Transformation to Divine

You all know I talk about butterflies a lot. I love to watch them and even meditate as I enjoy their flittering around, dancing in the gardens of life.

 
Nothing illustrates transformation as much as a butterfly does. It begins its journey as an egg, then out of that shell crawls a caterpillar. It has lots of legs and is usually very furry. At a specific time within nature, it starts to weave a chrysalis or cocoon around itself. Following another specific length of time, once again determined by nature, the lovely and winged being emerges and takes flight.

 
What does that have to do with us? We begin in the womb and emerge after a specific length of time. We develop day by day as the human being we are. As we grow and age we become more than just a human being. We can see ourselves as a spiritual being with great potential to do wonderful things. The “seed” we once were is unfolding and Christ is part of it all.

 

And suddenly the time comes when we realize that we are a complete child of God. We are whole; we are complete; we are one with God and nothing can change that. We have evolved just as the butterfly did. Our destiny is the path toward becoming a Christ-like human.

 

 

Wayne Dyer said, “Transformation literally means going beyond your form.”

The 93-year-old great-grandmother was seen wearing a T-shirt that said
“God’s not done with me yet!”

1 Corinthians 13:12 states, “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then
we will see face-to-face, now I know only in part; then I will know fully,
even as I have been fully known.”

Looking in a mirror, we see only the reflection( and a foggy one) of what we are now. We do not see what we will become. We do not see what God sees in us. In time we will see fully, as we have been fully known by God.

Our Lord made us so that we would have this need, this sense, this discontentment that stirs inside and pushes us forward so we can become greater than we are, developing into a new creation in Christ, just as the butterfly became a new creation in nature.

Jesus came to human life to acknowledge, experience, and to be the fullness of who He was and is. I think He must have gone through all sorts of seasons of His life; times when He felt very human in His mind; times when He felt very Divine. Even though He was the Divine, He came to earth to experience human-ness. I think He went through the phases as we do.

To follow Jesus, our hardest task will be to dissolve the critical,
crippling, dualism trapping us, where we thought we were ONLY human or
only spiritual. We will need to do what seems impossible-to walk,
paradoxically, in two worlds at once, inhabiting an earthly body BUT with
a spiritual intent. What we are about, seems to be impossible, but not
with new awareness of God.

Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Matt. 13: 43

The stages of our lives creates so many forks in the road – powerful twists and turns. This enables us to move forward in a positive direction, a path toward the All Knowing Lord. Old ways, old habits, old human “ness” disappears and our spiritual life evolves as our human spirit becomes advanced and one with Christ. We are complete – human and one with God in our spirit, somehow, at the same time.

“Never look at the problems that seem to be in your life at this present moment and think this is ALL that it will ever be. Tomorrow changes the past. The past is past and the future calls us forward to become more than we were.”

“Questions must become one with answers. Problems must become one with solutions. Where there is the one, the other is soon to follow. The human must become ONE with God. This critical time may be a baffling crisis of the spirit. It is the time in our lives when things happen and we do not understand why. We may not understand why those pieces are configuring the way they are. We may have thought that we have been doing everything correctly, and then our world seemingly may begin to crumble.” C.C.

We go through these crises over and over. It just doesn’t happen once, and sometimes we are totally baffled at how it happened and where it is going to lead us. We ask God for answers. We wonder where this is going to end up and where we will be when it is over.  Will we be one with God?

Do you have questions? Think about it. You may not be in a crisis of spirit right now, but that may change over time. If you do have questions or when you do, then is the time to search and find the answers.

Thomas Moore said that IS the major commitment of humanity-to become a
whole, new person.

When the caterpillar goes into or creates its cocoon, it becomes liquefied. It is not what it was or what it will be. At that time, it is in such a transition, that it is neither its former self or its future self. It is actually a type of yellow liquid. The center of which is a grouping of cells which eventurally brings forth new life…a beautiful new life.
But this is a time of pausing to allow that transition to happen. We are doing the same thing spiritually – we are growing and changing and becoming. What a beautiful concept.

