THOUGHTS – -WORDS – – DEEDS

 

Matthew 4:4 , “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by EVERY WORD that proceeds from the mouth of God” [RSV].

 

 

 

Each of our mouths can act as a mouth of God. To do so, we have to understand something the wonder of God.  And we earn and understand this through the study of our Holy Bible.

 

 

 

 

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could have it within our ability to speak one word and completely change our lives? To be able to create exactly what we want?

 

 

 

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if God looked at each one of us and said, “You can have all the health, wealth, happiness and all the desired outcomes you want in your life.”

 

 

 

God said this, and yet many do not take advantage of this spiritual offer. Many repeatedly say, “No thanks. I’d rather not.”

 

 

 

The real food of God is spiritual not material;  it feeds our soul and then our mind, and then our body.

 

 

 

Deuteronomy 30:14 says, “But the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it.” In this part of scripture, the Lord is speaking to Moses, haven given him a commandment and instructions on how to live a spiritual life. These instructions are very plain and simple. The word and the power ARE IN YOUR MOUTH and in your heart.

 

 

This word of God is not just locked up someplace in a Bible. In fact, when these words were spoken in Deuteronomy, the Bible as such didn’t even exist.

 

 

 

So what did they mean when they said “the word of God”? They were actually talking about the living presence that would spiritually come through the human voice that people could experience and feel. Just like what we receive during a prayer time and meditation – a spiritual experience in our hearts and in our minds; a living presence will fill us, and then we will be able to express it through our mouths and into our lives.

 

 

 

God is actually busy expressing His Word through us, through life, and through the very planet earth itself. The Bible says that humans were given dominion over ALL life; we have that added gift of God’s power. All that God has created, we’ll listen to His word, and if this power from God is used in the right way we can speak new spiritual worlds into existence. In this very deep perspective, we can say whenever we speak rightly that God CAN speak through us.

 

 

 

Sometimes we hear people ask the question “How can there be so much misery in this world?” The answer is through the misguided, misused use of free-will through humankind.

 

 

 

If things aren’t exactly the way we would like it to be, all we have to do is look around at each other, and look inside of our own hearts and minds to find out why. It can be very difficult because it places the responsibility on us, instead of blaming our wrong concept of a vengeful God. But, if you contemplate this even a moment, you see that it also places incredible opportunity on us as well.

 

 

 

We have it within our own God-given power to speak the Word of God, creating by what proceeds from our mouths and hearts. Each of us, literally, is a co-creating channel of God’s good.

 

 

 

Words are the most powerful agents of the mind. Every time we speak we cause the atoms of the body to tremble and change their places. Not only do we cause the atoms of our own bodies to change their positions, but we raise a lower  rate of vibration, and otherwise affect the bodies of others with whom we come into contact.

 

 

 

A scientific experiment took place in which a handful of iron filings were placed upon a thin metal sheet. Then a certain musical note was struck and those iron filings formed themselves into a star pattern. Then a different musical note was struck and they formed themselves into a snowflake. (You probably have seen this done.)

 

 

 

This was a literal experiment that demonstrated how a certain kind of vibration, a certain sound vibration, literally demonstrated itself into the physical world in a different pattern. So it is with every word that proceeds out of our mouths. Those sounds have specific vibrations that affect the patterns of matter in this world.

 

 

 

Commit today to speak only positive words about yourself, about others, and about your world.

 

 

 

It is not only prayer that affects a change—it’s whenever we speak. In fact, whenever we think positive thoughts , we are causing good vibrational changes in our lives and in the world.

 

 

 

There has often been some kind of lost word of power, that if we could just recapture it somehow, we could recreate for ourselves the power of God. The Hebrew people believed that this lost word was hidden in the word Yahweh, out of which the word Jehovah came. They believed this word was unpronounceable and yet had that kind of power.

 

 

 

“Sow a thought; reap a word. Sow a word; reap a deed. Sow a deed; reap a habit. Sow a habit; reap a character. Sow a character; reap a destiny.”   From the simple, seemingly innocent sown thought grows a lifetime of destiny, and influencing future generations.   As Jesus Christ said, “As you sow, so shall you reap.”

 

 

 

The seeding process begins with the thoughts we think. Words are formed based on the thoughts that we hold in the incubator of our mind. Words are powerful and formative.

 

 

 

One of the chief delusions of this world we live in is that talk is cheap. We say that because in this modern age, fewer people keep their word. Promises are broken more frequently. In today’s world sadly nobody really expects you to keep your promises anyway, UNLESS you sign your name and somebody has a lawyer. Just try to buy a home, or even a car, by just giving your word. And yet a human’s word used to be a respected bond. Our words should always be a respected bond.

 

 

 

There is often an ignorance of the relationship between talk and deeds.   “As we sow, so shall we reap.”   We sow our thoughts; we reap words. We sow words; we reap deeds. Eventually we have habits, character, and destiny.

