The Presence of Jesus

When we realize that our thought today shapes our circumstances tomorrow, and our act today will come back to us in kind, we are far more careful about what we think and what we do.

Meditation Thought: “And the high priest stood up and said, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?” But Jesus remained silent. And the high priest said to him, “I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” (Matthew 26:62-64)

Though relatively few would see Jesus in the flesh after this trial and His crucifixion, many would perceive His place as being in authority by His proximity to God the Father, and would perceive Jesus’ coming by the means of the Holy Spirit – not a visible body manifestation of Jesus, but an inner knowledge of His Presence.

And it would transform them, for the truth of Jesus’ teachings concerning eternal life would be demonstrated. To perceive that what we are – and what we do – is not limited to our physical existence, but, both here in the time span of our physical manifestation, and later, in another manifestation, is to accept a new standard of thinking and behavior.

When we realize that our thought today shapes our circumstances tomorrow, and our act today will come back to us in kind, we are far more careful about what we think and what we do. This can be a great burden – if we resent this truth. Or it can be a great joy – if we “see” Jesus with our “mind’s eye” coming int our lives “on clouds of glory” – bringing the atmosphere of heaven into the physical realm, while bringing us His Presence to abide with us – and His Presence makes all the difference for us as we cope with life in the flesh, learning how to better cope with life in other realms.

We have all we need to go undefeated by any circumstance; we are protected from ultimate harm; we have an awareness of beauty, harmony and order; we have strength and joy and appreciation of all of life: external, internal and eternal.

The Presence of Jesus gives us courage, hope, and confidence far beyond that which we have without His Presence. Others may not see Him as our constant companion – nevertheless, they will see the results of His companionship. They will respond to the results. In this manner, do we have a transformed life: we are “new creatures” in Christ.

The Power of a Resurrected Life

Yes – I appear much the same, and circumstances appear much the same: nevertheless, transformation has taken place

Meditation Thought: “Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then should the scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so? …But all this has taken place, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.” (Matthew 26:53-54, 56)

The Father has given me freedom. Yes He does put certain propositions before me – and he express His preference as to my response to them.

My response is determined by my trust of, love of, dedication to and knowledge of my Father.

I often choose to ignore His propositions, for it is obvious that they will require effort, and probably produce pain. At times, however, I have the courage to say “Yes” despite this foreboding appearance… and when I do, what happens? I do suffer the effort and humiliation of carrying my own cross to where I will be crucified. And I do suffer agony of being nailed on that cross.

But then – then, when I wonder if I can stand the pain and shock and horror – it ends! And what takes place then is as miraculous to me as Christ’s resurrection. I am resurrected – born anew, into a new person, into new circumstances. Yes – I appear much the same, and circumstances appear much the same: nevertheless, transformation has taken place. I have obeyed my Father and in doing so, I have enabled Him to release previously unperceived power: power of a resurrected life. That is, the sure knowledge that my Father is loving, does create good, and that not one indignity, unto death itself, shall defeat me when I trust Him and obey Him.

In all things He works good for those who love Him , who are called according to His purpose, and who respond positively to the call.

May God be praised!

The Father’s Kingdom Revealed

It would seem that upon His act of proving life beyond the flesh, He also revealed the “place” of His Father’s kingdom…

Meditation Thought: “I shall not drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” (Matthew 26:29)

The “next time” Jesus ate (and presumably drank) with His disciples was after His death and resurrection. This would indicate that He considered His “Father’s kingdom” where He and the disciples were eating together – which was in Galilee, which was in the world, where the disciples were – where Jesus had requested they meet Him.

It would seem that upon His act of proving life beyond the flesh, He also revealed the “place” of His Father’s kingdom: the place being wherever the resurrected Christ meets a believer. Or perhaps, more accurately, the place where a believer meets the resurrected Christ, as he proceeds according to directions given to him by Christ.

The directions for us are “spelled out” in His direction to His original disciples. His teachings concerning God and God’s kingdom were intended for all: this was His very purpose of birth and death and resurrection in the flesh.

As was true of the disciples, we can be with Him only by joining Him – and He is in the Father’s kingdom. This is where we shall find Him: not in a church building, nor in another’s faith – but in our own inner spirit and mind, with a contrite and searching heart. Only when we begin to grasp the awesomeness – and the power – of the resurrection can we have the courage and fortitude to find the kingdom where we can meet our Lord, and allow Him to teach us about our Father and our Father’s kingdom.

This kingdom is so unlike our physical environment that it takes adjustments in many areas to even begin to comprehend it. It is more like traveling to a new planet than a new country. Not only is there a difference of language (consider how many ways Jesus attempted to describe what the kingdom is like – there seemed to be no adequate words in our language to reveal it accurately) – but a difference of cultural values, of perception of priorities, and a totally new environment, requiring a different style of living in every area.

