By Pastor Robert Perez
I read the New Testament in a perpetual loop. When I finish the last words of the Book of Revelations I go straight back to the beginning and start all over again without a break. Daily I absorb chapters that are read afresh each time as the mind can only remember so many details. This stimulates my soul as I get the joy of reading all of it with a new mind each time. Woe is the day when I know it too well to be fresh, but then again, what a joy it will be that it would be fused into my mind at such a level. As a Pastor, I do my best to impart what I learn along the way.
You can read everything I write and study it carefully, or you can take inside yourself only one concept that is paramount to every word, and that is to acquire ‘genuine belief of God’. When you understand and devote yourself to the pursuit of a genuine connection with God and Christ you are nearly complete, but the last parts of the journey to salvation are the hardest and this is where most retreat to the safety of cultural norms.
Jesus’ journey from divine birth to ministry to instructing the Apostles to his arrest, torture and crucifixion is the journey we all take with him. If you know Jesus’ life, then you know that it was this weekend that was the hardest, and in only just a few days out of his 33 years of life. If Jesus’ will had broken between the last supper with his disciples and his last breath on the cross, we wouldn’t be here together. His life would still have been remarkable, but a failure in the end. His reverence before God is because he could not be broken, resulting in the enemy’s ultimate defeat.
God is real. Christ is real.
If you are reading this, even if you are just one person on this earth, please listen to me, please. You do not need displays of devotion or rituals on certain dates of the year to be in favor with God. All you need is to believe and do your best to live a life that is good by following The Way.
16 “And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 17 But when you fast, anoint your head, and wash your face, 18 that your fasting may not be seen by others but your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. – Matthew 6:16-18, ESV
Culturally it is fine to enjoy and value celebrations like Easter, but all that will matter in the 24 hours you live daily for the 365 days a year you do it is your unbroken belief in God and Christ, no matter what your circumstances are, rich or poor, sick or dying, young or old. Every moment from Genesis to Revelations is about one thing only, just one, that is faith in God. And when you do have genuine faith that is when you become heir to all of Gods blessings, not because you ‘look the part’, but as one who is true.
7 “Ask, and it will be given to you: seek, and you will find: knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” – Matthew, 7:7-11, ESV
Do you walk this earth with the quiet fortitude of one who truly believes in God? Or as one who truly follows Christ? We all fail in our daily behaviors for few, if any, can be pure, but what must never fail is your assurance in God. When Jesus prayed to God on the night of his arrest, he was terrified to the point where he sweat blood. He prayed that maybe, just maybe, it didn’t have to be like what he knew was coming.
38 Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here and watch with me.” 39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me, nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” – Matthew, 26:38-39, ESV
Imagine foreseeing your future only days away where you will be arrested, tortured and killed by horrific means. Jesus knew what was coming but his faith and assurance in God was immovable and with it his love for us never waned. We must remember this moment for the remainder of time, but whilst still on our journeys, we must adhere to a life lived with Christ daily, not just on special days of remembrance and celebration.
24 “Everyone then who hears these words and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” – Matthew, 7:24, ESV
Be the wise man that hears the words and walks the walk, not to prove to other men that you are a person of faith, but alone when only God can see you. Live anew each day deepening your understanding and strengthening your soul.
We’re all connected now by technology, but we have always been connected by our energies, especially if we are also tethered to God though Christ. Being a Christian used to mean a wholeness amongst Christ’s followers that transcended all cultural boundaries. We must still hold that dear to our hearts. We need each other against the enemy’s endless plot to segregate and pit us against each other.
We forget and live our lives as if it is only one day for chocolate bunnies and lamb for dinner. These are cultural norms, but it is not the true celebration, the one that should be inside each of us as we give our thanks to our God through Christ in the quiet spaces of our souls.
This holy weekend is our celebration, where we fully understand the gift given to us by Jesus when he completed his journey and heralded in the new age.
Many of us are thinking of the Passion on Easter, when Christ joined our Father as one, by transcending the nothingness of death to an everlasting new level of existence. As you are still on your own journey, go back to page one of the New Testament and read it through over and over until it is one with you, so that every Easter will be more joyous as you more fully understand and thus become more connected to God through The Way.
“Father, we know what is highest to know, that you are real and forever ours. Jesus, that is now the Christ, we follow you with genuine hearts. Our collective souls are tethered by the Spirit that is Holy as we unit in your glory, now and always. Gods blessings are truly with us. Amen.”
Artwork: “O Panoply”, 2018 – Mixed-Media on Wood – 48 x 48 in
©Artist Robert Perez