Becoming

If I am lost without Christ then I risk living a lost life every day. If I can do nothing apart from Christ then I risk doing nothing with my life every day. If Christ is the light and the truth then I risk living in darkness – living a lie – every day. Every day that I don’t choose to live in connection with Christ is another day that I throw it all away. Following Jesus is a daily thing. It’s a choice we face over and over again.

Jesus hasn’t stopped laboring for His people. His work isn’t over. He’s trying to sanctify us every day. It’s a process. We live in a universe that testifies to the fact that the most wonderful things take time to become what they are meant to be. Trees take years to get from saplings to giants. An infant takes nine months to get from initial conception to birth! It takes us six days to get around to our next Sabbath. How much greater a process must it be for us to get from broken people to Christlike saints! In all of these very different things, there is something constantly happening – the act of becoming.

Right now – in this very moment – what are you becoming?

Trust the Gospel

I have devoted much of my time to reading my Bible and dwelling on those passages throughout each day. I have been doing this consistently (day-by-day) for about a year. I have literally treated it like bread, consuming it each day as if my life depended on it. But what in the world do I do when I meet someone who needs Jesus and rejects God’s Word as something they can trust? How can I share the Gospel with them if they don’t trust the pages it’s written on? What do I do when I finally get what’s in there but they won’t let me take it out and show it to them?

There’s only one thing I can do. I have to trust the Gospel. I  have to take God at His Word. You see, His Word guarantees that even though Jesus isn’t walking right here in the flesh with us, He has sent His followers a Helper to be with them on their journey of faith. Before I chose to follow Christ, the Holy Spirit was there with me. He’s the one who led me to that decision in the first place! Now He resides within me and is at work all around me. He knows the thoughts of my heavenly Father and He reveals those things to me when I am quiet enough to listen. People that need to hear the Gospel may reject the pages it is written on, but there is always a chance that they won’t reject the Holy Spirit. It the power of the Spirit that unlocks the words of God and reveals the Truth [Jesus Christ] to people. This is why it is so important that we “walk by the Spirit” [Galatians 5:16]. To quote Paul from Galatians 5:25, ” If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.” God is using us. We are not using God. We have got to get that straight! So when we encounter people who need Christ, we must not take the working of the Holy Spirit out of the equation. Instead, we ought to keep up with the Spirit! We do not “wield” the Holy Spirit. We surrender to His power, letting Him “wield” us. If He is opening the door for us, He will be faithful to empower us for whatever lies in that room.

Each of us is a temple of God – a mobile stronghold of the kingdom. We are not ordinary people anymore. We have been made new – born of the Spirit. Everything we need to live by the Spirit is found in God’s Word and in the working of the Spirit within us. God’s Word is no longer simply words on a page for us who are in Christ. It is the power of God. If someone rejects the Bible, don’t call it quits. If they don’t reject you, then they have not completely cut themselves off from the Gospel. It’s in your DNA now. Keep praying for them and listening to the Spirit. Keep your eyes on Christ. Remember what He has done and will do! Trust the Gospel even when the people you reach out to refuse it.

Blessed are the Meek

“Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.” – Jesus (Matthew 5:5)

Where do we see the meekness of Christ the most? The softest, most submitted moments of Christ are when He’s alone with His father. The meek that are blessed by God are the ones who are meek before Him. They come to God in reverence more so than familiarity.

Much of what I know about God stems from His promises. But there is so much more about Him that I can only know from His presence. Without spending time in His presence, I find myself abusing His promises. If I want His promises without His presence then I don’t really love Him and I just want to use Him. If I am meek then there is nothing in me that would deny my Father obedience to His will. Not only would I follow Him obediently – I would long for a deeper relationship with Him. If I am meek then I am able to recognize my need for total dependency on my Father. Meekness is the soft soil that the Gospel thrives in and having the Gospel thriving in our hearts is one of the greatest blessings we have in Christ!

Monsters and Victory.

The effects of sin are subdued by the blood of Christ but the purpose of sin remains the same – to destroy us and separate us from our loving Father. Just because we have been given the means to properly handle sin does not mean we should play with it. We have been given authority over a monster. You don’t put monsters on leashes. You put them in dungeons.

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
– Romans 8:37-39

For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
– 1 John 5:3-5

Overcoming the world should not just be an inspiring idea. It should be a daily routine for us. For disciples of Christ victory comes with the territory.  We can spend all day inviting the Spirit to move in our lives, but every time we swing open the back door and invite sin into our lives we are reversing our role. Every stronghold for sin is one less stronghold for the Spirit. Those evil strongholds can be broken and the Lord is willing and ready to tear them down.