Picture a row of ladders lined up against a wall. At the top of the wall is God’s ultimate fulfilled plan. Now with that in mind:
- Each of us has a mission and talents to be used to perform that mission to the completion of God’s ultimate Plan and His glory.
- We are to help each other discover the individual mission and to enable each other to complete the mission.
- There is an inter-relationship in the ability of each mission to be completed; all missions are connected by a link of some kind so that the progress of the mission of one affects the progress of all. Therefore, it behooves each person to not only work on the completion of his own mission, but to give any possible help to the completion of all missions.
Back to the ladder image – each person must climb his own mission-talent ladder to God’s final Plan – but arms can be reached out: to pull another up, or push another down, or both arms can be used on one’s own ladder. However, since the final Plan can be realized only when everyone is up the ladder, the person who climbs without helping the others to rise too, finds that reaching the top alone has no purpose. That person has to wait longer to have the ultimate satisfaction because they must wait for the others to arrive at the top. Their ultimate satisfaction could be reached more quickly if they help others move ahead more rapidly as they move up, and if they push another down, it will take that person that much longer to reach the top and contribute to the completion of the ultimate satisfaction of all.
What joy it is when the harvest comes.
Meditation Thought: “As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.” (Luke 8:15)
“Honest”, “good”, “patience” – 3 keys to the knowledge of the spiritual kingdom. The kingdom is true – real, though perceived by the mind and the heart rather than by one of the 5 senses.
If our heart is dishonest, we deal in illusions and will flounder, never being secure and sure and at peace. Our heart must be good to be the nutrient that grows good fruit. If it is hard, hoarding its life-giving blood, it does no nourishing to that which it should feed. If it is soft and flexible, and pumping out pure, clean blood – nutrients – it feeds new life – new ‘fruits’. But it takes time for growth. We do not plant the seed one day, nourish it for a day and harvest the fruit the following day. We must take the seed-word and feed it and care for it, giving of ourselves, sacrificing other interests and activities, before we can harvest that fruit. What joy it is when the harvest comes – wonderful fruit to enjoy ourselves, to share with others. All the toil and sacrifice is more than worthwhile. After we harvest our first crop of fruit (the God-works completed), it is so exciting and fulfilling that we eagerly cultivate more seeds. Oh, there will be problems in the tilling – but we must not give up because of them, or there will be no harvest. In overcoming the problems, we may even learn new, better methods of tilling – resulting in a faster harvest, or a more abundant harvest.
Dear Father, I ask this day to be a starting point to be a better farmer of Your Word – that I learn new, better methods to bring Your seed to abundant harvest. Amen.
The basic obedience and tasks are still there, but there is an added glow, a new knowledge and attitude, a new awareness of the rewards of the relationship.
Meditation Thought: “Have this mind among yourselves, which you have in Christ Jesus… who emptied himself, taking the form of a servant..” (Philippians 2:5,7)
“Emptied himself” – that the Father would fill him, that the Father’s works would be done. I must empty myself of the accumulation of pre-knowledge of Christ trivia and evil and selfishness and cares, so that the Father’s will and works can flow into me.
What better way to purge these things than to lose myself in service and care (caring!) for others – and as there is more room for God within me, the caring and loving, and blessing intensifies, magnifies as my mind and my body become a servant to Him, obedient to Him. And as we go along in the relationship, it becomes one of realization of a loving child serving a loving Father blessing His beloved child; the basic obedience and tasks are still there, but there is an added glow, a new knowledge and attitude, a new awareness of the rewards of the relationship.
You will obey all laws automatically if you obey these two.
Meditation Thought: “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition?” (Matthew 15:3)
“Love God – love your neighbor.” If you set your mind and your heart on these two commandments and seek to live according to them, all else will fall into place: all things will work together for good – for everyone, including yourself. You need not be concerned about any other “laws”.
You will obey all laws automatically if you obey these two. You will also astonish many who are unable to understand the simplicity of living according to the laws in the kingdom – and thus are not able to understand the happenings in the world or what to do about them.
“The mighty hand of God” may be used in many ways to bring us to that glorious moment.
