We have received and found and walked through that door, at least once. Now it is time to experience even more of Him and to become as much in His likeness as we can. Our joy will be unbelievable
We now have a purpose. Last Friday, just two days ago, was Valentine’s Day when we spread our earthly love to all. Now it is time to let God bring His love and harmony to all we encounter.
I just read an amazing piece of information which impacts every living person on the planet. I will quote this so I get it exact.
“In the next few years we will enter into a whole new era, if, as humanity, we are willing to make it new. We cannot continue, as humanity, living the way we have lived in our brutal past. We can’t, or history will repeat itself. We as the grown-ups in spirituality, people of all religions, have to hold hands in harmony and walk the talk. What is walking the talk? It is putting love action in our lives and allowing God to come through us.
“Dan and Kathy put up a hummingbird feeder. They had high hopes. It was the hope of “build it and they will come.” They put up the hummingbird feeder and they waited and waited and waited some more. Finally one hummingbird came the first year and that was all. Then the second year there was another hummingbird, it was just one hummingbird coming every couple of weeks. It wasn’t very often at all.
Then the third year they looked out one morning and they were just overcome. It was like a spiritual experience because four hummingbirds were on that feeder at the same time. Ordinarily hummingbirds flutter their wings very fast as they are feeding. They never really land, they just keep on fluttering. They feed often because they need the high energy to move their wings. But they were all sitting on the feeder. Not only were the four hummingbirds sitting there in harmony, but also there were four places where they could feed. Every once in a while they would hop around the rim of the feeder, changing places. They would hop in unison around the feeder all taking equal turns at the various spots to feed.
This went on for several weeks and then there was a dramatic change. A bully hummingbird started to swoop in and fly by making noises and would scare away the four hummingbirds that were all in harmony. This bully hummingbird would spend so much time trying to take over and defending his place that nobody was being fed. He didn’t have time to feed. When he did, he would only be able to feed for a couple of seconds and then he would expend all of that energy on even more defending of his spot. Very soon no one at all could eat the food that was there for everyone.”
That is a lot like us in humanity. Listen to the next statement because it is very profound. It is something that when I first heard it I had to think about it for days before I even accepted it as the truth.
“Imagine the total population of all of humanity. I am talking about from the beginning of time, from the first man and woman, and the first few tribes, and the first few communities. If you were to count all of that population, the population that was in the world when Jesus walked on the earth or when Ben Franklin was here—all the numbers of population of humanity from the beginning of time to right now—one half of that number of population is alive today, all at the same time, because of the tremendous growth and birth rate. One half of the population that has ever lived on this planet is alive today and it is growing moment by moment and day by day. It is becoming crowded out there.
There is only one answer for the world, one answer for each of our lives. We have to become more loving as societies, and as humanity. We can’t wait. We can’t say it will happen to my children or my children’s children. Maybe they will do it. You have to do it right where you are. I have to do it. We have to put action in our love.”
We have lived a long time and we have had many days when we did not love. We can’t do it anymore. We have to take the spiritual high road. We have to teach others, not by converting them, but by example. It doesn’t matter what their religion; we just have to show the love of God through us in our businesses, in our homes, in our personal life and our public life. We have to because friends, there is no other choice.
There are four stages of spiritual growth. This is not my original idea, but, nevertheless, I would like to share it with you.
1. The first stage is the “to me” stage. Everything happens to me. I am a victim. Poor little me, I’m in my “woe” boat “woeing” around. Oh, everything happens to me, and poor me, I am a victim– the “to me” stage.
2. The second stage of spiritual growth is where we are growing up a bit. It is the “by me” stage. It is the independent stage. It is where I have grown up and I realize that I can make a difference in my life.
3. The third stage is the “fulfillment” stage and that is realizing that it is not “by me” but “through me.” There is a huge difference. It is through me that God works. It is not I but the Christ within that makes the difference—the fulfillment stage.
4. The fourth stage is the highest stage of spiritual growth that each of us is seeking. I am seeking “as me”. That is stage number four. Jesus said look at me, look at God. God is love, I am love.
Once we reach this stage, it is an ongoing disposition and reflection. We must keep reflecting and concentrating on our Love – spreading the Love which is God in each smile, If we stop, we are each just one step away from dropping back to that victim stage #1.
“On the street I saw a small girl, cold and shivering in a thin dress with little hope of a decent meal. I became angry and I said to God, “God, why did you permit this? Why don’t you do something about it?”
For a while God said nothing. That night God replied, quite suddenly. “I certainly did do something about it. I made you”’
Edward Everett Hale’s pledge to Lend a Hand Society reads like this: “I am only one, but still I am one. I can’t do everything, but still I can do something. Because I can’t do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.”
Today, let’s each of us pray a very sincere prayer that we can do something to make our own world more loving. We can live AS God-love.
