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Posts Tagged ‘spirit’

“Be not simply good – be good for something.”

– Henry David Thoreau

Imagine if you had nothing getting in your way, nothing holding you back.

What would you do with your life?

Could you see yourself doing whatever you could to help someone else?

Could you see beyond yourself and make a difference for someone else?

Just imagine if you had that opportunity.

No obstacles.

No opposition.

No other objective.

Just being in the position to do good for someone else, uplifting their spirit and blessing them through what God has already done for you.

Now it’s time for a reality check.

The only thing holding you back from doing such mighty works is you.

YOU…Your Own Unwillingness

If you could somehow shake that unwilling spirit, then you can do it.

Oh, that’s not you?

Then it must be. . .

YOU. . . Your Own Unworthiness

That is the pitiful self image that says that you are not worthy of doing good because you know that you are of no earthly good.  Our Bibles tell us that we are a “new creation” based upon the work of the Lord.  We are worthy!

So, you still think that’s not you?

How about. . .

YOU. . . Your Own Unfaithfulness

You just don’t believe that God can use you in such a way.  You don’t believe that you can be a blessing, especially since you are in the need of a blessing yourself.  Elijah was fed by ravens by a brook, and then he was fed by an impoverished widow.  There was another widow who gave all that she had when she placed two mites in the offering.

Get YOU out of the way and let God have His way.

Sit YOU down and set yourself up to be a blessing to someone.

Give YOU his walking papers and give God an open opportunity to use you like He’s never used you before.

He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God? – Micah 6:8 (NASB)

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Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong

– 1 Corinthians 16:13(NIV)

 

We should be able to stand firm with God’s help.

Does that seem hard to you?

I know it was hard for me.

I am as independent as the next man.  I know that I am a child of God, but I have always thought that I could stand on my own.  After all, I am a strong-willed man.  I am willing to do what I have to do and make things work.  I am not afraid to work.  I am not afraid to speak up.  I am a man.

But do I really need God’s help?

You better believe it.  

I am not weak.  I can admit that I do not have all of the answers.  I am susceptible to all of the same temptations as any other man.  I can be drawn into the temptations that can conquer me just like anyone else.

But wasn’t Jesus tempted

Look to the Lord.

Look at Him and all that He has suffered for our sake.  He endured merciless torture to offer us salvation.  He suffered ridicule and pain.  He went through bodily pain and eventual death to save us.  He made the ultimate sacrifice for us.

Learn from the Lord.

He teaches us how to undergo pain and hardship.  He teaches us how to live life more abundantly.  He shows us how to love others more than ourselves.  He demonstrates how we can love our neighbor.  He provides us proof that He can support and strengthen us through any endeavor.  He offers us the Holy Spirit, the Helper, the Comforter, to dwell within us as true believers.

Lean on the Lord.

Count Him daily.

Go to Him daily.

Share your doubts, troubles and needs with Him.

He will hear you.

He will help you.

Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;  Hebrews 5:8 (KJV)

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I will bless the LORD at all times;  His praise shall continually be in my mouth.– Psalm 34:1 (NASB)

There’s plenty of room for boasting when it comes to the Lord.  We call it praise.  It involves worship, blessing the Lord with the “fruit of your lips.”   Beyond what we say, it involves our very spirit in coordination with the Lord’s Spirit.  We can be lifted up in the midst of someone else shouting praises to His name as another pours out tears of relief from pain and another cries out His name in acceptance of His answers to the confusion of life.  Each of these people offer the Lord what they have to offer Him, and they offer it from the heart and in the spirit and truth.

What are you using to worship God? What about worship? Are you in it or into it?

The Book of Psalms is the Holy Bible’s hymnal of sorts.  It’s a book of praises and poems.  In several instances, it reveals that the entire volume is suitable for the wide variety of needs within the congregation on any given day.  Yet, Psalm 34 opens up with a proclamation and profession that should ignite contagious worship.  It opens with blessing the Lord at all times, praise continually in my mouthThe psalm continues to speak of how the writer will boast about the Lord so much that the “humble and afflicted [will] hear and be glad.”  Then, in verse 3, the psalm writer provides an outright and open invitation to worship together  Imagine how uplifted that congregation would be after that declarative opening  and the opportunity to get lifted up and join in the blessing.

 David wrote this psalm out of the pure inspiration of the Lord showing Himself as his protection.  David had pretended to be insane before Abimelech.  He truly was at his wit’s end at that point.  There was no real guesswork once God had delivered David from his enemies.  He could boast about the Lord.  He had earned some bragging rights about the God he served and the God who saved him. 

We don’t use extol like it appears in the King James Version.   We do understand that we can boast of the Lord’s goodness and grace.  We do know that we can brag about His mercy and His might.  We do know that we can bless the Lord for His loving kindness and His peace.  He’s done so much already for us.  There’s so much we can offer Him.  Let’s start by submitting and surrendering to His Spirit within us so that we can spark some blessing and boasting among us.

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 …The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.- Jn. 6:63 (NIV)

What Jesus shared with His disciples at this point in His ministry caused some to walk with Him no longer.  They walked out and walked away from Jesus.  They left Him for good because they could not handle what He was saying about being the Bread of Life that gives eternal life.  Yet, they found it hard to accept.  That’s when Jesus drops the real bomb.  The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. Yet there are some of you who do not believe (John 6:63-64, NIV).   How much harder was that one to handle? He hit them with a direct blow to their ego-centered theology.  After all, they were hanging out with the Master.  You don’t get much closer to having arrived than that, or so they thought.  That was at least until Jesus shared His spiritual insights about where they stood spiritually with what He was saying to everyone.

Is there something that you struggle with that comes out through the red letters of your Bible? What “hard saying” of Jesus do you find yourself tripping over from time to time? Don’t worry.  You are not alone.  The choir director struggles with it.  The youth director has issues with some of them.  Some of the mothers of the church still question a few of those “but I say” statements of Jesus from the Sermon on the Mount.  The Sunday school teacher tries to find an easier way to say it much like the preacher who wants to build up and feed the flock rather than break them down.  You are certainly not alone.  We all still have some growing to do.

 What can you do? You can start by realizing that Jesus wants to grow in Christ.  He desires that start with the perfecting process.   He wants us to start.  Once we get started, He can supply us and sustain us, even strengthen us and support us.  He wants us to get started, though.  And where do we start? Speak life.  Do like Jesus.  Share words that give life.  Speak positive things that give life to individuals, especially those who live in hopelessness and despair.  Start by speaking life, sharing something positive with someone who may not have hope to hold onto for themselves.

“Be like Jesus.”- Bob Briner

“Your calling is to live like Christ.”- Andrew Murray

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