 

 

 

Look out on the road you’re driving on sometime this week, and see all the cars out there. Just ask yourself this question: “What is it that is driving those cars?” You might say, “Well, human beings, obviously.” But what’s driving those cars? What’s driving those people? Thoughts. Thoughts are driving those cars; thoughts like “I am hungry! I can hardly wait to get to lunch,” or “We should visit Grandma today; we haven’t seen her for a long time,” or “I’d better cut the lawn this afternoon before it rains again.”

 

 

 

Thoughts like that are driving those cars. Distracting thoughts like that can drive our lives also. Think about it. It’s true, but we don’t usually remain conscious of it.

 

 

 

Jesus wants us to wake up our words; he admonishes us to pray constantly, using words.

 

 

 

In the East, the yogis speak about words having great power also. They have special names for these words—”mantras”. “Mantra” is a Sanskrit word which means power or protection. It also means that which brings the experience of the subject directly to the speaker.

 

 

 

You must become awake, and aware, of the words proceeding from your mouth, and their cost to you in what they are creating in you, and others around you.   Others judge you more on the words coming out of your mouth than on the clothes you wear.

 

 

 

For the next thirty days do not allow ONE NEGATIVE THOUGHT TO PROCEED FROM YOUR MOUTH. Only positive uplifting life creating words proceed from your mouth for the next thirty days. If you are a couple, help each other in this transformational exercise that will literally change the rest of your life as you form new habits of speech. This may change your communication forever!

 

 

 

Start with your new thoughts and words, but those new thoughts and new words have to translate into new deeds. And those new deeds have to be sown so that new habits can be reaped. And those new habits will create new character. And that new character will change your life.

 

 

 

So to repeat, , start with your new thoughts and words, but those new thoughts and new words have to translate into new deeds. Use your life to make a positive difference in the lives of others. Those new deeds have to be sown continually so that new habits can be reaped. And those new habits will create new character. And that new character will change your life, and the lives of countless others that witness your life whether you are aware of it or not.

 

 

Change your words; change your life!

 

 

 

 

 

God Bless You!

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God’s Plan for Us.

 

 Then our mouths were filled with laughter, and our tongues formed joyful shouts. Then it was said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.”  Psalm 126: 2.

 

 

It’s good to laugh in church. If you can’t laugh in church where can you laugh?
Christianity is a religion of joy, and in that context let’s share a few Christian ideas.

 

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I saw a sign the other day that said, “God put me on earth to accomplish a
certain number of things. Right now, I am so far behind, I will never die.”

 

 

Maybe you feel that way, today. Maybe you feel that some things are temporarily
out of your control as hard as you try. God can help manage your life and help you every minute of the day and night. God can bring your life into a wonderful Divine Order.

 

 

God has a plan for your life and for my life. It is by Divine appointment now that you and I are both experiencing these words, this message. These words are for everyone whose get-up-and-go has got-up-and-gone.

 

 

When your smile has turned to a frown, it is time to turn to God.   We get tired often when life has become a hard climb. We have found that it is a little bit tougher than we had imagined. We wonder how in the world we’ll get over the next hurdle.

 

 

It is at this time more than any other to turn to God. When we do, we find out the truth that God is at hand, and we find that new strength is at hand. The truth is
that our life can be great.

 

 

God is life, and God is the giver of life. We can, again, become engaged and excited about our lives, today. We can become excited about connecting with God.

 

 

The deeper the prayer in our life, the deeper the inspiration and the finer the ideas are because we are positive faith-filled people. We choose to be. No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, sailed to an uncharted land, or opened up a new heaven to the human spirit. To do all that we need to do, we have to say, “Yes.” We have to  say, “I’m ready; I’m willing; and I’m very excited about what is happening.”

 

 

Diane Ackerman once said, “I don’t want to be a passenger in my own life.”

 

 

You don’t, either. You want to be fully engaged in experiencing and enjoying. You want to be a VIP, a Very Involved Person.  This is a person who is totally engaged and in the enjoyment of God’s blessings. Take yourself out of neutral in all the areas of your life, and become engaged in the enjoyment, the spirituality, and the fun of your life, knowing there will be bumps and a bit of sadness along the way.

 

 

Hostile-looking tribesmen in a South American jungle suddenly surrounded a
missionary. Noting their posed spears and poisoned arrows, the missionaries
knew they had to think of something and think of it, quickly. At that moment a plane
flew overhead, and he said, “See that bird up there? That is my friend. If
you hurt us, it will kill you.”

 

 

The chief took one glance into the sky and then answered, “That’s no bird;
that is a Boeing 747.”  Now that’s a twist.   Sometimes life takes surprising turns, in the moment of the surprise (not always pleasant ones)– we must call upon Divine help.

