Thursday, October 25, 2018

No More Control Freaks

Do you know any control freaks? Are you one? Is it true that you must give up control so that God can be in control? I don’t think so. Here’s the good news that makes you free—and happy! (New!)

To watch the 6.5-minute video, click http://ralphharris.org/no-more-control-freaks/.



To read the post, click http://ralphharris.org/no-more-control-freaks-4/.



I hope this encourages you today!

Saturday, October 20, 2018

You Look, He Works

If you're God's workmanship (and indeed, you are - Ephesians 2:10), then your primary part isn't to work but to relax and know Him and how He is with you. Jesus is your focus because you’re His focus. He'll take care of the building and the result, because He knows what He's doing. You don't have to. He’s the Expert. That’s why you feel better after looking at Him or talking with Him—or after reading this. You look, He works.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Life & The Struggle

Today I am identifying where the inside struggle comes from, just as the apostle Paul did. Without Paul’s perspective that commandments empower sin (Romans 7:7-13; 1 Corinthians 15:56 “. . . the power of sin is the law.”), and that it is no longer he, himself, that is the sinner (Romans 7:17-18) because he is a new creation (“the old HAS gone, the new HAS come!” 2 Corinthians 5:17), we will lead terribly confused and powerless lives and, thinking we are still evil and unchanged, attempt life by commandments—the very thing finished by Christ.

Life for new creation sons and daughters, who still know the struggle of the flesh, is by grace and the Spirit because we are now in the Spirit—in union with God—and not in the flesh (Romans 8:9). The good news is that good, and it’s vital we have it.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

YOU

Why is thinking about and accepting the “new creation you” that God made so vital? Because only the real you is not subject to judgement (John 3:18). You’ve already gone through it in Christ at the cross and resurrection (see Romans 6:1-7). If you accept any kind of false YOU—you’re stupid, you’re fat, you’re bad, etc.—you will fall under judgement that requires penalty and penance. If you believe in any YOU other than the one made through Christ, you’ll have to navigate your days with lots of signposts of failure and condemnation. That’s Satan’s work. You won’t be happy. You won’t be satisfied. You’ll be differing shades of miserable, because you weren’t made for judgment (John 3:17). (See http://ralphharris.org/how-you-is-taken-captive/.)

This is why I work so consistently to remind you about YOU. The YOU that you are brings glory to God, and when you’re convinced (maybe again and again) about that YOU, brings revival to you. Getting acquainted with the real you is a joy! Everybody likes a good revival, right?

To get more doses of revival for yourself or for a friend, 1) subscribe to my new web site—ralphharris.org. It’s easy, free, regularly updated, and there are already more than 160 categorized videos and posts; 2) get or give either or both of my books—God’s Astounding Opinion of You, or my new one, Life According to Perfect (http://ralphharris.org/books/); 3) share the simple truth of the gospel you know with someone else—you’ll feel much better as you do. After writing a brief summary of the gospel he knew and believed, John wrote that, “We write this to make our joy complete” (1 John 1:4). How cool is that?

So hang in there, YOU. Remember and remind others about the success of Christ’s cross and resurrection. You’re a whole new YOU.

Friday, October 05, 2018

If Jesus Loves Me,...?

Here’s a brand new, terrific book! Have you ever read any of David Gregory’s best-selling books? The Rest of the Gospel. The Last Christian. Dinner with a Perfect Stranger. And more. He’s a tremendous writer! He was a huge help in the writing of my new book, as well. Here’s what I wrote after reading the manuscript:

"I have never read anything like “If Jesus Loves Me Why Isn't This Working?” and I was fascinated by it. David Gregory has written an incredibly powerful yet easy way to know God's voice and His Word. This is a terrific and encouraging read for individuals and groups alike."

It has just become available, so here’s the link on Amazon to go get it: https://tinyurl.com/y7b7s94p.

Thursday, October 04, 2018

Your Life As A Light


(To watch the 3.5-minute video, click: http://ralphharris.org/your-life-as-a-light/)

If, as Jesus said in Matthew 5:14, “you are the light of the world”, then it seems obvious that Satan’s work is to craft a sort of covering for you, an acceptable covering, and then to induce you to pull it over yourself. To hide. It’s terribly devious.

