Notes from Papa

For several years, every morning I read and personalized the daily devotion page in Sarah Young’s great book “Jesus Calling. Sarah took things that Jesus spoke personally to her and crafted them into wonderfully encouraging words that are true for all of us…and most every day I felt as if Jesus were saying these words directly to me! I first became aware of Him speaking to me when I was 11 years old.  After a lengthy period of not looking for His voice, I asked Him to reveal Himself to me when I was in my late 30’s.  He did and He’s never stopped!

In the entirety of the Hebrew Scriptures (the Old Testament), God was never referred to as Father in an intimate way. In the fifteen or so uses of “Father” in those scriptures, it is never used personally.

Jesus rocked Jewish religious society when He referred to God as His Father…and their Father. He even had the audacity (to them) to use the Aramaic term “Abba” which is an endearing term a young child would use for their father, much like “Papa” is used today.

In Paul Young’s wonderfully impactful book, “The Shack,” he calls God, the Father, “Papa.” Many times I use that term in communicating with Him. To help others experience Him more personally, I’m now taking intimate things He, Jesus and/or the Holy Spirit say to me and rewriting them slightly to relate to either men or women, young or old. Rarely do I hear Him speak with an audible voice—primarily it’s an “inner voice.” 

The “Notes from Papa” that you will read on this site are things He’s said to me, that scripture holds to be equally true for all of His family. While I can list scripture references that correlate with everything written in these notes, I’m not including them here because I hope you will sense the flavor of a loving Father speaking to you rather than a theologian. 

I was very fortunate to have a wonderful, loving, human father…however that’s not been the case for everyone.  For those who have a difficult time thinking of a father as being really good, loving, and for you, I suggest you read “The Shack.” It captures the heart of a loving father better than any resource I know of!

These “Notes From Papa” are not just for me personally. They are for YOU!!! www.godisforme.org is dedicated to helping everyone who visits the site to come to know in the depths of their being that the real God (whom Jesus calls “The Only True God”) is truly good, is really for you, and loves everyone exactly the same. He is “especially fond of you!”

As you spend time with our Papa, I encourage you write down what you hear from Him and keep your notes.  I’ve found this to be a wonderfully encouraging way for me to renew my mind, especially as I review specific “notes” when I am going through a situation similar to a previous experience. Perhaps Papa will then encourage you to use some of the things He communicates to you to help others.

I pray that you will experience and enjoy His unconditional love, radical grace, and total reconciliation for you as you hear from Him through these “Notes.” 

 

~Paul Gray         

A COMPLETED VICTORY ~by Paul Gray

Santo Calarco wrote, “The purpose of preaching the Gospel is to inform the world that it is finished and so enter into it and enjoy it! The Greek word for gospel (evangelion) literally means finished work! The English word evangelism comes from the Greek word (evangelizomia) for gospel and simply means the proclamation and declaration of a finished work! It is finished!
This word was used in the ancient Greek world to announce a completed victory! The work of Jesus is not finished when we respond! When we hear about the finished work, we do respond and enter into and enjoy that which is already finished!
The Finished Work includes God's mercy. Many of us used to believe that mercy was connected to God withholding punishment for breaking His laws and instead He punished Jesus. We believed that we sin, we break a law, we deserve to be punished but because of the death of Jesus, God punished Jesus instead of us and withholds punishment from us, which is mercy. However, those beliefs were incorrect!
We saw mercy in terms of withholding punishment for sin which we defined as bad behavior, or breaking the law! However, Psalm 41:4 says, “Have mercy on me, Lord; heal me, for I have sinned against you.” This verse shows that sin requires healing, not punishment! Mercy is set in parallel to healing, not withholding and transferring punishment! Sin requires healing because it is a sickness: bad behavior is the result of the sin-sickness. Mercy is not withholding punishment, rather mercy is administering healing!
Since sin is sickness, then the cross is about healing! 
1 Peter 2:24 He himself bore our sins in His body at the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been HEALED! Sin is sickness and the cross was mercy and healing… not withholding punishment!”

