Is there a superhuman life or is this a closed universe limited to what we can see and touch? Right from our beginnings as a human race we and our forefathers have always felt there has to be some power beyond this earth who is ultimately responsible for our existing at all. In other words, there has to be a first cause, however many intermediate or evolutionary causes lie in between. Is there any empirical evidence of a life above and beyond ours? Is there any touch-and-see evidence of life from outer space?
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The Normal Way
When we were children, we slept when we felt tired and we ate when wefelt hungry. Soon our mothers began to feed us when they reckoned it was goodfor us. Later, we began to eat at the times most other people eat — usuallythree times a day. This is the way we did most things — play, attend school,and work: we learned by observing what other people did — and we followed thatpattern.
Thus we learned what to do and think and speak by watching others. Thissource of guidance was enhanced and refined when we discovered books andtelevision until all our daily decisions and actions were guided by what weobserved others doing or not doing. There were occasions when we would sensethat we ought to do something different, but usually we rejected that innerurge and did what we sensed society did. Anyway, the urge to do something elsecould often be traced to a selfish desire to get our own way or to makesomebody else do what we wanted, so we did feel some guilt about this innerurge. Moreover, we were rarely encouraged by older people to follow our innerurges and this seemed reasonable advice as we saw how many of these urges wereanti-social.
In this way, most of us grew up believing that this was the only methodof finding your way in life and so we followed the guidance of our examinationsand test scores until we graduated to our present jobs.
The Really Normal Way
What we’ve seen in these last ninety-nine chapters is that this ordereduniverse of regular sunrises, orbiting planets, and intricately designedorganisms was made by an intelligent and gracious Being who made you and meinside His only Son. He then planned the detailed actions and words by whichHis Son in each of us would complete our own creation and that of the universe.The completion of our individual creation involves our willing choosing of theways He designed us to act and think: this is what our present life is allabout.
This meant that our Creator had to be willing to face all theconsequences and pain that our rejection of his plans for us would cause: thisis what we observe in this present temporary world. But, as we gradually turnto his moment-by-moment will for our lives, his spirit within us begins to giveus directions from his will and our lives stop inflicting pain on Him andothers. This is the normal way we have been created to live rather than the waymost of us have become used to – simply doing what we saw others do. It meansliving from the inside out rather than from the outside in — getting ourdirection in life from within ourselves rather than from watching what othersdo either to us or themselves. It means no longer living simply in reaction tocircumstances as they occur but taking independent initiatives based on our ownunderstanding of our Maker’s heart. It means basing our behavior on the factthat He has planned a certain life for His Son to live in us — and that Hewill reveal that to us day by day.
Faith is accepting that this is reality — that “we are God’sworkmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works that he has preparedbeforehand that we should walk in them” — faith is believing that this is thepurpose of our lives rather than believing that we’ve to do what others do tous or themselves. We are to “walk by faith and not by sight”. As we adopt thisattitude to life, God “sends the spirit of his Son into us” so that we begin towant to behave as his sons and not as just our independent selves with no oneto please but us ! Gradually as we walk by this faith rather than by sight –watching for the hints that come from our Creator, we find a new awareness ofan inner life and experience that enables us to sense our Maker’s desires inthe various situations that we face. We are able to perceive a whole newattitude or spirit in ourselves and we can see similarities between it and theattitude of Jesus of Nazareth. Thus we seem to talk in that spirit more than wewalk in the spirit of those around us — more by faith rather than by sight.It’s this viewpoint or attitude that increasingly governs our behavior and ourthinking so that we realize the spirit inside us is influencing our wills andminds and feelings rather than other people and things and circumstances.
This is often called being born again because it seems as if we’vestarted living in a new way and in a new world that is directed by the Son ofGod Himself. And, in fact, that’s what has happened!
The Normal Way
“In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and theWord was God”. This is what happened at the beginning of all things – the Beingwhom we know in human history as Jesus of Nazareth – expressed God. He wasGod’s Living Word – He was God Himself separate from Himself in another Being.In His Son, Jesus Christ, God expressed Himself in an existence outside Himself- in a way that could be observed by other beings.
