Posted by Paul Edwards (Fr. Paul) on Sep 12, 2013 | Comments (0)

Eighteenth Sunday After Pentecost

Bottom Line Spirituality: Worldly and Godly Thinking

Click here to go to the Bottom Line Meditations for Eighteenth 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.



(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

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 3:10 For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.”

Legalism is one of those bad things that happen to good people.

Luke 16:1-13 The Joke is on you. “You cannot serve two masters.”

Literal thinking deals with what is written to discover how to think. Grace understanding deals with how to think to discover what is written. The literal starts with what it reads to discover the spiritual meaning. Grace starts with the spiritual feeling of being in the Presence before it starts to read.

The Parable is about a rich man who finds his servant is cheating him of his profits. He tells the man to turn in his accounting and to leave. The servant wonders what he will do now that he is unemployed. He is not strong enough to work and ashamed to beg. He decides to cheat the master one more time. He calls in the debtors and gives them a deal they cannot resist. The master finds out he has been ripped off. He mysteriously commends the dishonest manager because he acted so shrewdly.

Jesus summarized the parable by saying, “I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into their eternal homes.”

Some people are shocked because it seems as if Jesus is commending the shrewdness of the servant in cheating his master.

Literalists would say Jesus would never do this. It was the master. He said it, not Jesus, NEVER! They even imply the master was as much of a cheat as the servant. They were two of a kind. The master would have done the same thing if he were in the same situation.

Jesus says we cannot serve God and wealth. Literal thinking is we must serve as He served if we are to be His follower. We need to serve God to be in His Presence. If we make one mistake, we will be out of His good graces. We need to start serving again if we are to get back in.

Grace understanding knows we will serve God by doing the loving thing when we are feeling His Presence. When we do not do the loving thing, it is a sign we are out of His grace. We need to get back in His Presence to do the loving thing and serve Him.

Sometimes, if we do not sense the scripture spiritually, we miss the humor of Jesus. He had a sense of humor. Jesus is telling a joke. Literally it sounds as if He is sincere. In grace, He is being sarcastic. He could have started off by saying, “Sarcasm is just one more service being offered.” We need to lighten up a bit gracefully when we read the story or else the joke is on us.

Here is the joke. I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings. It is the same sense of humor about taking the least seat so someone will tell you to go up higher. Neither of them will work.

The grace clue is: Jesus is talking to His disciples about being in or out of the Presence. When people are out, they are impressed with their shrewdness. They think they are shrewder in dealing with their issues when they are out of the Presence than when they are in. Literal shrewd thinking outside of the Presence sells out gracefulness.

Whoever is faithful in little things (being in the Presence) will be faithful in everything. Whoever is dishonest (out of the Presence) in a very little is dishonest in much. If then, you have not been faithful (being out the Presence) with the dishonest wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? (“True riches” are grace that comes when being in the Presence.) And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to another (The Presence of the Spirit in us is not ours), who will give you what is your own? (We only find who we are in, not out of, His Presence.)

Then He shifts into the graceful mode. “We cannot serve God and wealth.” We cannot be both in and out of the Presence. Depending on wealth for our happiness is idolatry. We are depending on things other than God to give us what God has already given us. When we are in His Presence and depending on His Joy, Love, Peace and Wisdom we will discover the abundant Life we all seek.

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