Tag Archives: Jesus Christ

Stop the Deception!

love_3_by_mjagiellicz1Just stop! I use to think I really knew what love was all about. I have to confess that what I thought was love, was not really love at all. In fact, it was a form of love that earthlings have come to believe as love ever since the fall of man. Wow, were we deceived. Then we started saying how much we loved this and how much we loved that-when all we were professing was a form of love the Greeks called, “phileo love.” The word was well known, but there was a serious problem with it. It wasn’t good enough.

No? No.

It only had a shelf life of a few years. Some brands lasted only for a few moments. Others, not even a few months. We used that love to express some emotional need (that we felt in our brain) to tell others that we “loved” them. But we used that same word for our dog, our cat, our car, our children, our house, our president, our neighbor, our sofas, our dentist, our church, our spouses and even God. Now how can that be? How can that be authentic love? We’ve been deceived.

Men and women take vows and say “till death do us part,” only to find out that the shelf life on their love had expired way before death ever thought about coming around. Friends say I love you, only to realize that that wasn’t a good brand of love they bought into and eventually say, “sorry, I must part ways with you now.” How about the brand of love found at the end of a date that causes you to fall for that guy and do anything for him just because he said he loved you? Where did you buy that love? At the dollar store?

Phileo love is good, but not good enough. If Sears were selling it, it would be in the better section of the store. You know, they sell stuff like good, better, best. Phileo love is not the love that glues friendships, lovers, spouses, parents and children together. When we use the same kind of love for a spouse and a dog, then something is not right. I know–I hear you clearly shouting at me, “THERE ARE DIFFERENT KINDS OF LOVE!” No, calm down. There are different “depths” of phileo love but it’s all the same.

Agape is a love, created by God, which causes man to bond in a way that is like super glue. It’s not artificial. It’s not a love substitute. It’s not cheap and ugly. It’s lasting and pure.

Not many people understand or know about agape. Yet. Even in the “best of the best” respected books in Christianity, such as Richard Foster’s “Celebration of Discipline,” not one word is mentioned about the discipline of agape love. It’s difficult to find those who really understand it.

I don’t use the word love much anymore because it is so overused and has such contempt with it. I use the word agape because it means more than love to me. It means what I feel and say.

So who has deceived us? More on that tomorrow.


That’s what I think about it.


DTW – http://www.exaltationchurch.comeclogo12

Advertisements

Why Do We Call Ministers Reverend?

ordinationJesus was so right on when he made several statements about the titles many carried in His day. He realized that agape didn’t need titles to get people to love and respect Him. Even in His last days, the opposition tried to call Him king, and He just replied with a non-answer answer.

We have so many religious titles that men love to have, wear and become attentive to when called by their title. We have the reverends, the pastor, father, bishops, overseers, elder, priests, and rabbi. Many in the religious fields probably feel that they could take them or leave them. However, there are those who feel that respect is in a title. Their expectation of others to call them by their title is their reassurance of that respect.

Agape doesn’t label religious leaders with titles. We give men titles because of protocol in our religious world’s system. Men receive titles to assure others that they have completed the criteria and process demanded of them for that office.

People who know me call me Tim; others call me Timothy. Some call me Pastor Timothy. When I was growing up in church, we called the pastor, “preacher.” Some, I have come to find out, feel that that title is disrespectful. I never could figure that one out.

I appreciate it when people call me pastor, but the truth of the matter is that if they wanted to call me Tim or Timothy, it’s just fine with me. Agape carries with it a respect and care for others without the crown of a title. Agape says that you can just call me by my name; I don’t need to be called by any title.

Jesus even referred to those who were psychologically gratified and loved having their egos fed when others would call them by their titles. They loved it. They lived for it. Vanity is the foundation for such titles. They are used by those who crave attention.

I was in the presence, years ago, of a man who was a district overseer for a particular denomination. He demanded that no one call him by his first name, but by his title, “Bishop.” I guess some people need that sort of thing in the religious world.

Agape says you can love me for who I am. Agape says that I’m going to love you for who you are. Agape is not bias, prejudice nor judgmental. Agape loves when all other loves fail.

Paul says that if I have not agaped, I am nothing. It doesn’t matter if you have titles a mile long, If you don’t agape people, then you are absolutely nothing. That’s pretty harsh. However, agape should be the basis for our leadership and not what title we hold. Jesus asked Peter if he agaped Him and then he told him to feed His sheep. It was agape that would cause Peter to lead people, not a title of rank. Respect is not found in a title. Respect is found in a person.

That’s what I think about it.

DTW – http://www.exaltationchurch.comeclogo11

Why Would I Have Enemies?

0102043368700I remember Jesus saying to “agape my enemies.” Then I had to think for a minute, “who are my enemies,” and then, “why do I have enemies?” Enemies, that’s a pretty harsh thing. Enemies? Do you know what the definition of enemy is? An enemy is somebody who hates or seeks to harm somebody or something. Wow! Do I have someone who hates me or wants to do me in? I don’t have any connections with the mafia (that I know of.) I don’t know of anyone personally who dislikes me that badly.

