Mother’s Day

Mildred B. Vermont said, “Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs…the payment is pure love.”   Ask any mother today, and she will tell you. To hold a little one and feel love is one of the wonders of the world.

 

 

In 1 John 4:12, the Bible states “God’s abides in us and God’s love is perfected in us.” It is certainly perfected in mothers. A Mother’s love is such a mighty force.

 

 

“A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.” Tenneva Jordan.~ I LOVE THIS QUOTE!  I remember m mother always said she hated the chicken breast and only wanted the thigh.  Years later when ordering rom KFC she admitted the breast was her favorite but knew we kids liked white meat the best, so she relinquished her choice for a secondary one.

 

 

There was a scientist at the University of Wisconsin who created a mothering machine for little animals. It was made out of wire and covered with terry cloth. Out of the wire was a bottle of milk and there was a light bulb to keep the little one warm. But they found that the little ones were dying because little ones needed love.

 

 

Love is the one thing you cannot recreate with wire, terry cloth, and a light bulb. At some point in your life, someone held you in their arms, close to their heart. They had the look of love in their eyes and a truly open heart. This happened to every one of us; somebody somewhere along the line did this, and it was the greatest expression of love. You know how special it is, and you know how special it was in your life, whether this person was your natural mother, your adoptive mother, grandmother or relative.

 

 

You are here reading this on this day as testimony to that holding. You are able to love because of the love you received. You learned how to love. It was a silent thing, but it was profound and it changed your life, and continues daily. There were times when you made lots of noise, but you were responded to and you were cared for. You were loved.

 

 

The real religion, the only religion that counts (no matter what denominational name we call it) is love. We always have to ask ourselves as a test for religion (which is a system of life) is how loving is this? We should carry our religion of love, our God, into our homes, our lives, and our actions.

 

 

 

Whether we are female or male, we should allow that love to come forth from us, whether for something or someone very young, an adult, or someone that is very old that needs our love. We should always allow that wonderful aspect, the best aspect, of human love to come through us-the love, the magic, of motherhood. And this motherhood is God created.]

 

 

 

Twenty some years ago, a lady came to a minister. She was very, very distressed. She sat in the minister’s office and she said that through a series of events her nephew was coming to live with her. She said to the minister, “I’ve never had any children, and I’m a harsh woman — I admit that. I don’t have the kind of love that I would want to give to a child. I’m scared. How can I, being harsh, hard, and stern in life, give love to this young boy?”

 

 

The minister said to her, “You have God’s love inside of you. If you consent to that God love coming through you, it will come through. It is the love of God that will equip you to love this child. If you allow yourself the privilege of having this love come through, it will come through.”

 

 

She said, “Yes, yes. But I was never created to do that. You don’t understand my nature. You see the good too much, preacher.”

 

 

The minister said, “No. I know that God love can come through you-if you let it.”

 

 

That was many years ago. Today that woman has a grown nephew. She was changed by that experience, and so was he. She was a great aunt; she was a wonderful mothering influence. But she didn’t become something; she allowed something to become her. We, each one of us, already are loving children of God. We just have to allow the nature that our mother (or that individual who was the model of a mother) allowed some time ago, to come through us. Why not do it in honor of mother? What greater honor of a mother than to express today in our lives some of the love she taught us how to express?

 

 

There’s a great story I want to share with you about this same idea. It is a story of an Arabian horse. As a young horse, he was orphaned. This Arabian foal was adopted by a family of camels. Every day he looked around and all he saw were other camels, so he decided that he was going to be the best camel he could be because he didn’t know he was an Arabian horse.

 

 

Daily through the hot sands of the desert he would carry heavy loads. He would drink at every oasis because he was so parched and thirsty. And every day he would put his hooves down into the sand and move slowly because that was the way a good camel was supposed to be.

 

 

One day, when he was very, very old, he looked out across the desert. From his weary eyes he saw an Arabian horse running in the distance on a sand dune. He said to himself, “That is the most beautiful animal I have ever seen in my life!” The shiny mane was flowing back from his head and neck. He said, “If I could only be like that.” He thought to himself, “Once, years ago I had the desire to run, leap high in the air and go over the sand dunes . . .” but he quickly remembered his place as a camel. He died from old age never knowing what he really was.

 

 

The worst thing we can do in human life is to die not knowing what we are. Male or female, we are meant to love; we are meant to express God’s love. We are meant to cuddle little things, nurture, and cause great things to happen in individuals.

 

 

We are meant to celebrate life. According to Jesus Christ, the ultimate way to celebrate life is to love all, realizing we are one in the humanity with each other. Otherwise we’re doing a great disservice, to ourselves, but also to our mothers, because that is the way mom would want it to be.

 

 

Mom told us to play nice on the playground. She told us to treat other people well. We should never forget those lessons in our adult life.

 

 

Being Christian, we talk a lot about Jesus Christ. Perhaps we do not talk enough about His mother and the importance she played, not only in His ministry but in the formation of His life.

 

 

Every mother who has ever conceived a child has conceived miraculously. You know that. When you were in the hospital and held that little one you could not help but to believe in God, love and power that is greater than ourselves.

 

 

When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.”  Sophia Loren

 

 

Mother love is the fuel that enables a normal human being to do the impossible.

 

 

Jesus’ first miracle says so much about his mother. The wedding at Cana [John 2:1-8, 11].On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there.” I’m sure she was invited by the family because she knew them. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding, but I’m sure they were invited because of Mary. “When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’ And Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.’

 

 

I don’t suggest you say to your mother, “Woman. . .”   But in Jesus’ day this was a very endearing term. It was saying, “Marvelous, marvelous lady.” But He was also saying what you’ve said to your mother many times: “Mom, I’m not ready yet. I can’t do this.”

 

 

You know what mom said to you. She said to you in various ways, “I believe in you. You, more than anybody else in the world, can take care of this problem. You’re my son/daughter and I believe in you and I know what you can accomplish with your life.” That’s what mom was saying to Jesus.

 

 

I’m sure there were many other things she said besides what is written down here. I’m sure He went on and on, for ten times, to his mother saying such things as, “Mom, there’s no way I can do this now.” Mary didn’t even listen to Him, just like your mother didn’t listen to you when you said “I can’t.”

 

 

“His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’ Now standing there were six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, ‘Fill the jars with water.’” Keep in mind this was His first miracle.

 

 

You know how it was for you when you were producing your first miracle . . . like that first day of school or the first day on your new job when you felt so insecure. You just didn’t know if you had it in you to do what you had trained all these years to do. Yet this was the time. You had your mother calling and telling you, “I believe in you!”

 

 

“And they filled them up to the rim. He said to them, ‘Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.’” You know the rest of the story. They did and it was the finest wine they had ever tasted. It goes on to say,” and his disciples believed in him.” It doesn’t say that then Mary believed; she already knew, and believed. The disciples didn’t, but Mary did. Then at the end of the story it talks of how Jesus went with his mother to the next place they were going.

 

 

Jesus’ mother was so important to Him that the parting words on the Cross, almost the very last thing He said, was, “Woman, behold thy son, and behold thy mother.” He was looking out for his mother. He was getting someone to take care of his mother, whom He valued so highly. He was caring for her, even while He was in great pain.

 

 

Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “The real religion of the world comes from women much more than from men – from mothers most of all, who carry the key of our souls.”