IN CHRIST BEFORE CREATION ~by Paul Gray

 


“Gospel” means Good News! The Good News of the New Covenant of the Grace of Jesus Christ is NOT a potential gospel (i.e.: “If you ask Jesus to forgive your sins, He will and He will come in to your life.”) NO! It is a historical fact… an objective truth. He has done it all for you already. Now for you to benefit from what He has done for you; you believe what He has already done and receive what He’s already given you!
Gold doesn’t become gold when you discover it. It was always gold right where it was. Christ doesn’t come into you when you ask Him and believe that He will. No! He has always been there. You were placed in Christ before creation and that manifested itself in time and space at Jesus’s Finished Work at the Cross.
Ephesians 1:4 (MIRROR) God 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. (The implications of the fall are completely cancelled. God found us in Christ before he lost us in Adam!)
2 Corinthians 5:14-21 The love of Christ resonates within us and leaves us with only one conclusion: Jesus died humanity’s death; therefore, in God’s logic every individual simultaneously died. Now if all were included in His death, they were equally included in His resurrection. This unveiling of His love redefines human life! Whatever reference we could have of ourselves outside of our association with Christ is no longer relevant.
Now, in the light of your co-inclusion in His death and resurrection, whoever you thought you were before, in Christ you are a brand-new person! The old ways of seeing yourself and everyone else are over. Acquaint yourself with the new!
God the Father was in Christ Jesus reconciling the world (cosmos) to Himself, not counting their sins or trespasses against them!
God’s act of reconciliation is the mandate of our ministry. Our ministry declares the Finished Work of Jesus for ALL people! God has placed this message in us. He now announces His friendship with every individual from within us! The voice God has in Christ He now has in us; we are God’s ambassadors. Our lives exhibit the urgency of God to persuade everyone to realize the reconciliation of their redeemed identity.
This is the divine exchange! Jesus, who knew no sin, became our sin and gave us His righteousness…His right standing with God became ours at that moment!

 
 
 
 

ALL REALLY MEANS ALL ~by Paul Gray

 


Jesus’s Finished Work included all people…everyone!
John 12:32 (Italics mine) And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all to Myself.
Romans 4:24 All have been justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
Romans 6:10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.
1 Timothy 4:9-10  This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance. For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.
Romans 11:36 For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever.
Hebrews 1:3 Jesus, being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.
Hebrews 7:27 Jesus does not need to daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.
Hebrews 8:11 None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them.
Hebrews 9:12  Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.
Hebrews 10:10 By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

 
 
 
 

ALL MEANS ALL 

 

Jesus began everything. He’s the beginning. He’s the one that spoke everything into existence. He’s in all, through all, for all. Everything was created by Him.
John 1:3 (Italics mine) All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
1 Corinthians 15:22 (Italics mine) For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.
Ephesians 4:4-6 (Italics mine) There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in all.
Colossians 3:11 (Italics mine) There is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.
1 Peter 3:18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit.
Colossians 1:15-20 (Italics mine) Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities— all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.

 
 
 
 

JESUS DID IT ALL- FOR ALL ~by Paul Gray

Jesus accomplished EVERYTHING by His Finished Work at the Cross. Because of what Jesus did for us in His death, burial, resurrection, ascension and pouring out His Holy Spirit on us, we do not have to strive or work to “become like Christ.” We don’t have to work to maintain a right standing with God, or to earn or keep His favor. He has done all that for us in advance! It is finished!
All were included IN Christ!
Jesus took away all the sin of all the world!
God reconciled all the world to Himself!
We all died with Jesus – Adam’s entire race died!
All rose with Jesus – God gave us new life in Christ, who is the last Adam!
All were born again at resurrection!
All were made pure, holy, righteous, innocent, without fault, and perfect!
The Holy Spirit was poured out on all people!
All were hidden with God in Christ!
All were raised to the heavenly realms and seated with Christ!
All means ALL!

