Facing Front

Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it, and it will be yours.” Mark 11:22, 24

 

We should grasp our opportunity when it comes and go for it. We should
know that, as we go for the opportunity, we are not going alone; God is
going with us. God has great power. God has much more power than just working through your mind. God is working through everyone’s mind, even when we’re not aware of it.

 

You may have read this story before but it is worth hearing it again because of the power it shows and I understand it is a true story.

 

In New York, in the subway station, a young man had an epileptic seizure and fell onto the tracks of an approaching train. A man standing nearby witnessing what was happening jumped onto the tracks to pin the man down, between the two tracks, and protect him. This true hero didn’t have time to assess the situation, or even think about his own safety; he just followed his overwhelming urge to be of help to a fellow human. Both men miraculously were all right.

 

We need to realize that when we have the courage to stand up and take action and go the way we need to go, to follow that uncontrollable urge within us to do what we need to do to follow our dreams, that we’re not doing it alone. God IS with us!

 

There will be other people along the way to help us. There will be thoughts that come inside of us to help us. We need, from our adult minds, to find again that innocence of a child that knows we can accomplish what we wish to accomplish.

 

A long time ago, maybe before some of us were even born (ha ha) there was a movie called “Sister Act II” replayed on late-night TV to this day or night..

 

This movie takes place in a school. Teachers are some of the great unsung heroes in our society. The movie shows the power of one human and the effect they have on a group who had forgotten their dreams and had given up at an early age.

 

Second, it shows kids they can dream and they can accomplish. This is what we do here in this ministry and in our Bethel. We urge people–to follow their dreams. We urge people not to listen to any of the negative talk outside of them (or inside of them), and to go for their dreams believing they can be accomplished with God’s help.

 

God inspired spiritual maturity is:
– The ability to stick with a dream until it’s finished.
– The ability to do a job without being supervised.
– The ability to carry money without spending it.
–The ability to bear an injustice without wanting to get even.

 

Spiritual people dare to dream for themselves and others. We don’t have one dream in a lifetime-we have many and for many. A friend (a pastor) was talking with a member of his congregation recently, and he was talking about his different dreams and the different opportunities and careers he had taken. All involved the camaraderie of many, the prayers and actions of many was the point he was making. We are not in this boat alone. In addition to God, we are sharing the dreams and prayers of each other.

 

This is what life is. When we live our dreams and manifest them through prayer, trust in God, and in positive ways, it influences many others to do the same. Our Prayer Group is just that. We join together in love and praise to God as we pray for healing of those we love. Yet that is not all our congregation does. We watch over one another, spread the hope and courage, and encourage one another to follow their dreams. And right there in our little chapel, our Bethel, we also focus on the faith and trust that pours from our hearts.

 

Too many times in life we look only at the disappointments and failures
when we need to focus on the success.

 

All of us have had disappointments. All of us have had closures. Many of us have had tragic events, shocking events become realities in our lives. I know I have and just recently. The whole point of the matter is to get up again and with God’s ever present help, go after another dream, knowing that when one door closes, God opens others. God has many open doors in our future for us to go through.

 

Say yes to life through courage and faith. There is a new opportunity of God’s good ahead of you. The past is the past; it’s gone. Don’t sigh. Go forward and accept new, wonderful things.

 

Genesis 32:22. This is the story where Jacob wrestles with the angel.

The same night, he got up and took his two wives, his two maids, and his
eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. He took them and sent
them across the stream, and likewise, everything that he had.
Jacob was left alone; and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. When the
man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he struck him on the hip
socket; and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him.

 

Then he said, “Let me go, for the day is breaking.”

But Jacob said, “I will not let you go, unless you bless me.”

So he said to him, “What is your name?”

And he said, “Jacob.”

 

Then the man said, “You shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for
you have striven with God and with humans, and have prevailed.”

 

Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it
that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him. So Jacob called the place
Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God, face to face, and yet my life is
preserved.”

 

 

Jacob was alone. Oh, how many times we have been alone – so alone. We feel almost like we are lost in a haze with no where to turn, no one to cry for help. Many times, we are Jacob, having wrestled with our own personal “man” until we are crushed. Where do we go; what do we do or say?” It is time then to look up, share with and let Him know where you are in your circumstance and guess what – you are NOT alone. You are never alone. Whenever we are facing a crisis in our lives, we know with God we can move forward in any direction. God leads us. Whenever we stand before the door of opportunity that we’re about to go through, we feel alone because no one can walk through that door but us.

