“And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:
Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” Luke 17:20, 21
“And as he spake, a certain Pharisee besought him to dine with him: and he went in, and sat down to meat.
And when the Pharisee saw it, he marvelled that he had not first washed before dinner.
And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness.
Ye fools, did not he that made that which is without make that which is within also?
But rather give alms of such things as ye have; and, behold, all things are clean unto you.” Luke 11:37- 41
Our Father has named this, His ministry, Inreach. It can be described as “within” reach.
This Inreach process is based on the readings provided by the Christian Science Lesson Sermon. These readings, a gift of spiritual nourishment from our Father, are not only for us to hear but to taste, chew, swallow and digest. His Word sustains us…feeds our spiritual growth. His Word is our daily bread, meant to bring Him into our individual and collective lives. His Word is a “lamp unto our feet”, peace to our struggling hearts. He is the Word. As the living Word works for us and within us, becoming an eternal blessing, through the power of the Christ others are also blessed. What blesses one blesses all. Inreach is a process of Cause, outreach is the Effect. God is this only Cause and Effect.
In this ministry, we prayerfully search these precious readings, His Word, for one law or truth that speaks to us, we write it down on a piece of paper to be carried in our pocket all week. We study, dig more deeply into the meaning of this law and throughout the week practice applying it to our daily life.
This practice necessarily begins with the understanding that our Father has given us the gift of free choice. This free choice is not based on human decision-making. The choice is always between turning to Him or away from Him. In Deuteronomy (30:19-20) he admonishes us: “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
That thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”
The gift of free choice is like a test. And He even gives us the answer – choose life…choose to obey Him and hold on to His ways and means.
Our practice works as follows:
When a problem of any nature comes our way (frustration or impatience with a family member, co-worker, anyone, confusion about employment, financial stress, regret over the past or fretful of the future…whenever fear tempts us to lose sight and feeling of the presence of God) we pause…reach into our pocket and look at the law He has chosen for us to practice… and we identify two ways of responding to the situation – either our reaction or our response to God’s action. We consciously and conscientiously practice making the God-centered choice to respond as Christ Jesus would have responded We must remain alert to the temptation of discouragement when we fall short – reacting before pausing and “waiting on” (serving) God. We are babes in this Spiritward journey. When we do fall – we rise in humble repentance and choose again. His forgiveness is limitless.
Also, by the nature of this practice we humbly begin to learn more of how evil operates through human egotism – the only channel through which we allow it to work. It is through the emotion of ego we react. Motion of the Spirit is very different from “e”motion or might we say evil motion or ego motion. Motion of the Spirit has a calming effect even in the midst of the storm.
Tests, trials, are a God-given gift. “Trials are proofs of God’s care”. Paul took “pleasure” in his infirmities.
Tests are like problems we’re given to solve in math. Problems to the student of math are necessary. Similarly, our tests or problems are a gift to the student of Christ Jesus. He walks with us every step of the way. Solving “the problem of Christian being”, the problem of genuine discipleship, requires discipline – a conscious practice of Christian discipline. Note the connection between the words discipline and disciple – cause and effect. We don’t become disciples. Discipleship is a result – the result of living His Word…living in Him, of Him, and through Him – heart, soul, and mind.
The application of His Word to our human lives is a divine Science – contrary to a human science. The application of the Word is about what Father is doing as a result of our obedience to Him. As genuine disciples of Christ, as doer’s of the Word – not hearers only, we are ever consciously striving to better understand, practice and testify to the power of His laws revealed to and taught by Christ Jesus through His Word.
We have been talking about the gift of healing – first ourselves, then others. Healing is our Father’s gift of the revelation of Truth, Himself, to human consciousness. Healing is about what Father does. He has already given us the rules or principles needed to solve any problem whatsoever – and with His gift of free choice we either apply His rules, truths, or the worlds rules, lies.
When His truth is applied to a problem it causes an effect – as Christ Jesus teaches, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Cause -“You shall know the truth”……Effect – “and the truth will make you free.” John 8:32
Our knowing doesn’t cause freedom or healing – the truth of His Word sets us free. But we do have a part in this – we must choose truth for the effects of Truth. Choosing the lie results in the effects of a lie. We must choose God to experience the effects of God.
Whatever human vehicle our Father gives, be it situations with family, work, financial, the body – our full-time Christian employment remains the same for all of us – listening and obeying Him through study, practice, testimony of the Word. This process of Inreach, empowers us enabling us to empower each other with His strength necessary to overcome evil with good in our daily walk and conversation.
“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;…” John 8:31