Jesus has made you salt and light, and that will never be altered. You don’t have to become salty, you don’t have to become “lighty”—He did that to you already. Satan’s game is to point out your failures and weaknesses, as though they could ever change the change Jesus made for you, and then, if you’ll accept them as identifying who you are, to induce you to hide yourself.

But still. You are a light.

The good news is that Jesus didn’t make you the light of the world “IF”. There is no “if”. The light that you have emanates from you but does not originate with you. You’re a lamp—a very nice lamp, the lamp He intended—but a lamp! And you will always be plugged in. You will always be on. Anything and everything that might imply you’re not a very good lamp does not change your lampness. It’s who you are.

So throw off the devil’s offered covering. It doesn’t fit you. It doesn’t belong. It doesn’t help. Weaknesses and failures simply make it evident that the light you have is the Son of God, who lives in you and provides the light. You are the vessel, He is the content. Sometimes that’s going to be obvious. “I might have a sloppy lamp structure, but I’m a lamp! A lamp is what I am.” And then I am revived because I am believing that Jesus’ work through the cross and resurrection worked.

So shine on, my lamp friends. It’s who you are, so it’s what you do.

Matthew 5:14-15 You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Grace & Peace

The lie of religion suggests that while God has already happily given us everything in Christ (Ephesians 1:3-14), we might have lost a little of the all we never earned—here’s how to get it back. Slaves are made in the "here’s how." So evil and destructive is this suggestion that the apostle Paul made a wish for those who spread the lie.

"As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!" Galatians 5:12

Most of the New Covenant letters begin with the phrase, “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” for a very important reason: it is easy for us to forget how well-off we are with God, so we need to be reminded about it—first thing. If we miss the reminder or don’t know the truth, it is also easy for us to be abused by anti-Christ lies because we’re ignorant of what He accomplished for us.

Here’s a New Covenant reminder of God’s gift after the cross and resurrection of Christ: Grace is God giving you everything without obligating you to handle everything well, and peace is God assuring you that you are well, secure, loved and safe with Him at all times.

Now you’re not ignorant. Knowing the truth makes and keeps you free.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Hooked On Treasure

When we have treasure no higher than the stuff of this world, we can become nothing better than what has our value. But when we discover that our greatest treasure—God Himself—actually treasures us, our otherwise crazy search for fulfillment comes to a satisfying end.

To watch the 5 minute video, click http://ralphharris.org/hooked-on-treasure/

To read the post, click http://ralphharris.org/hooked-on-treasure-4/

Friday, September 07, 2018

Is Intercession Difficult?

(There’s a video link at the end if you’d rather watch.)

Is intercession difficult? Do you have to study it, do you have a lot of knowledge about it in order to do it right?
 
A supporter-friend of mine recently asked for my thoughts about the New Testament word “intercession.”

The word “intercede” has unfortunately come to mean something that we’re supposed to do by ourselves—“Ralph, go intercede for so and so”—rather than something that happens to us and for us.

On a small scale, perhaps you know what it’s like to be praying along in a sort of “minding-your-own-business” kind of way, when suddenly a care, a concern or a godly desire rises up in you—it happens to you—and “leads you” in feelings and words that you had no prior intention of praying. This is intercession granted or caused by God, who intercedes with you.

He shares his cares, concerns and desires with you because, 1) you’re a son, and you’re like Him; 2) He wants you to know Him; 3) He wants to get something done through you. Paul wrote about this happening to him in Colossians 1:29 – 2:3. (Please read that.) In that passage, Paul was literally “being labored,” and “being struggled” in those verses by God for a result. In other words, the Holy Spirit was doing something with Paul in order to prove the perfect ability of God for someone else.

That’s exciting.

Paul wrote that the same thing happened to his friend, Epaphras, in Colossians 4:12-13, where he was literally “being wrestled” and “being worked hard” by the Spirit in order that the Colossian believers would stand firm in all the will of God. How important is that? This was an amazing evidence of Christ in Epaphras and, as it happens to us, an amazing evidence of Christ in us. Christ in you!