But Christ was not only an expression of the Creator’s divine nature:he was also an expression of another part of God, for in Him humanity also cameinto existence and eventually came to planet earth as the first man, Adam.Everything that humans have done since that time has been done in Jesus Christ- He has borne the effects of all their actions, thoughts, and words – and hasborne the strain of their hostility to their Creator. By this means God hasmade it possible for man to freely reject Him and yet live to have anopportunity to freely accept God’s best.
The fact that Christ is designated the first-born of all creation (Col1:15) makes it clear that humanity was not an after-thought of God, but was atthe center of the Creator’s intentions from before the beginning of time (Eph1:3-5). This was the best that our Creator could give us – Himself – his ownlife, His own Son. He gave us His humanity – the humanity that He gave to Hisonly-begotten Son who shared His own Eternal nature. So, when our Maker made usinside His own Son, He gave us the same eternal nature as His Son – and thesame close relationship with Himself. That’s why the statements in the NewTestament are so important – “we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus,for good works that God has prepared beforehand that we should walk in them”(Ephesians 2:10). We did not begin our existence in our mother’s bodies – thisis part of the misconception or self-centered deception that we accept frombirth about ourselves and each other. Our real existence began outside time ineternity – in God’s conception of a dear Son that would be “the first-born ofall creation” (Colossians 1:15) and the “firstborn among many brethren” (Romans8:29).
Our Deadly Autonomy
The attitude that casts its darkening shadow on every step we take inlife comes from our missing this great central point of our existence – that wewere made as part of this wonderful Being – Christ Jesus – the only-begottenSon of our Creator. We repeatedly think of him as someone outside us – and wethink of ourselves as definitely outside him. The result is that we live asautonomous human beings – ruled by our selves and our own laws and wishes. Butinstead of this unreality, we are in fact part of THE GREAT HUMAN BEING who isalso God’s Son. We have been made to willingly enjoy His life and actions hereon earth. This autonomy is called “sin” in the Bible, but we keep regarding sinas mere immorality – it isn’t – it’s this willful independence of the One ofwhom we are an integral part.
In a way we are not autonomous – self-ruled. Actually we do not havethe ability to rule ourselves – we were made to enjoy the loving rule of Christwho has submitted himself to be imprisoned within us. Because of the capacitieswe have and those we lack, we automatically drift towards dependence on otherthings and powers. Most of us therefore fall into anything that will make upfor what we lose by ignoring our position in the Creator’s Son. We all knowthese “needs” from our own personal experiences. Obviously, the Creator’s sonhas a relaxed sense of his father’s care for him, so he naturally points to thesecurity possessed so effortlessly by nature -“look at the birds of the air;they do not sow, or reap, or gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Fatherfeeds them – are you not worth much more than they?” When we ignore the realityof our position in Jesus, we face an impossible situation – we areinsignificantly little pieces of flesh with millions of other similar littlepieces – and all of us have to get into our mouths what we need to keep usalive; this creates great insecurity in us! So, we have to find something orsomeone we can depend on to provide us with food. This is why money and jobsand govern so much of our lives and actions.
But the same is true about our clothes – the Creator’s son had anenviable contentment about protecting his body from cold and heat. He simplypointed to the flowers and urged us to “observe how the lilies of the fieldgrow; they do not toil nor do they spin yet not even Solomon in all his gloryclothed himself like one of these”! However, we think always “we’re on ourown”; we believe if we don’t clothe ourselves, there is no one else that caresto do it for us. So again we are not really autonomous in that we do what weourselves want; we are autonomous only in that we decide to ignore the realitythat we’re really part of God’s Son. By having done that, we become governed bythe things or circumstances or people that will enable us to clotheourselves.
Consequently, we end up living our lives to meet the needs that ourCreator supplies to his Son and all those who live inside his Son – of whom youare one.