We are an example to everyone we come across; and then those people, because they have experienced our life/ our love, will want to and will use us as a model and spread that love out. And surprisingly, they won’t even be really conscious of it.
I pray that God speaks to your heart with this mission and purpose for your life this day.
It just takes one voice to make a difference in your world.
I John 4:19 it says, “We love because he first loved us.” God’s love is emulating through us. We just let it happen with our smiles, our talk, our love of all.
Imagine that somebody comes up to you and lays $525,600 in your lap. You say, “Gee, thank you very much! You have just laid $525,600 in my lap.”
They said, “Ah, but there is one catch. You have to spend it all this year. When you do, next year I will come back and I will lay another $525,600 in your lap. But you have to spend that all in that year.”
That is what happens to each one of us here. Every year God gives you 525,600 minutes in your life. You have to spend it all in that year. You can’t take it with you.
But if we take 100,000 of those minutes, that we are given so freely yearly and invest that in love, that will bear interest in our lives too. Our lives will become richer. We will have a higher purpose; a higher reason for living than we ever imagined possible. It is possible.
The most painful time in my life was when I didn’t know I had a choice. I was just a victim and things happened to me. Do you know what the scariest time of my life was? The scariest time of my life was when I knew that I had the choice, but I was making the wrong choice. I had to deal with that inside of myself daily. I think most of us have gone through that stage. It is called growth to maturity. But that stage is long over; if not, it is time to work on building your spirituality. Remember Christ was love and suffered many things for us. But he never felt nor was he ever a victim.
The happiest time of my life is when I knew I had a choice and I was making the right choice. There is always a choice. The choice we have to make as people who are walking in spirituality is to make the choice of love each and every time. And always, it is to bring more and more people to love the face of God – becoming true Christians.
If we paste pictures on the window of past experiences, we can not see out that window. All we are looking at are the pictures of the past – some happy, many sad.
As we stare at them and say to ourselves, “I became a person of love through this situation on this picture; then we take it down and put it in an album. As we go through every photograph, forgiving, loving, appreciating, forgiving again, finally, every picture is off the window and put away; and as we look through the glass, we almost have to squint because all we can see is — the brilliant pure light of God-love, just pure light.
There are people who live 90 years and there are people who live one year 90 times. None of us want to remain the same. We don’t want to be imprisoned by the past. We want to go on and become the very best we can become. Sometimes that means we have to go into the mystery of life and into a territory that we do not know. We often have to look for ourselves and look for love in order to have the love of God work through us. And the Holy Bible is the best teacher. This when we can see through that window – There is God; there is love.
Friends, in life we often have to get hit on the head time and time again and then we say, “Ohhhhh!” Sometimes we joke on our spiritual path until the cosmic two-by-four hits us. I am tired of the two-by-four hitting me, and I am ready to go the way of God. The way of God is love. I am ready to go in the way of “Not my will, but thine be done.” He is Love; He loved us when we were struggling and He loves us now. Here is my path; and I am ready to follow it and not turn to the right or the left . Following that path toward that light is my passion – my life – my love. And I thank God for loving me so much that he showed me the path.
Luke 10: 27, 28: Jesus said, Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”28“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
What more can anyone say; how straightforward is that. No argument – this is the word of God. We must obey. It is like the STOP sign. We stop. We do not YIELD; we STOP
I am tired of saying, “I have to have life on my own terms.” Like the man standing in front of the wood stove saying, “You give me some heat, and I will give you some wood.” Or a person saying to someone, “You love me and then I will love you.”
It is true that the people we love may not give it back to us directly. It may be a slow process. It may be very slow, but are we making a difference?’ Are we changing our world? What influence are we making? It may be years before we realize and look back, looking for models that worked in their and our lives. It only takes one – it only takes us to begin living in love.
It is like Chinese bamboo. Suppose I had Chinese bamboo in the yard; and we were making a commitment today to grow Chinese bamboo. If we did all the right things, the right soil, the right nutrients, and we worked on it every day, the first year it would grow two inches. We would tend it every day, care for it every day, and the second year it would grow two inches. If we tended it every day and every night, the third year it would grow two inches. And it would be the same with the fourth year, two more inches. In the fifth year it springs up 80 feet, beyond even the ceiling. Often it is that way with love.
What is the will of God? Love. What is God? God is Love.
Love. That is what life is all about.
Let us pray.
I consent this morning to living my life in love. I consent to Divine Love being fused with my human mind and every thought in my mind being a thought of God-love. I consent to my voice being the voice of love, with the power of the spoken word, to speak love and only love to those I see along my path. I perceive love with my human eyes, and hear love with my human ears. I emanate love with my soul. I agree to become a living example, made in the image and likeness of Christ, to be love, to express love, to put harmony into humanity.
All through the love of Jesus Christ…Amen