Wednesday, February 4, 2015

freedom, sweet freedom

Yesterday, I went to chapel which doesn't happen much anymore because I don't have to. A professor was speaking out of one of the Kings, talking about Solomon and his unrighteousness towards God. How he was the wisest man who ever walked the earth, yet he was so foolish. He talked about how the way he loved women was the same type of love that is described in marriage, how Solomon loved God the same way he loved those women. 

He went on into a tearful explanation on how we, as college students, are just like solomon, we love the Lord in a lukewarm way. He asked the heart wrenching question: "Are you an admirer of Christ or a disciple?" (I mean who is going to say they're a disciple? Really.) There really was no hope or redemption in the message. I felt condemned for choosing to watch the Bachelor instead of doing homework or something productive. And I don't do "bad" things, like scroll through Pinterest or write papers during chapel. 

He asked the question dozens of speakers have asked from that same stage, "What would this campus look like if you walked out of this building on the straight and narrow?!" I always wonder what those people think would actually happen if 2,000 students walked out of the building "on the straight and narrow path". "REVIVAL?!" "HEALING!!" "VISION AND PROPHECY?". I'm no theologian, or expert in anything really, just a 21 year old that has lived and experienced the bondage of religion, trying hard to walk the "straight and narrow" because some theologian, pastor, or friend told me that's when the world will change. 

YOU cannot, will not, do not have the power to change the world. If you walk out of a chapel or church service and say, "Today I will walk the straight and narrow, I will suffer because the pastor said that will bring good things." You are setting yourself up for death by disappointment and condemnation. But let me tell you something, Jesus has the power. 

Do you want to see people change, hearts softened, and vision become reality? Quit trying. Stop trying to walk the straight and narrow, it's not going to work. You'll mess up one time and realize you're screwed for the rest of eternity because you think God is disappointed or angry. 

The Professor told this story about how he wants to loose 20 pounds but he likes pie too much so he hasn't been able to. He referenced Paul in Romans 7 and something about how he needs to go repent in his prayer closest when he eats pie. 

If you want to be a "light", live the "straight and narrow", "be the only Gospel people see" stop trying. Take a moment to realize how much you are love and accepted, seen as righteous and clean, you are understood and still pure because: 


(7:24) Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin. (8:1) So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.
What is the "Power of sin that leads to death"? The Law, and the misunderstanding that we can somehow work hard enough to live a life on the "straight and narrow" on our own will. 

When you taste freedom you are free, when you experience love, you will love, when you know peace, you share peace. Christ has set you free, so live free. 
And please, eat some freaking pie and enjoy it because you have also been set free from the condemnation of calories. 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

jesus b-day

For the past 20 years I have been so excited about Christmas that the days leading up to it I could hardly breath (this statement may be a bit of an exaggeration). I knew that I would wake up that morning and receive a bunch of presents that my parents and friends spent too much money on, hoping to feel the joy everyone raves about on Christmas.

I have been unsatisfied for 20 years. 

20 years it took me to understand why I always felt unsatisfied during our trip to Mississippi on the 26th. 20 years it took me to realize why we make such a hoopla about Christmas. 20 years I sat expecting to receive. 

This year was different for me. 
Yes, I was excited about the gifts that my parents had prepared for the clan. Yes, I did feel a bit unsatisfied as we drove to visit family. And actually, yes, I did realized the hoopla everyone makes about Christmas.


I mean we have all seen the live nativity that the big church down the road from your house puts on every year, we all understand that we are celebrating the birth of a baby who was born with a bunch of cows and sheep. But whoa, it's Jesus we're talking about here. I mean it is so perfect that he was born in the worst conditions, so perfect that he grew up as a carpenter, so perfect that he never made a bajillion dollars or proved his worth to anyone. He didn't need to because, well, He was and is perfect. And he lives in us, friends. 

Yeah, well I haven't been to church or believed any of that since high school. 
Yeah, I stopped going to church because I felt like all they wanted me to do was obey a bunch of rules.
Yeah, I felt too guilty because everyone around me was rich and perfect. 

Okay. So? 

If you really believed all the stuff about Jesus forgiving your sins and you accepted that, then you're still a Christian. Jesus still lives inside of you no matter what you've done with your life.That's what grace is. It goes so much further than money, so much further than rules, so much further than your parents or a group of people (church), it starts with you and Jesus. 

