More Which Is Clear(er)
12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
It just overwhelmed me today how there is neither wrath nor resentment in God as we know Him in His Kingdom, and at the same time I was struck with how pressing it is on us at all times to find wrath and resentment everywhere we look.
As soon as my thoughts turn to the God in Whom there is nothing but Love, nothing but Uplifting, nothing but Mercies, nothing but Forgiveness, nothing but Light, nothing but Peace, having in Him no retribution, no heart for punishment, then immediately I am almost struck as if with guilt and doubt and think that maybe such a God is a false God, or this is a false view of Him, because the thought persists day in and day out, that "I" am still displeasing in some way, that "I" still have that needed tweak or two left and therefore so does everybody else, which is of course a complete denial of our oneness in Him in practicality -- i.e., we're back to being "in heaven" being "one person" with the Lord, but here on the "earth" somehow we are left separate, still struggling along as ourselves, still responsible. The "one spirit" thing really only works in the heavenly realm, we think, but here on earth it seems to be a day by day attempt to conquer sometimes the same territory, maybe for years and years and years, always with the Holy Grail carrot there in front of us, always just out of reach, and rightly so for we don't really deserve it anyway.
I don't know about you, but that's pretty much normal living for me. Sort of "living tempted."
The temptation which is common to all of us but which is disguised in a zillion different unique ways, is by one way or another to deny the Living God and worship some created thing, i.e., to give a created thing, whether it be a stone idol or a fish or a snake or a personality or a spiritual being, power in itself to be outside the Love and Mercy which is God manifesting Himself with fixed and righteous purpose.
In the earth there is evil & good mixed, so mixed perhaps that while there are extremes in each direction, so that one or the other might be more manifest, most of the time the mixture is too close to call. But if you dwell in heaven, even on the earth, then there is ONLY the Good, which is all the things I named above and also is the life the scripture described. Whereas if you dwell in hell, even on the earth, then that is the kingdom of need and anger and wrath and pride, which produces all that other stuff.
However, neither hell nor heaven perceive the other, though those sons who have been made wise if Christ have had their senses exercised and by Wisdom discern rightly between the two. In other words, Wisdom sees the Light of God manifesting and shining everywhere and Life swallowing up death wherever it touches, (which is everywhere our foot treads [or consciousness/Word goes]), and He by us reconciles all things into His sure mercies and graces and eternal lovingkindnesses.
Mercy starts in God and one day I realize it in myself for myself, and from there it grows as a Tree which is planted by a water, providing shade and coolness from the burning sun and water which quenches the thirsts of lonely travelers who happen by. Mercy and forgiveness are maybe the most contagious things of all, if they have grown out of love.
But then finally, Heaven, where God is, where there is nothing but the Peace and Mercy and Lovingkindness of God, must be our abode.
And this is the best news of all. God is our Father, and Heaven is our home. Not just in the by and by, but in the here and now -- in fact ONLY in the here and now. This is not something we "experience" or "feel" in an earthly way, though maybe here and there we get some flash or two. But instead, this is where God has risen up inside us and the Word He caused us to utter -- "I live yet not I but Christ liveth in me" -- has come to be "known" by us as a Real Substance, found only in our faith.
And this is the actual inwardly tangible "evidence" that He and I are one person.
And in that One Person is only Mercy, Lovingkindness, Forgiveness, Reconciliation, Longsuffering, and Peace. This is Christ, and maybe more importantly, CHRIST IN OURSELVES! (He didn't come to "be served" but to "serve." In other words, He didn't come to "found" the Christian religion and to be the Big Giant Deal Head of it for all eternity, but instead to REPRODUCE HIMSELF in us, that we might be the same as He Is outward to others eternally.)
Overwhelmingly, I know it more and more each day, that in Jesus Christ this is Who we are. We are the living, breathing, lovingkindness and mercy and grace and love of God.
And again, like the 24 elders who surround the throne, for we cast our "crowns" before Him, and know ourselves only in Him, hidden in Him, and brought forth in Him.