God . . . You still out there?
Joe, I am not still "out there," but I am still
I have never left you.
Ok then, I have some
am sure that you have many questions.
I see that you have been using your time wisely and studying
that I gave you on your first question. I am ready to
answer your next question.
Yeah, I am still digesting all
And its really good news God.
Though, it is still sometimes difficult for me to believe
that you love me just the way I am.
up the good work Joe,
remember to keep your mind open to what I am saying
and not to mans' doctrines.
is easier said than done God. I mean, all of my life the school
or church have told me what I should believe.
But I know you have given me the spirit of
a sound mind and I do not have to be afraid.
I found that in 2 Timothy 1:7.
is very good Joe. You see, once you open your mind to
my love and acceptance, the scriptures start coming alive
Boy, are you ever right.
Things I never notice before are just magnifying before
understanding is being heightened. You are beginning
to understand who you really are and that You
are my beloved.
I AM beginning to understand.
But if you really love me would you please answer another
away Joe. I am happy to answer any of your questions.
Well, its like this,
my father used to be an alcoholic. He beat my mom and
got really mean to all of us kids. He spent all of our
money. Sometimes there wasnt even enough food for us
to eat. The gas got turned off and the car was repossessed.
Once he came home and started hitting all of us. We didn't
even know what we had done wrong. Now I know that we
did not do anything wrong. Dad was a drunk.
Joe, it looks like you understand your Dads problems.
I even kinda understand
what is meant by its a disease. He just couldnt help
himself. And no matter what happened, he couldnt quit
drinking until he got drunk. I even believe
that I've forgiven him.
are showing your maturity Joe. I am proud of you.
I like it when youre
proud of me, but here's my next question. I just want
to know, WHY did you let me be born into such a family?
You could have given me a really nice family. One that
was normal. Parents who loved me and took care of me.
Why God, did you pick that family?
you saying that you think I made a bad choice?
Yea God. You made a really bad
choice. Those people were especially dysfunctional.
I love my Mom but it seems like she could have done something
to stop what was going on. She did come to our defense
but the abuse that Dad heaped on her still hurt us. I
mean, all that yelling and screaming and cussing and
hate. That's it! The hate. How was I ever supposed to
realize that you loved me when I didn't even feel loved
by my own mother and father? I didn't have a chance.
have a purpose for everything Joe. Why don't we take
a look at John chapter 9 where the disciples spoke to
Jesus regarding a blind man. They assumed, because of
the blindness, that either the man or his parents had
sinned at some time. Jesus told them that this man was
blind so the works of God could be manifest.
Are you telling me that
my parents did not show me love so that you could do
me explain it this way, did your parents ever tell you
that they loved you Joe?
Yes, they told me all
the time. But how could they love me when they didnt
show love to each other first? Besides saying I love
you and showing love are two different things.
right about that Joe, saying that you love someone means
treating them justly.
Just like you God. You
SAY you love me but IF you love me how could you let
me go though all that!
a good question Joe and I understand your anger. In fact,
its ok that you are angry at me. I love you even
when you're angry. Just for a moment, lets use the
Bible and take a look at the lives of the patriarchs
of old. Why dont we start with Joseph and his eleven
brothers? Do you remember anything about Joseph?
Well, I know that his
brothers wanted to kill him but instead they sold him
Oh, I know where you are going with this, Joseph's brothers
were jealous and mean to him. They must have really hated
Joseph to want to kill him. I know that even though they
got rid of him, later you used him to save them from
right. Do you realize that when he was a slave, he was
unjustly accused and thrown into prison? Joseph suffered
many wrongdoings before he was given a high position
in Egypt. In the end do you remember who all had to come
to him on bended knees?
Well, everyone had to
go to Joseph to ask for food. But I remember that his
family also went to him pleading for food.
if his brothers had not chosen to be mean to him when
he was young what do you think would have happened to
Well, I guess they would
have died of starvation.
But that did not make it any easier on Joseph. He still
had to deal with all those feelings of rejection. Just
like me! I suffered all my childhood and now I have to
deal with these feelings of rejection!
Joseph did deal with his feelings. Do you realize
that he named his second son Manasseh which means "causing
to forget?" Joseph chose to forget his feelings
of anger, rejection and abandonment. He determined to
forget the past and enjoy the present.
