Be Filled

www.bible.com/1713/hab.2.14.csb

Just a short one before I retire for the day. Thank you all for keeping up with this. I will come up with something a little more in-depth tomorrow.

I have been driving all day on our way home from our first annual family reunion on my dad’s side. What a great week. I have more to say about this, but I’m just too tired tonight. Hope you all had a great day.

God bless you!

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Dynamic Spirit

www.bible.com/1713/2ti.1.7.csb

We may not think much of the word “dynamic” as it’s overuse has reduced much of the meaning behind it. But it is an English word transliterated from Greek. The Greek word is what lies behind the word translated “power” in the passage above. This same word is the basis for dynamite.

God gives us His Spirit His Spirit is not commanded or ordered around like “the Force” from Star Wars. The Spirit is fully God, and has a mind of His own. But this gift of the Holy Spirit In is is given with purpose. He did not so gift us to continue to live in fear. Some translations add “timidity” As if to say, He did not gift us to be timid. When we have relieved His Spirit, He intends for us to share His attributes, His power, His love and His sound judgment. We can safely assume these are intended to be the opposite of timidity.

Rather we are to be bold in expressing God’s power. While some may be thinking about tongues and miracles here, let me tell of greater powers than these, like forgiveness, overcoming addiction, grace for others’ mistakes, preaching the word with boldness, and showing to the word what it means to live everyday for Christ. These take extraordinary power, more than can be found in a healing or a tongue.

Be bold in sharing God’s love. Seems simple, but like the above, can require exceptional power to carry out, especially for the unlovable. Yet God expects His people to love at all times, to reach into place where His love is not known and share it freely. It is a powerful love.

And has anyone ever heard of sound judgment? Some translations offer this as “self-control” or “self-discipline” and they probably have something there. The ability to control your self is hard, especially in light of a culture that promotes hedonism, or, “if it feels good, do it.” We used to call this temperance. And yes, this is how we get the phrase “lose your temper.” Sound judgment can be both the ability to choose wisely what you spend time doing, this disciplining yourself, and wise counsel when making decisions. Exercising judgment is not a bad thing, but essential for making good decisions. We used to call this “What Would Jesus Do?” And try to envision the Savior making the choices we are faced with.

The Holy Spirit is more than a “Force”. He is God who empowers you to love and make good decisions. He empowers you to grace and forgiveness. And when you do these things, you grow in Him, and have greater access to these. That’s pretty amazing.

Make today a day practicing these abilities, so that you grow in Him. God bless you today!

Who Ya Gonna Call?

www.bible.com/1713/psa.46.1.csb

When this life stinks and your day’s on the brink, who ya gonna call?

When the bills are due and your wife hates you, who ya gonna call?

When your car won’t start and and your kids get smart, who ya gonna call?

Well, you get the idea. “In that day men began to call on the name of the Lord.” God is a very present help in hard times and in good. He is always found, even when you can’t see Him. He is never far from any of us.

On this day of worship, I want to encourage you to find a place of fellowship, where others of like mind and faith gather. If you don’t have one, try something new. I tried a new fellowship Wednesday night and the people there were welcoming and friendly. They invited me back next week. It felt good.

Be encouraged. God has not forsaken you. He loves you and wants you close. Would you give Him your time this morning?

God bless you today.

Fall Flat

www.bible.com/1713/pro.16.18.csb

So I just had my tire fixed. Just had it fixed, drove around on it. It was wonderful. Just a few hours later, the tire is flat. Not just for me, but as me and my family are making our way to a family function. I’d been having a dour day anyway, trying to keep my mind busy while I was called off work again. And this thing, that I thought I had fixed, was broken. Again.

So I am back at the tire store again this morning. Maybe it’s something simple. Maybe it’s not. I just need it to work.

I used to feel like I had it all together. Had a good church, wife was in a good place to work, kids were happy at school. But life happens. We changed some things around. Now I am not in that church. They didn’t need me anymore. Wife is looking at job changes where she works. Our department in the hospital is cutting back non-essential hours. Kids are doing ok, but I know they feel something is going on. Yeah, pride sucks.

Pride may feel good for a time, it it’s about useless. It puffs you up, like air in a tire, but as soon as something pokes through your carefully curated world, the air goes out. You fall flat and you are stopped in your tracks.

Air is a good thing for your tires, but pride is bad for your life. If you try to fill your life with pride, instead of more solid work like love, grace and humility, then even the slightest puncture will put you down every time. Rather, work on filling your life with the Word, with the love of God, with prayer and grace for others. The Lord calls you to walk humbly before your God. He does that because He sees the road ahead of you. He knows what trials you will face. When you practice humility, life’s bumps will not hurt near so much.

Well, Now it looks like I need a new tire. Swell.

God bless and stay humble.

Drop the Yoke

www.bible.com/1713/gal.5.1.csb

Yokes are comfortable things. Many would rather choose the yoke than be free. Why? Because freedom is dangerous and unpredictable. People like their lives to be predictable. They like order, like to be able to plan things out. A yoke, or a set of rules, helps them to do that. Decisions are easier when there are fewer of them. For example, when you are looking for a place to eat as a diabetic or a person with kidney disease, it is far easier to pick out places to eat because few places cater to those needs. You don’t have the freedom to eat anywhere, because you must abide by a set of rules if you want to live.

A work schedule helps you plan your day. You know where you will be at a certain time. It is a yoke from which others benefit from your labor. We have gotten so used to yokes that we wouldn’t want to live life without them.

And that’s how we feel about our religion too. We are far more comfortable with a religion as a set of rules that limit your choices and can be rigidly adhered to than a faith with few rules and greater responsibility. Yet that is what Jesus presents is with. He takes away the yoke of the Law and replaces it with grace, forgiveness and love. What is the first thing we did with it? We systematized it and overlaid with with rules. You must do this and you must go here. Actually, the more rules your religion has, the more you know it’s off the mark.

This is not to say hat Christianity is anarchy. It certainly is not. It has a Ruler and His Name is Jesus. And He has laid out what He expects from us. He expects us to tell others about this freedom we’ve experienced. He expects us to live righteously as He did. He expects us to be willing to sacrifice ourselves for the sake of others. He expects us to give as we have received, with liberality and generosity. He expects a relationship with us, through prayer and Bible Study. He expects us to be in His presence. That’s a lot of expectation for an anarchy.

Christ came to proclaim freedom to the captives, those caught and enmeshed in a web of laws and rules made by men. He wants us free from tyrants to live under His rule, a rule to grow us and perfect us for His eternal Kingdom. He has called you to be His.

Will you come and be free?

Peace to You

www.bible.com/1713/heb.12.14.csb

Kind of a dire warning this morning, but one we should heed. Maybe your preacher never covered this one, because I know I haven’t. Pursuing peace is an essential part of our walk with Christ. This isn’t just with people we like, but with everyone. This finds an echo in the qualifications for elder ship where an elder is not to be a contentious man.

I don’t know how this will work out in your life, but I encourage you to comment below, so that in the end, we may see God.

God bless you today.