GOOD NEWS- THE CROSS WAS A SUCCESS ~by Paul Gray
From Francois du Toit, Introduction to Hebrews in the Mirror Bible:
“In the Gospel, the righteousness of God is revealed, from faith to faith (Romans 1:17). Herein lies the secret of the power of the Gospel; there is no good news in it until the righteousness of God is revealed!
(The good news is the fact that the cross of Christ was a success. God rescued the life of our design; He redeemed our innocence. Mankind would never again be judged righteous or unrighteous by their own ability to obey moral laws! It is not about what a person must or must not do, but about what Jesus has done!)
God now persuades everyone to believe what He knows to be true about them. (It is from faith to faith.) The prophets wrote in advance about the fact that God believes that righteousness unveils the life that He always had in mind for us. “The just shall live by His (God’s) faith.” Righteousness by God’s faith defines life.
The Gospel is the revelation of the righteousness of God; it declares how God succeeded to put mankind right with Him. It is about what God did right, not what Adam did wrong. The word righteousness comes from the Anglo-Saxon word “rightwiseness,” meaning wise in that which is right. In Greek, the word for righteousness is “dikaiosune” from “dike,” which means two parties finding likeness in each other.
If Christ is both the author and perfecter of faith, self-assessment by any other reference would be foolish. It would be just as impossible to attempt to measure temperature with a ruler. Christ defines our original design and our restored innocence. We find our identity and our destiny there.
We have obtained unrestricted access into the intimate and immediate friendship of God! A brand-new way of life has been introduced!”

GOOD NEWS- JESUS FINISHED IT ALL ~by Paul Gray

Just before Jesus died on the cross, He said, “It is finished.” (Greek: “Tetelestai” - John 19:30).
Hebrews 4:10 (MIRROR) God’s rest celebrates His finished work; whoever enters into God’s rest immediately abandons his own efforts to compliment what God has already perfected. (The language of the law is “do;” the language of grace is “done.”)
Jesus, Papa and the Holy Spirit working together, actually finished everything necessary for all people in our relationship with God! Just because very few people are aware of that great Truth of all Truths, doesn’t mean it’s not true!
Many people have believed religion’s lie that those are potential truths that are conditionally available only after they do some required thing. That, of course, leads to great uncertainty and much confusion. People wonder, “Have I done enough? Did I do it right? Was I sincere? Have I done something to negate what I previously did? Did I miss anything?” However, Jesus seems to think He did it all for us in His Finished Work at the Cross!
There is literally nothing left, nothing necessary, nothing that we can or must do to get right with God. They didn’t leave anything up to chance… they took care of it all.
I know this is different, contrary to what you probably have been taught and believed. It was certainly news to me, even after I’d been a “Christian” for almost 20 years!
Think of how your life can change if you know and are confident that God loved you so much that He took no chances and proactively did everything (at great cost!) to ensure your inclusion not only into His family, but into their divine Triune circle dance of love and everything good that flows from their love: joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faith, self-control, compassion, mercy, grace and so much more!
Human failure in every tense and sense of the word was dealt with in Jesus’s death, burial and resurrection!
Jesus wants you to have complete and total assurance…so He did it all. We call that Good News!

GRACE TO YOU ~by Paul Gray

 

 

I encourage you today to take some time and ask The Holy Spirit of Christ to remind you of times in your past where another person gave you grace.

 

And, ask God to bring to mind a situation or circumstance where you hurt someone… intentionally or unintentionally. Maybe it’s a time where you gossiped or slandered a friend. Maybe you took credit at work for something they did. Maybe there was a time in your life when you betrayed a confidence or betrayed a friend or took advantage of someone inappropriately. Perhaps there was a time when you could have helped someone, you could have righted a wrong, you could have validated something, you could have stopped an injustice… but you didn’t. Maybe you actually cheated someone… a business partner or relative or friend… or spouse.

 

Let the Holy Spirit bring one (or more) of those situations to your mind. He will never do that in a condemning, shaming or accusatory way. God actually chooses to forget our sins and trespasses and chooses not bring them up to us or hold them against us. However, when we ask Him for the purpose of showing us His grace and glory, I’ve found that He will honor our request.

