E. Stanley Jones

The Word Became Flesh

 

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SundayŚWeek 5
Phil. 2:5-10                                                                                          

What Do I Want To Know About God?

    We continue to meditate on: "No one has ever seen God: the only Son who is in the bosom of the Father, he had make him known" (John 1:18). "He has make him known." The old version says: "He hath declared him:--"declared Him" would be the Word become word--a verbal revelation of God. This has been tried and has failed. You cannot describe God; you can only show Him, make "Him known." Jesus has made God known in the only way He can be make known, by Life.   

    What do I want to know about God, His omnipotence? It would scare me to death to see what God can do. His omniscience? How could I, limited as I am, know all that God knows? And what good would it do me if I could know His omnipresence? How could I, limited by a body and confined to a spot in this universe, understand His everywhereness? And His everywhereness all at once? These three things would not help me; they would leave me helpless and prostate. Then what do I want to know? I want to know what God is like in character. For what He is like in character, I must be like. I cannot bee at cross purposes with Reality and not get hurt. So Jesus makes "known"  the character of God, makes it known in the only  possible way His character can be made known, namely through another character--His own.

    And He reveals the central thing in God's character--Love! "Who is in the bosom of the Father"--"the bosom" represents the heart of God. Jesus is not in the arm of the Father--His omnipotence; nor in the mind of the Father--His omniscience. He is in the bosom of the Father--the revelation of His love. So Jesus came stripping Himself of everything as He cam--omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence-everything except love. "He emptied Himself of everything except love--His only protection, His only weapon, His only method. And He showed that love is the only omniscience, the only omnipotence.

    O Jesus, Thou didst use love and only love, and Thou didst win with love and only love. Now we see into the heart of God, and what we see is very beautiful, so beautiful that we are at Thy feet. And we wouldn't be anywhere else for all the world. Amen.

 Affirmation for the day: In some faint way I shall make my Father "known" in everything I do today.

MondayŚWeek5
Heb. 12:1, 2                                                                            

Nothing Else Mattered

    We are still considering, "No one has ever seen God; the only Son who is in the bosom of the Father, he had made him known." Men of old felt that no one could see God face to face and live. But Jesus is the Divine Transformer who takes the high voltage of the Divine and transforms it into usable form. In Jesus we do see God face to face and do not die, but live. We live by seeing Him face to face--in Jesus. For, as we have said, Jesus puts a face on God. He humanizes God and makes  Him approachable.

    Idols are an attempt to bring God near. Jesus takes the place of idols, fulfills the need which idols try to meet and, of course, never do. For idols do not represent God; they misrepresent Him. Jesus really represents God. "He is the express image" of God. If you want to know what God is like, look at Jesus.

    In the final chapter of the book of Revelation it says: "They shall see him face to face" (N.E.B.) That was the final reward--to see Him "face to face." The whole verse reads this way: "The throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and his servants shall worship him; they shall see him face to face." The reason they could see God face to face was "the Lamb of God was there"--Jesus lets us see a lovable, approachable God.

    There is a picture of a face of Jesus surrounded by dark clouds. Apart from Jesus there are dark clouds of mystery surrounding God. But in the midst of these clouds I see that one dear Face. We smile at the boy who when asked by his mother what he was doing replied: "I'm drawing a picture of God." "But no one knows what God is like," said the mother. "They will know when I get finished," said the boy with finality. All attempts to tell or draw what God is like are childish. Except one--Jesus! No wonder a young woman in Uruguay who had turned round and round on herself in twenty-one years of futility and mental and emotional agony said with joy: "I looked into the face of Jesus and nothing else mattered." She had looked at herself and her failures for twenty-one years and grew worse; she looked into the face of Jesus and wall well.

O Lord and Mater, I look at myself and others and everything goes wrong: I look at Thee and everything goes right. I look at Thee and suddenly I know I am not alone and not unloved. I know I can never be alone and can never be unloved. My gratitude is eternal. Amen. 

Affirmation for the day: I see Him face to face, and I do not die but live--and how! Till then I've never lived.

TuesdayŚWeek 5
I John 5:20, 21                                                                           

Reality, Whose Other Name Is Jesus

    Apart from Jesus, the Word became flesh, men despair of finding Reality. The search ends in nihilism. Lao-tse the Chinese philosopher puts it: "The Tao [way] that can be trodden is not the enduring and unchanging Tao. The name that can be named is not the enduring and unchanging name." In the midst of this doubt Jesus steps  and says: " I am the Way, the truth, and the life." He concretes the abstract--puts shoes on the abstract and makes it walk on lowly ways. A white explorer was going through the dense jungles of Africa and as he treaded the trackless labyrinth he said to his African guide: "Is this the way?" And he unwittingly put his finger on a profound truth. The philosophers and moralists could not find the Way, for there is no way by words. The nature of reality cannot be described by words. t becomes something else when the attempt is made to put it into words. There is no way through words--the only Way is the Word become flesh. Reality can only be seen in Reality, in Life.

     No wonder Dr. Radhakrishnan, the great philosopher of India and the President of the Union of India, said, in an Easter morning service at Riverside Church in New York: "May I suggest to you Christians that you emphasize: 'I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life,' and "Ye must be born again.'" The great Hindu philosopher saw that the way of words; it had to be the Way of the Word become flesh--"I am the Way." And the Truth could not be spoken, it had to be embodied; the Life could not be uttered--it had to be lived. The proposition was not the answer--the Person was! Jesus is the Way that can be trodden, for it has been trodden--He trod it. Jesus is the Truth for He is the Truth under life--it rings true there. He is the Life because this Life was lived out and life says: "This the Life." When reality renders its verdict it says: "There is Reality, whose other name is Jesus."

O Blessed Reality, Thou hast made the complex simple, the hidden known, the unknowable plain. Thou hast come into our lowly doors and in Thy stooping and coming in we see that the Divine Everything has come in. I wonder and am captured forever. Amen.

 Affirmation for the day: I go singing down the years, for in Him I live in Eternity--what can the years do to me?.

 WednesdayŚWeek 5
 John 14:5-7

I Am the Way, The Truth--Right Ordered?

    It is no mere chance that the order: "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life," is as it is--the Way first. Jesus had to be the Way before He was the Truth and the Life. If "the Truth" had been put first, that would mean that we would have been sent on a quest for verbal truth; Christianity would have become a philosophical system or a theological system.

    No, Jesus is the Way before He is the Truth. For Truth has to be put under life to see if it is truth.

