To be treated kindly when one has not been kind is to prick the conscience, rethink the situation, and change the pattern of behavior.
Meditation Thought: “If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat, and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink,” (Proverbs 25:21)
To be treated kindly when one has not been kind is to prick the conscience, rethink the situation, and change the pattern of behavior. Thus it is wiser and more productive to be kind to enemies – and since this behavior is also pleasing to God, it reaps additional reward from heaven. Thus to not give in to ill feelings is to receive far more satisfaction than venting anger. But the character must be built to have strength to do this – the mind must rule the emotions, and the Spirit of God must rule the mind if this type of behavior is to be exhibited, for it is human nature to cause harm to our enemies and to attempt to defeat them. Jesus was a master at living out the examples of feeding and giving drinks to enemies – and His consistency in doing so won over many – even some of those who had caused his death were won over after his resurrection, as the became converted through the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
We may not be as successful as Jesus in consistently feeding and giving drinks to our enemies – but if we really try to do this, we will have some success – and that is enough to change at least some peoples and some situations for the better. If we can each have even moderate success in this God-character being revealed instead of human-character, the world will be far more pleasing – to God and to us.
A new beginning! Oh, how we rejoice!
Meditation Thought: “Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. ” (Luke 24:45-47)
A new beginning! Oh, how we rejoice whenever a new understanding has made us long to undo what our old understanding has wrought, and then the opportunity is presented to negate the old results, and start fresh with the new understanding!
Christ has brought us a new beginning. But we must first negate all of the wrong attitudes and actions and results that permeated our life before the revelation of Christ to us that we can start over. We rectify what we can, and ask forgiveness for the rest. And that is the end of it. We can accept the past as no longer being a millstone around our neck because Jesus removed it the moment we sincerely requested Him to do so.
We are as born again: we can have the innocence and enthusiasm and energy of children combined with the wisdom of our loving God working in our lives. The results should be miracles!
Why do we restrict God’s work by refusing to believe the good news? We hinder God by our stubborn clinging to the “oughts and shoulds” that other interpreters of the Word and the Spirit have either imposed upon us or we have sought out of laziness in learning for ourselves who God is, and what He wants to do in and through our life.
The only way to know who god is and what He wants to do in each person is to personally so search His Word and seek His Spirit that we receive His particular words and suggestions intended exclusively for us.
Fellowship is good and needed, shared information is good and needed – but the only way a child can have close companionship and understanding with his parent is to come to spend time and to converse honestly and deep from the heart with the parent. No matter what his brothers or sisters tell him about their parent, it is not going to bring them into intimate fellowship. It takes personal contact, with mutual communication to accomplish this.
Character is an expression of the attitude of the mind and the spirit – and that attitude exists for every aspect of life.
Meditation Thought: ““Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” (Luke 16:10)
Your character is made of a solid piece: no matter what circumstances penetrate it, the consistency is the same. It is either love – or selfish, honest or dishonest, giving or taking, thoughtful or unkind, perceptive or obtuse. But the fact that it is of a consistency does not indicate that the consistency is unchangeable.
The enlightenment by the Spirit, the teaching by the Word, the response to the Father’s proffered love, all can totally change the character.
And this is the significance of Jesus’ walk upon the earth: the living Example of the perfect character. The perfect character is available to anyone who seeks it: who is willing to die to self and live in Christ. The two become homogeneous – the Christ character replaces the believer’s character, yet each spirit and personality remains unique in expressing Christ’s character.
As parents’ traits are reflected in their children in a common manner – and yet each child remains unique, so each believer reflects the Father’s traits through the inheritance passed from Father to Jesus to believer. The difference is that physical traits are passed along by genes, and spiritual traits are passed along by the spirit. Only when we recognize that we are both physical and spiritual, can we have the traits of the Spirit of God passed along into our spirit fully: it takes our cooperation to express the spiritual genes to any great degree, whereas physical traits are more evident without our consciousness of them.
Character is an expression of the attitude of the mind and the spirit – and that attitude exists for every aspect of life, whether it is of great influence or of little consequence.
Therefore, if we are to become fully expressive as children of God, we must seek to reflect the Father’s attitude toward all of life.
Only through the mind of Christ and the Spirit of Christ being infused into our mind and spirit is it possible to reflect the Father’s attitude, and thus express in our character His character.