Now, there are people who probably don’t like my personality or the work I’m doing, but I don’t think they would consider me their enemy. Certainly I wouldn’t think of them being MY enemy. Jesus even used the word “enemies,” plural. Can you imagine having, not one but, several enemies?

You say, yeah, I have enemies. Really? Why? What have you done or what have they done to you that caused this?

I know that America has enemies because of our belief in capitalism and freedom. I know that there are people, groups and even nations that would love to see our country collapse into oblivion–but to have personal enemies? That’s pretty unusual.

But, nevertheless, do you realize what we are to do if we have enemies? Agape them. Are you kidding me? No, I’m not. Now, if you are to agape them, your enemies, how much more should you agape those who are not your enemies? Is that person who lives with you your enemy? No? Then agape them. Is that person with whom you work your enemy? No? Then agape them too. How about your boss? Is he or she your enemy? No? Then agape him or her.

Jesus was serious about this agape stuff. He wanted others to know about His Kingdom because of our agape and nothing else. If we agape our enemies and show them God’s agape, then how much more will our friends, co workers and family know that we agape them too?

Agape takes on all kinds forms, actions and words. What can you do today to show that agape lives and breathes in you? Agape is a strong word. It is an amazing supernatural emotion. How about giving someone a hug today that you wouldn’t normally hug? How about giving someone a kiss that you normally would not kiss? How about doing something more that just nice for someone that you normally would not do something nice for?

When they ask why you did it, just say you’re practicing on them so that when it comes to performing agape on your enemies, you’ll be perfect.

That is, if you have enemies…

That’s what I think about it.

DTW – http://www.exaltationchurch.comeclogo10

Today Is Your Day

jesusweptHave you ever awakened in the morning and felt that there was something bad going to happen? You ever have the gut feeling that it wasn’t going to turn out quite like you’d hope?

Many centuries ago, Jesus, who lived His life by faith in God, which included being led by the Holy Spirit, woke up on this very day, Thursday, with a feeling such as this. Even though He knew it was coming, today he knew the time was here. He thought, “Tonight, I will be with my men for the last time before my death. Tonight, I will be alone without anyone to help me. Tonight, one of my men will turn me over to the authorities.”

However, the great thing about all this is that, somehow, I believe a future flash of names began racing through His mind of all the names that would be affected by His action. I can’t help to think that on this day, years ago, the name Timothy Whitworth was on the mind of Jesus. You must be excited with me to know that on this same day, years ago, in the mind of Jesus, you were thought of too.

Today is your day! Today is my day.

He even spoke the words early that “Greater agape has no man than to lay down his life for a friend.” That’s true agape. He was willing to think of me, to think of you all and become our substitute for crimes that He did not commit.

So all through this day, He was thinking about us. Thinking about what was to transpire prior to tomorrow when He knew there was going to be great pain; great suffering.

However, in all this, He loved us still and wouldn’t think a second thought about His actions. His agape gave Him peace and contentment. I’ve learned that about agape.

His agape is so peaceful and easy. Agape won’t let you be selfish or demand expectations from others. It is serving to others. It will cause you to do things that you never thought you’d do. It will motivate you to say things you never dreamed you would say. You will marvel at the overwhelming explosiveness in your spirit toward others.

This is what Jesus was feeling on that Thursday about us. About you. About me.

Today is our day.

That’s what I think about it.

DTW – http://www.exaltationchurch.comeclogo5

He Doesn’t Care For Plastic Surgery

first_surgery_1Modern medicine is simply amazing. They can almost do anything with surgery and creativity. You can be remade, refurbished, re-fixed, remolded or re-anything for that matter. There have been those who have had catastrophic accidents and the surgeons were able to correct it to almost its original state.

Men and women who have been injured on a battlefield have required extensive skin and bone surgery and our wonderful doctors have been able to bring some semblance of hope and joy to these people because of their skills.

Dr. Jonathan Dutton came into my life years ago when I was required to have a tumor examined behind my left eye. Dr. Dutton, an ocular-plastic surgeon at Duke University shared with me, pre-surgery, that he would leave a line on my eyebrow that would give the appearance of an expression line. This was to keep from having a major scar. He was true to his word. More years later, Dr. Dutton shared with me his involvement in introducing and utilizing Botox to the market of the common public for cosmetic purposes.

I have had difficulties and situations in my life that have left scars, rips and tears in my emotional and spiritual appearance that needed some major work so that others would perceive me as having it all together and in total and complete health in both areas. However, as usual in plastic surgery, I knew many people could see through that and knew that I had an artificial makeover. The makeover was more embarrassing than the actual disfigurement. It made me look proud and vain.