So what is Christmas all about? Jesus. Grace. Love.

And when it comes Christmas time we show grace and love because Jesus showed us grace and love. Because when we understand what Jesus did for us we can't help but share it. 

Happy Birthday Jesus and Merry Christmas (35 minutes late)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

clean house

It's midnight, there is school work to be done, there's a bed and a body begging for sleep, yet I can't get one thing off my mind. 

I'm in the process of reading a book, Pure Grace by Clark Whitten, it has taken me far too long to read, it just takes so much chewing and time to get the full picture. I was reading it on a plane this summer, and the only reason I tell you that fact is because I feel like all great speakers get such revelation on plane rides. I guess it's something in the air (sorry, bad joke). 

ANYwaaay, Clark proposes this question: "Where on earth does God live?"of course being the perfect Christian child I am I immediately thought to myself, "Well, duh Jesus lives in my heart!" as I continued reading Clark said my thought exactly. Jesus lives in our hearts...Jesus...The righteous, perfect, son of God lives in me. 

Well gee wiz what a crappy place for him to inhabit. I am a terrible person, full of sin, I can never do anything right. Shoot, how can something so perfect live in something so...far from perfect. 

Well here's where my boy Clark throws the curveball. He says, "It is of paramount importance that you understand God will not live in a dirty house. He, being the holy God that He is, cannot accommodate sin in His presence. Let me repeat, God will not live in a dirty house." 

In 1 Corinthians 6:19 it explains what Clark said, "Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God?" Okay cool, learned that at youth camp when they told me not to have sex, do drugs, or get tattoos.

Our bodies, as Christians, are the temple of the Holy Spirit, the dwelling place of the Lord. YES Jesus lives in my heart, and YES He cannot live in a dirty house. NO you are not a crappy, terrible, sin-filled person. YOU are the temple of the Holy Spirit. And YOU are a son/daughter of the one righteous God. 
Live in it friends! 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

how 'bout them good deeds

I want to start off by telling you a story that I think a lot of us can relate to.

It's the story of Paul...

And before you tune out I want you to know that this is a really powerful story.

...Now Paul (known as Saul in those times) was a big shot Pharisee, I mean he was top dog. He brags about how if there was to be a competition of who is more holy or faultless he would have won by a long-shot. In man's eyes he was the most righteous of them all, but in God's eyes he was the most lost of them all. Because God sees Saul broken and longing to be made righteous He meets him on his way to Damascus (Saul was headed to Damascus in hopes to receive signatures from the high priest to arrest more Christians). God appears to Saul as a bright light and asks Saul: "Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?"

Pause. I thought Saul was killing and persecuting Christians, why does God say, "Why are you persecuting me"? Well, a few years before this experience the day of Pentecost took place. Meaning, the Holy Spirit entered the world and filled those who live in the knowledge that Christ lived and died for us. And because of that, we understand that when God says why are you persecuting me, He literally means why are you persecuting Me. The trinity. The Holy Spirit, The Son, The Father. All inside those who believe, aka the Christians whom Saul was persecuting. That goes back to 1 John 4:17 "As he is so also are we in this world." 

Resume. So Saul is clearly freaked out at what is happening. He responds with "Who are you, Lord?" I find that funny because he obviously knows it's the Lord that he is experiencing. Anyway. God explains to Saul that He is Jesus and He has some great things up His sleeve for Saul. 

Time goes on and Saul becomes Paul, Paul creates a great reputation for himself within the church and also puts a pretty large bounty on his head within the government. 

I tell you all this so that you can have background for who Paul is and understand his writings more clearly in Galatians, Ephesians, and Philippians. 

I want to talk for a second about Philippians 3, Paul is writing from a jail cell to one of his churches in Philippi. 

Recently I have been involved in this ministry called Cru (formerly Campus Crusades). It legit has been the most beneficial thing I have been involved in since I came to Lee. God does a lot when a community of believers gather to discuss the word. 

Back to Phil. 3. 

In Cru we have been talking about verses 1-11: 

"Whatever happens, my dear brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord. I never get tired of telling you these things, and I do it to safeguard your faith.

