Looking for True Spirituality 8 Measuring Up

Coming to own spirituality

The inability to take one’s stated goals seriously is widely shared among the human race, as easily found among traditional religious believers and committed social justice workers as within the ranks of spiritual types.
How many Christians truly seek to follow Jesus’s teaching about wealth (shun it), retribution (“turn the other cheek”), or religious pride (definitely not for the Christian)?
How many social critics pursue their political goals with close-mindedness, arrogance, or careerism?

Many Christians like others are so consumed with living their own life of faith that they don’t have time left over to worry about other people’s failings.

creation spirituality

creation spirituality (Photo credit: lars hammar)

Modern spirituality tries to detach itself form conventional creeds, particularly willing to utilize a wide variety of traditional and non-traditional (e.g. psychotherapy, physically oriented hatha yoga) resources. It nevertheless faces the same struggles as serious people of any denomination. It will always be extremely difficult to discipline the mind, renounce addictive pleasures, care for strangers, accept disappointment, and be grateful when times are rough.  Whether we are motivated to do so because God commands us to, or because we just think it is the only way to a really good life, living this way will never come easy. And therefore the struggle to do so is something that “spiritual but not religious” types and the most orthodox of the faithful have in common.

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Getting carried away. – This Tahia is made of coloured papers flowers wattle and crock. It multiplies the beauty of image to a great extend. Such a decoration creates spiritual emotions in the hearts and mind of devotees in Car Festival. – Photo: Taraprasad Jena

We do have to avoid many common pitfalls by focusing on spiritual virtues of compassion and self-awareness, and not forgetting to look at the critically important goals of social change.
If compassion for others and willingness to ask oneself hard questions are part of what you are about, then spirituality  is something you can respect, for it is part of your life already. And if as a spiritual person you care about the fate of humans and the earth, political activism beckons as a vital spiritual practice.

Internal angst may not be the basic for our spiritualism. Though for many the quest for our being, the reason and why of our person shall be a good reason to become looking for more and to dig deep in to the grounds of spirituality. Looking for the reasons of this universe you may find that to deny God is to debase one’s own mind and dehumanize the whole person.

The world should know that it are not the ones who fear Jehovah as the Only One God that are fools. Those who do not believe in God bilious and bloated may laugh and say “God is gone.” or “There is no God.” For the ones who believe they may be a danger because they, by many times hearing the same corrupt words and breathing the same poison gas, fouling the air; they might believe that those vile deeds of unbelievers are more successful than the good deeds of Christians.

The spiritual minded, accepting the deeds of Jesus Christ should know that the atheists their thistles are their cash crop on which Jehovah God looks down. He sticks his head out of heaven. He looks around. He’s looking for someone not stupid — one man, even, God-expectant, just one God-ready woman. The Creator looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. For a long time God came up empty and perhaps He still finds there is no-one who does good, not even one.

File:Bosch follower Christ's dispute with the doctors in the temple (Louvre).jpg

Christ’s dispute with the doctors in the temple. – Jesus among the Doctors, Follower of Hieronymus Bosch (circa 1450–1516)

We do have the choice to become one of “The ninety and nine who follow their fellow” or to become one of the few followers of Jesus Christ, the Messiah who many consider a joke.  See all those impostors and wonder if they don’t they know they can’t get away with this — Treating people like a fast-food meal over which they’re too busy to pray? Night is coming for them, and nightmares, for God takes the side of victims. Do you think you can mess with the dreams of the poor? You can’t, for God makes their dreams come true. When you are looking for God, willing to dig deep in your mind, meditating on His words you may be sure the True God is present in the company of the righteous and will be willing to come to you also. God is around, not only to save Israel, but also to save you.

14 The foolish* one says in his heart:“There is no Jehovah.”+Their actions are corrupt, and their dealings are detestable; No one is doing good.But Jehovah looks down from heaven on the sons of men To see whether anyone has insight, whether anyone is seeking Jehovah.They have all turned aside;+ They are all alike corrupt. No one is doing good, Not even one.  Do none of the wrongdoers understand? They devour my people as if they were eating bread. They do not call on Jehovah.  But they will be filled with great terror,+ For Jehovah is with the generation of the righteous.  You wrongdoers try to frustrate the plans of the lowly one, But Jehovah is his refuge.O that Israel’s salvation may come from Zion!+ When Jehovah gathers back his captive people, Let Jacob be joyful, let Israel rejoice. (Psalm 14)

The one true God who has revealed Himself in Scripture as a God of grace and forgiveness, who so loved the world that He gave His Son as an atonement for sin, so “that we might die to sin and live to righteousness,” according to 1 Peter 2:24, shall be there with those who are willing to follow the footsteps of the Nazarene and to take on the mind of Christ to become spiritual and following the Spirit of the Most High.