    But note, Jesus did not say, "I am the answer" as we often say in slogans: "Christ is the answer." No, He is the Way to the answer. If a teacher would give the answer to pupils studying arithmetic, would that help? No, it would weaken. Instead of giving the answer, the teacher gives the way to find the answer. The pupils themselves can find the answer if they know the way. So Jesus does not give us ready-made answers. That would weaken us. Instead He gives us the Way--the Way to find all answers. Take His way and the answers come out of the Way. Apply His method, His Spirit, His way, to any situation and you've got the answer. So he doesn't give answer, He gives the way to answers.

    And He doesn't give Truth--He gives the way to find Truth. If you take His Way, you will find the Truth. The Truth isn't something handed to you in a neat bundle tied in a blue ribbon. It is something discovered as you follow the Way. After I was converted I went to the public library and took out a book on philosophy of religion--I thought this would explain what I had found. I didn't know what it was talking about. I gave it up after some pages and handed it back. I learned that my feet were one the Way. So I've been discovering Truth as a Life process. Truth has been and still is an exciting discovery as I follow the Way. It unfolds.

    O Lord and Savior, I follow Thy Way, and the Way leads me daily to unfolding Truth as I verify the Way day by day--the Way as Truth. This is an exciting quest, for I see, and the more I see the more I see there is to be seen. Jesus, my Lord, Thou has put incitement and excitement in my life.  Amen. 

Affirmation for the day: I shall know as much as I am willing to practice and no more..

 ThursdayŚ Week 5
 John 16:13-15                                                                       

Excited After Sixty Years

    We continue our meditation on the Way leading to the Truth and the Life. We insisted that you find the Truth as you follow the Way. Jesus enunciated this principle when He said: "He that is willing to do the will shall know of the teaching." He that is willing to do shall know. A Hindu said to me, "Is that the price of knowing the truth, being willing to do the will of God? Then I shall not know, for I am not willing to do." He was profoundly right; we know as much of the Truth as we are willing to practice on the way--and no more! If the Word doesn't become flesh in us, it doesn't remain as the word, except as a poor ghost.

    This finding of the Truth by following the Way makes the finding of Truth as exciting business. A professor of philosophy said wearily: "I'm bored--bored with philosophy, bored with my teaching, bored with my students, bored with life, bore with myself--I'm bored!" He was! His was the quest of propositions, of the Word become word. It was like the little boy who wanted to show his family the roar of Niagara Falls, so he caught some of the water in a bottle and took it home. But when he showed it to the family he said in dismay: "Ah, shucks, it's died." Truth taken out of the stream of life is a dead thing. But back in the stream of life it is an exciting thing--the most exciting of things. And you're never bored with it. For sixty years I've thought of one subject, have spoken about that one subject, and have written about that one subject--that one subject is a Person, Jesus Christ. After thinking and talking about one subject for sixty years, one should be bored and should want a moral holiday, want to get away and think of something else. On the contrary, I was never so excited, so exhilarated, so full of surprise around every corner, horizons cracking, life popping with novelty and meaning--and value. The Truth is making me free--free to find more Truth and yet more Truth. And so on forever and forever.

    O God, my Father, I thank Thee for this gentle excitement, this inner quiver of finding and yet forever seeing the Beyond. The search for the Beyond is not a hopeless quest, for I know I am on the Way. This security bids me follow the Insecure, which, when I practise it, becomes the Secure. I thank Thee. Amen.

 Affirmation for the day: From the basis of the Secure I shall today adventure into the insecure--my life is an adventure with God. 

FridayŚWeek 5
John 4:13-15                                                                         

The Gift Creates Initiative

    We continue our mediation on, "I am the way, and the truth and the life." We saw yesterday that we discovered Truth as we followed the Way. You do not find Truth by mediation, but by dedication. You know as much of Truth as you are willing to practice--and no more. So Jesus presents Himself, not first of all as the Truth, but as the Way. And when we take the Way, we find both the Truth and Life. The only way to find Life is to live it.

    I once talked to General Smuts, the premier of South Africa and the author of "Holism." He called my attention to something I've never forgotten. He said the word "belief" is literally "by-lief" or "by life." Your belief is your life. And you life is your belief. You believe in a thing enough to act on it, to live it. So you are what you believe, and you believe what you are. Your deed is your creed. And your creed is your deed.

    Jesus said: "Not every one that says to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father." Not every one who say, "Lord, Lord"--the Word become word; "but he that doeth the will of my Father"--the Word became flesh. You find both the Truth and the Life through the Way.

    It is true that Life is a gift--a gift of grace. But it is a gift like the priming of a pump. You pour in water that this poured-in water may be the means of discovering water and producing water from within. Jesus said: "The water that I shall give unto him shall become a well of water springing up everlasting life"--the water that I shall give shall become a well springing up. The gift creates initiative, spontaneity. He gives you Life, and the Gift creates a thirst for Life and more Life. So you, from then on, find Life by drawing upon it and by living it out. All our questions about Truth and Life are solved by the quest for Truth--Life. As we live it out, all our question marks become exclamation points. It works, it works." we cry with verified joy.

O Jesus, Thou art verified Truth. We find Thee not at the end of syllogism, but in the process of following the Way. We find Truth not by taking wings of imagination and soaring, but by putting on shoes and walking on the Way. And this Way shines more and more to the perfect day. Amen.

Affirmation for the day: I am not dissatisfied, but forever unsatisfied.

SaturdayŚWeek 5
I John 3: 1-3                                                                      

Jesus Fulfills The Total Person

    We must look again at: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life." These three things correspond with three things that make up the human personality: intellect, feeling, will. "I am the Way"--the will, the organ of acting; "I am the Truth"--the intellect, the organ of knowing of thinking; "I am the Life"--the feeling, emotion. Jesus thus fulfills the total personality. And He involves the total personality in His service.

    When Jesus was asked what was the greatest commandment in the Law He replied, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart [the affectional nature], and with all thy soul [the volitional nature], and with all thy mind [the intellectual nature]" (Matt. 22:37). And then He added "with all thy strength." This may be with the strength of the body, but it may be with the strength of all three of these. Some love of God with the strength of the mind and the weakness of the emotion. This produces the intellectualist in religion. Some love with the strength of the emotion and the weakness of the mind. This produces the sentimentalist in religion. Some love Him with the strength of the will and the weakness of emotion. This produces the moral man of iron--ethical, but not very approachable. The really strong person loves Him with the strength of the mind, the strength of the emotion, and the strength of the will.

    So the Christian in following Jesus cannot follow Him as the Way-only; or the Truth-only; or the Life-only. It must be all three in one--and at the same time if we are fully Christian. The Hindu has three ways from which you can choose: Gyana Marg--the way of knowledge; Bhakti Mary--the way of devotion or emotion; Karma Marg--the way of works. Jesus is all three ways in one, and when you are in Him you fulfill all three ways. And you fulfill your personality--the whole person--intellect, feeling, and which are all loving Him and, hence, fulfilled in Him. He is Life and, therefore, completes all life in Himself.

