285. God is Love… BUT

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

God is Love

God is love and that love is unconditional. The ministry entrusted to us is to share the good news of the unconditional love, inclusion and reconciliation that God has already brought about in Jesus! That message will enable people to come into a reality in which they experience that love and grasp the fact that they are already reconciled to God; that God loves them and He holds nothing against them.

Yet much of our preaching of the ‘gospel’, particularly in an evangelical setting, has been the opposite of that. It has been a message of exclusion and very much works-based, in fear of avoiding punishment rather than entering into love.  And what I have understood and experienced is that love can only be unconditional. That means that for God to love you, there are no conditions that you have to fulfil. None.

For a moment, stop and embrace that. If you can just grasp that one truth in an experiential way, it will transform your life as it has transformed mine.

God is unconditional love and therefore He loves all his children equally. No matter what you have done, where you have come from, or what has happened to you, God loves you. He is not angry with you, or disappointed with you. He loves you.

But…

Many people obviously accept that God is love because the Bible says so, but there is always a ‘but’. Why is that ‘but’ there? Because it is too good to be true for an independent, alienated mind to accept – and many of us have been alienated or separated from God within our own minds because of our religious programming.

“Yes, God is love, but He is also holy.” How many times have I heard that? As if His holiness contradicts His love!
“Yes, God is love, but He is also righteous.” As if His righteousness contradicts His love!
“Yes, God is love, but He is also just.” As if His justice contradicts His love!

All these are all religiously-programmed statements that I used to believe, because I had never experienced the contrary. I had never experienced the truth, so that made it easy to believe the lies.

“Yes, God is love, but He is also a judge.” As if that makes Him what? A bad judge? A judge who is going to find us guilty? Love never finds us guilty because love keeps no record of wrongs (I Corinthians 13:5), so how can He find us guilty?

“Yes, God is love, but He cannot look upon sin.” By ‘sin’ they normally mean certain behaviours, but in reality, sin is lost identity. Well, if God cannot look upon sin, if God cannot look at a lost world, how could Jesus ever have come? And God is not just looking at this world, He is engaged within each and every person to bring us all into the reality of our relationship and inclusion in Christ. So the fact is that we have already been reconciled in Christ, we have already been made righteous in Christ, we have already been made holy in Christ. We didn’t need to do anything, He did it all!

Religion always adds a ‘but’, but none of those ‘buts’ contradicts the fact that God is love, other than in the false religious doctrines that create a god who seems to be two-faced, a god who in the Old Testament seems to be angry and needs to be appeased in some way but in the New Testament seems to be loving – though even in the New Testament there seems to be wrath and anger.

In reality, the word translated ‘wrath’ can equally well be rendered as ‘passion.’ God is passionate about anything that hinders our coming into relationship with Him. He is passionate about making available that relationship for us and therefore His wrath is going to be poured out on anything that hinders our coming into relationship; not the kind of ‘wrath’ that we have tended to believe, but rather God passionately outworking His love to bring about change and transformation for our good.

Religion twists

So that religious deception alters and denigrates God’s character and makes love able and willing to punish us – not to discipline or correct us, but to bring retribution upon us. What loving Father would ever eternally punish His children like that! These religious concepts have created a god that people find it difficult to trust, a god who says he loves us and yet threatens to torment us forever if we don’t do things the way he wants us to do them.

None of that is the reality of who God is. Religion twists God’s holiness and righteousness through a wrong understanding of the concepts of judgment and justice. This deception is what creates this false ‘hell’ narrative in which such a god would torture his children eternally. No, God will love His children eternally, and will never stop and never give up until they experience that love. Yes, His love is a purifying, refining fire, a consuming fire: it will consume every hindrance and objection and anything that comes in the way of us entering into the depth of unconditional love.

So holiness, righteousness, judgment and justice do not contradict unconditional love:

Holiness expresses it
Righteousness reveals it
Judgment is its result
And justice enforces it.

Justice brings about the judgment – and the judgment that has been made by God on behalf of the whole of humanity, the whole of mankind, the whole of creation, is…

“Not guilty!”

