2001-12-23-About The Master
Topic: About the Master
Group: Nashville TeaM
Greetings, children, I am Ham and I am pleased to be here with you this evening. This week marks another celebration of the Master's incarnation and buried in the myths of two millennia still is the power of the hope his life bestowed on your world, the power that is made visible when men enshrine the love of God in their hearts and dedicate their lives to their fellow men as he did. Some day, your world will know more of his perfected life experience and through this knowledge, each person can follow him in their own way, in their own time.
The Master had a simple exhortation to his apostles, follow me. And, each man searched his own heart and made his own decision. The Master was a man among men, but the purity of his love exerted a drawing power to all those who met him. Those people who sincerely searched for God, those who wanted a better life, those who wanted to find out about true morality were always loath to leave his side and desired to stay with him.
He was a man of great humor who loved to laugh, to have a glass of wine, to eat good food, and to enjoy his life and his friends. He was not a person who sought the Lord's presence through deprivation or solitude in meditation. The Father walked with him through all his life and the Father's love shone through his countenance to all who looked upon him.
The Master was a man who sought to know other people. He was genuinely interested in each person, in each life. Eventually, he sought to give each person those things they were seeking from him, the knowledge of the Father's love for them, that their sins were not so big as to be crushing and that all sin can be put down and walked away from. He forgave all people, all men and women who came before him seeking to know the answer, could they be forgiven, were they destined to hell or oblivion, or could they hope for a better life. To each person, he gave that most precious of all things, hope.
The Father's love poured from him as a fountain and affected all around him. Those who knew not who he really was never failed to be impressed deeply that this God knowing man could be so loving, so understanding, and so completely open to their stories and so forgiving of their faults. He valued each person so much that they could not leave his presence but to have a renewed view of themselves as valuable people.
Still in this day, his simple commandment stands, follow me, and it is up to each person to search their hearts and to decide "will I do it?"The Master worked many years at his earthly trades. He was a productive person. He sought to serve his fellows by doing something useful, just as each of you do in your lives. And all the years that he labored, he steadily grew closer to our Father in heaven and more certain of his own divine nature that was growing and manifesting little by little as the days went by.
Each of you has a divine nature. You each have growing within you an immortal soul that is fashioned and created by your decisions day by day and by the Father's divine grace as it pours out upon you from the mystery of his indwelling spirit. As you go about your daily business, as you work and strive and worry, remember this. All the decisions you make that bring you closer to God also make your more real in the universe for that part of you becomes your immortal soul and that is true reality. The every day details will be forgotten in eternity, but those decisions to follow him create something real and lasting that will never be forgotten.
Taking time to help another, to listen, to shine a bit of God's love upon one who is confused or uncertain, these things are a part of your eternal soul, a part of your eternal memory. It is doubtful whether you will remember how much money you made and things that perish upon this world will stay and become dust. But, your memories of goodness, your memories of making the moral choice, returning good for evil done to you, making friends of acquaintances, the memories of love will last an eternal lifetime.
Yes, it is the most important decision of your lives when you decide to follow him. The life you lead from that moment on is different than the life you led before for it becomes a life of dedication, self-sacrifice, and true meaning. You have a saying of taking up your cross to follow him, but, we prefer to think of following the Master as laying down your burdens.
The spiritual life, for those who have the courage to truly follow it, is one of decreasing burden and increasing joy. Following the Master requires you to put down guilt, put down remorse, resentment. It requires you to take up something new in its place. For when you live for him, you take on responsibilities to love your neighbors, the responsibility to forgive and to be loving toward all that you come into contact with.
Responsibilities toward yourself tend to diminish as your responsibilities toward him increase. You become less self-concerned and more concerned with him and his desires. You might find yourselves turning down your first impulses and asking yourselves what would the Master do, how would he handle this situation. And then your responsibility to him becomes clear.
Throughout his life, the Master prayed one prayer, in this circumstance, not my will but yours, Father, be done. And in doing so, he began to find the Father's will every where and so following his Father became easier and easier for it is not what I would do, but what he would have me do that the Master relied upon.
As you go through this week, think deeply on this subject, on the Master's life and how he lived it. Think about his calling for you, beckoning, follow me.
What are your questions?
Q: Shortly After sept 11 (911), I saw a sign outside a church, will the real God please come forward. Obviously we are all looking at different religions more now and we are so quick to judge their beliefs. I have been thinking that these people stop five times a day and stop to pray. It would seem that they are attempting to connect with God as much as we are or even more. I have always thought that there is just one God and that people around the world have different names and rituals. Is it that simple, when I pray to God and when they pray to God does it go to the same God?
Ham: Yes, of course. All human beings are the children of the same Father. The Master lived his life to proclaim liberty to the spiritual captives and he does so today to those captive in tradition everywhere. The prayers of Islam are very often by rote. They are prayers that others have told them to pray. The Master sought to break away from all these things. He said many times, you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free. He said this as an appeal to the whole person, the mind as well as the spirit. The religions that grew up around his teaching have to this day never fully and completely embraced those very teachings. His spirit is returning in much force upon the world and is once again proclaiming spiritual liberty and truth so that mental integrity will be part of that liberation. Many religions are guilty of shackling the minds of their followers. We foresee a time when Islam will either transform itself or gradually die out as a religion in much the same way that Judaism has. There are fewer and fewer Jews who cling to the old traditions every decade and so we see a time when there will be many, many Muslims who will break free of the shackles of the tradition that holds them down. They will still be Muslims, but they will embrace the higher religious ideals that come from the modern world rather than looking back to the past for their religious guidance. Is this helping your understanding?
Q: Yes. It leads me to wonder. I know there are a lot of people in the west who want to go over and save the Muslims and give them western Christianity. Will there be a time when we don't have this missionary attitude that they are going to hell? In our lifetime will we see it die out where people are on a more individual quest.
Ham: Well yes, you are already seeing it to some degree. Even 100 years ago, even 50 years ago, your president would have suffered dire consequence for embracing and accepting the Islamic religion into the White House. But at this time, at this juncture in your world history, there is less harsh judgementalism and that kind of thinking is becoming more and more marginalized and there is a great movement toward respect for all human beings wherever they come from and whatever they believe and this my children is true Christianity, that is following him. . . . .