Connection verses Change
At Agape First Ministries, we stress connection with Abba Father rather than simply changing sinful behavior. We believe that as you connect with Abba, the change will happen in His timing. Our Heavenly Father meets us right where we are at. Jesus hung out with the broken, the sinners, tax collectors, drunkards, and prostitutes. His relational connection with them transformed them. Jesus died for us while we were sinners so that He could attach to us in that place of death and make us fully alive.
Made to Love verses Betrayal of False Identity
We each were made fully in God’s image, and we were made to fully love. Sadly, the enemy has done much to confuse those with sexual brokenness about their immeasurable worth to Abba Father. Toxic shame can easily make us feel like we are deformed, an abomination, or our attempts to love God are wrong. Combine that with wrongly-applied Scripture, and toxic shame becomes enforced—giving us a false identity that yields betrayal. Deeper on the inside, beyond that false identity, we find the “Image of God” we were created in. This image remains unblemished regardless of how much trauma, abuse, or brokenness we encounter. Jesus sets us free to bring out the beauty of who He created us to be—Lovers of God that love others well. This forges us deeply into the identity He sees us as, not the identity the world, others, or that we ourselves would assign to us. Furthermore, we have been made expressly to worship God, and to love Him in a First Love capacity. As we grow in our true identity, being Lovers of God becomes our primary desire.
Freedom to Walk in the Spirit verses Right Behavior through Rules
Many of us make the mistake of just crucifying the flesh with its passions and desires, but never walking into the resurrected life on the other side of that cross we each bear. As Jesus transforms us from the inside out, we learn the freedom His Father created us to have—a vibrant life of walking with the Holy Spirit, who gives us grace. Simply trying to follow rules only ends in failure and further mars our hearts in comparison with the deep healing touch only Jesus can bring. As we learn to walk in the Spirit, we learn to guard our hearts and minds in such a way that the workmanship He is making us into comes forth; and every work becomes His work through us.
Immaturity verses Rebellion
There is a huge difference in the eyes of the Lord between rebellion and immaturity. Even as we struggle with habitual sins, if we have a sincere desire to follow Jesus’ lead, we are not in rebellion, and we are not His enemy. We are beloved sons or daughters and there is grace to learn to love Him fully by doing what He commands—to love God fully and love others. There is grace to grow into everything Abba has designed and desires for us to be. The Lord is very patient and kind—He disciplines us as children, He doesn’t judge us as He does His enemies. He fights against anything that would hinder us from fully encountering His love.
Fully Integrated & Alive verses Suppression
Suppressing our struggles, locking them away in the depths of our souls, and pretending they are not there is not healing. For most, sexual brokenness is an arrested development. When we have encountered trauma (an overwhelming situation we cannot overcome) we become stuck emotionally, mentally, spiritually, even possibly physically—thus not being able to grow. This suppression begins to fragment who we are in our internal world, causing more rules to follow, more addictions to act upon, more over compensation, all while not being able to return to joy, or to the image of God we were created in. As we begin to bring our trauma in connection with Jesus from a safe place, as we allow Him to unburden the fragments that exile us, and as we find our Abba Father enjoys being with us, even while walking through brokenness, integration releases fullness of life upon the undeveloped parts of us. We begin to actually live fully alive!
Self Acceptance—Seeing Glory & Discerning Identity by the Spirit
A huge part of walking out who God has created us to be is to stand outside of our struggles and let the very Mind of Christ inform us. As we become informed, taking every thought captive, renewing our mind, and guarding our heart and mind, becoming grace-filled—it simply flows naturally from the very presence of Immanuel (God with us.) As the Holy Spirit leads us deeper in our healing journey, the encounters of Jesus speaking our true identity takes place, resulting in transformation. As we begin to discern our true identity from the Word and our encounter, we begin to behold greater glory—we are children (sons or daughters) that have been made free by abiding in His Word, being His disciples!
We never overcome through religion
Having the “will power,” striving, legalism, “just stop it,” condemnation, and trying harder, are self righteous and only yield religion. This will never bring transformation. A deep, vibrant, relational connection with Abba Father, Jesus, and Holy Spirit bring a yielding of our will to His design, resting as He fights our battles, Christ’s righteousness fulfilling the law so, we walk in the Spirit, true healing and deliverance and deep abiding intimacy with the One who created us and knows us better than we know ourselves! What a joy-filled life journey that lies ahead of us. We overcome by the blood of the Lamb (Jesus), the word of our testimony, and not loving our own life; but being willing to lay it down. We serve the Faithful Witness, He cannot lie about us. He is leading us into deeper trust, belief, and obedience to His way—LOVE. Welcome to Agape First!