Summer 2024

THE INCREASE: He makes us ONE - Ted Winsley

It’s time to quit religion.

People don’t need more religion; more than anything, people need to know how to have a relationship with God. The traditions of men can often take the place of the Word of God and even God Himself.

There will always be two opinions to choose from: God’s and the world’s. If we call ourselves Believers, we have to take on the perspective of God instead of the perspective of everyone else. To gain this viewpoint, we need to draw near to God Himself and discover His plan. God’s plan is for us to be the solution to the problems we face today.

“The God Who produced and formed the world and all things in it, being Lord of Heaven and earth, does not dwell in handmade shrines. Neither is He served by human hands, as though He lacked anything, for it is He Himself Who gives life and breath and all things to all [people]. And He made from one [common origin, one source, one blood] all nations of men to settle on the face of the earth, having definitely determined [their] allotted periods of time and the fixed boundaries of their habitation (their settlements, lands, and abodes), so that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel after Him and find Him, although He is not far from each one of us. For in Him we live and move and have our being; as even some of your [own] poets have said, for we are also His offspring.” — Acts 17:24-28 (AMPC)

There is no one like God. PERIOD! That’s why it’s so important to go to our Creator concerning every issue we face. We cannot only hear what God has to say, we need to understand His perspective so that we don’t misinterpret His words. Only when we get to know His heart and purpose can we begin to understand His plan. The King’s world-view must become the foundation of our world-view.

“God’s purpose in all this was to use the Church to display His wisdom in its rich variety to all the unseen rulers and authorities in the Heavenly places. This was His eternal plan, which He carried out through Christ Jesus our Lord. Because of Christ and our faith in Him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence.” —Ephesians 3:10-12 (NLT)

One of the biggest misunderstandings we face in our world today is racism. Racism is built on a fundamental lie. God created all nations but there is no such thing as different races. There’s one race — one form of humanity. When we begin to add to God’s teaching, it becomes ineffective. Everyone created by God came from one team with one purpose: To seek and find God, in whom we live, move and have our being (Acts 17:28).

We are His offspring, from the Kingdom. The man-made supposition of different “races” creates opposition. Whether we are Asian, Caucasian, African, Indian, we were all created from one blood and one place, which is why we need only one Savior. There is no such thing as a God of the white man and God of the black man. We’re all one!

The demonic influence of an anti-christ spirit promotes hate through discrimination and prejudice of people towards other people, based on their race or gender. The underlying lie behind racism is that humans can be ranked as inferior or superior based on how they look or their ethnic background.

God sent his only begotten Son to reconcile all of humanity back to the Father. His love is unprecedented and unconditional. He calls us to the same kind of love — agape love.

Recently I was on a plane flight when the lady next to me (who happened to be Caucasian) and I started talking. When the subject came up and I told her I was a pastor, she lit up. With excitement she informed me she was an Atheist. I couldn’t help but laugh at this comment which confused her. I apologized, “I’m sorry. I’m laughing at the fact that you don’t believe in God. But God believes in you.” Her mouth dropped. From a Kingdom perspective, we all came from God. No matter if we believe in Him or not, from Him we have our origin.

The interesting thing was that this woman also informed me of her intense fear of flying. When the pilot announced we were headed into turbulence, she asked me to pray for her. In that moment, it didn’t matter that I was black or a man or a total stranger, what mattered was that she knew I was a person who knew God. She was grasping for security — for some sort of hope.

“Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.” —I John 2:9-11 (NIV)

Anyone who loves their brother or sister lives in the light and there’s nothing in them to make them stumble. But anyone who operates in the dark is operating in hate. They don’t love others unconditionally. The root of their hate is fear. Hate is the mask — the emotion — of their fear. But God tells us that we were not given a spirit of fear, but one of power, love and self-control! (2 Timothy 1:7) If we walk in the light, nothing will trip us up!

Think of the people in Charlottesville. They’re hurting. They’re blind. They’re coming at others in hate. But the reason they’re wearing these masks is because they’re afraid. They don’t know who they are, who they belong to, or what their purpose is. There’s a void in their lives they are trying to hide.

When we look at Christ, we see love in action. He is our model of bringing light to dark places. Through Him we can find assurance in God’s identity, acceptance, and purpose for our lives.

Pastor Ted Winsley, chaplain of the Philadelphia Eagles

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