 

 

There is a wonderful story of Abraham Lincoln when he was riding one day in a coach. There was a colonel from Kentucky with him. The colonel reached into his inside vest pocket and took out a container of whiskey. He said, “Here Mr. Lincoln, have a swig of whiskey.”

 

 

Mr. Lincoln said, “No sir; thank you. I never drink whiskey.”

 

 

They rode along a little while longer and the colonel reached into his other vest pocket and took out a big, long cigar and said, “Here Mr. Lincoln. Have a cigar.”

 

 

Mr. Lincoln said to the colonel, “No. I never smoke cigars.”

 

 

Then Mr. Lincoln said, “Let me tell you a story. When I was nine years of age, I was called to my mother’s bed. She held my hand and said, ‘Abe, the doctor tells me I’m very sick and I’m not going to get up from this bed. Dear boy, I want you to promise me something from my deathbed – that you will never smoke or drink.’” Abe Lincoln said to the colonel from Kentucky, “Now, would you wish at this time I break that promise?”

 

 

 

The colonel paused and said, “Oh no, dear kind sir. I would pay $1,000 if I had made that promise and kept it all these years. I would be a better man for it.”

 

 

Abraham Lincoln, when asked about his incredible strength, said, “I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life.”

 

 

We’ve made many, many promises in our lifetime. Most of them have been to our mothers. And how many thoughts she had for us as she was raising us. How good it is to have a day to honor her and realize that she made us.

 

 

Whenever Alexander the Great was entertaining people in the palace, he
would always put on a special gown that was woven for him by his mother. Every time we go out in public, we put on a gown that was woven for us by our mothers-not only the skin we have, the eyes, teeth, and hair, but also the way we act.

 

 

Perhaps over years we have forgotten some of the things that mom has taught us, but this is a day to remember. This is a day to go back and remember the very best of mom when she was at her best. We become our best by recalling and reliving her best.

 

 

The VERY BEST she taught was LOVE, by her example.

 

 

A man was talking with a woman and asked, “What do you do?” She said, “I’m
just a mother.” This is what Theodore Roosevelt said about being “just a
mother.”

 

 

 

“When all is said, it is the mother, and the mother only, who is a better citizen than the soldier who fights for his country. The successful mother, the mother who does her part in rearing and training aright the boys and girls who are to be the generation of men and women of the next generation, is of better use to the country if only she would realize it. A more honorable as well as a more important position than any man, the mother is the one supreme asset of national life. She is more important, by far, than the successful statesman, businessman, artist, or scientist.”

 

 

 

I have one more story to share with you that will touch you. It is an old
Chinese story. Po Yu did wrong and he cried when his mother chastised him with a stick. “You never used to cry when I thrashed you,” said his mother. “Why do you cry today?”

 

 

He answered, “When I did wrong and you thrashed me, it always used to hurt. But this time mother’s strength is such that it did not hurt. That’s why I cry.”

 

 

Mothers hold their children’s hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.

 

 

Let us pray. Dear God, one of the most incredible gifts you ever gave me as a human being is my physical mother. I thank You for that incredible gift. I thank You for all the times we’ve spent together and all the lessons she shared with me. Every day I will make my life an example of her love, and in my life I will make her love very much alive and her life not wasted. Her love is the life I live.. Lord, we know our mothers were not perfect, nor were or are we. We ask You to bless them whether they are with You in heaven or with us here on earth.

 

 

I thank you, dear mother, for your love, patience, and incredible kindness hour after hour. For the life I have today, I give credit to you.

 

 

 

 

In Jesus Christ’s name I pray and thank you for the love of my mother….. . . . Amen

Passion – The Passion – Your Passion – My Passion

 

John 12: Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the King of Israel!” Jesus found a young donkey and sat upon it, as it is written, “Do not be afraid, O Daughter of Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.”

 

 

And so it begins!

 
We begin Holy Week today (Sunday) as Jesus rides the donkey into Jerusalem, surrounded by his disciples and others who love Him and even bystanders who are just curious who this strange man is. Riding in through the gates of a city on a donkey symbolizes that the person comes in peace and love. The opposite would be a rider on a giant steed with armor and weapons. This is Jesus in triumph, but triumph of sacrifice, sacrifice for you and for me. That is how great God’s love for us is. That is what His Passion is all about.

 

 

Every year as we approach this week, I ponder on the word THE PASSION. That is The Passion of Christ; that week of jubilation, then degradation, then finally crucifixion and then joyous resurrection. It is the absolute gambit of emotion – the alpha and the omega, the full circle of emotion. And what is it about this week that we name it Passion Week? This is the week that God’s passion for us is culminated in a display of perfect love – the passion of His toward us.

 

 

But what is Passion throughout the Holy Bible and how does it relate to God – how does it relate to us?

 
Passion means fervor, ardor, zeal, delight. From the very first page through the very last, the Bible seems to demonstrate one relentless passion… that is, the Father’s passion to see those whom He has created walk in intimacy with Him. In Jeremiah 31:3 the Lord speaks to the people of Israel saying, “I have loved you with an everlasting love… and I have drawn you in loving-kindness.” This verse is so beautiful not only because it reveals the depth of the Father’s love toward us but also because it demonstrates God’s passion to draw us into His presence.

 

 

 

Even when the hearts of the Israelites had turned from God, the Lord said, in Isaiah 65:1, “I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me; I was found by those who did not seek me. To a nation that did not call on my name I said, “Here I am, here I am!”   The Lord’s unyielding pursuit, to draw His people into an intimate, loving relationship, is as true today as it has ever been before. You see, it is and has always been God’s deepest desire that you and I walk in the garden with Him in intimacy just as Adam and Eve had once walked with Him in the Garden of Eden.

 

 

 

The Scripture says that the Father has counted the very hairs on our head. We often don’t realize, because this verse is so familiar, the degree to which this demonstrates how intimately the Lord is involved in our lives. We just have no idea of the effect we have on God. David’s son, Solomon, tries to portray this in the Song of Solomon where the bridegroom, who, in this passionate allegory, perhaps representing Jesus, says, “You have stolen my heart, you have stolen my heart.”

 

 

 

For many of us, however, this is difficult to accept… that our Christian life is not as much about our seeking an encounter with the Lord but rather, God seeking an encounter with us  (that God anxiously looks forward to every authentic moment spent with you).  Think of it… Each and every moment in Heaven, the Lord is receiving perfect praise and worship from throngs of angelic worshipers. Yet, when the Lord heard that first note coming from your lips, He, without hesitation, left that beautiful worship of heaven to receive your praise and to interact with you… to be with you. That is what Scripture means when it says that the Lord inhabits the praises of His people.

 

 

 

I repeat for emphasis, it is and has always been God’s desire for us to walk in the garden with Him, in intimacy, just the way Adam and Eve once had. And so, in loving kindness, the Lord draws us to himself. I love to search scriptures for those verses where God calls us to himself. Like in Isaiah where the Lord spoke to Israel saying, “Come, let us reason together says the Lord, though your sins be as scarlet, I will make them whiter than snow” or when our Jesus said, “Come, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.”