 

But Jacob had the right idea. Jacob would not let the fear be just a fear,
or the past just be the past, or his limitations remain as limitations. He wrestled with it. He held on to it and said,

 

“Listen, I’m not going to let you go until you give me a blessing; until
you allow me to understand through my human eyes and my human mind, the blessing this has brought in my life. Help me to see the good so I can go on from here. Let me accept and use this to find the good.”

 

He kept asking the angel’s name but the angel said, “Why is it that you
ask my name?”

 

What he really wanted to know was what this angel really was, who he was But the angel would not answer. But he changed Jacobs name to Israel. This was the beginning of an entire nation. That was the name and the blessing, the path Jacob was to follow. Jacob (Israel) then named the place where he was to Peniel which means “to turn toward God in recognition.” It’s one of the most important things we can do. And the recognition is acknowledging God as all powerful, all knowing and will lead us into the future.

 

We cannot move ahead with great effectiveness, if we are locked into the past.

 

So, as you wrestle with that nature or angel within you, remember that although you wrestle alone, you really are never alone.

 

To truly believe in God, we have to realize that we are not locked to the limitations of yesterday. We have the ability and the power to go forward.

 

For example, you will become greater than you are now, in a short time. It has nothing to do with your past. It has everything to do with your future and your commitment, right now in courage and faith. God created you with forward movement in mind. There is a reason that we do not have a rearview mirror on our forehead.

 

Wednesday on Duck Dynasty, Si had two cameras on his body – one to look at his own face and the other to look at what was going on around him. He realized that nothing was accomplished (except laughter) by looking backward at himself. Life is looking and moving forward – that is the key.

 

It is God’s will that we accept Divine help and goodness AND help each other on our path.

 

As spiritual people, eventually we will have an inner goal leading our own thoughts to the glory of God – to bring forth God’s perfect pattern. We will eventually reach this supreme goal. A human’s destiny is to go from man’s glory.to God’s glory

As you reach the high spiritual heights, you will reach out to help others that are struggling. God is with you to help make it so.

 

One of the hardest things that can happen to a person is having to leave their job, for one reason, or another. Yet, we always see that if they hold on to the fact that there’s another glory that’s coming, it works out for absolute good.

 

A famous museum in the Midwest city has an interesting exhibit. On one
side of the exhibit, there is a rolling pin from the year 1850.

 

It looks like a rolling pin you would have in your kitchen. On the other side of the exhibit, there is a small piece of deformed wood. They say it is the same, exact rolling pin, but that one has been stored and unused, while the other remains in use and is well-preserved. The old saying is true, “use it or lose it.”

 

We have to use ourselves as we are intended to be spiritually used.

 

Sometimes the easy life that we all dream of could be the worst thing for
the development of our soul. We must be active, otherwise we atrophy.

 

A frog in a well might have a wonderful life in the well, but he can’t even dream of the ocean which is so vast. A butterfly with all the joys of being in the summer,cannot even talk about the winter ice. They can’t because they have boundaries.

 

The frog would not last in the ocean and the butterfly would not last in the winter ice.

 

But WE HAVE NOT yet reached our spiritual boundaries. We have not gotten caught in the current or frozen in the ice. We are children of God, allowing Him to work through us to make this world a better place.

 

We are meant, as human beings, to be used and reused, continually striving anew. We are always regenerated in our mind power, we believe in an ever-fresh God inside of us, giving us fresh motivation and power.

 

We are no longer the mask of who we think we have been, but we constantly go from glory to glory, teaming up in a partnership with God’s to make our world a better place. Life is stimulating with God’s companionship. The worst thing we can do as human beings is to live a mediocre existence accepting the fate of yesterday as the only promise of tomorrow.

 

Today at this very moment take that step forward. Do something that has been in your heart with God’s help. Dare to dream through you courage and faith. Then you and God together will stretch and open your mind to something big for that glory that sits in the heavenly realm.

 

Dare to live that dream; and you can do it. Walk through the door. God is there. JESUS is waiting to take your hand.

 

May God bless you!