Meditation Thought: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you…” (1 Peter 5:6)
We must come as a ignorant pupil, willing to be taught by our Teacher. We must trust Him, even when we chafe at discipline – for it is the wisdom and knowledge that He will teach us that will bring us to His exalting of us after we have proved to be His apt pupils. “The mighty hand of God” may be used in many ways to bring us to that glorious moment of exaltation:
-It may comfort us – or chasten us
-It may pour riches into our hands – or it may receive riches from our hands
-It may beckon us to a certain place – or be raised in warning not to take a particular path.
– It may point out words and ways of wisdom, and be placed upon us as a gesture of love and assurance.
And, when the lessons are finished, His hand reaches out to draw us to Him, to be His companion, His family member come home to stay, rather than being just a pupil – no matter how beloved a pupil. We are exalted because we are in His Presence in a new and glorious way. The exaltation is actually a mutual exultation that we recognized His love, we obeyed Him out of love, and now our mutual love has drawn us together in a fulfillment of purpose for God and for ourselves. God’s glory reign forever and ever!
When you find yourself chopping at obstacles in your path, frustrated, tired and discouraged – stop!
Meditation Thought: “See, I am doing a new thing!… I am making a way in the wilderness.” (Isaiah 43:19)
“Give me your attention… we are starting on an adventure together. Enjoy the thrill, the excitement, the anticipation of discovery. The way will be cleared before you, for I prepare it before asking you to go that way. You must look for the path I have cleared for you – otherwise you will have to fight the wilderness by yourself – finding it very difficult to penetrate. When you find yourself chopping at obstacles in your path, frustrated, tired and discouraged – stop! Look at where you are, and look at where I am – are you following me? Are you taking the path which I have cleared for you? The jungle of circumstances holds no peril for you, no difficulty, if you put your efforts into finding my path instead of into hacking a path for yourself. Direct your efforts where the results will be fruitful and satisfying, not frustrating.”
Our lives are like that wood: It’s the “flaws” that give them character, and once the whole is polished by God’s light, the lives are beautiful flaws and all.
It is the contrast in wood that makes it interesting – the knot holes and variations are what make it intriguing, and the polishing, or sheen over all adds to its beauty. Our lives are like that wood: It’s the “flaws” that give them character, and once the whole is polished by God’s light shining over all, the lives are beautiful, flaws and all. As long as we are active, we will have some flaws in our lives, but as we trust God, they will blend in to become beautiful instead of ruining our lives. (see Romans 8:28)
But if we keep moving, we will come to the center – to the Beginning and the End, and the Meaning.
Our lives are like a spiral leading to God in the center. We go along the path, moving constantly, sometimes wondering if the path really does lead anywhere. But if we keep moving, we will come to the center – to the Beginning and the End, and the Meaning. If we stop in the path because of the difficulties we encounter, then we do not find the Treasure which is at the end of the path.
What a different attitude we have as we travel along if we know that every time we come to a mountain, we can turn to God.
Meditation Thought: “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.” (Mark 11:22-23)
Have faith in God. It is God’s power that moves mountains – not our faith. We must look to God in faith, but not concentrate on our faith, but on God. “I can’t do it – but my Father can” – confidence in Him, giving it to Him so that He can work without our interference. Let Him initiate the movement – we do only as He asks us. God may ask us to roll a stone to start the avalanche to move the mountain – in fact, perhaps it is our faith turning to God that is the stone that starts the avalanche – but it is God’s power that is released in the tumbling of tons of stone being moved, clearing a way where the obstacle was. What a change in perspective, to go from looking at a mountain blocking our way, to seeing it disappear before our very eyes as God moves it into the sea – now our way is easy, our view is clear. What a different attitude we have as we travel along if we know that every time we come to a mountain, we can turn to God and say: “This mountain is in the way Lord – would You please move it?”
There are 2 wings to enable us to fly above our burdens – ‘surrender’ and ‘trust’.
Meditation Thought: “…every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” (John 15:2)
The problems and burdens are the painful cut associated with the pruning process. They are unpleasant, but as we learn to release them to God, He seals over the cut made by the problems and burdens, relieving the painful exposure. And then, with the old branches which were not healthy removed, new healthy growth is produced by the strength which had before gone to the unhealthy branches now shunted over toward new healthy growth.
(Accompanying thoughts that appear to be based on the book ‘The Christian’s Secret to a Happy Life’: There are 2 wings to enable us to fly above our burdens – ‘surrender’ and ‘trust’. The burdens become the chariots of God, sent to take the soul to its high places of triumph.)