No wonder it takes us a long time to have even a remote conception of what we are encountering in this kingdom where we meet Him!

It is made even more difficult to stay with Him as the world attempts to get us to remain focused upon it, and remain concerned only with the physical and with the self-interest aspects of life. Only by conscious, consistent effort are we able to stay focused on Christ and thus remain in His Presence in the kingdom.

We simply do not have the stamina to do this alone: we must admit we do not have that much power within ourselves, and ask Him to hold us close, and lend us His strength to do all that we need to do as the Father’s children – obedient and reflective of Him in character and in deeds. This is the only way that it is possible to be with Jesus in the Father’s kingdom.

In one respect, it costs us dearly – our pride must be paid as ransom – but in another respect it is free – Jesus has paid the ransom for our sin of rebellion against the Father.

When we are able to be willing to pay the pride and to accept the gift, we have found the key to unlock the gate to the Father’s kingdom. April 26, 1983

Keeper of the Kingdom

The kingdom is administered differently than the world is administered.

Meditation Thought: “Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world, for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me… Truly I say to you, as you did it to the one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.'” (Matthew 25: 34-36, 40)

Your Father desires that you, as His child, inherit His kingdom. But you must be responsible before He can entrust it to you, knowing that you will be competent to deal with the inheritance, using it as He he has used it, or more properly as has administered it.

The kingdom is administered differently than the world is administered.

The ‘keeper of the kingdom’ must be, as is the Father, loving, gracious, forgiving, righteous, helpful, compassionate, zealous, energetic, orderly, competent, kind, perceptive, wise, knowledgeable, powerful.

How can you be such a ‘keeper’ – particularly as you have the ways of the world beckoning you to follow them? – the ways of selfishness, greed, self-seeking, slothfulness, deceit, slander, ruthlessness?

Only by disciplining yourself to know the Word (which is the law of the kingdom)) and to emulate your Father from whom you inherit, doing His works as He instructs you and reveals His ways to you, can you be entrusted to be a ‘keeper of the kingdom”: an heir.

The Son has clearly demonstrated the type of heir that is pleasing to the Father, the methods to be used in being a keeper of the kingdom while at the same time being in the flesh. While in the flesh, you are to be a keeper of the kingdom precisely as you will be behaving when you leave the flesh.

The physical manifestation is the training which you will need, and the development of your skills needed to administer the kingdom in the realm other than physical. You are to become skillful at using many talents in such a way as to multiply them, bringing joy not only to your “master” who entrusted them to you, but to those whom He benefits with them including yourself.

A Future of Good Return

…the present determines the character of the future.

Meditation Thought: “…if the householder had known in which part of the night the thief was coming, he would have watched and not let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” (Matthew 24:43,44)

You must anticipate the future, realizing that the present determines the character of the future. This will give you strength to conduct yourself as you ought, even when the required behavior is not to your liking at the moment. Not all moments will be “sacrificial” moments – in fact, as you come to rejoice in the perceiving and doing of the will of the Father, more and more activities will be joyful, and fewer and fewer perceived as sacrificial. It is this change in perception that is the moving of the kingdom upon the earth. It comes only by discipline and sacrifice of selfish desires – but the rewards of the discipline and sacrifice are as bountiful as the promised “hundred fold” harvest. It is this knowledge which gives you courage to labor for the moment, particularly when the labor is not to your liking.

The times of reaping the harvest – the unfathomable joy of actually having the promised return, will be carried in your memory as your tools to make the labor easier during the “tilling” times.

The more you experience in planting, tilling and harvesting – whatever area (field) it is in, the greater your wisdom and knowledge is to prompt a bountiful harvest.

This is consistent with the rewards of using whatever “talents” are provided int the most productive ways possible, and also the more provided, the more required. Each portion is either multiplied or not, and the more portions the more dramatic the contrast of results. The “Son of man coming at an hour you do not expect” compares to the owner of the fields checking out the status of your care of them. You cannot “set up” a good appearance for the “inspection” because you have no notice of the inspection time. Therefore, care must be constant and inspection will always reveal good care of the field because good care never ceases, when the laborer is as concerned about the harvest as the owner.

IT is the laborer who realizes that the owner will share the harvest with him who is able to be motivated to do a good job. If he is lazy he eventually cheats himself. It is those who will remove concentration from self alone who will know this, and thus use the present to provide a future of good return for themselves.

Perception, Thoughts and Emotions

What is the key then to life enjoyed, appreciated and welcomed?

Meditation Thought: “For this light momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)

The thoughts of the mind, the emotions, are not seen yet these are the “substance” of life: it is these which determine the quality of life whether life is welcomed, appreciated and enjoyed – or whether it is a burden and despised.

