E. Stanley Jones

The Word Became Flesh

 

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Sunday--Week 9
John 3:2-4

I Still Have Jesus

    A Christian woman lost her son and then her daughter and then her husband. And then to cap it all, she lost her eyesight. The doctors said that the eyes were so badly infected that they would have to be taken out and glass eyes put in. A minister sat beside her bed after she got the news. He told her how sorry he was for her. But she replied, "Brother Wilson, don't feel too bad about it. I still have Jesus. They cannot take Him away." Her Christianity was not in what she had around her but what she had in her. It was a part of her--inseparable.

    Here was a girl who had bad eyesight. It began with the death of her father. The shock of her father's death made her confused. She couldn't see spiritually, so she transferred the spiritual confusion to a physical symptom, and her eyesight went bad; but when she found a conversion her spiritual eyesight cleared up and the physical insight too. When she worked life in a Christian way, it worked.

    I once said to a hardboiled newspaper reporter, "If you don't believe in the Christian way, why don't you put it to the test? Go out and try it out for a week. Think the unchristian thing, say the unchristian thing, act the unchristian thing, and be the unchristian thing in every situation for a week and come back and tell me how you got on." "Shucks," he snorted, "you'd be bumped off before the week was over." If someone didn't bump you off you'd feel like bumping yourself off! Then turn it around. Go out and for a week say the Christian thing, think the Christian thing, act the Christian thing, and be the Christian in every situation and come back and tell me how you got on. I'll tell you now. You will come back and say with joy, "This is my homeland. For once I'm at home."

    O dear Lord, save me from beating my life out in impossible ways of life. Thou art the Life of my life, the Soul of my soul, my All, my Everything. In Thee I live--live to my fingertips and out of Thee life is not worth living. I know. Amen.

Affirmation for the day: Put to the test the Christian way stands up, the unchristian way breaks down.

Monday--Week 9
I Thess. 5:23,24

The Body is For the Lord And the Lord is For the Body

    We mentioned the falling out of Roger Maris' hair during the tensions brought on by trying to break the home run record of Babe Ruth. A Japanese beauty parlor woman told me the same thing in Honolulu. She is an ardent Christian and begins to preach the gospel when she sees a bald spot. She asks what the patient is doing for it and is told the physical remedies being used. Then she says the spiritual remedies are the most important, for most falling hair and dandruff comes from inner conflicts and tensions. She tells of a woman who lost her hair in one week. She had been divorced several times. She surrendered her resentments and hate and her hair came back. A child of ten lost her hair and had to wear a skull cap. Her mother was hating her relatives. The mother surrendered her, and the child's hair came back.

    Sister Lila, a nun and a saint in a Greek Orthodox convent in Jerusalem, was upset and filled with resentments against the police who hurried a member of our team unjustly and undeservedly. She immediately got a violent headache. She surrendered her resentments to God, and her headache left her immediately.

    When the scripture says, "The body is for the Lord and the Lord is for the body," life is a verification of that. The body is for the Lord and when it works in His way it works well, and when it works some other way it works badly. The good is good for us and the bad is bad for us. And the Lord is for the body--He made it and He remakes it whenever it is surrendered to His will. A Y.M.C.A secretary was afflicted with blisters on his hands. Long and varied treatments failed to cure him. I asked, "Are you worrying?" He confessed he was tense and anxious. That was causing the skin affliction. He surrendered himself and his worries to God and was well. For that is what happens to the individual--we live in Him, outside Him we perish. "The Lord is for the body"--in Him it is at its best.

    O Lord Jesus, Thou art for my body and it is rhythmical and harmonious and alive when I walk Thy ways. When I get out of Thy ways, I limp along a rugged way. All things betray me when I betray Thee. I'm grateful that Thou art for my body. Amen.

Affirmation for the day: If the Lord is for the body and the body is for the Lord then they are not alien but affinities.

Tuesday--Week 9
Romans 8:28-30

The Demons of Human Nature Drove Me Back to the Christian Position

    We are looking at the fact that the Christian way is the Way, and that Way is written in the Scriptures and is supremely  and finally  shown in Jesus Christ who is the Way. We saw also that the Way is written in us and in the necessities of human living. I have quoted in another book the statement of Dr. Boss, the head of the International Psycho-analytical Association of Europe, when I asked him how he was able to put his psychiatry and His Christianity together, and his reply: "In the beginning I had difficulty, for I was a Freudian. But the demands of human nature drove me back to Christianity position." I sat up and took notice, for I saw that this was probably the most important statement coming out of psychiatry in this generation. I asked him to repeat it, and he did with emphasis. This is of vast importance, for suppose human nature were demanding one thing for its fulfillment, and Christianity were offering another thing; then we as Christians would be in trouble, deep trouble, life trouble. But suppose what human nature is demanding for its fulfillment and what Christianity is offering for that fulfillment are the same, then they fit as hand and glove, then that makes Christianity inevitable. For what Christ commands human nature demands. His command and our demand are one. So if you work from Revelation down and from the facts up you come out at the feet of Jesus Christ. "He is the heir of all things"--everything must come out of His feet, or perish.

    A biologist heard this expression for the first time and said excitedly, "This biological predestination to Christianity is the most exciting thing I ever heard." It is exciting--so exciting that I wonder why we don't buttonhole everybody we meet and say, "Have you heard the news? You are predestined, biologically predestined, to be a Christian! Eventually, why not now?" If the Universe had a newspaper to give universal news, it should put out an Extra with the above statement as the banner headline!

    O Jesus, my Lord, I know that "every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord," for Thou art Lord even where that Lordship is neglected or denied. "For my heart and my flesh cry out for Thee." And we cannot stifle that cry forever. Amen.

Affirmation for the day: My biological predestination and my personal choices coincide--I am Christian forever and always.

Wednesday--Week 9
Matthew 12:43-45

Vast Neurotic Misery...A Neurosis of Emptiness

    We ended yesterday in commenting on the statement of Dr. Boss that "the demands of human nature drove him back to Christian position." He made another  statement of real importance when I sent him my book Conversion. I thought he would toss it in the corner or write a polite not in reply. But instead he wrote: "This is the kind of book we need. Those psychiatrists who are not superficial have come to the conclusion that the vast neurotic misery of the world could be termed a neurosis of emptiness. People cut themselves off from the root of their being, from God, and therefore life turns sick because it is empty and inane." So life without God is sick because it is empty.