“Remember that it is our destiny as the creation of the Creator to grow into our full potential. God has created us from the beginning of time to be Christ like. All the things we see Jesus being in the past and in our world today are who and what we are becoming.  How do we know-Jesus said so!”

Right now your destiny is being born again, a new creation in Christ. Even in the midst of any anxiety that thoughts might bring up, let us hold the wonder, excitement, and joy of the new that is being birthed from God, in us and through us.

Our destiny is to become more than we are right now. Our destiny is become that new creation in Christ. And as we go through all the changes/transformation during our lives, all the twists and turns, we know that Jesus Christ is going through it with us, walking right beside us. As I said many times, “You never walk alone.”  He whispers to us in our heart and soul and that makes the road a little less bumpy and just a little bit straighter.

Then at the exact appointed and determined time, when the cocoon is about to burst open, we will be aware of the truth and will be part of the true expression of Jesus Christ. We will be as the butterfly dancing in the garden of Love.

Let us pray: Thank You, God, for our Holy destiny. May we have the courage, strength,
and conviction to become a totally new person in Christ.

In the name and through the living, loving presence of Jesus Christ we pray and believe. . .Amen.

As so it is. . .

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Change ~ The Sweet Silver Song of the Lark

John 8: 1-11 – “They went each to his own house, but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.   Early in the morning he came again to the temple; all the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst they said to him, ‘Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such. What do you say about her?’ This they said to test him that they might have some charge to bring against him.

“Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, ‘Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.’ And once more he bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the eldest, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus looked up and said to her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’

“She said, ‘No one, Lord.’ “And Jesus said, ‘Neither do I condemn you; go, and do not sin again.’”

Let’s open with prayer and ask God to take full charge of us and take full charge of this message and our understanding of it. Let our wisdom grow through He who shares all with us.

“Have Thy way in me, Lord. Have Thy way in me. Have Thy way in my thoughts, my actions, my feelings, and in my decisions. Have Thy way in me, Lord. Have Thy way in me.”

Dear God, right now we are each open and receptive, knowing that this is a spiritual experience, in which we each are being lifted to a higher level of life. Have Your way in each of us. Help us glean from this message the truth of Your walk with us through perfect change.

And so it is. In Jesus Christ’s name. . . Amen.”

 

Let’s talk about the scripture above – John 8: 1 – 11. We can look at it as it happened historically and actually and then talk about it spiritually. You will be amazed, perhaps, at how much meaning there is within this story.

 

So, let’s think about this story. There are three groups of people involved: the leading citizens (the Scribes and Pharisees, the adulteress, and Jesus). We know these leading citizens are used to and love to condemn others.  And they are good at it – condemning and seeing wrong in others but never themselves.  Plus they consider themselves above the law and have no compassion.  Imagine this group of men preparing to stone a defenseless woman.  They may be leaders in the community but in the eyes of God, they are sinners just like you and me. Do you know any people in your community like this?

 

Then there is the adulteress. This is the woman who is about to be stoned.  We know according to the story that she was caught in the act of adultery. There is no mention of the man she was involved with. We don’t even need to go there.

 

This woman knew that she faced death by this group of men because of what she did. She had no recourse, no help, no forgiveness. But then, Jesus Christ came on to the scene and took over.

 

The first lesson we have here is that even in hopeless situations there is hope through Jesus Christ and His love. This then created for her (and for us) HOPE.

 

Jesus is the third person in the story. He knew the Mosaic Law and what “should” happen to her. OR should He tell them to let her go? OR should He just ignore the whole thing and walk away – to keep Himself out of trouble

 

He knelt down and drew in the sand. We don’t know what He was writing or drawing or if maybe He was just diverting the attention of the men while praying to God for direction. We don’t know. We do know that He did not want this woman stoned, but He had to find a way to override the Mosaic teachings.  Jesus knew that He had to find a way to not negate, but yet to spiritualize and override the Mosaic teachings in those days.

 

Let’s think about this word adultery for a second. In its literal usage today, adultery means sexual relations outside of marriage. It refers to a physical experience only; but to adulterate also means to add something or change something that cheapens the quality or upsets the completeness of your life, your actions, or an experience.