Ok, so that is one person
who had family problems. Besides, he was rejected by
his brothers, not his Mom and Dad. At least his Mom and
Dad loved him and treated him nicely.
about King David, Did you realize that his own son tried
to kill him?
Yea, I remember. Well,
thats two. Who else?
got one for you Joe, just for a minute, take a look at
Come on now God. Jesus?
He was perfect, remember?
Joe. He is perfect.But do you know that when Jesus was
born it was a criminal offense to be born out of wedlock?
People were killed for such "sins."
But we are taking about
Jesus, your son. People just didnt know the
right joe, but here is my point, Mary was expecting a
child before she got married. Everyone knew that Joseph
wasnt the father. What do you think they called Jesus?
A love child, a child
that didnt know who his Father was. Illegitimate. And
there are some other names.
think you have the picture. You should know that Israel
was very zealous about knowing their biological fathers.
They kept track of all their generations.
I never really thought
about that before. But Jesus had Mary and Joseph as parents
and they loved him.
I think they must have been very good parents.
that Joseph wanted to put Mary away. He was pretty upset
and thought that Mary had been with another man. When
that happened back then, the woman was called a fornicator
and was killed by stoning her outside the city gates.
I had to send an angel to tell Joseph that Jesus was
WOW! Thats right, I
guess we could say that from the very beginning of Jesus
life was there was mistrust, confusion, and rejection.
It looks like that was the story of his entire life too.
I mean, not many wanted to believe he was the son of
God. He was rejected, abused and hung on the cross to
die. I remember that even most of his disciples left
him alone, hanging on the cross.
you found in the Bible,Joe, anything that tells you why
Jesus had to experience problems?.
Well, I've found where
the Bible says that Jesus was made perfect by what he
suffered. It also says in Heb 2:10, “For it became
him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things,
in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain
of their salvation perfect through sufferings.” Jesus
is known as the captain of the faith.
Wow, God, it does look like others have suffered
in the same way I have suffered. Even Jesus!
But why does it have to be that way? Why can't we all
be perfect and be born into perfect families? After all,
you COULD make everyone nice.
is true, if I wanted robots. Let
me ask you Joe, when you raised your children, did you
tell them every little thing to do or did you expect
them to make choices?
Well, when they were
little I told them what to do, but as they grew up I
let them have more room to make choices.
it is natural to give directions to young children. But
what did you do when they made wrong choices after they
had moved out of your home and started their own families?
Well, I just had to
let them experience their decisions. You know, they had
to pay the consequences for the choices they made. I
do give them my advice occasionally but it seems like
they don't listen to me very often.
how are they doing now?
One is pretty good but
the other one is always into trouble. I dont understand
why the second one keeps making bad choices like self
abuse due to sex, drugs, and alcohol.
I raised them both the same you know. I dont think I
was partial to one more than the other, or more loving.
how it is with children, even if you love them both the
same, they respond differently. Tell me, are you able
to change what goes on in their family with their children?
Not really. I try, but
they just do whatever they want anyway.
Ok, I see what you are
trying to say, but Im not you. I can only do so much,
but you can do anything, you can make people
do what you want.
Joe, if I wanted a bunch of puppets or robots, I could
make you move and be nice to one another. I could even
make everyone love me. But it is my choice to let you
experience life and then let you learn from your experiences.
I have told you in my Word, the Bible, that I love you
and I have given you instructions on what pleases me.
I know that you left
an instruction manual and
its all starting to makes a little sense, but it sure
does take a lot of reading. I dont have it easy you know,
I have to deal with all my desires and problems. I have
to work for a living. Sometimes I get tired, and hungry
and ANGRY! I just dont know what you want from me.
want the same for you as I want for all of mankind Joe.
You will find in 1 Timothy 2:4. I desire all men be saved
and come to the knowledge of the truth. And do you know
what that truth is Joe?
Could the truth be that
you love us just the way we are? I gotta say God, thats
do love you just the way you are and it is when you accept
my unconditional love that you will begin to change into
my image. You're my beloved. I love you so much that
you should also love each other. It is when you love
others that you finally understand me.
