The Search is Over

It is in these ways that we become more aware that God’s Spirit and our spirit are united.

Meditation Thought: “He who is united with the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Shun immorality… your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit…. you are not your own, you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:17,19,20)

It is essential to take time to learn the Word, to contemplate the meaning of the Word, to pray – and to be aware in every area of what is taking place – especially in the working of the mind and in relationships with others. It is in these ways that we become more aware that God’s Spirit and our spirit are united. When we realize that God is united with us – not merely directing, or asking something of us, but is part of us, then this mass which was one small, weak, insignificant human is recognized as something grown beyond that description. God’s active influence – transforming, reconstruction, nurturing, enhancing the whole of this united entity.

The greater the extent that we know this Truth, the greater effect does the Presence of God have upon us – particularly if we actively seek to learn the total significance of this phenomenon.

I sought far and wide
And could not find
My heart’s desire.
I rested in defeat,
hopeless, restless, tired.
The quiet, settled creature
then heard the still, soft voice within –
The search was over,
And never would the heart, the mind, the spirit
Be as before that Word was heard.
For the heart’s desire was found:
By simply slowing down,
Looking within,
Learning that peace, and love and joy
Waited to be allowed
To enter into the spirit
Which is united
To the Lord.

Patterns Changed

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.

Rich in God

This will bring Him more pleasure than anything else: my grateful heart, and responding love, are all that He is seeking.

Meditation Thought; “And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:19-21)

You are to be rich in God. The Bible refers constantly to King and Kingdom. God is wealthy, is in authority, is all that an earthly king is, and infinitely more, has all the earthly king has, and infinitely more. I am His child, and thus am an heiress to the kingdom. It is fine for me to recognize this and to rejoice in this. What I must not do is to believe that I am worthy to be in this position because of my own doing. I am in this position because of God’s doing. I need to be grateful – and to live out this life that has been given to me in the way most responsible and pleasing to my Father – and to be glad to do so, to enjoy doing so. This will bring Him more pleasure than anything else: my grateful heart, and responding love, are all that He is seeking. He isn’t trying to beat and badger and coerce me into being a child that resembles Himself – He’s trying to love and encourage and empower me into that child! When I realize this fact, then I am released from the prison of my own making. If God – who is so great – is satisfied with me as I am in Christ – even though I’m not perfect as the Father is perfect – why should I be so critical of myself?

Yes, Christ in the flesh did understand the Father completely and did obey perfectly. And I have not. But that does not mean that I cannot – for my will yielded to Christ who lives in me through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit does understand the will of the Father, and my personality yielded to Christ in the form of the Holy Spirit does obey perfectly.

The key to having my heart be with the treasure of the kingdom is unwavering faith that prompts me to search in every possible way for the knowledge that the Father seeks to give me.

Imprisonment & Liberation

Only when we yield our pitiful efforts to be enclosed in God’s ministry can they be life-changing.

Meditation Thought: “I am in prison because I am a servant of Christ.” (Philippians 1:13)

Circumstances bind me – in some ways. But these very same circumstances liberate the witness of the loving power of God. The works are all the more dramatic and effective because they could not be done by man, but only by God! Only when we yield our pitiful efforts to be enclosed in God’s ministry can they be life-changing: to us, and to those who know us.

Mysterious Hope

We glory in the works of Christ being done through our willing spirit, willing mind, willing emotions, willing heart (our self-will), and willing body.

Meditation Thought: “I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:25-27)

You think you know – until more knowledge is revealed, necessitating a re-evaluation of your depth and fullness of knowledge.

How gently are we brought down from our place of arrogance, if we are willing to learn. We are precipitated most unpleasantly if we are stubborn and insist “we know it all; we don’t need God.” But – always, always, are the opportunities presented to learn the “glory of the mystery which is Christ in you, the hope of glory”.

Yes – only when we are so small, is there room for Christ to have the larger portion of our life. Only if we are willing to be “last”, to be humble, to serve, to listen, to heed, to give, to forgive, is our heart softened enough that Christ can shape it as needed to do the Father’s will, that the Father may be glorified, that Christ may be glorified, that the Holy Spirit may be filling us and pleased to do so – and so are we glorified by association. We have no glory of ourselves – but we do glory in the works of Christ being done through our willing spirit, willing mind, willing emotions, willing heart (our self-will), and willing body.

A Hospitable House

It’s a bit scary to think that we are housing the Creator of the universe! If we ponder that for a while we will certainly need to keep our house clean and pure and hospitable!

Meditation Thought: “But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house…” (Hebrews 3:6a)

If we are “God’s house” then God resides in us! It’s a bit scary to think that we are housing the Creator of the universe! If we ponder that for a while we will certainly need to keep our house clean and pure and hospitable!

How can we make a house that welcomes God and pleases Him? Surely we must seek His Word and His counsel through prayer.

The Beauty of Grace

…they will be attracted to an unusual beauty, a sweetness of spirit, someone who is effective and willing in helping them.