    A Harvard doctor said over the radio recently: "The health of this country is being endangered by aimlessness and lack of purpose." Then to be healthy one must have aim and purpose. But without the Christian faith the aims are low aims, and purposes are low purposes. And low aims and purposes also create ill health. So the Christian faith is necessary to health. Paul writes to the Corinthians: "In my letter I wrote that you must have nothing to do with loose livers." Then he explains what a loose liver is: "I now write that you must have nothing to do with any so-called Christian who leads a loose life, or is grasping, or idolatrous, a slanderer, a drunkard, or a swindler" (I Cor. 5:9,11 N.E.B.). The life of sin is "loose"--it has no cement in it, so it falls to pieces mentally, spiritually, physically and socially. We speak of a man who is going down hill: "He is going to pieces." He is. Concerning Jesus the Scripture says: "He is before all things, and in him all things hold together" (Col. 1:17). Outside Him all things fly apart, and that "all things" includes the total person. The King James Version says, "All thing cohere in Him." Outside of Him all things are incoherent, senseless, aimless, and purposeless. Hence, there is an undermining of health. For we are made by the Purposeful for the purposeful.

    O Blessed Father, Thy love has written Thy law not in graves stone but in our flesh. Thy law is a part of us. Therefore we cannot revolt against Thy law without revolting against ourselves. We set organ against organ, and the revolt is chaos. Save us. Amen.

Affirmation for the day: Jesus said: "He who does not gather with me scatters"--life forces break down.

Thursday--Week 9
Hebrews 12:14-17

In My Mouth Sweet As Honey

    We are studying the fact that "the body is for the Lord and the Lord is for the body." So the flesh is His own; when the Word became flesh, He entered His own. This version puts it: "He entered his own realm, and his own would not receive him (John 1:11 N.E.B.). "He entered his own realm"--so the flesh was "His own realm." And when "the flesh" is in Him, it is in its "own realm," as a fish is in its own realm when in the water. A fish out of water is grasping for life, so men outside of Christ grasp for life and do not know they are grasping for Life." There is not a single situation when that situation is not "His own realm" and is at home when in Him and out of home when out of Him.

    To put the matter another way: "In my mouth it did taste sweet as honey; but when I swallowed it my stomach turned sour" (Rev. 10:10 N.E.B.). Evil does taste sweet as honey in the mouth, but when you rejects it as alien. A woman came to our Ashram with very great skin eruptions on her arms. She had to wear very long sleeves. She had deep resentments against her bullying employer and was worrying over a court case because of an accident. She surrendered her resentments and doctors had found she had thirty-five allergies, things she couldn't touch or eat. She surrendered to God her resentments against her family, and every one of the allergies dropped away. "Ragweed?" she says, "I can go to bed with it. Peaches? I used to think the acid was in the peaches, then I found out that the acid was in me. Strawberries? I can eat them by the quart." A Japanese doctor in Hiroshima, Japan, said: "The first place wrong emotions and attitudes hit is the stomach. Along about twenty years of age, examinations and uncertainty about the future upset the stomach, and then again about forty--these are the upset ages." On this trip I've eaten in one day squid, octopus, raw fish, two birds, raw egg, and anything else set before me. My digestion will handle almost anything if I am Christian in my attitudes.

    O Master of my life, I thank Thee for this freedom in Thee. We are made to live in Thy world. And we are at home in it when we are at one with Thee. We find Thee and find life. And we love life when we love Thee. We are no longer soured with life. I thank Thee. Amen

Affirmation of the day: Life is all that it can be expected to be--with Jesus.

Friday--Week 9
John 1:12, 13

Born To the Kingdom

    W are considering the fact that the Christian faith and the soul and body are not alien but affinities. Jesus said "the earth brings forth fruit of itself"--the seed and the earth are affinities, made for each other. So the seed of the Kingdom and the soil of my life are fitted for each other. Another passage speaks of those "born to the kingdom" (Matt. 8:12 N.E.B.). We are born to live in the Kingdom as a child is born to live in this world of ours. When a child is about to be born, we can imagine its fear of its being born into a world of this kind--away from the securities of the womb. But everything is awaiting the baby's propensities. If the stomach needs food, it is there; if the brain needs knowledge, it is there for the taking; if the heart needs fellowship, it is awaiting it in the family circle; if the soul needs God, He has been in the whole process. Everything the baby needs is provided for before it arrives. So when we are "born to the Kingdom," everything we need to live by is already provided in that Kingdom. "My God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:19).

    Jesus said, "My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work" (John 4:34). Is God's will our food? And is our will, against God's will, our poison? Yes, for our will set against God's will poisons our usefulness, our happiness, our selves. But when we do God's will, we are fed, we are at our best, we have a sense of well-being, and we are alive all over.

    A young minister in Japan said in the Overflowing Heart at one of our Ashrams, "I didn't want to be a holy man--I've wanted to be human. But I've had a brooding sense of emptiness. I didn't want to receive the Holy Spirit, for I was afraid of it--afraid it would make me queer. But last night I surrendered myself to Jesus, and this morning I awoke without my usual sense of gloominess. I felt strange. Now I've been crucified with Christ, and now I share His resurrection. I'm alive--and human."

    O Jesus, blessed redeemer, Thou dost make us more human than ever when we are Thine. We walk the earth as though we posses it--and we do! We belong to Thee, and everything that belongs to Thee, including the earth, belongs to us. Glory be! Amen!

Affirmation for the day: God's will is food, my will against God's will is my poison--remember that, O my soul.

Saturday--Week 9
Ps. 38:3-8

The Health of the Body Depends Upon the Soul

    We look again at the fact that the "flesh"--the material world--was made by Him and for Him. "These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the prime source of all God's creation." (Rev. 3:14 N.E.B.) Jesus is the "Amen"--the last word! Whoever has the first or the intermediate word, Jesus always has the last word. He is the "Alpha"--the Christ of the Beginning, and the "Omega"--the Christ of the Final Word. He is the Amen! And He is "the prime source of God's creation." His touch is upon all creation; everything is made to work in His way and no other way.

He who formed our frame
Has made man a whole;
And how the health of the body
Depends upon the soul.

    There is another passage: "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.). "All things came to be, and we"--"All things" and "we." Things and persons are made to operate in His way. We have thought that things are neutral, can be used in any direction--good, bad, or indifferent. But they are not. This pregnant line of poetry expresses the fact that things have a bias: "all things betray thee who betrayeth Me," and that bias  was put there by "Me"--by "Jesus Christ through whom all things came to be." The revised Standard Version's "God works in everything for good with those who love Him" is better than the King James, and yet the old had a truth in it: "All things work together for good to those who love Him." "All things work together for good"--there is a bias toward good in all things, put there by their Author. If people cut down forests from the mountains, then floods will ruin the valleys where the exploiters live. The law is written in the constitution of things.

