Here is one of my favourite Bible passages. There are many, but this one is the one which came to mind first today. It is from Matthew 7 (NIV). The text is indented, and my comments are interspersed, non-indented.
Ask, Seek, Knock
7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
This passage has been encouraging for me, in the toughest times of my life. I have found a way through seemingly impossible circumstances by asking Jesus in prayer for help. It also encouraged me to ask for help when I needed it. In addition, I opened the door within my heart to Jesus and asked him to come in, and that change my whole life. I’ve learned to expand my horizons by knocking on closed doors and having them be opened for me.
9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
This interests me because Jesus is calling those listening to him evil. All of them. But even the evil know how to give good gifts. This is encouraging. And to do unto others what you would have them do to you is so essential and amazing. In a nutshell, it is the summarization of how to neutralize negative internal effects of your actions, aka karma. For when I do to others only that which I would have them do to me, I do not feel guilty for my actions and my conscience is clear. If later I find that I would not have wanted that done to me, my conscience is activated and concerned, and I change my behaviour starting at that point for the better. So as I learn the natural laws of the reality in which I live, I apply those in the way I behave toward others. In this way I am applying my understanding of life, and reality-testing it at the same time.
The Narrow and Wide Gates
13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
I found the small gate and narrow road. It was extremely difficult, but I survived, thanks to God. But I wonder sometimes: out of all the masses of people who call themselves Christians or think they are Christians, how many have done the will of God and entered through the narrow gate? I do not know.
True and False Prophets
15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
True and False Disciples
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
This makes me wonder about other people, especially when I’m in church. I guess I’ll never really know which people are actually doing the will of God and which ones are not. But those who do not do the will of God will not be known by Jesus, and they won’t enter the kingdom of heaven, if I’m reading this passage correctly.
The Wise and Foolish Builders
24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
This passage has been frequently taught on in church services I’ve been to. What I’ve learned for myself is that the rock is God, who is love. And, essentially, love is the Tao, the uncarved block, the immovable mover, the changeless changer. Love is the empty centre, within the heart chakra. Love is accepting and giving without taking or forcing. When I learned to be centred in my infinite higher self within the left side of my chest, and allow all feelings within me to flow freely, then I found that no matter what the emotional and social situation, I could be calm, even when filled with fear or anger, dread or excitement, or any other emotion. I found my true self and my centre of emptiness in 2004 and since then I’ve known my true self and learned to love myself truly. This has been the rock within me, combined with and founded on my faith in Christ and love of God. I’ll undoubtedly write more about this later.
28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29 because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.