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Posted by Paul Edwards (Fr. Paul) on Jan 30, 2014 | Comments (0)


Fifth Sunday in Epiphany

Click here to go to the Bottom Line Meditations for the Fifth Sunday in Epiphany

Godly Abiding Spiritually in Jesus Changes the Meaning of What we See Worldly When Not Abiding in Jesus.

Spirituality is our innate ability to feel the difference worldly or godly thinking makes to the way scripture translates to our daily life and relationships.

All Scripture is a testimony to Jesus Christ, who is the Word of God. He is the complete revelation of God’s will of grace for salvation. Grace is the only unfailing rule of faith and practice for the Christian life.

The Gospel of grace is: rather than trying to be more faithful to become faithful, we become faithful by feeling the Faith God already has for and in us.

The Strength of Christianity is Grace

John 1:14 “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Another name for Jesus is "Grace". Another name for God is "Grace". We are saved by GRACE. "Love" is not Love if it is not grace. This is true for "Faith", "Hope", "Joy" and all other theological words of significance in the scripture.

Until someone experiences the grace gift in their lives, all other theological words have no real meaning. Why not begin to use the word "grace" in place of "Jesus", "God", "the Spirit", "Love" and so on? It might seem inappropriate to do so. However, until it is actually experienced it will make no sense at all.

That is what this year is all about. Grace, did you get it?

Finding Grace in Our Life

Prayers are from the Collects for the weekly Scriptures.

Pray this prayer:

“O God, give us that abundant life which you have made known to us in your Son our Savior Jesus Christ.”

Now quietly move into God's Presence and pray the prayer again:

“O God, give us that abundant life which you have made known to us in your Son our Savior Jesus Christ.”

What is the difference?

Find the difference between being transformed by His grace to pray or praying to be transformed by His grace.

Epiphany

Matthew 5:13-20 “I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

Jesus’ teaching of the Sermon on the Mount gives us the opportunity to understand the transforming power of grace. We only know the difference that experiencing Grace makes when it is compared with our legalistic actions to change our life.

Our Legalistic response to scripture is based on a belief that we receive God’s blessing by first changing our lives to do His will; something that is impossible to do through our own efforts. Grace promises to transform our lives through His blessing in order to do His will; possible in the Grace Presence of God.

Our Legalistic response believes to receive God’s blessing we must first change our lives by doing His will. Grace promises to transform our lives through His blessing in order to do His will.

5:13 "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 underfoot.

Trying to follow the law outside of grace is fruitless. The grace is hidden within us. We need to open our hearts to let His Presence be known.

5:14 "You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. 5:15 No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.

In legalism, seeing our good works will light up our life. In grace, its light enables other to see our good works.

5:17 "Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.

Grace does not abolish the Law. It fulfills the law through following the command of Jesus to “do the loving thing”.

5:18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.

Grace is inclusive, unconditional and eternally True.

5:19 Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

All of Jesus’ Commandments are to Love God and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. This is the Law.

5:20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Legalistic righteousness is asking the impossible. It is trying to be right all of the time to please God. Grace righteousness is being in a right relationship with God to do the right thing.

What difference does being in our out of the Grace make in your next decision to either “be right to be in right” or to “be in right to be right”?


THE DISCIPLE-SHIFT: The Virtual Small Group: Members share once a week with their group through the internet when a shift from being out to being in the Presence made a difference.


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