    O Father God, Thou hast hedged us about to save us from ourselves. Thy laws are Thy love--Thy preventive to protect us from ruin. The rules in this school of living are hard, but they are redemptive. Help us to have sense and obey them. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Affirmation for the day: Since Jesus is "The Amen, prime source of God's creation," He shall be the prime source of all my thoughts and acts.

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Sunday--Week 10
John 3:3-10

Man is Made for Conversion

    We came this week to something inherent in the Christian faith and inherent in us: conversion, new birth. When the Christian faith says: "Ye must be born again," and "Except ye be converted and become as little children," many think that this "must" and this "except" are imposed from above arbitrarily--God laid down the condition for entrance into His Kingdom, and you can take it or leave it. He as Ruler of the universe has the right and the power to impose those conditions. But as we work from Revelation down and from the facts up, both are saying: "Ye must be born again."

    A British psychologist put it in these important words: "Man is made for conversion." The very makeup of his being demands conversion, a new birth. Why? Because man finds himself an incomplete person in an incomplete world. God apparently created the world incomplete. He left it imperfect so man in helping the Creator to complete the creation would help to complete himself in the process. God after creation looked upon the universe which He had created and saw "it was good"--not perfect, but "good" for the purpose He had in creation, namely, to make beings who would grow in His likeness and be perfect as created beings as He is perfect as the Creator God. So to grow into that likeness man would have to be converted--converted from what he is to what he ought to be.

    If the necessity of conversion is inherent  in the necessity of growth into the Divine Image, that necessity is doubly reinforced by the fact that man has corrupted the raw materials, which God has put into his hands--including especially himself. He has used  the good things and has made them into the bad by using them for wrong ends. He has perverted God's entrustments. He has "sinned and come short of the glory of God." That perversion needs conversion! Conversion is conversion from perversion. It is inherent.

    O Father, I know that life is wrong at its center until it is right with Thee. We are bumping ourselves against the system of things until we make peace with Thee. So teach us to live by teaching us how to live with Thee. In Jesus' dear Name. Amen.

Affirmation for the day: If I fight conversion, I fight with the law of my being--I fight myself.

Monday--Week10
I John 3:7-10

Sin Is A Cancer

    We have quoted the British psychiatrist who said, "Man is made for conversion." This means that until man is converted, he is less than a man, he is beside himself. And yet people have the fear of conversion, lest it make them queer. A pastor said, "Call me a liar, abuse me, but don't call me pious." Piety and being less than a man were synonymous. But a Christian conversion brings you back to the normal, according to the Norm, Jesus, and makes you truly natural.

    We are made for change. A doctor who researched in cancer said that cancer cells are cells turned selfish; they refuse to serve the rest and demand that the rest serve them. They have broken the law of loving your neighbor as you love yourself and have loved themselves only. Hence, instead of being constructive they have become cancerous. Sin is a cancer in the personality, hence unnatural. This same doctor told me that there are layers of skin and the lowest layer is constantly dying into the second layer--it loses its life and finds it again. As long as this process of dying to live keeps up, the skin is healthy. But when the lowest layer begins to refuse to surrender its life to the second layer, and saves its life, it begins to die--the first sign of the skin getting old. Thereafter, it is on its way to death. The layer refuses to love its neighbor--loves itself only and loses its life. The law of life is change upward, and when we refuse to change upward, decay and death set in.

    Sin is an unnatural intrusion. And yet some think it natural. A passage is quoted: "Among these we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of body and mind, and so we were by nature children of wrath" (Eph. 2:3). But note: "And so"--by following the desires of body and mind another nature, a false nature is built up. We produce that unnatural nature. God created us good.

    Dear God, save us from building up a false nature and calling it natural. thou hast created every organ, every tissue, every nerve for Thyself; and when they work in Thy way, they work--they are natural and harmonious and creative. Bring us back to Thyself and hence to ourselves. Amen.

Affirmation for the day: When I sin I am not a man; I am less than a man.

Tuesday--Week 10
Matthew 18:1-4

The Steps To Conversion

    "Man is made for conversion." These are the stages through which a person gets to conversion. (1) Doubt--fear of change. When the people came and saw the demoniac now "clothed and in his right mind and sitting at the feet of Jesus, they were afraid." Afraid of sanity! We are so accustomed to the insanities of our evils that we are afraid of the sanity of the new. (2) Darkness--the doubt and fear bring on darkness. And that darkness deepens day by day. (3) Despair--as the darkness deepens, despair sets in. We see no way out of this descending spiral. (4) Decision--we decide to try Christ. "If He is a Savior He will save me--I'll try Christ." (5) Dawn--the moment we turn to Him, hope lights up our darkened skies. He is the Dawn. (6) Deliverance--chains fall off, old habits are broken up and remade into new patterns, a new man emerges. (7) Delight--a weak word describing a strong, deep joy which takes possession of the total person--he becomes joy-filled. (8) Development--a desire takes possession of one to grow, to be and do something, become creative.

    "Man is made" for these eight steps, and when he takes them he comes to himself, as the prodigal son did. Sometimes these eight steps are telescoped into one creative moment. A man who had been in a high position in government, ran for high office, then became a businessman, then an alcoholic. He set out a four o'clock in the morning to drive the five hundred miles to our Ashram--and set out half-drunk. His wondered if he would ever get there. He arrived half-drunk and disturbed the open meeting. But the next day he was soundly converted. He called up his wife and said, "You'll probably not know me--everybody says I'm so changed and I am." When I saw him a month later I asked him about the battle with alcohol, and he replied, "The question hasn't ever arisen. It's gone. I have been and am almost deliriously happy." One moment of acceptance of Grace, and he and his entire world were new.

    O Lord of Change, make me totally changed person--me and my world. For when I submit to and accept this change I feel I am submitting to my inner destiny as well as Thy will. So in their coinciding I find life and find it more abundantly. I thank Thee. Amen.

Affirmation for the day: I shall be the word of conversion become flesh.

Wednesday--Week 10
I Cor. 6:9-11

A New Name--"After"

    "Man is made for conversion." We ended yesterday with the account of an alcoholic coming to himself and his real destiny in conversion. We said that the last step in conversion was development. In conversion there is an awakening of the total person--body, mind, and spirit. One might during the Ashram after the conversion of the alcoholic mentioned yesterday, I asked for volunteers who would offer themselves--first, for full-time Christian ministry; second, for the mission field; third, as full-time workers as laymen, through their occupations. He stood up on all three! He explained that he was ready to be a minister, a missionary, or a full-time worker as a layman--and meant it. I urged him not to decide his lifework suddenly, but to circle, say for a year, like a homing pigeon gaining its homeward directions, and then decide. But he has already committed himself to go to a theological seminary to prepare himself for any one of the three. Before his conversion he was "beside himself," another person, now he is himself, fulfilling the destiny of his being.