 

 

Here is a good definition of the survival of the fittest drama –not by hiding behind a shell because things in life have become unpredictable and even uncomfortable and negative; it is grasping life, riding the waves of life spreading our wings,and enjoying living each of our moments.

 

 

 

What do you see when you look into the mirror? Do you see someone who is
made up of the sum total of his, or her problems? Do you see someone who,
for some reason or another, in some areas of his or her life, puts himself
or herself into neutral and hides for protection?  Or do you see joy through your circumstances – positive and negative.

 

 

I’m going to give you a secret and a key.  Commitment to life turns the weights into wings!  It allows you to fly over problems that used to hold you down, and allows  you to take hold of a new day, a new beginning.

 

 

When is the last time you celebrated the morning, celebrated life? Life is
so rich; the most valuable thing you have in your entire life is this day,  this 24 hours. There is nothing richer.  The most precious commodity in our world is not gold – it is time.   Live your life not by the gold standard but by the time standard.

 

 

Today, let’s anchor our lives in the joy and satisfaction of who we are, and that we have this time to see God everywhere we look during these 24 hours. We have lives that seek the gain of experiencing more of God, the sacred presence within us, and all of us. – to live our lives from this higher perspective, to reorganize our priorities, and to put God first. When we do, we will be less and less likely to veer off  course.  And when we might veer, we know God and we can forgive ourselves  and move forward.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are meant to spiritually have more. Our souls are meant to enjoy life and we are meant to allow our spiritual energy to overflow with joy. That is what life is
about. Wealth, in of and itself, does not guarantee happiness.

 

 

How successful are you in life?

 

 

Today, judge your lives by the amount of joy you inject into each and
every moment of the day, these 24 hours are to be enjoyed—they are a gift
from God.

 

 

 

 

 

Your will is shaping your future. Whether you fail or succeed shall be no
human’s doing but your own. You are the force, but you are not the force
alone. God IS with you.

 

 

You can clear any obstacle before you, or you can be lost in the maze.
It is your choice, and your responsibility, win or lose. Only you and your
God hold the keys to your destiny.

 

 

I want you to have this kind of destiny. Even when things go badly for
you, you will still find life good and worth living, because you know you
are connected to God.

 

 

Your soul has wings. When you have a sense of God, you will fly over
former problems that used to bother you. Here is what I pray for you. I
pray that the same circumstance or event that would have put you into a
crisis mode a year or even a week ago will feel like just a minor speed bump now, because  you know you are NOT alone.

 

 

If we have a jigsaw puzzle, we can pour it out on a table and it is a
chaotic heap of similar looking bits of displaced matter. There are no
clues. We look at our lives, and they are the same way, but the truth is
that each piece fits into the bigger picture. Life must be lived forward,
but it can only be understood backward.

 

 

As a thread in the tapestry, every event in your life has some meaning
and purpose for the larger pattern, even if you cannot see what it is in
the moment.  You will discover the meaning more quickly if you direct your thoughts  and focus your mind on God.  To aid in this, make a list of all the things you enjoy about your  life. The simple pleasures: praying, working with your hands, breathing fresh air, enjoying beautiful music.

 

 

When you are having dark times, sit down and write out stories: stories
about your life past, when you were most enjoying yourself. Write down the
meanings you now see in those stories. This will increase your faith and
your confidence as you go through the present story that is now unfolding
and that you cannot fully understand.

 

 

 

Hard times come to a believer and a non-believer alike. But because God
has promised to be with us, at all times, we CAN face even hard times in
life. God is with you and you remind yourself of this, over and over,
again, during the day. God is our provider, strengthener, rescuer, and we
seek that. When we seek that, we find it.

 

 

Consent to God in the moment, to new greater life, to new greater opportunity,
by FIRST saying yes to God.

 

 

Imagine this. You are in your dining room, and you have a
fine wooden table and chairs. You are sitting there at the table and you
have just eaten dinner. You are smiling. You are sitting there.

 

 

You cross your legs, lean back, and all of a sudden, the back of the chair
falls to the floor and breaks into smithereens. You think, “Oh no! This is
the chair my mother owned and I loved this. How can this be?” You run down
the street because, down the street, is a carpenter, the best in the city.

 

 

You say, “Please come to my house.” The carpenter arrives immediately,
looks at the chair and says, “I’m sorry, it is beyond repair. But, allow
me to take it. I can make a stool out of this, and it will be better than
you ever imagined.”

 

 

So the carpenter takes the chair and reshapes it into a stool. Not an
ordinary stool, but he even puts in gold inlay and reshapes it into a
family heirloom, a treasure, the most treasured thing in your entire home
when you get it back.

 

 

That is the way it is with God. God comes instantly, when we call. Maybe
we have broken something into smithereens, and it cannot be repaired
exactly as we would like it in our minds, but God is going to make
something better out of it, if we give it to God, and if we are willing to
allow that to occur.