Each of this series of blog posts is adapted from Mike’s latest FREE video series on ‘Unconditional Love’.
Click the image or link above for the whole series, or s
croll down to watch the video of the talk this post comes from.
Better still, become a patron and join us live for the next recording – they are normally on the second Sunday of each month at 7pm UK time.

Recent and related posts
Support this ministry

If our free or paid resources are a blessing to you, please consider becoming a Patreon patron or making a donation to sow into and support this ministry. Thank you!

284. His Love Never Fails

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

We saw last time that love wins. If love does not win in the end then it cannot be love; but love can never be forced, just continually demonstrated again and again, until it eventually overcomes every obstacle, objection, excuse and reason.

That is why I believe in the restoration of all things. God’s love will never stop because He cannot stop being Him: He can never deny Himself and who He is, so He continues to love. And because He is an eternal being, that means He will never stop, so God and love will never fail.

His love never fails, never gives up and can never be escaped because it is filled with age-enduring grace and mercy. That grace and mercy will never cease to be a vehicle for love to be expressed and demonstrated abundantly, lavishly and with extreme desire and intent, without limits. God’s love has no limits: if you put a condition on it, then you have limited it. If love is limited, it is not love. Love must be extreme or it is not love. Love must seem wasteful and undeserved or it is not love.

His love cannot be thwarted by sin, rejection or death – it has experienced all there is and yet has conquered and overcome all things, so that all things can be restored to love’s face-to-face, relational innocence. That is really the nature of what God has done: He has made us innocent. That is how He sees us. Do we feel it? Or do we feel ‘less than’ because we struggle with the concept of unconditional love?

Nothing can separate

Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? … But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35, 37-39).

That really leaves nothing out. That is the nature of that love: there is nothing we can do – or anyone or anything else can do – that can separate us from the love of God. Religion, even though it will probably have you read that Bible verse, will tell you the opposite, that there is something that can separate you from the love of God: your choice. But your choice can only separate you in your own head, it cannot separate you from a God who loves you unconditionally. And that is really what we need to understand and engage.

If you still think you can separate yourselves, or feel separated because of your past life, or things you might do, or thoughts you might have, remember this: God takes no notice of what you – or others – think, He just takes notice of who He is. And He is unconditional love.

Discover who we are

So to know our true identity as sons of God, which is who we are, it is imperative that we know unconditional love by personal, intimate experience and not just in an intellectual way. I would have always said that I believed that God is love but my understanding of that love is very different now that I know it by experience. I have had so many experiences of the nature of that unconditional love, both towards myself and how God has expressed and shown His love to others, that I am absolutely convinced that this is the key, that everyone needs to know. All of us ‘know’ that God is love because the Bible tells us; but the question is, have we all experienced that love as unconditional or do we just know it as a concept or a theory? God wants it to be very practical.

As sons of God, we need to have our lives built on a solid foundation: that foundation is the nature, character and essence of who God is as I AM. I AM is a constant, never changing. He is unconditional love, He is limitless grace and He is triumphant mercy: put all those three together and they make a totally solid foundation on which to build our lives, to grow and mature. All these attributes have to be experienced: that is what God is working to do in our lives constantly, to enable us to experience the reality of who He is and so discover who we are.

Limitless grace, triumphant mercy

Never stop living in the reality of unconditional love, limitless grace and triumphant mercy. A few years ago there was a huge fuss over so-called ‘hyper-grace’. Well, His grace goes way beyond ‘hyper’: it is limitless! There is nothing that limitless grace cannot deal with or overcome.

And His mercy is triumphant, which means no matter what obstacle or hindrance might get in the way of us experiencing unconditional love, His mercy has already triumphed over it! So if we live in that reality, then we can abide, dwell, and remain at rest in that state of conscious awareness that we are loved. We do not have to do anything, it is completely free and unconditional. That may not be easy to accept, because of the way we have been conditioned to think about love and about God. That state of being, immersed in that unconditional love, limitless grace and triumphant mercy, is an expanded state of consciousness, an awareness that forms the foundation of everything we think, feel and do. Therefore we can just be.