On a grand scale, Jesus is interceding for us. We are in Him, so everything that “comes at us” or is “done to us” or “by us” affects Him. In that way, He intercedes for us by being our innocence, our righteousness, holiness and redemption, our strength, courage, comfort, love, patience, peace, kindness, self-control, and more. Nothing can separate us from Him because He lives perfectly for us in a way we cannot. As we grow in believing and trusting Him “in whom we live and move and have our being”, so His security, His defense, His ability and grace become more and more evident to us—and to everyone else because of it.

That’s freedom because He is doing it with us! And that’s powerful.

This intercession, this miraculous evidence of Christ in us, for us and through us is described in my new book, “Life According to Perfect.” Maybe you’ve been listening to me in this video or reading the text and thinking, “Hey! That sounds like what happens in your new book!” Well, you’re right. It is. This is one of the thrill rides of Christianity that too many of us are missing—we don’t understand it, we don’t recognize what’s happening in us. So because we don’t trust that God is doing it, we take another avenue, another way of praying that all too often is boring and uneventful. We forsake the adventure and mystery of “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27), and choose template prayers. “Just get it done” prayers. For that reason, many of us give up on prayer altogether. But I don’t want anyone to miss “Christ in you, the hope of glory”.

FEAR is the biggest “ripper-offer” that keeps us from looking to Christ in us because we’re afraid that something out of control, something dangerous might happen. And, actually, that’s the truth! It might. This is when the grace of God in you and the grace of God for you and through you is beautifully evident, most powerful and most beneficial—and you’ll know it! You must know that your enemy, the devil, fights aggressively against this happening in us and through us, because it is dangerous to him.

This is one of the most fun, most incredible aspects of Christianity. You have it by new birth—He is in you and you are in Him. And He loves for you to know the fullness you have been given. (See Colossians 1:9-10.)

That is the Plan. It’s not something you have to do, it’s what He is already doing with you and for others. He is busy, so simply pay attention. That brings about Christ’s intercession for you and through you . . . and I hope this helps.

(To watch the video, click: http://ralphharris.org/is-intercession-difficult/.)

Thursday, September 06, 2018

Today's Fake News Sermon

Today’s fake news sermon: “Getting Rid of Your Bad Self” — The crazy-good fun of trying to crucify what Jesus already did.
(I say it a lot, but I’ll say it again: our problem is not doing, our problem is believing. “For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin” Romans 6:6-7. Jesus crucified your bad self and gave you a new you; do you believe? Life works by believing.)

Friday, August 31, 2018

Life Together In Christ

(Video link at the end.)

Think of Jesus. Imagine Him. Imagine Perfect. Now imagine yourself actually in Him. What’s life like from there?

And think of this: Unless I see myself as God sees me, in Christ, actually in Him (it’s all over the New Testament), then whenever inexplicably difficult and odd things happen to me, I will wonder what has gone wrong and what I have to do to make things right.

For a lot of us, that’s how we think a lot of the time. “Why is this happening to me?” “Why do bad things happen to me?”

That thinking means endless days of pressure—or of trying to avoid it, which is essentially the same thing. Either way, I’ve got to educate myself, strategize and work to orchestrate my days so that weird and wrong stuff doesn’t happen.

And I will have been tricked into seeing myself as separate from God, with assessments and techniques for proper management always in demand. After all, I’ve got a lot to do. No wonder I’m nervous, no wonder I’m prone to anxiety. But I’ll give my self toward that—more than to anything—and I’ll think it’s the right way . . . the responsible way. The separate way.

But I am in Him. At all times. At every moment. He put me there (1 Corinthians 1:30). What happens to me or what goes on around me is for the two of us, not for one of us, but for both of us—together—united forever in everything. That’s the plan. Never separate! His life and His ability are always at the ready for me and through me, as the case may be. Obviously, it helps if I will believe we’re together—not just God over there and me doing my best to follow. I am in Him. He is in me. “Following” is not the issue; believing that He made this change happen is the issue.