 

 

 

So, what do we need to do to really create and celebrate daily that intimacy? Just open your eyes and your mouth and ask Him to be with you, to walk with you, to stay with you. Show him your passion, your passion. God wants that intimacy with you… he doesn’t want the forms of the faith… he wants you. Jesus didn’t endure the Cross of Calvary so that we could fulfill some religious duties or follow some religious ritual. He doesn’t really care which door you walk into to worship, just so you walk in. He doesn’t care if you are Charismatic, Evangelical, Liturgical…. Whatever you feel comfortable with; whatever draws you closer to Him is what He wants. Everyone is different and He knows that.

 

 

 

Oh, how He loves you. He wants you, your love. He wants your passion.

 

 

That is His Passion.

 

 

Walk with Jesus as He rides the donkey through the gates of Jerusalem.

 

Temptation

Temptation…..Is it Real???

 

Please read with me: Luke 4: 1 – 13: 

Luke 4:1-13 (NKJV)

Satan Tempts Jesus

Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry.  And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.”

But Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’”

Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.”

And Jesus answered and said to him, “Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ”

Then he brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here. 10 For it is written:

‘He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you,’ 11 and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’

12 And Jesus answered and said to him, “It has been said, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’” 

13 Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time.

 

 

Someone once said, “I wouldn’t be tempted if temptation wasn’t so tempting.” Sam Levenson said, “Lead us not into temptation. Just tell us where it is; we’ll find it.” Flip Wilson said, “The devil made me do it the first time, but ever since then I’ve been doing it on my own.” Oscar Wilde said, “I can resist anything but temptation.” We all deal with temptation. If we don’t face temptation, we should CHECK OUR PULSE.

 

 

 

It seems that temptation seems to find us, often at inopportune times. We can be in a shower, eating dinner, talking to a friend. It doesn’t matter what is going on in our lives – temptation is always lurking in the background if not in the foreground, right in front of our faces. And Temptations come in a variety of forms. It can come through the newspaper, television, a friend talking to us, in our dreams, even in our prayers.
Jesus, as the Son of God, faced temptation. If he faced it, how can we expect to avoid it?   Well, we can’t avoid it. It’s not a matter of avoiding all temptation. It’s a matter of overcoming it and then defeating it.

 

 

 

So, let’s discuss for a moment, the reality, the art of “Overcoming Temptation.”
Unlike Oscar Wilde’s quote, “I can resist anything but temptation,” we can overcome temptation. One thing we can do, and I want you to always remember this – REFUSE to be sucked in. We don’t have to let the devil push us around. Jesus didn’t back down, when he was tempted.

 

 

 

Martin Luther said, “You cannot keep birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from making a nest in your hair.” Tempting thoughts will come; and go. LET them go. Just like the birds flying over your head. If they try to land, swoosh them away. It may not be easy but it is definitely possible. All it takes is the power you DO possess already to swoosh, swoosh. I make this sound funny, but it is meant in all seriousness. You do have the power; and that power comes from above – no not the birds, GOD.

 

 

 

Temptation is really a compliment. It means that you are living for God and headed in the right direction. Satan has a contract out on you. Remember that fact, and hold your head up high. Be proud that Satan has his eye on you. It means you are doing something right.

 

 

 

So now, RECOGNIZE your pattern of temptation and be prepared for it.
1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be sober minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

 

 

 

Know where your weakness is, and prepare that area. Figure out the patterns and times in which you are most tempted and brace yourself for those times. Jesus was tempted to turn the stones into bread because he was hungry. When are you hungry and for what are you hungry? Find the answer to that and you can be prepared for those times. When does that time hit you the most often, where? What are you doing when you feel the weakest? Take a deep breath, say a quick prayer and walk away or turn away. But you will need help so..

 

 

REQUEST God’s help.

 

 
Psalm 50:15 says, “Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”

 

 
This is the most important thing in overcoming temptation. We cannot merely use our willpower or courage. The temptation is stronger than we are, but God is stronger than the temptation.  Jesus used the Word of God to refute his temptation.   “Temptations keep us dependent upon God.”

 

 

 

Now let’s see what happens next – Well, now we begin Defeating temptation.
We may feel overpowered by temptation. This is not something we can do on our own. This is with the help of God. There are four things we can do to help defeat temptation. Again, with God’s help.

 

 

 

REFOCUS your attention on something else.   The Bible doesn’t tell us to resist temptation. It doesn’t tell us to just give in either.  Dwelling on the temptation will only make it more tempting. When we try to think about not thinking about it, we drive it deeper into our mind. It’s like trying to think you’re not hungry.  Diverting your attention is a much more effective way of dealing with temptation than fighting it.   We should occupy ourselves with godly things. Jesus refocused his attention on God by going to scripture.

 

 

 

REVEAL your struggle to a godly friend or support group.   You don’t have to tell the whole world. But you should be able to tell someone whom you trust. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says in so many words, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!”   It would appear that Jesus shared this episode with someone at some point in time. He was alone in the wilderness. For us mere mortals, spiritual friendships and groups are so important. Reach out.

 

 

 

RESIST the devil.   James 4:7 says, “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
Don’t just stand there and let the devil punch you. He can’t make you do anything, contrary to Flip Wilson’s assertion. He can only suggest. Don’t argue with the devil. He’s a better arguer. Jesus didn’t say, “I’m not hungry.” Of course he was hungry. He had been without food for 40 days.

 

 

 

REALIZE your vulnerability.   No one is exempt from temptation. We all have vulnerabilities.   We have to watch out what we do and where we go. Recovering alcoholics are often counseled to stay away from places that promote and serve alcoholic beverages.   Jesus’ temptations were to use his God-given power for selfish motives: food, power, and protection. He was tempted to dazzle people. The devil is not all knowing. He goes back to where we were weak in the past. Shore up those areas. Develop those areas in your life where you feel you could be stronger.

 

 

 

“Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Are you battling temptation today? Turn it over to God. You can’t do it on your own. You must ask for God’s help.
Hebrews 4:15 says that Jesus was “tempted as we are, yet without sin.” We have power EVEN THOUGH WE HAVE SIN; THANKS BE TO CHRIST. Now is the time to use that power. Now is the perfect time, right now to strengthen it, tone it, develop it.
You are here for a reason; it doesn’t matter what the reason, Each of you yielded to temptation and ended up in “blue.”  Now, get ready to wear yellow, pink, green, red again. Use your time here where you can focus and become strong. Now is the time. There is no better time. So begin right at this moment in time. Ask God to come into your life right now and stay with you, helping you to become strong, strong enough to Just say NO!”

 

 

 

REMEMBER THESE WORDS:
RECOGNIZE
REQUEST
REFOCUS
REVEAL
REFOCUS – again and again
RESIST
REALIZE.

 

 

 

These are the steps for overcoming and defeating the temptations that try to influence our activities, our beliefs, our attitudes, our very lives.

 

 

You have the power; Use it.

 

 

 

Please join me in prayer: Lord, it is only through Your love and assistance and You walking beside me that I can overcome temptation. During this Lenten season and always, I ask you to stand by me and help me to stay focused on the Good…on the Fruits. And help me to always stay far from evil. Amen

PERSPECTIVES

Mrs. Toplov was complaining to Mrs. Weinstein about her new daughter-in-law. “My poor son,” she moaned, “his new wife is a leech. All she does is sit around all day. She has maids to do her cooking and cleaning. My son is going broke buying her expensive gifts. She sleeps late every morning. He even brings her breakfast in bed!”

