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Sunday, March 18, 2012

John 3
In this chapter Jesus is speaking to Nicodemus and states,

"13 No one has gone up to heaven except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man.

14 And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up,

15 so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”

This is the chapter of John which proclaims Jesus is the light of the world. John states that Jesus did not come to the world to condemn it, but to save the world.

Jesus presence in my daily life is important to me but requires me to seek Him every day. I often become distracted with work that I have to do, people to talk to, and important family functions to attend. I have time alone for reflection as well which does help provide balance.

Still although Jesus responds to my prayers with many blessings and a divine sense of peace that has been His gift for many years, I must act. I feel that action is the imperative of faith. I cannot receive Jesus' blessings, comfort and companionship without any action on my part. In that way the relationship is elevated in importance. My actions are important in how they affect my man-God relationship. I seek to avoid sin but cannot completely avoid it since I am human. Strength is imparted by keeping the direction of my life spiritual. Because all of my human senses are interacting with the world, I can "forget" the spiritual side of my life.

I pray that I not neglect to nurture the spirit, to enhance my faith in God, and my prayers to His Son so that I can know more of Christ and what his plan for my life is. It is God's love that can make sense of the world. It is my faith that can respond to the love of Jesus. And it is faith that can make necessary the daily action that fosters a better spiritual life and witness to Jesus, especially to those who need this direction.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The ten commandments were given to Moses on Mount Sinai as laws for the people of Israel. They stand today as major influences not only on Judeo-Christian ethics, but on secular law as well. Take for example, the 8th Commandment, Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. We have all seen the penalties for lying in cases of cover up schemes by politicians and high level businessmen.

Overall, the 10 commandments serve as one of God's clearest communications to man. Jesus came long after the 10 commandments, which were supplemented by a large body of religious laws instituted by the high priests and elders over the centuries in Israel. Jesus added clarity to the complexity of the legalistic religion that had overgrown due to man's attempt to refine God's laws. Jesus was able to summarize the new law when he spoke his Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5 - 7):

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[i] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

It is not easy to follow the teaching of Jesus. Possibly a specific law that is spelled out and that has loopholes and exceptions would be easier for me to follow. But may Jesus bless me to follow the spirit of the teachings of Jesus, and to learn of them through the scripture and fellowship of other Christians who may influence me. May I be aware that I too have an influence on others and may a light shine from me that proclaims the love of God that has been freely extended to me an all my earthly brethren.