facebooktwitteremail

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


Third Sunday in Lent

Click here to go to the Bottom Line Meditations for the Third 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

You're in good hands with Grace.

Abiding in us is a Love that will not let us go.

Prayers for Lent from Forward Day by Day.

Pray this prayer:

“O God: Give me strength to live another day. Help me to keep my heart clean, and to live so honestly and fearlessly that no outward failure can dishearten me or take away the joy of conscious integrity.”

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

“O God: Give me strength to live another day. Help me to keep my heart clean, and to live so honestly and fearlessly that no outward failure can dishearten me or take away the joy of conscious integrity.”

What is the difference?

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

 

John 4:5-42 The Samaritan woman said to Him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?”

Here is a woman who is rejected by her peers. She has had four husbands and the man she is living with is not her husband. We must realize what it meant to be a divorced woman in those days. Women did not divorce their husbands. Only husbands could divorce. Women were considered “property”. The tenth Commandment was not to covet a man’s donkey, property, or wife. The woman was among those included as donkeys and other property. All that was needed was a signed piece of scrap paper and saying three times, “I divorce you.” That was it. In other words, she had been rejected by four husbands. They might have married her for the physical reason. When they got through with her they dumped her back to the market.

She was despised by the other women as well. That is why she was there at noon time to get water. She was trying to avoid the judgment of her peers. She was creeping in and out to get her daily water from the well spring while they weren’t there.

What did she encounter but a Jew; and a rabbi at that. What else could go wrong? There He was asking her for a sip of cool water. “Are you out of your mind? You are a Jew and you are asking of me, a Samaritan, for help? You don’t even consider us as human beings. We have been shunned and are disgraced in your eyes. You are asking me for water? Get outta here! You must be kidding. You expect me to give you a Jew who hates me a drink of water?”

How would we respond to her when we were in a low and down mood, out of His grace while encountering a small sting?

Let’s argue about it. “You are the ones who broke off with us. You are a bunch of heretics. What was I thinking?” You are not worthy to give me water. I’ll get my own. Don’t bother yourself!”

Instead Jesus heard her pain and recognized her thirst. He offered her a spiritual gift of real water that would be a gushing spring leading to eternal life. She would never be thirsty again.

When we respond to a little sting in a negative way it is because we feel hurt. We blame the other person for doing that to us. The sting becomes the issue and our response is to stop it. Their response is to top our response. In a short time, the little sting becomes not only a bigger, but a longer one. We can remember this one for quite a while!

The sting is not the problem. It is our solution to the problem. The solution is to hit them harder than they hit us. The problem is they did not hit us. We hit ourselves with the way we are thinking. Our thoughts are creating our feelings of hurt when we are out of His Presence. The first reaction is to try to change them in such a way they will not hurt us again. Make them pay for it!

In our relationships, who is it that pushes our buttons? It is many times the spouse or parent or child. It is their fault! Perhaps it is the boss or another worker who has pushed the button too hard. How can we forget and forgive?

They are not our problem. It is our solution and it is not working well for us. We never win. When we carry that grudge we become their victim. How is that working? Can you see Jesus becoming the victim to the woman at the well? I think not. He was ready for anything. He responded in a loving gentle way, one that would enhance her life. He knew a person who hurt that badly hit by another sting would bring back memories of past hits; making a domino effect.

When we are in His Spirit we can see what we are dealing with. What we are dealing with is not the Samaritan or the Jew. It is in us not in them. It is our solution that needs to be changed. The pain is not from them. It is given to us by God to remind us that we are out of the Spirit of His Love. We must change our way of thinking. We do that by wondering what difference being in His Love can make. His Spirit will transform our thought from the negative to the positive. The good news is the negative thought is erased. It cannot exist alongside of His Love. Try it out! See if it works! Feel the old anger and then experience His Love. Now think of the person who pushed your buttons. Feel His Love and see what happens. We cannot change their life but we might get a sip of the cool water from Jesus. It will fill our old life with eternal life.

“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.


Comments (0)







Allowed tags: <b><i><br>Add a new comment:


Copyright 2008-2011 Paul Edwards