My Opus – Dedication
This is for you, no not the last person who read this, not the next person who might read this, the following is written for you.
My Opus – Preface
I apolagise upfront for not writing this for you sooner. I’d planned to release these at the rate of one a week during 2022. 6 weeks in and I’m finally starting. If I’m able to I’ll just publish them now as soon as each chapter is written and hopefully it’s complete before this year is. Time is too precious to make you wait and what I have to share is too important.
The following 51 chapters have been influenced/inspired by HCSKL a 13 week/51 day school that was run years ago. I’ll occasionally use direct quotes otherwise it will be my thoughts and recollections of what was shared.
If you learn by listening its free on youtube and itunes. The Bible is also free either printed, an electronic or audio version. I won’t be transcribing 2-3 hours of audio from each day of the school, I’ll be sharing some key things that resonated with me so much I want to share them with you. I only write the following to help those who learn by reading have a greater relationship with your creator.
My Opus – Chapter One
You weren’t created for all that yucky stuff.
Carrying around a fence can be exhausting, living life free from being able to be offended is liberating. When your identity has been solidified by your creator and isn’t reliant on other humans opinions you’ll find this life so much easier to navigate.
If you haven’t watched the crowdfunded tv series The Chosen yet you won’t remember te scene where Jesus calls Matthew the despised tax collector and tells him to follow him. Matthew can’t believe he is being called, the other disciple’s can’t believe it, Matthew’s roman guard can’t believe it. In the moment the only one it makes sense to is Jesus. This doesn’t all have to make sense to you right away, but he wants you to follow him to. Will you choose right now to follow him and work out the details along the way?
We have grown up in a world of contracts and the problem with contracts is they are made to be broken. God’s design isn’t contracts, it’s commitments and covenants. If you do a deep dive into covenants you’ll gain a greater understanding of the love God has for you. He doesn’t make contracts that are designed to be broken, he makes covenants that will never be broken.
One of his promises is that, all that is yours is mine, all that is mine is yours. When you truly give up all your rights, all your entitlements, and 100% submit to his will you’ll discover real freedom. In a world where everything is about your rights and entitlements it’s a very counter cultural discussion and life choice. It was also counter cultural 2,000 years ago.
You Are Loved
He died for me because he sore value in me, he wouldn’t have gone through all he went through if he didn’t think I was more than all that pain and suffering. Why does a mother go through the pain of childbirth? She knows the worth of the child she is bringing into the world. God brought us into the world and Jesus death and resurrection reunited that relationship that was damaged when Adam and Eve chose to be selfish.
No consciousness of sin, no guilt, no shame, living in grace = freedom from all that,
living sensual has robbed us from the freedom of living by faith, living by the truth rather than how I feel is a revolutionary act.
Feeling un loved or un worthy isn’t a problem. YOU ARE LOVED. The problem is everything in our society has programmed us to live sensually. Buy clothes on credit, upgrade your meal, you need this new phone, car, house, you deserve a holiday. It’s a certain date on a calendar if you aren’t in a relationship you don’t fit into society.
If you cut out all media from your life for a year I guarantee you’d notice a difference in your life. If you go one step further and not only subtract the negative programming from your life but replace it with positive programming you may discover a life you have til now only been able to dream about.
How do you replace the lies with the truth?
The truth is the word of God. The more the Bible becomes your oxygen rather than just a book you read because you know you should, the less the lies of this world can control you. The Bible isn’t just words on a page in a history book. They can literally bring life when they become alive inside you. Nothing can scare you when you know you weren’t created for your short time on earth. When you realise you are never going to die, why fear death. When you realise that your time spent in this body is temporary what does it matter what happens to it?
When you sincerely want to be transformed and put desire into action others may see the change in you before you do. Desiring an athletes body doesn’t transform your body into one, it requires a healthy diet, regular exercise, dedication and commitment. Spiritually it’s no different, if your diet is produced by Hollywood, you exercise once a week, and you made a dedication once and say you are committed only if someone asks..
When your hope becomes a realisation your life becomes unrecognisable. It only takes exercising your faith to get you there. If that faith still has doubts, questions, objections you’ll grow fatigued and weary and potentially give up along the way. The only way to obliterate the lies forever is to truly know that you are loved. You were created to be God’s son/daughter. Your life experience may have taught you that you weren’t lovable, that you were unworthy, that you can’t be free. Your experience was real but the reality of God supersedes that and he says you are loved, you are worthy and he died and rose again so you can be as free as Adam and Eve were before they chose to be selfish.
“The only reason you doing what you do, is you fail to see who you are. When you see who you are, you lose the capacity to do the things you did, that you thought you were only worth.”Dan Mohler
A tale of two children
If you repeatedly tell child A that they are loved, worth your time, have a destiny, were created for a purpose, what kind of life will they have?
If you repeatedly tell child B that they aren’t loved, that your life would be better without them, that they are useless, that they are just cells, would you expect them to have a life like child A?
Both would grow up as you did with certain beliefs about them selves regardless of the truth. It’s easy to believe something when it’s repeated enough times. How did you learn the alphabet, your numbers, maybe that’s too far back for you to remember. How about the drive to your best friends house or the commute to work? Do you still need to follow the map like the first time you travelled there or do you now know the path that you travel it without even thinking about it?
Our identity is no different. The old adage you are what you eat is even more applicable here. The programming whether from your family, friends, teachers, bosses, colleagues, media has shaped who you are, chances are their programming was as broken as yours has been.