 

As we relate to other people, ARE WE relating the best and with the right intentions, motives, true and honest agape love? Are we beholding the best, in ourselves and others, as we relate to people?

For instance, if we are in any kind of a relationship with another and “pretend” to care for them or enjoy being with them when we do not, we are lying. We are saying that I am in this relationship and it really doesn’t matter how I really feel about you inside.  I am just playing the game; it really has nothing much to do with how I feel about you and/or myself.

 

That is a form of adultery. We are cheating on ourselves and the other person and on God. If we do not feel and accept the love of God in ourselves and that individual in that relationship, that can be adultery.

 

So let’s compare ourselves to this woman. She is acting from the heart but not too much from the head, the wisdom or intellect. When we don’t use both together, we get into a lot of trouble ourselves.  We must be whole and complete.  What do we hold inside that we keep away from others?  How do we temper ourselves to fit a situation, adulterating our truths.

The men in this story were using only their knowledge of the law and thusly condemned the woman.  But whatever happened must have made them realize that the themselves were sinful and could be condemned. That is why the first stone is never cast.

I love the way Jesus said, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”  He was letting them know that if you kill her, you also may be in linefor the same sentence – unless you have never made a wrong decision, never sinned, never done anything wrong. Interesting to note that they all started to leave and the oldest left first, the youngest last.

We are all three of these people – each a part of us. First the action occurs, within us begins the healing, the situation being outside of us; Christ’s love allows us to become whole and one with God. God comes in and stays. So, with prayer and faith and trust in God, we can ask God to make us true in every way. He will give us the direction, the path to follow.  We become a new person, a changed person from what we were even just a short time ago.  Now Christ can say to you, Where are your accusers    ……  ……. “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”

 
This brings us about to a life change. And that is what is happening as we go through this now. And it is exciting to be a part of it and be aware of living it.  Let’s let the changes begin and enjoy the natural progression of the journey. Let’s all smile and realize in wonderment what God is doing in our souls.

 

“A young woman, 95 years of age who didn’t have much formal education, but instead had an abundance of Divine wisdom once said, “Don’t you know that if you accept it, it won’t hurt so bad?”

 

So, let’s all do what the saying says, “Let Go and Let God! Through all our trials, fears, mis-directions, if we just “let God”, we can move forward and enjoy our life changes, our journey. We know God is walking ahead of us and we never walk alone, not even in the storm.

 

When you walk through a storm
Keep your chin up high
And don’t be afraid of the dark.
At the end of the storm
Is a golden sky
And the sweet silver song of a lark.

Walk on through the wind,
Walk on through the rain,
Tho’ your dreams be tossed and blown. Walk on, walk on
With hope in your heart
And you’ll never walk alone,
You’ll never walk alone. (Rogers and Hammerstein)

At the end of your storm is that golden sky and the lark singing sweetly, singing your name.   That, my friend, is our Lord welcoming us back through the change that resulted from us going through the storm and not giving up.

Let us pray: Almighty God, we all get misdirected and need the accusers to turn and walk away, knowing Your love is the way to make the change we so need in our life. Help us to move on, unafraid, knowing You are right beside us and often carrying us. Amen

And so it is . . . In Jesus Christ’s name… Amen

God bless you!

A Change in the Wind – Pentecost

As we read the two scripture readings selected for today – one from the Old Testament and one from the New, let’s look within ourselves for our personal truth and trust that God knows all, sees all, and will reveal all.
The first, Genesis 1 – tells us of the creation of the world as a created new life form.

 

The second, Acts 2..,  tells of the creation of the world as a created new life.

 
Read these two accounts below and then think about the renewal, the change, the New Life in Christ.

 
Genesis 1-2:1 (NLT).   The Account of Creation:   1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.[a] 2 The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.   3 Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.   4 And God saw that the light was good. Then he separated the light from the darkness.   5 God called the light “day” and the darkness “night.”   And evening passed and morning came, marking the first day  ………………………….
31 Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good! And evening passed and morning came, marking the sixth day.    2 So the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything in them was completed.
What does this mean? In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.   In the beginning, God created man in the likeness of Himself.      (Genesis: 26 Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.

