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


Seventh Sunday in Epiphany

Click here to go to the Bottom Line Meditations for the Seventh 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 Lord, without love whatever we do is worth nothing. Send your Holy Spirit and pour into our hearts your Love and Peace.”

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

“O Lord, without love whatever we do is worth nothing. Send your Holy Spirit and pour into our hearts your Love and Peace.”

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 The Be Attitudes

Jesus’ teaching of the Sermon on the Mount gives us the opportunity to understand the transforming power of grace. We only know the difference experiencing God’s Grace makes when it is compared with our attempt to change our lives through legalistic actions. Our legalistic response believes to change our lives we must do God’s will to receive His blessing. Grace promises to transform our lives through His blessing in order to do His will. The Sermon on the Mountain is an opportunity to understand Jesus’ graceful teachings.

The major causes of broken relationships are “Right Fights.”

Consider these:

5:38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. 5:39 But I say to you, do not resist an evil person. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.”

Couples trying to find the way to change the other in order always to be “right” wind up in “Right Fights”. In Grace, the same couples are transformed to find the right way to love each other.

 

5:40 “And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 5:41 And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 5:42 Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.

“Right Fights” happen when we try to be right by not respecting others.  Grace transforms how we understand others.

 

5:43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 5:44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 5:45 so that you may be children of your Father in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.

“Right Fights” make us angry at those who want to change us.  Grace transforms our anger into love so we do not have the choice to be angry.

 

5:46 “For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 5:47 And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 5:48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

“Right Fights” occur against others who do not change in order to be with us. The Love in Grace transforms our life making our differences irrelevant.

 

What difference does it make when you get into Right Fights to prove you are perfect; or when you are transformed by the perfect love of Grace and not fighting?


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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