Salvation is Action – Within, Without and All About

I have titled this message “Salvation is Action –Within, Without and All About.”  In the preparatory season of Lent wherein we believers soberly assess themselves, meditate on the teachings of the Saviour Wayshower Jesus and seek to celebrate in purity His victory over death and the sins and tribulations of this world, it will be for us to share in the wondrous accounts of the tremendous works He accomplished in three short years.  He perfectly demonstrated that salvation is action, on all three levels of our triune nature — body, soul-mind and spirit.  It is doing and receiving good that God be glorified in all of life.
New thoughts-testaments-brought to humanity through a Saviour, prophets or other inspired beings always bring opposition, for they threaten the status quo, and change does cause some trepidation in even the faithful; adjustment to the previously unknown requires confidence and courage even as we see it is for the best.  Those with power and prestige, satisfaction in their lifestyle, do not want it disrupted!  As Jesus instructed His disciples on their mission, He said, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth, but a sword”, signifying the cutting away of misconceptions, which were imprisoning humankind, by the sharp word of truth that would free them and bring them the peace and prosperity so deeply desired in the heart and soul that remember the heavenly bliss from which they sprung.
Shortly thereafter, the Pharisees (or religionists) who detested His teachings, challenged Jesus by asking Him to produce a sign (or phenomenon) to prove His authority; Jesus answered:  “An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of the prophet (Jonah):
“For as (Jonah) was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
“The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it:  because they repented at the preaching of (Jonah); and, behold, a greater than (Jonah) is here.
“The queen of the south (Sheba) shall rise up in judgment with this generation and shall condemn it:  for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.
“When the unclean spirit is gone out  of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.
“When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.
“Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept and garnished.
“The goeth  he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and  dwell there:  and the last state of that man is worse than the first.  Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.” (unquote)
Salvation is action – the ever onward and upward movement of accepting truth and living it.  Rituals and complacency without the daily infusion of spirit do result in a worse condition than before, for it closes the mind to the real change that becoming the truth must generate.  If we do not consciously seek progress after an enlightening experience, we shall undoubtedly revert to old patters of familiar thought and strengthen them by renewed attention (taking on seven other spirits-worse than before).
I share with you a somewhat amusing but poignant story:  A self-assertive, cell phone-in-the-ear type of woman was closely following a car which abruptly stopped at an intersection when the light turned to yellow rather than racing through which would have allowed her to try to beat the odds that the signal would not turn red before she could get through.  She reacted by honking her horn, shaking her fist, and yelling invectives at the absolutely legal and wise driver ahead.
When the traffic light turned green, both cars moved through the intersection and she immediately heard a police siren bidding her to pull over.  The officer approached her window and she demanded to know what she had done wrong.  After calmly checking her registration and driver’s license, he quietly replied:
“Madam, I was right behind you when the light turned yellow and the driver in front of you obeyed the traffic rules and stopped.  I noted the emblems on your car – a fish with the names of Jesus emblazoned on it and two bumper stickers proclaiming He is the way of salvation and love.  Then when you so violently responded to the lawful driver, I was sure you were driving a stolen car”
Oh!  How our beloved Saviour longed and longs for we humans to be  born again into the authority and joy of a Christed being, filled with confidence and purpose, peaceful warriors of God and Good    .  I use the word “warrior” because this earth is a learning place, subject to many challenges created by erroneous understandings and self-centered attitudes of yet unawakened souls.  Large numbers do not want to hear all of the teachings – those that conflict with so-called pleasurable, stullefying habits.  It takes a spiritual soldier to apply the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth to himself and thus be prepared to go forth to declare to others that which is unpalatable to human egos but nectar to those who are willing to be made whole.
Jesus spoke of the dry places a soul walks through as it is cleansed through the refining of life’s experiences, and the necessity of filling the void with not only the positive understanding of higher ways of conduct, but also connecting with the Flow of God Life and those who dwell and serve therein.  We must come to know we are a vital part in a magnificent Grand Plan, seek our rightful purpose, give our all to it, recognize the same for all others and always be helpful in whatever way best forwards divine activity.  In this attitude, we draw fellow workers to sustain and assist, both in the seen and the unseen.
The Lenten Season would not be complete without this parable, given in Jesus’ final year on earth as He sat down to eat with sinners and publicans and immediately drew criticism from the Pharisus and scribes. He said, “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?
“And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
“And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbors, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.
“I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
“Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it?
“And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbors together saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost.
“Likewise, I say unto you there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.”
It is well for we seekers, teachers, preachers, disciples, apostles, and warriors of Christ–for we each are all of these things–to think on and envision the great beings and powers in the higher realms who are working right beside us, lending their might and love to our rightful endeavors.We are not alone, but compassed by everlasting care and guidance.
Salvation is action-within, without, and all about! I had to smile at the additional parable of Jesus concerning the woman losing one of her ten pieces of silver and the industry with which she went about finding it-lighting a candle to illumine every dark place and then sweeping the whole house. It brought to mind that the first day of spring begins this coming Sunday. Why the connection? Well, we humans think of spring cleaning, tidying up winter’s debris in yard and garden, painting, restoring, renewing and planting. As do the angels of God and the hosts of heaven rejoice over one sinner brought home to the fold, so do we peoples of the world find goodness in the first new growth after winter’s snow.
The days of longer light does cause stirrings in the human body and nature. With me, every year I seem to feel the urge to change something in my house-to rearrange or beautify it in some way. A new houseplant, a towel set or a little knick-knack seems to satisfy my creative urges. We live in a material world and it is spiritual to appreciate things that are lovely and in balance wherever found. Order and beauty are a salve to the soul and of the spiritual nature. It is impossible to have authority over disorder.
One of the most familiar accounts of our Savior literally taking action is of His overthrowing the tables of the money-changers in the temple at Jerusalem. It is interesting that the Gospel of John relate this as happening at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, shortly after His first miracle of turning water into wine at a marriage feast in Cana of Galileo. The gospels of Matthew and Mark record the same event as taking place on the Monday of the last week of His earthly life. Perhaps this type of purging occurred twice; I quote from John’s writing: “After this (the first miracle of the wine at Cana) He (Jesus) went down to Capernaum, He, and His mother, and his brethren, and His disciples: and they continued there not many days.
“And the Jews Passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
“And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:
“And when He had made a scourge of small cords, He drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changer’s money, and overthrew the tables;
“And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not My Father’s house a house of merchandise.
“Then answered the Jews…What sign showest Thou unto us, seeing Thou doest these things?
“Jesus answered…Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.
“Then said the Jews, forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt Thou rear it up in three days?
“But He spoke of the temple of His body.
“When therefore He was risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this…and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.”
Much is to be gleaned from this scriptural account. The way of life that leads to salvation (or safety, which is the root meaning) is not for timid; we must be willing to do the right thing no matter what the temporary cost, speak up and out, but always from a heart of love and compassion. Nothing is more loving than to help another to know the truth.
Listen to and imagine the authority of a Christed Being! Right there at the beginning of His ministry, Jesus foretold the culmination-His resurrection. How wondrous is our destiny that me, too, should know our purpose, the plan of our lives, and he fearless and at peace, knowing that no person, place or thing can really deny the fulfilling of our rightful expression nor do us harm.
Let us begin, this very day, to see ourselves as victors, marching forth to serve and joy with the Great Ones, truly believing that we are in the company of angels, alive in the Spirit of God, within, without, and all about!