Tuesday, July 17, 2018

A Good Walk Together

God thinks you’re complete in Him (Colossians 2:10). Think of that. You’ve got it all, and you’re all done. You've just got some walking out to do.

But what do you think? If God’s opinion is that you’re already holy, righteous and majestic as you walk about the planet (Colossians 1:22), but you think you’re something else, something less, might that affect your interaction with Him? Might that affect your interaction with others?

It does.

But when you discover what God thinks about you—how incredibly good it is—you’ll be intensely attracted to Him, and the pale attractions of this world will grow dim. He's right about you! To become increasingly convinced that He is correct is one of the most worthwhile adventures there is. It's the adventure He's putting all of His effort into with you.

And He never changes His mind because He has the facts—He is responsible for them! That's why His thoughts and love for you never change. Never. He thinks more highly of you than anyone else thinks, and He's right.

As He increasingly wins you over to His way of thinking, your behavior will come together with who you are. And won't that be wonderful?

(For more about this, check out my books and free videos at: ralphharris.org.)

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Freedom!

Happy Juneteenth, everyone, a day when people celebrate the coming together of American ideals and American experience. On June 19, 1865, Union Army Major General Gordon Granger marched 2,000 soldiers into Galveston, Texas, in order to enforce Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation that officially freed the slaves of the south on January 1, 1863. The celebrations that resulted and which continued each year thereafter, came to be known as “Juneteenth.”

Hooray, America!

A favorite economist, author and commentator of mine, Thomas Sowell, wrote, “what was peculiar about the West was not that it participated in the worldwide evil of slavery, but that it later abolished that evil, not only in Western societies but also in other societies subject to Western control or influence.”

Because the threat of slavery (even new forms of it) goes on and the ideal of freedom is not yet the experience of all, not here in the US and not globally, I applaud those who openly speak out for liberation.

As a Christian speaker and author, I am all about freedom, particularly the freedom that knowing the original liberator, Jesus Christ, has upon people. Satan’s desire and scheme is to incarcerate, harm and diminish people through deception, which sometimes comes through the teachings and actions of people. Jesus is the consummate opposite: “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).

So I stand with Jesus and with His apostle, Paul, who taught and offered to the Galatians a powerful freedom checkup, one that still echoes today in the likes of all who insist that humans are better when they are free: “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1 NIV).

The terrible “yoke of slavery” was the ancient Law and Old Covenant, as well as anything and everything that implied that mankind had to earn a good standing with God by satisfying His presumed demand for perfection. But the gift, the fact remains: Perfection is what and who He is, and He offers Himself as that for all—especially you—for free. He is the gift of perfect freedom—the power and the benefit—to all who will have Him.

This freedom and this grace is what gospel fans have been equipped and enabled by the Spirit to hear and to share with everyone. Any other message leads us toward slavery—both the messenger and the hearer—because the Holy Spirit is always and only about life and freedom, not the loss of it.

“He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life” (2 Corinthians 3:6 NIV).

If you’ve been thinking or feeling anything other than life and freedom, no matter your circumstances, consider the source of the messages pointed at you: one is satanic and makes hijacked slaves, while the other is godly and makes freeborn sons. That’s heaven’s ideal, and it ought to be your experience.

Here’s to freedom, and to the One who makes and keeps us free.

(Freedom from the spiritual powers of slavery is what my new book, “Life According to Perfect” is all about. You’ll find it on amazon at: https://tinyurl.com/y8bobn33.)

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Blog Problems

I encountered some odd problems with this blog and found that two previous posts were empty of text. I don't know why it happened, but I apologize for that. I have since updated those two blog posts, and you may find them--for real--at the links below.

Life From God:
http://lifecourseministries.blogspot.com/2018/06/life-from-god.html

The Prize:
http://lifecourseministries.blogspot.com/2018/05/the-prize.html

God's Divine Hobby is...Me?

Have you ever thought that God is a show-off? I’m pretty sure He is. It’s a sort of divine hobby for Him. And He’s not going to stop anytime soon.

