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Posted by Paul Edwards (Fr. Paul) on Oct 03, 2013 | Comments (0)


Twenty-First Sunday After Pentecost

Bottom Line Spirituality: Worldly and Godly Thinking

Click here to go to the Bottom Line Meditations for Twenty-First 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 trying to be more faithful to become faithful, we become faithful by feeling the Faith God already has for and in us.

The War on Legalism

God declared War on Legalism when He sent His Word into the World. John 1:1 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

The Gospel of grace is rather than being joyful to be in God’s Presence, to become loving by feeling how much Joy God has for us being in Him.

Galatians 3:18 For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on the promise.

When you think you have legalism eating out of your hand, count your fingers.

Luke 17:11-19 "Your faith has made you whole."

Did you catch the point of this story?  Granted there are many minor points. There is the healing of the lepers, the one who came back to give thanks. There is Jesus telling him that his Faith has made him whole. What is the big point? Did you miss it?

It’s the Faith. Most commentaries will tell you faith is obeying and doing what God wants. Once you start believing God, your faith will be fulfilled. That is what already had happened. Ten Lepers, nine Hebrews and one Samaritan were told to show themselves to the priest. On the way they were healed because they were faithful to believe He would do it. The question is what did Jesus mean when He told the Samaritan, “Your faith has made you whole?” What is the difference between the two kinds of faith?

The faith Jesus was speaking to was the leper’s experience of the Spirit of God that was in Jesus. This is critical because you can only do this by grace, not by works. The grace of God is in every one of us, all the time. Everyone, at one time or another, has experienced the Peace of God that passes our understanding head and is released in our open heart.

The problem is you will rarely discover any place that tells you to shift from the rational to the conscious to experience this to happen. You will rarely find it on the internet, in any book and least of all during a church service. It is not that people do not experience the Presence. It is that they have not been told how to do it. 

Sin in the New Testament is translated, “missing the mark.” We are continually missing the mark as to the purpose of Jesus’ coming to be with us. His main purpose was to grow the Church. Check His last words in the Gospels. It is all about going out past our Christian markers and into the World.    

We are in a time in which the Christian Church is growing somewhat in attendance. However, the Church is declining in terms of the growing population of the country and the world. Barnes and Lowry write “the increase in churches is only 1/4 of what is needed to keep up with population growth.”

This calls for a new strategy. The old strategy is to find out who is growing in other churches, write a Book and then to copy them. It won’t work. Most of the growth in churches is due to spiritual cannibalism. We are taking from those who are declining and putting them into the mega churches that are growing. This is called musical chairs. It is rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

We do not need another church or a new church. We need a new strategy for the Church. Out of the ten lepers, nine were church people, one was gracious. We need to put our sights on those seeking grace. The group that needs to be targeted includes those whom the legalistic Church has no chance of recruiting. They are the spiritually mature. They are those who have had it with the “bait and switch” theology of Legalism. They have experienced the difference between the truth of grace and the Laws of Moses. The spiritually naïve, who do not know the difference between the grace and legalism, will never be able to last long in the grace.

To do this we need to simplify our approach. We need to redefine certain words to fit the grace message. Jesus, not the Bible, is the Word of God. We need to remember two Laws of Love and one Commandment, “apart from me you can do nothing.” Sin is separation from God. It is the cause of all sins. Therefore, we need to know the difference being in or out of His Presence can make in our life and share it with others who do not know the “how”.

What can we do? We can use the internet. Get yourself on line and form a small group that will share weekly the difference being in or out of the Presence makes in your life, your marriage your family, or anywhere you go. Go on Facebook, Twitter, text to share the difference being in His Presence makes in your life. You can use this or other similar websites for some pointers on how to experience the Presence of His grace and Truth.

There is no limit to how far this can reach. Over forty countries log on to this website each week. Going on line with the grace experience is fulfilling the Divine Commission. You will be on a “Mission For God!” Matthew 28:19 and Acts 1:8.


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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