We all have times when we are carefree and happy. And we all have othertimes when we sink into depression, fear, and anxiety. In those timeseverything seems dark and there is no consolation that can lift us out of thepit of despair. Even the universe itself seems a terrifyingly large place inwhich we seem mere specks of nothingness. Death seems to be the only certaintyas problem upon problem, difficult circumstances upon difficult circumstancesoccur to our minds. Even death holds little relief for us as we consider ourpast life and try vainly to force some comforting consolations into our minds.Indeed as life moves on, death itself can become a black cloud that blots outeverything else in our field of vision. The certainty of life’s end fills ourthoughts and the insignificance of our lives and the events that filled themseem to overwhelm us with the futility of it all.
In those moments particularly it is vital to look steadfastly atreality. Reality is not that you are a little, insignificant piece of matterspinning momentarily through space only to fade to nothingness like asmoke-ring. You are — of all things — part of the Creator Himself !! And notjust part of that mysterious, impersonal “OOOM” that some religions talk about– not just part of the “spirit of the universe” — the “elan vital” that flowsthrough all things. But you are a personal part of the only Son of God Himself.You are Him himself in a unique being different from every other expression ofHim that exists. This is why you feel at times that you’ll live forever –because you will ! You are `God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus’ and youshare His eternal existence. And your life is far from being ” a tale told byan idiot” or a vague, unknown journey that wanders you know not where.
The reality is that the Maker of the universe foresaw and planned thewhole life of mankind in a milli-second before there was any world. It’s plaincommon-sense that the great Being who devised the structure of DNA, the chartof the elements, the intricate beauty of the eye and the orchid did not setloose upon the universe a self-propagating horde of complex human beings to seewhat they would do by chance and luck.
That is the meaning of the phrase in the Bible “we are God’sworkmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works that he has preparedbeforehand that we should walk in them even as he chose us in him beforethe foundation of the world”. Just as the planned orbits of the planets arenecessary and appropriate for lumps of matter flying through space, so theCreator and his only Son have planned the life that He will live in each one ofus. Yet his infinite intelligence is able so to govern every contingentcircumstance and event so that we are able to exercise our wills freely whilehe bears the effects and works all things in accordance with his plan.
Life as it Should NOT Be
The result is our present lives and world. Both our lives and the worlditself attest to the results that follow when we live as if none of this istrue. Daily we see what happens when we live as if there were no overseeingintelligence — no loving Father who has a plan for each part of his creation.Daily we see where our own self-will and self-centeredness causes pain anddisruption for ourselves and others. But daily also we see the ways in whichour Maker still expresses his beauty and love and peace in the kindly acts oflittle people. So, we are presented continuously with the choice of self or God– of our plans or His plan. In the midst of all our personal frustrations anddisappointment we can see that our own life is our Maker’s will and He isworking each moment to draw us willingly into the things He has made us for.
Finally the issue is not whether we are successful or fulfilled orhappy, but whether our Maker’s will and plan for his life in us is successfulor fulfilled. Our own signficance depends on that alone — and our satisfactionand peace derives from that. So, each time we ignore this reality and behave asif we are little independent specks in the vast universe, we impose upon Him inwhom we exist immense strain and pain. Yet his respect and love for us is soreal that He continues to endure our indifference to Him even as He gives usthe strength to live. How then do we live in the light of all of this ?
by Ernest O’Neill
Peggy Lee was a famous jazz singer. One of her hits was entitled `Isthat all there is ?’ It referred, of course, to life and its many experiencesand implied that it’s all rather disappointing and `a bit of a let-down’.Whether you think this or not, you’ve probably wondered what its purpose reallyis.
Why is There Suffering?
This sentence is so well-known that we often refer to it simply as the`problem of suffering `! Usually it crops up in a discussion of the origin ofthe world. Someone says something like there must have been a Supreme Being tomake whatever produced the `Big Bang’ or there must have been an IntelligentMind to program purpose into the process of evolution from simple to complex.But another person protests “how could a good God make a world where there isso much suffering ?”
What we have been saying so far is that this is the whole point of thispresent life — to show us what life is like without God. Jesus of Nazareth wasnot just a Jewish carpenter who became a travelling rabbi — he existed as ahuman being long before that. He was (as Paul writes in Colossians 1:15-17)`the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation — he is beforeall things’. In other words, Jesus is not only the unique Son of God whoexisted with the Creator before there was any universe, but His Fatherconceived Him not only as his divine Son but also as the human-being who wouldexpress outwardly his mind and character. That’s why `in him all things werecreated through him and for him’.
