President’s Message – March 2024

Following Jesus

Enrique Traver

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

This world is only a bridge; you may pass over it, but you should not think to build a dwelling place upon it. 156:2.1 (1735.5)

He told them they could not stand still; they must go forward in righteousness or retrogress into evil and sin. He admonished them to “forget those things which are in the past while you push forward to embrace the greater realities of the kingdom.” 156:2.6 (1736.3)

This world is an arena where we develop and conquer the first steps to reach the morontia worlds, followed later by the steps to the spirit level. As Jesus said: just a bridge to cross. Reaching the end of that worldly bridge allows us to reach another shore, to reach a new reality of eternity, of the birth of the spirit, of drawing closer to the presence of our Father. Passing across this bridge implies a continuous straightforward movement with no stops for whatever reason. We must move ahead. When we keep moving forward, we free up the flow and attract other people to the journey. We produce the fruits of the spirit.

All down through the ages men have not been unable to comprehend Jesus; they have been afraid to. 156:2.4 (1736.1)

Jesus’ message is clear and most of us understand it, but people are often afraid to follow Jesus because it implies a great effort, a lot of work, and achieving self-control. It implies continually advancing across the bridge of mortal experience and serving those who are lost or have forgotten or are unaware of its main purpose, which is to cross over to a spiritual domain. This service demands love, patience, tolerance, respect, righteousness, and service.

So, are we afraid to follow Jesus and practice his gospel?  Have we managed to experience God within us, to experience an inner relationship with him, to feel the loving presence of our Father within us and to develop an unswerving faith in him? This faith will guide us, strengthen us and give us the necessary motivation for a service of love to our brothers and sisters and ourselves. It will build true righteousness.

We often confuse the meaning of faith with beliefs, certainties, and convictions. The revelators tell us a lot about this:

Belief has attained the level of faith when it motivates life and shapes the mode of living. The acceptance of a teaching as true is not faith; that is mere belief. Neither is certainty nor conviction faith. A state of mind attains to faith levels only when it actually dominates the mode of living. Faith is a living attribute of genuine personal religious experience. One believes truth, admires beauty, and reverences goodness, but does not worship them; such an attitude of saving faith is centered on God alone, who is all of these personified and infinitely more. 101:8.1 (1114.5)

The key point lies in the way we live. A belief or a conviction is not enough for us to live by that belief or conviction—we will keep making the same mistakes and circling the drain. Faith is a force that sets us on a path of righteousness to fulfill our Father’s will. Faith in the goodness of God prevents us from even thinking about betraying our Father’s love and following a path that is not his will.

This is exactly the path that Jesus walked while on Urantia. He didn’t allow himself to be influenced or sold out by easy money, fame, worldly glories, and other selfish indulgences. He fulfilled all his earthly obligations to family and community and observed the laws of men. He embraced the Father’s will in a conscious, lucid way, in the certainty that his mission here was to cross the bridge, serving people and clearing the congestion created by those who were unaware or had forgotten the supreme objective. Yes, following Jesus gives fear to all those who have not succeeded in developing their faith in the truth, goodness, and beauty of God.

Belief is always limiting and binding; faith is expanding and releasing. Belief fixates, faith liberates. …  living religious faith … is a living experience concerned with spiritual meanings, divine ideals, and supreme values; it is God-knowing and man-serving. … faith can rise up only in the heart of the individual religionist. 101:8.2 (1114.6)  

Faith has falsified its trust when it presumes to deny realities and to confer upon its devotees’ assumed knowledge. …  Faith never shuns the problem-solving duty of mortal living. Living faith does not foster bigotry, persecution, or intolerance. 101:8.3 (1114.7)

Our mission is to disseminate the teachings of The Urantia Book to all people on earth. Urantia Association International, and each one of us, has precisely this purpose—to seek to walk the path of Jesus, to serve people as he did, to help our fellow human beings connect with our Father—and we do all this by lighting the way across the bridge with the teachings of this revelation and, above all, by allowing the Light of our Father to permeate us and illuminate those who are in darkness.

A big hug to everyone, and a happy Easter.