    An African after his conversion took the name "After" as his real name. For "before" he was another type of person, only "after" did he begin to live. Everything happened "after," so he had to have a changed name to express the changed person. The Africans give names to visitors after studying their characteristics. I have been humbles by my new names and have tried to live up to some of them. One they gave, "Reconciler," is the one I love most and am challenged by it most. Another was so overstated that it was the word become word, not "the Word became flesh," for I knew it didn't apply!

    But when the soul is converted, he awakens as from a bad dream, a nightmare, as one who has recovered from a dreadful sickness, and worse, from death. The Scripture describes it as a passing "from death to life." Only now you must spell life as Life.

    O Jesus, we sit at Thy feet, clothed and in our right minds, and we look into Thy face and know we see the face of our Redeemer. We are startled at the change--so changed, so new, and so altogether unmerited. We will spend our days in telling all around the story of Thy grace. Amen.

Affirmation for the day: Henceforth I shall be an illustration of "after," not "before."

Thursday--Week 10
John 5:1-8

Wouldst Thou Be Made Whole?

    "Man is made for conversion." Dr. Starbuck, the psychologist, says, "Every life is stunted unless it receives this metamorphosis called conversion in some form or other. If the Church allows this to fossilize then psychology when it becomes truly biological will preach it." Note: "psychology when it becomes truly biological"--when psychology does preach it, then it is not biological--it has departed from the science of life. It has departed from life. If psychology in not preaching conversion is departing from life, how much more is religion departing from Life when it fails to preach and fails to produce conversion. It has lost its right to be called Christian, or its right to be considered alive, for it has departed from life--hence from life. It is "twice dead" and shall be "plucked up by the roots." "For every plant which my Father had not planted shall be rooted up." When life is not fulfilling its destiny, it is on its way to death.

    But the moment we find conversion we find life. Withered life begins to live. Take this case:


    "I had been working as a social worker when in 1945 I had a severe depression. I saw a psychiatrist, was hospitalized, and had electric shock treatments. I left the hospital with the depression sufficiently lifted enough to eat and sleep, but the days stretched ahead and the appeared endless and futile. I never missed church. Somehow that one of the week was more endurable than any other. One day the minister spoke on John 5: "Wouldst thou be made whole?" Something began working in me. Did I want to get well, or did I want to be the object of pity, completely dependent on my patient and loving family? The assurance came that if I wanted to be made "whole" He would supply the power; I gave Him the affirmative answer and the healing began. The next morning I got up so full of energy and purpose I felt ready to burst. I scrubbed, waxed, and polished all day. I read the New Testament. It was new! Now the days were full of adventure and joy. Within a week I was back at my job.

 

    She was herself because His!

 

    O Master of life, Thou hast come to bring life and bring it more abundantly. When we are in Thee, we are automatically in life. Out of Thee we are automatically out of life. In Thee we pulsate with life, alive in every cell and tissue and nerve. Evermore give us This Life. In Thy Name. Amen.

 

Affirmation for the day: The crux of the matter is here: Do I want to be made whole sufficiently to commit myself to wholeness?

 

Friday--Week 10
3 John 9-10

 

Troublemaker or Troubleshooter?

 

    "Man is made for conversion." Even Freud got a glimpse of this fact and gave this definition of conversion: "The only kind of change in life which means anything, because it transforms everything in its path, is that which changes peoples' thinking, their deepest convictions, that which makes them see the world in a different way. This doesn't happen often." True, it doesn't often, not from his premises and from his procedures. Because when he left Christ out, he left out Life. Therefore his method is proving more and more sterile. No wonder Freud was pessimistic about man: "In the depths of my heart, I can't help being convinced that me dear fellow men, with a few exceptions, are worthless." But the Christian never looks on anyone as worthless. He believes in conversion. For instance, in Africa a woman of eighty listened to the Gospel. It awakened her though she was blind and illiterate. She came to the missionary and asked him to underscore John 3:16 in a French Bible. She sat near a school, and when the boys would come out she would ask them what it meant. When they said they didn't know, she would tell them out of her experience what it meant to her. Forty-four Christian workers came out of her work, most of them known as Madame Dundjee--she was a person!

   

    A beautiful church in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, is made out of bits of waste stone. The Christian church, in general, is made up in large measure of waster material--material that would have been wasted in conflicts and futile living had it not been converted into contributive forms. Here was a wife who was always complaining about everything. Then the light dawned. She was converted. Now instead of complaining she began to take up things as they arose and began to solve them. Then there was nothing to complain about. She is now a troubleshooter instead of a troublemaker.

 

    O Jesus, Thou dost make the nobodies into the some bodies, the waste material into a temple of God. Help me to pick up the broken fragments of my life that nothing be lost and put them into Thy hands. For Thou dost use everything--use even me! Amen.

 

Affirmation for the day: Outside of Jesus I am wasted, inside of Jesus I am wanted.

 

Saturday--Week 10
Phil. 3:12-14

 

The Basic Direction of the Organism is Forward

 

    "Man is made for conversion." "Personality tends toward the state we call mental health, handicaps by way of acculturation notwithstanding. The basic direction of the organism is forward." Here Dr. Albert C. Outler says two things about the human personality: it tends toward health and its basic direction is forward. This fits exactly with the statement that "man is made for conversion."

   

    For conversion is a change from sickness to health. The personality is sin is guilty and is unhealthy because of that guilt. So the guilty soul, and consequently the sick soul, tends towards, long for, health, longs for conversion--conversion back to health. So conversion is the fulfillment of that basic urge toward wholeness, toward health, toward salvation.

 

    Take the case of a paramount chief in Africa. He had seven wives and could not be baptized because of it. We arranged with his agreement that he live with one wife and support the rest, so he was baptized on Easter. His tribe of 1,500,000 was about to go to war with another tribe in the Congo. As a token of reconciliation, the chief sent his best leopard skin to the chief of the other tribe by a missionary. Then he said to his own tribesmen, "If you go to war I will take off my crown and my chieftain robes and will be no longer your chief." It brought peace. Conversion brought total health and a forward urge to his total life.

 

    O Jesus Lord, we thank Thee for this urge within us toward "health" and toward the "forward." We thank Thee for this "upward pull of God in Christ Jesus," this something that will not rest this side of being a changed person. We respond to that pull. Amen.

