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Posted by Paul Edwards (Fr. Paul) on Jan 13, 2014 | Comments (0)


Third Sunday in Epiphany

Unlocking the Gospel Secrets of Spirituality

Discover what difference reading these scriptures while Thinking Leaglism or Feeling Grace can make.

The Grace Language of Jesus

SPIRITUALITY CAN CHANGE OUR LIFE

The Bottom line is the final result measuring our net gain or loss. A man fell off a fifty story building. Half way down he murmured, “so far so good.” His life depended on whether he fell into the safety net or not. Quietly moving into the Presence of God’s grace is our spiritual safety net. We all have these moments when we either fall in or out of the net. These meditations give us a chance to practice the shift from the literal religion to the spiritual grace.

Jesus took words with literal religious belief and gave them a spiritual grace meaning. Literal religious words are beliefs that are conditional, exclusive and for special groups. Spiritual grace words are experiences that are inclusive, unconditional and for all

For legalism, sins are the cause of separation from God. For grace, Sin is separation from God and the cause for all sins.

Religious literalism sees what is wrong. Grace sees what is right!

Not sure how to apply these? Click here to read the introductory text for the new Bottom Line Meditations

OLD TESTAMENT: Isaiah 9:1-4

Literal Religion: “No gloom” refers to Israel.

Read this scripture literally for its religious meaning.

“There will be no gloom for those who were in anguish.”

Spiritual grace: “No gloom” refers to us when we open our hearts to the light of His Love.

Now quietly move into God's Presence and read this scripture.

“There will be no gloom for those who were in anguish.”

Can you tell the difference?

My literal Religious is definitely improving. I only broke five laws this morning!

PSALM: 27:1, 4-9

Literal Religion: We feel no fear because we trust in God theologically in our head.

Read this scripture literally for its religious meaning.

“The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”

Spiritual grace: We feel no fear because we experience His Presence in our heart.

Now quietly move into God's Presence and read this scripture.

“The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”

Can you tell the difference?

He couldn't help cheating at literal legalism. One day, when he only broke one law he wrote it down as a perfect day score!

EPISTLE: 1 Corinthians 1:10-18

Literal Religion: “to be in agreement” and “united” theologically.

Read this scripture literally for its religious meaning.

“All of you be in agreement and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same purpose.”

Spiritual grace: “to be in agreement” and “united” spiritually through the experiencing of His Love. (See John 17:21-23)

Now quietly move into God's Presence and read this scripture.

“All of you be in agreement and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same purpose.”

Can you tell the difference?

He plays a fair game of religion literally- if you watch him!

GOSPEL: Matthew 4:12-23

Literal Religion: “Follow” means follow His Commandments.

Read this scripture literally for its religious meaning.

“Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.”

Spiritual grace: “Follow” means spiritually experience the grace of His Presence.

Now quietly move into God's Presence and read this scripture.

“Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.”

Can you tell the difference?

I've advised my literal partner to see a psychologist. He treats his Religion as if it were a game!

Share your insights in the comments below

For further study see the follow on Epiphany III Meditation.


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