 

 

Ephesians 4:17-24:Now this I affirm and insist on in the Lord: you must
no longer live as the Gentiles live, in the futility of their minds. They
are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God
because of their ignorance and hardness of heart. They have lost all
sensitivity and have abandoned themselves to licentiousness, greedy to
practice every kind of impurity. That is not the way you learned Christ!
For surely you have heard about Him and were taught in Him, as truth is in
Jesus. You were taught to put away your former way of life, your old self,
corrupt and deluded by its lusts, and to be renewed in the spirit of your
minds, and to clothe yourselves with the new self, created according to
the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”

 

 

 

I don’t know where you think the ideal place is. Maybe you think it is on
the beach on a south sea island. Maybe you think it is a small town where
there is no crime or urban problems. Maybe you think it is on top of a
mountain somewhere, just praying to God. But it is not. Reality, rarely,
lives up to the fantasy. You do not grow unless you are engaged with life.
You do not experience life fully without growing, without experiencing the pain and the joy  …  experience life every second, to be so aware of God in your life, this day, that it is the best  day you have ever lived, regardless of the circumstances.

 

 

A bold goal must capture the hearts and minds of people who do the real work.
When John F. Kennedy was President, and he announced to the United States
that we would put a man on the moon, a janitor at NASA was interviewed one day,
and he was asked to describe his job as he swept the debris from one of the
workrooms.  The janitor said, “I am helping to put a man on the moon.”

 

 

We too, need a bold goal for our lives, and we all have a need to be a
part of something bigger than ourselves.

 

 

Today, make God real in your life by seeing as God, hearing as God, thinking as God, moving as God, and enjoying as God!

 

 

Let us pray.

 

Dear God, I commit to You first, and then to life. I will no longer
disengage. I allow You and me to walk together, hand in hand, thought in
thought, life in life, and to meet everything with victory, a smile, and
happiness. And so it is.

 

 

In Jesus Christ’s name and nature. Amen.

 

God bless you!

 

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Living the Life of Love

 

There was a little boy who was riding across town on a city bus. He was  huddled very close to a well-dressed lady and was swinging his legs back  and forth, out in the aisle like kids do.

 

Accidentally, he rubbed his shoes up against the woman sitting across from  him. She got perturbed and asked the other well-dressed woman, “Pardon me,  but would you please tell your little boy to keep his feet to himself?”

 

The well-dressed woman looked at the boy as if she hadn’t really been  aware that he was there, then shoving him aside, said, “He’s not my boy.   I’ve never seen him before.”

 

Embarrassed, the little boy moved to another seat where he sat down as if  trying to hide. It was obvious the boy was trying to fight back tears. He  looked at the lady whose dress he had soiled and he said, “I’m so sorry; I  didn’t mean to.”

 

When the woman saw what the scolding had done to the boy, she felt badly about how she had responded. She said, “Oh honey, that’s all right. Are  you going somewhere alone?”

 

The boy lowered his head and answered, “I always travel alone. My mommy and daddy are gone, so I live with my Aunt Maggie. But when she gets tired  of me, she sends me to Aunt Elizabeth.”

 

The woman then asked, “Are you on your way to visit Aunt Elizabeth now?”

 

The boy answered, “Yes, but Aunt Elizabeth is hardly ever home. I hope  she’s home, today, because it is so cold outside.”

 

The woman looked at the boy again and then said, “You sure are awfully young to be riding the bus alone.”

 

The boy piped up, “Oh, it’s OK. I never get lost – but sometimes I get  awful lonely. So, when I see someone who I would like to be my family, I  huddle up close to them and I pretend they are my family. That is what I  was doing when I got your dress dirty. I forgot about my feet.”

 

 

Hearing this, the woman moved over to where the boy was sitting and put  her arm around him. Then she hugged him in real close. She understood that  what he really wanted, what he really needed, was to feel that somebody loved him.

A baby is born with a need to be loved – and never outgrows that need.

 

You all have needs; I have needs.   We  need to be loved and we need, as a human being, as a Christian, to give  away our love, also. To become the best that we can possibly be, we need  to give love away, to allow it to express in and through us.

 

 

This is what the Valentine’s Day celebration should be about – expressing  more of God’s love to each other. We can help end loneliness.

 

 

In 1 John 4:7-8, it reads: “Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does  not love does not know God, for God is love.”

 

 

 

 

When we know we do not have to generate the love within ourselves and  create it, but just become a conduit for the love of God through us, then  we have it all. Then we have God; we have the kingdom of God; and we understand what God is about.

 

Love is what the sea is to a fish. It is something we swim in all of our lives. It is something we can decide, this day, to give away and to have expressed in our lives.

 

Here is an acronym for love:

 

L Letting
O Our
V Values
E Express

 

Letting our values express – our feelings..