Our true identity and our consciousness of that identity is about being, not doing. If we can really get hold of that reality then it will free us up so much to discover just how powerful we are and how amazing our sonship is. Yet it is so hard to just be when we are conditioned to do. All of us have been programmed by the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, programmed into independence, so that we believe we have to do something.

Religious systems

Probably all of us have been involved in some religious system or other and those systems tend to require performance or adherence to a set of behavioural norms so that we will be accepted. When those norms are projected onto God, as they often are, it leads us to believe that God requires certain things of us, which contradicts the truth of His unconditional love. But Paul wrote:

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2).

Or, ‘do not be pressed into a religious or political mould, shaped or formed by the political and religious systems you live under, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.’ We cannot renew our own minds, however hard we try. I used to try to renew my mind by confessing Bible verses over and over again, making confessions and declarations and decrees so that I would believe what I was declaring. I learned a lot of Bible verses that way but it never renewed my mind: the only thing that renewed my mind was an experience of God that changed my mind because now I knew the truth (and that truth was different from what I thought before) and now I agree with Him, which is what metanoia (usually misleadingly translated as ‘repentance’) actually means.

Blameless innocence

God’s good, acceptable and perfect will is proven or known when we experience it – but we have taught people that you can only know it by faith. Faith is the evidence of things not yet seen, but I want to live in the reality of experiencing everything that God intends for me, not to die never having received it (as happened to all those heroes of faith listed  in Hebrews 11).

… just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will… (Ephesians 1:4-5).

That is His will: that we would be before Him in love. In the Mirror Bible it says:

He associated us in Christ before the fall of the world. Jesus is God’s mind made up about us. He always knew in his love that he would present us again face to face before him in blameless innocence… (Ephesians 1:4 Mirror).

That is such an amazing statement! Perhaps if we look at our life we would say we are far from blameless; but God is not looking at what we have done, He is looking at what He has done, at what Jesus has done. We are who He says we are, so His love enables us to be face to face with Him without fear (because perfect love casts out fear). His love, expressed as His will, chose us to be restored to face to face, blameless innocence. And when we have been face to face with Him, then we can begin to realise how blamelessly innocent we are.

In God’s heart we are already restored: we just need to catch up with what is already true rather than trying to make it true. He is much more patient than we are, and His patience means that His love will never fail. And His limitless grace and triumphant mercy ensure that we will all know his love unconditionally, one way or another, however long it takes.

Each of this series of blog posts is adapted from Mike’s latest FREE video series on ‘Unconditional Love’.
Click the image or link above for the whole series, or s
croll down to watch the video of the talk this post comes from.
Better still, become a patron and join us live for the next recording – they are normally on the second Sunday of each month at 7pm UK time.

Recent and related posts
Support this ministry

If our free or paid resources are a blessing to you, please consider becoming a Patreon patron or making a donation to sow into and support this ministry. Thank you!

9869

283. Love Wins

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

We saw last time that God’s love to us is unconditional, and that when we are able to truly experience that unconditional love for ourselves, then our love towards other people can also be unconditional.

Should I?

Notice that I do not say that our love ‘should’ be unconditional. On my journey God has really challenged me about that word and I am trying to eliminate it from my vocabulary. I do not want to do things because I ‘should’ do them. Who said I should do them? Did God say I ‘should’ do them? If so, what is the consequence of not doing them? That implies a condition: if I do not do what God wants me to do, then what will He do?

I should go to church; I should pray; I should read my Bible; I should witness: God challenged me over these things. Obedience: should I be obedient? Of course I should! Why would I not want to be obedient to God? But He challenged me on it and showed me that my thinking around that issue was old covenant thinking because obedience implies that there is a ‘law’ of some kind to be obeyed. God does not want us to obey Him, He wants us to have a relationship with Him in which we share heart to heart and in which we cooperate with one another. Then, of course, we only would want to do the things that we see the Father doing, not because we ‘should’ but because it is the desire of our heart to be in relationship with God who loves us in such a wonderful way.