Meditation Thought: “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:13)
You delight in giving your children what you can, but your heavenly Father is able to give a gift ranking above all other gifts: the gift of His love and power actually transferred to be implanted within His beloved children. You need only ask and you will receive.
…transforming you from selfish to considerate, gloomy to optimistic, fretful to relaxed, and haughty to humble, rejoicing that it is so.
Meditation Thought: “But now we are delivered from the law… that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in oldness of the letter.” (Romans 7:6)
Compare the birth of Jesus (within you) with the birth of a new baby: a complete change takes place in the lives of all of the members of the family. The new member, small as he is at the beginning, makes a big impact, and that influence grows more with the passing of time.
Jesus born into your will, your mind, your spirit! This babe who grows into manhood within your spirit, as you nurture His Presence! As His Personality exerts more influence, generates more love, raises the level of your performance as you seek to please your beloved who has come into your life, so this little one grows into the most influential aspect of your being, transforming you from selfish to considerate, gloomy to optimistic, fretful to relaxed, and haughty to humble, rejoicing that it is so.
You are no longer living according to the law only, having difficulty in controlling yourself to conform to it, but have the Presence of this beloved new member of your family to inspire you to control in a new and desirable ability to exercise more adherence to the law. You can act more firmly due to your new love and desire to provide the best of yourself for your beloved.
You act no longer from obligation, but from burning desire, total commitment to the welfare of your beloved, and with newly awakened thoughts and emotions prompting your actions.
The birth of Jesus into your consciousness (the baptism of the Holy Spirit) is the beginning of a transformed, redeemed, righteous life, set in a new direction, leading to a different destination: to the Kingdom, and to the power and the glory that are the evidence of that Kingdom, the standards and the proclamation of it. Your citizenship embraces it more fully, and manifests itself more surely as you study your obligations and privileges of having made your allegiance to this place, and committing yourself to its good.
His pain is the labor by which you are given birth into the Kingdom.
Meditation Thought: “…not what I will, but what you will.” (Mark 14:36)
“Expand! Be flexible – allow Me to stretch your abilities and talents – not by a forcing on My part for your good, but at My touch, yield willingly so that I may expand you gently. Do you not understand the message sent by My Son? His pain is the labor by which you are given birth into the Kingdom – as soon as you acknowledge Him as your Savior you are thrust into My Kingdom. My Kingdom is not a hostile environment for you: it is your place of refuge, your home, where you can be refreshed and renewed between bouts into the world.
My will is that you take advantage of all I offer you as the provider and head of your Kingdom-home. You must be willing to reach, to stretch, to give in order to be able to mature as a knowledgeable, effective member of My family. That is the meaning of “not what I will, but what you will.” If My Son, who is an integral part of Me, perfected in obedience, must struggle with choice, can you be excused from choice? No – you must struggle, must decide; but you have His example – follow it as an assurance of the working of my will in your life. The working of My will is the fulfillment of your heart’s desire: not your whim of the moment, but the deep, soul-longing need to be at peace and harmony with Me.”
Do not be ashamed of yourself, but accept yourself, imperfect, yes – but with value as a person created in love and to be loved and to love.
Meditation Thought: “In the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ they will be called ‘children of the living God.’ ” (Hosea 1:10)
“I am here. Turn to Me. You are looking in the wrong direction, taking the wrong paths. Check your compass: My Word. You are checking circumstances – they will mislead you. My Word is a lamp unto your feet. Take up my lamp and you will see the way to go. Fret not. Fear not. Trust me.
I say to your back, ‘you are not mine’ – for I cannot follow you. You must follow Me to be Mine. When you are turned toward Me, then you are demonstrating that you are Mine: you are realizing your position as My child and are able to act upon the favored position, moving in confidence of unburdened conscience, of energy engendered by My loving approval of your following Me, doing the works I long for you to do. I will teach you a new way to accomplish your tasks. I will be your efficiency expert, instructing you and exposing to your mind and spirit new truth, new methods. But you must turn to watch Me, not turn away to circumstances.