 

Here is an alphabet for love:

A Accepts
B Behaves
C Cheers
D Defends
E Enriches
F Forgives
G Grows
H Helps
I Includes
J Joins
K Kneels
L Listens
M Motivates
N Notices
O Overlooks
P Provides
Q Quiets
R Respects
S Surprises
T Tries
U Understands
V Volunteers
W Warms
X Expects
Y Yields
Z Zip in your life!

 

 

When this becomes the code in our life, it will add zip in our life –  the zip code.

 

 

There is a wonderful story about a lighthouse off the coast of  Massachusetts. It is Kinot’s lighthouse. Many lonely sailors have searched for this light because it is unlike any other light in the world. The  signal spells out “I love you” in nautical code.

 

 

 

Several years ago, the Coast Guard decided to put in modern equipment.

 

They felt they needed to take out the signal that spells out “I love you.”  They told the public they were going to put in the regular signal that  just flashes. The entire state rose up in dismay. Sailors from around the  world who had been touched in the middle of the night by the lighthouse’s  message protested. Finally, the Coast Guard backed down and the old  equipment is still there. All night long, in fog or good weather, in nautical code, it flashes out “I love you.” Sailors from around the world  have longed to go there to see that light and its message.

 

 

Author Eric Butterworth, writes: “Love is not something you do; love is  being. Love is not trying; love is being. Love is not finding the right  person; it is becoming the right person.”

 

 

I heard a wonderful story that at first sounded funny, but has a much  deeper meaning. It is about a man who had been married for over 30 years.

 

 

He returned home one evening and found his wife packing. “What in the  world are you doing?” he asked.

 

 

“I can’t handle it anymore!” she replied. “We’ve done nothing but fight,  argue, complain, and bicker at each other. I’ve decided to leave.”

 

 

The man stood in shock and bewilderment as his wife walked out of the  house – out of his life. Suddenly, he dashed to the bedroom and pulled a  suitcase down from the closet shelf. Running outside, he yelled to his  wife, “I can’t handle it anymore, either. Wait for me, and I’ll go with you.”

 

 

Isn’t that what couples should do? Isn’t that what friends should do?   Isn’t that what enemies should do? When one starts to walk out, let’s grab  our suitcase and go with them.

 

 

Decide to live life in a new way and labor, daily, for love, to work for  love in our lives. The labors of love are special because every day is  payday. It will be in our lives. There is nothing that can stop the power  of love in your life. That is what we are talking about today. I pray that  each of us becomes ten times more loving because we are making a commitment with these ideas about God.

 

 

A young man once talked with people of many races and creeds. Each told  him of the oldest thing in the world. He was determined to find it. He  walked many miles and was often rewarded by beautiful vistas before him,  but always when he heard of a very ancient thing and went to see it,  someone told him of another much older thing. After many years, he  returned home an old man, still not having found that for which he was in  search.

 

 

One day, as he sat in his garden, a little girl passed, holding an old doll tenderly in her arms. He watched her smooth its rough tangled hair and speak to it as a mother would to her baby. “At last,” he said, “here is the oldest thing in the world. It is love.”

 

 

Remember the TV show “The Twilight Zone.” There was an episode about a
future time when a man had been convicted of the crime of coldness. He had
been insensitive and unsociable to the people around him.

 

 

For this he was sentenced to one year of invisibility. He was to be  ostracized and ignored by his fellow citizens. A mark was placed on his  forehead indicating that no one was to talk or interact with him.

 

 

At first, he thought the punishment was laughable. He went everywhere, laughing and thinking it didn’t bother him at all. He decided he preferred  that people not talk to him. However, in time, he became increasingly desperate for companionship, affection, and conversation.

 

 

One evening, he saw a young woman who had also been condemned to
invisibility. When he tried to talk to her, she fled in fright. For months, the man had a terrible time, living his life, day to day, in the  solitude of isolation until his sentence finally came to an end.

 

The experience transformed him. He was warmer, more considerate, and
caring.

 

 

But soon his new, more loving self was tested in an unexpected way. One  day, he ran into the woman who he had begged to talk with him months  earlier. She was still serving her sentence, and now she was the desperate  one. She sobbed and pleaded with him to look at her and say something.

 

 

When he pushed by her and kept walking, she crumbled to the ground, weeping. Over and over again, she said, “You’re so cold! You’re so cold!”   Feelings of compassion welled up within the man. He turned, knelt down,  and began to comfort her.

 

 

Seeing this, the other people in the street began moving away from them.   Warning devices began to sound.  A loudspeaker blared, “Unacceptable behavior. Unacceptable behavior.”   The man’s love had gone beyond the limits deemed appropriate by society.   Previously condemned for being cold, he was now condemned for being  loving.

 

 

How often do you hear people say, “I love God, but it’s people I have a
problem with.”