 

 

And so it was and so it is.

 

 

Ahhh, but was it ?  Yes, it was, but man turned the good to bad – over and over again as the Old Testament history tells us. So, the Lord came and took us on the journey we have been discussing since February.  And this phase ended with Easter’s Resurrection and the forty days following when Jesus showed Himself to the disciples and many others.

 

 
And so our journey has brought us right back to where it all ended/started.   It brings us to Jerusalem and the gathering of thousands of Jews to celebrate the Feast of the Pentecost (Feast of the Firstfruits or the Feast of the Weeks).

 

 
“The Feast of Firstfruits actually took place during the week-long Passover celebration (Lev. 23:4–8), on the first day after the Sabbath that occurred in the midst of the week (vv. 9–11). Pentecost occurred fifty days after that Sabbath (vv. 15–16) and marked the culmination of what started at the Feast of Firstfruits.” *Bible Gateway

 

 
All the disciples and their followers were together in what is believed to be another Upper Room.  All were confused and dismayed over the events that took place the last forty plus days. They did not know what to do, what to believe, where to go.  They were lost souls, crying out for answers, for salvation.
How is that different from what we feel or felt. We have all been there and many are there right now. “We are poor little sheep who have lost our way…..”

 

 
Although, Christ died for our sins, to grant us eternal life, the realization and awareness was not yet part of the disciples’ mindset. Is it part of ours?

 

 
So, what is now the third entity of the Holy Trinity, the Holy Spirit comes to complete the fulfillment of the Word and their and our destiny.

 

 
The Holy Spirit Comes
Acts:2: 1 On the day of Pentecost[a] all the believers were meeting together in one place.   2 Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting.   3 Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them.   4 And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.  5 At that time there were devout Jews from every nation living in Jerusalem.   6 When they heard the loud noise, everyone came running, and they were bewildered to hear their own languages being spoken by the believers.  7 They were completely amazed. “How can this be?” they exclaimed. “These people are all from Galilee, 8 and yet we hear them speaking in our own native languages!   9 Here we are— …. people from Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, the province of Asia,  10 …. Egypt, and the areas of Libya around Cyrene, visitors from Rome  11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism), Cretans, and Arabs. And we all hear these people speaking in our own languages about the wonderful things God has done!”   12 They stood there amazed and perplexed. “What can this mean?”  they asked each other.

 

 
That was two thousand years ago. Yes, two thousand years. And still we remember, still we are often lost, still we have or need the Holy Spirit to dwell with in us. But we are NOT lost. We only have to reach out.   Peter – who by the way  never could be brave before – said it best. We can say it no better.

 

 
Acts2: – : 14 Then Peter stepped forward with the eleven other apostles and shouted to the crowd, “Listen carefully, all of you, fellow Jews and residents of Jerusalem! Make no mistake about this.  15 These people are not drunk, as some of you are assuming.  Nine o’clock in the morning is much too early for that.  16 No, what you see was predicted long ago by the prophet Joel:
17 ‘In the last days,’ God says,
‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy.
Your young men will see visions,
and your old men will dream dreams.
18 In those days I will pour out my Spirit
even on my servants—men and women alike—
and they will prophesy.
19 And I will cause wonders in the heavens above
and signs on the earth below—
blood and fire and clouds of smoke.
20 The sun will become dark,
and the moon will turn blood red
before that great and glorious day of the LORD arrives.
21 But everyone who calls on the name of the LORD
will be saved.’

 

 

Let us Pour out our soul and call for God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit to come and change us into a new creation. His creation….. Then we can once again realize the truth of this scripture.

 

 
[Genesis 1: 31 Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good! 2 So the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything in them was completed.

 

 

Accept the Lord Jesus Christ today and invite the Holy Spirit to dwell within you – that you also may be saved and look forward to everlasting life with Him.

 

 

He is there for you and for me….just reach out.