    O Jesus, I want to follow Thee with my whole being--part of left out. For if it is  left out, that part will be dark. Everything in Thee is light and only light. "O may it all my powers engage" to Thy will. For I cannot be less than Thine without being less than myself. Amen.

 Affirmation for the day: My all for His all--that is life for me.

 

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Sunday--Week 6
Rom. 8:19-21

The Material World Has Meaning & Destiny

    We turn now to another phase of "The Word become flesh." We have been emphasizing "the Word," but what about the "flesh"? The Word becoming flesh has revolutionary significance for the "flesh." The flesh stands for the organized material--the material organized for the use of the person. It, therefore, stands for the whole material universe. This means that the Divine assumes a material body, not as a temporary garment put on and off at will. The word "dwelt among us" could be translated "tabernacled among us," a permanent dwelling.

    This means that the material is not only going to be used for the purpose of the redemption of the spiritual being called mad, but the whole person, his body included, and the whole material universe, are going to be redeemed. The material is just as much the subject of redemption as the spiritual.

    This plants the faith of Jesus squarely in the midst of human relationships--nothing is alien to it except sin and evil. Anything that concerns life concerns the faith of Jesus, for He is life and, therefore, includes everything comprehended under the term life. The fact is that the Christian faith is the most materialistic  of religions, the only one that really takes the material seriously. It starts out by saying that when God created the material universe, He "saw it was good"--the material was God-made and God-approved.

    When Jesus announced the new order, the Kingdom of God, He said that we were to pray that the Kingdom may come on earth and come on earth as it is in heaven. The earth was not to be deserted and destroyed, but to be delivered and dedicated, the scene of the Kingdom of God. The earth, therefore, has a goal and a destiny, and its goal is to be added back to heaven from which it fell. "I saw a new heaven and a new earth"--heaven and earth were to be wedded and both were to be new. That puts faith and hope and optimism at the heart of our dealing with this material world. It has a future.

    O, my Father, I'm glad that Thou dost not despise anything that Thou hast made. Thou hast made it for a purpose and that purpose is redemption. Then everything I touch has destiny in it. So I must touch it with reverence and hope and faith. I thank Thee. Amen.

Affirmation for the day: I shall walk in this material universe as one who walks on holy ground.

Monday--Week 6
Rom. 12:1, 2

The Christian Faith Not A Spiritual Religion But A Life Religion

    We continua the emphasis on the importance of "The Word become flesh" upon the Christian faith and its work in the world. If the Christian faith is the Word become word, then the Christian Church is a teaching institution where we try to learn verbal answers to verbal questions. That is exactly what the church has become in Japan where I write this page. The word for church is "Chaukai," literally, "religious teaching institution," and the pastor is called "Sensei"--"teacher." There you have the set up--a religious teaching institution with a presiding teacher. Christianity is something to be verbally learned. No wonder the church life of Japan is sterile, in large part. Only where it breaks out from this conception does it become vital. It is founded on the Word become word. No wonder in Japan Barthianism has become the prevailing theology; You proclaim the Word, apart from experience. The proclamation of the Word is supposed to save people. But that Word is not the Person--it is the verbal word. And the more abstruse and abstract that Word is proclaimed, the better the sermon is supposed to be. If it is over the heads of the congregation, they sit entranced. And they go away wondering what it is all about. The Word doesn't take shoes and walk--it takes wings and flies, over their heads! It is transcendental, but not transforming. It is geared into ideas, but not into life. Hence, those interested in living pass it by.

    But the Word become flesh puts religion to work in body, mind, spirit, and relationships. "Lo, I come to do Thy will...a body Thou hast prepared me." Where was the will to be done? In and through the body and all its relationships. Jesus taught people, healed people, fed people all as a part of the coming of the Kingdom. "I thought Christianity was a spiritual religion until I heard this emphasis on the Word became flesh. Now I see it is a life religion," said a Japanese pastor. Jesus is life, hence He transforms life.

    O blessed Savior, I need a total Savior for the total life. I am not a spirit, I'm embodied person and need to be saved as an embodied person in all my relationships. I am not saved unless I am saved as a total person. Save me. Amen.

Affirmation for the day: My Christian faith shall be a life religion--everything under its control and redemption.

Tuesday--Week 6
Matt. 15:32-38

The Christian Faith Is Secular Through & Through

    Dr. John Oman says: "The test of a true religion is the extent to that religion is secular." Startling, but true. The Christian Faith is secular without being secularized . It is the spiritual working in and through the material. The sacred is secular and the secular is sacred. Unless our religion functions in material terms, it does not function. We are not ghosts, we are embodied beings and we must function in and through the body or we do not function.

    The two blend in Jesus: Even when Jesus insisted on the supremacy of the spiritual, He also insisted on the material as necessary. He said: "I bid you put away anxious thoughts about food to keep you alive and clothes to cover your body. Life is more than food, the body more than clothes...For all these are things for the heathen to run after; but you have a Father who knows that you need them. No, set your mind upon his kingdom, and all the rest will come to you as well" (Luke 12:22-23, 30-31 N.E.B.). While He endeavored to get His hearers to keep their values straight, saying that the spiritual was all-important, He nevertheless put the material in its place as being important--the Father guarantees your physical needs if you seek first the Kingdom of God.

    The physical needs were met in the Kingdom of God, according to need--not too much, that will burden you; not too little, for that, too, will burden you. Two groups think too much about the material--those who have too much and those who have too little. We need according to our needs--we need just enough of the material so we can forget it and get on with this business of living.

    And this is being verified in life. In a school system dealing with problem children, they found the problem children came out of two classes--one where the young people came out of the class which has more than it needs, and the other from the class which has less than it needs.

    O heavenly Father, I thank Thee that Thou dost know my needs. Show me difference between my wants and my needs. And let me act upon that difference that I may be free to live and live unclogged. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Affirmation for the day: Not wants, but needs shall determine my conduct today.

Wednesday--Week 6
Matt. 7:24-27

The Sign Was A Babe

    We are studying the fact that the Christian faith deals with the total life including the material. When the announcement was made that Jesus was born, the angels said to the shepherds: "And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babe." The sign was a babe. The Mohammedans of India claimed they had seen the name of Mohammed written in the clouds--a sign that Mohammed would conquer the world. The sign was a name written in the clouds. This was the Word become word. But the Christian sign was a Babe--the Word become flesh. And that is the difference between the Mohammedan idea of revelation and the Christian--the Koran was dictated by God. And that would be the Word become word. In Jesus the Word was not dictated from heaven--it was lived our on earth--it was the Word become flesh.