It’s also the reason why (as in Ephesians 2:10) `we are God’sworkmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God has preparedbeforehand, that we should walk in them’. We exist only because `in him allthings hold together’ (Colossians 1:17). When we human beings live the way wehave for thousands of years — as if these things aren’t true — the result isthis present world ! But why would our Creator allow that to happen ? Whydoesn’t He step in and stop it ? Because he wants us to be like himself — havea choice — have freedom to choose the best because we can see the worst. Goddoes not want `goody-goodies’ who are good because they cannot be otherwise; Hewants children who are like Him because they want to be like Him.
How Then Should We Live?
Strange though it may sound — we are not here to `make the world abetter place’ — as we so righteously say. Our Creator knows that our presentpreoccupation with ourselves cannot achieve that. This is why Jesus said `if mykingdom were of this world, my disciples would fight’. Only the first and greathuman being will change this world-system — and Jesus Christ will do that onlyafter the human race sees that life is impossible without God. Should we thennot even try ?!
It’s vital that we spend our lives letting the life of Jesus touch theworld through us. Only then can the effects of his life and attitude be seenclearly — and only then can the huge contrast between God’s life and ourgodless one be plainly demonstrated. This is the purpose of this present lifeand world — and the purpose, therefore, of our own personal lives.
Is there any difference, then, between this kind of living and ordinaryliving of useful lives ? Much in many ways ! Often we measure the usefulness oflives by the visible improvements in building or commerce or science that areknown and publicized. But Godly lives are often unknown and apparent failures.The emphasis is the difference between the world and heaven rather than theirincreasing similarity. The purpose and motivation of the one is this world’sbetterment; the purpose and motivation of the other is the other-world’sreality. The dynamic of the one is human need while the dynamic of the other isGod’s will.
How Can Such an Other-worldly Life be Lived?
How can you live like this ? After all, we live in the midst of thetyranny of the urgent and the incessant ringing of the cell-phone. Everywherewe look we are faced with the needs of the world and its obvious imperfectionsclambering to be removed. How can you live above all of this and be used toclarify the difference between living in the light of God’s existence andliving as if he’s dead ?
Only if we can tell what our Creator is thinking and planning for useach day. He alone knows how his cosmic plan can be forwarded each moment byhis Son in each of us. The reality expressed in the sentence we quoted above isthat we will `do the good works which he has prepared beforehand that we shouldwalk in them’. Only Christ has the infinite foresight to have already donethose works in eternity taking into consideration the way we would exercise ourfree wills. So, only as we take seriously the fact that we are `the members –or limbs — of his body’ and that he is the `head of the body’ — only then canwe find out daily the life we are meant to live.
Moreover, this life can be directed by God himself only if there is someway that He can transmit his thoughts to us moment-by-moment. And this ispossible only if we ourselves possess and develop the capacities to receive andexecute the directions. Let’s talk about these capacities next.
by Ernest O’Neill
If you are not just a collection of atoms thrown up by some mindlessexplosion millions of years ago but were in fact created by an intelligent andloving Being as part of his own Son, how then would you live ? Obviously verydifferently from the strategy you use if you have to depend simply on your ownwits !
If the creator of the cosmos had such a detailed purpose and design aswe find in human and animal bodies, in the complex design of DNA and the chartof the elements, then he must have had some carefully thought-out plan for yourown creation. That is exactly what his son explained 2000 years ago inPalestine – He said “you in me and I in you” and “we must work the works of himwho sent me”. One of his followers stated “we are God’s workmanship, created inChrist Jesus, for good works which he has prepared beforehand that we shouldwalk in them”. In other words you’re not here just to make your own way as bestyou can; you are part of the Son of the Creator of the universe and He has putyou here to do something that can be done only by Him through you !