 

 

May God bless each of you today and always

The Journey Continues

Many have asked why I talk about journeys every week….well, every week since Easter. It is a journey of about fifty (50) days until Jesus sends the Holy Spirit into the hearts of all those awaiting His return. This is the celebration which usually comes in June (but this year is celebrated next week on May 19th) and is called Pentacost. So until we arrive back in Jerusalem for the Pentecost event next week, we will be journeying – in our thoughts, in our souls, in our walk with God. So put on your walking shoes and enjoy the hike. We have a few weeks to go before our path ends back in Jerusalem.

 

I’m going to take you for a walk in the country today. Imagine, if you will walking along a dusty road and see in the near distance an old farm with a shabby barn that really hasn’t been used in years, except to store old “stuff” and keep some very mangy animals. But this story is one of transformation.
“One day a few of the family children, playing in this old barn, discovered a very bad criminal in the hayloft, sleeping. He had fled from the city where his crime was committed and had taken refuge in the barn. The children did not know who he was or what he had done, of course.

 

“Who do you think he is?” the little girl asked her brother.
“I don’t know . . . Who do you think he looks like?”
“Well, he has long hair and a beard.”
“And he’s about as old as Daddy.”
“And he has sandals on”
“Maybe he’s Jesus!”
“Do you think he could be?”
“Well, that’s what the Sunday school teacher said Jesus looked like!”
“Yes! l bet it is him!”
“Oh, aren’t we lucky to have Jesus come to our very own town!”

 

The criminal woke up, hearing the children talking. He sat up, startled. He was about to run when he heard the girl calling, “Jesus, gentle Jesus, will you stay and play with us for a little while?”

 

“We will take care of you!” promised the little boy.
“Yes!” echoed his sister. “We will bring you food and blankets and we won’t tell anyone you are here!”
“Oh please, gentle Jesus, will you stay with us?”

 

The criminal began to understand what was happening. He thought it over. It seemed like a safe bet, for a while at least. Yes, he would stay.

 

Over the next days and weeks, the children brought him food and clothing and even wine for him to bless. And with these things, they brought their innocent love and their adoration for the sweet and kind savior.

 

The criminal felt safe with them, and the weeks turned into months. The children came to him every day and asked him to tell them parables and to bless them and their families.

 

So he did. As the summer went on he actually began to enjoy playing the role of the Man of Love. It was, of course, only an act, but there was something that felt good about it, something that he had not felt in many years, perhaps since he was a child and his grandmother would tell him stories of Jesus and the children.

 

As the man basked in the warm love of these children, he learned to love them, too. He began to look forward to the times when they would come, when he would tell them parables about the wonders of heaven’s kingdom and the importance of loving our neighbors. One day he even found himself telling a parable that no one had ever heard, and this made the children so happy to hear a parable directly from their Gentle Jesus, one that was not even in the Bible.

 

The man’s feelings about people about the world, about life, began to soften, and he became gentle and kind. He read the Bible when he was alone, and something happened within him, something like a long-locked door opening to admit morning sunlight.

 

One evening he came upon the story of the prodigal son, and he began to weep. “Yes, this is the Truth, he thought to himself. In that moment he realized ever so clearly that it was he who was the prodigal son, and he became aware of how wrong his actions were. He knew, too, that his consciousness could not be cleansed until he made restitution for his crime. So he decided to return to the city and confess.

 

The next time his beloved children came, he took them in his arms in a gentle hug..

 

“My dear ones, he quietly began, ‘it is now time for me to leave you.”
“But where are you going?” the little ones asked with tears streaming down their soft cheeks.

 

He gathered both of them closer to him and embraced them even more strongly.

 

“I must return to my Father,” he explained, fighting back his own tears. “Then, will you give us something to remember you by, gentle Jesus?”

 

He looked into their faces and said, “I leave you with the gentleness that you have given to me. This is my peace that I give to you.” And the son arose, and went to his Father.”

 

This story is from the hit Broadway play “Whistle down the Wind” by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Jim Steinman. It shows what can happen in any man or woman when surrounded and in filled with the love of God.

 

2 Corinthians 3:18, “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.”

 

An artist once drew a picture of a snow scene in black and white. It was a cloudy day. There were no leaves on the trees. There were homes in the background, but it was all dark and gray and dreary. The clouds were in the sky. It was a typical winter scene.

