THE LIGHT

The Light

 

Isaiah 35:4 (KJV): 4 Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you.

 

 

John 12: 36 (NIV) Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light.”  When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them.

 

 

A couple went to hear a talk about Peru. They saw a slide show of all those mystic places there. The husband said, “Gee, if I could only go there I would feel so close to God.”

 

 

Where would you have to go to be close to God?

 

 

Would it be India? It is for many people. They say that it would be the absolute epitome of life to follow a guru around, sit at his feet, and listen to him speak. Remember the Beatles? They did just that. They thought they would then feel close to God. It has been said that a guru contains within the his/her inner self, the truth of what life really is. If you would get a true guru, he or she would speak this truth to you — that you have within you all the potential of God’s spirituality. The spirituality is not in any locality, place, or person, but in God. Our Sunday messages are a signpost from God to all the glories you have with you this moment.

 

 

In religion, so much passes from the notebook of the preacher to the notebook of the bible student without ever passing through the spirituality of anyone. I ask you this morning to really feel these words.

 

 

There are actually two essences inside of us. Within each of us is the spiritual and the personal or secular human. Many of us feel we are simply alone, that we are a body and that’s all we are, but I tell you this morning – you are more – so much more.

 

 

In these two halves, the spiritual part of you is God’s child. The personal part of you is a woman or man child. Have you ever heard of Jesus referred to as the Son of Man? You might wonder what that is. And then you’ve heard Jesus referred to as the Son of God. And then Jesus tells us in Galatians 3:26 (KJV) that “26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.”

 

 

You are the son or daughter of a couple, and you are also the child of the living God. If you look at your hands, your hair, your physical make-up, you may look like your father or mother. And truly, you are the son or daughter of man. But you are more. You are also the son or daughter, the child, of God. This is on Jesus Christ’s authority. We each have a large spiritual part.

 

 

You have been told you must be born again. I agree. You must be born again in the awareness of God, of who you are, what you are, and what you can become as God’s child.

 

 

If you think you are just the son or daughter of humans, you’re going to be very limited in your perception. The child of humans has attached itself to belief about limitations. However, the child of God inside of you knows no boundaries, knows no failure, knows no sickness; knows no darkness.

 

 

Jesus Christ says, you must have new birth in your awareness. You must be born again to who you really are. You must have the awareness inside of you that there is also a spiritual distinctiveness within this human body that holds it up and gives it power. Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Except one be born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

 

 

The real element of growth is to grow inward and realize that we are NOT alone, to realize we have the power as a child of God that Jesus Christ said we had. Without some evidence of the nature of Christ inside of us, people just react to life. They want to fight with fists instead of words. They want to solve problems through force instead of through God’s wisdom and love.

 

 

In life there are two paths, the higher way, and the lower way.

 

 

Often when we are in a “holy” place, or a church, it is the energy we feel of other people that have prayed before us.

 

 

Where is Holy Ground?   It is inside of you.

 

 

Exodus 3 tells of Moses’ awakening. “Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian; and He led his flock to the west side of the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. The angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush; and he looked, and lo, the bush was burning, and yet it was not consumed. And Moses said, ‘I will turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.’”

 

 

Imagine walking down the street and seeing a house on fire, but it’s not being consumed. You look. You stare. You gawk at the strange mystery. In that moment you’ll probably have some spiritual awareness come to you because the ordinary and normal appearances of life are gone. Personal limitations and preconceived opinions of what life is no longer are real.

 

 

“When the Lord saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, ‘Moses, Moses!’ And He said, ‘Here am I.’ Then He said, ‘Do not come near; put off your shoes from your feet, for the place upon which you are standing is Holy Ground.’ And He said, ‘I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.”

 

 

Many of us tend to hide our faces because we’re also afraid to look at God. I don’t know why, but we are. We think that if we look at God, God will know what is hidden deep inside us and require us to do something we don’t want to do. We are afraid. We fear God.

 

 

God’s will is to make our life better, not worse. God loves us more than we can even comprehend from where we stand at this present moment.

 

 

“The Lord God said, ‘I have seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters; I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites. And now, behold, the cry of the people of Israel has come to me, and I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring forth my people, the Sons of Israel, out of Egypt.’

 

 

“But Moses said to God, ‘Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Sons of Israel out of Egypt?’

 

 

“He said, ‘But I will be with you; and this shall be a sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought forth the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God upon this mountain.’”

 

 

 

 

There is a law of spiritual and mental growth that is constantly at work within our mind. It is the moving from sense-consciousness (or Egypt) to spiritual consciousness (or Canaan). The name Moses means to “draw out.” In Scripture it symbolically represents this progressive or drawing out process that works from within – moving out.

 

 

What is going on inside of us? Inside there are many thoughts of God’s truth coming up. But those thoughts are still out of touch. They are still oppressed by our own human thinking that acts as a block or a sifter. It’s like God’s truth is at the top of a mountain, so difficult if not impossible for us to reach and grasp.

 

 

This mountain is a spiritual mountain in a perceived and experienced spiritual consciousness; we are on a higher vantage point of life after a time in the wilderness. You might feel like Moses, that you have been in the wilderness for forty years. Forty means four square; a complete experience, multiplied by a zero for emphasis.

 

 

Here are all four corners of the Truth: a complete Truth. Then, if we want to multiply it inside of our mind, we talk about that Truth over and over and over and over again until it is enough. The Biblical way of describing this is to add a zero.

 

 

So, here we have a story of something that is happening right now inside of us, a wonderful wilderness story of thoughts waiting to be freed from human limitation, of a mountain waiting for us to climb. When these thoughts are freed, the awareness of God creates a new kingdom. That kingdom is Holy Ground. When we’re in this thought process or thought-kingdom, everyplace we step is Holy. We realize God IS with us, and we are not alone.

 

 

The angel of the Lord, the flame of the fire, and the bush are all within our spiritual consciousness. They become manifest through our focus on The Word. The bush inside of us is a nerve center through which faithful prayer flows like electricity through a wire. It is making an awe-inspiring light, but it is not ever consumed.

 

 

Yet when we consent to God working through us, we have that  fire inside, an enthusiasm. This is that light that does not consume. It adds to; it benefits.

 

 

Then you realize, right where you are; you are on Holy Ground.

 

 

IT IS THE LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS.

 

 

We invite you visit our new chapel, our on-line live ministry; come often and join in the experience. Sit in the chapel and feel the light and love of God surround you.

 

 

https://thelightinthedarknessweb.wordpress.com/

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BECOMING FREE

Psalm 118:5 “Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free.”

