Mature Sons

MATURE SONS…
 
What a powerful, exciting, and intriguing realization. God wants you to be like Jesus! Jesus was the first fruit of those who would follow. Now, it took God in the flesh, Jesus, to show us how it was done. But, He did it in human form with no advantage over us except that He knew it was attainable. The power and authority Jesus displayed He said we would work the same works, but even greater. “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” [Jhn 14:12 NIV]
Many get the cart before the horse. They seek after the power rather than the relationship. Jesus said to seek first the Kingdom and ALL these other things would be added to you us. “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” [Mat 6:33 NIV] When we have right alignment with God’s will, seeking Kingdom first, seeking Him first… (Mat 6:33 and “Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment.” [Mat 22:37-38 NIV]) THEN, “…these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” [Mar 16:17-18 NIV]
God is ALL about relationships. That is why LOVE conquers all. Jesus was clear, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” [Jhn 13:35 NIV]
He is love and that is number one to HIM. Here is a great passage to meditate on and allow it to soak into every fiber of your existence. “…God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 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. 19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. [1Jo 4:16-20 NIV]
This is Kingdom! Love permeates all of Heaven. It supersedes everything else. Pride and arrogance of being “Right” has caused so much division that Christians appear to preach one message while living out another. Our interpretation of scripture takes precedence over loving one another. There are people who preach Kingdom yet divide it by doctrine. If anyone uses their interpretation of doctrine as the plumb line then they have eliminated part of the body of Christ that does not believe the way they do. Some will say, “But we must maintain truth!” What is truth? I proclaim Jesus Christ to be the Life the Truth and the Way. “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” [Jhn 14:6 NIV] I’m sorry, but that verse does not say that people get to the Father by knowing the right doctrine. It says we get to Father by knowing Jesus. Intimacy/love with Jesus is the key. Are there boundaries? Yes. Are there standards? Yes. Those who practice sin will not enter in.
Today, rather than gather in love for one another and for Jesus Christ our King, we divide one another based on our interpretation of scripture. If you’re worried about Truth, get to know the one who is Truth, Jesus Christ. Because in the end, it won’t matter if you had the right doctrine. What will make the difference is if you had an intimate relationship with the ONE. “Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” [Mat 7:22-23 NIV]
Chasing after signs and wonders is not where it is at. Chasing after right doctrine is not where it is at. Chasing after Jesus in the Kingdom is where it is at.
Kingdom mentality does not divide. Kingdom mentality is based on relationship and love for one another. Let Jesus work on the heart of each person. You and I are not God that we should presume that we are so smart that we have all the right answers and should convince everyone to believe as we do. It is arrogance and pride that rises up and deceives us into thinking that we have all the answers and our way it the right way.
I want to be an open book. I want Jesus to be able to mold me in any way He wants. If I think I know the best and only way to interpret scripture I may miss what Jesus really wanted me to get. I believe, and you will have to decide for yourself, that if I seek Him and operate out of love, that is the best anyone can do.
Don’t get me wrong, I have my opinions and beliefs of scripture. And, I will share them if anyone really wants to know what I think. BUT, I will not waste my, or anyone else’s, time trying to convince you that you are wrong. Because if we are all honest, we have to admit that there have been issues that we have taken sides on in the past, then later changed our minds on, right? If not, well… I guess we SHOULD all be learning from you if you’re perfect already (I’m being facetious).
Kingdom is built around the Tree of Life. Doctrine is based around the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil. The tree of life is about living in relationship with each other. The Tree of Knowledge of good and evil is about being right or wrong. Had Adam and Eve remained in relationship with God, they would have received all the knowledge they could ever want but they would learn it in the context of relationship. Instead, they chose to take it now and in their own way outside of relationship. Whenever we act in a way that puts knowledge and doctrine above relationship, we are operating out of the Tree of Knowledge and the end thereof is not pretty.
I choose to love and work in relationship. When I am in relationship with Jesus I have all the Truth I can receive. And, I trust Jesus is giving those around me who are operating out of the Kingdom/Love and relationship all the Truth they can receive. Truth is not a divider. It is a man/God, Jesus Christ who prayed we would all be one. And unless you have a relationship with Him, no other amount of correct doctrine will make any difference. The adverse is true, as well. If you have a relationship with Him/Truth, no other amount of INCORRECT doctrine will make a difference. For it Jesus Christ who saves, not correct doctrine. Be careful with what judgment you judge with (we are to judge) because you will be judged likewise. “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” [Mat 7:2 NIV]
Love and relationships are keys to growing into Mature Sons.

About the author: GIL HODGES

Gil Hodges has been in various ministries and businesses since 1989; Bible study groups, ministry clubs in college, pastor, business owner, evangelism, small groups, business ministry groups... Currently, Gil and his wife (Adena) are "pastors" of a church in Roseville California called Kingdom Equipping Center. They recently started an online discipleship course called Ultimate Impact. It is designed to help people transition from the traditional church model to becoming the government of God in groups called Ekklesias. Gil and Adena live in Roseville and have 3 adult children. You can find out more information at www.KEC777.com

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