    When Jesus stood on the Mount of Transfiguration there appeared Moses and Elijah talking with Him. Moses represented the Law, Elijah the Prophets, and Jesus represented the New Revelation. The Jewish heart of Peter wanted to build three tabernacles and keep all three on the same level. But a cloud overshadowed them (a cloud overshadows those who put Jesus on the level with others), and a Voice out of the cloud  said: "This is my Son, hear Him." The Law was fulfilled in Him, and the Prophets were fulfilled in Him. But they were not only fulfilled, they were superceded, for the Law and the Prophets were both the Word become word. Jesus was the Word become flesh. Hence, final. The Voice said, "Hear Him," for when  once you've heard the Word become flesh, then the Word becomes word loses its taste. You've tasted the Real.

    Of one modern author it was said: "He wanted to do good in a world of dreams." Jesus was not a dreamer--He was a doer and a doer amid very real relationships. And you always saw something more than the deed. Through the concrete shone the universal. Through the deed of a Man was revealed the heart of God.

    O Jesus, I see Thee and I see more than Thee. Through Thy earthly attitudes and actions shine eternity. I see everything in seeing Thee. Through the earthly lattice of Thy life I see the Face of God, and what I see sets my heart aglow to see more--to see all. I see only glimpses, but I love the Key! Amen.

Affirmation for the day: The sign of my being a Christian will be concrete actions and attitudes.

Thursday--Week 6
Rev. 1: 4-6

The Material Becomes The Meaningful

    The Christian faith accepts the material--and dedicates it. There are messages that seem to say the opposite: "Ye cannot serve God and mammon." True. But it doesn't say, "You cannot serve God with Mammon." If money is dedicated to God along with the soul, then this money is just as sacred as the soul. When Jesus said to the rich young ruler: "Go sell all thou hast and come follow me," what he lacked was not poverty, but following Jesus, and the riches stood in the way of that following. If he had followed Jesus with his riches in his hands ready to give to human need as it arose, he could have followed Jesus.

     The Buddhist monks, disdaining the world, will not touch money--they hold it in a handkerchief so its touch will not pollute them. And when they purchase anything or pay a carfare the clerk or the car conductor picks out the change necessary. But the material put out at the door comes back by the window. We held an Ashram a few days ago in the Buddhist sacred place of Nara in Japan. It was in Nara that the Japanese emperor became a Buddhist and with him all Japan. It is the holy place of Buddhism. And yet in the three great temples which own these sacred places, no religious worship is carried on. They are places for pilgrims and sight-seers to visit and view the huge statues of Buddha--at fifty yen a person! And thousands come every day. Money disdained, now reigns! If you do not dedicate the material, the material will desecrate you!

    So when the disciples said to Jesus: "Send the multitudes away so they can buy bread for they are hungry," Jesus replied: "They need not go away, give ye them to eat." The disciples thought that religion dealt only with the spiritual--let them go to others for the material. But Jesus said to them, and through them to the world: "Religion does have to go with the material--don't wash your hands of the material needs of people, they need not go away, give ye them to eat." So Oman was right; if religion isn't secular, it isn't sacred. It must take in the whole of life--or none.

    O Jesus, nothing really human was alien to thee. Life--or none. Thou didst touch everything with sacredness, and Thou didst touch everything. So we touch everything made sacred with Thy touch. We move in a world hallowed by Thy touch and Thy interest. We thank Thee. Amen.

Affirmation for the day: Today I shall turn all the sordid into the sacred by dedication.

Friday--Week 6
I Cor. 6:19, 20

The Incarnation Universalized

    We said yesterday that Jesus was interested in the poverty of the poor, interested in feeding them. But He was not only interested, He was incarnated in the poverty of the poor. "Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you...for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me. Then the righteous will answer him, "Lord, when...?" And the King will answer them, Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me." (Matt. 25:34-40) Here we see something deeper than His own incarnation in His own flesh. He is incarnate on a Universal scale--every man's hunger is His hunger, every man's sickness His sickness, every man's bondage His bondage. To do t to them is to do it to Him. To refuse to do it to them to do it to Him.

    This broadens and deepens and universalizes the Incarnation. He does not merely have a body that suffers as our bodies suffer--He is suffering in every man's body, hungry in every man's hunger, bound in every man's imprisonment. To suffer in one body--His own--in one thing; to suffer in every man's body is another--and different and breathtaking. It is beyond imagination.

    But we could never have known this universal Incarnation if Jesus had not shown it in a particular Incarnation in a particular body. If it had been written in a book that God suffers in every man's suffering, is hungry in every man's hunger, we would have shrugged our shoulders in incredulity. But having seen it in the Word become flesh, we do not shrug our shoulders--we bend the knee. And we mention it in awe and adoration. It is beyond us, but it grips us and we say to ourselves: The God we see in Jesus would do just that.

    O Divine Redeemer, we do not understand, but we worship. We worship a God who would love like that. And we love Him too--love Him with a love to deep for words. And we love Thee for revealing Him. May our love be kindled at the flame of Thy love. Amen.

Affirmation for the day: The Africans have a greeting: "Are you well?" and the reply: "I am if you." Beautiful?

Saturday--Week 6
II Cor. 5:20, 21

He Became Sin For Us

    We meditated yesterday on the fact of Jesus saying He was hungry in every man's hunger, bound in every man's imprisonment. There was one thing He left out--He could say He was hungry in our hunger, thirsty in our thirst, sick in our sickness, lonely in our being a stranger, bound in our imprisonment, but H could not say He was sinful in our sin. That would be misunderstood. He couldn't say that, but He could do that. He went to the cross and made the identification with us complete--there He was identified with us at our lowest place--the place of our sin. "He became sin for us." He was crucified between two sinners as one of them. So identified with us in our sin that He cried the cry of dereliction which we have to cry when we sin: "My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?" "He bore our sins in His own body on a tree." The identification and, hence, the incarnation were complete. He was identified with our sins.

    But the identification was not quite complete--sin and death are always connected. So having tasted our sins, He would have to taste our death too. The Author of Life became subject to death. There the incarnation was really complete. But having hit bottom He went up--up to the very Throne.

    And we, being identified with Him by surrender and faith, can and do go up with Him. He was identified with us that we might be identified with Him--might partake of His glory. he came down that we might go up.

    So the end of the incarnation is not that He should be identified with us, but that we should be identified with Him--that we should be incarnated in Him, become one with His victory and His glory. He stooped to share. And what a stooping and what a sharing! He held nothing back. And there is only one thing left for us to do--hold nothing, absolutely nothing back. I do just that.