God wants everyone and everything to know how incomparably good and capable and faithful and loving and perfect He is. Why? So the truth about Him will be known, and so everyone will want Him—and get everything they’ve been looking for and everything they need. He is the source of life itself, and He has designed us to find our best longings for life satisfied in Him.

Figuring that out is difficult, I know! There’s so much that offers fractional satisfaction. A clear sign that I’ve been looking for satisfaction in the wrong place is that I fall to the ugly suggestion to pretend I’m satisfied. I hate that.

Fortunately, you and I are still God’s workmanship, which means He’s going to convince us—over and over and over again—that He is amazing toward us by doing good to us. And, much as I don’t like my many slips and repeated neediness, still His over and over again display isn’t a bad thing, at least not for Him. Sometimes I think I’m the vacuum of neediness—“Lord, please rescue/restore/renew me again!” And He does. And His riches are on display in me. Who sees? Everyone and everything, and all those watching on the big screen in heaven. “Wow. Look at God. He’s incredible with Ralph.

And with you.

"And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus." (Ephesians 2:6-7)

If you’ve been suspicious that God has you on display, it’s not because He is asking you to be a good example for Him. He is bragging on you because He has made you a good example of Himself.

Brag on, God.

(For more about how perfect God is with you, get my new book, “Life According to Perfect.” You’ll find it on amazon: https://tinyurl.com/ya72p6t4.)

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Life From God

We have been given life from God. That life does not show up after we say to Him, “I’m so sorry” + “I’ve learned my lesson” + “I won’t do it again.” That’s a nifty formula, but it is sin producing, rules-based legalism, not righteousness producing, grace-based Christianity. We don’t live by a proper confession, a good attitude and a promised commitment. Have you forgotten that’s not Christianity?

We live because, in Christ, we’ve been given new life and a new way of living—Jesus Himself and faith in Him. He is God’s life in you and in me. Peel away all that appears to be me, and you will see Him at home, happy and successful. For all who have received Jesus, the same is true. Right? That’s where I’m looking today. I’m expecting Him, and that’s life.

"To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." (Colossians 1:27)

(To automatically get more encouraging posts and videos in your email inbox, subscribe at my website at ralphharris.org.)

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Where You At?

Do you recall seeing the commercials that frequently asked, “Where You At?” Sponsored by a clever mobile phone company that highlighted its GPS ease of use, I found several of their ads more than funny—they struck a chord with me.

One of the most significant aspects of life in Christ is that that’s where we’re at—in Christ. (I know it’s bad grammar because the "at" isn’t necessary, but just go with it.) Ever since God put us in Christ through the new birth, that’s where we’re found at every moment—in Him.

It doesn’t look like it, I know. Come by my house and you’ll see me in jeans and a long sleeved shirt, drawn up to my desk and laptop. That’s what your eyes see. And if during our visit I told you to close your eyes so you could see more clearly, maybe you’d think I was nuts. But I’d be trying to help you to live according to what’s really real.

You and I are learning more and more to live by faith—in what God says is true of Himself, and in what He says is true of us. If we only look with the eyes in our head, we’ll frustrate our growth and twist our experience. It can’t be otherwise. We’ve got to see with the eyes of our heart, the ones Paul asked God to open for the Ephesians so they would know the great hope to which He had called them, the wealth of His incredible inheritance now in the saints, and so they would know His “incomparably great power” for them (Ephesians 1:18-21).

I think that because we rarely use the eyes of our heart, the ones that believe and see people the way they have become in Christ, we miss hope, we forsake our inheritance and poorly experience the power of God.

If you’re a Christian, then right now you’re in Christ. Yes, He is in you, and that’s fantastic to know and discover—God in you! (That’s what my new book, “Life According to Perfect” is all about.) But according to God, you’re also in Him. What does that mean? That’s what Paul’s letter to the Ephesians was about.

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding” (Ephesians 1:7-8).

