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Eric's Sunday Sermon: Where Man Ends and God Begins
Who can match natural beauty?
The age old question of how to get into heaven.
What a marvelous thing for man to bandy about and discuss in Inns and homes throughout the world. Even if we do not believe in a heaven as a place, it is still a fine discussion to have externally and internally. I have the answer. The trouble is that it puts preachers out of business to a large degree. It ruins the debate. And you already know the answer. But let us look deeper and come to realize what it may mean to us. It is not a default position but it is a truth that reaches all faiths and religions.
God is God. If you believe in a God that God must be Omnipresent and Omnipotent! Otherwise you believe in a god and it could be said that we are all gods; indeed it is said. But if you believe in one God then that God by the very terms of God's existence is all powerful and all present. Now if this be the case what on earth can constrain God? We do not have to look far to find some answer. And that answer is nothing at all. Nothing can restrain or constrain God.
So for the easy answer to the question we look at a tiny scripture that passes all understandings: Mark 10:26 And they were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, “Who then can be saved?”
27 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.
Where this came from is not irrelevant but the truth of the matter surpasses the quote. Here we find such a simple truth. With God all things are possible. That would mean that anyone and any given time can get into heaven. Perhaps that is the end of the story. But there is much to consider here as to the how and why should we lead our lives.
The bottom line is "If It Be Thy Will"
A peace beyond understanding.
Can you let go and let God decide?
Not a choice to give up.
Letting go and letting God decide is not the same as giving up. This is not cause for fatalism or resignation of our passions. This is cause to rejoice and redouble our efforts at leading the best life that we can live. All humans have a need and a desire to do good. Some will stuff this truth down into the crevices of our belly hiding it from the light. But it is there nonetheless.
It is self evident that we have free will on this planet and at this time. Man makes choices and those choices are in effect today. What happens upon our death or even just tomorrow is out of our hands to a large degree. But how we live today in the here and now and the day to day is in our hands. We can make a difference today. And we can make positive differences if we so chose. While our fate in an afterlife is out of our control our fate in this world is in our control.
God being in total control is a freedom to act in bold and wondrous ways. What harm can come to us if we act in compassion and out of a sense of doing the right thing? What harm can come to us if we try to fail. What harm can come to us if we love with complete abandon. We are free from the worries of mistakes as long as we are reaching for the stars and giving of ourselves to our neighbors and beyond.
So while some may say "what is the point" of doing good. Others will reach for that brass ring and do the best they can knowing that no matter what they are in their God's embrace. This choice is freely given to us and it is ours to decide what to do with it.
What comfort there is in surrender.
Man must do good works.
Freedom at last!
There was a man that spent all of his waking hours fretting and worrying if his good works were enough to get him into heaven. There was another man who spent all of his waking hours fretting and worrying if his great faith would get him into heaven. And so we ask "what good is the worry?" It is not the deeds or faith of a man that gets him into heaven it is the will of God.
Now do not get this wrong for we have all seen both heaven and hell here on earth. Man can create such things right here and right now. What is this heaven we speak of? It is wondrous joy and happiness. It is that which comes from the doing of simple acts of kindness and giving from the spirit to those who have less (and even to those who have more). This heaven is the direct result of giving of oneself from the heart.
And what of this hell created here on earth? It is the direct result of the separation between ourselves and goodness. When we take rather than give we become less connected to the good part of this earth. We are not talking of "receiving" we are talking of taking. The poor ravaged alcoholic who has reached his bottom has taken all he can from this world and finds himself in a self made hell. The rich and powerful executive who thinks of nothing but climbing higher and having more is lost in a world where there is not joy for he has taken all he can rather than given of himself.
We can be free of the bondage of having to act in a certain way in order to obtain life everlasting and splendid. We can let go and let God decide that. And we can live well for today.
There are hills and valleys that we must climb and descend.
And now I beseech you.
Live for today and not for heaven. Seek the goodness on earth and leave the heaven stuff to God. Do the right thing because it is the right thing to do, not because of what it will earn you later but for the peace it will earn you today. Not to mention the good things it will bring to others who need it more than you do.
If you take this writing it will go badly for you.
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