    O Savior and Lord, Thy becoming flesh astounds me. Thou didst go further than I dreamed. And now I'm going further in Thee then I've ever dreamed. I feel Thy destiny within my bones. I love its tingle and its beckoning touch. I follow with all my heart. Amen.

Affirmation for the day: "A Christian is one who cares," so I'm a Christian to the degree that I care.

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Sunday--Week 7
I Cor. 3:21-23

A Drop of Water On A Lotus Leaf-The Symbol For Us?

    If the Center of the Christian faith is not the Word, but the Word become flesh, then the sphere of the operation of that faith is the total life, including the flesh, the material side of life. For in becoming flesh it meant that the total life and its relationships would be the sphere of it operation and redemption. This is different from the Buddhist conception which has chosen the lotus as its symbol--the lotus leaf sits on top of the water, and the water does not soak in but rolls around on top of it, unabsorbed. This is an illustration of the religious man on top of the material but unaffected by it. But even the illustration doesn't illustrate, for the lotus has its roots in the material and is made up largely of water in the structure of its being. No more can man reject the material, for he is in large part material.

    The Greeks affected to despise "the body as an evil, a prison house to which the soul is shackled, a tomb in which the spirit is confined." And Marcus Aurelius, the Stoic, urged his followers: "Despise the body...the whole composition of the body is under corruption." And yet what happened? The Greeks who affected to despise  the body glorified it. Never was the human body so glorified in sculpture as among the Greeks.

    The Hindus and Buddhists say the material would is illusion--maya, like an optical illusion thrown out by a magician. It is lila, sport, a Divine Sport thrown out from Itself, but it has no reality. And yet the Burmans, an ardent Buddhist people, are the most pleasure-loving people of the world. The material is denied and then delighted in. The Japanese identify themselves with nature; the Hindus repudiate nature--maya; the Christians love nature because they love its Author. "All things were made by Him and for Him." That changes our attitudes.

    O blessed Savior and Redeemer, redeem us from wrong attitudes toward the material. For it is here, a part of us. Teach us to live with it. For a part of us is material, and we must know how to get along with that part of us. Teach us to live physically and spiritually as one. Amen.

Affirmation for the day: My body will not be defied, nor despised, but dedicated.

Monday--Week 7
John 1:9-11

Strange But Important Passages

    We come now to an important question: If the Word became flesh, is the flesh made for the World? When the Divine Word took flesh, did He take something alien? Is the flesh an alien or an affinity to the spiritual? A Hindu "holy man" said to me: "Teach me to get rid of my body. It is my enemy." Was he right?

    There are a number of passages in the New Testament which teach that God created the world through Christ. "Created the world through Christ"--when He appeared only two thousand years ago? What do these strange passages mean? The Christian Church has not taken these passages seriously. But if they are true, they are tremendously true--and meaningful and full of destiny. Here they are:

    "All things were made through Him {Christ} and without him was not anything made that was made...He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, yet the world knew Him not." (John 1:3, 10) "But is these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world." (Heb. 1:2) "He is the image of the invisible God,...for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible...all things were created through him and for him." (Col. 1:15, 16) "And there is one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came to be, and we through him." (I Cor. 8:6 N.E.B.) "But it is not true that the body is for lust; it is for the Lord--and the Lord for the body." (I Cor. 6:13 N.E.B.)

    What do these strange passages mean? Do they meant that the touch of Christ is upon all creation? And that everything is made in its inner structure to work in His way? And when it works in His way, does it work well, harmoniously, creatively? And if it works some other way, does it works its own ruin? Are we made by Him and for Him? Are we destined by our very makeup to be His? And when we are His, are we then most our own? I believe we can answer "Yes" to all these questions. We are made for Him as the eye is made for light.

    O Jesus, my Lord, am I fashioned by Thee and fashioned for Thee? Then that changes the whole picture. For then I can do Thy will with my whole being, knowing that my whole being, including my body is made for Thee. Thou art its Home and when I'm in Thee I'm at home. Amen.

Affirmation of the day: My body is made for its Maker and finds its life in His Life.

Tuesday--Week 7
John 3:16-19

Everything Made to Work In Christ's Way

    We saw yesterday some of the passages in the New Testament which tell us in definite terms that everything has been made "by Christ" and "for Christ" and these things include "things visible and invisible"--the material and the spiritual, and the statement reaches beyond this world into the heavenly world and includes  everything there. So nothing in all this universe was left out--everything is made by "by Christ" and "for Christ." That last phrase "for Christ" is important. It is possible to imagine that Christ would make a universe for purposes other than for Himself--a tentative universe to be made and to be destroyed and replaced by a better one. But this passage is definite in authorship and purpose--the universe is made "by Christ" and "for Christ."

    If these passages mean anything, they mean that everything is made to work in it inner structure in Christ's way. If it works in His way, it fulfills the purpose of its creation--it works harmoniously, creatively, and happily. Its very being and the purpose of its being is fulfilled. If it works some other way, it works its own ruin, not by decree from without, but intrinsically; it is ruined by violating the law of its own nature. It is self-destroyed.

    I am convinced that we are predestined by the very structure of our beings to be Christian. Note I say "to be Christian," not "to be Christians," for many of us who are "Christians" in the conventional sense are living against the laws of their beings and are thereby being destroyed, maybe slowly, but surely. I believe that predestination is written not in the inscrutable will of God, as was once proclaimed, but written in our nerves, our blood, our tissues, our organs, our makeup. It is not merely written in the tests of Scripture, but into the texture of our beings. We can live against that destiny if we desire, for we are free, but if we do we get hurt--automatically. When Christ made you and me and the universe, He stamped within us a way--a way to live. His way. and if we live according to that way, we live; if we live some other way, we perish.

    O Father of my being, Thou hast wrought into me Thy ways. Help me to make Thy ways my ways. Then my ways will become the Way. If I am on Thy Way, I am a train on the track running harmoniously and smoothly; but off Thy way, I bump along the ties. Save me. Amen.

Affirmation of the day: I will decide my destiny according to His pre-destiny

Wednesday--Week 7
Luke 15:16-20

Doomed To Be A Saint

    We ended yesterday on the affirmation that we are predestined to be Christian. This passage stresses: "Whom He did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son" (Rom. 8:29). There is an inner predestination to be conformed to the moral and spiritual image of Jesus. That is the purpose and goal of our living. An African chief stood up in a meeting and said: "I'm doomed to be a saint." I think he meant "destined." He saw that there was a destiny in him, and it pointed toward being a saint"--a Christian.

