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Posted by Paul Edwards (Fr. Paul) on Mar 06, 2014 | Comments (0)


Second Sunday in Lent

Click here to go to the Bottom Line Meditations for the Second Sunday in Lent

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

When you say grace, you've said it all.

Prayers for Lent from Forward Day by Day.

Pray this prayer:

“O God: Give me strength to live another day. Let me not turn coward before its difficulties or prove recreant to its duties.”

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

“O God: Give me strength to live another day. Let me not turn coward before its difficulties or prove recreant to its duties.”

What is the difference?

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

 

Matthew 3:1-17 “We speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony.”

NOW HEAR THIS! This is Jesus speaking AND YOU BETTER LISTEN. Who can argue with that? Yes, but what if it is not Jesus speaking? What if it is just some other person telling us it is Jesus speaking? They say, “We know what we are speaking about. It is in the Bible. We have seen it, yet you do not receive our testimony. What kind of jerk are you? Do you know who you are talking to?” Yet another “that does it” moment! The fight over who is right about the Bible and who is wrong is just beginning.

When was the last time you got into an argument over who was right? Now don’t tell me you can’t remember the last one. Take a battle; any battle. You know you were right! And you absolutely know they were wrong. It was your job to set them right, to defend the truth, to stand up and be counted! You know this is what Jesus would do. He stood up against the bumbling Nicodemus and He won. Told you so! You just don’t get it! And you call yourself a teacher? I tell you of real things and you do not believe them. Why should I waste my time trying to tell you the truth? You can’t stand the truth!

What is the difference between the way we handle our differences and the way Jesus handles His? Sometimes it is hard to see. Most of our arguments are not over who is right. They are over the fact that we are right. 

The questions we need to ask ourselves is, “How is it working for us?” Our answer is, “Fine, I won. They lost. What is wrong with that? Quitters never win. Winners never quit and that‘s the truth. So there!”

We need to go back and ask ourselves, “Is it right just because we won?” If so, it is probably because we have not learned anything. Our problem is that we are not seeking the right answer. Think of that last argument. It probably happened because we already had the right answer and they didn’t.

That is the problem. Arguments are not a matter of having the right answer. Arguments are a matter of who has the right solution. When we think we have to be right answer, we are like the person who only has a hammer. They think everything is a nail: BANG, BANG, BANG!

If our solution is we only have a hammer, then there are few arguments we will ever win. We just don’t care as long as we have not changed our answer, we win. When we encounter a person who does not believe or understand us, what is our hammer? What do we usually do? How predictable are we? We are not talking about some stranger. We are talking about those closest to us. Those we blame because they stress us out and are not there for us. They disappoint us and block our way by trying to be right for a change. We are talking about those we depend on not to let us down and they do. They take up the hammer!

But wait a minute! The hammer is not an answer, it is a tool. There are other tools we can use and they are not all screw drivers. Some take the plane and try to wear the other down. How does that work for us?

The problem was not with Jesus but with Nicodemus. His problem is our problem. We want to be like Jesus so desperately. He was right all of the time. We want to be right as long as we do not have to change. Nicodemus thought that he had the right answer: “We know you have come from God.” He was right. He had the right answer. He did not have the right solution. The solution is that in order to find the answer, we must come from “above”, from where the Spirit is. “Born from above” means we need a new solution. We need to transform our old solution by wondering what difference it would make in our relationship if we were in the Spirit with Jesus or not. This is not an answer. It is a solution. Ask it now!

“As I cannot in my own strength do this, nor even with a hope of success attempt it, I look to thee, O Lord God my Father, in Jesus my Savior, and ask for the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

Did you find grace?


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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