21 In fact, to this course you were called, because even Christ suffered for you,+ leaving a model for you to follow his steps closely.+ 22 He committed no sin,+ nor was deception found in his mouth.+ 23 When he was being insulted,*+ he did not insult* in return.+ When he was suffering,+ he did not threaten, but he entrusted himself to the One who judges+ righteously. 24 He himself bore our sins+ in his own body on the stake,*+ so that we might die to* sins and live to righteousness. And “by his wounds you were healed.”+ 25 For you were like sheep going astray,+ but now you have returned to the shepherd+ and overseer of your souls.* (1 Peter 2:21-25)

He graciously compels us to thank Him, and He himself should top the list of things we are thankful for.

Please do look around you and see how people bring into practice what they say they believe. Look at those who call themselves Christian and check if they are living according the commandments of Christ.

In the previous chapter we did ask:

Can you identify the people who are following in the footsteps of Christ and preaching the good news of the Kingdom around the world?

Everywhere in the world there are many people who are loving God so much that they are prepared to go out on the streets and to preach in His Name. Many are afraid of those who witness about the Creator God, whose Name should resound all over the world, and than the end would come. Are you recognising those who preach in the Name of Jehovah God and who would love to get to know as many people as possible Jehovah‘s name and His Kingdom?

Find people who study the Word of God and who are sharing the love of God with each other. Find people who are wiling to come together in the Name of the Only One True God, to worship Him according His rules and regulations and not according the many pagan rituals and human traditions.

Of course, there are other characteristics that identify a truly spiritual person, but how do you measure up to those already considered? To find out, ask yourself:

‘Do I regularly read God’s Word, the Bible, and reflect on what I read? Do I manifest the fruitage of the spirit in my life? Am I a man or a woman of prayer? Do I want to associate with the people who are carrying out the worldwide preaching of the good news of God’s Kingdom?’

An honest self-examination may help you to determine the depth of your spirituality. We urge you to take the necessary steps now so that “life and peace” may be your lot.

8 Therefore, those in union with Christ Jesus have no condemnation. For the law of the spirit that gives life in union with Christ Jesus has set you free+ from the law of sin and of death. What the Law was incapable of doing+ because it was weak+ through the flesh, God did by sending his own Son+ in the likeness of sinful flesh+ and concerning sin, condemned sin in the flesh, so that the righteous requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us+ who walk, not according to the flesh, but according to the spirit.+For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh,+ but those who live according to the spirit, on the things of the spirit.+For setting the mind on the flesh means death,+ but setting the mind on the spirit means life and peace;+because setting the mind on the flesh means enmity with God,+ for it is not in subjection to the law of God, nor, in fact, can it be. So those who are in harmony with the flesh cannot please God.—(Romans 8:1-6-8)

13 “Go in through the narrow gate,+ because broad is the gate and spacious is the road leading off into destruction, and many are going in through it; 14 whereas narrow is the gate and cramped the road leading off into life, and few are finding it.+ (Matthew 7:13, 14)

For this very reason, put forth all earnest effort+ to supply to your faith virtue,+ to your virtue knowledge,+ to your knowledge self-control, to your self-control+ endurance, to your endurance godly devotion,+ to your godly devotion brotherly affection, to your brotherly affection love.+ For if these things exist in you and overflow, they will prevent you from being either inactive or unfruitful*+ regarding the accurate knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

For anyone lacking these things is blind, shutting his eyes to the light,*+ and has become forgetful of his cleansing from his sins+ of long ago. 10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling+ and choosing sure for yourselves, for if you keep on doing these things, you will by no means ever fail.+ 11 In fact, in this way you will be richly granted* entrance into the everlasting Kingdom+ of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.+ (2 Peter 1:5-11).

Let us all be aware or remember:

Do not be misled: God is not one to be mocked. For whatever a person is sowing, this he will also reap;+because the one sowing with a view to his flesh will reap corruption from his flesh, but the one sowing with a view to the spirit will reap everlasting life from the spirit.+ (Galatians 6:7, 8)

By our willingness to become spiritual and are preparedness to follow God His commandments we can free our mind and become true followers of Christ Jesus, helping each other by exhorting and edifying each other in the mind of Christ and by strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith even when we must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.