 

 

 

“A blessing, she isn’t,” Mrs. Weinstein concurred. Both ladies talked and said that is terrible. Mrs. Weinstein said, “So, how is your daughter?”

 

 

 

“My daughter – she is a lucky girl. She married a man who treats her like a princess. Hey buys her anything she wants; he hires people to take care of the house. She doesn’t have to dirty a finger. Every morning, he brings her breakfast in bed.”

 

 

 

Both ladies concurred, “Isn’t that wonderful?”

 

 

 

It is perspective. It is how we see life. It is how we decide, each morning, to view life. What do you commonly see in your life? Are you constantly witnessing error and negative things? Or do you bear testimony of the inherent goodness of God and God’s creation? These are important questions, because by your answers, you can get a better understanding of yourself.

 

 

 

Let me tell you a story about Mr. Wittlemeyer. He lived in Madison, Wisconsin. He invited his grandchildren to spend the summer with him, and every morning, they would go into his bedroom and watch him sleep. As Mr. Wittlemeyer breathed in and breathed out in his sleep, his mustache would move up and down. His grandchildren thought this was the funniest thing they had ever seen.

 

 

 

One morning, they got the idea they were going to play a joke on Grandpa. They went to the kitchen, opened up the refrigerator, got into the cheese bin, and brought out some limburger cheese. They crept into the bedroom and they wiped limburger cheese over his mustache.

 

 

 

He woke up in a few minutes. He sniffed and said, “This bed smells.” He got up, put on his bathrobe, looked around his bedroom and said, “This whole bedroom smells.” He opened the door, walked down the hallway and noticed the hallway smelled, too. He went downstairs and looked into the living room and said, “This living room smells.” The dining room and kitchen smelled, too. Finally, he went outside and said, “The whole world smells.”

 

 

 

Isn’t that the way it is? We think IT is not in us; IT is out there, in the world. Depending upon our perception, everything we see is bad – or good.

 

 

 

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could go to the eye doctor and ask for a new set of glasses, when we have a negative perception – Glasses that would be God-view glasses, the positive view? When we put them on, we would see life as fresh and new. What was bad before would be positive now. We would see God’s good that to our old eyes was invisible before.

 

 

 

There is an American saying, “I’m all eyes and ears.” In other words – I am paying FULL attention.

 

 

 

Jesus teaches in Matthew 6:22, “The eye is the lamp of the body. . . .”   What is Jesus saying here? More than just not seeing with the eyeball, Jesus talks of having spiritual sight. Jesus is referring not to the physical eye, the lens, or the optic nerve, but to PERCEPTION. The way you view life is what creates the light inside of you.

 

 

 

Jesus goes on, “. . . if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.” Matt 6:22   So you must look to God; then you are looking to the good. Jesus continues, “But if your eye is unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” Matt 6:23

 

 

 

We have all known people who get up in the morning and everything they see is dark and wrong. They view life and say, “Oh, my life is a drag; it’s awful.” Many others on their life path will also not see positive and good; and they will say, “Oh my life isn’t any good; look at that problem there.” They will focus on the darkness instead of the light, and how great the darkness is inside of them – how can the darkness turn to light?

 

 

 

We must strive to recognize the good in everything we see. We must look in a loving way. We have to picture praise. When you look at someone, even if it is for the first time, use your eye to notice praise, blessings; and see God working in their lives. May we always see God in the observation.

 

 

 

In Luke 17:20-21, Jesus says, “The kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed; nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There it is!’ For, in fact, the kingdom of God IS among you.” Jesus does not say “maybe;” He said it is a fact. This is a certain truth in your life. So, if this is so, let’s try to increase our awareness of it. In today’s language, heaven means the abode of God, the angels, and the spirits of the righteous after death; the place or state of existence of the blessed after the mortal life. Therefore it must be also defined as expansion. How do we expand the awareness of God working in and of us? You can use your eyes and you use them in Godly ways.

 

 

 

In Mark 9:47, Jesus says, “And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out. . . .” Of course this is not saying to tear out your eyeball. The eye Jesus talks about is your perception. If your perception is wrong, then remove that and change it.

 

 

 

Jesus continues: “It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into hell.” Mark 9:47 Jesus is saying that if you have both of your eyes focused on what’s wrong in your life, your life will become a literal hell. Of course it is better to have both sides focused with the perception of God, but if you must, through your own free-will, keep one eye focused on the appearance of your  problem, you are at least 50% ahead and even more if you learn to shut the eye that is perceiving ONLY the bad.

 

 

 

 

Jesus goes on to talk about the unquenchable fire, “where their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched.” Mark 9:48   In the Bible, look at the word “hell.” Look to the letter after the word or the number, then look down at the bottom of the page and you will see where it says “Gehenna.” He is saying, “Look, either you have the right picture or you will go to the valley of Gehenna.” Gehenna was a trash dump outside of Jerusalem. The stench was strong, and the fires to burn the refuge – including the dead bodies of the castoffs of society – burned night and day, for hundreds of years. In Jesus’ day, that was what the literal hell was. Where we live is often caused and fueled by our view of our life. You must have the view of God’s insight. Otherwise, your views and  your life are not going to mean any more than to go to the trash dump where the worm never dies and where the fires have been burning almost forever.

 

 

 

Practice having the sight of gratitude, looking around on a beautiful day or a terrible day, and seeing God in the ordinary, or the extraordinary, and finding that special, wonderful thing. All of us want to be happy and all of us want to be content. We want to give the highest and best of which we are capable to life. We want to make our special contribution. Let’s take God as our partner in everything we see. Then we have true in-sight!

 

 

 

We will have the gift of joy; we see beyond appearances to things that the human alone would be blind to see. We will see anew again in a brand new way.

 

 

 

We may have been blinded by the appearances we follow in the Jesus Christ way
by agreeing to see beyond appearances to see the positive and best at all
times.

 

 

 

What we see in the outer world is but a reflection of the inner world, because we surround ourselves with a picture of our own beliefs. In other words, we manifest, in general, what we seriously think and believe. So, if we want to find out what our thinking is, all we have to do is look around us and ask ourselves the question, “How’s life?”

 

 

 

The Bible says we shall not bear false witness, but that is just what we are doing, for example, when we do not see the presence of God in every situation or when we accept “the appearance“ as the only reality.

 

 

 

On the other hand, we are a witness for God when we see the whole human where a sick one seems to be in appearances only; when we forgive someone who has injured us and then see God’s love for him or her; when we see prosperity instead of the appearance of lack, knowing God supplies our every need; or when we see harmony and peace, regardless of the seeming appearances.

 

 

 

Perhaps you recall the lines of William Shakespeare. He said, “There is nothing good or bad but thinking makes it so.”

 

 

 

Are we seeing good everywhere we look?

 

 

 

Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 7:24-25 says: “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rains fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock.”

 

 

 

We pray your life is founded on firm ground because things happen in life that can easily throw us off kilter. Jesus said the rains fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on the house. He did not say the rains may come, the floods may come, and the winds may blow and may beat on the house. We must have firm footing in our perceptions, and we will not be thrown down permanently by what happens. Our perception will be founded on the rock of faith.