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God is at Hand

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKSuA7z1OYY

 

 

But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary.” Isaiah 40:31

 

Now here is something interesting – there is an ancient word that means the same thing as the quote from Isaiah above it is  – Abacatastasis. (Abba-ca-tas-tas-is) and means  “no matter what looks like disaster in your life, today, God will work it out to ultimate overwhelming good.”  I bet each of us has lived through a disastrous experience – defeats, losses, mistakes, horrors.  And somehow catastrophe turns into triumph.  We have all heard stories of   families who missed their plane and had so much anxiety  only to read in the news the next day that it crashed.  There are such stories all the time.  Lives were changed in an instant and saved – for a purpose, a spiritual one.

 

When you are in the realm of answered prayer, you know that God is at hand.   Isaiah 65:25 states: “Before they call, I will answer. For your faith works to form the perfect conditions desired, and praise is one of the powers of mind that you must not fail to use.”

 

 

How often have we been in prayer and looked UP, maybe we were walking as we were praying; and we just didn’t know which way to turn, what to do next, where our help was going to come from.  We thought we had tried everything.  We are at the end of the road and the only thing we can see is the sharp, jagged cliff that reaches up to the top of the mountain.  Have you ever been like that?

 

That IS the tremendous mountain in your life, and you do not know where to turn.

 

Psalms 121:1-2, the psalmist says, “I lift up my eyes to the hills. From whence does my help come?”  The psalmist says, “I lift up my eyes to the hills.”   Those hills are within us – our consciousness of awareness of God.  When we allow ourselves to let go of the cumbersome trials of the day and immerse ourselves in the strength and wisdom of God, we leave the low and reach for the high place… the place of heavenly love

 

When we realize our human state, we can see with crystal clear clarity our limitations, our fears, our anxieties, our personal weaknesses.  We see from our perception where things are going to go downhill; things are going to get worse.

 

But when we lift up our eyes to the hills within us, we realize that we are not alone. Something spiritual is working with us. That is the greatest realization when you are going through a challenge in your life. We pray for healing.   Matthew 8:13, “And to the Centurion, Jesus said, ‘Go.Be it done for you as you have believed.’ And the servant was healed at that very moment.”

 

Your bodies are renewed, prayer by prayer, thought by thought. At the center of every cell is the Christ idea of God’s perfection.

 

You are never alone.  God is with you, right now.  Even when you think you are alone, you are not. It is impossible. You cannot be alone. You can fake it. You can say, “I’m alone.” You can close your eyes to your spiritual identity as a child of God, and forget, but you are not alone – ever.

 

You can close your awareness, you can close off your knowing, but you are still not alone anytime, anyplace, anywhere, because God is there.

 

The psalmist continues: My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth.”

 

You all know and you all accept that God is the Creator, but my friends, God is also the re-creator in your lives.  And God is wanting to re-create.  You are constantly a new re-creation. God does not abandon you. Your body temple, your mind, your thoughts are not stagnant at any time. Even when you think they are, God is moving within you, there is an activity in you that is of God.

 

This very minute as you sit here in this room, thousands, millions, billions of cells are replacing themselves inside of your body, even in any sick area of your body. They are replacing themselves, regenerating.  Thoughts inside of your mind are also changing. They are moving. The very reason you are here today reading this is because you want some positive spiritual thoughts and knowledge to remind you that God is your Help, your Everything.

 

After I wrote the first draft of this message, I had this life changing experience.  What an amazing situation – to be writing this and then this occurs.

 

Wednesday, after many tests, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.  It was a shock and I stared at the wall in the doctor’s office – my mind went blank.  But all of a sudden I “I lifted up my eyes to the hills. “ and there was Jesus, smiling at me.  He was and is with me on this journey.  This is the first time I am publicly even mentioning this.  I am only saying this as a testimony to each of you, letting you know that as you lift your eyes to the “hill” you WILL find the Lord.  Keep your faith strong, trust, and fill yourself with love.

 

I know that the billions of cells are replacing themselves within me and with treatment and knowing  that I am not alone I can live a productive and joyful life.  And this is true of all of us, no matter what our physical state may be.  We all live with some challenges, and we will overcome them with Jesus by our side.

 

We together, wherever we worship, are part of a fellowship that is a remembrance society. We are here to remember our connection to Divinity, to remember who we are, and to decree it; and we focus on  that activity inside of us and know that we are not on an island surrounded by a sea of limitation.  We are always surrounded by the Divine.