 

One woman finds her heart-felt freedom in gardening. Another woman finds her freedom on her bicycle. A man says that he finds soul freedom riding his motorcycle on backcountry roads.

 

What is your way to find freedom within your soul?

 

How can you make it more lasting, beyond the freeing short-term activity?

 

The road to freedom does not mean infringing the rights of others; it is finding that personal inner road that leads to a freeing sense of self, totally focused on being one with God.

 

Songwriter and singer Charlie Daniels wrote:

 

A brief candle; both ends burning
An endless mile; a bus wheel turning
A friend to share the lonesome times
A handshake and a sip of wine
So say it loud and let it ring
We are all a part of everything
The future, present and the past
Fly on proud bird
You’re free at last.

 

Do you feel free right now? This is a great day for beginning the road to personal freedom. Right now, this very moment, is an exciting moment in the history of our lives IF we choose to make it so. We choose to walk with God and not be held down captive, and enslaved by our problems.

 

H. L. Mencken said, “I believe that liberty is the only genuinely valuable thing that humans have invented, at least in the field of government, in a thousand years. I believe that it is better to be free than to be not free, even when the former is dangerous and the latter safe. I believe that the finest qualities of a human can flourish only in free air………”

 

So we celebrate our inner freedom today from oppression and limitations, so we can grow and change and develop as a spiritual people. We love to experience all the things God has already provided for us. We cannot do that if we are not thinking freely—if we find ourselves in bondage, if we are holding ourselves back or limiting ourselves.

 

In John 8:31, Jesus said, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”

 

The spiritual truth is that you have God with you every moment of the day and night, that knowledge and awareness will make you free.

 

Let’s define freedom. Do we think freedom means we can do anything we want to do? We have heard people say, “This is my life and I’ll live it as I please! You can’t tell me what to do with my life. I’m a free person. How dare you try to limit me?” I can remember hearing teenagers say something similar.

 

Frederick Douglass wisely said, “Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are people who want crops without plowing the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning; they want the ocean without the roar of its many waters. The struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, or it may be both. But it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand; it never has and it never will.”

 

Think of the story of the prodigal son. The son said, “I want to be free. Give me my inheritance so I can go about my own business and do what I want to do.” [paraphrased]

 

As the biblical story goes on, we read about all the mistakes that this son made, UNTIL he came to realize the truth. He was not free but enslaved with gluttony of power. Giving it all up (at least the struggle) and going home created his personal freedom.

 

Gandhi spoke these words, “Freedom is not worth having if it does not connote freedom to err.”

 

Human life does make mistakes, and that is okay as long as we learn from those mistakes, correct our course direction, and rise higher. That is our progression toward freedom.

 

Many times, we see freedom as the opportunity to spread our wings and express our own individual, personal self, irrespective of where it takes us, and no matter what it means to us. A person, being paroled from prison, might say that he or she is now free. Of course he/she is free; he/she is no longer incarcerated and can move about the nation, and do the things he/she could not do while in prison.

 

Adolescents, leaving home for the first time, surely, could say they are free. Can you identify with that? I could. When I was young, I knew I was ready to go and I said, “I’m free.” My father and mother didn’t know nearly as much as I wanted them to know. (It’s amazing that, as I became older, they became wiser.)

 

There are times in our lives, especially in our early years, when we want to do our own thing, so we say, “I want freedom. I want to get out of this house. I want to do my own thing. I want to make my own mistakes.”

 

As the Israelites crossed the Red Sea, surely, they must have felt free from the bondage they experienced in Egypt. Truly, they felt free.

 

2 Corinthians 3:17 “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”

 

I want to give you a working definition of freedom. Freedom is what you do with what’s been done to you. Freedom is a quality or state of being without thought or restraint, bondage, limitation or repression, having a sense of complete well-being. It is the result of regulating one’s life according to Divine principle—not according to what anyone else may think or say. Freedom is not something that anybody can be given. Freedom is something people receive when accepting Christ as their Lord and Savior; and people are as free as they want to be.

 

We can be free from bondage, and we can be free from what is known as slavery. Let me give you a working definition of bondage: Undue attachments to thoughts in lower personal consciousness (or another way to say it -in our limited thoughts).

 

John 8:36So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

 

Now let me give you a definition of God’s Truth: God’s Truth – That which is, has been, and always will be; the straight and narrow path on which our Holy Spirit directs. That which harmonizes with God’s Divine standard.

 

“You shall know the truth and that truth shall make you free.” John 8:32

 

In the past, we have found ourselves in bondage. We can be in bondage for so long that we get used to it. We’ve always acted a certain way. We’ve been limited, so we get accustomed to being limited. It’s like being in a prison cell and not knowing that we are in a cell, and not knowing that the door to that cell is unlocked. We stay there, exist there, and function there, not knowing we can change and do wonderful things with our lives.

 

Often the one thing that is missing is that wonderful personal relationship with God.

 

There is an innate desire in each of us. It is like God knocking at our door saying, “Listen, My child. I’m here! You think you have it made now. If you put your hand in My hand, I’ll show you things you haven’t even dreamed of. Come to Me now. I will open up the windows of heaven and pour you out blessings.

 

Freedom is not being free to do the things we should not do. Freedom is doing the things that are in our best interest, and the best interest of God and others. We are free to actually live, move, and express ourselves as a child of God. That’s the freedom we have!

 

The life we thought was so great is nothing compared to the life we have available to us now. We can have a wonderful relationship with God. We can feel the whole Spirit of God active in our life. Nothing in the past has ever been greater, and nothing ever can be. This is it.

 

“None who have always been free can understand the terrible fascinating power of the hope of freedom to those who are not free.” Pearl S. Buck

 

We can change NOW. Freedom lies in being bold. We can redirect our thoughts and actions, right now, at this moment. Would you like to do that? Would you like to look at a new approach to your life and experience more freedom? Would you?

 

Pray and ask for guidance and strength. When we want to redirect our lives, when we really want to move beyond the status quo, when we want to make a drastic, dramatic, definite change in our lives, we need help. We, definitely, need God’s perfect help.

 

When I say God and I are one, I want it to be a real experience. So I ask God to have His way in me now. We need strength and courage to break any habit or any pattern.

 

Only you can say what you are imprisoned and chained to.

