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A Search For God 1 - Summary
Summary of the First 12 Lessons of A Search For God.
This summary is from Lesson 13: Opportunity
Lesson 1: COOPERATION
Cooperation is making ourselves a channel of blessings to others.
Each day, each hour, each thought, is an opportunity to give.
But what can we give if we have nothing?
A smile, a kind word, a healing thought,
these we have and can give.
Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have,
but what I have I give to you.
In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk."
We must begin our service here and now.
Live so that Christ is presented to all who meet us.
Christ went about doing good, every day was a chance for
a material manifestation of His spiritual ideal.
If you follow Christ's example
this should not be a burden,
because you have comfort in His words,
"Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one
of the least of these my brethren,
ye have done it unto me"
Cooperation must be put into the pattern of our daily lives.
Through simple thoughts and acts
we prepare for the greater things ahead of us.
Lesson 2: KNOW THYSELF
Talents of our souls can be applied in everyday life,
The awakening of our spiritual forces and soul talents within
makes us more useful in a material world.
Awakening our inner spiritual talents means
we are presenting spiritual truths and laws.
As we develop, there will come urges and aptitudes previously unknown.
As we develop, calls to service will come.
May we be ready and willing.
Each trial met and overcome is a means toward self-development.
Each experience is an opportunity to test, to train, and to strengthen us.
It is only little by little that we are able to overcome all things.
"In seeking to know that opportunity given to us in the present time,
it is one thing to live that there may be presented to another
that which will open another's opportunity;
and it is another thing for oneself to recognize and use the opportunity
in self's own development."
Do whatever in yourself that you know to be right,
though it may make you an outcast to your neighbor.
We should know self well enough to realize that the fault is within us,
and that we have within just what we see in others,
else how could we recognize it?
We must open the door to our inner selves and let in the Christ light,
Let our wills be one with God,
Listen to God's voice.
Heed God's call.
To know self is good.
To know self to be one with God is even better.
Lesson 3: IDEALS
Spiritual Ideals manifested on earth is an opportunity
"Each and every soul must come to the consciousness
of being a service in the activities of the soul
and what the soul worships in the infinite sphere or spiritual force."
Christ, who is the way, the Truth, and the Light, is the highest ideal.
By holding to any lesser ideal for thought and action means
we build a fence around ourselves;
we confine ourselves to conventionalities;
we block the gate to service.
We must be free.
Free to think our own thoughts,
Free to live our own lives.
This freedom must be born of an attunement with an unlimited idea.
"Know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
What is Truth?
"If you remain in me and my words remain in you,
ask whatever you wish and it will be given to you.
This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit,
showing yourselves to be my disciples."
"Apart from me you can do nothing."
Without Christ, we could not of ourselves even recognize our opportunities,
so filled would we be with ourselves and our selfish interests.
Let the meditations of the heart,
Let those activities of the body,
speak of what you offer as an opportunity
or channel for another to seek, to know, your God.
Lesson 4: FAITH
Faith is the inner spiritual knowledge of the Creative Forces of the Universe.
It cannot be recognized by others who do not have the same inner guidance.
They may call it poor judgment now but will realize later that you were right.
With faith we can move mountains of doubt.
With faith we can prove that thoughts are things
With faith we can prove that words have power.
Physical, mental, and spiritual demonstrations
take place when no way seems open.
Use what we have in hand.
Do with all our might what our hands find to do.
Seize each opportunity.
It is ours to act, to plan, to work.
It is for God, the author of faith, to give the increase.
We may profess to have faith.
But it is our actions that show how much we believe.
As we study, as we meditate, as we seek to use each opportunity,
our faith in Christ, in the Father, in our neighbor, in ourselves, will grow.
He has promised that help, strength, and understanding
sufficient for all our needs will be supplied.
There will come tests - in the physical, the mental, the spiritual life.
At these times we should rely on His promise,
"Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."
Are we to be carried about by every wind of doctrine?
Shall we fear as those who have no hope?
In the trials and tests through which the world is passing, where are we found?