 

Remember, now, how you felt when you hurt someone, they knew you hurt them, and they forgave you unconditionally, continued to love you unconditionally, continued to accept and include you…when you didn’t deserve it at all. That is GRACE. That is glorious.

 

That’s how Jesus, Papa and The Holy Spirit always relate to you. When someone else relates to you like that, whether they know it or not, that is Christ in them… the Hope of Glory!

 

As you revel and bask in the Glory of God’s grace and love, now let Him do what He wants. Christ in you wants to love and give grace to everyone in your life AS you and through you. When He does, you, the recipients and everyone watching experience, enjoy and marvel at His Glory!

 

Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but only that which is good to the use of edifying and building others up, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

 

(MIRROR) Instead of cheap talk, your mouth is now a fountain of grace, giving encouragement and inspiration to everyone within earshot.

 
 

JESUS VOTED FOR YOU ~by Paul Gray

Remember the last presidential election season in the United States. Supporters of each of the candidates were trying to convince other people, undecided people, to vote for their candidate. They try to give new information about their person – good stuff that people maybe weren’t aware of. They do this by touting the selling points of their candidate. They state what he or she is for and what they are against.

They paint the picture that the country is in dire trouble and only their candidate can fix the trouble and make things right. They tout their accomplishments and background and make a case that they can get the job done.

We’re not in an election for God or for Jesus. We’re not trying to get people to vote for Jesus. Jesus already voted for us and that’s the only vote that counts!

However, the situation is that Jesus is the only one who can ultimately make a difference in people’s lives both right now and in the future in the next life… and forever! The situation also is that most people, even Christians, have no idea what Jesus, God, is like. They have vague, usually incorrect ideas about His nature, His glory.

Here’s where we come in. What if you and I let Jesus live His life of love and grace not only in us, but as us and through us, so that Jesus can give grace to everyone in our lives everyday as we go about our lives? And what if we intentionally make it a point to tell other people that Jesus is GRACE and explain a little bit of what that means to us.

Jesus will actually do the talking. That’s when it gets to be really fun and really helpful to other people. Here’s how Paul put it when he encouraged some people to do just that:

"Philemon 6 (NKJV) The sharing of your faith will become effective by the acknowledgment of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 1:17 (MIRROR) I desire that you will draw directly from the Source, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, The Father of Glory, ignites the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in you in the unveiling of His master plan.
I desire that you know by revelation what He has known about you all along!

GOD GIVES GRACE THROUGH YOU ~by Paul Gray

When you’re at your lowest and you don’t know how you can go on… when you hurt so bad and you’ve cried so much that your tear ducts are dry… you can’t even cry any more… when that one relationship that was more important to you than any other is no more…when you used to be vibrant and healthy…and that’s gone…when you are so sad that words can’t describe it…

Jesus says, “I know. I’m here. I hurt with you. I’m sad too. And I’m with you. I’m in you and I’ll never leave you or forsake you. My grace is sufficient. You can’t see it right now, but I promise you that it is. My glory is my compassion and grace nurturing you, comforting you and empowering you right now.

“You can do this through Me, and I will be your strength. I am The Rock and I will be your Rock. I am your Rock.
“And most importantly…as bad as this is, there is coming a day when I will make it right. You will be whole and healthy and so will all your loved ones. I am making all things right for everyone. Every wrong will be made right. There will be no more pain, no more sickness, no more grief, no more sin, no more inequality, no more injustice… there will be true justice- Me making everything right for everyone.”

That’s what you can expect to hear from Jesus in the worst moments of your life. He wants you to get to know Him now and learn to hear His voice now and learn what He’s like now and experience His grace and glory now… so that you can more easily recognize and experience it in your time of deepest need.

Jesus is Grace. God’s glory is His Grace.

You know when we meet new people, the question inevitably gets around to, “So what do you do?” I think if someone were to meet Jesus for the first time and asked Him what does He do, He might say “I give grace.” 
Christ/Grace is in you, the Hope of Glory!

As you get to know Him more, you most likely will also hear Him say, “Now I’d like to start giving grace AS you and through you to everyone you’re with!”

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(785) 766-3624

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