 

The bold step is to take the change one day at a time. Persistent constant progress is what we are looking for instead of many starts and stops. With God’s help even the turtle crosses the finish line and many times wins the race. If we want to be free, we have to be patient with ourselves and take it one step at a time. Look at the Israelites. They took forty years and moved ahead patiently (well, kind of patiently). I’m not saying it’s going to take us forty years—it could be much sooner. The forty years for us could be just any amount of time moving toward our freedom. The less we resist, the quicker will be the results. We must take it one day at a time, and sometimes, we must take it one moment at a time, or one hour at a time.

 

Study about God’s Truth and the fact that we are all children of God. We are all free, and God is the Source, and everyone else in our lives are channels.

 

Give thanks every single day of your life; thank God that you are free and unlimited now.

 

Let’s have a moment of prayer.

 

Thank You, God, for the Truth. We know the Truth, and the Truth is that we were not created to be limited. We were not created to experience sickness, poverty, habits or addictions that hold us back. We are free, God, to see Your good and to work toward that perfect Good, and to see and experience the good in others in our world. We are free to be optimistic. As this day continues and as our lives unfold, our commitment to You and to ourselves is to rise to that higher level of understanding, action, and interaction, whereby this freedom that we are will become an everyday experience that always leads us to the ultimate truth that is You.

 

Thank You, God. In Jesus Christ’s name. . .Amen.

 

Sailing in Calm Seas

“… I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20

 

 

 

 

When we get stressed and frustrated, the antidote is to claim a calm faith, not in your own cleverness, or in hard toil, but in God’s guidance. Norman Vincent Peale (paraphrased)

 

 

If you really want to change your life, you have to do it at a soul level.

 

 

Think about this – “You walk down the path that only you can walk on, but you walk with a new bounce in your step; a new stride in your motivation. To walk that way, you walk with God. And the way you walk with God as a human being is to have faith inside of yourself.”

 

 

You have heard the saying many times that two minds are better than one. We know that that is true. The two minds I am talking about are your mind and God’s mind working together, synchronized in His Divine power. If you are together, not as one mind, but as two minds, where you are using Divine inspiration within your mind, you have a tremendous ability to live your life successfully.

 

 

When many people think about two minds being better than one, they are thinking about two human minds. That produces the type of activity like the two cartoon characters Chip and Dale. One says, “After you,” and the other says, “No, after you,” then the first says, “No, I insist, after you.” No one ever makes a decision. When you are working with God and the other Mind is God, God says, “Follow me, “, and you no longer argue because you walk in your faith. This brings you strong reassurance.

 

 

Life is a maze. We get ourselves in a tangle of difficulty, whether it is inside our mind, body, or inside our businesses. Or perhaps our relationship challenges seem to be a maze. Whatever the need, we need to solve that problem from a higher level of mind than we were in when we created the problem. The only way we can do this fast, efficiently, is to turn our mind to God. The Bible says to be renewed by the renewing of your mind. The Bible says to have that mind that was in Christ Jesus. When we do that, when we combine those two minds into one, we are strengthened and renewed.

 

 

When we are down or have a problem, we start kicking ourselves and worry, usually about nothing major. We start thinking about all the things we should not think about. But when we combine the two minds into one, we have that filling up of God that lifts us up, that motivates us, and that leads us on through the maze of life, through the obstacle course, to victory on the other side. Faith in God brings success.

 

 

When you look in the mirror, you see a human being. You look at this human being and may wonder why in the world are you here. What is my purpose you say? Well, the answer is that you are a child of God. You are here to take something that is good already and make it better. The way you do that is by teaming up with God; and in prayer, asking for Divine ideas and guidance that will inspire your way and will allow that special, miraculous activity to work through you.

 

 

What is vision? Vision is a picture of faith. Perhaps we need a new vision of ourselves now and in the future. We can receive this through faith.

 

 

Do you ever think that you would like to be better, wiser, and in all ways more valuable to the world than you now seem to be? If you do, there is hope for you. “If you shall ask anything of God,” said Jesus Christ, “God will give it to you in my name.” Try definite speaking in faith.   Say, “In the name of Jesus Christ, let Thy goodness, Thy wisdom, Thine allness express and manifest in me,” and you will have the answer you are looking for.

 

 

When you believe in something bigger than yourself and hold onto the faith of God in the midst of trouble and adversity, you hold on with a faith united with the faith in Jesus Christ –and at that point, you have success.

 

 

I know most have heard this story, but again, bear with me. This is a story of a frog. Once upon a time there was a frog who jumped into a kettle of boiling water. The frog knew, immediately, that it was boiling water, and jumped out to safety.

 

 

But once upon a time there was another frog who jumped into a kettle of lukewarm water. As he was in this lukewarm water, the water gradually increased in temperature. It got hotter and hotter. The frog was more and more uncomfortable, but the frog did not jump out. Because the temperature of the water was raised gradually, the frog got used to it. After a while, the frog died.

 

 

If we jump into a situation and we immediately perceive it is bad, we immediately jump out. But a lot of times something slowly wears at us, and we don’t realize that things are going wrong. We stay exactly where we are, in the same level of awareness where we have been. It is that time when we need to jump out.

 

 

We need to think like Christ, not like others; and we need to stop trying to solve our problems by our own thoughts of fear. Let Christ solve the difficulties. Our lives and the way we go about our lives will be quite different. We will move in victory. We will have faith in a new and profound way inside of us. When we have faith in that way, we’re going to be lifted up every time.

 

 

There is a piece of poetry by Ella Wheeler Wilcox that points to a paradox of the sea. She says,

 

 

“One ship drives east,
Another drives west,
With the same self-winds that blow.
What makes the difference in their courses
Is the set of the sails.”

 

 

What makes a difference inside of us is the set of the sails of our faith. You can have two people going through the same difficulty, but with a greatly different reality inside each of them. You can have one person who is throwing up his or her hands in despair, and another person realizes God’s help with new power and direction of their life. The power and direction of life is in life itself, from the Source of life—God.

 

 

We all have known people who have been swayed by almost anything. If the slightest wind blew, they were blown off course. We know other people anchored by faith, who always stayed the course, and no matter how hard or how fast the wind of trouble blew in their life, they were not moved. They always got to the other side. When you see this type of person, you realize God is the answer. The answer is not to be blown around, buffeted by the winds of chance. It is to hold on to the lasting foundation of God. We need to set our lives to the highest standing.

 

 

We begin to come to this point in our spiritual lives by decreeing our relationship to the Almighty; by decreeing that we are not separate, but one. We determine, in this decree, our joy and our freedom and our peace.

 

 

Freedom from what? Freedom from our own mind and its destructive thoughts. Peace will pass our own understanding as the Bible says, because we have God with us. No matter what is going on outside of us, we feel at peace, no longer buffeted by the winds of fate, we are anchored to God.