 

Affirmation for the day: Sin is the backward look; goodness is the forward look.

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Sunday--Week 11
Mark 4:26-29

The Seed and the Soil are Made for Each Other

    We have seen how the "flesh," the material part of our personality, has been prepared to receive "the Word." The Word and the flesh are made for each other as the seed and the soil. The seed rejects many things in the soil and selects only those elements akin to its own nature. So the Divine Word selects what is akin to its life in the soil our lives, but rejects others. The Word rejects unnatural sin and selects only the truly natural good. Conversion is the response of the soil to the invasion of the Divine seed, the Word,. Just as a plant takes hold of elements in the soil akin to its own nature, and transforms them and transfigures them and makes them into the image of the plant, so the Word takes hold of the flesh and spirit and takes them up into the purpose of the Word and makes them into its own likeness.

    For instance here is foul, impure mud in a pond. On the bosom of the pond is a lotus flower: one in the mineral kingdom, the other in the plant kingdom--a higher kingdom. How can that lower kingdom get in to the higher? By trying? By lifting itself by its bootstraps? By education about the higher life? By joining a group to study the higher life? No, none of these, except they lead to one thing--surrender! The roots of the lotus flower come down and say to the impure mud: "Do two things: be willing to cease to be mud and surrender your life to my life. Let me have you." And the mud does just that. It surrenders itself to the life of the plant, and it is lifted and transformed into the beauty of the lotus flower. It is born form the above. Except the mineral kingdom be born from above, it cannot see the kingdom of the plant. That mud is made for conversion. If it isn't converted into a higher life of the plant. So we are predestined to conversion--predestined to rise from the kingdom of men to the Kingdom of God.

    O Divine Word, we are the offspring of Thy purpose. And that purpose reaches down into our flesh. It was fashioned by Thee and for Thee. I feel that destiny pulsating within me, and when I respond I respond to the Homeland pull. I thank Thee. Amen

Affirmation for the day: All day I shall respond to "the upward pull of God in Christ Jesus."

Monday--Week 11
I Cor. 13:1-3

The Highest Value--Love

    We come now to discuss something that goes to the root of the question as to whether the Christian Way is written within us. The highest thing in the Christian faith is undoubtedly love. Is love the deepest thing in man? Is it written into the necessities of his life? In the deepest necessities? So much so that we can say, "No love, no life?"

    Is love the highest thing in the Christian way--its chief value emphasis? It was a great moment in the moral and spiritual history of mankind when a lawyer stood up and asked Jesus which was the greatest commandment in the Law. There were over 3,600 commandments to choose from. Would He pick the wrong one, or a marginal one? If He should choose the wrong one, then humanity following his emphasis would go wrong with Him. But if He chose the right one, humanity would go right with Him. The ages held its breath--for it was a breathless moment. The moral and spiritual fate of humanity trembled in the balance. He went unerringly to the highest: "Thou shalt love." He picked out love as the highest value. And He added to the value of that highest value when He defined the supreme and subordinate objects of that love. He replied: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength...The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:29-31 N.E.B.)

    First, love to God. And not an occasional, marginal love, but, as we have noted, a love that includes the total being. Love Him with all your heart--the affectional nature; with all your soul--the volitional nature; with all your mind--the intellectual nature; the total man to love God totally. And Mark adds, "with all thy strength"--the strength of the emotion, the strength of the will, the strength of the mind. And the second is: Love man as you love yourself. That is the highest of values: Love to God and love to man.

    O Jesus Lord, we thank Thee that Thy divine finger went unerringly to the highest. Nothing higher can be imagined or thought. Here we come to an ultimate in values. We do thank Thee that Thou hast revealed it. Help us to practice it. Amen.

Affirmation for the day: If the highest value is love, then I shall value that highest value above all values.

Tuesday--Week 11
I Cor. 13:4-7

Three Great Interpreters Took the Torch From His Hand

    We saw yesterday that the Author of our faith put His finger on the highest value as love to God and man. Was that a unique position in the Founder but sidetracked in His followers? For a time it seems as though Paul, His chief interpreter, is going to make faith the supreme value. But when it comes to the crucial choice, he says: "Now abideth faith, hope, and love, but the greatest of these is love." So he took the torch from His Master's hand and held love up as the supreme value. John, in his epistles, looks as though, in putting the capstone on Revelation, he will choose knowledge as the supreme value. He did use the word "know" thirty-six times in the epistle, for he was writing against a background of Gnosticism--the so-called knowers. But when he comes to the supreme emphasis, he makes love the supreme emphasis, using the word forty-thee times. And he wrote something that had never before been written in human history. And when he was about to write it, all heaven broke out in applause: "At last they've go it!" And that phrase was: "God is love." Others had said, "God loves," but no one had ever said: "God is love" in His essential nature and cannot do an unloving thing without violating His own nature.

    But that could not have been said by John had he not looked in the face of Jesus Christ. Only then could he come to that conclusion. And Peter also takes the torch form His Master's hand when he too makes love supreme in this climax: "Supplement your faith with virtue, virtue with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with fortitude, fortitude with piety, piety with brotherly kindness, and brotherly kindness with love" (II Peter 1:5-7 N.E.B.). So the four great interpreters of the Gospel--Jesus, Paul, Peter, and John all make love the supreme value.

    Dear Lord and Father, we thank Thee for this revelation of Thy nature as love. Beyond that revelation the human race can never progress. This is it--and forever! And now we know where we head in. Help us to head in with all our beings. Amen.

Affirmation for the day: I shall be in the line of succession of these interpreters and interpret life as love.

Wednesday--Week 11
I Cor. 13: 8-13

Is Science Coming Out to the Supremacy of Love?

    We have seen that love is the supreme value in the Christian faith--consistently so. So if we work from Revelation down, we come to love as the supreme thing in God and man. That is the verdict of Revelation. What is the verdict as we work up the other way--from the facts up and out to conclusions? Is some other value turning out to be the supreme value as we apply the scientific method of experimentation leading to verified knowledge? Or is scientific investigation leading to the same conclusion that love is the supreme value in human nature?

    In one of my books, Christian Maturity, I took the position that the human personality is as mature as it is in love, and no more. One may be mature in culture and knowledge, and in ability, but if he is immature in love he is an immature personality. And the psychologists are increasingly agreeing. Dr. Carl Menninger, head of perhaps the outstanding psychiatric center of America, in Topeka, Kansas, wrote a book on Love Against Hate. He took the position that love is the constructive element--love builds up and hate tears down. When he came to the conclusion that people are in his institution because they had not loved or been loved, it was an epoch in his thinking. For psychiatry had been founded on the idea that insight is the cure-all for human personality problems. Give the patient insight as to his trouble, and he is automatically cured. But mental institutions are filled with  people who have insight as to what is the matter with them, but they are still there. Insight is not necessarily curative. When the diagnosis shifted, the technique had to shift. These people were there because they hadn't loved or been loved. They must love them into loving.