Ok, but how can I know
when I really love other people?
its a cycle. You know I dwell in you when you first understand
and you testify that the Father sent the Son to be the
Savior of the world . You have known and believed that
I LOVE you. I am love and he that lives in love lives
in me, and I live in him. See? Its the cycle of Love.
I live in anyone who confesses that Jesus is the Son
of God and they live in me. 1 John 4:12 - 21 will help
you understand what I am trying to tell you.
Wow, God, that is a
lot to read and remember. Is there a way you can summerize
it for me so I could learn to live in you? I want to
trust you. I want to be pleasing to you. You know what
a short memory I have. After all, you made me this way.
it is not just something to remember, it is also something
you feel. You feel loved when you accept my unconditional
love for yourself. I want you to realize that you love
me because I first loved you. I want
you to know that even if you never love me, I still love
you. I will never leave you nor forsake you. I have given
myself for you. I bought you with a price. You are mine.
Now just BE. BE what I have made you.
So are you saying that
even though I grew up in a dysfunctional family and even
though I do not always do things the right way, you love
is correct Joe.
Are you telling me that
you put me in that family because you knew that I would
become what you wanted me to become? That I had to suffer
just like Jesus had to suffer?
Please explain again how suffering perfects me. Thats
still difficult for me to understand.
you need to realize the word suffer also
means to experience. There are some people who can only
be lead into their salvation by someone who has been
there. One who has suffered the same problems and yet
overcame those problems. Someone who now walks in righteousness
even though they were raised in THAT family.
The Bible tells us of many people who have suffered and
yet overcome their circumstances.
It is the overcoming
that is difficult God. It seems like no matter how hard
I try, I just keep falling back into the same old trap
of self hatred and anger.
It can be
difficult to overcome such feelings.
So why dont you just
take the bad feelings away?
have a purpose for all things Joe. But do not be dismayed,
for you will find the Bible tells about many who have
suffered. Even Jesus suffered many things and it was
in his suffering that he was made perfect or complete.
After all, why would you trust in him if he had never
experienced any problems? Look at Romans 8:16-18.16, "The
Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we
are the children of God. And if children, then heirs;
heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that
we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
Do you understand that you are in the image of the first
Wow God, what an honor,
you're comparing me to people in the Bible! Just like
you chose Joseph to save his family and Jesus to save
the world , I guess I have been given the ability to
lead others to salvation. Your salvation that
is! Now I only hope that I can measure up and that I
those things are fine Joe, but it is not the doing that
will make you better. Just when I think that you're beginning
to understand, you say something that tells me that you
still need to drop your religious ideas of what I expect.
Oh yeah, I forgot. I
know that is not Doing you want. It has never
made you happy when people DO a bunch of things
but then they dont obey your number one commandment,
the commandment to love.
true Joe and if you need an example you can use Jesus
as your example. Not the Jesus people tell you about
but the Jesus in the Bible. You really have to take a
look at the human, Jesus.
Well, I know that he
was a very loving man. That the religious leaders of
his day did not like him and even crucified him.
a good start Joe. And just knowing that much should tell
you something about believing what everyone else says.
After all, the religious leaders of Jesus day said that
Jesus was a heretic. Jesus did not DO everything that
they said he should do. And he did some things that they
said he should not do.
Keep in mind it is not the doing that counts, it is the BEING.
I understand! Jesus
did not DO all the things that the religious leaders
in his day thought he should do. It did not matter what
they thought about him, he was Christ regardless of what
Being versus Doing. I think Im catching onto what you
really want. You want me to BE your son and to know that
you love me just like I am. You have told me it is when
I really believe you love me that I will start to be
Joe, you are beginning to get a perspective on what it
means to work out your salvation. (Phil. 2:12) This is
the DO part, You just DO whatcomes natural
to a person who knows that they are loved, you love other
This is so awesome God!
To think that I can make you happy if I just accept your
love. WOW! One more thing......?
Thank you for loving
me even though I yelled, and screamed and cussed. It
is a lot harder for me to say thank you for letting me
suffer. But I want to be like Jesus, so thank you even
for these experiences. I want to show others how much
you love them.
And God, I love you too.
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