 

 

You may have everything wonderful in the world, but if you are disturbed in your mind, everything is awful. Or, you may have everything challenging in the world,; and IF you are at peace in your mind, everything is okay. Peace precedes healing of all conditions. And nothing causes peace like strong faith.

 

 

We have to realize that there is a connecting place of prayer inside of us. We let go and let God have control, instead of our worries and our fears becoming the ruler. When we decree God’s good from the place of faith, we command the “subjects of our kingdom” – -the thoughts we are thinking, the words we are speaking–to be obedient to this decree. We are decreeing that we will have different feelings and different ideas that will be happening inside of us. We will express this in a new and higher way, and our good will be established by God.

 

 

Try this for a time. Let go of your human thinking right now, for a moment, and realize that right with you at this moment, there is a higher way. Get faith now by closing your eyes and praying this short prayer:

 

 

In the name of Jesus Christ, I decree for myself: health, purity, and wholeness. I decree for myself: energy, strength, and power. I decree for myself: joy, happiness, and harmony. I decree for myself: life, light, and enlightenment. I decree for myself: well-being, plenty, and abundance in all good things. I decree for myself: true activity and service. I decree for myself: a spiritual mind and a spiritual body . . .

 

 

Thank you dear God… Amen.

 

 

The reason we come to church and to this Bethel is to remember; this is a reminder in society to recall that, that which we already know. Life should not be hard; it can be easy if we let it, IF we let God.

 

 

It should be a joy. In faith, you are the commander of your ship. In faith, you can take the wheel again. In faith, you can sail it with a power and a strength that all the great ships have had through-out time. I invite you to do so. It’s a lot easier than just drifting around buffeted by every wind of the world and not knowing where you are going.

 

 

It’s time to get strong in faith and let God guide your ship!

 

 

God Bless You!

The Lord is my Shepherd

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
God maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
God leadeth me beside the still waters.
God restoreth my soul: God leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for God’s name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil:
for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
Thou anointest my head with oil;
My cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalm 23

 

 

Those of us who either willingly or were drug to Church and Sunday School as a child probably remember all or most of Psalm 23; If not, let me encourage you to learn it. David wrote this Psalm as God’s promise to us, in prayer. Let’s take a look at this Psalm – behind the scenes so to speak.

 

 

Dr. Alexia Carrel is a medical doctor who won a Nobel Prize. He wrote:
“Prayer is the most powerful form of energy that one can generate. The influence of prayer on the human mind and body is as demonstrable as that of secreting glands. Its results can be measured in terms of increased buoyancy, greater intellectual vigor, moral stamina, and a deeper understanding of human relationships. Prayer is indispensable to the fullest development of personality. Only in prayer do we achieve that complete harmonious assembly of mind, body, and spirit which gives the frail human need its unshakable strength. When we pray we liken ourselves with the inexhaustible motive that spins the universe…”

 

 

When we, and yes David also, (took) take the time to connect with God, we take the time to connect with our best possibilities. We connect with all possibility, as it comes through God, into our minds and our souls.

 

We embrace our Lord, our creator and Savior. He is our perfect leader, and we pray to be kept on the path of righteousness of His Divine thought. When we connect with God, we connect with strength that we didn’t even know we had. We connect with God and we know that all is and will be well again.

 

 

This is called “Into the Day”

 

I got up early one morning
And rushed right into the day;
I had so much to accomplish
I didn’t have time to pray.

 

Troubles just tumbled about me
And heavier came each task.
Why doesn’t God help me, I wondered,
God answered, “You didn’t ask.”

 

I tried to come into God’s presence,
I used all my keys at the lock.
God gently and lovingly chided,
“Why child, you didn’t knock.”

 

I wanted to see joy and beauty,
But the day toiled on gray and bleak,
I called on the Lord for the reason–
God said, “You didn’t seek.

 

I woke up early this morning
And paused before entering the day.
I had so much to accomplish
That I had to take time to pray.
(Author Unknown)

 

 

We speak so often about prayer. And why? Because in our life, prayer is like opening a floodgate of God’s perfect good. Behind that floodgate is a force, well beyond our human power, of absolute good—even greater good than we can conceive of from our human mind. Prayer releases and renews our energies and gives us vitality and power through God. When we pray, we are having a conversation or a talk, if you will, with God. Talk to God as your best friend. Every prayer should be a brand new experience. It should be new and thrilling—a dynamic new adventure of spiritual communication.

 

A businessman gave this advice, “If you’re going to a business meeting, take your silent partner with you and you talk as you would to a fine acquaintance that has been with you every second of your life.

 

Think about how mothers talk to their children when they are ill. She doesn’t leave the side of her youngster and talks to him/her in a loving, soothing way. Or, talk to God like a father who has been with you every second, believed in you, and was there to teach you how to ride a bike or play basketball. Have you seen the commercial where the young boy is learning to ride his two wheeler bike and says to his mom, “Don’t let go until I tell you to.” Be with God like that. What an amazing spiritual journey of discovery together where you are believing and trusting in a power that is greater than yourself.

 

“When a man picked up his automobile at the dealership, they wanted him to test the engine. (The wanted to impress him with the power of the engine.) So they had him put the car in park and they said, “Now, rev up this engine to 5,000 rpm.”

 

The car is in park, and he revs the engine up. As the car shakes and quivers with suppressed energy, he thought, “This is like me, often all my potential is in park.”

 

We need to get out of “Park” and move the shift into “Drive” and feel that movement forward.   “Drive”, for man, is prayer – prayer in the Jesus Christ way, praying, believing without doubt and knowing that what we are praying for is one with us, and that we are going to receive.

 

“The inward soul needs to be fed—not a food that you get at a restaurant, but soul feeding from God for your inward soul. You may be stuffed with food, but your inward soul is often starved. It might not have been fed for a long time. You may be soul starved, and you do not know why.  There may be an uneasiness about your life.

 

“When your inward soul is fed in prayer, there is an inward poise, peace, well-being, and dominion. To neglect this, causes you to stumble through life overburdened. In time, we become irritable, tired, and depleted.

 

“Prayer releases old pressures. Stress builds silently, and then all of a sudden you are like a pressure keg, and you do not know why, but you feel like you’re going to explode. Nothing has happened in the present moment, but still you are so uneasy inside of yourself. You know you have to release this some way, somehow. Prayer releases these old energies, feelings, emotions, and the dormant things of spirit. It refreshes you with new life. It heals diseases, but that is an effect of those old pressures. Prayer is the ultimate healing power.” C.C.

