Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 1 Corinthians 2:12
I need to yearn for the Spirit of God that freely gives from God. He is speaking and I need to posture myself to listen. I must rid myself of distractions in my heart so I can accept the things of God. All else is fleeting and futile except for knowing more of Christ. He wants to reveal himself to me, but I must first appraise myself and remove all that leads me away from God.
Jesus’ death gave me His Spirit. Only by His Spirit am I regenerated. My bones were dead and dry until the Spirit gave me life. The Spirit is my lifeline to the Father where I receive all power for life and godliness. A life centered on the cross and focused on the gospel is only possibly by the Spirit’s strength.
Open my eyes to see what pulls me away from you. Help me to walk in the path that will stretch my faith and reveal more of Jesus to me. Guard me from discouragement when I see areas that need growth. Make the only thing that matters to me is bringing your kingdom comes in this life some am ready for the life to come. Soften the soil of my heart so the spirit can cultivate more of Christ in me.
Conformity mean to “stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.” It means to delight to do God’s will, to run with eagerness and ardour to carry out His plans. Conformity to God’s will involves submission, patient, loving, sweet submission. But submission in itself falls short of and does not include conformity. We may be submissive but not conformed. We may accept results against which we have warred, and even be resigned to them.
Conformity means to be one with God, both in result and in processes. Submission may be one with God in the end. Conformity is one with God in the beginning, and the end. Jesus had conformity, absolute and perfect, to God’s will, and by that He prayed. Gethsemane was the single point where there was a drawing back from God’s processes, extorted by insupportable pain, fear and weariness. His submission was abject, loyal and confiding, as His conformity had been constant and perfect. Conformity is the only true submission, the most loyal, the sweetest and the fullest…
We are to be put into the crucible to be refined. Christ was made perfect in Gethsemane, not by the prayer, but by the suffering…Through many an hour of darkness and of hell’s power, through many a sore conflict with the prince of this world, by drinking many a bitter cup, we are to be made perfect. To cry out against the terrific and searching flame of the crucible of a Father’s painful process is natural and is no sin, if there be perfect acquiescence in the answer to our prayer, perfect submission to God’s will, and perfect devotion to His glory…
We can cry out in the crucible, and can cry out against the flame which purifies and perfects us. God allows this, hears this, and answers this, not by taking us out of the crucible, nor by mitigating the fierceness of the flame, but by sending more than an angel to strengthen us…
The prayer of submission must not be so used as to vitiate or substitute the higher and mightier prayer of faith…
We are ever ready to excuse our lack of earnest and toilsome prayer, by a fancied and delusive view of submission. We often end praying just where we ought to begin. We quit praying when God waits and is waiting for us to really pray.
-E.M. Bounds on The Gethesemane Prayer in The Reality of Prayer
It seems like everywhere I turn these day I am seeing stories about A&E’s response to suspending the guy from Duck Dynasty about his comments about homosexuality. Apparently the breaking point for A&E was how he compared homosexuality to beastiality. It seems like often when Christians speak out against homosexuality that go for the shock & awe treatment and make big bold statements like that.
The problem with shock & awe statements is that they can give an attitude of self-righteousness even if that is not the intent. What is often missing from the conversation is the fact that homosexuality is just as sinful as lustful thoughts and premarital sex.
The Pharisee and the Tax Collector
9 He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: 10 “Two menwent up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ – Luke 18:9-13
Homosexuality does not hold the market on sexual sin. All sexual sin is equally heinous before God.
The churches are not candles: Christ only is our light, and his gospel our lamp; but they receive their light from Christ and the gospel; and hold it forth to others. They are golden candlesticks, for they should be precious and pure, comparable to fine gold; not only the ministers, but the members of the churches ought to be such; their light should so shine before men as to engage others to give glory to God…he has promised to be with his churches always to the end of the world, filling them with light, and life, and love, for he is the very animating informing soul of the church.
Matthew Henry on the Relationship Between Christ and His Church
Parents, teach your children that the behavior and attitudes you expect from them are built on something! Don’t say, “Just do it.” As they get older help them see that the standards of thought and attitude and action and entertainment and ministry and mercy are all built on the mercy of God in Christ. Help them see that Christian living is not a list of do’s and don’ts, it is a way of showing the glory of God and Christ. Help them see that Christian living—for children and teenagers and adults—is built on the gospel—on the beauty of Christ crucified and risen and reigning. The question is not mainly, “What’s wrong with this music or this movie or this party or this dress or these drugs or these friends?” The question is, How can I act and speak and feel so that I help my friends see the worth of Jesus above all music and movies and parties and friends? How can I live to show that Jesus didn’t come into the world to help me party better but to help me love better and die better?
Cultivate in your home the understanding of the word “therefore” in Romans 12:1. Help the children absorb this worldview. The Christian life has roots. It has foundation. It is built on something. -John Piper
Taken from Build Your Life on the Mercies of God
You don’t have to be ashamed of the gospel because it doesn’t just make converts; it saves those converts utterly. It brings them to final safety and ever-increasing joy in the presence of a glorious and holy God forever and ever. This is what makes us bold with the gospel – not that it can make converts; any religion can do that – but that it is the only truth in the world that can really save people forever and bring them to everlasting joy with God. – John Piper