24 “Exert yourselves vigorously to get in through the narrow door,+ because many, I tell you, will seek to get in but will not be able. (Luke 13:24)

22 There they strengthened the disciples,*+ encouraging them to remain in the faith and saying: “We must enter into the Kingdom of God through many tribulations.”+ (Acts 14:22)

+

Preceding articles:

Looking for True Spirituality 1 Intro

Looking for True Spirituality 2 Not restricted to an elite

Looking for True Spirituality 3 Mind of Christ

Looking for True Spirituality 4 Getting to Know the Mind of Christ

Looking for True Spirituality 5 Fruitage of the Spirit

Looking for True Spirituality 6 Spirituality and Prayer

Looking for True Spirituality 7 Preaching of the Good News

Fruits of the spirit will prevent you from being either inactive or unfruitful

Dutch version of this article / De Nederlandse versie van dit artikel: Op zoek naar spiritualiteit 7 Prediking van het goede nieuws

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Additional reading:

  1. Determine the drive
  2. Compassion and Discipline
  3. Digging in words, theories and artefacts
  4. Exceeding Great and Precious Promise
  5. The builder of the Kingdom
  6. Kingdom of God what will it be like
  7. Christ’s ethical teaching
  8. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  9. A Living Faith #9 Our Manner of Life
  10. Some one or something to fear #7 Not afraid for Gods Name
  11. Rejoice even though bound to grieve
  12. Those who make peace should plant peace like a seed
  13. Looking forward to God’s faithfulness
  14. Bringing Good News into the world
  15. The Involvement of true discipleship
  16. Testify of the things heard
  17. Proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation
  18. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #2 Witnessing
  19. A Voice to be heard
  20. Creator and Blogger God 4 Expounding voice
  21. Blogging for Jesus…
  22. Preaching to an unbelieving world
  23. Words to push and pull
  24. Good or bad preacher
  25. Learn how to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News of the coming Kingdom
  26. How should we preach?
  27. Breathing and growing with no heir
  28. Breathing to teach
  29. Bringing Good News into the world
  30. Jehovah’s Witnesses not only group that preach the good news
  31. Holland Week of billing
  32. Trying to get the youth inspired
  33. When discouraged facing opposition
  34. Who are you going to reach out to today
  35. Praise the God with His Name
  36. Agape, a love to share with others from the Fruit of the Spirit
  37. Holiness and expression of worship coming from inside
  38. Belonging to or being judged by
  39. Not all will inherit the Kingdom
  40. Knowing where to go to
  41. United people under Christ

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  • How Does One Measure True Spiritual Satisfaction? (jordanbattiste.wordpress.com)religion
    I don’t think there are any monks praying in a hidden temple amongst the clouds, but I do know a little about the people who practice yoga and go to AA meetings and commit to altruism and humanitarian acts.
    +
    Can someone be spiritual and not believe in God? What about atheists and agnostics? Austin Cline from About wrote, “if spirituality really is best described as a highly personalized and privatized religious belief system, then the answer to the question is clearly “yes.” Atheism is not only compatible with the adoption of a public, organized religious belief system, it is also compatible with the adoption of a very personal and private religious faith.” Of all my speculation, this is the most satisfying answer yet. It’s objective and not riddled with bias – less truly is more.
  • I’m Confused About My Spiritual Beliefs. (thespiritualguru.wordpress.com)
    Every person is free to explore their Spirituality as they see fit. This just happens to agree with the Bible. As in Genesis God created man, and he gave man the power of Free Will. Man could choose for himself the path he would take.
    In many eastern traditions the concept of freewill is paramount. Buddhists believe that the choices we make not only affect our lives and Karma, but those around us as well. This is true, when you consider the interactions you have with others.
    What a person believes, or has faith in will determine their path in life. Faith is necessary for spiritually. It is belief in something you can’t explain. Some will say that if it can’t be proved logically it can’t exist. However humans are not the logical creatures we think we are.
    The Human mind has a logical and illogical side. The illogical is imagination, faith, belief, hope, emotion. None of which are logical. The logical side is the reasoning side, where we interact and classify what we see and touch. Where we solve problems and use our experience to keep from making the same mistakes. This logical side, however, can’t explain the other side.
    +
    Am I Crazy?
    A person will believe many things during their lives that have not been proven as 100% fact.
    +
    Whatever you choose to believe is OK. In the end your the one who has to decide to stand behind your convictions what ever they might be.
  • Short Sermons (attycortes.wordpress.com)
    a post of Peter Leithart on Pope Francis’ advice on preaching. > For Short Sermons
    Francis gives sound advice on preaching: The homily “is a distinctive genre, since it is preaching situated within the framework of a liturgical celebration; hence it should be brief and avoid taking on the semblance of a speech or a lecture. A preacher may be able to hold the attention of his listeners for a whole hour, but in this case his words become more important than the celebration of faith. If the homily goes on too long, it will affect two characteristic elements of the liturgical celebration: its balance and its rhythm. When preaching takes place within the context of the liturgy, it is part of the offering made to the Father and a mediation of the grace which Christ pours out during the celebration. This context demands that preaching should guide the assembly, and the preacher, to a life-changing communion with Christ in the Eucharist.”