 

Then with a stroke of his brush, the artist added a bit of yellow paint in one of the panes of the window, showing a light that was coming from inside one of the homes. The whole picture was miraculously transformed. It was no longer gray and bleak. It had hope. The birth of spirituality is such a light into a world that sometimes sees nothing but grays and blacks.

 

So often in adulthood our lives become clouded. So often our lives no longer see the magic and wonder that a child sees. So often we get too old, too wise to have that love for another human being in our life because we’ve been hurt. We are wise to the harmful ways of the world, and we too often withhold our love.

 

Yet, every day when we let God’s love in, there is a transformation; there is a light that comes on. But in order for that love to come, we have to allow it to come through us. We have to accept the gift that God is giving to us.

 

If you have a closed door in your life, know that God is on the other side of that door, knocking, and saying, “Open up. The wonder is still here. The love is still here. The peace is still here. All the good is still here.” If you have become blind to it, you have closed the door. If you will reopen it, you’re going to find that wonder of a child. If we can learn from the child and learn how to ask and reach out the empty hand, we will find it filled by God.

 

I want to offer you a special gift. Here is what this spiritual package contains. The first item is the gift of Jesus Christ heritage. It’s a very big gift. God says to you, “You are my child. You are heir to all the good that I have, if you accept it.” What joy this gift brings to us.

 

The gifts of God require action on our part in order for them to work in us. It’s like gasoline in an automobile engine. Gasoline of itself is nothing. It has to go into the engine and the engine has to use its potential.

 

John 13:13-17, ” You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.”

 

You have been given the gift of f life. You are to use this gift to feel fully alive. You are to give the gift of life to others. How do you do that? You do so by showing and sharing God’s faith coming through you for it has the power to transform others. It has the power to give them true life.

 

2 Corinthians 11:1, ” Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.”

 

What about for yourself? How about when you are down or even depressed? How about when things do not go well at work? Are you giving yourself the gift of life? Or are you downcast or feeling that life won’t ever get any better? God is with you. You are not alone. The message of Jesus Christ is alive in you today. Yes, life will get better every moment.

 

That leads to the next spiritual gift – peace. Peace is a gift that was brought by Jesus Christ into a world that had a religion of an eye for an eye-“If you do something to me, I have to get back at you.” This was the religion that existed throughout the world. You can become a peacemaker, just like the hardened criminal did. You can take Jesus’ message inside of you and let it live; let it overtake your life.

 

What about situations in your job, or your home; where people are not very peaceful? You have a choice. You can go down to the human level, put on your boxing gloves and try to be the last person standing. Or you can take off the gloves and radiate peace to the whole situation and become the living example of the love of Jesus Christ.

 

Peace in the world begins with you and me. We have God’s peace to take with us into those difficult situations. You will make a difference because of the teachings of Jesus Christ coming through you as you.

 

Ephesians 5:1, 2 – “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”

 

The teachings of Jesus Christ brought another gift to you – joy. We talked about joy last week and even many times in the past as we journeyed. One of the most important gifts of any religion is that as a Christian you have the right to be joyful. You don’t have to be solemn. You don’t have to carry your burdens. You don’t have to feel like the world is an unjust place and that you must wear your heavy burden. You don’t have to suffer to be a good Christian.  In fact, quite the opposite.  Being a Christian is JOY!

 

This day holds a message for you that no matter what is going on in your life presently, God is there. You can look beyond your present challenges and know that God is eternally there. You can have joy in your heart. You do not have to walk around depressed, half asleep, or half dead to your former happiness. You can have Christ awareness well up inside of you. The journey of Christianity is allowing that hope to rise in you. This joy is from the core of your being.

 

It is your choice. Which do you choose to do today? You can choose to have the full joy of Christianity in you. It is the teachings of Jesus. Those teachings are the teachings of spirituality made alive in you!

 

Spiritually, you are given a profound knowledge of wisdom because you know that your mind can be a receiver of God’s Divine inspiration.