    If what we are saying is true, then the material is made for the spiritual--the "flesh" is made for the Word. And when "the Word became flesh," the Word was coming to His own. "He came into His own and His own received Him not." But whether they received Him or not it was "His own." And not receiving Him meant the doom of the people who did not receive Him. A president of a technical college in Holland in telling about his needs in the "Open Heart" of the Ashram said: "I am the only 'heathen' here--I am not a church member or a Christian." Afterwards, in an interview, I said to him: "You are a marked man. Christ has put His mark upon you. You are His." He said later: "That got me. I knew the mark of Christ was upon me. I felt it in my being, and I knew when I was fighting against Christ I was fighting against myself." When he accepted Christ, it was like a homecoming. He was made the director of the Ashram a few days later. From "heathen" to director in a few days! He was at home in the Kingdom--a natural. It seemed that he had been there all his life. He had been, but he didn't  know it! All coming to Jesus Christ has the feeling of a homecoming upon it. All going away from away from Jesus "sorrowful." Everybody does. Not only estranged from God, but also estranged from oneself. And the universe! And from Life! You are not a home with life, unless you are at home with Life. And Jesus is Life!

    O Life, I dare not ask to fly from Thee. For if I cannot live with Thee, I'll not be able to live with my self nor with life. I'm hemmed in by Grace. And that Grace is Thy love herding me into Thy fold, which turns out to be my home. I'm homesick for Thee. I thank Thee. Amen.

Affirmation of the day: My soul, forget your name, but don't forget this: You are made for Him.

Thursday--Week 7
Rom. 8:22, 23

The Flesh Made By Him And For Him

    We now are ready to come to an important conclusion: If the "flesh," standing for the material, was made by Christ and for Christ, then when Jesus Christ came in the flesh He came to His own. The flesh was prepared for His coming. There was a preparito evangelica--a preparation for the Gospel in the flesh--the material was prepared by Him and it was prepared for Him. Just as the seed and the soil are made for each other, so the material became the matrix of the new order. It was not a resisting enemy, but a co-operating friend.

    The material world responded to Him. It is said in Romans: "For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God...because the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God." (Rom. 8:19, 21.) The whole of lower creation with the touch of Christ upon its longs earnestly for the revelation of the sons of God-longs earnestly that men be Christian. For then men will treat nature more justly and more kindly and more creatively. Nature will share the redemption of the sons of God. Therefore, nature "waits with eager longing," literally "on tiptoe" to see the end of its being, namely, to be Christian.

    No wonder nature, made by Jesus and for Jesus, was responsive to Him. He used the parable, an earthly happening, to express a heavenly meaning. He walked on the water as if nature were riding its Master on its shoulders as a crowd will carry its hero on its shoulders. He turned water into wine, as if to show in one act what He is doing over an extended period--turning water through the vine into wine. When on the Mount of Transfiguration His face glowed with unearthly splendor as if showing in one moment what takes place on a lesser scale when soul and body accord well. He multiplied the loaves to feed a multitude as if to bring to an instant the process of the multiplying a single grain into a hundred. Nature was sympathetic and pliable in His hand as if listening to its Master's voice.

    O Lord of the earth and sky and sea, we thank Thee that Nature heard Thee speak and obeyed instantly, felt Thy touch and knew it was the touch of the Hand that made her. Teach us how to live with the material so that body and soul in accord well will beat our music vaster. Amen.

Affirmation of the day: I have Nature as my Mother, so I shall dedicate and reverence her.

Friday--Week 7
I Thess. 5:17-21

The Two Approaches--The Christian & The Scientific

    Since we have pursued the fact that God created the world through Christ, we are now ready to raise a very big question in religion. The question is based on the fact that there are two great approaches to life: the Christian and the scientific.

    The Christian approach works from Revelation down, and the scientific works from the facts up to conclusions. The big question is this: Are these two approaches bringing us out to two conclusions about life, or one? If you work from Revelation down and from the facts up, do you find life coming out at the feet of Christ? Is life rendering a Christian verdict whichever way you approach it--from Revelation down or from the facts up? Are the God of grace and the God of nature two Gods--or one? These are the biggest questions we can ask about our faith and about our world.

    We as Christians do not apologize for working from Revelation down. We glory in it. When we speak of Revelation, we mean the life and character of Jesus. We do not believe that the Bible is the Revelation--that would be the Word became printer's ink. But we do believe that the Bible that the Bible is the inspired record of the Revelation, the Revelation was seen in the face of Jesus Christ--the Word became flesh. We have a starting point for all our thinking and acting. That starting point is a Person. It Him we see what God is like, and we see what we can be like. And, further, we see what life is like. He is our viewpoint. We view all life from the standpoint of Him. And when we do so, and, thus, have the single eye, the whole body is full of light. There is no situation in which He is not light, and there is no situation in which His absence does not produce darkness. Dr. Huh Shih, the Chinese philosopher once said to me: "You Christians have a decided advantage in that all your ideas have been embodied in a Person." Yes, not only a decided advantage, but a decisive advantage. In all the others the ideas are the Word become word. Only in Jesus has the Word become flesh. "We begin with Him."

    O Jesus, Savior and Lord, Thou art our Alpha and our Omega--our Beginning and the End. We do not know what the end will be, but the beginning is good. For we feel that the last word will be with Thee. Thou art the Christ of the Beginning and the Christ of the Final Word. Amen.

Affirmation of the day: I shall not be afraid of the facts--they will lead me to His feet.

Saturday--Week 7
Acts 4:8-12

Is The Christian Way The Way?

    We repeat--we do not apologize for working from Revelation down. Jesus is God's authentic self-revelation. "He is the image of the invisible God"--"the express image of His Person." In Jesus we have the Key, the Master-Key that unlocks everything in the universe--God, man, life, material, spiritual, individual, and the collective. So we work from Him down to life. In His Life we see life.

    But what about this unfolding revelation that comes through science as it works its way through the facts to conclusions? Are these unfolding facts pointing us in a direction different from the Christian direction? Or are these two approaches coming out at the feet of Jesus Christ? The deepest conviction of my life is that if you go far enough with these two approaches you will come out at His feet, that life is rendering a verdict and that verdict is a Christian verdict.

    In the Acts of the Apostles the Christian way is called "the Way." So that if he {Saul} found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem" (Acts 9:2). "But when some were stubborn and disbelieved, speaking evil of the Way..." (Acts 19:9). "About this time there arose no little stir concerning the Way." (Acts 19:23). "According to the Way, which they call a sect..." (Acts 24:14). "But Felix, having a rather accurate knowledge of the Way..." (Acts 24:22). We usually make "the Way"--unqualified. Is the Christian way the Way--the way to do everything? To think, to act, to b in every collective? Are these just two things in life--the Way and not the Way? And is the Christian way always the Way and the unchristian way always not the way? And are there no exceptions? If that is true, then it is the truth of truths.