Are we stepping out on faith, knowing that His presence is with us?
Are we giving hope, faith, and comfort to those who have not had our opportunities?
Do we not feel that we are called at this time
to let our light shine in the dark places of doubt and fear?
Is our faith firm in what has been promised, and are drifting,
and falling short of the calling whereunto we have called?
"Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong."
(1 Corinthians 16:13)
"For the day of the Lord is near."
Lesson 5: FELLOWSHIP
What does fellowship with the Father offer?
Surely we have experienced the relief that comes
when we go to God with our sorrows.
It is God that our problems are solved.
It is God that we find the peace that passes understanding.
The acknowledgment of our physical weaknesses
is an opportunity to realise that we have access
to greater strength - the Divine within.
As we take advantage of an opportunity in one direction,
the Divine within helps us to recognize others.
We know that we have fellowship with the Father
if we love others and seek to serve them.
What is the Way?
As Christ has given to those to whom He spoke,
to whom He will speak,
"...do you truly love me more than these?
...feed my lambs...
do you truly love me?
...feed my sheep."
[Symbolically] the sheep represent those that know of, and know, the Way.
The lambs represent those
that would know,
that would find the Way,
that would come if shown the tenderness expressed in,
"The good shepherd feeds the sheep; He tends to the lambs."
We must both feed the sheep and tend the lambs.
Lesson 6: VIRTUE AND UNDERSTANDING
With virtue comes understanding and
with understanding comes all the power and privilege of Divine Light.
Armed with the weapons of spiritual warfare,
we are able to enlarge our fields of helpfulness.
We can, as with a two-edged sword, divide
the right from the wrong,
the true from the false,
and be able to attempt
greater things in God's Name.
Life in the earth is a manifestation of God.
It is no wonder, then, that we love to think of it as everlasting.
Yet, when we misuse our opportunities,
we misapply the knowledge we have of life
and reap the results.
If we do good, good return to us, for "like begets like",
not as a reward, but as a result of law.
The result is spiritual development.
The direction in which we turn the activities of our life
depends upon how we think,
for "As he thinketh in his heart, so is he."
All power, all force, all life is from one source;
if we do not destroy it for it is of God,
but we darken our own way;
we dim the light that might be a help to others.
Many are wise in their own conceit;
and often, as the Master said,
"The people of this world are more shrewdly
in dealing with their own kind
than are the people of the light."
since they use what light they have,
even though they use it selfishly.
On such a basis the Athenians built an altar to the Unknown God.
Paul declared that they ignorantly worshiped this Unknown God.
For such a message he would have had to forfeit his life,
if he had not clothed it in wisdom and delivered it with understanding.
He knew the Athenian law against the introduction of other gods,
so he took them where they were and preached God, the Father,
"In Him we live and move and have our being."
whom, he said,
"You worship as something unknown."
In the same manner we must watch our opportunities.
We must be in such close touch
with the infinite source of understanding
that we at all times may render
the right service in the right place.
Lesson 7: PATIENCE
In exercising patience we learn to recognized daily
the little opportunities which are so important.
Impatience to do great things blinds us.
We should count it a privilege to be
a servant of the servants in the Kingdom of God.
Man's servant is God's free man;
for in service to mankind
we are making our wills one with God.
To do this requires patience with ourselves as well as with others.
"By standing firm you will gain life."
It is possible to have a thing and yet not possess it.
Our soul has within it all the attributes of the Divine.
It is worth waiting, striving, working to understand
and know ourselves to be individual and yet one with God.
Let us not be in haste, but count each step as an opportunity.
Lesson 8: THE OPEN DOOR
Faint not in well doing, for there is being opened
the door for greater opportunities.
Perception of truth is a growth in consciousness.
Our finite minds cannot grasp all truth;
however, doors are continually being opened
through which we may go
to greater concepts of truth,
to greater understanding
of the boundless love of the Father.
There is being opened glory in the Spirit of Truth
that convinces man of the knowledge
of his relationship with the Father.