 

 

Author James Dillet Freeman, once wrote: “Some say they love God, but not
men. But how can we love harmony and not music? How can we love light and
not the morning? How can we love nature and not the spring?   How can we love God and not the likeness of God, which is humans?”

 

 

Love is an abstract idea until it is expressed in you and by you. We may talk about love, define love, but still not be loving. We have to break down the barriers. That is why we are here today – to break down the  barrier, once and for all. To love the persons, situations, and  circumstances that irritate us, challenge us, and baffle us.

 

 

 

To that person who seems to rub you the wrong way – right now, silently, begin to transform them with me, and begin to send them love as a secret  experiment.

 

 

 

Be like Clint Eastwood. Sit there and think, “OK, make my day. Give me the  truth of God and I am going to prove it in my life. I am going to see if  this stuff really works. This is the time. This is the place.” Begin to  send that person your love, right now. Don’t tell them you are doing it.  Let it really be an experiment. Begin to send them love and give it until this time next year, and just see what happens in your relationship. You  have a new best friend, out there; you just don’t know it. If it is your  spouse, all the better; say, “I love you. I bless you. I behold God’s love in you.”

 

 

 

The one who seems cold and indifferent needs love, not condemnation. To  the person who seems to stand in the way of your good, who seems a threat  to your security and success – let love cast out your fear. Put love into action and be loving. Erase the differences you see with your physical  eyes; erase them with love. Turn any resentment into love. Agree with your  adversary with love.

 

 

I want to share with you Romans 13:8-10. “Owe no one anything, except to
love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law . .
. . love is the fulfilling of the law.” If God is love, and if I allow God  to flow through me to love you, that is my religion and my body is the  temple where it takes place. We do this with the present and we do it with  the past.

 

 

 

There was a program on television about a woman who had been very bitter in her life. Her father and mother had abused her all during her youth and teenage years. It was a terrible story. Ordinarily, when you see someone who has been the victim of that kind of mistreatment and hate, they are  severely affected. You could say they have a reason to be. This woman had  a successful marriage. She had a wonderful husband and they had been happily married for 11 years. She was a successful lady with a professional career. Great things were happening to her. A reporter asked her, looking right into her eyes, “Why?” She thought she had not only  survived but triumphed. This is something I will never forget. Listen to these words. She said, “I had more love than they had hate.” She said it just that way – direct, firm, with her chin tilted up.

 

 

 

Hate is the sand in the machinery of your life, but love is the oil. Love will fix you right up. If you are the tin man and are rusty because some of the things that have happened to you have not been very pleasant, give love a try. Just see what will happen to you.

 

 

 

1 John 3:11-15, “For this is the message you have heard from the
beginning, that we should love one another. We must not be like Cain who
was from the evil tendencies and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him?   Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. Do not be  astonished, brothers and sisters, that the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life because we love one another. Whoever does not love abides in death. All who hate a brother or sister are  murderers, and you know that murderers do not have eternal life abiding in  them.”

 

 

 

I am not talking about life after you die from the physical and neither is
this Bible passage. It is talking about eternal life in your tomorrow,  your Tuesday, your Wednesday. When you get up in the morning, in a good
mood, you are not in a bad mood by 10:30. You have life in you and you
have it abundantly. The secret is to love. Love everyone around you. The
opposite is death. Death in your day is when your shoulders are downcast
and you feel life is tough and a miserable existence.

 

 

You can measure a person’s worth by the size of their heart. One St. Valentines Day, the five-year-olds in a Sunday school class were told to  bring in something that they loved. The next Sunday, they brought in the  usual hats, sweaters, and books. But one boy entered with an especially big grin. Behind him, wearing a red dress was his four-year-old sister.  The best exhibit of all is something you love and are so proud of –  something special.

 

 

I want those of you who have businesses to pay special attention to this next story. You have seen businesses, especially restaurants, where one  goes in and it fails. Another one comes in and it fails. Another one comes in and it fails. You think it is the location. There was one woman who decided to open a business in a location where the two owners before had gone bankrupt and failed miserably. Her friends said, “You can’t possibly start a business there.”

 

 

She said, “I’m going to use a secret they didn’t use.”  She decided to open
up this business to test the Bible. She opened up a restaurant and a candy
shop in a place where the two owners before had failed and gone out of  business. She was a brilliant success. When asked how she had succeeded in the same business where others had failed, she said: “I just loved and  blessed all my customers. I loved them as Jesus has taught us to do. I love the complaining man as well as the satisfied customers. When customers leave my place, I not only invite them to come back, I silently send them a blessing of love and prayer for their prosperity and happiness.

 

 

“When no customers are in the store, I bless the people with love as they pass by on the street.”