    O Father, we ask that Thou wilt hold us steady as we come to our conclusions. We do not be in paradise if it turns out to be a fool's paradise. We want reality and only reality. For there is no refuge save in Reality. Guide us. Amen.

Affirmation for the day: If the Christian Way is the Way, then it must be the Way for me in everything.

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Sunday--Week 8
I Cor. 3:16, 17

We Have Christian Stomachs!

    We are discussing the question of the Christian way as the Way. And we are discussing it as the Way, not by a sovereign decree of God imposed on life, but as something that comes out of life itself--not imposed but exposed--exposed out of the facts themselves. Two and two make four is not imposed on mathematics by decree; it is built into the nature of mathematics. There is a built-in way to live and that way is the Way.

    That Way is written in the Bible, supremely in Jesus who said, "I am the Way," but that Way is written into the facts, and they are more and more coming to the surface. Jesus said, "Thou shalt love."; do the facts stay the same? A man was shot through the stomach. When the wound healed, an aperture was left open so they could look through this aperture and watch the process of digestion. When he was in a good humor and on good terms with everybody, digestion was normal--the stomach blushed a rosy red, the gastric juices would run down the walls of the stomach like sweat down one's face, and the stomach would go into churning movements. Digestion was normal. But the moment he became angry and out of sorts with others, the color of the stomach would change--the gastric juice would stop and digestion would be at an end. Obviously the stomach is made for good will and not ill will. In other words you have a Christian stomach. Feed the stomach with ill will and it will go back on you; feed it with good will and it will act normally and well.

    Jesus said, "Be not anxious." Does the body say the same? I picked up my paper yesterday and read where Roger Maris, striving to hit sixty home runs, found his hair coming out in great chunks. He thought he had an infection. "No," said the doctor, "tense anxiety." So if Jesus said, "Be not anxious," the body, even to the roots of your hair, says the same.

    O Son of God, we see Thy footprints everywhere. We see Thee everywhere, for Thou art everywhere. And when Thou dost come to us, Thou dost come to Thy own. And when we come to Thee, we too come to our own. We are at Home--in Thee. Amen.

Affirmation of the day: Life works in His way, or it doesn't work.

Monday--Week 8
I Cor. 6:12-15

The Kingdom of God Built Into Business

    We are looking at the fact of the Christian way as the Way. An ancient papyrus has a supposed saying of Jesus on it: "Raise the stone and thou shalt find Me, cleave the wood and I am there." Uncover the facts of Nature and thou shalt find Him; cleave the tissues of your body and He is there.

    In Sweden I quoted from the The Way the statement of a great surgeon when he said to me, "I've discovered the kingdom of God at the end of my scalpel--it is in the tissues. The right thing morally, the Christian thing, is always the healthy thing physically." And the comment of a leading economist who said, "I would like to put it this way: 'The right thing morally, the Christian thing, is always the healthy thing economically.'" A Swedish industrial chemist commented, "You're right. In South Africa they put up a chemical plant, investing 100,000,000 pounds in it. They were going to manufacture chemicals and undercut the world in price because they were going to base it on cheap African labor. At the basis of the project was in injustice--an exploitation. In ten years it has never really gotten off the ground--it has fouled up at each turn. it is running afoul a moral law." The wrong thing morally is the unhealthy thing economically. I know that many assume that you can succeed in business if you are crooked. Yes, today and tomorrow, but the third day? No, for the moral universe closes in on the situation and has the last word. I was told by a Japanese businessman that the Japanese have a saying, "Business is like a folding screen--it won't stand unless it crooked." But he added, "We are finding to our sorrow that is false and we are substituting 'Love your neighbor as you love yourself,' or you cannot get along with him." The improved trade of Japan is based on the improved morality in business.

    O Father, we thank Thee that Thou hast not left us adrift--Thy laws are our liberties, our protection against self-destruction. So, Father, give us sense, common sense, that we may see Thy ways and walk in them. Then we shall be free--free indeed. Amen.

Affirmation of the day: If the Kingdom of God is "within" it must be in the total me.

Tuesday--Week 8
John 3:12-14 K.J.V.

Heaven & Hell Are Portable

    We are studying how morality is written in the nature of things. And when we make morality and Christianity identical, we do it, not dogmatically, but according to facts. The highest morality seen on this planet is undoubtedly the life and character and teaching of Jesus and illustrated in His own Person. The adjective Christlike is the highest adjective descriptive of character in any language. So we are not amiss when we make Christ and morality synonymous.

    But to continue. John Hay, the great statesman said, "After trying the various ways for nations to get along with each other, I've found that the only way for nations to get along is to love your neighbor as you love yourself." "But, John Hay, that's Christian." So clear from the international, down through the sociological, on to the economic, on into the physical, and then to the moral and spiritual--all up and down the whole gamut of life, the right thing morally, the Christian thing, is the healthy thing in every situation.

    A girl was deaf and therefore frustrated and unhappy.  I talked to her about surrender of herself to Christ. She did it, and joyously exclaimed, "Oh, surrender, why there is nothing else to do. Why didn't I see it before?" It was natural. You don't have to love your neighbor as you love yourself; but if you don't love your neighbor as you love yourself, you can't live with your neighbor and you can't live with yourself. So God has us hooked. You can't revolt against God without revolting against yourself. If you won't live with God, you can't live with yourself. "e who spits against the wind spits in his own face." Rom. 1:27 says, "receiving in their own persons"--they themselves are the payoff. Again, "God gave them up to a base mind and to improper conduct." (Rom. 1:28). He gave them up--not to outer punishment, but to the punishment of being that kind of person. The punishment was the person, hence inescapable. You can't jump out of your own skin. You are your reward or your punishment.

    O blessed Redeemer, redeem me from myself. For I am my own heaven and my own hell. Heaven and hell are both portable. Let me carry around within me nothing but Thee, therefore nothing but heaven. For where Thou art there is nothing but heaven. I thank Thee. Amen.

Affirmation of the day: I shall wear nothing but heaven in my heart today. The choice is mine.

Wednesday--Week 8
Acts 5:1-6

All Things Betray Thee Who Betrayeth Me

    We pursue the fact that the Christian way is written within us. Therefore morality is not something we can take or leave and nothing happens. Everything happens. Morality is not built up by mores, by custom--it is not built up, but built in. You don't break the moral laws; you break yourself upon them. This is a universe where you get results or you get consequences. If you work with the moral universe you get results--it will back you, sustain you, and you will have cosmic support for you way of life. But f you go against the moral universe, you get consequences--you'll be up against things, you'll be frustrated. "All things betray thee, who betrayeth Me." Some people go through life getting results: others get consequences. You are free to choose, but you're not free to choose the results or the consequences of you choices. They are in hands not your own.