So then do I have an obligation or do I have a duty to do certain things? Am I trying to please God by the way I live? If I am, then again I am operating in an old covenant mindset. That again was something the Father said to me: “Are you trying to please me?” and of course I said “yes” because I was! He said, “Well, you’re already pleasing to Me. Why are you trying to be something you already are?” and I realized how my mind had been conditioned with ‘should’.

God really wants us to be in a deep, intimate relationship in which heart to heart sharing reveals how we can be – and then we can move away from all the doing. Religion revels in doing. Trying to please God, trying to be obedient, trying to love other people and trying to do the things God wants us to do: we get worn out trying. So why not just rest and just be? He is happy to accept us as we are but we are often less happy to think we are acceptable the way we are because we have been conditioned to think we need to change.

Change

Now, I do want to change, because I want to be more like Him. But do I think I have to change to be acceptable to Him? No, because I am loved unconditionally. So my motive for wanting to change is a positive one, not a negative. I love to be like Him who I behold, so if I am face to face with Him, living in the light of His presence, then that will transform me and change me without me trying.

Years ago I was very systematic in how I approached (and taught) things because that is the way I am wired. However, recently I have become much less systematic and much more relational, so that rather than trying to fix myself, or renew my mind, or sort myself out, or deal with my DNA, genetic lines or generational lines, I just let the Father deal with it. He sets the agenda of what He wants to deal with when He wants to deal with it and I just have to agree with Him and cooperate with Him. Most of the time that means just getting out of the way. I remember He shocked me one day when I was questioning some things about changing and He said “I don’t require your help, just your surrender.” That was a huge challenge because I wanted to help. I wanted to do something, but that again is just the programming that makes love conditional: we are programmed to think we have to do something.

Circle of conversation

But if we are ‘living loved’ then we can be fully secure in our identity within the relationship that we have within the perichoresis – the circle of the conversation that Father, Son and Spirit (who are family) are having about us all the time. They are having a conversation about you right now, and that conversation is good. They are smiling and enjoying talking about you; because they are talking about who they know you to be, rather than who you think you are. We tend to think that God may think something about us or know something about us that we would not want anyone else to know; well, He does – He knows everything about us and He loves us unconditionally!

Maturity

The Father said one day, “I’ve laid a true foundation that can carry the weight of all mankind so all can become fully mature sons of God.” That intrigued me.  All mankind can become fully mature sons, not just some, because God is so unconditionally loving that He leaves nobody out of the ‘all’.

Then the Father said, “The ages to come are to be times of wonder and awe, where I will take my sons on an amazing journey of creative discovery”. I believe we are on a journey to discover just how creative we are: we know that we are co-heirs but how much do we know that we are co-creators and what that creative ability will be?

And the Father said, “Knowing the depth, height, breadth and length of my unconditional love multi-dimensionally is what this age is designed to accomplish. There are 12 ages of man and 12 ages within each age: all are opportunities to become mature sons in relationship and responsibility.” I am not going to go into that statement because I have only delved into it a little bit myself. I am aware that God does things in cycles and seasons but it is not that one ends and another begins, they are more overlapping processes which will bring us to a state of maturity as sons. So look out for all the amazing things that are coming!

“The ascent of man is a slow process from a creative perspective, hindered by the false images of me that religion has made.” So we really need to know what God is really like, who He really is: otherwise we are filtering Him through what we think He is like.

Religious veils

“Revealing just how good I AM is has not been easy, as all that I do to unveil the truth of love is being twisted into lies and deception.” Now I have discovered this myself when I have been talking to people who really want to pick an argument. Online, particularly, some people twist what you say; and even if you go back to them with “I didn’t say that, and I didn’t mean that”, they carry on insisting you did, no matter what. In the end I just gave up doing that. Now I discern when someone is genuinely asking a question from those who just want to pick an argument or a fight. The reason they are trying to pick a fight with you in the first place is because of their own understanding of what you might believe. In reality I do not want to be labelled with a one particular set of beliefs because that is so limiting and restricting. God wants to open up a whole different understanding of Him so that we really know how good He is and do not get caught up by deception.

