When a boy of about 10 in Kentucky I was sent to a summer camp at Booneburough Kentucky to have an out door experience of camping and learn about Daniel Boone who was the frontersman who led a group of settlers through the Cumberland Gap and established Fort Boonesborough Although the old fort had been restored where we stayed I don’t remember much about that. But they took a bunch of us boys out to the cave where Daniel had shot the Bear or Baar in Kentucky talk. And of course with the tall tails he become our hero and we took on his identity for a while. It was a difficult thing to do, to kill a bear with the one shot from a Kentucky mussel loader. And if you did not get the baar dead, you would probable be dead trying. In telling the story they turned off the Lights in the cave and one of the Camp Leaders pretended to be a bear. Still a vivid memory. One year for Halloween my mother made me a devil costume complete with tail, bad idea, cried most of the night at the party trying to get my tail back from the other kids, bad identity. Next year my mother made me an Uncle Sam suit, complete with hat, that was a good identity and I ended up leading and marching in the parade on July 4th through the State Capital of Frankfort, KY from the new Capital building to the old. What a day that was… Seems we all pick up some kind of identity in life. I was an Oregon red neck logger for a while, An assessor for Lane County Or. for a while. A successful general contractor for a while. Kahu Ken, for a while. All with my Celtic, Nordic, German roots back to the War of Independence. I have one kid who has a very strong identity as a Marine. Another as a Nurse and another as a Gospel Entertainer. But our Creator God has another Identity in mind for us all. Jesus got top drawer, our Heavenly Father would like us to be like Him.
Apostle John taught this. “So when Jesus had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered what He had said. And they believed and trusted in and relied on the Scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken. Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover feast, many believed in His name [identifying themselves with Him] after seeing His signs (attesting miracles) which He was doing. But Jesus, for His part, did not entrust Himself to them, because He knew all people [and understood the [a] superficiality and fickleness of human nature], John 2:22-24
Apostle Paul taught; “And this I pray, that your love may abound more and more [displaying itself in greater depth] in real knowledge and in practical insight, 10 so that you may learn to recognize and treasure what is excellent [identifying the best, and distinguishing moral differences], and that you may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ [actually living lives that lead others away from sin]; 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God [so that His glory may be both revealed and recognized]. Phil. 1:9-11
As most so called big churches today preach what will keep the membership of a congregation going in support of the buildings, property and minister, much of what is preached has been edited so as to not hurt anyone’s feelings. I know of one big financially successful ministry that only teaches and supports a positive Gospel message. The little church across the street from me even teaches an all inclusive, “Progressive Gospel.” The Truth of God comes to us in Love, Holiness and Power as a balance that draws us up into the identity of Christ Jesus as LORD. If there is no love, it is a false gospel as God is LOVE. If there is no Holiness, then God is not there either. And if there is no power, Apostle Paul teaches us to go someplace else, 2 Tim.3:5 as it is only a form of godliness. Jesus came to us in all of the above, Love, Holiness & Power to draw us up unto HIM.
In Romans 13:11-12, Apostle Paul, reminds us, “Do this, knowing that this is a critical time. It is already the hour for you to awaken from your sleep [of spiritual complacency]; for our salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed [in Christ]. 12 The night [this present evil age] is almost gone and the day [of Christ’s return] is almost here. So let us fling away the works of darkness and put on the [full] armor of light. 13 Let us conduct ourselves properly and honorably as in the [light of] day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and irresponsibility, not in quarreling and jealousy.” (It is certainly much closer now than then.)
And in Col.3:1, “Therefore if you have been raised with Christ [to a new life, sharing in His resurrection from the dead], keep seeking the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind and keep focused habitually on the things above [the heavenly things], not on things that are on the earth [which have only temporal value]. 3 For you died [to this world], and your [new, real] life is hidden with Christ in God.”
Apostle John puts it this way: “We have come to know [by personal observation and experience], and have believed [with deep, consistent faith] the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides continually in him. 17 In this [union and fellowship with Him], love is completed and perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment [with assurance and boldness to face Him]; because as He is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love [dread does not exist]. But perfect (complete, full-grown) love drives out fear, because fear involves [the expectation of divine] punishment, so the one who is afraid [of God’s judgment] is not perfected in love [has not grown into a sufficient understanding of God’s love].” John 4:16-18.
So it is up to us to decide to change our identity or citizenship in this world into an identity of being in Christ Jesus as LORD (Master, Boss.) As we come into humility to serve rather than to be served and to find deep submission and obedience to God’s Commandments. And as we do this then God’s Power will help us find our way to HIM. But our Creator God is not going to allow the pride, rebellion and destruction that is now in this world loose into the next. HIS eternal Kingdom of LIGHT and RIGHTEOUSNESS that Christ is now building for us will be a place of PEACE.
Yours, in HIS great love and wonderful Grace and Mercy, Ken<>< www.OhanaChurch.Life
All who Love, Honor and Obey HIM are eternal members.