 

 

Love is a power. This is great in a business, but the real place to start  this is at home. Bless that place. Bless the place, even when nobody is  there so when they come in, they will feel the love of God. Surround  yourself with God’s love. Remember what the Bible says. You do not have to  do it. You simply consent to it happening through you, and it will. Love  is THE GREATEST POWER it will never let you down.

 

 

There is nothing you or I have ever done, ever said, or ever thought that
can destroy the love God has for us. God sees more in us that we see in
ourselves.

 

 

Rev. Robert Schuller told a wonderful story about an artist who was
painting a picture one day. There was a beggar who sat across the street
from the artist’s studio. From his window, the artist sketched the face of
that defeated, outcast soul. But the artist made one important change.
Into the dull eyes, he put a flashing glint of an inspired dreamer. He
sketched the skin on the man’s face to give him a look of iron will and
fierce determination. When the painting was finished, he called the poor
man in to see it.

 

 

The beggar did not recognize himself. “Who is it?” he asked the artist.
Then suspecting that there was something of himself in this portrait, the
beggar hesitantly questioned, “Is it me? Can it be?”

 

 

“That’s how I see you,” replied the artist.

 

 

Straightening his shoulders, the beggar responded, “If that’s the man you
see, then that’s the man I’ll be.”

 

 

We are going to begin to see people in our lives not the way our eyes tell
us to see them. We are going to see them as God would see them. They will
respond.

 

 

We often question, “What is my purpose in life?” According to the Bible, it is to love, to learn love, to master  it, to give it away. It is easy in a place like this, isn’t it? The next  time you are in a place where it is not so easy, do it anyway.

 

 

 

As our closing prayer, today, I am going to close with Author Emmet Fox’s
words and make them a prayer.

 

 

Let us pray.

 

Loving Father,

“There is no difficulty in my life 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 wrong that enough love will not set right; it
makes no difference how deeply seated may be the trouble; how helpless the
outlook; how muddled the tangle; how great the mistake; a sufficient
realization of love will dissolve it all – if only you will love enough,
you will be the happiest, most powerful being in the world.”

 

God, today, this moment, I agree to let my light shine, my love shine, and
to become love. Thank You, God.

 

In Jesus Christ’s name we pray. Amen.

 

God bless you!

 

Real Serenity

Reinhold Niebuhr wrote a prayer in 1943 that has become famous. I’m sure
you will recognize it.

 

 

“God, give us grace to accept, with serenity, the things that cannot be
changed, the courage to change the things that should be changed, and the
wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.”

 

 

This prayer sums up a great philosophy of life. The key to it, of course,
is the last part—to have the wisdom to distinguish between the first two
parts—to know what in life to try to change, and what to try to simply
accept because it cannot be changed.

 

 

Which of us has the wisdom to know these things? It seems that if we have
the wisdom, if we accomplish this through life experience, contemplation,
prayer, meditation, or any of the many means by which wisdom is gained in
life, we can earn that quality called serenity, happiness, or inner peace.

 

 

Behind all the changes we try to make in life, behind all the desires to
change, behind all the wishes we have to bring new things into our lives
(and even the wishes to leave old things out of our lives) lies the simple
desire to feel serene – to feel inner peace. We may think it is a flashy
new car, or a new job, or a new home, or a new relationship. But the root
of all those desires is simply to feel inner peace.

 

 

There is another serenity prayer—an older one. We find it in Matthew. You
will recognize these words. But even though they are familiar (or
especially, because they are familiar), hear them as we see them again (below). Take  them deeply inside yourself. Feel the rich meaning of these words of Jesus
as He says [in Matthew 6:31-33]:

 

 

 

“Therefore, I tell you, do not be anxious about your life – what you shall
eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body – what you shall put on.
Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the
birds of the air. They neither sow, nor reap, nor gather into barns. And
yet, your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
And which of you, by being anxious, can add one cubit to his (or her) span
of life? And why are you anxious about clothing?

 

 

“Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They neither toil nor
spin. Yet, I tell you, even Solomon and all of his glory was not arrayed
like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field which
today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more
clothe you, O men of little faith? Therefore, be not anxious saying, ‘What
shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ But seek
first God’s kingdom and God’s righteousness, and all these things shall be
yours as well.”

 

 

 

These are truly magnificent words. It is the last part that we have heard
so many times that is the true significance of this spiritual search that
we are on today, our pursuit of happiness, and our desire to be
serene and have inner peace. Seek first God, then all else will be added
unto us.

 

 

I know, you have heard it and done it before. I believe every one of us
has. Yet, in order to be serene and know happiness, you and I must pursue
this every day – put God first in our lives.   However, often we do not feel the confidence it takes to actually believe that we can put God first, with all the challenges in our lives.

 

 

Maybe that is why many people are so afraid. There is an enormous capacity
to feel humble at moments like this.  As we contemplate our need to put God first so that God may speak through us, and act through us, and give us something worthwhile to do, we  realize, anew, this loving connection that serenity is ours.