How do you find that out ? First, by paying attention to the one youknow must be aware of you – the one who originated everything we see around us.It’s only a fool who says there’s no such being. All of us know that the skydoesn’t “hang” there by its own strength and wisdom. We know from experience atmaking automobiles and machines that these complex mechanisms don’t jut comeinto existence by chance. So it’s downright arrogant to walk out in the morningand pretend that there’s no one watching over us to see if we’re OK. That’s thefirst step in rational living – acting in the light of the fact that someonehas put you here and that he has as certain a path in mind for you as he hasfor Mars and Venus. You can call this “belief” if you wish, but really it’sjust simple common-sense.
The next step is to want to know what your creator has for you to doduring your life on this planet. Again, it’s simple common-sense not to want towaste your time and effort in futile activities that just pass the time orplease others who have no idea why you’re here. As you begin to honestly wantto find out what you’re here to do, the kind Father who made you inside himselfwill begin to communicate deep within you some mental impressions or feelings.Deep in your spirit you’ll have some ideas of things you should think about ordo. Little by little, you’ll sense that there is someone like Jesus Christ whoexists and is aware of you; you don’t have to imagine what he’s thinking: justbehave appropriately. As you start living in this reality you’ll become moreaware of thoughts and attitudes that seem to come from someone else – this isthe spirit of our Maker touching your own spirit. It all happens very naturallyand unremarkably because God works through the very things that He himself hasmade and designed. Often therefore you’ll find that your natural abilities andgifts are part of his plan for your actions; however, at other times you’llsense you should do something that doesn’t come so naturally to you. In thisway you’ll gradually “set your thoughts on things above” and less “on things onthe earth”, but always you’ll be able to check these intuitions against thekind of life that Jesus lived in the first century here on earth.
You’ll become increasingly aware of a deeper sense of what you should doin certain situations; somehow your conscience will give you a desire to pleaseand not to offend your dear Father who made you. As you respond to that senseof certain things that are not just right but are personally pleasing to yourmaker, the guidance of your conscience will become clearer. The more youexpress your own respect and concern for your maker, the more your feelingsbecome those of a dear son or daughter, who loves their father. Far from beingimpulsively impelled to sudden, unnatural actions and reactions, you’ll findyour life gently opening out to new attitudes and ways that were unknown to youbefore. Often you’ll sense that there are simply more kindly and fragrant waysto say and do things; you’ll see that there is something higher than just rightor wrong – there are more graceful things and less graceful things. Thussuperhuman life is a more beautiful life. Indeed you’ll see many wrongattitudes simply falling way in the “expulsive power of a new affection”.
This new life that revolves around the presence of your creator enablesyou to see everything in a new light. The place where you work seems moreinteresting as you see different levels of life and understanding in the peopleyou work with and the things you all do together. The desire to please theauthorities seems to imprison so many and the consequent anxiety steals much ofthe spontaneity from those you work with. You yourself sense that your futureis in your creator’s hands and not your boss’s; the result is that your fearfades away and you start to be more natural and confident with others. It’sthen that you see clearly the shadow of fear and anxiety that hangs over somany and spoils the “fun” of work. Fear of man is dispelled by your love ofyour maker and your confidence in his care for you. So also your attitude toyour own work on earth changes
by Ernest O’Neill
Most of us live either to please ourselves or to please others: eitherway somehow results in our becoming slaves — slaves to others’ opinions andapproval or slaves to our own strong desires and inherited attitudes. There isanother way — live the way our Maker intended.
Usually we think of that as — don’t, don’t, don’t — don’t do this orthat enjoyable thing because it’s wrong — and God wouldn’t approve ! But thatis just man’s idea — it’s not the reality of God who has made little babies,puppies that run away with your slippers, funny people like Bob Hope and Laureland Hardy. How can a God who made the mighty Amazon river, delicate roses, andbeautiful red sunsets want us to do anything but enjoy all the gifts He hasplanted all over the world?