Being in Christ means God has made us exactly as He wants us—that’s what redemption means. Think of it. Picture yourself in Christ. Can there be anything sinful in Christ? Can there be anything flawed in Christ? Can there be anything faulty in Christ? Can there be anything that needs to be removed in Christ? No, no, no, and no! Your change of location has changed everything—that’s the gospel.

This is how it is in Christ, and I contend that believing the gospel which says it is so will change your life. It will certainly improve your view on things.

If your wife is a Christian, then right now, “Where’s she at?”

If your husband has received Christ, then “Where’s he at?”

If God is right now in your children, then “Where they at?”

If you’ve got friends who are Christians, then right now, “Where they at?”

Do you see what happens to you when you see where they are? You feel better and invigorated because you’ve shifted your eyes and view of life to the unseen facts that stimulate true life—life by the Spirit. You’ve chosen His view, and you’re reaping from Him. The Bible says a lot about those who will live that way.

When you know you’re in Christ, your worries tend to dissipate, your hope increases, and your confidence in God and in yourself leap up. Everything changes when you know where you are.
So right now, “Where you at?”

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Come Back to Free

Got 2 minutes? If thoughts of personal disappointment have been bothering you, maybe keeping you awake at night, leaving you worn out and even more disappointed, have a look. (There are more than 150 free videos at ralphharris.org. You can subscribe there and not miss any.)


Friday, May 11, 2018

Looking Into Heaven

"We’re on approach. Flight attendants prepare for landing."

As the aircraft pitched slightly from left to right and back again, I was relieved to hear the captain’s voice over the loudspeakers. There were a few more horizontal adjustments, a wah-whump, whump, and we were rolling safely on the runway in Vancouver, British Columbia. At last.

I was there to assist men in their journey with God in the hope that, in addition to growing more confident in Christ, they would discover what it’s like to live by the Spirit. By Sunday afternoon, they had.

A particular passage became beautifully clear:

“For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace,. . .” Romans 8:5,6 NAS

To demonstrate this passage, I asked a young man, Zach, to join me up front, and then asked the men at the retreat to tell me about Zach—as though I had never met him. “He’s fun!” “He’s smart!” “He’s a good friend!” “His wife needs prayer!” And on it went. Then I asked, “Now that I know what Zach is like, tell Zach who God says He is. Tell it directly to Zach. And don’t rush this; there’s no hurry.”
Silence.

And then this: “Zach, you’re a holy man.” “Zach, you’re righteous.” “You’re blameless.” “You’re forgiven.” “You’ve got God living in you.” “All of heaven recognizes you as a son of God.” And that included us. We saw Zach.

No one moved. It was amazing. No, it was more than that. It was sacred. When I asked what the men were feeling, somewhat breathlessly they said, “I feel like I’m looking into heaven.” “I feel hope.” “I feel life.” “I feel great.” “I feel peace.” “I feel like I’m really seeing Zach.” “When we changed our minds from looking at the visible to looking at the invisible, everything changed from shallow and fleshly to deep and true.”

They felt God.

Romans 8:5-6 came alive in that moment as we turned our minds away from what was visible to what was invisible. We thought of Zach and addressed him according to what the Bible says God has made of him, and Zach was illuminated to us and to himself. And we felt it. We felt “life and peace,” the kind of life and peace produced by the Holy Spirit whenever we turn our minds toward Him.

“For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” Galatians 6:8

It was tremendous and Zach was a little overwhelmed. He felt the inner conflict between the flesh and Spirit, but he, too, chose to sow to the Spirit, reaping what God has promised. “I feel holy. I feel clean.” Indeed, he was—indeed, he is.

Approaching or addressing someone as they have become in Christ causes us to change our minds. We go away from the mind of the flesh and begin thinking according to the mind of the Spirit. You can feel the change! This isn’t a game you play or a way of pretending your way through life. A worldly curtain is drawn back to reveal the true image behind—and that’s more than a bit dazzling. I don’t recommend that you immediately begin addressing all the Christians you know as Holy Hannah, Righteous Rudy, or Forgiven Frank, because that makes a methodical mess out of the holy and sacred. You might silently think of them as the holy, blameless and forgiven sons or daughters they have become, and then see what the Spirit gives you or where He leads you. You won’t have to be creative when God is at work. He’s pretty creative already.

