The grace of feeling what man really is
When existence seems dark and I need spiritual light, I never fail to find the inspiration I need by turning to the Bible and seeing what Christ Jesus has to teach me about life. One thing I've learned about Jesus' career is that it was maintained by the many graces of God. And one of these graces was Jesus' absolute understanding that he existed as the very expression of God.
With Jesus, existence itself was was conscious sonship with God. The only identity Jesus claimed was in relationship to the Father. He knew no selfhood apart from God. Everything he did was to express the Father, to show His nature, to manifest His person. He said: ''The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth.'' n1
n1 John 5:19,20
To human thinking, it's almost impossible to conceive of such a sense of self. To live so that every thought, every act, is an expression of what God is and does is so far beyond the mortal, biological sense of life which the typical human being experiences, that such living may seem unattainable. Yet the fact is that Jesus came that we all might enter into the same conscious relationship with God which he fully embodied.
You and I can feel the healing grace that comes from an understanding that man exists as the very expression, or manifestation, of God. In fact, though we may not know it, we've all felt this grace at one time or another. Every time we do something good, and feel good about ourselves; every time we express genuine love and affection toward others; every time we do something unselfish and feel the satisfaction of making another happy - each of these times we've stepped outside of our mortal selves for a moment and had a little feel of what it means to be God's expression, His spiritual manifestation.
It's a remarkable thought, isn't it? We might not have thought of ourselves in quite this way before. But we are all infinitely better, in our best self, than we now realize. Our genuine - our only - selfhood as the Father's beloved son is shining through all the time, against all odds, despite all that is unworthy of God in human consciousness. The good in us is unquenchable. It has never been separated from God's expression, and never will be. It's our true selfhood. Everything truly good we've ever done is ultimately derived from God, the source of all goodness.
In fact, time and spiritual growth will show us that He is our real Life, our Soul, our Love - yes, even our Mind. We are nothing, unless we express Him, bear witness to His nature. Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, expresses the thought this way: ''All substance, intelligence, wisdom, being, immortality, cause, and effect belong to God. These are His attributes, the eternal manifestations of the infinite divine Principle, Love. No wisdom is wise but His wisdom; no truth is true, no love is lovely, no life is Life but the divine; no good is, but the good God bestows.'' n2
n2 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p.275.
If we feel in our hearts that this must be so, we can do something, starting today, to bring out more of God's attributes in ourselves and feel more intimately that man exists to express all the happiness, health, beauty, and joy that the Father has to bestow. Just to realize that genuine goodness has its source in God, not in the human mind, is a start. The next step is to begin working with this new sense of goodness, ardently developing it in the way that Christ Jesus showed us - through prayer, repentance of evil, and reformation.
Such a radical change in thinking and living means a real struggle with the mortal sense of self and with our material preconceptions of goodness and life. But the battle is worth it. Nothing makes one feel so good, so worthy and valued , as to know he is actually expressing what God, good, is and does. It's the joy of the Son, doing nothing of himself but obediently doing the things the Father shows him to do ''likewise.'' Such a life is a life of grace, and it's the only life worth living, the only life worthy of the best in you and me. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God. IJohn3:1