 

 

 

Jesus goes on to say: “And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell – and great was its fall!” Matt 7:26-27

 

 

 
A man spent some time walking on a beach. It exhausted him because he was walking on the sandy part. He was taking about a two-mile walk in the morning, just as the sun was coming up. It was not like walking on firm ground. It was like walking ten or fifteen miles, because he sank and then had to lift up one foot and then the other. It was a lot of work. When you are on firm ground, when you are perceiving God in all things, you are empowered to do what you need to do in life, because God is with you, constantly, every moment.

 

 

 

The Bible teaches about taking the high watch. When circumstances seem
less than ideal, it can be difficult to maintain a clear perspective. In
such times, it is helpful to remember that things will appear differently
when viewed from a different perspective. Approaching difficulties may
appear ominous, but they will seem much different once they have passed.

 

 

 

It is easy to have a spiritual experience when you are in the rose garden
looking at the roses. I am going to ask you to have a spiritual experience
looking at the ordinary things in your life by changing your perspective –
with the God-view and seeing them … perhaps for the first time.

 

 

 

Many people become frozen and fearful of the future. They whine and
complain about their daily activities and responsibilities; their perspective was so negative.  . We have all  known people who have become psychologically drunk from whining.

 

 

 

There is a story about a philosophical clock. One hundred years ago, a
clockmaker built a magnificent grandfather clock that not only kept time,
but could think as well. Soon after the clock was delivered to its owner,
it began to think. The clock thought, “I’m to tick twice every second.
This means I must tick 120 times a minute – seventy-two hundred times an
hour and 172,800 times, each day. It also means I will tick 63,720,000
times, every year.” After making these calculations, the clock collapsed
in a nervous breakdown.

 

 

 

Let us put our lives into perspective with the Divine order of God.

 

 

 

The moon is approximately 240,000 miles from earth (238,852 miles). The
sun is 93 million miles from earth (92,960,000 miles). Scientists have
concluded that if either one of these astronomical bodies was 100 miles
closer or further away from the earth, life on this planet would not be
possible. Likewise, the earth spins at 1,000 miles per hour, while
orbiting the sun at 60,700 miles per hour. Just a two-mile-per-hour
difference would prevent life on earth. The amazing handiwork of God is
not only perfect but perfectly balanced.

 

 

 

Have your error cataracts removed, once and for all, to stare until you see God – His view. Know when you see something bad there is always another view you are not seeing. Stare at the black cloud long enough until you see the dark turn to light, God’s light shining through.

 

 

 

I am going to ask you to join me in a commitment for the next seven days –
dedicating your eyes to God’s will and work seeing ONLY good.

 

 

Please join me in prayer:

 

Listen to these words of truth, as you pray, about who you are as a child of God. You
are, in truth, inherently good. Goodness is welling up in your soul seeking to find expression in your seeing the good, in your actions, and  doing everything to make you radiant and happy.

 

 

Father, we see what You deem is the perfect perspective for us to view.  Help us as we gaze on Your truth.

 

 

 

 

In Jesus Christ’s name, we so dedicate. Thank you, God.

 

In Jesus Christ’s name. . . Amen.

 

God bless you!

 

Come Holy Spirit

We Are Children of God.

 

 

 

The final mission of Jesus was to introduce the Holy Spirit – into our mind, into our body, and into our life.

 

John 14:15-21, 23-26   shows the promise of the Holy Spirit.

 

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another [Counselor], to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him, nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you. I will not leave you orphaned; . . .”

 

 

I will not leave you orphaned. How often have we felt orphaned? The Bible says, that we are children of God, but many have felt orphaned and left alone before. The promise of God is, “I will not leave you orphaned.” I am with you at all times. “I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you.

 

 

In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.
They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.”

“Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me.”

 

 

Jesus is saying, “Listen, I’m not the one talking here. Something’s talking through me.
I’m hearing it for the first time also.”

 

 

“I have said these things to you while I am still with you. But the [Counselor], the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.”

 

 

Jesus told His followers that after the ascension they were to go to the upper room in Jerusalem.    Today, we can consider the upper room as a high, peaceful place in our consciousness.. Think about this – we are the temple of the living God. So we can consider/imagine the upper room today as inside of us. We can visit the upper room at any time, and have that experience with God. This is where the Holy Spirit comes, where the Holy Spirit descends upon us, and we find new power – power beyond anything we can imagine.

 

 

A few years ago, Sir Oliver Lodge was quoted as saying this: “There is energy enough in one cubic inch of ether to run a forty-horsepower engine for 40 million years.” I like that. The power that is available to us in God is beyond all human conception. It’s beyond our comprehension, even for those who are in the ministry because as much as we know, there is so much more to God. There is more to our realization of this Power that can come to us at any time and remain with us. It is so all encompassing and wonderful that words cannot adequately express it.

 

 

Jesus knew we needed a personal helper, a very individual helper. This individual helper is ours this day and every moment of every day. It is the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

 

People often ask, “Who is this Holy Spirit? What is this power that has been given to us by Jesus Christ?”

 

 

The apostles knew the Holy Spirit as the third person in the trinity. The Father is always the first, the Son is second, and the Holy Spirit is third. God is everywhere present. We have God’s Word speaking in us right now. It has spoken to us in the past. This Word says to us, “My child, with me you can get through this. With me, you can be healed.”

 

 

We have heard that Word. Now, our mind might have taken over, and said, “Oh, that’s nonsense. I won’t have any part of that!” And that’s our free-will to do that. But we have heard the Word that was given birth by God. We can work with the Word. We can also speak the Word of God through the power of our own spoken word.

The Holy Spirit is the movement of that Holy activity of God inside of us, outside of us, into manifestation and demonstration. The Holy Spirit is the infinite “breath” of God, as the Son is the infinite “Word.” God is located anywhere we may recognize Him. If we, right now, recognize that we are not alone, that we are not orphaned, that we have a power that is with us, we are recognizing, not in any church, Bethel, or this message, but we’re recognizing God and God’s power directly. It seals us to an identification that forever changes us, and who we think we are. It seals within us an idea that we are more than flesh and bones, that we are not out there alone trying to recreate everything, and rebuild the wheel. We are immersed in God’s help that is ever-present and available to us right now.

 

 

To the extent that you and I identify ourselves with God, the only source of existence, we become Spirit in expression, until finally the union is so perfect that it attains a perfection. That is the time we can say with Jesus Christ, “I and the Father are one.”  In making our demonstrations, we work with the conviction in our heart that we are one with God. In the times of silence, we know that we are one with God, and we know that all will be revealed to us.

 

 

We cannot find God without lifting up everyone around us because of what we are radiating from our mind, our consciousness. These true ideas are charged with an uplifting Spirit. We are bringing Divine ideas into reality just by our willingness to read this and accept some of these ideas for ourselves, as ourselves, and for others through ourselves.

 

 

Jesus said that we are co-existing with God. Jesus said that we are interacting, inter-communicating with God at all times. He also said that there is a highness to this experience.  The highness is to receive the Holy Spirit. “He breathed on them and said unto them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.'” Listen to the power of the spoken word for us.

 

 

We bring every thought into safekeeping, to the obedience of Christ. We commit all our works unto God’s good, and our purposes are established. Every plane of consciousness in us is transformed by the renewing of our mind. And so it is. Amen.

 

 

The power of the spoken word lies within every one of us. We can begin by freeing the little small ideas we have, and fill our minds with thoughts of God’s plenty. We must realize that all power is given to us in heaven and on earth, as Jesus said. He told His apostles that they should receive power when the Holy Spirit had come upon them. They were told to go to that upper room. Within us we find the upper room which is within our consciousness where spiritual perspectives begin the formation of new ideas.

