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Posted by Paul Edwards (Fr. Paul) on Jan 27, 2014 | Comments (0)


Fifth 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.

When grace loves literalists it confuses them!

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

OLD TESTAMENT: Isaiah 58:1-9a (9b-12)

Literal Religion: Believes our works of fasting and humility will bring us into God’s Presence.

Read this scripture literally for its religious meaning.

“Why do we fast, but you do not see? Why humble ourselves, but you do not notice?”

Spiritual grace: Our fasting and humility are fruits that come from being in His Presence.

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

“Why do we fast (first), but you do not see? Why humble ourselves (first), but you do not notice?”

Can you feel the difference?

The problem of running in legalism's "rat race" is that at the end you're still a rat!

PSALM: 112:1-9 (10)

Literal Religion: We praise the Lord to delight in doing His commandments.

Read this scripture literally for its religious meaning.

“Praise the LORD! Happy are those who fear the LORD, who greatly delight in his commandments.”

Spiritual grace: We praise the Lord because we delight in doing His commandments.

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

“Praise the LORD! Happy are those who fear the LORD, who greatly delight in his commandments.”

Can you feel the difference?

Legalism calls the equipped. Grace equips the called!

EPISTLE: 1 Corinthians 2:1-12 (13-16)

Literal Religion: To “know” is theology.

Read this scripture literally for its religious meaning.

“I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.”

Spiritual grace: To “know” is to experience His Presence.

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

“I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.”

Can you feel the difference?

Legalism does good to feel God's Love. Grace does good because they feel God's Love!

GOSPEL: Matthew 5:13-20

Literal Religion: We are the Salt. We cannot restore our saltiness with good works.

Read this scripture literally for its religious meaning.

“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.”

Spiritual grace: Our Saltiness comes from being in the Spirit.  Unless we get back in the Spirit we are good for nothing.

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

“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.”

Can you feel the difference?

The business of legalism is behavior modification by the Law. The business of God is behavior modification by grace!

Share your insights in the comments below

For further study see the follow on Epiphany V Meditation.


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