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21 STEPS TO A SPIRITUAL AWAKENING

Step 20: Loving Jesus 

We are coming to know and love Jesus, and friendship with him is giving enthusiasm and purpose to our lives.

They say two thousand years ago was born a child, announced by angels, to modest Jews who made their home in Nazareth. They say his father died while he was yet a youth, and with his hands he worked to support his father’s family along the hills and shores of Galilee. Then he traveled for a time, learning of the Roman world while sharing the love of God, spreading good cheer to hundreds in his path. They say he was tested in all the ways of life and in partnership with God overcame life’s temptations, difficulties, and crises with faith and steadfast devotion. Unsheltered from life’s agonies, he was faithful to the greater vision of God’s purpose he had known before the worlds began.

He said there was none good but God, and told those healed their faith had made them whole. He taught simple friendship with God and service of man, about the heavenly kingdom, righteousness, the peace of God, and eternal life. The high priests saw of course the dangers in his self-forgetful teaching, that man could relate directly with God in heaven; if so, what need for all their priests and ritual? Failing to still his fearless voice, they forced the weakling Roman governor to slay one who, having saved others, refused to save himself.

This man, about whom more books have been written than any other, existed before the worlds began in unimaginable majesty and came to earth to reveal his Father’s love. His life became the mystery of man in God and God in man, one forever. Once we truly know him our lives change, for in him reposes what we can be if we will but live the life of faith. The secret of our spiritual lives, he is our faith’s fulcrum, embodying all of God we can know. Beyond him, anything we think we know is mere abstraction. We are branches of his true vine and accomplish nothing apart from him. He knows the ways we take and why. He gives us his own life, entering our minds to make them clean and strong.

Help us to love you, gracious Lord. Help us to understand your words of goodness and life. Live anew in us, for we know that every good thing comes through you, and without you we are powerless. When our lives are convoluted and we have no idea for what to pray, translate our heartfelt desires and bring your peace and wisdom to our confused minds. We depend on you to make our lives worthwhile, a credit to your name. Root out every shadow of evil and darkness; break us, if need be, to bring us fully into your kingdom’s service. We crave your daily companionship and approval; we crave to bask in the brightness of your smile. You promised to prepare a place above for those who love to do your will; prepare one here as well, that your presence overflow in our hearts and lives.

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REFERENCES

To our universe and all its inhabited worlds the Sovereign Son is, to all practical intents and purposes, God. 33:1.4

Though the Spirit of Truth is poured out upon all flesh, this spirit of the Son is almost wholly limited in function and power by man's personal reception of that which constitutes the sum and substance of the mission of the bestowal Son. 34:5.5

Even on Urantia, these seraphim teach the everlasting truth: If your own mind does not serve you well, you can exchange it for the mind of Jesus of Nazareth, who always serves you well. 48:6.15

Jesus was the perfectly unified human personality. And today, as in Galilee, he continues to unify mortal experience and to co-ordinate human endeavors. He unifies life, ennobles character, and simplifies experience. He enters the human mind to elevate, transform, and transfigure it. It is literally true: "If any man has Christ Jesus within him, he is a new creature; old things are passing away; behold, all things are becoming new." 100:7.18

Jesus was and is the new and living way whereby man can come into the divine inheritance which the Father has decreed shall be his for but the asking. 101:6.10

Jesus made it plain that he had come to establish personal and eternal relations with men which should forever take precedence over all other human relationships. 141:7.5

On both friends and foes he exercised a strong and peculiarly fascinating influence. Multitudes would follow him for weeks, just to hear his gracious words and behold his simple life. Devoted men and women loved Jesus with a well-nigh superhuman affection. And the better they knew him the more they loved him. And all this is still true; even today and in all future ages, the more man comes to know this God-man, the more he will love and follow after him. 149:2.14

These gentiles were not afraid of Jesus; they dared to accept his message. All down through the ages men have not been unable to comprehend Jesus; they have been afraid to. 156:2.4

You learn about God from Jesus by observing the divinity of his life, not by depending on his teachings. From the life of the Master you may each assimilate that concept of God which represents the measure of your capacity to perceive realities spiritual and divine, truths real and eternal. The finite can never hope to comprehend the Infinite except as the Infinite was focalized in the time-space personality of the finite experience of the human life of Jesus of Nazareth.

Jesus well knew that God can be known only by the realities of experience; never can he be understood by the mere teaching of the mind. Jesus taught his apostles that, while they never could fully understand God, they could most certainly know him, even as they had known the Son of Man. You can know God, not by understanding what Jesus said, but by knowing what Jesus was. Jesus was a revelation of God. 169:4.3&4

Jesus is the spiritual lens in human likeness which makes visible to the material creature Him who is invisible. He is your elder brother who, in the flesh, makes known to you a Being of infinite attributes whom not even the celestial hosts can presume fully to understand. 169:4.13

"You must abide in me, and I in you; the branch will die if it is separated from the vine. As the branch cannot bear fruit except it abides in the vine, so neither can you yield the fruits of loving service except you abide in me. Remember: I am the real vine, and you are the living branches. He who lives in me, and I in him, will bear much fruit of the spirit and experience the supreme joy of yielding this spiritual harvest. If you will maintain this living spiritual connection with me, you will bear abundant fruit. If you abide in me and my words live in you, you will be able to commune freely with me, and then can my living spirit so infuse you that you may ask whatsoever my spirit wills and do all this with the assurance that the Father will grant us our petition." 180:2.1

Christianity has indeed done a great service for this world, but what is now most needed is Jesus. The world needs to see Jesus living again on earth in the experience of spirit-born mortals who effectively reveal the Master to all men. It is futile to talk about a revival of primitive Christianity; you must go forward from where you find yourselves. Modern culture must become spiritually baptized with a new revelation of Jesus' life and illuminated with a new understanding of his gospel of eternal salvation. And when Jesus becomes thus lifted up, he will draw all men to himself. Jesus' disciples should be more than conquerors, even overflowing sources of inspiration and enhanced living to all men. 195:10.1

To "follow Jesus" means to personally share his religious faith and to enter into the spirit of the Master's life of unselfish service for man. One of the most important things in human living is to find out what Jesus believed, to discover his ideals, and to strive for the achievement of his exalted life purpose. Of all human knowledge, that which is of greatest value is to know the religious life of Jesus and how he lived it. 196:1.3

 



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