 

 

When our soul makes complete union with God, there is always an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. This is the true glorification that comes by the acknowledgement that God is with us; true glorification, the acknowledgment by God that the child is indeed lifted up and glorified. Thus we can be assured of an inner guide that is willing to direct us. This is talking about each of us individually.

 

 

When we let the Holy Spirit come into our full awareness, God’s perfect plan will unfold in our life. All the good thoughts, words, and prayers are put into action with power and authority. The Holy Spirit is very important to anyone who has a need of serving and/or healing. We all need to be filled, and refilled, with an outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

 

 

As we open ourselves to the Holy Spirit, we are renewed, healed, and restored in mind, body, and soul.

 

 

The Holy Spirit will take over when we let it speak through us, lead us, heal us, and fill our heart with love, compassion, and understanding. Since the Holy Spirit represents God in action, we need to use this power to act through us, to heal us, and to speak through us. When we have prayed and asked the Holy Spirit to take over, it’s going to flood our whole being, not so much with excessive emotional feeling, but as a warm, loving presence that literally speaks and acts through us.

 

 

Act as if you already have the Holy Spirit –

 

 

The person who would have fruit from the tree of life, must reach up and get it. He, or she must aspire to it first, and then in prayer, and true word, act as if he had already received it; he must go right ahead living the Gospel, healing the sick, even if the healing is spiritual and personal, and doing other commandments of the Master, exactly as if he were already filled with the Holy Spirit. When the disciples of Jesus wanted to forbid those who were doing works in His name, He said, ‘Forbid them not.’ So everyone who goes ahead and does the very best he knows in the name of the only true God whom we love and worship, will be by virtue of their works draw down upon himself the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

 

 

What is this going to give us? It is going to give us an inner “revelation of our power and the possibilities of our own being. It is the light that is going to bring to our notice the inner mechanism of our soul and body. Where our eyes have seen only flesh, blood, and bones, the searchlight of the Holy Spirit discloses the presence of secret springs and living streams of energy and life.”

 

 

Let us pray.
.

We pray, this morning, in the Holy Spirit, the whole spirit of God. We turn problems over to the Holy Spirit.

 

 

Lord, help us to relax and let the Holy Spirit direct the working of our minds. Guide us into “paths of righteousness” that we can be open to the comforting, sustaining presence of the Holy Spirit as we are uplifted. Show us that feeling of power and strength within us knowing it’s nothing I am doing; it is the Holy Spirit.

 

Father, we ask that the Holy Spirit expresses itself through you and brings order and harmony into our life and work. We pray that the Holy Spirit takes command of our affairs, and that we are prospered through new avenues of supply. May this loving, powerful action of the Holy Spirit take command of our body and renew and restore us.

 

In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.. . . Amen.

LOVE

 

1 John 4:8 “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”

 
Churches teach the biblical teaching of keeping the Sabbath. If God is love, like our Bible says, then to keep the Sabbath, we must spend 24 hours out of our week, refreshing and cleansing our lives by becoming love. 24 hours every Sunday, not judging or criticizing, not jumping to conclusions, but giving everyone, including ourselves a break. The Sabbath is – a spiritual cleansing of love. With our next celebration coming in a few days………

 

 
Valentine’s Day dates back six centuries. It was a commonly accepted day when they believed birds chose their mates. This goes back even before we linked it with St. Valentine. It has been hearts and flowers ever since. ANY day of the year that we decide we are going to become more loving to humanity, to our spouse, our boyfriend or girlfriend, and to all the people in our lives, it is a true Godly act. Valentine’s Day cards are often a good and fun idea because they help us express the human love as well as the Divine love that is inside us and allows an avenue for that love to come forth.

 
The two great things to hold onto in this world are God and each other. Love is the power that connects different people’s souls, broken by ignorance, fear and  circumstance.   Those of us who come in to the Prayer Room. http://thespiritualfamily.chatango.com  know this love, unconditional love. We share the love of God and the love of each other.   Wouldn’t it be a glorious service to humanity, to begin THIS day, from this message, a chain of love throughout our planet? We can do this by allowing this chain of love to begin with who? WITH US. When we agree to do this, we are saying yes to God. Say, “Yes, this morning I’m going to allow Divine love to flow through me and from me.

 

 

We can begin planning now by declaring that, “I’m going to be loving to everyone I meet. From now on, I’m going to suspend my judgments on people – suspend anger, criticism and condemnation – and I agree to be loving here on out.” Try this for a month and see what happens.   “If, at the end of this experiment, I choose to take up anger, hate, and disagreements with others, I can do that. But for thirty days, I’m going to walk the high path and be a real light to the world. For thirty, maybe forty, days I’m going to truly follow Jesus Christ whose main teaching was love. I’m going to become a sample of God’s love.”

 
Wouldn’t it be great if just for this week we named our prayer group “Valentine;” and what if we become that manifestation and then begin a conscious realization of love for the next thirty days? That means loving everybody in our lives-not just the select few who are easy to love-everybody, especially those few who are difficult to love, and keep that wonderful smile on our face to show to everybody. Make it a beacon for everyone to enjoy, savor, and hold on to. One of the secrets of life is that it’s much easier to love everyone, than to hate some. When we hate or begrudge, it becomes like a poison to the soul, which the person holds onto dearly and causes great stress and illness. The projected hate toward someone results only in negativity. So, let go of that and focus on love.

 
Love is the theme song of the universe. It is power of new life, not just in you but in those people who come to you on your path.

 
We make a great mistake of thinking that love must be returned. To truly be loving, love must free, not bind. It loves with open arms and open hands. We must love all who cross our path, and not expect anything in return. Now, some hearing this will say, “There Pastor Peggy goes again talking about that Pollyanna philosophy.” But this is not Pollyanna in any way. Love is not a matter of escape from life, rather it is a dedication to God.

 

 
When we are from the foundation of God’s love, we go to a new level of awareness of sharing-not really wanting anything from anyone else. At the opening of the Olympics and during them we see the competition but we also see the love the athletes have for each other. We watch many differing people coming together in a celebration of love. Yes, we look at each other and realize we are different, but we don’t care. We don’t ask anything of someone else, we find joy in sharing. Holding hands in spirituality, and standing up for the very best, of what is best in humanity, as a people. We are many different races and faiths becoming one people.

 

 
If we are unwilling to love the human expression of life that we have seen with our eyes, how are we going to love the source – God – which we have not seen? Some people say, “I love God, but it’s people that I can’t stand.” How can we love music and not harmony? How can we love the morning and not the day? Every individual is an inlet and an outlet for the complete love of God.

 

 
AND, we can’t possibly love anyone or anything unless we first love ourselves in a spiritual way. We have to know that if we are going to love, we have to pour that love through us (like a hose). As that love comes through us, what does that do to us (to the inside of the hose)? It cleans us out to the core, too. We become filled with love.
But, if I realize that God’s love has to get through me to get to you and I say, “Oh, I’m no good today. My hair doesn’t look good today. I look tired. This isn’t my good dress. How can I effectively talk about love because I have this outfit on? What was I thinking about?”

 

 
I am the hose of God; it has to flow through me to you.

