If we could get to heaven by following Jesus he did not need to die for us. So often we get so busy trying to follow Jesus that we forget that we can't do it. It is not about us and what we do, It is all about Him. All I can do is quit trying and by faith know that he did it for me and receive it. I know we know that but often I forget and have to stop and start trusting again. Ed
14 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God[SUP][a][/SUP]; believe also in me. [SUP]2 [/SUP]My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? [SUP]3 [/SUP]And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. [SUP]4 [/SUP]You know the way to the place where I am going.”
Jesus the Way to the Father
[SUP]5 [/SUP]Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
[SUP]6 [/SUP]Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. [SUP]7 [/SUP]If you really know me, you will know[SUP][b][/SUP] my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
[SUP]8 [/SUP]Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”
[SUP]9 [/SUP]Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? [SUP]10 [/SUP]Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. [SUP]11 [/SUP]Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. [SUP]12 [/SUP]Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. [SUP]13 [/SUP]And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. [SUP]14 [/SUP]You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit
[SUP]15 [/SUP]“If you love me, keep my commands. [SUP]16 [/SUP]And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— [SUP]17 [/SUP]the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be[SUP][c][/SUP] in you. [SUP]18 [/SUP]I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. [SUP]19 [/SUP]Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. [SUP]20 [/SUP]On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. [SUP]21 [/SUP]Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”
[SUP]22 [/SUP]Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”
[SUP]23 [/SUP]Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. [SUP]24 [/SUP]Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.
[SUP]25 [/SUP]“All this I have spoken while still with you. [SUP]26 [/SUP]But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. [SUP]27 [/SUP]Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
[SUP]28 [/SUP]“You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. [SUP]29 [/SUP]I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. [SUP]30 [/SUP]I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me, [SUP]31 [/SUP]but he comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me.
“Come now; let us leave.
By looking inward, through meditation, prayer, contemplation and soul searching,… in the stillness of our own hearts, minds and spirits. When we find Him, we also find the Kingdom of God and our true selves.
His will and our will become one.
If all we ever do is focus, dwell on and become obsessed with our own personal human shortcomings, flaws, mistakes we’ve made and what we *can’t do*,… we become paralyzed by guilt, fear and doubt. It’s an easy trap to fall into and set by Satan. On the other hand, if we shift our attention towards the positive,… look for the good within ourselves (and others) and focus on what we *can do* to help make the world a better place, right now, with what we already have,… then we are on the right path.
... If we stop making excuses like, "I'm not good enough" or "I'm not worthy" or "I can't".
I’ve often wondered, if maybe the good little things we do are much bigger in God’s eye’s than we give ourselves credit for. We may not always fully appreciate ourselves, but I know someone who does… our Friend and Helper, deep down inside each of us.
You can get to heaven by following his words and teachings . Its all a matter of faith , you either believe or you don't. Most people find Jesus after a tragic event . I first encountered Jesus in 1965 Valley of death Vietnam..
he saved my life, and for that I will always accept and be Faithfull to his teachings .......... Bubba
It was very different for me. There was no tragic event. It was curiosity and a thirst for knowledge. One thing led to another and I found Jesus, (or He found me), in a quiet, calm, safe and unexpected place,... inside the stillness of my very soul... deep in meditation in bed, half asleep. He asked me for a special favor, which I cant remember and never could. It was hidden from me...
He chose me! He appeared before me in my bedroom. At that moment all I could say was "Why me?", while choking on my own tears and that's about all I remember. Whatever it is and when that day comes, I pray God gives me the strength and courage to do it. I am willing...
I'm just plain old Tai and don't have all the answers. However, after that experience everything started making a lot more sense. All the parts of the puzzle starting fitting together better.
Life did not get easier for me. In many ways it got harder, but I had gained more confidence and courage. I knew I was not alone and that someone very special had/has faith in me. I've dealt with problems since then, that only I could. It had to be me. There was no one else available, that could do the job.
I still don't know what the special favor is/was, maybe it's something I've already done,... or maybe not. Maybe it's something I'm doing it right now. I may never know for sure, but the important part for me, is just making myself available, no matter what the circumstances are.
... Jesus had/has been with me all along, ever since I can remember.
I want to thank you all for the replies. I was not saying I can't do things, "for I can do all things". I was speaking more of motive, the why behind the do. Am I doing this thing to be pleasing Jesus or am I simply living and loving and obeying. When you are in a hard place, a place of testing and seclusion, it is sometimes hard not to start looking in for the wrong reasons. Yes I believe in doing His work and that we are able. I just never want to try to gain what we already have.
Your Brother, Ed
Yes, ultimately we are saved by grace through faith. If we truly know and love Jesus, we do what we can to please Him...
He asked me a favor, as a friend asks a favor of a friend. It wasn't a command and He gave me a choice whether to do it or not. My salvation was never at stake or in question, and I simply wasn't concerned about that. It wasn't about my salvation and I never felt that my relationship with Jesus was at stake.
The motivation is pure Love!
