The Whole or the Part

Would I have created you if I did not intend to enjoy you?

Meditation Thought: “Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God. (1 Peter 2:16)

Prayer: Lord, I want to live as Your servant – a happy, contented, competent servant. I feel so downhearted… guide me!

Perceived Answer: “‘I AM’ with you. Trust this statement despite your downhearted mood this morning. Remember the times I have worked good for you out of your miseries. Many times you were annoyed with what took place in your life only to realize later that that which you perceived was bad was actually the situation from which I worked good for you. 

I see the whole; you see the part. You must trust Me as one who loves you – would I have created you if I did not intend to enjoy you?”

Refuge in Battle

…therefore we can live in hope and not in fear. 

Meditation Thought: “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him.” (Nahum 1:7)

Just knowing that we have a stronghold (a refuge; a place that has been fortified so as to protect it against attack) to turn to gives us courage – so that we have more power as a result of knowing of our stronghold; we do not have to bear the burden of the battle without help.

However, we need to know where our stronghold is in order to use it, and to use it if it is to be of any value to us. We can learn to use our stronghold effectively if we search for it, become familiar with it, and practice using it. No matter what happens in our lives, we know we have that stronghold to protect us; therefore we can live in hope and not in fear.

Great Upheaval

My movements and promptings are gentle, for your free will must be honored – but, gentle as they are, they have great power…

Meditation Thought: “Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from him…” 1 John 3:21-22

As we learn of His commandments, and as we keep them, we come to know Him more intimately – as we learn to “live by His rules”, we also learn to think and to be more like Him. If we are like Him, then we ask in harmony with His will for us, which is the key to receiving what we ask.

” ‘Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only’ – that is the action that starts the chain reaction – as one person’s needs are met, the action is multiplied so that more needs are met, and a little movement can start a great upheaval – I do not ask you to go out to minister to hundreds of people – but I do ask you to minister to some, so that the little ministering can be multiplied into many large ministerings. My movements and promptings are gentle, for your free will must be honored – but, gentle as they are, they have great power which I am eager to release to bring my dear children into my loving care and protection.”

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!

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.

The Key

Truth, trust, hope, perseverance: four words that can be the key to the life God surely intends for each of us.

Meditation Thought: “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:6-8)

Truth, trust, hope, perseverance: four words that can be the key to the life God surely intends for each of us.

Truth. Without truth, we cannot deal with reality of a situation. How much trouble we get into and cause for others when we believe something to be true – and it isn’t!

Trust. Without trust we fear to move ahead, and perhaps miss out on the wonderful works God would like us to do in us and through us.

Hope. Without hope we get stuck in the mire of the situation that distresses us instead of lifting our feet to get out of the sticky ground.

Perseverance. Without perseverance we not only stay in the miry mud, but we miss out on the great events that can take place on the solid ground when we step on it.

Lord, help me to look ahead and eagerly lift my feet – even if slowly and with difficulty – to get out of the mire!