belief systems. The problem is that historically there has been a significant amount of false reporting by the evolutionist (atheist) scientists seeking to influence others and to gain personal prestige. These lies have never been corrected in the text books, as it would bring to light the falseness of the foolish idea, that everything just happened of its own accord.Dr Gary Parker an eminent doctor of several degrees including paleontology, sheds interesting light on some of the so called ‘science’ of today, since he knows personally the scientists that are attempting to prove evolution to be true. You can watch his most interesting videos from the link above. Interesting enough, even Charles Darwin himself in his own personal diary, after his many explorations in search of evidence to support his hypothesis, concluded before he died: that he in the light of the wonder of the world around him, remained a Theist and eventually after much spiritual struggle held a view that Theism and Evolution could exist together. However if you would like to explore even further read this link.
” For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.” – Romans 1:21-25
So what has been done to fix the problem between us and God? How can a person like me know God in a personal way?
The history of mankind clearly shows a repeating pattern as kingdoms rise and fall and man seeks his own selfish pursuits, plundering, exploiting and controlling and destroying not only the world around him but more so his fellow human being. The one sure thing that each one of us knows, as we grow and mature, is that one day we will die. Our soul (our living person or spirit) will leave our body and our body will rot and cease to exist. The older we become, the more we recognize how very fragile and vulnerable our life is, and how sickness, pain and infirmity are very real possibilities.
The Bible tells us that the sin of disobedience against God’s law of love and trust. Mankind’s original ancestor brought this about and thus we are born with a selfish (sinful) nature. You may find explanation reading the apostle Paul’s letter to the Roman church, found in the New Testament section in the Holy Bible. Sin (human selfishness) and its effects on the human life is a self perpetuated cyclic bondage pattern, represented below:
‘for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.’ – Romans 3:23
‘So then, just as sin entered the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all people because all sinned.’ – Romans 5:12
‘For the payoff of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ – Romans 6:23
‘For if, by the transgression of the one man, death reigned through the one, how much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one, Jesus Christ!’ – Romans 5:17
‘He [God] made Him [Jesus] who knew no sin to be sin on our [put your name here] behalf, so that we [put your name here] might become the righteousness of God in Him.’ -2 Corinthians 5:21
Man has tried for centuries to please God by good behaviour, doing good things for people, being good children and spouses etc but all of our efforts fail and fall short of perfection, of loving perfectly all the time, as God does and Jesus did on our behalf. That is why Jesus came to earth as a man, just like us, but had God’s Spirit in him and he lived the perfect life for us. At any time he could have chosen to be selfish and sin, but he chose to trust and love his Heavenly Father the whole time. When Jesus was punished on the cross for being who he was (The Son of God), having committed no crime or evil, he did so for each one of us. so that we can be friends with God simply by trusting in his righteous and loving act on our behalf. Because Jesus took our punishment on the Cross for us, as an act of loving sacrifice, God now forgives and restores us to the loving relationship our original ancestor enjoyed before he sinned and was separated from God.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. – John 3:16-18
‘And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.’ – Ephesians 2:1-11
This is the Good News (The Gospel) of Jesus and is received simply by believing and receiving God’s love gift for yourself. It is a free gift, which can not be re-payed, but simply received with humble thanksgiving. The fact is that receiving God’s gift of grace and forgiveness, through accepting Jesus and his offer of salvation from sin’s penalty and power over our life, brings freedom from the sin cycle. Jesus died in our place, on our behalf and was raised back to life, on our behalf, so that we can be set free to return to God as his friend, and no longer fear him as an enemy or condemning judge. This is represented in the self perpetuating cycle assisted and empowered by the indwelling gift of the Holy Spirit presence in the believer’s life:
‘There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.’ – John 1:9-13
Those who receive Jesus into their life and come to know God as true Father receive the promised Holy Spirit who leads, teaches and guides, connecting the believer to God in their new life of faith. The Spirit brings freedom, faith, love, joy and hope and much wisdom for living the best life possible. The Spirit stays in the life of the believer for ever. and God promises He will never leave the one He loves.
I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.” – John 14:16-21
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” – Romans 15:13
Of course this is but a brief introduction to Jesus, but there is so much more to discover. Believing in Jesus is a personal experience which until one commits their life to God by faith in Him will never know the reality of a personal love relationship with God as Father. I personally did not have a good relationship with my earthly father, which impaired my understanding of God, as it does to many of us, since our earthly mothers and fathers are meant to portray an example of selfless love to us (God’s love). However, it was through knowing God’s forgiveness that I was able to forgive and love my dad and understand why he was like he was. If you would like to explore faith in Jesus more do what I did and start reading the New Testament for yourself. You can get a free version to read here.
Visit a church or search online for podcasts and Bible teaching material, ask God by simply praying, He hears you all the time. Ask him to reveal himself to you as you seek him out.
“The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and exist” – Acts 17:24-28
“Heavenly Father ‘Dad’ I ask that you will bless the seeker who has read this message about your son the Lord Jesus Christ, and how he came into this world to save us from the effects of our disobedience and death to grant us as your free gift of eternal life. May you reveal yourself to this seeker and connect them with the wonderful life you have waiting for them. I ask that you will grant them faith through the gift of your Holy Spirit and that they may repent and confess their sins and selfish state. That they may receive your forgiveness through the shed blood and death of your son the Lord Jesus Christ, who died on their behalf, so that they may live forever with him. May they start new life today as a beloved child of God. In the powerful name of my Lord Jesus Christ I ask these things.
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