Where does this beautiful picture of our Maker come from ? From theonly human being who has beaten death — died and come back to life — and leftsuch an unquestionable historical record as has been found in more than 4,000ancient Greek manuscripts from 125 to 1100 a.d. — and affirmed in numerousother writings about his life in the first century of our era. This man (knownas Jesus of Nazareth) made it plain that he lived with his Father, our Maker,long before the world was made. He also said that you — and I — were made byhis Father inside Him. In that timeless “time”, God foresaw what you would dowith your free will inside his son and planned a whole life for you that wouldpreserve your free will and yet constantly draw you towards him and his goodheart. This meant that He would have to put up with whatever you did — andthat’s what he showed us in his Son’s death at Calvary in Palestine in 29 a.d..
But the purpose of all this is to bring you and me freely to a placewhere we want what our Maker wants for us — the very best for us — because heknows what will bring us full satisfaction. That’s why he put us in his son andhis son in us — so that he and we would draw closer and closer together as wedid here on earth the things He wants to do through us! This is for you –whether you’re a street-sweeper or a king, whether you’re rich or poor, whetheryou’re educated or not, whether you’re Ethiopian or British. You have a uniquelife to live and to be lived in you by the Son of the Maker of the world.
How do you live this kind of life? Just face reality — only a fool saysin his heart “there is no God” — face the facts of nature and of history.There has to be some great intelligence behind the order and design of thisuniverse — whether he made it gradually by evolution or suddenly in a bigexplosion, somebody has to be there to program the process or make the stuffthat exploded. Look honestly at this man Jesus — see how true his words sound– how balanced his personality is — and how he demonstrated power over ourgreatest enemy, death. Then just begin living as someone who had been put hereby a loving Father who regards you as his own dear child — as part of his onlySon. Start living from the inside out — instead of from the outside in!
This is what is called living by faith. Faith is not (as the little boysaid in Sunday School) believing what you know isn’t true — faith is livingaccording to the facts of reality. It touches the way you think, the way youspeak, and the way you act. Above all, it delivers you from the tyranny of theurgent, the pressure of your peers, the fear of man, and the panic ofcircumstances. God is not like the old gentleman that many people worship inchurch — he has already written the most advanced algorithm for computers thathaven’t been invented yet. He is your father — and he is most wonderfullykind.
by Ernest O’Neill
Years ago there was a movie called `Georgie Girl’. It was all aboutthis girl who felt she was rather unattractive until at last she saw she wasreally quite nice. The theme song was about someone inside you who is alwaystrying to get out — this was the real `Georgie Girl’. That’s the reality inyour life — and mine. There’s someone inside trying to get out !
This is the reality that was made plain to our world back in 30 a.d. –in fact, it’s the reason why we now number our calendar years in the West asa.d. — anno domini — the year of the lord. A man lived then who was actuallythe son of the Creator of the world. That’s why we call him lord and date ouryears as a.d. — in 2005 — the 2005th. year of the lord. We’vetalked in past segments about the historical evidence and ancient manuscriptsthat detail his life and demonstrate that he did live in that era and did dieand come back to life. The important thing that he — Jesus of Nazareth –clarified was – that he existed long before he was born in Nazareth. He saidthat he existed with his Father, our creator, before the world was made.Moroever he said that you — and I — were foreseen by his father long beforewe appeared in our mother’s uterus. He said we were first created inside Him –in timeless eternity — and that we have been put on earth as unique people inwhom He can live the life he planned for us in Him !
This is what we’re talking about — you and I beginning to enjoy allthe marvellous variety and dynamic of our creator’s son actually living outthrough us. The old movie got that bit right ! There is a beautiful personliving inside you who is trying to get out !
How does this happen ? Just by your beginning to accept the facts –this is reality — you are not just a little piece of flotsam and jetsam –unimportant chance bits of flesh thrown up by some mindless cosmic evolutionaryprocess or distant exploding star. Our creator may well have designed anevolutionary process and may have caused cosmic explosions, but we know thatsuch processes or chance disasters create only chaos unless some kindlyintelligent mind directs them. That’s the first step for all of us — acceptthat you have been made inside this Jesus — the cosmic Christ who is the onlySon of our Maker. Accept that He is inside you and has planned to live a lifethrough you that is different from the one he will live in anyone else in theuniverse. Then get on with living that life ! This is what is called faith –living in reality.
