Posted by Paul Edwards (Fr. Paul) on Oct 10, 2013 | Comments (0)

Twenty-Second Sunday After Pentecost

Bottom Line Spirituality: Worldly and Godly Thinking

Click here to go to the Bottom Line Meditations for Twenty-Second 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. 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 3:12 The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.”

If legalism is used to its full potential, it will break.

Luke 18:1-8 Pray always, do not lose heart.  Who has the time to pray always?

Literal thinking seeks what prayer does.

Grace understanding seeks how prayer works.

Literal thinking sees this parable as a comparison between and the unjust judge and the God of justice. The parable of the widow and the recalcitrant judge is about the need to always pray and not to lose heart.

The judge has neither fear of God, respect for people or for justice. The widow is demanding, firm, forceful and bugging.  The judge decides to give the widow her due not because of justice but because she keeps pestering him.

Will God wait in helping us? No, He will grant us justice, quickly. The comparison to God is for the purpose of recommending a particular style of prayer. Pray like the widow, persistent and asking for things that are just.

Jesus then asks when the Son of Man comes will he find faith on the earth?" The rational implied answer is no, He won't. Why, because people don't believe.

Literal prayer is to get people into the Presence of God. Grace understanding looks to how prayer works.

Literal prayer needs to be persistent. Things to do are to say prayers, sing praise hymns, take communion and go on retreats. 

The problem is, that is not how it works. You can pray prayers, and not pray, sing praise hymns and not praise, be stuffed with Eucharistic bread or go on retreats and not be in communion with God. If it does not work once, it does not work at all. Jesus likes to quote Isaiah, “In vain you worship me. You worship with your lips but your heart is far from me.”

Gracefully, God will not get us out of this world. He wants to get us through it. (“My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that He protects them from the evil one.” John 17:15) This is done by not depending on what happens to us. It depends on where we are, either down and out or up and in His Presence. When we are in God’s Presence He will not delay long in helping us. When we are down and out, our happiness depends on what we think about what happens to us. When we are up and in, the feeling of His Presence gives us a Peace, Love and Joy that cannot be taken from us. We do not have to wait for it. There is a Wisdom in the situation that will give us the courage to move on in our life.

Literal thinking is: if we pray properly, God will answer our prayers. It is sad to see those with great hurt and anger because they have prayed so hard and God did not do what they asked Him to do.

What Jesus is teaching us is something Paul also taught. It is to pray unceasingly. 1 Thessalonians 17 If prayer is a form we do not have time to pray like that. We have places to go, people to meet, work to be done. When prayer is function, we can do all of these things consciously in the Presence of God. When we are being conscious, the key is not to lose heart by going back into the head.

When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth? He has already come and abides in us. Faith is being in His Presence. When we open our hearts we will find Peace and when not we will find tribulation, not peace.

The great mystery is when Jesus said, “If you abide in me and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. John 15:7 Literally, the thought is if you want God to give you something, pray in His name. Gracefully, His name means “being in His Presence.” We do not ask God to answer our prayer by getting into His Presence. Jesus said if you get into my Presence you will receive the answer to know what you need to do. God knows what our needs are. He is giving us His answer by the Wisdom. This Wisdom only comes from the Peace, Love and Joy of being in His Presence.

The literal sees the widow frustrated until the judge relents and gives in to do justice. Grace sees the widow having made the shift and being in the Peace, Love and Joy of God. She is enjoying every minute bugging the unjust Judge while seeking justice. This is what difference it makes when one shifts from being out to in His Presence seeking justice.

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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