 

 

One thing about people in the world we live in – they do not always give
us the support that we need or feel we deserve. It does not happen all the
time. Maybe that is because we are the ones who are supposed to give that
support, and love to ourselves. Keeping our own promises is a key way for
us to find our own inner peace and our own serenity.

 

 

If you ever feel a sense of anxiety, what can you do about this?
Contemplate about it, and the answer comes: “Really be there.” What does
that mean? The answer is: “To really be there, in the moment.”

 

 

When you feel anxious, you need to breathe deeply into your anxiety, and
really feel the anxiety in that moment – pray.

 

 

What you often do with your anxiety is push it away from yourself.  By
pushing it away, it grows larger.

 

 

Sometimes, when it is a rainy day and it ruins your plans or makes you
feel down – stay in the moment. Notice the variety of raindrops that fall.
There is an incredible variety in the fall of raindrops. Contemplate the
mocking bird. Poor thing; it has no songs of its own. It has no musical
taste. It will follow the song of a robin with the song of a common
sparrow. It sings and sings and sings, and yet it seems so joyful. Why?
Because it makes others’ songs its own. It has real joy when it gives
itself, completely, to its own singing.

 

 

We have often heard that another way to serenity, to feeling a sense of
inner worth and peace, is to be grateful for what we already have. The
glass is either half empty or half full; it is our call. What do we say it
is? Is it half empty or is it half full?

 

 

By showing gratitude toward the things we already have in our lives, we
are actually invoking the very presence of God. Invoking the presence of
God is surely the best way we have of reminding ourselves of what is
really important.

 

Some of us are prisoners of our desires – things we want, or the things we
feel we have to have. How do we deal with our attachments to things? One
suggestion might be to feel the pain of not having what we do not have.
Feel the pain. Recognize the price that each of us is paying right now for not
being content.

 

 

If you feel that pain enough, you will cease desiring. Am I saying that
desiring is wrong? No. I’m simply saying that if you are feeling pain
already, if you allow yourself to stay in the moment, the pain itself will
lead to release.

 

 

Another suggestion might be to imagine having what you want or need already.
Imagine getting the object of your desire. Imagine having it. Then realize
that the pleasure is short-lived.  How long do you ever stay happy when you get what you want? A few hours? A  few days at most? Even a brand new car stops bringing pleasure after a few weeks. It just becomes the thing you ride in to get to where you are going. Is it worth it? That is something to consider in prayer.

 

 

We, also, can offer our attachment to things directly to God. Continue to
offer to God whatever it is we desire, over and over and over again until
we start believing and realizing that it is God’s, not ours. It is God’s, not ours. The
pain will then cease and desist.

 

 

We, also, can take care of our bodies. Many of the ills or discontent we
experience in our lives are often due to discomfort in the body. If we pay
attention to the things that really serve us – the foods we really need to
eat in the appropriate quantities, the exercise our bodies desire – the
problems may evaporate. A lot of problems evaporate by simply taking a
long walk, or working out in the gym, or practicing the presence of God. A
lot of problems simply dissolve when the body’s needs are taken care of.
Pay attention to and take care of the body.

 

 

Lastly, there is a kind of discontent that comes over us that is actually
healthy, despite everything I have been saying – A Divine discontent.

 

 

Are you not paying attention to something? Is there some unfinished
business in your life? Are you not taking care of yourself in any way? Do you have
a commitment that you are ignoring? Do you have a calling from your soul
that you are putting on the shelf? If you are doing any of these things, a kind of Divine discontent arises in the soul, and calls to us to fulfill it. It will not be content until we make the necessary efforts to fulfill them. This is a gift God gives us. We must do what is necessary to fulfill those things.

 

 

Make a list of your goals, and prioritize them. Look specifically at your
goals and decide what is most important and what you can do right now.

 

 

If you want to be nicer to people, make one of your goals as follows: “When
I see (***Adam***) tomorrow morning, I will greet him warmly.”   Let that be
your goal. You can say “Hello” to (Adam) in a pleasant way, tomorrow
morning, and the fulfillment of that goal will bring a degree of
satisfaction into your life.

 

 

It is spiritually important to take care of those goals (to take care of
our bodies), just as it is spiritually important to pray and to meditate.
All of these things bring their own contentment.

 

 

It would be great if it only took a blue sky and some white clouds to
bring serenity – not that it cannot, but more often, it takes our own
commitment to know what we really need – our minds, our bodies, our
friends and family, etc. – and to fulfill those needs before contentment can come.
But it will come.

 

 

Most of all, it takes our awareness that God lies behind it all.

 

 

If we seek first to know God, to put the presence of God into every
activity, then serenity is ours. Or, in the words of Matthew, “Serenity
will be added unto thee.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

I pray that serenity lives as part of you.

 

God bless you!