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Posted by Paul Edwards (Fr. Paul) on Aug 29, 2013 | Comments (0)


Sixteenth Sunday After Pentecost

Bottom Line Spirituality: Worldly and Godly Thinking

Click here to go to the Bottom Line Meditations for Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost

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.

 

Remember: The DISCIPLE-SHIFT

(see Pentecost Sunday Meditation by Clicking Here)

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.

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 doing it right to become right with God, to be right with God to do what is right.

The War on Legalism

God declared War on Legalism when He sent His Word into the World. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us … full of grace and truth. John 1:14 Legalism fought back against grace believing the Bible, not Jesus, is the word of God. Grace is based on the Two Great Love Commandments. All the Law and the Prophets have now been changed into “do the loving thing.” Matthew 22:37-40 The New Command is to be in His Presence in order to Love one another. John 13:34 “Apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

Galatians 3:5 “So again I ask, does God give you His Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard?”

Legalism has its advantages. Too bad I can’t remember what they are.

Luke 14:25-33 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life —such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.”

This scripture is a good example of the difference between graceful and literal, legalistic language. Jesus took the common words of any language, any time and gave them spiritual meaning. Their meaning is always the same. It is being in the Presence of the Spirit of Jesus’ Love, Joy, Peace and Wisdom that God has poured into our hearts. Galatians 4:6

Legalism does not know this and cannot translate literal words into a graceful language. The spiritual can translate it by knowing the difference between the literal and the spiritual meaning.

This teaching is an example of how Jesus challenged the difference the heart makes between the struggle of trying to literally justify the phrase in the head and the ease of understanding it gracefully.

Take the word “come”. Literally it can only mean one thing.  “Come” is to move physically from where you are to where Jesus is. What else can it mean?

Gracefully, we know that “come” does not take any motion. It is to open our heart to feel the Presence that is already with us. The idea that Jesus came down from Heaven literally make Heaven a place. Jesus came down from Heaven spiritually means Heaven is His Presence already in us.

Literal, legalistic interpretation of the phrase “hate father and mother…” requires a lot of hand waving. It seems to go against everything Jesus teaches about doing the loving thing. Gracefully, Jesus is saying that anyone who wants to come into His Presence must let go of depending on anything or anyone else even their father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life more than being in his Presence.

“Whoever does not carry their cross and follow Me cannot be My disciple.” Luke 14:27

Literal thinking centers on the “cross”.  Grace thinking centers on the word “follow”.  To “follow” literally means to physically walk where He walks and to do what He physically did. Spiritually to “follow” means we do not have to go anywhere. To “follow” means to follow His lifestyle of Love, Grace and Truth. It is to do the loving thing by feeling His Presence. The old self is crucified when we choose to follow Him by consciously opening our heart to feel His Presence.

Literal thinking cannot understand this because it does not understand what it cannot see.

It is very difficult to tell anyone how to come or to follow Jesus. That is why He came to us. Those with graceful ears and eyes opened can feel His Presence and tell the difference it makes in their life.

These are just a few examples why those who stay literally in their head will not have a clue to what Jesus is saying. He keeps using His graceful language so that the literal mind will be so frustrated that it might suddenly shift and “come to itself” as the Prodigal Son did in the pig pen. (Luke 15:17 ESV)

To follow Jesus is to shift from literalism and legalism to Grace and Love in order to come to the Father to find His thoughts.


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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