 

Mary Kupferle, in her book, “Your Help Is At Hand,” says, “There is never a time when you are without help. God’s loving help is always at hand.  When you feel your distress is more than you can bear, lift up your eyes to His Presence and Power through knowing.”

 

And I know and pray you also know that your and my help is at hand. God is always at hand.

 

If God is at hand, no matter what challenges you face you are secure.  Do you believe; do you hold that truth? Are your answers at hand?  Yes!  We do not have to seek answers by reading book after book, going to teacher after teacher , listening to self help promoters.  No, there is that knowing that remembrance within us and we lift our eyes to the hill.   Yes we are holding that truth and trust – and that is what we call faith.

 

God is always at hand. Whenever you are in a place where you feel that something has happened to you so severely that it has torn you apart, some challenge has come into your life, remember that God is at hand then, too.  Whenever we begin to waiver, that is the time to reach out and let and let a worship service and spiritual fellowship bring you back to that realization – God is always at hand

 

Always keep this in the forefront of your mind –“ God is your creator and re-creator, the sustainer of healing life and peace, ever lifting and supporting you. There is nothing in life that you cannot do, that you cannot face, that you cannot surmount, that you cannot overcome or obtain, for God is your help in every need.”

 

God is at hand, now, in your life. You can let go this moment and you can give thanks, this moment, for God is the kingdom. You have faith as a grain of mustard seed, and remember that grain of mustard seed is growing into a full-blossoming plant inside of you, bringing to you what you have prayed for.

 

You live in the kingdom of God and you live in the realm of God inside of you. You live in the Power of God; God is the power inside of you. The power to do what? The power to overcome whatever it is you are facing in life, whatever it is you are praying for.

 

 

Today, right now put your faith and trust on the line.   This is the time in your life, once and for all; limitation is going to be cast out.   It is going to be healed and you are going to overcome this difficulty because you are not alone.

 

I have people come up to me and tell me: “I have this physical problem; can God heal me?”

 

I say, “God can heal you of anything if you have faith enough.” God can heal you. Do not limit God in your own body temple. God is the very Creator of your body temple.

 

Accept, this moment, that whatever challenge you have lived with for years is moving out. You do not have to live with it any longer. You do not have to have delays. God answers every prayer. There is no prayer that you can pray that is too big for God, because God is bigger than your problem.

 

There is no answer to perplexing.   God is at hand.

 

God is the Kingdom. God is the Power. God is the Glory. Christ in you, the hope of glory. The hope of glory, not only for you and your mind, but also the hope of glory for your business, the hope of glory for your relationships, the hope of glory for everything, right on down the line – the smallest and the largest in your life. It is Christ with you and within you – not far off in another kingdom. It is in that kingdom where you are, right now

 

What does it mean to keep your eye focused on a single space as you “look onto the hills“ – Your eye unmoving upon God ?  “What does it mean when Jesus Christ said, if your eye strays, pluck it out? Obviously, He is not teaching to pluck out your eye. Pluck out your perception of that which is wrong. It is not right. You are looking at your limitations. Make your eye single on God and you can overcome; you can move in the way of good that is coming at you, right now. You can do everything that needs to be done and you are aware of it when it comes.”

 

So many people have the answers to their prayers come and they are blind to them. They cannot see it. They come to a minister and the minister says, “Well, your answer is right here.” That is all we do in spiritual counseling. We echo back to you what you might be blind to at that moment.

 

But the answer is there. Of course it is there. Of course it is within you. Because God is at hand.  Proverbs 16:20 says, “He who gives heed to the Word will prosper. Happy is he who trusts in the Lord.”

 

So, today, I invite you to give your life, give all your circumstances to God’s care and God’s keeping.  Trust and know that God is doing all that is grand, all that needs to be done, moment by moment. Know that you are a child of God and go forward speaking this truth, living the close relationship you have with Him  Jesus taught this value of constant communication with God (“pray without ceasing”).  Mark 5:34, it states, “Your faith has made you well. Go in peace and be healed.”

 

Jesus talked with God, clearly, simply, directly; daily urging His followers to do the same. My friends, I invite you to close your eyes and to accept God’s Truth about you, right now.

 

Let us pray:

 

God, we know You are at hand and we know the Truth – Your Truth – and the everlasting help is right here at hand.