 

 
In this world today, love is the only safe emotion there is. It is the only safe way in which we can live as a people with our fellow man/woman and with ourselves. Love gives all, but it also demands all. Love is the toughest taskmaster and hardest discipline in the universe. Why? Because we also have the baggage we carry right above our eyes in our own minds.

 

 
We, so easily, can slip back into saying, “Well, wait a minute. You did this to me last Valentine’s Day. I remember.” But, we must rise above our past. Life, to be alive, has to consent to live above yesterday. It is not held down; it is freed today in a brand new life in a brand new awareness of God.

 

 
Here is a quote from Booker T. Washington, a very famous African-American.   Think about, as I print this quote. the time in which he lived, and realize he had the right to hate if anyone did. He said this: “I shall allow no man to belittle my soul by making me hate him.”   It has been said that as soon as you begin to condemn someone, you become one of them.

 

 
Psalms 127:1 states: “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.”   This is about more than a stick-built structure. It’s talking about the HOUSE OF OUR LIFE. If God is building our house, what materials does God use? Divine love!
Joel Goldsmith has written: “Illumination dissolves all material ties, and binds men and women together with golden chains of spiritual understanding. It acknowledges only the leadership of Christ. It has no ritual or rule, but Divine love. No other worship than the inner flame that has ever been lit at the shrine of Spirit. This union is the free state of spiritual brotherhood, and sisterhood. The only restraint is the discipline of the soul. Therefore, as we know liberty without license, we are a united universe without physical limits, Divine service to God without ceremony or creed. The illumined walk without fear but by love and grace.”

 

 
Love cannot just stay inside us. It needs to be expressed. We must go the extra mile. We are children of God; and orphans of society are waiting for our love.

 
Look in the Bible at John 3:16.   You’ve heard it before, but let’s take it to a new depth  today. “For God so loved the world . . .”   I like that. It doesn’t say God just loved or cared for or kind of liked the world. It says SO LOVED the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish but may have eternal life.
Let’s talk about the size and the scope of God for a moment. The breadth of God-for God so loved the world. The length of God – that he gave his only Son. The depth of God – so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish. The height of God – but may have eternal life.

 

 

Martin Luther called John 3:16 the heart of the Bible. He said it was the gospel in miniature. He said:
“God-the greatest lover,
So loved-the greatest degree,
The world-the greatest number,
His only Son-the greatest gift,
That everyone who-the greatest invitation,
Believes-the greatest simplicity,
In Him-the greatest person,
May not perish-the greatest deliverance,
But-the greatest difference,
May have-the greatest certainty,
Eternal life-the greatest possession.”

 

 

 

There is only one God, and God is Love. Everything else vanishes and love, in reality, stands forth. The Biblical statement “God is love” is accurate in every way. God is not a superman dishing out love to us and expecting it in return. No, God is love, and we are God’s instrument of expression. To love God is to experience the feeling of love and to let love flow through each of us.

 
God is love, and in that love there is no condemnation, disapproval or fault-finding. Love always welcomes its children back into the fold.

 

 
Love always approves. Love, God, approves of us as its child. The approval of love never varies, unlike the sliding scale of human values.

 

 
I’m sure we will have disagreeable people coming to us, people who it would be easy to dislike. Just step back for a moment, step on the right foundation of God’s love, and say in prayer: “Divine love, reveal Thyself to me.”

 

 
Celebrate Valentine’s Day by using this time to make a commitment. Use your prayer time to practice love for the upcoming 40 + days of Lent (beginning March 1; start getting prepared now). Devote yourself to a cease-fire toward that which you find unlovable for the next forty-plus days. (Give it up for Lent, if you observe that tradition.)

 

 

 

Join me in a chain of love with all humanity around us as an experiment. I don’t think we’ll ever regret it or leave it behind.

 
Please join me in prayer in a celebration of the love of God.
On this week celebrating love, we ask You, Lord, to help us become the manifestation of Christ’s love as we rest into Your loving nature, dear God.   Father, create in us this day a desire to mend a quarrel, to seek out a forgotten friend, to dismiss suspicion and replace it with loving trust.   Inspire in us this day to write a love letter or share some treasure or give a soft answer instead of a hard response.. . .

 
Help us, dear God, to appreciate everything and everyone around us.   Help us to be kind, to be gentle, to laugh a little more. Help use to know that we deserve confidence, that we can take up arms against malice, that we can stop complacency and express gratitude.   Help use to remember to go to You, dear God, in prayer every day so we can have Your Divine love and manifest Your Divine love out of the strength we receive during our prayer time.
In the Divine love of Jesus Christ, we pray.
Thank You, God. We love You . . . Amen.

 

 

 

LOVE

With Valentine’s Day coming up, let’s focus on God’s love in our messages for the next few weeks.

LOVE HIM WITH ALL THE HEART AND WITH ALL THE UNDERSTANDING AND WITH ALL THE STRENGTH, AND TO LOVE ONE’S NEIGHBOR AS HIMSELF. Mark12:28 –

“One of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, “What commandment is the foremost of all?” Jesus answered, “The foremost is, “HEAR, O ISRAEL! THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD; AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.’ The second is this, YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:28 – 34.

 

The scribe said to Him, “Right, Teacher; You have truly stated that HE IS ONE, AND THERE IS NO ONE ELSE BESIDES HIM; AND TO LOVE HIM WITH ALL THE HEART AND WITH ALL THE UNDERSTANDING AND WITH ALL THE STRENGTH, AND TO LOVE ONE’S NEIGHBOR AS HIMSELF, is much more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices. When Jesus saw that he had answered intelligently, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” After that, no one would venture to ask Him any more questions.”  MARK 12:28-34 (NASB)

 

 

Use your imagination for a moment. Imagine that Jesus Christ is walking up to your front door. He stands and looks at you and smiles. There is a love connection eye-to-eye between you and Jesus. You know that you can ask Him only one question. What will that question be? What are you going to ask Jesus Christ?

 

 

You would hope in asking this question that for once and for all, your hurts and anxieties would be taken away. You would hope you would receive an answer that you could base your whole life on. In a very real sense, it did happen to a scribe. He asks, “What is the greatest thing I can do to bring me happiness?”

 

 

Spiritually, a scribe usually represents the thoughts that come to us from the world. They are forms of thoughts not from the inspiration of God. Now, if you look at the outer appearance in all things, especially scripture—you just read the letter exactly the way it is and do not see what it means spiritually–that is a scribe. Jesus talked about the importance of spiritual interpretation—a spiritual interpretation goes beyond the word to the spirit of what is meant by that word.

 

 

On a literal level, the scribes copied down everything in the outer. They copied down each letter.   After the Jews returned from exile, they formed communities of scribes to preserve and circulate the scriptures. Before a scribe began his work each day, he would dip his pen in ink. At the top of the page he would write, “amalec.” He would then cross that out, hold his pen upright and say, “I am writing the Torah in the name of its sanctity and in the name of God in its sanctity.”

 

 

The scribe would read a sentence, repeat it aloud and then write it down. Every time he came to the name of God, he would say, “I am writing the name of God for the holiness of His name.” If he made an error in writing God’s name, he had to destroy the entire sheet of velum or papyrus he was using.

 

 

After the scribe finished copying a particular book, he would count every single word and the letters it contained. He would then check this tally with the count for the manuscript he was copying. He counted the number of times a particular word occurred in the book. And he noted the middle word in the middle of the page and compared that to the original text.