Now, as never before, there is open a door
that none can close;
for God's word must be fulfilled,
"...they will all know me, from the least to the greatest."
Lesson 9: IN HIS PRESENCE
When we seek to keep His Presence
as a thing apart,
something to be experienced,
something to be aware of when we are disturbed in some manner,
we lose sight of the fact that to abide in His Presence is
the experience, the knowledge, the understanding,
the opportunity of all as we seek to do His biddings.
His Presence abides with us always,
for it is in God that we live and move and have our being.
We must recognize this, come to know and understand it,
to realize that we are sons of the Most High.
To be aware of His Presence is our heritage,
our great opportunity in this material plane.
Lesson 10: THE CROSS AND THE CROWN
Have we had a cross to bear lately?
If we counted it an opportunity, it was easier to carry.
Maybe we learned just the lesson
we most needed in this experience.
Know in whom you believe,
for the spirit of Right guards those who choose His way
in directing the mental and spiritual life;
"And we know that in all things
God works for the good of those who love him..."
May we bear each cross with such a spirit
and feel that all things are working together for our good.
This was exemplified in Christ who is the Master of masters.
It is a great opportunity to live day by day
in such a manner that the Christ spirit may shine within,
to heal and to bless.
Lesson 11: THE LORD THY GOD IS ONE
When the divinity of Jesus was declared by Peter,
Jesus said to him,
"Bless are you, Simon son of Jonah,
for this was not revealed to you by man,
but by my Father in heaven."
Just so, to realize the oneness of all force
- the Lord thy God is one -
is an opportunity that comes through divine inspiration.
In order to have this experience we must conform to the things of spirit.
Peter forsook all and followed the Master.
That is not easy to do when viewed from a worldly standpoint;
but if we pay the price, we too may see
the glory of the oneness made perfect in Christ.
There should be gladness in our activities.
We should be on fire to use every opportunity
to show that we realize that,
"Hear, O Israel the Lord our God is one."
Are our wills one with God,
or are they seeking to glorify our own desires,
our own selfish interests?
We should know that the way is not long,
nor is the cross more grievous than we can bear,
if our trust is in God.
Lesson 12: LOVE
We can recognize now as never before
those attributes of the soul,
that are ours to be used.
Gradually, we come to realize
the Presence of the Father,
the oneness of all force,
and the fact that the way back to perfection
is through Christ who is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
This is made perfect in love.
To love is the noblest expression of man.
It is not simply of God, it is God;
and as we manifest love,
we manifest the God force that is within us.
Whether in the physical, mental, or spiritual body,
love is the strongest and most dominant influence.
To love is our greatest opportunity.
Love brings happiness as nothing else does.
All that is good is made a part of us
as we seek to express love for our fellow man.
Thoughts, words, acts, are opportunities
for us to express love day by day.
Consecrate yourselves, your bodies, your minds, your abilities
in every direction, to the opportunities to be of service
to those ye meet and contact day by day.
As we may ignorantly destroy a priceless painting
with a few scratches, so may we,
in misusing and misdirecting our forces,
mar our bodies, our minds, our souls, in such a way
that only a God of Love can recognize us.
Though we may direct love into many channels,
there is only One through whom there will be
a realization of love made perfect,
and that is found in Christ, who said,
"A new command I give you: Love one another."
The time draws near, the time is at hand,
when there is more and more seeking for light and understanding.
Let us then, in Christ's way, manifest from day to day
the love that has been showered upon us.
May we so live that our lives become an example to those who seek.
May we pray:
Lord guide me, your servant, in the ways Christ go.
"Let my going in, my coming out,
be wholly within the ways You would have me go.
Direct my steps, direct my mind.
Let Your will be done in me;
for, as the heart panteth after Your own will,
may my spirit bear witness
- in the things my body does day by day
- that the Lord is in His Holy Temple,
and the rod has not passed from those
that call on His name.
For the glory of the Father to the sons of men
may be expressed in those that would guide,
guard and keep holy ways."
Updated: 18 August 2013