  • New Creation (bhkmparish.wordpress.com)
    Paul prays first that we would be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding. Paul wants us to know what God’s will is for our lives as individuals and as a congregation. To get that knowledge we’ll need spiritual wisdom and understanding. This is not just book-learning about the Christian faith (although some of that will help), but rather a deeper sense of who we now are in Christ.
    +
    Paul prays that we would grow in holiness, or in his words, that we would walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.
  • ‘Be born in us today’ (bhkmparish.wordpress.com)
    Those with whom our Lord is pleased and in whom His peace rests are those who, on this joyous day, glorify and sing praise to God in their hearts
  • Do Preachers Know the Power of the Holy Spirit? (Martyn Lloyd-Jones) (chosenrebel.me)
    If a pastor always gets “expected” results, is he in danger of doing ministry apart from the power of the Spirit?
    +
    He may have been very ill, a thousand and one things may have happened to him, and he may go into the pulpit with fear and trembling, feeling that he hasn’t done his work; he’s got nothing. And it may be one of the most glorious services he has ever had the privilege of conducting. Why? Because he doesn’t control the power [within of the Holy Spirit]. It varies. And not only in preaching but in daily life and experience. It is the well of water that is within us and we don’t control it. It controls us.
  • Raising Children to be Witnesses, Not Just Spectators (astrugglingdad.wordpress.com)
    Raising my children with the eyes of faith, I have come to realize that this grace given to us comes with an even greater responsibility. I realize more and more that it is not enough to merely raise children who go through the motions of practicing their Catholic faith no matter how sincere or well-intentioned they may be. The task must be to nurture them to live their faith in a way that will engage and impact the growing faithlessness in the world.

  • Should a believer wait to have a “burden” before witnessing? (marcminter.wordpress.com)
    When is the right time to witness to someone?  What does a Christian need to know before witnessing or evangelizing?  Must a Christian wait to witness to someone until he or she is burdened or compelled by some inward sensation?  This question may be phrased in numerous ways and yet ask basically the same thing.  I think asking and answering three larger questions will help us answer these and others more definitively, as well as guide our understanding of evangelism or witnessing in general.
  • Meditation to Develop Witness Consciousness (rhondamills.wordpress.com)
    Regardless which style of meditation is practiced, the mistake that many people make is to think they are not good at meditating, or not being successful in the meditation because their mind wanders. Yes, your mind is going to wander. Coming back to the focus of the meditation – again and again as many times as needed – is part of the practice. Having to do that doesn’t mean you’ve failed; it means you are practicing.
  • Witnessing (hrobertsonblog.wordpress.com)
    It is precious and sacred to think on babies, and to remember my own special young motherhood and firsts in parenting. However, it is the magnitude of  a maturing relationship with Jesus Christ, my Savior that brings me to my knees. Unbelievable, that he would care for me a rebellious sinner. Care enough to die for me…is wonderful.
  • the last hour’s letter from the last apostle of the first twelve (kzlam36.wordpress.com)
    By this we know that we are in Him.  He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.
    +
    Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
  • “On Meditation” – channelled spiritual message from The Circle of The Light of The Love Energy (earthmessagepress.com) discusses if we have to look in the quit to come to the light of creation.
  • In spite of insight (justmebeingcurious.com)

    One problem with written materials is that you only have whatever the author wrote down. If you have additional questions or don’t fully understand, you’re stuck. The attitude of many was, “I would prefer to learn from a disciple of Jesus or a disciple of a disciple than from a scroll.”

    And then comes The Main Man into the equation. Tapping the blackboard, whispering quietly, listening and nodding, laughing and rolling around on the floor … making it Fun! Some call it insight – I call it “in spite of insight”.

  • On Faith and Spirituality (zebrapotential.wordpress.com)
    I have felt for quite some time that god is a form of energy.  That palpable part of the universe for me that I feel everyday.  My personal energy is what I rely on the most.  It is my gauge for happy, competent or tired and needing to recharge.  I haven’t really developed this belief in god as energy.  Obvious to me is that spirituality is shared.  So, how will I share the energy given me and be receptive to that energy flowing back from others?
  • The Revisionaries (2012) (docdailyblog.wordpress.com)
    The Revisionaries is frightening because I can’t help but think about what a disadvantage Texan schoolchildren who are affected by these textbook changes will have when they get to college. Unless these Texan children attend a religious specific college they will be behind and a lot of the information they have [such as God being in the constitution] will be challenged and they will suffer as a result. At the least in college they will have to re-learn everything religion has touched in their educational career. I believe these board members’ decisions to make religion the priority will put the kids in Texas at a major disadvantage compared to the rest of the country.
  • Why study the Bible? (illustrationstoencourage.wordpress.com)
    Today there is more information available than ever before. But the big questions- questions about life, suffering and death still remain. Where can we find answers? What if the answers have been there all along, in the Bible.
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