Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Divine Indwelling


The Divine Indwelling

One of the greatest—perhaps even THE greatest—honor of being a born-again believer is that of being the “temple of the Holy Ghost.”

Consider for a moment what God has done through the death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ. We cannot possibly fathom the depth of this with our carnal minds. However, the Lord brings us to a place of being qualified to live as His dwelling place on the earth. Only the perfect blood of a sinless Savior could accomplish such a remarkable task.

When Jesus hung on the cross and declared, “It is finished,” the veil separating man and God was torn from top to bottom. Unholy man could now enter into the most holy place. Not only that . . . that which was “unholy” would now become the temple of that which is Most Holy.

In the words of Jesus, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).

Christ did not come simply to grant us forgiveness. Rather, the Son of Man was made flesh to fully restore all that was lost due to man’s disobedience. Again, it is almost impossible to consider all that is involved and included when we think about “that which was lost.”

It is God’s will to walk with His people again just as He and Adam did in the garden. The Lord desires that we experience and enjoy a deep intimate relationship as one. We have been recreated in the very image and likeness of God; this is the result of the new birth. The Lord now takes up residence on the INSIDE of man in order for us to reflect His goodness and glory.

By definition, that is part of what “grace” is all about. This word speaks of “divine influence on the heart, and its reflection in the life” (Strong’s).

One benefit of “grace” is that of experiencing God’s divine influence in our hearts, our inner man. As a result, we are empowered to reflect that which is divine. Believers can now be filled with the Spirit of Christ and live in complete harmony with the God of creation! The Spirit will lead, guide, and direct our steps when we yield to His will and not simply our own. He is our Comforter, Teacher, and Guide through this journey of life.

"What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?" (1 Corinthians 6:19).

We will take this further next time. Until then . . .

Grace & Peace,

Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Main Thing


The Main Thing

What is the most essential element of our personal growth and development as a Christian disciple? Jesus seems to address this issue with the first words He spoke in Mark’s gospel account.

“Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel’” (Mark 1:14).

As Christ came to proclaim, “The kingdom of God is at hand,” He instructs His followers to, “Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

In other words, change the way you think, because the kingdom is here, and faith in the gospel will be required for you to function and fulfill your place in it.

The first priority is that of getting our minds renewed in order to think, speak, and act appropriately as citizens of God’s kingdom realm. This is especially important in these very exciting times!

We must evaluate our own spiritual lives and ask some very specific questions.

  • Am I continuing to learn and develop in regard to God’s ways and the principles of His kingdom?
  • What am I doing to assure that I am indeed growing and developing in a healthy manner?

To be not conformed to the world, but rather transformed, requires progressive “renewing of the mind.”

In this post-modern world, it is often easier to follow the world’s mindset instead of taking necessary steps to live a life that is in contrast to those around us.

Following are some basic steps that may help in the process:

  1. Acknowledge a personal need to get my mind renewed (Romans 12:1-2).
  2. Present my bodily members as instruments of righteousness (Romans 6:13).
  3. Approach God and His Word with humility and meekness, allowing His truth to be “grafted” into my heart (James 1:21).
  4. Study God’s Word. Never stop learning and growing (2 Timothy 2:15).
  5. Experience God’s manifest presence. Allow God’s Spirit to bring revelation, wisdom, and understanding (Ephesians 1:17-18).

God gave very clear instructions to Joshua during a time of extreme change and transformation:

“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success” (Joshua 1:8).

We must allow the Word to take root in our hearts. It is to be in our mouths and on our lips. In other words, SPEAK the Word! Our mouths will speak what is abundantly in our hearts (Luke 6:45). Furthermore, we must practice the art of meditating on what God says, not what people or situations dictate/communicate.

Next, believers are to give attention and evaluate whether or not we are actually DOING what God instructs us to do. This goes beyond thinking we are doing something simply because we believe it is true. It goes beyond mere thoughts and intentions. To DO involves action and behavior. Scripture promises that if we will give heed to these directives we will experience true prosperity and good success.

Finally, in this time of extreme change and social upheaval, we must guard our hearts.

Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23).

Give no place to fear, confusion, doubt, or any other thing that is contrary to God’s Word. God’s truth is and will be the final authority. There is only one truth. God’s Word is truth. If what I am thinking, feeling, speaking, or doing is contrary to truth, then it must be an “untruth.” Am I building on a foundation of truth or falsehood?

More to come, until next time . . .

Grace & Peace,