In my contemplations, I keep coming back to what I was thinking about the small things we do out of love. They are like planting seeds or creating a spark. We may never realize or see how great some of the small things we do actually become.
Jesus was with me and in me from the beginning, but something changed for the better when I realized Jesus within myself.
Parts of my story might seem a bit confusing. It’s actually a very long story and even I still get confused sometimes. I’ve tried to put it down in a way that might help some people on their spiritual journey, but the story is so long with so many twists and turns, it‘s very difficult to put down in just a few words.
I know this thread isn’t about me but let me share just a few more things… I'll make it as short as possible.
I’m not a new Christian and my story really starts from about the time of my birth. I don’t like labels, and calling myself a Christian isn’t important to me. I’m using that word to help simplify it.
I was baptized Christian in an Episcopalian church shortly after I was born. I don’t remember it, and can’t say I experienced or learned anything from it. I’m not ruling out the possibility that it did something though. My Mother believed it did.
At about 12-13 years old I became born again, or at least I sincerely prayed the typical type of immediate conversion prayer with a total stranger. The simple way it was put to me was nearly impossible not to go along with. Again, nothing changed. Nothing happened that I could perceive or experience. I don’t rule out the possibility that something happened though.
Between the ages of about 15 to 23 I studied many religions and spiritual disciplines, but never officially joined any.
At about 24-25 I became involved with an evangelical church and had myself re-baptized. Again,… nothing.
Several years went by and I eventually got myself excommunicated for sharing some of my personal views and revelations. They were not much different than what I’m trying to express right here, but the words didn’t come out right and they were very quick to judge. This wasn’t an official excommunication. I was told that I could attend the church, but could not speak in the church or get involved with it‘s inner workings. I felt very low, unappreciated and not really welcome during that time. Eventually, I left that church and no longer considered myself “Christian“ or *like them*. I never officially renounced it. I just didn’t know... Was it me or was it them? Was I some type of threat to them? I didn’t see what I had done wrong. I had done exactly what they instructed me to do, but they didn‘t like the outcome. Some of it went against established church doctrine and dogma. Were they any different than the Pharisees?...
I never gave up on my search for the truth and the Holy Spirit never left me.
I wasn’t finding the answers I was looking for and started searching outside Christianity again and learned a lot about religion in general… I practiced “secular spirituality” on my own.
It wasn’t until I was about 50 (now I’m 58), that, >I realized Jesus within myself< and had the experience I described. It ALL seemed to take at once and I was overwhelmed by all of it!... to the point of tears. Things changed for the better,... on the inside.
I’m sure it’s different for everyone, but that’s my story. Take it as you will. I'm still sorting through it myself. There's a lot there. I hope something positive can be gained by it...
Sounds very familiar yet different. I to grew up in the church in a family very active in the church. I went forward at age 7 and they told me I needed to think about it some more and sent me back to my seat. So for the next month or two I went forward every sunday and they let me be baptised. I remember not wanting to go home at lunch time and just wanting the preacher to keep on preaching. But by my teen years it all seamed empty, I never did not believe, It was just distant to me, I got into partying and Got married. A couple years later it all went nuts my wife and dad died in car wrecks two months apart. I partied harder for a while and then settled down and got married again. We started going to church for her sons sake and I got back to God again. Could not get enough of him or his word. She got mad because I was reading and praying so much and left so I went to bible collage. went on a few mission trips to asia. Now we take care of my new wifes (almost 17 years) autistic brother. Have not been able to go to church for a few years now and when we did everyone stayed away. I keep looking for that more you are talking about, I know it is there and I know it will come. Just wish there was some way I could get to it instead of waiting for it.
I believe you will find what you are looking for inside yourself and it will become very real. The only advice I can give you is just keep yourself opened and available for it,... keep looking, keep listening, keep knocking at the door, keep asking, keep waiting, keep praying, keep believing and never give up. It will be worth it. You are on the right track and what you are seeking is very close at hand.
For me , I was a marginal Christian .Raised a Roman Catholic, still am . Studied the Bible for3 hrs a day for 8 years in grade school , was a alter boy . I always believed in the supreme being . But, my faith was never tested . Its kind of like telling someone you saw a flying saucer , no one believes you until it happens to them .
I am not equating God with flying saucers It is just an analogy . I never truly believed until I felt his grace, love , and power .. and got a direct answer to my prayers . It was like a cool breeze on a bright sunny day .. I thought my heart stopped ...... Bubba
That’s so awesome Bubba! Maybe after that, your faith doesn’t need testing. I can’t think of too many times when mine wasn’t being tested. Consider yourself blessed.
I’m not a practicing Catholic, but my wife of 20 years is a full blown Roman Catholic. We originally got married down at the court house. About 6-7 years ago she decided she wanted her sacrament of marriage, so we redid our vows in church with a priest. I had to jump through the hoops, out of love. I guess that makes me Catholic by marriage. It made her happy. Now she’s really stuck with me! LOL
Thanks One and Bubba-san It is good to hear how others have worked their way through it all, or should I say how He worked you through it. You have both encouraged me and I pray you both are blessed as well. Ed