 

Lord, we ask that You work in whatever way needs can be done with Your wisdom and Your light,  Let Your power strengthen our body, our mind, our soul.

 

We ask you to help us with total faith and trust so that there is no mountain we can not overcome.  Help us in whatever need we may have.  You, Lord, are at hand.  Help us to let go and let You be our everything.   God is at hand and is the kingdom, the power, the glory forever.

 

In Jesus Christ’s name. . . Amen.

 

God bless you!

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLn0cRl-0GE

 

 

Kingdom Teacher; Kingdom Builder

Psalm 36:7
How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
Psalm 51:1
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.

 

1 John 3:1-3
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears,[a] we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3 All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.

 

As we think about the life and death of Jesus Christ, it only makes sense that Jesus was a kingdom teacher and builder. We could actually say that the kingdom of God IS the kingdom of love – because God is love. And as we discovered last week, God is IN love – with us.

.

For many years, the Jewish people had been waiting to experience the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham that is given in the twelfth chapter of the book of Genesis. It is a three-part promise where God tells Abraham that He will make of him a great nation, will give him this land to possess, and that through Abraham and his descendants, all families of the earth would be blessed. This is the way it is presented in the Hebrew scripture – that the Hebrews are the chosen people, not just for themselves but to be a blessing to all the earth.

 

It probably happened about 4,000 years ago. That is a long time to be waiting for the experience of the fulfillment of a promise God has made to us. This is more or less the history of the good Jewish people, waiting to experience the fulfillment of that promise.

 

The high point of that promise would be the establishment of the kingdom of God on earth. So Jesus came and taught about that kingdom of God and said it was something different. It was not, necessarily and primarily, a political kingdom in the world but was to be a spiritual kingdom accessible within ourselves.

 

Luke 17: 20-21 – 20 Once, on being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, 21 nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst.”  He is saying here that the kingdom of God is in the midst of you. The idea is that Jesus brought it all inside of us and said that the kingdom we are looking for is primarily a spiritual kingdom of love and is to be found within us.

 

“Today, there is much discussion going on among scholars concerning the
historical Jesus. There seemed to be more programs this year, around Christmas, concerning the historical Jesus on many networks.

They are continuing the discussion they have had for years of which words, attributed to Jesus in the Bible, did Jesus actually speak. There is quite a bit of controversy going on. Some of the scholars are getting pretty steamed about what a particular group (called the Jesus Seminar Group) is doing. This is a group of 100 or so scholars who meet, from time-to-time, to study the words of Jesus as they are given in the four Gospels, and also, in writings outside the Bible (such as the Gospel of Thomas). They do not say that their conclusions are the final word, but they are very interested in finding the real Jesus instead of possible church doctrine put in during the Council meetings and that were gathering together and decided upon after much debate of what would make up the 66 books that we now call our Bible. Recently, they have published their book entitled, The Five Gospels.” (foiund through research)

 

Did you think there were 4 Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John?  Well, guess what ! There are five. There is the Gospel of Thomas that is now beginning to be recognized. This is a collection of about 114 sayings that are attributed to Jesus. Some of these sayings are paralleled in the four New Testament gospels.

 

“In this “Gospel,” they have color-coded the words of Jesus, in accordance with how much they think He actually spoke these words. In the book (The Five Gospels), Jesus’ words are shown with a descending degree of possibility, in colors ranging from red to black. In other words, if they print the words of Jesus in red, they are pretty sure Jesus spoke those words. Then you have a range of colors going from pink to gray to black. If the words are printed in black, they are pretty certain that Jesus did not speak the words, even though the gospels have attributed them to Jesus.

 

So, they say if something is printed in red, that is Jesus words. If it is in pink, it sure sounds like Jesus’ words. If it is in gray, well, maybe. And if it is in black, not so much and there has been some mistake. Many ministers are really excited about this issue, this debate. Me? Probably not too excited about this, but others are so I leave it up to you to decide.For me, if scripture says it, that is enough for me. I do not need colors to point out the truths of Jesus.

 

Many theologians see Jesus as a prophet who was always speaking short but meaningful pieces much like the ones from the Sermon on the Mount – what we call today “one liners” – powerful and important. These scholars also think that the parables He told were ones we would print in red (as coming from His Lips).

 

I believe that – even putting that color coding aside – that Jesus did speak the parables and the “one liners.”