    O Jesus, Love of my Soul, let me to Thy bosom fly. Love me into loving. If I can't love with my love, let me love with Thy love. Then I will love the unlovely. For Thou didst love the unlovely. Help me catch Thy spirit. Amen.

Affirmation for the day: As Christ is loving me into loving so I will love others into loving.

Thursday--Week 11
I Cor. 12:31; 14:1

Love Was The Key
 

When Dr. Menninger gained this new insight, he called his staff together and said in essence: These people are here because they haven't loved or been loved. That is their disease. All else is symptoms. So we will have to love them into loving, will have to make all our contacts with the patients love contacts, from the top psychiatrist to the caretaker. If you go in to change an electric light bulb in a patient's room, you must make your contacts love contacts. They tried it for six months, and found at the end of that the period of hospitalization had been cut in half. The patients were getting well in half the time it took under the old insight. Love was the key. And that was important for our quest. For insight is the Word become word, but love is the Word became flesh. You cannot take love as a word; you must take it as an attitude and an act, or you haven't got it. Love makes itself into arms and hands and feet or it isn't love.

    When someone asked Dr. Menninger in a forum in Tucson, Arizona: "Doctor, what are you to do if you find a nervous breakdown coming on?" You would have thought that the great psychiatrist would say, "See a psychiatrist," but he didn't. He said instead: "Go to the front door, turn the key in the lock, go across the railway tracks, and find someone who needs you and to do something for him." For a nervous breakdown is caused by being interested in yourself and no one else. Love breaks that tyranny of self-preoccupation and makes you free.

    Another book entitle Love or Perish, by another psychiatrist, Dr. Smiley Blanton, emphasizes that same thing. If you don't love you perish--not in hell necessarily, but now as a personality. Nothing will hold the personality together except love. So the title means what it says, "Love or Perish"--now.

    O God, we thank Thee that Thou hast made it so that we cannot violate the law of love with violating the law of our own beings. Give me the sense to love and love lavishly upon the worthy and the unworthy. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Affirmation for the day: Love will be the key to every situation I shall meet today.

Friday--Week 11
I John 4:7-11

The Deepest Thing In Human Nature--To Love & Be Loved

    Dr. Smiley Blanton, mentioned yesterday, says that "after sitting for forty years in my office and dealing with disrupted people I've come to the conclusion that they are disrupted because they haven't loved or been loved."

    When I asked Dr. John Plokker, head of a large mental hospital in Holland, what was the deepest necessity in human nature, he answered without hesitation, "To love and be loved." He said that in his hospital they put on extra nurses to have what they call "Petting Hours"--hours when they give the babies not merely service, but love. In the Bellevue Hospital in New York they found  that babies, though given scientific care feeding, died to the tune of 32 per cent the first year of a minor ailment. They decided that the babies were getting everything except love. So they sent out a call for "Love Volunteers"--women who would come in and love babies so many hours a day. Hundreds of women volunteered, not only for the sake of the babies but for their own selves. For with  their own children gone from home they wanted and needed someone to love. The superintendent reporting on results said, "We could no more do with these 'love volunteers' that we could do without penicillin. Here is a vitamin, love, without which babies die to the tune of 32 per cent the first year of a minor ailment and 22 per cent are so damaged that they must be classed as idiots."

    An abandoned child, now in a hospital, didn't grow, was underdeveloped. A nurse in her spare time began to love it. The child began to blossom and bloom. On the instruction sheets many doctors write as instruction to nurses: "T.L.C."--"Tender loving care." Chiropractors have as their motto "L.L.L."--"Lather love lavishly." From various angles necessity is taking men by the hand and is leading them to life's deepest necessity--love!

    My Gracious Lord, how can I thank Thee enough that the highest is pulling us--pulling us to love, and to accept love? We thank Thee for this transforming pull. We yield ourselves to it and in so doing we find ourselves different. We thank Thee. Amen.

Affirmation for the day: My chief occupation today--to accept love and to give love.

Saturday--Week 11
I John 4:16-19

I Decided to Do It Just For the Fun of It.

    We continue our study of the sovereign necessity of love in the human personality. For ten years a patient in Sweden lay on her bed, disliked by everybody. For two years she never spoke a word. A Christian nurse decided what she needed was love, and gave it to her. In a few days she spoke for the first time, "How kind you are." In two weeks she was out and well. Today she is well and useful and respected and loved! Her malady was that she did not receive love or give it. So she was an invalid for ten years--loved-starved!

    A government hospital was set up alongside a mission hospital, obviously to kill it. The government hospital made no charge, the mission hospital did. But the mission hospital is growing by leaps and bounds. The people flock to it, for there they get love. And without love patients get well slowly or not at all.

    One would hardly expect this from Bertrand Russell, the skeptical philosopher: "Of all forms of caution, caution in love is perhaps the most fatal to human happiness." He was never more profoundly right. I have quoted at length in Christian Maturity what he said before Columbia University when he declared in essence: "What I'm going to suggest is so simple that it sounds absurd. But I see no remedy for the world's ills except love."

    A taxi driver was so polite and helpful that a friend asked him about it. He replied, "Well, I heard of a taxi man who was kind to passenger and found that he was remembered in the man's will for $65,000. So I thought I would try it--somebody might leave me something! But after trying it I found it was so much fun that I decided to do it just for the fun of it--reward or no reward." He found he was made for love and when he gave it the reward was in himself.

    O Jesus, my Savior and Lord, I thank Thee for the privilege of loving Thee and loving those whom Thou dost love--everybody! Help me this day to form the habit of loving and of loving lavishly. And know that the reward is in myself. Amen.

Affirmation for the day: I shall ask for no reward save the reward of loving.

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Sunday--Week 12
I John 4:20, 21

What is the Nature of Life?

    We continue our mediations on love being central in Christianity and central in human nature. In On Being Human Ashley Montagu asks: "What is the nature of life? [The answer] can be expressed in one word, co-operation--the interaction between organisms for mutual support in such a way as to confer survival benefits upon each other. Another word for the same thing...is love. Without co-operation, without love, it is not possible to live--at best, it is possible only to exist." This is interesting and vastly important, for in asking, "What is the nature of life?" he answers, love. But Jesus picked out love as the highest in God and deepest in man, and scientific investigation echoes Him and says that the highest thing in life is love--no love, no life. So the word of Revelation and the word of scientific investigation are the same--love. Q.E.D. may be added!