However, God showed me that agape went deeper than my scars, rips and tears. In fact, He didn’t like the fact that I was trying to take care of something that I had no education or skill in. He didn’t like that I was trying to do self-surgery and internal spiritual repair. His agape to me revealed what my lover knew about me all along. See, in spite of my emotional and spiritual disfigurement, He agaped me for who I was. He agaped me for me. He knew I had been afflicted, storm battered and un-pitied. He told me He didn’t care for plastic surgery. For He showed me scars of agape on His body. I smiled when He said, “Look, see these deep scars on my forehead?” He told me of the crown of thorns. “And look,” He said, “see these scars on my back?” I turned my face in horror. But when He took my hand and grasped them with both of His, I wept as I felt two very deep scars; one on top of my hand from His hand and one underneath my hand from His hand.

He told me that His agape for me would take care of me above and beneath. His scars were proof of that agape.

I’m so glad that that He doesn’t like plastic surgery. However, I realized that my scars don’t matter anymore. His scars are all that matter now. For when I looked again at mine, they were gone, and I looked at Him again and saw them on Him where mine once were on me.

That’s what I think about it.

DTW-www.exaltationchurch.comeclogo4

You Loved Me, and I Didn’t Know It

logoI hear people often say that they’ve met up with old high school friends and were told surprising stories of how they learned that these people had a secret love for them in high school. Their reaction was like usual, “You loved me, and I didn’t know it.” Now, years later, they learn of hidden love of the heart from a friend that admired them from a distant but never shared it with anyone.

They told me that after meeting these old friends that they would ponder what they said for days. Thoughts of what could have been or what might have happened–had they know this love for them. Surely, there might have been a mutual attraction or at least a “give it a shot” type of relationship. One never knows.

Many people don’t realize that, centuries ago, there was a law that stated if we didn’t fulfill the demands of God, then our future was nothing. The bleakness of not having a future or a hope was based on our ability to meet those demands. The problem was that the demand was beyond the ability of humankind to meet those demands. It was like we were set up. We were asked to do something that no one person born to the human race could do.

However, there came a new word into the language of man that we didn’t know about. It was the word agape. It was a different kind of love. We knew in part about some of the love that was placed in us as it related to our physical love for our lovers and emotional love for our close friends and family. However, we didn’t know about this love. This “agape” love not only included touching and liking love, but it went a step further into a love that only God knew.

Jesus introduced this agape to the world as having brought it from heaven and given it to mankind. In fact, He expressed agape in clear language when He said, “There is no greater agape than when a friend gives his life for another friend.” This is found in the scriptures in John 15:13. He wanted us to understand this new love. A love that people had not experienced or known of. It was a love that would be misunderstood by some, not understood by others and welcomed by those to whom it was revealed.

He even said that he agaped me, Timothy, even before I was born. He agaped me before I even knew him. He agaped me, and I didn’t even know it. Wow! That’s great.

He agapes you as well. He wants us to understand this new love and allow it to be a part of us. He wants his children, His family, to agape each other so much, that we would literally be willing to give our lives for each other. That’s heavy, huh? No, that’s agape.

Now that I know it, I welcome it. I need it. I love it.

That’s what I think about it.

DTW – http://www.exaltationchurch.comeclogo3

Who Wants To Believe This?

painDo you realize pain is pain? It doesn’t really matter how it is incurred or inflicted. Whether you have a toothache or a broken leg, pain is still pain. Now, grant it, the intensity of a particular pain makes a difference in the tolerance of that pain, but still, it is pain.

When we look at the way pain is inflicted, we have to understand that it occurs either by accident or intention. It can be caused by falling down the stairs or by someone pushing us down the stairs. However, the results of both actions are the same; pain.

When pain leaves us, it often leaves a calling card behind. It is called a “scar.” The scar, be it large or small, is a reminder that we had pain, and it was intense. The scar is the equivalent of the pain being gone. It is the remnant. However, in all this, there are certain scars, called “adhesions,” that can cause even more pain. See, scars (whether emotional or physical) are not all the same. Some scars mean the pain is gone, while others are the nagging reminder that we have suffered. Ironically, pain is something we don’t want in our lives, and yet, it is something we can’t escape.

Many try to hide their pain. Some try to mask the pain with drugs, alcohol or even food. While others try to put make up on their scars, so that you cannot see the pain they have suffered.

But I have a better remedy that I read about if you care to believe it. Who wants to believe this with me?

I read in the scriptures in Isaiah chapter 55, verse one, that the question is asked, “Who believes what we’ve heard and seen? Who would have thought that God’s saving power would look like this? (The Message.)

So true.

Who will believe what Jesus did for us? Who will believe that, out of His agape, He died for us so that our sorrows would be minimal? Isaiah 55:4 tells us that He took our burdens, hurts and pains because he “agaped” us. Can you believe that? And verse 5 said it was so that we could (and would) have peace as a result of us believing. And allowing Him to become our burden bearer and our scar carrier, would mean that we wouldn’t have to carry those things. We, in essence, become “freed from them.” Who wants to believe that?

I do. I want to. I must. I have to. I fiercely need to.

And you should too.

Put the drugs down. Quit pouring the drinks. Get rid of all that junk food. It’s not necessary. The burden/scar carrier has taken your pain for you. Just believe it! It’s true.

That’s what I think about it.


DTW – http://www.exaltationchurch.comeclogo1