A Day of Sweet Remembering

Eight years ago today, Jay Ferris was taken home to his place in Christ. Many on this list knew him, and were personally impacted by the specific revelation God gave him about relationships, as well as the palatable love of God that poured through him. On this anniversary, I wish to invite everyone, whether you knew him or not, to remember the legacy of this saint gone before, in one of three ways. 

1. Visit the Jay Ferris Memorial Page, where you can read dozens of testimonies and short stories of people who knew Jay personally. Find it at: https://lovinglikegod.com/memorial/

2. Watch an inspiring 30 minute interview about the nature of the Kingdom of God. Jay’s responses, according to the interviewer, were unlike anything he had heard before. Go to: https://lovinglikegod.com/media/video-kog/ 

3. Listen to one of his audios, some of which were at a “Searching Together” Conference which he regularly attended. As Jay often said, “Buckle up,” because I believe you’ll find these audios to be a powerful ride. Listen at: https://lovinglikegod.com/media/ 

Father, we thank You for the gift Jay Ferris was to the world. As fellow “Lovers in Training,” may we not pull back in fear or unbelief from what You have for us. May a revelation of Your love in Christ make us different people today, than we were yesterday! 

In Love!

Pamela

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The Zeal of the Lord

As with the old creation, the new creation grows by reproduction, and reproduction is the result of an act of love. And so it is that as we speak the truth in love flowing out of a circumcised heart: the life of Christ being reproduced and nurtured in the hearts of others. “The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this,” Isaiah 9:7. The zeal of the Lord is the passion of the Lord. May the Lord keep us from reproduction or nurture without passion! ”Nevertheless, I have somewhat against thee, because thou has left thy first love,” Revelation 2:4.

Either way, a preoccupation with physical circumcision misses the point. 

If we have good seed in our hearts, we must not become as a “garden enclosed, a spring shut up, or a fountain sealed,” (Song of Songs 4:12) and this for a lack of passion. “Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits…” Song 4:16.

It is so wonderful to be able to speak about such things with those who God has given me.

The reason that David could say what he did about the love he shared with Jonathan, is that sexual love was only a picture — perhaps the best available at the time — but a picture none-the-less, of the surpassing love that we can share in Christ without the limitations of human sexuality. Among other things, we are talking about conversational reproduction

The implications of this are a bit unsettling, but I think it’s past time that we became unsettled.  

In this love that surpasses knowledge,

Jay Ferris

Originally written Jan 9, 2000.

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Circumcision in the Light of Love

There was a period once, when the Lord would meet me quite often in the wee small hours of the morning. I am reminded of one occasion in particular: I was reading through Ezekiel 16, and was overwhelmed with the revelation that the whole Bible was a love letter from God. At the time I felt like it was His love letter to me. I must have sat there sobbing for hours.

It was in those years that He showed me the significance of circumcision. And that we are not to dress ourselves to come into God’s presence, but to undress in order to put on the righteousness which is Jesus Christ. Only the righteousness of Jesus Christ is suitable apparel in which to enter God’s presence. If Christ is to be our covering, we must expose our nakedness only to Him.

Two things are clear: first, we must be exposed; and second, we must be intimate only with Christ. Love takes care of this. Love desires intimacy, and true love desires it with one alone. This relationship is so real, so important, and so intimate that God gave circumcision as a token of the relationship between himself and His people (Gen. 17:11).

God took the organ of the body most involved in the physical expression of the most intimate and compelling love which man can know, and He made it naked as a token of the love relationship which He invites with us. This is a token which is drawn upon throughout the rest of the Bible:

Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem (Jer. 4:4).

To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? Behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken (Jer. 6:10).

What began as a literal token, has become a symbolic and necessary condition of the heart and ear. A naked heart, that it might receive Him, and a naked ear that it might hear His Word. God requires an attitude of nakedness, but only with Him, so that we might receive Christ. An attitude of hiding, covering up, or defensiveness with God is just as ridiculous as a bride on her wedding night refusing to remove her coat. Whether or not you have a particularly fancy coat really doesn’t matter. 

As for God’s part, the crucifixion of Christ is the circumcision of God. The cross of Christ is the point of our greatest intimacy. The cross is how we know the love of God, and how we are made one with Him and each other. (Eph. 2:14-16, Col. 2:11-15)

Nor does it matter to Jesus if you haven’t had a chance to freshen up, for “we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags.” (Isa. 64:6) Christ doesn’t care about your junk. He doesn’t want your stuff, but you. He doesn’t need or require anything but you, and your openness to Him as Lord of your life.

Well, that much is already on record so to speak; it’s the rest which might cause people to be scandalized.

By Jay Ferris

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Beware of Substitutions for the Real Thing

Here’s a new release! Written in the wise and witty style that Jay Ferris is known for, the following letter he wrote to a friend on the subject of needing “bishops,” is well worth the read. Amen!