The problem with both these scenarios is once the programming is ingrained enough it’s difficult though not impossible to change. Child A is now an adult would it takes days, weeks, months or years of being treated like child B for them to start doubting the truth and then start believing the lies. Child B is now an adult, how long would the truth need to be repeated to over ride the lies they have believed their whole lives?
Understanding and Wisdom
Head knowledge is wonderful, heart knowledge is transforming. When you believe something to the point that it’s no longer positive thinking but a part of your DNA you may want to write your own opus. I’ve tried sharing this with so many people over the past few years that in the efforts of mass duplication I had to write it down so it can shared without my direct input.
Relationship v Religion
Following the rules is good. Following the leader is better. You can obey the 10 commandments out of obligation or because you believe its the right thing to do, or you can get to know the author of them so intimately that you understand why he created them. When you can stop limiting God’s influence in your life based on your past experience and can open your life to an unlimited relationship, you will walk free from fear. Those first few steps may feel like dance lessons but with enough practice and repetition you’ll soon be experienced enough to give your own lessons without even thinking of the steps.
Should I be writing this?
A part of me questions should I be writing this. This isn’t a how to guide. It isn’t a step by step process. It isn’t knowledge or a process to be learned. My only reasons for writing this is in the hope it with help you see the truth that you were created for a purpose. You were created by a loving God who wants to know you now, today, not just in heaven. That you weren’t created just for the years you spend here on earth. He loves you and wants to know you intimately, right now.
It doesn’t matter if you didn’t have loving parents. Not knowing love in the natural doesn’t have to prevent you from experiencing Gods love for you. Don’t let logic and human understanding short change you on the relationship you can have with your creator. Yes it can be harder to relate to a heavenly father if our human one let us down but it doesn’t have to. I didn’t have a perfect biological father, because he didn’t have a perfect biological father because he didn’t, you get the picture. But God is perfect and he does love you regardless of everything you have ever done or said, and he loves you regardless of everything that has ever been said or done to you.
The Sinners Prayer
Did you pray a prayer to go to heaven as an insurance policy or did you start a relationship with someone you want to grow more intimate with every day?
Whats the reason you wake up in the morning to be a son son or daughter of a loving father who can’t wait to spend the entire day with you, or do you wake up watching the clock to see how long it will be before you break a rule?
Living with zero sense of guilt or shame can free you beyond human understanding. The gift Jesus gave us when he died and was resurrected was being made righteous. Living out that righteousness allows us to see others as Jesus sees us, and give others the love, joy and peace he has given us.
Do you forgive because we are forgiven or because you want to make sure you’ll be forgiven? I probably grew up loving because I wanted to be loved. Now I love because I know I am loved. It’s not a thought or a belief that I am, it’s a knowledge seeded so deeply inside of me that nothing that can happen to me in this life can change that knowledge. Do you find it difficult to forgive? Maybe some things are easier to forgive than others. Maybe some people are easier to forgive than others. Forgiveness can become easier than breathing when you know how much God loves you.
Cost v Value
I love bargain shopping buying things on sale. I stock up when things are half price, I know what their value is and how much I’m saving by buying when it’s on sale. Have you ever paid more for something than it was worth? Clothes, jewellery, a phone, a car, a house? We normally try and get a discount but if you want something badly enough especially if it’s an auction you may be willing to pay more.
Jesus didn’t give up his life in an excruciatingly painful manner because he saw us as on sale or as damaged goods marked down. He paid with his blood because he valued your life as much as his own. Chances are your life experience has taught you that you are damaged goods but you are worth Jesus going through all he went through. The depiction displayed in the film The Passion of the Cross as brutal as it was, may not be as gruesome as it actually was. Yet he submitted himself to experiencing that to reestablish an intimate relationship with you.
What have you done for a friend you have wronged? Said I’m sorry. What have you done for a loved one to show how sorry you are? Maybe you’ve done a chore they don’t like doing or bought them a gift. Chances are the more you have sacrificed is relative to how much you have loved the person involved. Jesus did nothing wrong, how much love does his sacrifice display for you?
Relationship v Abstinence
Churches wouldn’t need to teach abstinence if they were more effective at modelling a relationship with God rather than the religion of church. When you can see your value, and others value, as God does, temptation becomes a lot less tempting. I stopped watching TV after listening to HCSKL. I didn’t stop because I knew I should. I didn’t stop because someone told me to. I didn’t stop because I felt guilt or shame. I stopped because I lost all interest in it. The shows that I used to find interesting, appealing, funny, were now sad, uninteresting, and I could easily find better ways to invest my time.
I love you v I need you
When Jesus says I love you he means it. How much of your life has I love you actually meant I need you? Whether you’ve said it to others or others have said it to you, how often was it said to get rather than to give? One of my favourite songs by Chris Rice contains the line “sometimes love has to drive a nail through it’s own hands.” Real love is sacrificial. One of my other favourite love quotes is from Dan B Allender and Tremper Longman “Love is more than a feeling, it is a tenacious, courageous commitment. It is the courage to remain faithful when the cost seems greater than the reward. Love waits with hope for redemption even in the midst of the darkest despair.” That to me is love that is more interested in the other person, than oneself. That’s the love that God has for you. That’s the love you can have for friends, and foes. Watch the film A United Kingdom if you want to see a real love story.
Knowledge v Knowing
Knowing a movie star because you’ve watched their films or read about them in a magazine or follow them online, is very different to how their best friend knows them. You only get to see what happens when the cameras are rolling. You may be able to share a lot of facts about them but do you really know them, and do they know you? You could go to church every day and be able to recite the bible yet still not have a relationship with your creator. Share your day with him, all of it.
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