How is that different from the way most of us live now ? Well, first itmeans that you stop thinking about what you want or what you feel like doing.You’re bigger than that — your life is more important than that – you’re notjust a little animal that has to find its own food and take care of its ownshelter and coverings. You are part of the creator’s son and you’re here to dosomething in this world that only you can do. And he is inside you and knowswhat that is. So first you believe that — and keep an eye on things from thatangle. Quietly look at your life and your home and your job as you think hewould if he’s been sent to earth in you by his Father, the Creator. What doeshe want to do in your present job ? How does he want to help not just you butyour colleagues at work ? Read how he lived and thought of situations inPalestine when he was here in his own body as Jesus of Nazareth — then listenfor his intuitions that he puts in your mind. Just be quiet and follow yourthoughts in the light of the reality that you are in him and he is in you !
Don’t get all spooky about it — don’t go strange or super-spiritual !This isn’t a game or some kind of `in’ thing to do or be. This is reality — ifyou will just be yourself with him then He will begin to express himselfthrough you and to you. Treat him as your dear and good friend and he willbegin to transmit his own spirit to you. Keep your eyes on him and offyourself. It’s a paradox — but you’ll find your real self when you `lose’yourself in Him.
Let’s talk about it more next time.
by Ernest O’Neill
You’re not just another little speck of nothing thrown up by someimpersonal evolutionary force — you’re a special, unique person made by aloving father inside his only son !! Of course you’ve known that all along –you’ve always felt you’re unique; in fact, you’ve never met anyone else exactlylike you. Similarly you’ve never seen explosions that create order — theyalways create disorder and chaos. But popular (not real) science keeps tellingyou that some prehistoric explosion threw you up out of the chaos and you’rejust a little collection of meaningless atoms.
However history tells a completely different story of your origin. It’sjust that both the civilizations of East and West have hijacked parts of it fortheir own purposes. Each tries to prove by it that it’s superior and ought tokill the other one; so each misses the reality of it and continues to destroyeach other and commit all of us to nothingness. The truth is that both Mohammedand Jesus are great prophets and have given their great traditions to East andWest, but Jesus was also the only son of our creator. He actually existed withhis father, our creator, before the universe was made — and our creator madeus inside his son !
That’s the big difference ! Islam is a precious tradition and its waysare treasured by all Moslems, but Mohammed never said that everyone was madeinside him — Christ did — history records his words – history that isdocumented carefully by manuscripts written within a hundred years of his life.He said “you in me and I in you”. His companions said “you are God’sworkmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works”. Then – you appeared onearth in your mother’s womb — “your eyes beheld my unformed substance”. Soyou’re actually part of God — part of the body of his only son — and he hasthings to do through you. This is why you’re here.
Why then do we live as we do ? Because our creator gave us free wills– so that we could ignore the real person inside us if we wished. He didn’twant us to submit to his plan just because we’d tried no other — this is whyhe has permitted us to hurt him and his creation. This is why our world is sochaotic — even its atmosphere has been affected by our self-centered lives.But inside you there has been Christ himself patiently suffering and waitingfor you to allow his life to begin operating through you. This can start onlywhen you realize the truth behind your existence and begin to acknowledge hisexistence in you and your existence in him.
How does it come about ? Really it’s like everything in ordinary life– the air is there all the time, but it’s no use to you unless you breathe it.Christ, God’s son, is in you, but you’ll never experience his wisdom unless youtake the attitude that it’s there and live your life in gratitude. Thengradually you see things and understand things you never did before. One dayyou awake and realize you’re different from what you used to be — you thinkdifferently, you behave differently, you even feel different. Religious peoplecall it faith, but it’s just recognizing reality and living in it. Some peoplesay you’re living by the spirit of Christ within you instead of by animal-likeresponse to external stimuli. Paul, one of Christ’s followers said “I live, yetnot I, but Christ lives within me”. However you express it, your life begins toexpress order and peace instead of disorder and worry.
Others have said that they live now by their conscience and not by whatother people think of them. But Christ will often go beyond conscience becauseit often guides you according to the norms of the society in which you’rebrought up.