 

Jesus said to pray continually. You might ask, “I could pray for a little while, but how am I going to pray, and pray, and pray?”

 

How do you talk to your best friend for so long? Jesus doesn’t want your prayers to be a drab, boring statement of the same thing every time.

 

One woman who was a professional bowler said, “I go to God if I’m going bowling. I take God with me. God knows how to bowl better than I do.”

 

The most powerful prayer that we can pray is united prayer. Almost always in the Bible when Jesus sent out disciples, he sent them out two-by-two, so that they would not forget, and continually remind themselves of their spiritual power.

 

Find a prayer partner to pray with.

 

Jesus said in Matthew 18:20 “Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

 

Each of us has to take the spiritual power given as God-given gifts and use it to serve others, making our world a better place.

 

A minister once had a prayer vigil in one of the ministries in which she served. She asked some of her Board members to take part in the prayer vigil. One of the Board members said, “Oh no. I don’t want to do that. I want to do something that’s important.” There is nothing more important that we can do than pray—to take the time and allow God to come through us.

 

Albert Schweitzer built hospitals in the jungles. One day he asked one of the natives to carry some wood. The native had been learning to read and write and replied, “I’d like to, sir, but it’s beneath my dignity. I am a scholar—an intellectual.”

 

Albert Schweitzer chuckled and said, “I’ve always wanted to be an intellectual too, but will never quite make it, so I’ll carry the wood!”

 

Matthew 23:11 says, “The greatest among you will be your servant.”

 

Mark 9:35 says, “He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.’”

 

And in I Corinthians 10:24 it says, “Do not seek your own advantage, but that of the other.”

 

Here we are today to follow Jesus. What does it mean to be a servant of another person? To be a servant, we are encouraged to listen, believe in, and pray with.. If we did that, then we would be a servant and a friend, and we would be following the wishes of our Lord.

 

Ella Wheeler Wilcox wrote:

 

“There are only two kinds of people on earth today; Two kinds of people, no more I say.
Not the rich and the poor, for to know a man’s wealth
You must first know the state of his consciousness and health,
Not the happy and sad, for in life’s passing years,
Each has his laughter and each has his tears.
No, the two kinds of people on earth I mean
Are the people who lift and the people who lean.
In which class are you?
Are you lifting the load
Of some overtaxed lifter who’s going down the road,
Or are you a leaner who lets others share
Your portion of toil and labor and care?”

 

 

I love this.  We are lifters here; and I must always know myself as a “lifter.”. We are lifters for all of humankind. That is our mission. When we pray here, we pray for everyone, we pray with people who are not of our own faith. We pray on their behalf, and believe and listen.

 

You are a part of this ministry. You can be a Baptist, a Methodist, a Catholic, or any denomination. You are a part of this ministry because we are all part of the ministry of God.

 

That’s the mission. We are accepting the mission of following Jesus Christ by upholding the very best about another person, believing that they can be healed, or they can have a second chance, or they can have God work in their lives.

 

We are not saying that we have the power. We are acknowledging that God has the power.

 

We need you to pray with us and to uphold the high watch for yourself and other people. It will be a continuous prayer with a rhythm that sweeps around this globe. A tremendous power will be generated. There will be extra-ordinary healings, and an uplifting and restoring of our souls.

 

The road that we are traveling from the mortal plane of feeling lost and alone to the spiritual plane is beset with many obstacles and obstructions, and we need the assistance of The One stronger than any of those who now dwell here in human bodies—we each need God’s help.

 

The human alone is not always a safe guide, because he or she sees in a limited, human way. We want The One who sees wholly in Spirit, and That — we find in Jesus Christ.

 

And that is why we, like David, proclaim, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want…”.

 

Jesus Christ is the head of this ministry. I encourage you to be in prayer with us during this special time.   http://thespiritualfamily.chatango.com/?flash .   We meet in a gathering of fellowship every Thursday at 7:30Central time for just that purpose and welcome all to pray and fellowship with us. We are also available 24/7 so join us any time.

 

Let us pray:

 

Dear God, we turn to You, and we are asking that a special spiritual awareness be given to each person praying. We ask that each person being prayed for will be blessed, that God’s healing light and love will radiate through all of us and all those with and for whom we pray, throughout all Creation.

 

In Jesus Christ’s name . . . Amen.

He is Risen

Sunday is Resurrection Sunday or Easter as it is known around the world. There is nothing I can add to this scripture. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16

 

 

Read the scripture below as you meditate on the meaning of this day.

 

 

John 18-19:42 (NIV)

 

18 When he had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side there was a garden, and he and his disciples went into it. 2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. 3 So Judas came to the garden, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and the Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons.

 

 

4 Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?” 5 “Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “I am he,” Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.) 6 When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.

 

 

7 Again he asked them, “Who is it you want?” “Jesus of Nazareth,” they said. 8 Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. If you are looking for me, then let these men go.” 9 This happened so that the words he had spoken would be fulfilled: “I have not lost one of those you gave me.”

 

 

10 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) 11 Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?” 12 Then the detachment of soldiers with its commander and the Jewish officials arrested Jesus. They bound him 13 and brought him first to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. 14 Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jewish leaders that it would be good if one man died for the people.

 

 

15 Simon Peter and another disciple were following Jesus. Because this disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the high priest’s courtyard, 16 but Peter had to wait outside at the door. The other disciple, who was known to the high priest, came back, spoke to the servant girl on duty there and brought Peter in.

 

 

17 “You aren’t one of this man’s disciples too, are you?” she asked Peter. He replied, “I am not.” 18 It was cold, and the servants and officials stood around a fire they had made to keep warm. Peter also was standing with them, warming himself.

 

 

19 Meanwhile, the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. 20 “I have spoken openly to the world,” Jesus replied. “I always taught in synagogues or at the temple, where all the Jews come together. I said nothing in secret. 21 Why question me? Ask those who heard me. Surely they know what I said.” 22 When Jesus said this, one of the officials nearby slapped him in the face. “Is this the way you answer the high priest?” he demanded.

 

 

23 “If I said something wrong,” Jesus replied, “testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?” 24 Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

 

 

25 Meanwhile, Simon Peter was still standing there warming himself. So they asked him, “You aren’t one of his disciples too, are you?” He denied it, saying, “I am not.” 26 One of the high priest’s servants, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, challenged him, “Didn’t I see you with him in the garden?” 27 Again Peter denied it, and at that moment a rooster began to crow.