Believe on My Name; claim your inheritance as a member of My family in good standing by virtue of your desire to do My will. Your claims to my riches of the Kingdom need not wait until you are rid of the flesh, but ask for a portion of your inheritance as of this day. It is My pleasure to share with My beloved at all times, but you must make your desires known to Me by word and deed, according to our covenant as Father and child. Your requests are your act of turning to Me, recognizing My claim as being your Creator, and Sustainer. Why should you go grumpily and resentfully tramping off into the world to seek your desires when, if you will lay down your pride of childish attitude of ‘doing it myself’ you can then be free to ask Me, knowing I love you and desire to express that love to you in ways pleasing to you, for whatever it is you seek.
I wish to teach you full, clear communication. Misunderstandings and disappointments occur when purposes are not fully revealed, when desires are not clearly stated, when attitudes are assumed. Be honest: be transparent: be true to yourself as you are at the moment. Share yourself – not another self. Then all can know with whom they deal – including you! ‘Know thyself’. Do not be ashamed of thyself, but accept thyself, imperfect, yes – but with value as a person created in love and to be loved and to love.”
Set your will and your mind on the Father’s Word, the Son’s Sacrifice, the Spirit’s power. If your mind and will are thus set, so shall your spirit soar in faith.
Meditation Thought: “What comes out of a person is what defiles them. For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.” (Mark 7:20-23)
Let the sacrifice of Jesus purify your heart so that what flows out is love, mercy, kindness, generosity. Set your will and your mind on the Father’s Word, the Son’s Sacrifice, the Spirit’s power. If your mind and will are thus set, so shall your spirit soar in faith, released from the burden of sin and guilt, doubt and weakness. There is a perfect fit of your spirit into the Father’s plan: seek this place and determine to re-shape yourself as needed that you may complete His work.
A renewed mind, a right spirit, peace of the forgiven: keys to unlock the secrets of life. Use them.
Love will ooze everywhere – even rush everywhere – if you will draw close to Me, for I am love.
Meditation Thought: “You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. Unfaithful creatures! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? …He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us… God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble… Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you… Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. (James 4: 3-6, 8, 10)
“Grace” will relieve you of awkwardness – grace enables you to behave appropriately at any any time in any situation. No amount of outward adornment will generate the graceful behavior – only the possession of an inward peace coming from the knowledge of who I am as your Creator and Mentor and who you are as Mine will enable you to behave as Jesus would in the same circumstance.
Only through love can grace be expressed. If you will love – love as it is defined in Corinthians 13* – then I will pour My grace and all that implies: wisdom, appropriate behavior, kind and encouraging words into your expression of life.
When you love as Corinthians 13* suggests to love, you need not be concerned as to what situations you find yourself in – you need only to allow My grace to fill the form of your love – to give it substance and meaning. It will ooze everywhere – even rush everywhere if you will draw close to Me, for I am love.
You cannot possibly deplete yourself or deprive yourself by giving to others what they need – for it is this act on your part that releases My Spirit fully into your being. To love – to give – is to turn the tap to ‘on’ that My Spirit may flow freely into you and through you.
*1 Corinthians 13: 4-8, 13
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails… 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Guilt is such a heavy burden that it destroys the joy of work and hinders the accomplishment of great works. Yet…
Meditation Thought: “For the righteous man is taken away from calamity; he enters into peace; they rest in their beds who walk in their uprightness.” (Isaiah 57:1-2)
Guilt is such a heavy burden that it destroys the joy of work and hinders the accomplishment of great works.
Yet God has provided a way for us to never have that burden of guilt for long – as soon as we repent – realizing we have been wrong, and desiring to be right (eous), He takes it from us. We are free to carry the lighter burdens of the details of life, the works of God and discharging of our responsibilities.
If we labor under the burden of guilt, we are overtired from it and cannot rest. But exercising in carrying our proper load – all we were meant to carry, in God’s perfect plan for us – we can rest in peace at night, knowing we accomplished our day’s tasks as we should, and nothing nags at us to interfere with our relaxation.
We can avoid guilt in two ways: by doing right and by realizing that it is possible to correct our wrong actions, and then taking action to do so. This is the “priceless pearl”, the “treasure” – it is what everyone longs for – the joy of a clear conscience, and thus unfettered thinking and movement. Jesus brought this to us – He sacrificed dearly for it, and wants us to accept the gift, that His joy may be full in the giving – in this expression of His love for us.