At times his attitude will challenge those norms — especially if you’rea cannibal or a legalist or free-thinker. Sometimes his spirit will be moremagnanimous and sometimes more particular than your conscience or your peers.
But easily the biggest difference is loneliness — it means the end ofever feeling alone again. Now you know that your dear father who made you knowsevery single detail of your thoughts and actions and location. His son insideyou keeps you constantly aware of his father and you share their closeness toone another every time you remember the reality of your life.
So your other self is really your only self. The lonely, uncertain selfyou’ve endured so far in your life never actually existed — its earthlyconsciousness was only the remembered ghost of an old self that was destroyedby your creator in timeless reality where he dwells. He allowed you toexperience that unreal life so that you could use your free will to choosebetween that and reality. So if you ever slip back into its narrow,self-centered attitude you feel immediately the desolation of deadness becausethat’s what it is — and has always been. Your “other self” is your only realself that will exist forever.
by Ernest O’Neill
Have you ever been surprised at some of the good feelings you feelrising inside you ? Even the worst of us have moments when we are surprised atthe good things we think of doing. At times we have just surprised evenourselves. It’s as if there’s another person inside you who acts and thinks andfeels better than we do. Sometimes we refer to this as our better selves yet weknow that it is us ourselves in some strange way.
The explanation is the reason behind our existence. A unique human beinglived in the first century of our era in the Middle East who spoke and behavedbetter than anyone who has ever lived on our earth. The history books of thetime — by Latin writers like Tacitus and Tertullian and Jewish writers likeJosephus and Paul — detail this human life and death so reliably that it issimply logical to conclude that this man was actually the only son of ourCreator. This man, Jesus, explained that he was alive with his Father when theworld was created and that we all were actually made by God, his Father, insidehim himself. So this Jesus was not just a prophet or a great religious leader– he is actually the son of the Maker of the universe.
His words are recorded and copied in thousands of ancient manuscripts sothat their historicity is more established beyond all doubt. Moreover hedemonstrated his power to leave life here on earth and return to it during hisfirst century life in Palestine. Throughout the centuries since that time hehas been regarded by the leading civilizations of mankind as the only son ofthe Creator of the world. In his own words he said ” you in me and I in you”and one of his disciples said “he was the first-born of all creation – allthings were made through him and in him all things hold together”. He is theperson inside you who constantly endeavors to fullfil his father’s will throughyou — that’s why you feel at times as if there’s another guiding voice orperson urging you in certain directions.
The great Being who made everything put you here to do certain thingsthat He can do only through you. Another of his followers put it like this –“we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works which God hasprepared beforehand that we should walk in them”. But this is all done by ourCreator so finely and intricately that his will works through our wills so thatwe are not like robots but more like the people referred to by Paul (another ofhis followers) — “workers together with God”. This man emphasized howimportant it is for us to exercise our wills in an active way and to avoid allpassivity — “work out your own salvation for it is God that works in youboth to will and to do what he wants”. He explained that “God works all thingsaccording to the counsel of his will” and that “all things work together forgood to them that love God”. Although our Creator is all-powerful, he is ourloving Father and wants us to come into a loving trust in Himself that is thefree decision of our own wills. So the urgings that you feel at times insideare his wooing you to acknowledge him as one who has made your part of himselfand wants you to enjoy fully that reality.
That is the purpose of this world in which we live — it is really ahuge picture of what life without God would be like. It is life as it would bepermanently if we were all left to ourselves to do just what we wanted ratherthan what He wants. So every day we face the opportunity to live out the lifethat our Maker has planned for us — and to simply enjoy exercising our willsand minds and tongues and hands to do those things. Or we can ignore this wholereality and pretend we are just little specks of nothing who have to make itthrough the day as best we can ! But the facts are that everything in theuniverse is working powerfully to facilitate God’s plan for each one of us.This is why millions of us do all kinds of diverse things and perform all kindsof complicated maneouvers each day without crashing into each other or creatingabsolute chaos. Out of the billions of ways wind could blow and objects couldfall and air and water could behave, multiple events happen every second thatare filled with intelligent design and direction. Behind all this activitythere works a dear, loving Father who cares about you and everything else.