 

 

28 Then the Jewish leaders took Jesus from Caiaphas to the palace of the Roman governor. By now it was early morning, and to avoid ceremonial uncleanness they did not enter the palace, because they wanted to be able to eat the Passover. 29 So Pilate came out to them and asked, “What charges are you bringing against this man?”

 

 

30 “If he were not a criminal,” they replied, “we would not have handed him over to you.” 31 Pilate said, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.” “But we have no right to execute anyone,” they objected. 32 This took place to fulfill what Jesus had said about the kind of death he was going to die.

 

 

33 Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” 34 “Is that your own idea,” Jesus asked, “or did others talk to you about me?” 35 “Am I a Jew?” Pilate replied. “Your own people and chief priests handed you over to me. What is it you have done?” 36 Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”

 

 
37 “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.

 

 

38 “What is truth?” retorted Pilate. With this he went out again to the Jews gathered there and said, “I find no basis for a charge against him. 39 But it is your custom for me to release to you one prisoner at the time of the Passover. Do you want me to release ‘the king of the Jews’?”
40 They shouted back, “No, not him! Give us Barabbas!” Now Barabbas had taken part in an uprising.

 

 

19 Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. 20. The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe and went up to him again and again, saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!” And they slapped him in the face.

 

 

4 Once more Pilate came out and said to the Jews gathered there, “Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no basis for a charge against him.” 5 When Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!” 6 As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!”

 

 

But Pilate answered, “You take him and crucify him. As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him.” 7 The Jewish leaders insisted, “We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God.”

 

 

8 When Pilate heard this, he was even more afraid, 9 and he went back inside the palace. “Where do you come from?” he asked Jesus, but Jesus gave him no answer. 10 “Do you refuse to speak to me?” Pilate said. “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?”

 

 

11 Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.” 12 From then on, Pilate tried to set Jesus free, but the Jewish leaders kept shouting, “If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar. Anyone who claims to be a king opposes Caesar.”

 

13 When Pilate heard this, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judge’s seat at a place known as the Stone Pavement (which in Aramaic is Gabbatha). 14 It was the day of Preparation of the Passover; it was about noon. “Here is your king,” Pilate said to the Jews. 15 But they shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!

 

” “Shall I crucify your king?” Pilate asked. “We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests answered. 16 Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified. So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. 17 Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). 18 There they crucified him, and with him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle.

 
19 Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. 20 Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek. 21 The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews.”
22 Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.”

 

 

23 When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom. 24 “Let’s not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s decide by lot who will get it.” This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled that said, “They divided my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.” So this is what the soldiers did.

 

 

25 Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman,] here is your son,” 27 and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.

 

 

28 Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. 30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

 

 

31 Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down

 

 

32 The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. 33 But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34 Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.

 

 

35 The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe. 36 These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken,” 37 and, as another scripture says, “They will look on the one they have pierced.”

 

 

38 Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jewish leaders. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. 39 He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds.

 

 

40 Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. 41 At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. 42 Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.

 

 

20:1 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. 2 So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”

 

 

3 So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. 4 Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, 7 as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen.

 

 

8 Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. 9 (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) 10 Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.

 

 

11 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.
13 They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?” “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.”

 

 

14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. 15 He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”

 

 

Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”   16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).

 

 

17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

 
18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.

 

 

19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

 

21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

 

 

24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

 

 

But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

 

 

26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

 

 

28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

 

 

29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

 
30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

 

 

This is the Word of the Lord. Peace be with you! Amen

 

I pray you have a blessed Easter as you celebrate our risen Lord.

THE LAMP AND THE SALT

“In the Lord, put your trust.” Psalms 11:1

 

I want to share a story with you about the small town of Millersburg. Millersburg is a place where, even though it’s modern, time has stood still. If you were to take a scale and New York City was at the top of the scale, you would find Millersburg at the bottom of the scale. This small town is in Ohio, between Cleveland and Columbus and west of Pittsburgh, just to give you an idea of where it lies, a little NE of the center of the state, in Holmes County. This county is also home of many of the Amish who migrated to Ohio many years ago.

 

 

Right in the middle of Millersburg was the Post Office to the west of the town’s square. It was the central meeting place in Millersburg. The Postmaster, Mr. Denny, was a man who believed in animal rights. He never killed even a bug; he didn’t believe in hurting anything. So when a big beehive formed over the door, it didn’t bother Mr. Denny. It bothered everyone else in town, but Mr. Denny was at peace with the beehive being there. Every day as he went through the door, he would bless the bees. The other people would duck, crawl, and get through the door any way they could.

 

 

Over one long weekend, the beehive seemed to expand. It got so large that it blocked the whole top of doorway. Pretty soon, everyone in town was outside the Post Office looking through the door. They were on one side, the door with the beehive was in the middle, and the mail that they wanted to get was on the other side of the door.

 

 

They all started to complain. They called Mr. Denny and said, “Hey, we can’t get in to get our mail.”

 

 

Mr. Denny said, “Well, we don’t want to kill the bees.” So Mr. Denny had an idea. He would call a master bee keeper who could, somehow without hurting one single bee, move the bee hive and save the bees. This was quite a show. The whole town came out to see this master bee keeper work. It was quite a shock to the whole town when the master bee keeper came because considering the amount he was being paid, the people expected him to come with elaborate trucks pulling elaborate machinery, and be wearing a space suit with a screen mask.

 

 

Well, the beekeeper came up to the Post Office in a 1967 Chevrolet Bel Air. He had no equipment whatsoever. He was wearing a short-sleeved shirt—and not even wearing a glove. He had a ladder in his trunk. He opened the trunk, got out the ladder, and put it near the front door.   Everybody was just holding their breath.

 

 

He reached into the beehive with his naked hand and pulled out one single bee. When he pulled out this one single bee, he took it over to the 1967 Chevrolet Bel Air to an empty beehive that had been abandoned some time before. He put this one single bee inside the abandoned beehive, and then a miracle took place. The thousands of bees that were swarming up above the front door of the Post Office in Millersburg all came down from that beehive flew over and entered the hive in which he had put that one single bee. This was because the master beekeeper removed the queen bee. The worker bees followed the queen to their new home.

 

 

The whole theme of this story is that the queen bee is a “super bee”. You have the potential with God’s help to become a “super human,” like the queen bee and have others follow you.