And the Father said, “Religion has placed dark veils over the eyes of so many (even those who don’t believe anything, it’s the same deception) so they can’t see Us as pure love, only wanting to do good by blessing everyone and everything.” So there are people who are religious, and they have a whole load of religious veils, and then there are people who don’t believe in anything and are atheists – and they have a veil as well! But the nature of God is to want to bless everyone and everything and bring about good in their lives. That is how good God is.

Love wins

“Even the attempts to show the extent and power of Our consuming fiery love that reaches beyond the grave has been twisted into a chamber of horrors, the hell illusion and delusion.” So when people experience what they call hell, it is because they are conditioned to think they know what fire means. Between 2005 and 2010 I went into that fiery place about four or five times and each time I described it as ‘hell’ because I had no other reference point. A supernaturally dimensional reality where there is fire and there seem to be a whole lot of people who are unhappy there – what else was I supposed to think?

That conditioning can be really strong: on my journey of enlightenment and deconstruction that was probably one of the hardest things for God to challenge and to break. Although He told me what the nature of that fire was, I really did not believe it until I went there again and He showed me – not only what was going on there, but also what I could do about it – which then totally changed my whole understanding.

The Father said “Son, we will never give up on even one of those who are Our sons as We cannot deny Ourselves.” God cannot deny Himself because He is love. “Love cannot and will not fail as We will never give up and cannot be denied or resisted forever.

“Love wins.”

Each of this series of blog posts is adapted from Mike’s latest FREE video series on ‘Unconditional Love’.
Click the image or link above for the whole series, or s
croll down to watch the video of the talk this post comes from.
Better still, become a patron and join us live for the next recording – they are normally on the second Sunday of each month at 7pm UK time.

Recent and related posts
Support this ministry

If our free or paid resources are a blessing to you, please consider becoming a Patreon patron or making a donation to sow into and support this ministry. Thank you!

9862

282. Live loved, love living, live loving

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

Walking with God

I am really excited that more people are joining us on this amazing journey of discovering our sonship: who we are as sons of God, in relationship with Him, both the relational aspect and the governmental. It is a journey, not a destination. We are walking with God, not going ahead of Him nor getting behind Him; not going left or right, not running, but just walking closely with Him in intimate relationship. The path is not always straight and you cannot always see ahead but God knows where we are going: to a place of restoration and a deeper place of intimacy and creativity in our sonship.

It has been a wild ride so far and it shows no sign of slowing down! I believe you are probably reading this because you know there is more and are hungry for more; and you are probably willing to push the boundaries and go further and higher because of that. The Father desires that all the limitations and restrictions placed on us by religion are removed; everything that hinders us from going to the places God wants us to go and actually outworking our destiny. He does not want us to be limited or restricted in any way: therefore there are some challenges on the journey of deconstruction that challenge what we thought was true about God and about ourselves, and which will change our thinking.

My journey has been one of deepening intimacy which has revealed who God is as my Father, Mother, Brother and Friend. God is not male or female – God is a spirit, and encompasses everything because He is infinite. He knows all things and He is everywhere. So knowing the reality of the true nature of who God is can only come in an intimate face-to-face encounter; it cannot be intellectually known, it is relational and therefore we get to know God by experience. When we do encounter Him, then he reveals our true identity as sons.

So the God I thought I knew 20 years ago – or even 12 – is now a distant memory. He is not what religion taught me He was; He is not what I was conditioned to believe by church; He’s so much better than that. He is so good, so loving, so kind, so thoughtful, so passionate, beyond what I could have ever imagined until I met Him face to face and began to experience Him as He revealed Himself to me.

Now thankfully He did not do that all in one go because it would have completely shattered my mind (which is why the Father has therefore deconstructed my thinking and greatly expanded my consciousness).

Religious programming

Like most people, I was conditioned to believe you only went to heaven when you died. In fact, so many of the things I believed about God were programmed into me by religious doctrines and theological understandings which I know now were never true. But I believed they were true because that is what other people believed, at least in whatever stream I was in at the time. I started off in the Methodist church, went on to the Brethren and eventually started a charismatic church, so I had been on a journey of discovering things in a way, but that was nothing compared to engaging God face to face in the realms of heaven, or within me in a place of intimacy.