    But there is this difference: Jesus said, "I give you a new commandment: love one another; as I have loved you, so you are to love one another." (John 13:34 N.E.B.) The phrase that makes the difference is, "as I have loved you." This is the Word became flesh. It gives a criterion of what love is--it is to love as Christ loved. That puts content into the word love. Science can call it "co-operation" or "mutual support," but that leaves love thin and undefined. For "co-operation" and "mutual support" may mean co-operation and mutual support in any enterprise supposed to bring benefits upon each other--good, bad, indifferent. But "as I have loved you" gives a standard, sets by example. So no human exhortation to love is sufficient  unless it is seen what we mean by love in the Divine Exhibition. The Word made flesh must illuminate the Word become word. Science is earthbound by earth meanings without the Divine Revelation of heavenly meanings.

     O Jesus, Thou hast put new meaning into everything earthly by Thy earthly life. Now we see earth in the light of heaven. And what meanings! In and through Thee everything is different. And everything is full of hope. We thank Thee, thank Thee. Amen.

Affirmation for the day: If the word of love becomes flesh in me today I shall be vital.

Monday--Week 12
I John 5:1-3

Love is the Answer to Human Living

    We continue to look at love as inherently necessary to human living if that life is to be called life and not tragedy. Here is Dr. Victor Frankl, a psychiatrist, writing in From Death Camp to Existentialism, the story of his life in German war camp. Out of that environment and experience he says: "Then I grasped the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love." Here is high intelligence and tragic experience coming to a Christian conclusion, namely, "that salvation is through love and in love." This from a man who is apparently not a Christian. Life is taking everybody by the hand who will be lead and leading them to Christian conclusions. Life is rendering a Christian verdict.

    Dr. Pitirim Sorokin is an outstanding sociologist at Harvard University and has organized a department of sociology to have research into the effects of love, and "altruism," as they call it, in the affairs of nations and society and individuals. They have produced thirteen books on this subject. He said: "My investigations have led me to the conclusion that love is the answer to human living."

    Then we hear this word from Dr. Adler, a famous psychiatrist: "I suppose all the ills of human personality can be traced to not understanding the meaning of the phrase, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'" But Jesus said that two thousand years ago, and psychiatry comes along and says, "If you don't understand that you do not know how to live." And note he said, "all the ills of human personality"--that is sweeping and conclusive. And yet it comes not from a scholar's study, but from a clinic dealing with human ills.

    Comte was the author of Positivism, certainly not a Christian movement, and yet three principles of that movement are: "Love, order, progress." For where there is no love, there is no order, and hence no progress.

    O Lord and Father, Thy children are learning, through trial and error, that Thy way is their way. Help us to learn it speedily lest we destroy ourselves before we do. We are foolish and break Thy law of love and get hurt in the process. Teach us to be wise and live. Amen.

Affirmation for the day: If love s the answer to human living, then that answer is within my capabilities for I can love.

Tuesday--Week 12
Revelation 2:2-5

To Gain or Regain The Capacity For Love

    We continue to look at the centrality of love--look at it as the facts of life slowly emerging are pointing to the thing that is central in God and central to the Christian faith and is proving to be central in man. Albert Outler in Psychotherapy and the Christian Message, says: "Analytic therapy is essentially an attempt to help the patient gain or regain the capacity for love. Again: "The psychotherapists have come to wide agreement that love is the only force that can cope with libido." "Love is the sovereign specific for human ills; yet love cannot be legislated or evoked at will." "Man can no more generate love by his own powers than he can generate his own true being." "Human love which is not response to divine love is, therefore, self-referring, self-interested love which enlightenment can direct but cannot reform."

    This is interesting and important: "To help the patient gain or regain the capacity for love"--"love is the only force that can cope with the libido"--"Love...cannot be legislated or evoked at will"--"Human love which is not in response to divine love is self-referring, self-interested which enlightenment can direct but cannot reform." So enlightenment, or insight, which has been and is the working hypothesis and power of analytic psychotherapy, is powerless to reform the self-centered libido. That can come only in response to Divine Love. And so we are driven straight into the arms of the Word became flesh--the Divine Love reaching down. But that divine Love doesn't merely reform--it regenerates! A woman who was having trouble with sex--the libido--went to a pagan psychiatrist who said: "Your sex urge is too heavily loaded--distribute the load, take up smoking and drinking and that will lighten the load of sex." She did and was more frustrated than ever. She saw the utter and complete bankruptcy of this suggestion, surrendered herself to Christ and was delivered from all three bondages: cigarettes, liquor, and sex!

    O Jesus, my Lord, Thou art the sovereign remedy for all our ills, for Thou art Love and only Love. Thou canst expel the drive of the libido toward the lower and convert it into the higher, into Love itself. Then we are free--free indeed. I thank Thee. Amen.

Affirmation for the day: Where there is no love there is no life--only death.

Wednesday--Week 12
I Cor. 3:18-20

Barren Intellectualism

    We are studying the supremacy of love in human nature and the supremacy of the Divine Love in changing human nature. A man who was widely experienced in dealing with alcoholism said that he had never seen a case of alcoholism cured by purely psychiatric methods. Unless Christ, it leaves the patient helped at the edges perhaps, but unredeemed at the Center--the self-preoccupied libido holds the center. That center must be surrendered to something beyond itself--to God, through Christ. Love for Christ expels the lower love--the lower love is converted from eros, self-regarding love, to agape, the other-regarding love. You cannot get rid of one desire except to replace it by a higher desire. Psychiatry with its barren intellectualism, when it offers insight as the remedy, finds itself giving light on life, but powerless to give life to life. It lacks the God-in-Christ reference and the God-in-Christ power to change love, and therefore, life. It is moonlight, not sunlight.

    A psychological counselor teaching counseling in a Christian institution said he was going to get a divorce from his wife on the ground that he had grown up and was mature and she had not grown up and was immature. But he was personally disrupted and constantly took tranquilizers. Dependence on tranquilizers was a sign of his maturity! Tranquilizers are the refuge of bankrupt medicine when they know no God-in-Christ.

    A nurse of thirty-eight years' experience said: "This country is being turned into imbecility and dullness by tranquilizers, taken because of any national crisis or any personal trouble." The love of Christ is not a tranquilizer, an opiate; it is a stimulus--"By all the stimulus of Christ." He converts all our desires to higher ends--stimulates them with His own love and power. Then we are so taken up with the love of Christ that the expulsive power of a new affection drives out the lower. And that works to the degree that we make it work. This is emerging as "the sovereign remedy." There is not there on the field.

