Posted by Paul Edwards (Fr. Paul) on Sep 26, 2013 | Comments (0)

Twentieth Sunday After Pentecost

Bottom Line Spirituality: Worldly and Godly Thinking

Click here to go to the Bottom Line Meditations for Twentieth 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 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. 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 17:5-10 "Increase our faith!"

Literal thinking reads the scripture for understanding.

Grace thinking understands the scripture to read it.

Literal thinking sees these scriptures as two separate stories. Grace understanding sees this scripture as one story.

"If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it would obey you.”

Literal thinking sees saying to a mulberry tree, “be planted in the sea” takes a huge amount of faith. They want Jesus to give them more faith.

The second is about the expectation of rewards. Jesus says nobody would ever say to their servant come here and take your place at the table. They will say put on your apron and fix dinner for me. Do what they are expected to do. The literal implication is that we are not worthy of receiving some great reward for doing what we're supposed to do.

Grace understanding is about what faith is. It is not belief. Faith is the experience of the Presence of God’s grace in our life. The purpose of what Jesus told them was to get them to pay attention to the faith they already had available to them. The disciples were right there with Jesus and were not open to the Presence of the grace of God. They, like us, cannot increase what unconditionally and inclusively is in all of us.

The second is another illustration about faith and grace. This is what grace is all about. When we experience the Love of Jesus, or His Peace or Joy we will have a Wisdom that is not ours. We respond in a wise way to others in a loving, joyful, peaceful way. It is in our spiritual nature of grace to do this.

When we start to believe we are the ones who are responsible for this great grace, we lose the sense of the gift God has given to us. The gift is free to all. There is nothing worthwhile we can do to earn the right to be the grace. It is a free gift without measure to all who are willing to discern it. John 3:34, 17:13

I had a person come to me one time and told me rather humbly they were not worthy to receive the Eucharist. They quoted I Corinthians 11:29 “They who eat and drink in an unworthy manner eat and drink to their own damnation.”

I told them they were right. They were not worthy to receive the Eucharist. But not to worry, none of us are worthy. It is a matter of grace.

As to the Corinthian quotation Paul adds, “not discerning the Lord’s body.”  The “unworthy” means if we do not consciously discern to feel His Presence we take it in vain. It does not do us any good.

We all have an abundance of the grace. When we do not shift into it with an open heart it is worth nothing. When we do shift it is worth everything. His Presence is like a light switch. We choose to turn it on or off.

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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