Believing it’s true and enjoying it is how Christ is formed in me. That’s His agenda and now that’s my agenda. In other words, “Jesus, I am in you and you are in me. Make me aware of what you’d like to do in me and through me, your vessel. Let’s do this together. I would love that. Amen.”

This is the “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me” life (Galatians 2:20), and that’s for me. And if you’re a Christian, it’s for you, too. How exciting is that life?

(To see the video, click http://ralphharris.org/life-together-in-christ/.)

Thursday, August 30, 2018

That's All, Folks

The way we take God’s grace for granted—the way we mistreat it—is to believe and act in a way that says we have to earn something from God, who thinks He has given us all things already for free. (See Ephesians 1:3-10.) In other words, if you want to really bother God, here’s how to do it: try to earn something from Him. (Good luck. Bon voyage.)

God’s grace never creates debt; it always pays debt. Otherwise, it would cease to be grace and instead become obligation. Oh, how that word bothers God! He’ll have none of it. Not with Abraham, not with the Galatians, not with you, and not with me. (See Romans 4:4-5.)

The apostle Paul got rightfully angry with the Galatian Christians who had fallen away from grace, because they were attempting to earn favor with God by their own behavior. The problem was, they already had perfect favor! They already had every blessing! Jesus had given it to them—in full. To believe otherwise was to believe a lie and to give themselves to that lie through their efforts. That’s how people get twisted and disappointed. Have you noticed?

Believing that we have to tithe, pray, worship, sing, witness, fast, or love in order to gain favor with God is anti-Christ. Doing something apart from Jesus in order to get what He presumably failed to secure is not only worthless, it is against the truth. That’s awful. For the Galatian Christians to add Jewish customs or ceremonies or rule-keeping to a supposed required mix was to put themselves under a curse!

Galatians 3:10-14 10 For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: ‘Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.’ 11 Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because ‘the righteous will live by faith.’ 12 The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, ‘The person who does these things will live by them.’ 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: ‘Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.’ 14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles (That would be me, and most likely you) through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit. (Italics mine.)

In other words, by faith in Jesus, we get the Holy Spirit and everything that He brings with Him. You would be wise to assume that He doesn’t lack anything.

Every other hope with God, any other obligation-based hope with God is shadow living—it’s performing in the dark!—even though the reality has come (Colossians 2:16-17).

In Christ—which is where we are now—we have how many things? All things. That’s the incredible gospel we love! That’s the stunning New Covenant. And that’s why we’re crazy in love with Jesus. We’re out in the open about it! No one’s hiding this. We want to tell everyone, and we want to remind those who have forgotten and been lured back into the shadows. Come on out of there! No more performing in the darkness! Lies will have you there, and we won’t be a part of that; neither will God.

Because of Jesus, we have it all. And that’s all, folks.

To watch the 5 minute video: http://ralphharris.org/thats-all-folks/

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Freedom Walk

Some of my favorite people will be gathering together in October for a terrific conference—Freedom Walk. I suspect that more than a few of us will also be popping over to nearby Napa to inspect some of those grapes they’ve got there. In other words, I sure hope you can join me and these great speakers for an awesome few days of sharing in the grace and love of God. Register by this Friday to get the early bird special of only $99! Click the link to get more info and to register.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/freedom-walk-tickets-48103929147

Life By God

When someone discovers the love of God—the real deal—that discovery immediately becomes the most defining aspect of her life. He makes sure of it. Remaining in the knowing—“He loves me!”—will eclipse all other goals, and become the director and authenticator of what she does, what she reads and watches, what she says and writes, where she goes and what she gives herself to, and how she interacts with the people and stuff of this world. No one will have to tell her to “obey the commandments” because she knows and has the One who needs no such commands living within. Her life will be by the Spirit and not by the law. She will be tempted to live by other means, for sure, but always the love of God—even a temporary not-knowing of it—will re-animate and love her awake. And life by God, who is love, will resume.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

That's All, Folks

Have you ever felt like you’re wasting your time with God? Like the things you’re trying to do aren’t working with Him? Well, maybe you are wasting your time, and maybe that’s the best news you could get. (New. 5 minutes.)