 

Your Divine ideas came and continue to cometo you through the power of the Holy Spirit.  Just become still in prayer and accept all that God has for you to receive. The ideas and guidance will come to you clearly. You’ll know the way to proceed.  It is unfailing, and that gives you profound courage. to stand up in adverse situations.. And those situations could be around any corner.  It may be when you need so much of the stuff of God inside of you that you have to call on that; and it comes to you and you can get up again. You say, “Yes! I do have faith because I’m not alone.”

 

The message of Divine approval came from Jesus Christ. What a great gift is this message. You are a child of God – Jesus Christ tells you that you are a child of God, with the potential to do what he did. He says to you throughout His messages that you are accepted by God; you are an heir to God; and you have Divine approval.

 

You say, “What about the criminal in the barn? Did he have Divine approval?” Yes he did. Have you ever had a child nearby whom you loved with all your heart, but the child was causing havoc in your home?  You did not appreciate what the child was doing at that moment and you would scold the child. You corrected and disciplined the child. But you still loved the child. And inside you had an approval and knowledge for the potential that child could become.

 

Using the power of God, the criminal went back and said, “I’m here a changed man. I’m here right now, knowing that I am going to have my punishment. I am here because I have been guided by God” How was he guided by God? The first way was through the love of God coming through people/ the children surrounding him. The second way: it was the love of God coming through his own reflections and prayers. The third way: God came through him-through his actions.

 

If you want spiritual realization, use the power of God coming and slowing through you. Take the attributes and the gifts of God and allow them to become you. You will know quickly about the action, the truth, and the activity of God.

 

The knowledge of Christ is a continuing gift. We have to make the message a part of our daily life, allowing the message of the messenger in us to be reborn.

 

It is reborn into the consciousness of human thinking. It is reborn in hospital rooms where others are telling us that we can’t get well. It is reborn into a society that tells us we can’t get work. It is reborn into the lowest of limited human thought. But it is reborn. And like that picture, mentioned earlier, it is a light in our window of hope. We look toward that light and we find our answers.

 

Nothing could be more marvelous – every gift of God has its invisible source in spiritual realms that are accessible to each one of us.

 

Romans 8:29, “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.”

 

You have a potential that is predestined, to put on the Christ, and wear it for all to see, feel, and comprehend. Go now and know that your potential is constantly being reborn and fulfilled.

 

God bless you.

Joy ~ Joy ~ Joy

Let Your ways be known upon earth; Your saving health  be among all nations.   Let the people praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you.  Let the nations be glad and sing for joy …..”          Psalm 67: 2 – 4a

 

As Christians we should be the definitions of joy. Mahatma Gandhi said, “A human’s joy knows no bounds when they obtain something beyond hopes.”

 

We can hope for things and feelings to come to us all the time. But, beyond the realm of just hoping for something – Spiritual euphoria is discovered when you will have a happiness to be experienced with all your spiritual might.

 

In II Samuel 6:2-3, 5, 14-15 the Bible states: “And David arose and went with all the people who were with him from Baalejudah, to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the name of the Lord of hosts who sits enthroned on the cherubim. And they carried the ark of God upon a new cart . . . and David and all the house of Israel were making merry before the Lord with all their might, with songs and lyres and harps and tambourines and castanets and cymbals. And David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod.” [That means he wore a little, white apron.] So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting, and with the sound of the horn.” What a wonderful scripture this is.

 

Why are we so rigid, serious and solemn before God? I think we can really celebrate and be so filled with love and joy we would have the biggest smiley face you can imagine. We have to first believe, no absolutely KNOW, that God is here with us, and then total joy would be the way we’d feel. We’d want to celebrate, wouldn’t we?

 

“Too many people feel that their religion HAS to be gloomy, and overly serious. They think that in order to be profound and deep they have to be very solemn. The world is God’s song of joy. It has been correctly said, we either make ourselves happy or miserable. The amount of work is the same. God is singing; dancing too, no doubt. The world is the song God sings. God is love, and God is joy. Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” quoted from Dick Chenowworth

 

Our FIRST, first lady, Martha Washington said, “The greater part of our joy or misery depends on our dispositions, and not on our circumstances. We carry the seeds of the one or the other about with us in our minds wherever we go.”