 

Here is the key to the kingdom. These – the scriptures – are the teachings of Jesus, regardless of the words or the color coding. . And what we, as Christians must do is to follow that path of obeying and living His words. Then the path takes us to the Kingdom – the kingdom of love, the Kingdom of God – where there is all peace, all harmony, all love.

 

Now, how simple is that – just to follow a few basic teachings and the morals behind the parables leads us into the kingdom of love. And that kingdom of love is to be first found within ourselves, in our souls. Once these teaching are within us, our action is accomplished also in love. Jesus has provided a blueprint we can follow that will lead us into the kingdom of love.

 

Let’s focus on what Jesus teaches about love? He said a lot about that subject and much can be attributed to Him, as we know as we read our scriptures.

 

The one main point Jesus made was that of a loving Father – God. It is important to keep close to use the fact that Jesus’ concept of God was that He was His Father. We as spiritual people also must hold on to this concept. Everything we do in our lives is an expression of our concept of God. Think of that for a moment. Everything we do in our lives is just an expression of our concept of God. What a powerful declaration and truth.

 

Genesis 1:26 says: 26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness…..”   So we are made in the image and after the likeness of God. And what is God? God is the very quality of love itself. God is life; God is health; God is intelligence; God is power; God is Spirit. God does not have those things; God is the sum total of ALL those Divine qualities. And ALL of these are individualized within us, in potential.

 

Now since we are made in the image and after the likeness of God, our lives through the ages should be one of love, quality, giving, trust …. Woops –is that human history – over the thousands of years, up to today? Is this the image of God as He created us. I am thinking – “not so much.” We are not the image of God. We have created a God in our image and what works for us. If scripture doesn’t say what we want it to, we just blame it on the culture of the past and pretend we have advanced beyond that. God is not like the humankind we have become, hateful, vengeful, unforgiving, mean. That is not God—that is a human trait. What we have done in constructing our concept of God throughout the ages is projecting those human qualities onto God. Why? I think it is because we then have an excuse for our negative behavior, our permissive behavior. And now our culture is slipping away from the definition of “created in His image.”

 

Everything that Jesus said and taught is His reflection of God as totally loving. And He spoke of God as Father. Back in that time “father” was used to express the close family relationship between the deity and the deity’s followers.

 

By the way, Jesus uses the term Father in two places that are versions of the Lord’s Prayer –
Matthew 6:9 9 “This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
and Luke 11:2 – He said to them, “When you pray, say: “Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come.
– and that group called the Seminar Group, in their color-coded work, have put the word “Father” in red. So even they believe Jesus really spoke that word. (Of course most of us already knew that.)

 

But it is interesting that the Jesus Seminar folk put the word “Father” in red. Jesus had a very loving concept of God as Father. I think this probably in some way might reflect the relationship he had with Joseph, His worldly father.

 

Not much is told to us about Joseph in the New Testament, but I think many of us tend to project our concept of our parents onto God. So, Jesus must also have had a really loving, human father figure.

 

Jesus taught that God is a very loving God—a God of love, as we discussed last week. Did you realize that the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) never say, “God loves you.” Jesus does not say it, nor do the writers. Yet, we don’t have to see it to know it. If we just look at the teachings of Jesus, we know beyond a doubt that God was nothing but true love, given at ALL times, no matter who we are, what we have done or what we have not done. That is truly unconditional love. I thank God for that love every day because I do not deserve it. Yet, I so relish in it and appreciate it beyond words.

 

Jesus says in, John 16:27 (NIV) 27 … the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.

 

It seems as though He is talking more directly about God loving us there. Is this the kingdom of which He teaches?

 

So, no matter where you go with Jesus, you are going to find that He is in some way addressing the wonderful, spiritual quality of love that is our basic nature.

 

What are we to do with it? Practice it to the best of our ability in everything we do, remembering always that no matter what the problem is, love is the solution.

 

Have you ever seen this? “Love is the answer, now what was the question?” I think no matter what question was addressed of Jesus, it can be addressed of us today, and we will find that the answer is always the same. And Jesus, in His own way, said the same thing.

 

1 Corinthians 4:20-21(NIV) 20 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. 21 What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a rod of discipline, or shall I come in love and with a gentle spirit?

 

This is Emmett Fox’s writing on what he calls “The Golden Gate.” Friends, this is the golden gate that leads us into the kingdom of love, into that consciousness of all good. This is HIS teaching of the Kingdom.