Watch out for those dogs, those people who do evil, those mutilators who say you must be circumcised to be saved. For we who worship by the Spirit of God are the ones who are truly circumcised. We rely on what Christ Jesus has done for us. We put no confidence in human effort, though I could have confidence in my own effort if anyone could. Indeed, if others have reason for confidence in their own efforts, I have even more!
I was circumcised when I was eight days old. I am a pure-blooded citizen of Israel and a member of the tribe of Benjamin—a real Hebrew if there ever was one! I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law. I was so zealous that I harshly persecuted the church. And as for righteousness, I obeyed the law without fault.
I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!" 

First I want to point out the orange highlighted section. The fact that he uses the words "dogs" and "mutilators" is great. But he says don't let them fool you by thinking you must be circumcised to be saved. It always gets a little awky-gawk when people start talking about circumcision, but know that Paul isn't just talking about the act of circumcision, he is talking about doing good works, our effort, fulfilling the law on our own. He goes on to say that we (as Christ followers) are truly circumcised because we rely on what Christ has done. 

That's awesome. Don't know about you but that takes a huge weight off my shoulders. 

He then goes on and talks about how he was a real Hebrew if there ever was one! How he was a great Pharisee, he brags about how he obeyed the Jewish law without a single fault. I think a lot of us, without knowledge of it, act like Saul. Obsessive rule followers, prideful law keepers. 

Paul then goes on to say, (in the green) that he considers everything he did as Saul loss because he did not understand the value of Christ in his life. 

I do not say this for you to evaluate your life and see if what you are doing is for Christ's sake. No, I tell you this so you can see, through Paul's experience, that true righteousness comes only from understanding the value of what Christ did on the cross. When we understand the value of the sacrifice all our actions will be to glorify God. Do not make a list of "10 things I am doing that's not honoring to God" all that does is bring condemnation. Make one list and title it "Things I am because of Christ". You will begin to view yourself the way God views you. And you know as well as I do that God does not view you as anything less than perfection. 

This last part (yellow highlighted) is most definitely my favorite. He starts off by saying, "I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ". He again is just reminding us that all the things he worked so hard for as Saul don't matter anymore because he has realized who he is in Christ. The ultimate source of pure righteousness. 

I can't tell you how many times, having grown up in Christian environments, I have heard "Frances, you need to get right with God. That sin in your life is what is creating a stumbling block in your walk. You're struggling in your quiet-times to feel God because you're not right with Him...ect, ect, ect". All that has ever done for me is to over-analyze everything in my life and make me feel as though I needed to do something to "get right with God". I'm sorry, but that's...


Right there plain as day Paul explains that "God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith."


Faith in Christ. Faith. That's all it takes. It's not a reoccurring thing. It's a one time deal. When we have faith in Christ and what He has done and promised us through that we are forever right with God until the day we meet Him. 

Once we have that faith, crazy things start to happen. Paul finishes that passage by explaining those things. We will experience the mighty power that raised Jesus from the dead. We will experience miracles, we will experience revelation in our day to day lives. God will be so tangible to us. All it takes is faith. All it takes is you believing what Christ did on the cross is true and He did it for you! No alter-call, no revival service, no pastor. You and God. The most powerful, tangible, beautiful relationship there is. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

sins no more

Here we go, round two. 

Before I begin, read this:

     "The old system under the law of Moses was only a shadow, a dim preview of the good things to come, not the good things themselves. The sacrifices under that system were repeated again and again, year after year, but they were never able to provide perfect cleansing for those who came to worship. If they could have provided perfect cleansing, the sacrifices would have stopped, for the worshipers would have been purified once for all time, and their feelings of guilt would have disappeared. But instead, those sacrifices actually reminded them of their sins year after year. For it is not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. That is why Christ came into the world." Hebrews 10:1-5

Have you ever thought that you might be living under the law of Moses. Still making sacrifices? Maybe you're not killing goats and bulls, but you're reading books and going to conferences searching for that feeling of freedom. Maybe you feel as though your sins are hanging over your head. You know that Christ has forgiven you, but you can't seem to forgive yourself. It's frustrating, I know. But you need to know that doing things will not provide you the perfect cleansing your soul desires. They are reminding you of your sins, year after year, doing after doing. 


That is why Christ came into the world. To free you of the feeling of having to read a book with 7 steps toward freedom. Or going to that conference and having the best of the best pray over you. He came so that you can forgive yourself, let yourself move on. See how he forgave you. See what he did on the cross for you. Receive itReceive what Jesus has done!