It is our perception of life itself that determines our thoughts and emotions – but our thoughts and emotions determine our perception.

What is the key then to life enjoyed, appreciated and welcomed, if there is not a “starting point” – if we are already “in the middle” – caught up in a perception affecting thoughts and emotions – and caught up in thoughts and emotions affecting perception?

The key is an absolute outside ourselves: The Truth – the whole Truth of life. Though that absolute of whole truth exists with or without our perception  of it – it is in the perception of it that we interrupt the “merry-go-round” existence we have been living, and become “new creatures” moving on to find new vistas – this gives us a sense of discovery, a new hope, and at one and the same time our perception enhances our thoughts and our emotions, and they enhance our perception.

God constantly “stops the merry-go-round” to give us opportunity to get off – if we but notice; if we are not too preoccupied with our own entrenched position to perceive the change of pace. The “stopping” can come in an infinite variety of ways – anything which is designed to jolt us from our focus on ourselves and our immediate position is an opportunity to jump off the merry-go-round. It can be a thought proposed by another, a circumstance good or bad, an observance of beauty – or ugliness in nature or in action, or participation in a situation which brings out our best – or our worst – thus causing us to analyze it.

Jesus’ message was the most jolting stop of the merry-go-round of which so many were aware. To this day, the awareness of that stopping affecting those of His days on earth make us able to recognize the stopping for us in our day. For Jesus opened up the eyes of those who had become blind to God’s intent by going round and round on the inertia of the law instead of seeking to move on to finding new vistas beyond it.

Today the Holy Spirit which Jesus brought continues to jolt us, asking us to notice that there are places beyond our routine path, our circling path of sameness, which we coast under the the inertia of self and of entrenched habits of perception and thinking and emotions.

We may look “silly” to those who see us suddenly jump off the merry-go-round and run off into the unseen places beyond  – but if they are alert enough to wonder, rather than falling back to their own entrenched position, they too, one day, will jump off to discover what lies beyond.

There is only one way to find the courage to move beyond our “safe”, or at least “familiar” place: it is to call upon our faith enough to believe that there is One who cares, who cares for us wherever we go: that He would not encourage us to leave where we are if there were not better places for us to be.

Powerful Generator

I shall, in exchange for your gift of your self-will, give you the unfathomable power of My will as the motivating force in your life.

Meditation Thought: “Whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive it, if you have faith.” (Matthew 21:22)

“Your faith is the power generator. It is My energy flowing to you that is to be your motivation and ability to move. But in order to actually “generate” power to bring change, you must be a freely-moving generator, not wedged motionless by ignorance of My energy which seeks to move you, or by concentration of your own concerns to the exclusion of thoughts of others.

It is your faith in Me as loving, good, powerful, righteous, a promoter of order and harmony, that enables you to be flexible and able to be turned easily by My energy. As you turn, then My Spiritual energy is converted to physical energy through you, and it is this physical energy which is directed to wherever it is needed to be an answer to prayer.

I need you – as I needed Jesus – to do visible work. You need me – as Jesus needed me – to do visible works. If you want to go along in the ordinary, non-miracle producing life, that is your privilege and your choice. Stay stuck in your own concerns, your own desires, your own little world.

But if you want to be vibrant, if you want to direct energy to change the world into the character of the Kingdom – then concentrate on Me: My character, My modus operandi, and direct your faith to perceive My will and to accept it gladly, knowing that it will spin you at a dizzying rate of speed to generate good: “good” being defined as all that is a reflection of Me in character and in behavior. Let this thought capture your imagination and your emotions, for it is by these that your faith can be enlarged and enhanced. The larger your faith, and the more it resembles Jesus’ demonstrated faith, the more effectively it will prepare you to be “loose”, thus responding immediately and powerfully to the touch of My energy upon you.

You can change the world – by being My spinning generator directing energy to transform darkness to light, to do great works impossible without this energy. One thing only is needed: your faith and commitment to follow through when your faith draws My energy to you. Trust Me. Believe in My Word as Truth. Stake your life upon this trust and belief. In this way, the very “losing of your life” (by giving it to Me to direct rather than you directing it) shall be the gaining of life for you: I shall, in exchange for your gift of your self-will, give you the unfathomable power of My will as the motivating force in your life.

If My force is turning you freely, at My chosen speed, will not the power thus generated be of the proper voltage to perform the works that I choose for you to do? This is My “Modus Operandi” in every one who is my obedient, devoted child. How many ways must I propose My wisdom and love until it is accepted by My children?

Do not any more delay in believing My messages and acting upon them.

The world needs you to beat swords into pruning hooks. The world needs you to light the darkness of blindness to the Kingdom.

Allow me to turn you freely: you may spin only slowly now, but you shall, as time goes on, work up to our full speed needed for maximum generating power – if you believe and commit yourself to that belief.”