So all of the doctrines that were programmed into me about who He was – the angry God, the God who needs appeasing, the Old Testament God as opposed to the New Testament God – all of these confusing things – I finally realised I only believed they were true because I had never actually met Him. One day, He said to me “How much of what you know about me comes directly from Me and how much of it has come from reading, listening to sermons and other people?” And I had to admit that probably 99% of what I thought I knew was actually not from personal experience and therefore was only information, not true knowledge.

Unconditional love

The truth that God is love – and that His love is unconditional – is so difficult for people to grasp because of the way we have been programmed. And all of us have been programmed by what we have been taught, it is not restricted to religion: you could be brought up in an atheist household and programmed to believe that God does not exist or you could be brought up in religious settings which determined what you believe about God and the Bible (and everything else).

So for me this has been a long, sometimes arduous journey to come to the knowledge of the truth and come to a realisation that God really is love; that His love is unconditional and He wants us to experience it so we can come into a reality where we love as He loves. This programming has taken a long time for me to be free from and I’m sure there are things I still believe which may not be true but I do not yet know to be false. You only know what you know, but the more you spend time with Father, with Jesus, with the Holy Spirit, then what you know changes. And it always changes for the better: everything that I have experienced of God has only ever been better than I ever thought it could be.

The God that I now know is so much better than the previous one I thought I knew. Even the experiences I had, and some of them were good experiences on my journey, which were really fun at the time, but now I realise how limited it all was and that it was only drawing me to go further into something new and greater.

I believe actually this is probably the most important and the biggest key truth that has made the most impact in my life though over the last 10-12 years. The reason that this truth has been attacked and twisted in many different ways is because it is so important that we understand and experience it, because when we experience that unconditional love, it brings freedom. It releases us to be ourselves and it stops us from believing we have to perform to earn it or deserve it.

Live loved, love living, live loving

A phrase that I quote very often (because the Father said this to me so many times) is “Live loved, love living and live loving.” He said it as an encouragement and a motivation that this is simply how we can live. We can live loved: that does not mean live trying to be loved, or trying to earn love, or to deserve love, or to be good enough for love. Just live loved, accepting that we are loved in a completely unconditional way: that is the key to this understanding and this experience. And if we are living in that place of living loved, then we can love living. Life is joyous! I look forward to every day because there is more to experience, more to explore, more to just rest in and to just be.

And then we can live loving. This is where the rubber really hits the road because to live loving means we demonstrate the love that we have received to others. Jesus said, “Love one another as I have loved you”, and so people strive to love others, because it is hard sometimes when they are perhaps not very nice to you. When you look at how they are behaving, you may well think “I don’t want to love them. Look how they have treated me! Look how they hurt me!” If you have been involved in church for very long, you know how easy it is to be hurt by people, whether deliberately or by accident: in relationships it is hard to maintain a loving attitude to someone all the time. And to everybody? That is really difficult: but it is possible, because that is the way God has loved us and He wants us to love other people in the same way.

Reflect

So just take a moment to reflect and ask the Father: is there anything in your programming that hindering you from receiving and experiencing unconditional love as He really wants you to experience it? Then I encourage you to hand all those things over to Him so that you’re no longer holding onto your beliefs or any other thing which is contradictory to the reality that God loves you unconditionally. Only when you experience that unconditional love for yourself will it be possible for you to love others unconditionally too.

Each of this series of blog posts is adapted from Mike’s latest FREE video series on ‘Unconditional Love’.
Click the image or link above for the whole series, or s
croll down to watch the video of the talk this post comes from.
Better still, become a patron and join us live for the next recording – they are normally on the second Sunday of each month at 7pm UK time.

Recent and related posts
Support this ministry

If our free or paid resources are a blessing to you, please consider becoming a Patreon patron or making a donation to sow into and support this ministry. Thank you!

9850

%d bloggers like this: