Sunday, May 20, 2007

Our Response to God


God does not command us to join any particular church to find salvation from the lower nature, darkness, or ignorance generally. Indeed, most people, throughout all of history, were unable to join modern churches, because they did not exist!

It is part of this enlightenment to recognize that the ancient Jewish community, that of the Hebrew Scriptures ("Old Testament"), worshipped a different god than the Lord of Love proclaimed by Jesus. Yes, Paul and some other early Christians did apply certain Hebrew texts about "God" to God, but this was so because they were intelligent proselytizers: The Jews of the time were enormously popular and powerful, and the early Christians were interested in making peace, not war, with the Jewish community. But Jesus was murdered because he taught that Jehovah was not the God of the entire universe; the Lord of Love was. In teaching that God was Love, Jesus taught a different, and universal, God-- a God for all people.

Jehovah was the local tribal god of the Israelis only. That is why they were so shocked when Christianity was offered to the Gentiles-- non-Jewish peoples. Had Christianity arisen in Greece, the early texts about Zeus would have been applied to the true God. Had the faith arisen in India, Christians would have applied the ancient texts about Brahman to the true God. For these Christians were, first, very smart; and second, they treasured peace, almost above all.

When Jesus taught that God was Love, he implicitly taught, enfolded within this larger teaching, a God who passionately longed, yearned, for the salvation of all His children. God was not the reticent Jehovah, who barely put up with human beings, or regarded them, as the "prophet" Isaiah said, as "grasshoppers."

No, the Lord of Love passionately, and profoundly, loved all His children, and was delighted when any one of them turned her life over to Him, trusting Him implicitly, without holding anything back.

What, then, should we do in response to this beautiful Lord of Love? We must live in Love twenty-four seven. This does not mean that we will become flawless or perfect. For, even while living "out of" our higher Nature, we will still have to contend with the lower. For that is the task, mission, or assignment of earth. But we can hold Love in our minds, to guide us, first in every situation. We can communicate (pray)
"without ceasing" to this interior Love. (Compare 1 Thes. 5:17)

Living in this purest Love was what early Christians meant when they recommended to "let Christ into your heart." For we must recognize the interior Christ of Love as our only "Master," and follow Love in every act, word, and thought in our lives-- as far as possible for imperfect beings. We must recognize that salvation (being "saved" from the lower nature and ignorance) comes only from the Christ, that interior Spirit of purest Love.

And, as far, and as often, as possible, we must turn to deep interior (sometimes wordless) prayer or meditation. We must begin by loving the Lord within our hearts with a blazing and exquisitely lovely intensity that wipes away every other priority.

We must awaken to the great truth that the only way to love God is by loving ourselves, other people, and other creatures. This will bring a life packed with joy, peace, and fun-- as God's many rewards begin to live in our hearts. We will have a clear conscience, not because we have never made mistakes, but because they are all forgiven. Jesus, in fact, was always getting into trouble for saying to people, often
strangers, "All your sins are forgiven."

This same wonderful message is a part of the interior communication of the Christ-spirit within our deeper Mind. First comes forgiveness, then rebirth-- as a son or daughter of God. For, as we reflect the genetics of our natural bioparents, we also reflect the image and likeness of God, in which we were created. We begin to manifest, among others, the nine "fruits of the Spirit" of Galatians 5:22, 23.

Like a tree, we produce these "fruits," not because we are smarter or better than others, but because God has smiled his tender Love upon us, through grace. Every minute, we must invite Love to take over our lives, and we must give ourselves over entirely to Its amazing and magnificent control. We must "obey God as ruler, rather than man," as it states in the book of Acts (5:24).

This means that we must become spiritually independent. We can no longer follow any guru, priest,pastor, or preacher. We follow only the Love of our hearts, which is perfect guidance. For, whatever else that you do or do not do, you cannot go wrong if you follow the Way of Love for all-- including the Way of harnmlessness. For, deep down, Love is all that we really want to do. It is all that we have ever wanted to do.

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