Meditation Thought: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

“I put on you the mantle of my grace for all to see. The beauty of my grace is to shine immediately to all those who look at you. My power is beneath that grace, working through you – but if you are not cloaked in my mantle of grace, and appear powerful in your own right, people see your human power, which will blind them to my power working through you.

The mantle of my grace protects you. If your own pride and thirst for power and recognition grow to the point that they burst open the fasteners of the mantle and it falls away, then what is visible is only your arrogance. If you stay meek under your mantle, keeping yourself healthy and fit and the proper size by feeding on My Word and My Guidance, and not indulging in the food of the world – false pride, selfishness, greed – so that you get too fat for my mantle of grace which I have thrown over you, the ones to whom I would have you witness of Me will not see a common, gross, unattractive creature, unappealing to them; they will be attracted to an unusual beauty, a sweetness of spirit, someone who is effective and willing in helping them.

In the first attraction they may not perceive that your power to help them, and their attraction to you, is not of your own doing, but is due to your dependence on Me. In deeper communication with you they will understand that your effectiveness is based on My power released in you: This is the purpose of each of my believers – to bring my beloved children to recognize Me as their Father and to delight in Me as their Guide and Protector, and the One who created them in love.”

Gift Giving

no gifts are given for the purpose of provoking

Meditation Thought: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights,..” (James 1:17)

What kinds of gifts do fathers give children? Gifts that: please the children, help the children, teach the children; no gifts are given for the purpose of provoking the children, or bringing harm to them. Therefore, when we receive good gifts, they are from our Father.

The Blessing of Confession

As we lose ourselves in prayer for another, that is when we come closest to being made in the image of God, for we are serving, unselfish, loving, and giving at that moment.

Meditation Thought: “Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed.” James 5:16

Confess. Confess is a pouring out of a thought – as you pour it out of yourself, it is no longer part of you; that thought is not inside of you, to cause festering, to be interfering with thoughts on which God wants us to concentrate: thoughts full of beauty, holiness, kindness.

As others hear of your sin, they can express the confirmation of God’s forgiveness and of their forgiveness – thereby also reinforcing their own need to confess their sins and be forgiven.

And pray – always pray for one another, for to pray is to express love and concern, and to call for power for the other. As we lose ourselves in prayer for another, that is when we come closest to being made in the image of God, for we are serving, and unselfish, and loving, and giving at that moment – a child imitating our parent. And in the imitating, becoming more like the parent, more God-like – more as He teaches by His example. Varied as His examples are, they are always consistent in their nature: they exemplify love.

A New Name

So a vital relationship with Christ can transform anyone

Meditation Thought: “To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power,  so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12)

In these few words, Paul describes the interchange and the reliability upon one another that constitute the relationship of God with His faithful people.

God does call upon us to do His work – and when we respond by faith, resolve and our efforts, He releases His power to aid us. What is difficult is the initiating of our own movement once we recognize we should make it.

Prayer is a great help in this, as is the trust that God will work good for us when we serve Him faithfully. Despite the troubles that have come to Christians, and do come to Christians, the joy of the Lord penetrates and uplifts – and is encouragement to the participants and to those who observe.

Paul also makes a point that as we glorify Christ, He glorifies us: that must be the key factor that gives strength and courage beyond the ordinary. I hadn’t thought about my being glorified in Christ – but to know of the changes that took place in the people who knew Christ, and believed Him, and the ones who have come to know Him through faith after His death and resurrection, does verify this statement. To know Christ and to follow Him is to change the personality – to enhance the God-reflective qualities of each facet, and to eliminate, or at least subdue the qualities that are selfish, unloving, uncaring, and cruel.

Several men were so changed that even the names were changed: Simon became Peter and Saul became Paul. Certainly if one met Simon when he was denying Christ, and fearful for his life, it would be difficult to recognize him as Peter the Rock, the brave, enthusiastic supporter of Christ after Christ’s death. And to know Saul the determined persecutor of those who followed Christ’s teachings, would make it difficult to reconcile Paul, – who went through all kinds of trials to preach Christ as Savior and to teach His Way, with the former Saul.

So a vital relationship with Christ can transform anyone: this is Christ “glorifying” us. We are made more recognizable as God’s children – and more important to others, we are ministers of Christ – healers, helpers, encouragers, strengtheners. We do not do these works for our own glory. Yet the power is a satisfaction to us as we perceive the good changes taking place. And we do experience joy as the love of Christ penetrates our hearts; it is in this way that He glorifies us. As we serve Him, He serves us, Christ ministers to the world – through us. And Christ ministers to us through the world (by the power of the Holy Spirit working in circumstances), as well as through others in whom His love and power flow – and overflow.

To realize this fact is to serve as the basis for a Simon becoming a Peter and a Saul becoming a Paul: to the glory of Jesus, to the glory of Peter and Paul and to the betterment of the world.