Here's where it gets a little bit blurry for a lot of us. You may understand all that was said above, but you can't understand the part in that chapter where it says "I will never again remember their sins and lawless deeds." (verse 17)

How can someone forget a sin or lawless deed. 'Cause that's a lot to forget bro. 

Maybe it is a lot to forget, for us. But this is God. 

Oh, right God. Sorry, forgot. But where does it get blurry?

It gets blurry when we jump ahead to Heaven. I grew up in a christian school and have always been taught that on "judgement day" God is going to have a box in his lap and he's going to pull out picture by picture every sin that we have committed and show them to us and then decide if we were good and faithful servants. 


You said He doesn't remember our sins once we receive the perfect sacrifice (Jesus), so how is He going to have a box of all of our sins in His lap. 

Bingo, there ain't no box y'all.  

Okay, so what is this "judgement day" I've heard so much about? Well, let's go back to the verse I used in my last post, 1 John 4:17 "And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world."

Ohhhhhhhh this judgement day I've been so nervous about isn't even for me??

Double Bingo. It's for non-believers, it says that as we live in God (that's me and you, PTL), our love grows more perfect so we won't be afraid on judgment day. It's like we get a fast pass into heaven and don't have to wait in a judgement line because our name is written in the Lamb's Book Of Life. 


Again...WE FREE YO! PTL!!

Thank you JESUS!!

I just want everyone to know that what I post comes from what I received through reading the Bible. Please Please a hundred times please, go read the scriptures for yourself. 

If you have any comments on anything I post please don't hesitate to message me, text me, pull me aside in class. I would love to discuss this stuff with you. If you really like this stuff share it with your friends. Not so I will be celebrated or recognized, but that everyone would experience the freedom there is in Christ. TELL YO PEEPS. Seriously.

"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Romans 8:1 

Monday, January 14, 2013

as he is, so am i

Hi friends.

Before I start posting anything I'd like to get acquainted with those reading my "blog". First everyone should know I'm nothing fancy. I'm no english major. At the same time I'm no theology major. Just your average college student who is trying to understand the gospel...for myself. I highly encourage you to check out the scriptures for yourself and see what God wants you to see. It's pretty crazy studying the word outside of a script. God has a lot to say. Just listen

I chose the title "free.grace.gunn" because that is my name. It's a little crazy. I know, but it also so wonderful that the gospel is so easily spelled out in my very own name. Free. Grace

Just so we are all on the same page I want to tell you what the "gospel" is. It's actually quite simple. It's Jesus. When I refer to the gospel I am referring to the story of Christ, you know that bro that came and lived the most perfect life and was brutally killed because he loved you so much. Yadda-yadda-ya-ya. We've heard it since we were four in sunday school. I know because I was there with you. I heard it but I never listened. Whoa. Didcha know there's a difference. 

Let's think about it. Think about the sweetest, most tender-hearted, compassionate, loving person you know. We all know one. Mine was the lady that drove my carpool home in elementary school. I don't think that lady even thought a bad thought. She was painfully nice. Well Christ came and was sweeter than carpool lady. He was more tender-hearted than your grandma or that leader you had one time at church camp. He was more perfect than that person you've been trying so hard to be like. He is Righteous. He is Holy. He is Beautiful. He is Perfection. And He is you

Wait, hold up sistah. He is me? That ain't right. 

In 1 John 4:17 it says "By this love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgement, because as He is so are we in this world." I want to point out that last part. As He is so are we in this world. Heyo, that's powerful y'all. As HE is seated on the throne right now, in heaven, so are we in THIS world. 

Yeah-yeah sunday school again. I'm guessing you just heard that one too. As He is so are we in this world. If you believe all that stuff up above that Christ came and lived the perfect life so that we could live our poo-poo lives free of condemnation than He (Jesus) lives in your heart. Like inside of you. In your spirit. Sooo, let's look at that again. As He am I in this world. Is it clicking? 

This is HUGE. Why is it HUGE? Well, think of how the Bible talks about Jesus. Think of how you and your friends discuss Jesus. Think of how you perceive Jesus. THAT'S YOU! God views you as He views Jesus. Spotless. Holy. Faultless. Whole. Righteous. Blameless. Pardoned. You are His. You are the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God through JESUS


I just want everyone to know that what I post comes from what I received through reading the Bible. Please please a hundred times please, go read the scriptures for yourself.

I just want my friends to experience the freedom there is in Christ.

"There is therefore now now condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" Romans 8:1