 

 

By making these careful checks in the outer, he hoped to avoid any mistakes that might come. So, needless to say, this was a detail-oriented person to say the least. He is the perfect person to ask the question and the perfect person to record the answer to the question. Also, this is a person who knows well all 713 Jewish commandments.

 

 

Well, our scribe talks to Jesus in the temple during Passover week and asks the question of Jesus, “What can each of us do right now to improve our lives, to increase our happiness?”

 
To answer this question, let’s look at Mark 12:28-34.

 

“And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that He answered them well, asked Him, ‘Which commandment is the first of all?’”

 

Now, this scribe was one of many. You can imagine there was a whole group there arguing with one another. He stopped as he was passing by because he was impressed with the way Jesus was answering the questions. So this scribe asked the question that was burning on his mind of this Holy Man. It was an intelligent question.

 

 

If you had 713 commandments in your mind that you knew well and tried to live by, you would wonder what is really important. Out of the 713 commandments, what should I do today to make my life better?   And, what about arguing? What is it when you argue inside of your mind? We have all done that. This was a very unusual scribe because he was questioning.

 

 

“Jesus answered, ‘The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’”

 

 

Jesus said that there is one God, one presence, one power, omnipotent—the principle of oneness. And this principle is our spiritual consciousness and shows that we are in a state of an awareness inside of our mind, an awareness of God. “Hear” means to look deeper. So, if we do look deeper into our own spirituality, we will find that God is One with each of us ALL the time. When we are feeling down in our life, we will receive the same power and same love from the same God as when we’re in a high time in our life. The Lord isn’t a thousand different moods. The Lord is one at all times.

 

 

In God, love is the power that joins and binds the universe and everything in it. It is the inner quality that sees good everywhere and in everyone. God is love. Lord our God is within us, as the ruling awareness, creating each person’s spirituality. If we have a ruling thought in our head and if that ruling thought is God and the Presence of God and putting God first, then we have the Lord our God ruling our life.

 

 

The heart is our thoughts and feelings that have been stored inside of us. Our soul is more. Our soul is both our subconscious and conscious mind. Our soul is everything we are aware of at this present moment and all time. The mind is the co-creative inventor inside of us. It tells us the starting point of every act. Strength is our energy from God. the might, the capacity to accomplish.

 

 

This is all inside of us for the work of God. We are to love the activity of Christ on every level. The mind is the starting point of every act, thought or feeling with the energy from God. In other words, in everything in our life, put God first. Don’t even allow a fear thought, or a feeling that we don’t have what it takes, to be even be thought of. Always put God first. And if we put God first, we put God first in our mind, in our body, in our life. We are going to have a change in everything, including a change of heart, our consciousness.

 

 

“The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

 

 

How should we love our neighbor? We should love our neighbor as ourself. If we do not love ourself, we can’t give our neighbor love. We have to love ourself because our body is the temple of the living Lord. If we love that activity inside of us and what it is doing in our life, then we can pass that on to our neighbor. If we are a channel for God’s love to flow, and we close that channel, how can the love flow? We have to choose to keep the channel wide open, and allow the love to flow.

 

 

What about your neighbor? This is not just talking about someone who lives next door to us.   It’s talking about people we’ve never met, across the continent. It’s talking about a  commitment to have that openness and to go the extra mile for every person who enters our life. It is talking about people that are like us and people very different from us. It is talking about people in our town and people in all the other towns and all different places of worship. When Jesus said to go the extra mile, He was never talking about an experience of walking around in a circle within our place of familiarity.

 

 

There’s a wonderful story of St. Francis of Assisi. He was terrified of leprosy. He was walking down a very narrow path one day and saw a very pale, ghostly white leper coming towards him.   His heart shrank back. He recoiled. He had all this fear come up inside of him. He started to shake and shudder because he was terrified of contamination from this loathsome disease.

 

He was ashamed of himself and his actions at that point. Then, he decided he would go the extra mile with God and allow God to love through him. He rallied and went with God then.

 

He ran up to the leper, put his arms around him and kissed his cheek. Then St. Francis of Assisi went on. A moment later he looked back and no one was there. Throughout his life, he was convinced that the leper was not really a leper but was Christ Himself whom he had met.

 

In Mark 12:32, our scribe answers. “And the scribe said to him, ‘You are right, Teacher; You have truly said that He is one, and there is no other but He; and to love Him with all the heart, and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.’”

 

 

We have here a scribe who sees that there is one power and that power is love. There is one law that counts in our ministry and in our life. It’s really not just what we teach, but how loving we each are daily. That is what it means to follow Jesus Christ, and go the extra mile.

 

 

The bottom line of Christianity is love. God is love. Love God, love yourself, love the people.   That’s it. That’s all there is. If that’s all we did here, it would be more than enough.

 

 

In Mark 12:34 we read: “And when Jesus saw that, he answered wisely, He said to him, ‘You are not far from the kingdom of God.’ And after that no one dared to ask Him any questions.”

 

 

Can we even imagine if Jesus Christ said to us that we were not far from the kingdom of God?   What an incredible compliment, perhaps the finest compliment that has ever been given.   The kingdom of God IS Christ and His  awareness. God is love. To have that love individualized inside of us is what we are here to achieve. It is the greatest activity a human can strive for.

 

 

Jesus could have said something that was much more complicated. He could have talked all day long about the 712 other commandments. He could have made it so difficult for us to grasp.   But we’re the ones who make religion so difficult for people because our human mind is a difficult place, and we think it has to be a difficult world. But it’s not. In reality it is very simple. And it is the way of happiness.

 

 

We have a choice in our life. We can live our life as an ordinary scribe who is a person who looks only to outer facts and constantly makes decisions about ourselves with the facts of the given moment, or we can decide to have a deeper, enlarged, inner view of life through the eyes of love.

 

 

It’s interesting. Jesus was talking with the disciples about the scribes right after this, and He gave His opinion. Now, Jesus was a teacher who called something exactly what it was.

 

 

In Mark 12:38-40, Jesus said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to go about in long robes, and to have salutations in the market places and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”

 

You can know this Bible. You can live with it and sleep with it. But if you are not loving, you don’t have anything. It’s not what we know but what we demonstrate in our lives. We have to begin to demonstrate love. When love is made active in us, it spreads out.

 
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You see, the love way is the way of the true prophet. The silent way is more powerful than the noisy way. Gandhi said, “If the crowd should ask an eye for an eye, all will be blind.” All people are blind who do not see through the perception of God’s love. Love is not blind.  Loves sees the good. The more loving we are, the more worth we are to our world, our business, our family and our friends.

After we are gone we are only going to be remembered for one thing—what we gave. We will be going to be remembered by the amount of love we gave to the world. People are never gone until they are forgotten, what an incredible legacy to leave behind.

Today we will experience love by expressing it. We are like the wanderer in search of love. We have journeyed to the most loving person in all the world. We have asked this person how to find love. The wise one speaks and assigns us three tasks. And when we complete these tasks, we’ll know the mystery of love. The three tasks assigned are as follows:

1. Love God, 2. Love yourself, 3. Love others as yourself. The spiritual goal is to become one of the most loving of individuals.

I ask you to follow God by making a commitment this morning to become ten times more loving in your life.

I do so and give my love…..

God love  Bless You!