We really ought to check our titles with the sheriff when we come into town, and strap on Love. – J. Ferris

Dear _______ ,

You have a bishop. His Name is Jesus, and, boy…does He know how to bish!

Perhaps I could stick my oar in once more with this:

The only thing that we have of value is the revelation of Jesus Christ that comes down from above, in paraphrase: “You are blessed Peter, because flesh and blood has not revealed who I am to you, but my Father in heaven.” 

Jesus said he would build His Church on the revelation of who He is — which is a revelation that comes from above. 

Notice, He did not say that He would build His Church on information about Him, but on revelation of Him. 

Here’s the problem as I see it. Each of us only has a part of that revelation. It’s all about Jesus, but our individual hearts and minds are not big enough to take it (Him) all in. So we only know in part. And while some of the revelation overlaps (that is, we have it in common) a lot of the revelation we have is very personal. Our problem is, we tend to reject a revelation that differs from our own.

Given this disability to wholly see, and see correctly, what we need is something to hold us together in the absence of a common vision. This “glue” is called the love of God — and it is the kind that was demonstrated on the Cross and is good for enemies.

It is quite clear that this is a lot to ask, even command. So sadly we sacrifice the revelation of Jesus that is bigger than any one of us — the revelation that causes Him to increase, and ourselves to decrease — and we substitute for it the vision of the leader. Call him Church Planter, Bishop, Apostle, Prophet, Pastor, Reverend, Rector, Elder, Father, Elder Brother, Mother, and so on, and it’s still the image and vision of mannot the revelation of Jesus.

We really ought to check our titles with the sheriff when we come into town, and strap on Love. There is no telling what we might see in each other, and having seen and loved the Jesus in each other, who we might help the world to see and believe in. 

At least, that’s the way I think it’s supposed to work, if John 17 isn’t just “whistling Dixie.” (Perhaps you can excuse me for that one. I’m now living in the “Bible Belt!”)

Yours in Christ,

Jay

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Emotional Vulnerability

Lately I find myself wondering…why is it so much easier to be transparent in a written word, then face to face? Why can’t I share my love and appreciation of others face to face, and more often than I do? My heart is being stirred to new levels of passion. I know it is The Lord, and I’m wondering how to express it without losing control.

At least, I think losing control is part of what I am struggling with. When a conversation turns toward things about which I have very strong feelings, and I begin to pursue it to the point of getting emotional about it, my natural tendency is to back off so that I don’t lose it. Sometimes I back off short of tears, but sometimes not. In any case, I think there is a nakedness in tears, and an intimacy in tears, which is very threatening for me. It doesn’t matter whether they are tears of joy or tears of sorrow; I want to tell someone how I feel, and before I can get very far, I am reduced to tears. I think the problem is not just me feeling threatened, but I think that others won’t know what to do if I break down and weep, and I am reluctant to put them in that position.

However, increasingly I am sensing that we all need to be put in that position. We need to feel in the depths of our being, the passion in the heart of God. More and more, I am convinced, that “the zeal of The Lord Almighty” (Isaiah 9:7) is His passion.

Maybe it’s a male thing. We are so confoundedly task-oriented, that we can’t afford to lose control. Perhaps if we were more relationship-oriented, we might risk it for the sake of intimacy.

  • By Jay Ferris
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Standing Firm in God’s Love

I don’t think that a day goes by that I’m not reminded of The Lord’s rebuke of the Church at Ephesus, “Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen…

Matthew shares Jesus words of warning, “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but who stands firm to the end will be saved.”

I used to think that this meant that the influence of the world’s evil on me as a person would cause me to wander away from the love of Christ — drawn away from Him by the temptations of this present evil age. More and more I am seeing that is not the problem, as “the things of earth really have grown dim in the light of His glory and grace.” The problem is that we are saved out of this present darkness, and we bring so much of that darkness with us into God’s house. The moral givens of our own day have fallen to such a low place, that we are increasingly surrounded by saints who exhibit character flaws. Paul lists some of them for Timothy: “People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power…” People with these flaws are not so easy to love. (Even though that’s what many of us were, in the day Jesus said “I love you” from the tree.)

When the saints treat each other this way, the love of most is bound to grow cold. I have come to understand the Lord’s encouragement to, “stand firm” as standing in His Love. My love is worthless, but because “God is Love,” His love is all powerful. 

In Song of Songs, Chapter 4 verse 12, The Lord says of His Bride, “You are a garden locked up, my sister, my bride; you are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain.” This is what happens to us when we have “left our first love.” All the beauty of the garden is still there, all the gifting, all the qualities of godly character, but they are no longer available, because we have locked them away from others for lack of love. The Lord’s remedy is to send the “north wind” (vs.16), which speaks to us of death, even the death of our own woundedness, “wounds that have been received in the house of our friends”, and then the “south wind”, which speaks to us of new life, even resurrection life.

More and more I find myself praying for the passion of God’s love. With this kind of passion in our own hearts, we can do anything.

By Jay Ferris

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