An added benefit of setting our mind upon the Spirit in addressing a brother (as we did with Zach) is that we experienced a sort of mini revival. In looking at Zach, we found ourselves, too. Surprise! The Super Heroes of God. We reaped life, the Spirit invigorated us, and we were deeply encouraged by God. The men knew that they could do this at home with their families, at work, at church, by phone or email, even while driving on the freeway. With all that goes on around us, we’re always on approach. Take advantage of that.

Setting our minds upon the Spirit is our new normal way of living in this world. We’re not of it—we’re a heavenly colony on earth. But since we’re in it, we do well to see it as He sees it, and to approach it from there. We’ll be looking into heaven.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The Perfect Ones

A terrible danger today is for Christians—the ones made new, holy, blameless and radiant, and who are right now the happy homes of God Almighty—to listen to a speaker who does not see them the way God has made them in Christ, but who sees them only in the disguised and lowly appearances of this world.  What they hear from the speaker will be worldly, flesh-to-flesh. And confusion, although cloaked in bright lights and smiling faces, will produce frustration and disillusionment.

If, on the other hand, that speaker recognizes them and is at all impressed by the perfect royalty they are, he is going to talk about it.  They can be confident and expectant that what they hear will invigorate who they are—Spirit-born majesty.  That’s the point of getting together!  And when we meet in faith like that—about God and about each other—that’s how the world is helped.

“We proclaim Him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.” Colossians 1:28

Monday, April 23, 2018

UK Perfect!

Here’s a happy man telling us that my book has arrived in England!

Did you know that ‘Life According to Perfect’ is now available throughout the United Kingdom (Amazon.co.uk), all across Europe (Amazon.de, Amazon.fr, Amazon.it, Amazon.es) and Canada (Amazon.ca), and today it’s available in Mexico (Amazon.com.mx), Australia (Amazon.com.au), Brazil (Amazon.com.br), India (Amazon.in) and Japan (Amazon.co.jp)? It is! If you’ve got people who would love the story of how Perfect God is with them, share this or give ‘em a shout-out. And yes, it continues to be a #1 best-selling New Release! Thank you.

For those in the US, click: https://tinyurl.com/yamoj77a

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Perfect is How God is with You

God is Perfect with you, and His love for you will never be “if” and “then.” In other words, “If you do right, Ralph Harris, then I will love you.” It won’t ever be like that. God’s love is always “because” and “therefore.” It’s like this: “Because I love, therefore I sent my Son, therefore I gave, and therefore I keep giving.” God keeps you in love and offers perfect grace to you every day, at all times, like it or not, embrace it or turn away, fail or succeed. It will not deter Him, and it will not change Him. Perfect is how God is, and it is how He is with you.
(For more about Perfect, get my new book, ‘Life According to Perfect’ on Amazon! Click: https://tinyurl.com/yamoj77a)

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

#1 Best-Seller!

Okay, this is wonderful. My new book is a #1 New Release Best-Seller! I am deeply thankful to so many people who are making that happen! My goodness.

Click the link to get your copy: https://tinyurl.com/yamoj77a

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Life According to Perfect

While alone in a mountain cabin 10 years ago, God brought to me the story idea of Jesus coming to live in a boy, who then discovers how good real life is—a story that would speak without theological jargon to people of all ages—an allegory, so each reader could get what God wants for each. That vision and work is today fulfilled.

My new book, Life According to Perfect, is now available on Amazon. I feel a little like the apostle Paul, in that I’m “being poured out” on this, and that I have “fought the good fight, I have finished the race” for this part of my ministry (2 Timothy 4:6-8). You must know that I am all-kinds of emotional as I offer it to you.

https://tinyurl.com/yamoj77a

If you share in the joy of this story, would you write a brief recommendation for it on Amazon? That will help spread its message a lot, and that’s important. Would you share about the book in any way you can? I’ll do the best I can to get the word out, but you can really help.