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!