    "O Love that will not let me go I rest my weary soul in Thee." Where else should I go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And those words can become flesh in me. I can love with Thy love when I cannot love with mine. So I turn to Thee to be filled--filled with love. Amen

Affirmation for the day: "The sovereign remedy"--love--is so simple, so at hand, so available that we marvel that everyone doesn't use it.

Thursday--Week 12
Matt. 5:23-26

I've Found My Father Again

    We have been studying love as the deepest thing in man and the sovereign remedy for all our ills. Dr. Eric Fromm, who in his personal view of life leaves God out, nevertheless says, "Love is the answer to the problems of existence." The weakness of his position is that love has no cosmic backing--it is not rooted in God, hence it is a frail flower growing out of human soil. Even with that handicap Fromm, as a psychiatrist, sees that "love is the answer to the problems of existence." Take some very tangled problems and see how the skillful hands of love untangle them.

    Estelle Carver tells of a very intelligent and beautiful girl who was filled with hate for her father. She hadn't spoken to him for five years. "I could gladly kill him." Estelle Carver said, "Will you go home and pray the prayer: 'God bless, Daddy?' "I couldn't," she replied. But she did. One day he stood with his back to the fire. Obeying an impulse she ran and threw her arms around him. They wept in each other's arms. "I've found my father again. I'm so happy and so is he," she wrote. A note from the father: "I understand you have been the instrument of our reconciliation. I thank you." Restrained, but it told worlds. There was simply no way out of that tangle except one way--love. A human love, buried, was brought to life by a divine love through prayer.

    Here was a woman ill for fifteen years, twenty-eight hospitalizations. She was full of resentments, but she gave them up and was cured and is well. A lack of love wrought havoc. Love cured her. Here was a wife who was very superior to her husband. But she found she was wrong about him. She went to him and confessed it on her knees. They went into each other's arms. He has never touched liquor since. Love cured him--and her--and them!

    In one of our Ashrams a little boy of six and a little girl of five came across the dining room hand in hand and said, "Brother Stanley, may we ask you a question? What is the Christian attitude?" I could scarcely believe my ears! But I replied: "To love everybody, everywhere." They said "Thank you" and walked back hand in hand.

    O God, forgive me that I use infected hands in dealing with human problems--infected by methods other than love. Wash my hands, my heart, my life in the disinfectant of love that I may be healing in every situation I tough. Wash me thoroughly. Amen

Affirmation for the day: Washed, I shall every situation today with the disinfectant of my love.

Friday--Week 12
Matt. 10:11-13

I'll Be The Better For Giving It

    We are looking at the effects of love in human relation and personal lives. A young pastor in Obihiro, Japan, was obviously a man of deep devotion to Christ and possessed a rich personal experience of God. He had lost his own mother and had a stepmother against whom he revolted in resentments. Someone got him as a non-Christian to go to church to see some slides. As he entered, the first slide he saw was "God is Love" in Japanese. It struck him deeply. "God is Love"--and would forgive him? This haunted him and lead him to be a Christian. He decided to go into the Christian ministry and entered a theological seminary. He read books on philosophy and found his faith undermined. He thought of suicide, so he left the seminary to go to the slums where Dr. Kagawa had lived and worked and suffered. Here he saw alcoholics, drug addicts, the down-and-outs transformed and made into new persons by the power of love of Christ. His faith came back again, and now he is radiant and on fire. He lost his faith through the Word become word, the philosophies, but regained it through the Word become flesh--transformed human lives.

    A cultured and refined woman came up to me after an address on love, the deepest thing in human nature, and said, "Your message touched something in my heart this morning and awakened something within me. I'm going home and love h-- out my husband. If he responds, good, but if he doesn't respond it will still be good, for I'll be the better for giving it!"

    In general, one out of four families in America break up in divorce. (Now 1 out of 2 families) Among church members, one out of fifty. When they both read the Bible and pray, one out five hundred. Obviously to expose our self to the Bible with its revelation of God in Christ awakens love and maintains love and helps hold the family together. A woman said she couldn't go back to her husband. Her doctor said, "Don't try to make your husband good. Make yourself good--be the best wife, mother, daughter-in-law. Love them all." She did, and won her husband and saved the marriage.

    O Savior, save me from the worst sin of all--the sin of not loving. And save me from the sin of loving only those who love me. Give me a love unlimited. But I can only do this as I love with Thy love. My love is limited and breaks down. Give me Thine--abundantly. Amen.

Affirmation for the day: "Love them all"--no exceptions, and no limitations.

Saturday--Week 12
Matt. 6:12,14,15

Observe The Golden Rule in Driving

    The policy and practice and attitude of love is the only thing in this universe that can't lose. For if the one loved responds, well and good; if that person doesn't respond, it is still good--for you are the better for having given the love. Jesus said: "Let your peace rest upon a city and if a son peace is there he will receive it, but if he doesn't receive it then let your peace return to you again." "Let your peace return to you again"--you are more peaceful for having given the peace. So give out love and only love, for you are born of the qualities you habitually give out. If you give out hate, you become hateful; give out criticism and you become critical. Give out love and you become loving. The payoff is in the person.

    A woman was about to have her home broken up by another woman. But she was converted and began to pray for this woman. This woman called her on the phone, she was weeping: "Can you help me? I know you must hate me." "No, I don't. I'm praying for you," she replied, "co come to see me." And she did again and again. Her husband had walked out on her and had gone to another woman. In that tangled situation, the whole thing a mess, there was only one person who was whole and intact--the one who had surrendered herself to Christ and had loved even in defeat. But she was not defeated personally for she is radiant and happy.

    If love of others is the way out personally, it is the way out in tangled social relations. The Sociology Society in Luck now, made up of non-Christians, for the most part, has as its motto: "Do unto others as you you would  that men do to you." On the back of buses in Cleveland, Ohio, is the sign: "Observe the Golden Rule in Driving." So whether it is tangled relations in family life, or in the sociological relationships on a wider scale, or in the snarled traffic of a city, the rule of love is the rule of life, and there is no way out except the love way. And this from experimentation.

    O Christ of the Galilean Road, Thou are fast becoming the Christ of every road. For on every road we meet Thee and everywhere thou art authoritative. It is Thy way or chaos. And the alternatives are sharpened year by year. Life is leading us to Thy feet. We thank Thee. Amen.

Affirmation for the day: Today, I shall put myself in the other man's place and treat him as I would like to be treated if I were in his place.

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