    In India I was talking to a politician trying to get him to give up a relationship with a woman, for he was snarling up his own home and another home--and himself. In order to ward off my appeal he told me of a British general who was challenged by the Oxford Group Movement with its four absolutes: absolute honesty, absolute purity, absolute unselfishness, absolute love. This general was not willing to build his life upon these four absolutes so in order to ward off the appeal said half-humorously and half-seriously that he was going to organize another group movement--the Cambridge Group Movement--and they would have four absolutes, too, but the opposite--absolute dishonesty, absolute impurity, absolute selfishness, and absolute hate. The politician waited for me to laugh, but I looked him straight in the eye and said: "Why don't you organize a movement on absolute dishonesty, absolute impurity, absolute selfishness and absolute hate? If you believe in evil, why don't you make it absolute? Why are you tentative in sin? Why don't you sin with stops out?" He looked at me in surprise and said: "Oh, no, we couldn't do that. You see, it would work."

    O Gracious Father, Thy way will work, but no other way will. Then bring us back to our senses and let us take Thy way and only Thy way. For a mixture of Thy Way and other ways makes a mess and makes us a mess as well Help me to be all Thine and only Thine. Amen.

Affirmation of the day: Things will go to pieces around me if they go to pieces within me.

Thursday--Week 8
I John 3:4-8

Evil, A Parasite Upon The Good

    When the politician mentioned yesterday said to me, "Oh, no, we couldn't do that, it wouldn't work," my reply was, "Then you've given away the case. The only way to keep evil going is to throw enough good around it to make it work. For evil s an attempt to live life against itself, and it cannot be done. So evil is not only bad--it is stupid." I challenge you to build a society on absolute dishonesty, no one would trust another; on absolute impurity, it would rot; on absolute selfishness, no one would  think in terms of another; on on absolute hate, t would be so divisive, so centrifugal it would not hold together.

    Then what conclusion must I come to? This: that every dishonest man is a parasite upon the honesty of some honest man whose honesty hold together that situation long enough for him to be dishonest in it. Every impure man is a parasite upon the purity of some good man whose purity holds together that situation long enough for him to be impure in it. Every selfish man is a parasite upon the unselfishness of some unselfish man whose unselfishness holds together that situation long enough for him to be selfish in it. And every man of hate is a parasite upon the love of some loving man whose love holds together that situation long enough for him to be hateful in it.

    The universe is not built for the success of evil--evil sooner or later destroys itself. The Tamils of South India have a saying, "The length of the life of the best concocted lie is just eight day." A projectile is so made that if it misses its target it explodes of its own accord. Life is made like that: if it misses the mark (Jesus), t goes to pieces. So we can say with Passmore:

                            When all its work is done
                            The lie will rot,
                            The Truth is mighty
                            And will prevail when note
                            Care whether it prevail or not.

    The nature of things sees to it that the lies rots and the truth prevails.

    O God, we thank Thee that Thou hast made it so. So Thy laws are not planted on us like a stamp, they are implanted within us like the water mark in paper, part and parcel of the paper itself. So we can give ourselves to Thee with all our beings, for our beings are made for Thee. Amen.

Affirmation for the day: The universe backs only the good, therefore, if I am sensible I will be good.

Friday--Week 8
John 8:31-36

Three Mathematical Principles

    We are meditating on the fact that the Christian way is written into the constitution of things. A professor of mathematics said to our Ashram group:

                            I've learned three principles in my study of mathematics: (1) In mathematics you must be completely
                            honest. You cannot play tricks on mathematics if you are to get any results. It demands complete
                            honesty of there is frustration. (2) There are no shortcuts in mathematics. You must work out the problem
                            stage by stage and be completely honest at every stage before you arrive at the answer. (3) The answer
                            is in the problem. Because there is a problem there must be the answer or there would have
                            been on problem. The answer is wrapped up in the problem.

    These three principles are Christian principles--(1) Complete honesty and truthfulness--"Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back part of the proceeds of the land?" (2) Faithfulness in the little--"Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much." (3) The problem and the answer are bound up together. "And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus."

    These principles of the Christian faith are to be found in relationships in industry. A management engineer who specializes in human relations says that when he takes hold of a sick business to put it on its feet again he finds that the sickness is not in the business, but in the person concerned. They get snarled up with themselves; they can't get along with themselves, so they project those snarls out into their relationships. They cannot get along with others. So co-operation dies, and the business turns sick. He says he cannot straighten out that business until he straightens out the people, so he sits with executives and heads of departments till after midnight. "Yes, we are snarled up within," they say, "but how do we get unsnarled?"

    O Father, we thank Thee that questions like these drive us to Thee. They make Thee inevitable. For Thou are the answer to every need of ours whether that need be physical or spiritual or social. We are made for Thee and we are restless until we rest in Thee. Amen.

Affirmation for the day: The little things that come up day by day are the testing ground for the greater.

Saturday--Week 8
John 6:66-69

Talked Himself Back Into Being A Christian

    We continue to study of the discovery of principles of Christianity in the necessities of business. The management engineer when confronted with the question of how to get unsnarled is compelled by the necessities to present to the God--a point of reference and loyalty outside themselves. They are snarled up because they are self-centered and hence self-preoccupied. So there must be some center of loyalty outside themselves to which they can be loyal in order to break the tyranny of self-centered loyalty. That center can only be God. Every other center, being human, will let them down and, hence, mortal. "Yes," they say, "but how do we get to God?" Then he has to talk about "conversion," "new birth," a change of heart and life. "How do we get a change of heart and life--a new birth?" Then he refers them to a book like Abundant Living. Here we find a group of hardheaded men sitting to talk about how to straighten out a business and finding themselves running straight into the necessity of straightening out themselves, of finding a new birth, conversion. So not merely the pulpit, but production is saying "Ye must be born again."

    Dr. Henry Link, the psychologist, threw overboard all his Christian beliefs as he studied psychology--Christianity was outmoded. Then he began to try to straighten out people who were tangled in their lives. He found they were self-centered, tangled in the flypaper of self-pre-occupation. He had to talk to them about God--Someone outside themselves to whom they could be loyal. Then he had to talk about conversion and the new birth. Before he knew what was happening, he found he had talked himself back into being a Christian again. Then he wrote two excellent books, The Return to Religion and The Rediscovery of Man. As he faced life, he found Christianity inescapable--life demanded it. If the Christian faith did not exist, we would have to invent it to meet the demands of human nature.

    O Son of the Most High when Thou didst come into a human body and a human world. Thou didst come to Thy very own. It was waiting for Thee as the eye is waiting for light. So when we see Thee we see that for which we are made--our own. Amen.

Affirmation for the day: Life is taking me by the hand and is bringing me out to the feet of Jesus.

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