Here is a little info about my belief framework and significance behind the name and numbers of Compassionate Rebel [317]. 

Let’s start with the name.

First, Rebel gets it’s roots from the ska punk pop rock music I grew up listening to. I always loved their music but I always felt conflicted about the message. Sure, who doesn’t want to take down corruption and oppressive authorities but they didn’t have much of a solution as to how to change it. For me, the solution is living a life transformed by the God who is Love and claim nothing as your own so I don’t have anything to be corrupted even if there is a day comes where I am tempted to oppress others for my own gain. To me, that means living in the world but not of the world. This doesn’t mean I hate the world or anything in it. It actually means that when I live a live for and with God I am able to experience all the great things and people in the world that He’s created in a radically more vibrant way than ever before, because now I have a new Compassionate lense in which to interact with the world. Hence, the first part of the title. In my experience, practicing this Way of living makes every encounter in every day life an adventure rather than a boring grind. 

The word Rebel also represents the honest truth that I still choose to rebel against God’s will in my life even after all the amazing good He’s shown me every time our will aligns. As much I say “yes” to Him, I still have moments where I say “no.”  I can honestly say that everytime I have so far, it ultimately ends in disaster, or I at least regret it because I know I missed out on something amazing. I also believe rebelling against God’s will causes emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual destruction, on some level. Which, is really all that sin is, and I woudn’t be a Christian if I didn’t have a lot of my personal experience to validate the effects of sin. Most of my walk has been discovering what I’ve observed to be true from life experience in the Bible. It’s like they knew who made this place.

In that sense, grace and forgiveness are actually gifts from God to heal the damage and restore our relationship with Him, ourselves, and other people in our life. Ultimately, that is why I come to live in relationship with God. Not because I’m afraid he’s gonna sentence me to hell, smite me, or judge or condemn me for anything I do “wrong.” I follow him because of the mass amounts of restorative healing I’ve experienced. Healing that wouldn’t be possible without the main inspiration for the name, the Son of God that modeled this Way of life in the flesh: Jesus.

I see Jesus as the ultimate Compassionate Rebel. He is the most controversial person in history and never did anything but live compassionately. He defied cultural stigmas, assumptions, and controlling hierarchy by extending grace and truth to anyone with whom He came in contact. I do believe he was actually God in the flesh and was crucified, buried for 3 days, and resurrected three days later in the flesh with the holes in His hands to prove it, as Christ “the Messiah,” to give anyone who wants one a relationship with God with all the benefits described above and more. I have had too many personal experiences at this point to not believe that actually happened. There are definitely days I wonder how it could possibly be true, but then something else happens that shows me once again how true it is.

The numbers 317 have a certain meaning to me as well. A couple of years ago, around when surrendered my life to Jesus, I started noticing I was seeing or hearing the numbers 3, 7, 17, 13, in various arrangements frequently throughout my everyday life. I would hear them in song lyrics, see them on billboards, license plates, and many other places. 373, 73, 37, 337, 773… My birthdate is 1/17/89, as well, so that’s where the 1 comes from. Also, add up 8 and 9 you get 17, and lot’s of significant events happened in my life in 7th grade when I was 13 (welcome to what I spend most my life thinking about.) Curious, I asked an important person in my life if they had any significance. He told me, in Hebrew culture, the number 3 represented perfection (think the Trinity,) and the number 7 represented completion (think the number of days the world was symbolically created, including the day of rest). Honestly, they have less to do with perfection or completion than they simply happen to show up a lot when the Holy Spirit is moving in my life at that moment. There’s a lot more to explain that I will get to into my regular posts.

In the same way, though, many Bible verses tend to “pop out” to me more than others that have the numbers 3, 7, 13, or 17 in them. The two that resonate the most are:

Matthew 3:17 (ESV)
17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

This verse is God talking to his Son, Jesus, after being tested in the desert for 40 days and being baptized by John the Baptist. The verse is profound because it shows that God, the Creator of the Universe, intimately loves his Son and is pleased with him. “With him” means right next to him. So, as a son of God myself, he is pleased with me when he is with me, which He has always been, is now, and will be forever. When I accept that I allow him to change me day by day (sanctification) into the man He created me (True Self, in the image of God), where the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23) can flow out of me. Ultimately, the verse tells us our inherent dignity and worth in our identity as children of God.

John 3:17 (ESV)
17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

I love this verse because I think it points to a crucial truth about Christianity that many have missed by only ever seeing the popular verse, John 3:16. John 3:17 tells us that Jesus did NOT come into the world to condemn us, but to save us from all the horrible effects of sin, like shame, guilt, isolation, disease, loneliness, fear, and pain. I have met so many people that still fear God’s wrath, judgement, or even punishment. The truth is we have no true reason to fear that anymore because we are now in a new Age of Redemption after the crucifixtion, where we only feel the effects of the fallen world and are “punished” by continuing to do sins that, honestly, probably most people can already know cause so much harm without needing to open the Bible. Any condemnation we feel about ourselves, others, or even God is only coming from lies we’ve learned from the enemy directly, or through others that have perpetuated them. Accepting Jesus as the actual Son of God gives us, or at least from my experience, a chance to begin removing all the afflictions from our past and step into freedom unashamed as who we truly are.

 

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