 

 

We also have both queen thoughts and we have worker thoughts inside of us. Now, sometimes the queen thought is thinking about things like fear, anxiety, or anger. Sometimes the queen thought inside of us is thinking, “Oh, I’m no good. I couldn’t possibly do what I wish I could.” Whenever the queen thought is thinking that, the thousand worker thoughts follow along. No one thought EVER stands alone. They don’t even question. They just say, “Whatever you say, my queen and we will think this way.” The hive is our own mind and the life that we produce around it. We have all these thoughts swarming right now. Our human mind entertains 60,000 thoughts a day. The first thought is like a locomotive, and then it has a thousand train cars follow it, down the track in which you determine the direction. We think, “How do I change all of these thoughts? It’s so hard!” Change the queen thought, and watch the others follow naturally and easily.

 

 

When the queen type of thought accepts God as its ultimate leader or King, instantly the thousands of our “ worker thoughts” inside our own mind accepts God at the same time. When we shine this forth from our life a thousand people will see and follow. We will go from the hive of chaos and disease, into the hive of tranquility. We become the salt so of the earth, enhancing our and others’ thoughts and beliefs.

 

 

A large church had a big beautiful stained glass work. It represented the fields being white for the harvest. It was explained that the stained glass meant converts are ready to be converted.

 

 

The conversion experience happens inside, it happens daily inside of us if we are willing. Some days you have had a great faith where you could climb any mountain in your life, and other days you are at a low ebb and you feel like you couldn’t do anything. That is the time, (when you feel you can’t do anything), that you need to be converted again. It’s not up to the preacher, the priest, or the rabbi to do that. We are just a signpost pointing in the direction of God for you. It’s up to you to realize again and share the goodness of God with yourself. Then the spiritual transformation happens. As our devotion for Thursday and the accompanying music reveals – GOD RESTORES.

 

 

We must never lower Christianity to human weakness. We must raise human weakness to Christianity because God is the answer for all people. To rise to the very height inside of everyone’s self is what Christianity is about. To allow small thought to pull people down to a level of human weakness is no better than the dictator does in a small 3rd world country. God loves you and God constantly whispers in your ear sharing with you your potential. You have God-given goodness that is inside, and you can rise to what Jesus said you can become. The message of Jesus Christ is about your worth and your value as a child of God – that you ARE “the salt of the earth.”

 

 

Matthew 5, beginning with verse 13: “You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under-foot.”

 

 

In the days of Jesus, salt was a very expensive item. It was prized. What does salt do? It flavors. It enhances. It preserves. It makes things better. This is what you are to do, be such a shining example that you put flavor and vitality and zest into the whole office experience with your co-workers or in your marriage or with your family or wherever you are. You as a Christian are the salt.

 

 

Or, possibly, you consent, you surrender, to the spiritual seasoning of God to come through you. That’s empowering. You realize you do not have to do it yourself. You allow God to do it through you. The minute you surrender, the minute you allow God, it comes through and you do flavor your whole surroundings. You make everybody happier because you were there. You are the salt.

 

 

You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid.”

 

 

We just can’t hide what we are. We are on a hill. All people are looking at us. If we are spreading darkness and negativity, believe me, we are not hiding it. People see it. If we are spreading the light of God, people see that too. Even though they might never talk to you about it, even though they might never go to your church, you will make them better in their own religion, or in the dark moments of their lives, because of what you are.

 

 

“No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lamp stand”   Imagine you are a light. This body is a lamp stand. Where is the light? The light is your mind. It is your eyes and the way you perceive. It is the way you are thinking. Because of what you are thinking, you are radiating your being-ness to all around you. They know God is working in and through you.

 

 

“It gives light to all in the house.” ….  The house is the whole race of humankind. “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your God in heaven.” (Emerson) Why? Because it is not you who is working—it is God working through you. People can see it; they realize it. You can’t hide it. There is no way you can hide it.

 

 

Like the electricity illuminating a light bulb, God will come through you.

 

 

Matthew 6:22: “The eye is the lamp of the body. So if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light; 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?”

 

 

Our eye, our perception of life and the way we view our life now, is where the spiritual power is. The light can come from inside of us, and it is a spiritual experience when it comes. And we know we can be and feel that we are “the salt of the earth.”

 

 

I want to share a story with you about S.F.B. Morse. Morse was the inventor of the telegraph. In an interview, he was asked if when he was working on his great invention that changed humankind in that day, if he ever got to the point where he could not go any further; where he had tried every idea that could come to him and he didn’t know where to go or how to proceed. He said, “Oh yes, more than once.”

 

 

The interviewer said, “At such times, what did you do next?”

 

 

He said, “May I answer you in confidence sir? It is a matter of which the public knows nothing. I prayed for more light and light came. Years later, when the flattering honors came because of my invention, I never felt I deserved them. It came, not because I’m superior to others, but because God gave the gift through me.”

 

 

You can imagine the excitement as the inventor prepared to send his first message on his telegraph. What is the first message he is going to type that will go down for all history? This is the exact message: “What hath God brought about?”

 

 

Light is a very real thing that happens in our lives. We cannot change others initially. But, there is only one person in all the world you can ever really change, and that’s yourself. That’s true even in the congregation or spiritual group as in our Bethel, as we call our prayer and discussion group, (http://thespiritualfamily.chatango.com/?flash).  I can write these messages/ sermons, but I am only a signpost. You have to accept—the responsibility is on the listener just as it was in Jesus’ day.

 

 

As the salt of the earth and the lampstand, you can influence others by what you do and say. You may not meet them, or they might not ever discuss this with you, but you may profoundly change their life because of the way you are living yours. They see something in you that they want. That is the true act of the missionary to go out as a light in the world or as the salt in their world and flavor that whole world and make it better for everybody. Show them the better idea of themselves—show them what God can do through one human life. You will. You will succeed.

 

 

Follow Jesus the way any spiritual teacher you have ever had would want you to follow—by becoming the teachings and doing what He said you could do. Be the salt and let your lamp shine.

 

 

This has great power. It has wonderful, transforming, converting power inside of us. In the moment when we are facing a crisis in our lives, we can ask the question, “What would Jesus do?” “What would God do? What would God have me do?” “What is the loving thing to do?” Because God is love, we become love in action, that salt, that light of love and power in our lives.

 

 

“You have to “be about the Father’s business,” as Jesus once said. You are to be the “salt of the earth.”

 

 

Let us pray. In this moment, I pray that the special unique gifts of God open inside of you. I pray that you will funnel all the ideas of your life through your walk with God. I pray that the primary thoughts inside of your mind become thoughts of God, and all the lower thoughts follow God. I pray that you find well-being, balance, and harmony in your life because of the presence of God residing there. I pray that you become the salt of the earth and the lighthouse for all to see.