 

To get up each morning with the resolve to be joyful . . . is to set our own conditions to the events of each day. To do this is to condition circumstances instead of being conditioned by them.”-Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

We all have read and, hopefully believe deep within our soul, that God is a God of joy. Our Savior, Jesus Christ, said that God is love. There is no doubt. So, do you think that love could hate you or condemn you? Do you think that , when Love made you, could He say, “I’m disappointed I don’t really love this one?” That’s not God.  That’s NOT what Jesus said! That’s only a God, that somebody makes up who has a very limited concept. We say about God says more about us than God.

 

“Delight yourself in the Lord; and God will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4

We have no idea how deep God’s love for us goes. God is Love. God is unimaginable love, unimaginable life, unimaginable joy. As humans, we find sometimes this a difficult concept. God and His love and joy is so beyond anything we can display, feel, or imagine. Think about this: Is there any kind of life worth living – other than one of joy and love. Do not limit yourself. We will never measure up to God’s love and joy, but we can work on achieving the best and most that we can without trying to limit ourselves. Our life is a journey as we discussed many times; let’s make it a joyous journey, so full of love and devotion that our hearts are overwhelmed.

 

Now, here is another concept that Dick speaks about. “In the Bible, Jesus said in three different gospels (so it has importance) that nobody gets into heaven except children. Nobody. Are you a child? Are you childlike? But, stop and think-if you have to be a child to get into heaven, what does a child have? One thing a child has is utter, trusting love.”
As a child ages, he/she learns not trust our love. You know when we are around children, just watching them, we always smile. We watch them run and dance and play – uninhibited. And my grandbabies run to us and hug us and love us with such great joy. Well, this is after they hide from us and we have to look for them as they giggle behind the sofa or chair.   Ahh, the love and trust of a child. We know , deep inside that’s the way the world ought to be.  Now, let’s observe and model ourselves so we can  re-learn that from the children.

 

So, try to always fill yourselves with love and joy. Isn’t God wonderful? Isn’t life wonderful? It can be – it’s up to you. As a believer, you know that thanks to God, you have all the wonderful faculties you need to live a creative, beautiful, life, IF you will. Now is the time to start living it in faith and trust . Dare to act like a child of God. And really trust that the world is good and full of love, and it will respond to you with love when you give love.

 

“Approach life with the wow factor, explore, and find joy in every day and you’ll become like a little child again.”

 

In Thy presence is fullness of joy; in Thy right hand there are pleasures forever.” Psalm 16:11

 

John Piper in his book “Desiring God” says, “The chief end of a human is glorifying God.”

 

And I quote these knowing that – by accepting Him as my Lord and Savior  – the greatest joy comes from the God who gave His only Son so I will be forever a smile on Hi face, and He will lead me to eternal life. Here are a few more quotes.

 

“.it is unbiblical and arrogant to try to worship God for any other reason than the pleasure to be found in God.”

 

Praising God, the highest calling of humanity and our eternal vocation, did not involve the renunciation but rather the consummation of the joy I so desired.”

 

“My aim is to own up to the amazing, and largely neglected, fact that some dimension of joy is a moral duty in all true worship and all virtuous acts.”

 

George Bernard Shaw said, “This is the true joy of life, the being used up for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; being a force of joyful nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clot of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the community, and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it what I can in a joyful way.”

 

Now accept that God made you with infinite possibilities. Be like the child who lets him/herself be just what they are made to be – that’s it and that’s truth.  And the child lives for joy and laughter. We are all children of God. We are a living new joyous song of life. The more we succeed at it, the more quickly the world will begin to sing that song with us.

 

Let us pray:   Dear God, Today, we worship You today in FULL joy. Help each of us to become like a child again with a mind filled of wow and wonder. If we have let life take too much of a toll on us, help us to again experience full joy and to express it daily and worship of You. Help us to wear a smile instead of a frown and show to all what being infilled with a full spiritual presence of You means. In Jesus Christ’s name.     Amen

 

Today and every day let us give thanks for the awareness of our joy in God.

 
I am ready to exhibit my inner joy – are you?

 

God bless you!