 

“Love is by far the most important thing of all. It is the golden gate of paradise. Pray for the understanding of love and meditate upon it daily.

 

It casts out fear; it is the fulfilling of the law; it covers a multitude of sins. Love is absolutely invincible. There is no difficulty that enough love will not conquer, no disease that enough love will not heal, no door that enough love will not open, no gulf that enough love will not bridge, no wall that enough love will not throw down, no sin that enough love will not redeem. It makes no difference how deeply seeded may be the trouble, how hopeless the outlook, how muddled the tangle, how great the mistake. A sufficient realization of love will dissolve it all. If only you could love enough, you would be the happiest and most powerful being in the world.”

 

1 Corinthians 4:20-21(NIV) 20 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. 21 What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a rod of discipline, or shall I come in love and with a gentle spirit?
When will the Kingdom come on Earth? —when we express it. We each need to become the love of God in our reality, in our soul, in our truth, in our expression.  Then we can, and will, produce a heaven on earth. And that is the Kingdom of which our Jesus taught  Let us create this strong kingdom on earth and within ourselves as we await the arrival of our Lord on His second coming.

How proud he will be, knowing we encompass HIS teaching of Kingdom Building.

God bless you!

God is in love – –

Christmas has come and gone for this year (2013). In about fifty one weeks we will again celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. God who became flesh to live among us, grant us salvation, and everlasting life with Him. Why in the world did He do that?

Let’s take a look at a very famous scripture – John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”

I guess we all know that scripture by heart. It is probably the best known Bible verse ever. We see it on the sides of city buses, on banners at football, basketball, baseball, and soccer games. We see it on billboards as we drive the highways; and, of course, we see it at and in churches around the world. I would guess that most of us learned that scripture as young children in Sunday School or Vacation Bible School.

We could envision that the scripture could be translated like this, “For God so loved the world, concerned that things were not quite going the way God really wanted them to go, that God sent His only Son to work things out and fix them, and be here to handle things and get them back on track for God’s children”

How sweet to think we have a loving God who would have that concern.

Yet, if you look up “love” in the lexicon (just in case you are curious – a the lexicon is – “ a reference book giving information about the meanings, pronunciations, uses, and origins of words listed in alphabetical order … Related Words are glossary, thesaurus, vocabulary) that was used back then also, we might be surprised. It actually holds a larger and a surprising meaning. Most of us, myself included, always thought it was probably the agape love or something like that. After looking it up, there was the larger meaning that love was encompassing and it meant the love in whole-hearted ways. Then it hit me – not only did God “love” us, but God is IN LOVE with us and in love with the world! This little round sphere spinning in the universe and all that is in it excites God! God thought it was great, and He still does!

God thought it was SO great that God wanted to give” it” a gift. God had the same motivation we have when we think someone is so great in our lives that we want to do something for him or her, not because there is a problem or things are messed up, but simply because we are IN love. Out of the greatness of God’s heart and mind, God gave the best gift God had to give–the perfect son, the Christ idea for all of us to follow.

Christ abides in each person as potential perfection. “Christ in you your hope of glory.” Jesus Christ, the embodiment of all Divine ideas, exists eternally in the mind as the only begotten Son of God–the Messiah, the Anointed One, the living accessible help in all of our lives.

What possibilities might begin to open up in our lives, how might our lives become different, if we were to take this incredible gift, given of God’s total love for us, not out of concern or worry, but given absolutely out of love, and begin to apply it in our lives?

Now don’t get me wrong or think I am unrealistic. I know we are sinners and I know that Christ came to be our sacrificial lamb, to take our sins on to Himself…that “whosoever believeth on Him shall have everlasting life.”

So let’s look at how we apply John 3:16?

It simply says God gave us a gift. But how do we apply this gift?”

What was the gift?” Jesus Christ was the embodiment of this gift. The gift for us in Christianity came and was expressed through Jesus the Christ and then was expressed in His teachings so that we may follow and become much more than we presently are.

So, at this point we can take and begin to let it work in our life. Maybe as we open that door, new possibilities will appear. As we move through this message let’s chunk down a bit and focus on just a few.

In my mind the most important life-transforming lesson/teaching is that the love sent to us from God began the building of His presence within us or as many call it the “building of our spiritual consciousness.”