 

 

In the name and through the power of Jesus Christ . . . Amen.

A Lesson in Love for Valentine’s Day

“Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” 1 John 3:18

 

 

When Jesus was born there was a little boy coming into the world who was going to teach us about religion –  what religion is supposed to be. You see, up until this little boy was born, religion was following the law, following a set guideline for living. But after He was born, religion was love. He came to tell us about love. The message this week is the same as it was 2,000 years ago—to tell you about how you can love. As Christians we have both come close to what he taught, and we have also missed the mark many times.

 

 

The message today and every day is only a real message when it comes alive in each of us. Religion is to be lived by you in a beautiful and profound way.

 

 

1 Peter 4:8-9 states, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.”

 

Life is a song. Have you ever thought about that? If life is a song, what are you singing? What’s your song like? Is it a happy song? Is it a song where you have a smile on your face? Love is the music. It makes your life come alive and makes its dynamic. This is what we’re all seeking as human beings. It’s what I’m seeking. I’m seeking to have more love in my life and so are you. I’m seeking to have the kind of love that we know at the core of our being that we can have—a steadfast, enduring love that is based on faithfulness to God’s love.

 

 

Isaiah 54:10 reads: “For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my convenient of peace shall not be removed, says the Lord who has compassion on you.”

 

 

In Jeremiah 31 it says, “…I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.”

 

 

So many times, with our human love, we do not experience what we know to be true, what we know we can have, and that is steadfast love from above. We do not experience an enduring love. We do not experience the fullness of faithfulness. And we desire it; we want it. Yet, we feel something is lacking. The reason we feel this lacking is because at the core of our being we know Divine love, and we know there is something that is higher because we have felt it, maybe just for a split second, but we have felt it. We know how special it is and how miraculous it feels to be in that total acceptance, even just for a moment.

 

 

God’s promise to every one of you today is that in spite of the changing conditions in your life, the steadfast love of God is available to you at all times. This love is here even during times when we’re going through great challenges, when we’re going through great changes, God’s steadfast love is there, and it’s there for you. God has a compassion for you—not a sorry for you feeling, but a wonderful compassion that comes through the Divine love flowing in you. It is a love you can feel at any time in a moment of prayer.

 

 

1 Corinthians 13:4-7
“Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy.
Love is never boastful, nor conceited, nor rude; It is not self-seeking, nor easily angered.
It keeps no record of wrongdoing.
It does not delight in evil,
But rejoices in the truth.
It always protects, trusts, hopes, and preserves.
There is nothing love cannot face;
There is no limit to its faith, hope, and endurance.
In a word, there are three things that last forever:
Faith, hope, and love;
But the greatest of them all is love.”

 

 

God has promised an everlasting love to you. You are here to feel God directly. You are here to come alive in God’s love. So many times we lose the spark of what the specialness of life is. Sometimes we feel that around winter time, with the grayness outside, and the constant cold. We look at all the things that are going on around us and we feel a bit of emptiness inside of ourselves.

 

 

The spark has not gone out. You have to again turn your awareness of your human mind and become alive again to the fire that is burning inside of you. To do this, the first thing you have to do is to know that God loves you. It’s not just a cliché. God loves you, is with you, and can be felt by you this minute. It is Holy; it’s complete. A love that is so reassuring to you this time of year.

 

 

Secondly, realize that God comes through you as a wonderful assurance that you are not alone. You are with that Presence and that Presence is with you at all times. This is the promise that is made to you and can never be taken from you. All the activities of your day, whatever your day may entail, are bathed in Divine love. Follow the way of love.

 

“Follow the way of love.” I Corinthians 14:1

 

 

So many times we give all the gifts in the world and we forget about the real gift—the one thing people need – love.

 

 

You wonder about your purpose in life. You wonder why you’re here. You are here to love somebody. You are here to give that love. You are here to let it shine through you and to let people feel it and say to you, “Hey, that person is really a shining example of what Christianity is.” It doesn’t do you or me any good if you try to change people to your way of thinking. The only thing that is going to change your world and the people in your world is to try to convert them through love.

 

 

John 13:34-35 states, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”

 

 

Your days are changed not by the big things, but by the little things that come through you. Every time you decide to become love, you are changing your world—changing everything about it. You can give without loving, but you can’t love without giving. Every time you give love, you have given the ultimate gift; you are following the example of Jesus Christ and you are becoming that which you are seeking to become. And as you progress through these actions, others feel your consciousness and your presence even more when your words.

 

 

In Galatians 5:22 it says, “…the FRUIT of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness…”

 

 

If we had farmland, we would use the principle use on that land to grow food. We would have to make sure that we watered and nurtured the food in order to have a harvest. The principle of life is to go through the whole year as if each day was a day of love, Valentine’s Day. It is to love continually. Valentine’s Day x 365!

 

 

Every time you love, even in a very small way, you nurture your world and cause it to be multiplied and to come back to you. That is the fruit of the Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit can come to your life. Do you want more love? You have to give more love wherever you are and allow its magic to come alive inside of you. It will. And with a God-centered assurance, you can claim these fruits as your own.

 

 

John 13:35 Jesus says, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

 

 

You are a follower of Jesus Christ and a follower of everything good when you love.

 

Christianity is a way; it is a system for you to live your life and have more love in it, where you feel good about everyone around you and everyone feels good about you. It is where you have a mind that is so filled with love that everything outside of you—becomes a spiritual experience. Living life really takes place inside of you because you express the love of God in simple ways. You discover that YOUR life becomes the place where heaven is taking place.

 

 

Also in Matthew 22:37, 39 it says, “He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with your entire mind.’ And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'”

 

 

1 John 4:8 strongly affirms, “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

 

 

The whole spirit of God is what the Holy Spirit is—to be filled with love; to ask for that infilling and to know it can come. It’s not just for the holy man or woman. How do you become the holy man or woman? You do it by becoming God’s love in living action in your life.

 

 

Today is a powerful spiritual commitment. It is a time of God. It’s a time of beginning again. It is a time to realize that there is a real power and activity in our life. It’s a time to follow the Great Teacher of love.

 

Pray with me.

 

God, I am to a point where I am ready to have an infilling of Your love. I have depleted myself of self-love and lack of love for others, but as I sit here this morning, I ask for the power of God’s Divine love to infill my mind, and direct my words and actions. I surrender every thought in my mind to the activity of Divine love. I give my mind over to be a vessel of wondrous loving activity.

 

Follow Me, God asks, and we say YES.

 

Amen