Until we really begin to work with the teaching of building our own spiritual consciousness, we will meet with some difficulty because we will always have the tendency of going back to our old way of living. Once that new spiritual consciousness is created, there is no going back.

Remember the scripture Matthew 6:19-21, when He said, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven, where neither moth or rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

Our treasures that we” lay up” within us really become the most incredible power we have been given as children of God, and that is the power of our word – the very words we speak.

John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word...” At the very beginning of all things, before anything else, is the Word. Then something happens. John tells us that Word becomes flesh. This begins the building of our deep and powerful belief within us.

And we can do that. Through the power of prayer and affirmative prayer we can build our thoughts within us to a positive belief system. And we can do this regardless of how down we are, how defeated we feel. It may be a struggle as we pray ; but once we look at the truth and pray to the power of God, everything is possible. We see the treasure of the Lord and realize that we are His treasure because He is so in love with us. Then we “lay up the treasure.”

As we join the Lord in prayer and allow ourselves to truly wrap ourselves around this magnificent love of His, the truth begins to well up in us and we can feel this LOVE in every cell and fiber of our body. And the Word became Flesh begins to manifest itself and is suddenly a reality.

So, Jesus gave us another great teaching of building consciousness. Sometimes, no matter how hard we try putting these new treasures into our minds and souls, we just cannot quite get them to stay.

Well, Jesus was aware that there was also the necessity of letting go of the old.

Jesus put the teaching this way “Neither is new wine put into old wineskins; if it is, the skins burst, and the wine is spilled, and the skins are destroyed; but new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.” Matthew 9:17

Spiritually, the wineskins the Jesus mentions is your mind; the new wine Jesus mentions is God thoughts.

“Another activity we work with in Christianity is this activity we call “Nea” or “no” prayer. Jesus said, “Let all your words be either ‘Yea, Yea,’ (yes, yes) or ‘Nea, Nea,’ (no, no).”  We have the power in our words to decree what we want in life and to cast out what we choose to reject. A powerful tool it is – we must look at that which we are dealing with, say yes to it allowing it to become a part of our daily life or saying no to it and eliminating it. We must know that there is a higher power; God is one with us right now! “He that is within me is greater than that which is in the world.”

So, in working with “Nea” power, it is not denying a problem’s existence, but recognizing its existence and denying its power over God and us. God is bigger than any of your problems. We affirm the power of the Christ, and attach the power of the Christ to those words, those ideas that we want to bring into our lives that we want to give “flesh” to in our life.”

There we have the key to building spiritual consciousness.

Building spiritual consciousness is an ongoing work.

The word religion means “Way of Life.” The most difficult religion or concept to practice is “on ourselves”—in my own life. It is so easy to go back to my old way of being. It is so easy to step back and say, “Oh, let somebody else do it for me. Let somebody else take on the responsibility of ensuring that I am a good person and that I live a good life. Just let me know what the rules are.”

Jesus said “No, it is up to you, yourself—to follow, and become. It is up to you to enter into communion and to enter into covenant with Christ and establish those words of truth within your being, and to do whatever it takes.” That takes work, but it is worth it and beyond your wildest dreams.

For those of us who have stuck with it and have seen the results of the work, we find out that we truly are worthy of our hire as workmen in this field of spiritual growth and spiritual evolvement. Yes, God so loved – was so in love with – the world that God truly gave us the greatest gift of all – in fact the only gift God wanted to give – the gift of Divine ideas told to us by God’s Son. He told us that we too, are loved children of God. He told us about the Divine idea of love, the Divine idea of power, the Divine idea of strength, and the Divine idea of wisdom. Through Jesus Christ, those ideas were brought into flesh with simple teachings that He offered us.

If you are willing to take on the work, take on the challenge, what possibilities might open up in your life?

“Speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into Him who is the head, into Christ.” Ephesians 4:15

In closing – “I believe that God meant life to be exciting – an adventure, a challenge worth taking, with victories so sweet that the memories of them never fade, but only urge us to take on yet another challenge. That is why God SO LOVED, was so in love with this world that God gave us the gift of the Divine ideas as taught by Jesus; to open up the possibility and the opportunity to take the challenge, to live the life of great, fantastic, awesome, and wonderful.

God is IN love with you. God believes in you. God sees more in you than you are able to see in yourself.” I.C.

God bless you!