The Spirit Within

Is the spirit within you bubbly, sizzling, oppressive, or flowing?

A bubbly spirit is one that is aroused when we experience something good in life. We may experience a little joy but it soon settles down and waits for another experience to manifest itself.

A sizzling spirit is easily upset and reacts in anger at the things we hear and see around us. This spirit, without any hope of better things, is easily aroused at any sight or sound.

An oppressive spirit keeps us down and expecting the worst in every situation.

We may have more than one spirit when the flesh is in control. These can react to everything whether good or bad and have the tendency to turn something good into evil.

Recorded in John’s gospel is Jesus’ response when James and John thought to call fire from heaven upon the Samaritans who would not receive Him.

But He turned and rebuked them, and said, ‘You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.’” Luke 9:55-56

The Flowing Spirit
The flowing Spirit is the Holy Spirit of Christ within the believer. His Spirit controls and enables us to respond as Christ would respond to any situation.

Jesus promised His Spirit to those who come to Him.

“On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” John 7:37-39

The Spirit of Abundant Life
He promised abundant life to His followers ~ life that does not depend on the circumstances of this world.

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10

The Spirit of Truth
Jesus promised and has sent the Holy Spirit to His people to abide with us forever.

“And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.” John 14:16-18

The Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father,
He will testify of me

John 15:26

“He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak.” John 16:13-14

 Jesus teaches us to Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41

Paul reminds us to “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; Galatians 5:16-17

Have you asked for the Spirit of Christ? We initially receive the Holy Spirit when we believe and come to Christ. It is continually given and we can receive even more as we desire with all our hearts the abundant life of Christ within us, especially in times of trial. Jesus, our Lord and Master teaches us to ask the Father in His name for what we need.

He only spoke of asking for the Holy Spirit in one reference (Luke 11:13). We need the Holy Spirit to rule within us. Otherwise, we have only the flesh and self that will bring us to destruction as we battle against the power of Christ.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
longsuffering, kindness, goodness, 
faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.”
Galatians 5:22-23

Dear Heavenly Father, I thank you for your Holy Spirit, our Helper, who dwells within us. Pour out your Spirit, even as the rivers of living water flow from your heart to ours through your Son, our Lord, and Savior. We praise you for this abundant life in Jesus, that does not depend on the flesh or the circumstances of this world. It is in His holy and precious name I pray. Amen.
Fran

Related Articles: Ask, Seek, Knock
How the Holy Spirit Works

Image: Peter H, from Pixabay

Surviving and Thriving in Enemy Territory (Part 2)

In this last part of Surviving and Thriving in Enemy Territory, we will look more closely at the lives of the children of God in comparison to the children of the world. Meditation and memorization of His promises are part of our strategy against Satan and his forces ~ our means of surviving and thriving in this world.

The following verses and passages of Scripture must be studied as part of the soldier’s manual if we are to survive in this world. This is a loaded post, more than I usually do with references, but needful as one to be saved for further study.

We must be armed to the teeth and transformed by the renewing of our minds with His Word ~ able to speak to the circumstances that come in our lives, else we will be taken captive and overcome. These references should give us encouragement and defense against our enemy at every turn and be able to lead others to safety in our Lord Jesus Christ.

In His Word, God makes a difference in the righteous and the ungodly. There is safety, strength, gladness and rejoicing and fruitfulness in His kingdom. Added links are in parentheses.

“Discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.” Malachi 3:18

We see the destruction in Noah’s day as a condemnation of the world.

“By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.” Hebrews 11:7

In Psalm 98:2 “The Lord made known his righteousness in the sight of the heathen.”
In Psalm 7:9 the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but the just are established:”

“the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the Lord upholdeth the righteous.” Psalm 37:17; (Psalm 75:10)

“For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.”
1 Peter 3:12

“The wicked are overthrown, the righteous shall stand. Proverbs 12:7 (Psalm 129:4;Isaiah 11:4)

Isaiah 26:10 teaches us that even if favor is shown to the wicked, he will not learn righteousness. He will still deal unjustly and not behold the majesty of the Lord.

 “The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.” Proverbs 28:1

“Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” Proverbs 14:34

Proverbs 21:26 “He coveteth greedily all the day long: but the righteous giveth and spareth not.

“The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom.” Psalm 37:30; (Psalm 7:11;Psalm 11:5; Proverbs 15:6; Proverbs 28:1) 

There is Safety in the Lord

“My tongue also shall talk of thy righteousness all the day long: for they are confounded, for they are brought unto shame, that seek my hurt.” Psalm 71:24 (Zephaniah 2:3; Psalm 55:22)

“The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.” Proverbs 18:10

 “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.” Isaiah 54:17

He is our strength  

“But the salvation of the righteous is of the Lord: he is their strength in the time of trouble.” Psalm 37:39

“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” Isaiah 41:10 (Isaiah 45:24)

The upright shall dwell in His presence Psalm 140:13 with gladness and rejoicing

“The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tabernacles of the righteous: the right hand of the Lord doeth valiantly.” Psalm 118:15

“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.” Isaiah 61:10

 “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.” Proverbs 29:2 (Psalm 32:11;Psalm 64:10;Psalm 33:1)

 The Righteous bear Fruit

“The wicked desireth the net of evil men: but the root of the righteous yieldeth fruit.” Proverbs 12:12 Isaiah 61:3

“To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.” Isaiah 61:3 (Isaiah 3:10)

“Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)” 2 Corinthians 9:10

 “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” Hebrews 12:11

Light and Darkness

In the process of the Israelite’s deliverance, Moses speaks of the Egyptians having no light, “but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings” (Exodus 10:23).

“Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness:”  Psalm 112:4

“Light and gladness for the upright in heart.” Psalm 97:11

“The light of the righteous rejoiceth: but the lamp of the wicked shall be put out. he will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness.” Proverbs 13:9

“Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.”  Matthew 13:43   

 Jesus spoke of “His light to those who would believe in the light and be the children of light.“ John 12:36

The apostle Paul defines God’s people as children of light

“That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;” Philippians 2:15

“Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day;: we are not of the night nor of darkness.
1 Thessalonians 5:5

Paul spoke of believers being “unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what communion hath light with darkness?”  2 Corinthians 6:14

Truth and Deceit

“They seek me daily, and delight to know my ways: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God.”Isaiah 58:2

“The Lord liveth, in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness;” Jeremiah 4:2

“His word is true from the beginning: and endureth for ever.”Psalm 119:160

  “He shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.”Psalm 96:13

 We see in the following verses how truth and righteousness are a combination for those who belong to Him,“and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness.” Zechariah 8:8

“He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous:” Proverbs 2:7
“The uprightly speak the truth.”Psalm 15:2

“The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things.” Proverbs 15:2

 “He that speaketh truth sheweth forth righteousness: but a false witness deceit.” Proverbs 12:17

 He speaks encouragement to His people who are reproached of men.

“Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings.: Isaiah 51:7

 “Let the lying lips be put to silence; which speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous.” Psalm 31:18

“(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)” Ephesians 5:9

 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;” Ephesians 6:14

“Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” 2 Corinthians 11:15
(Psalm 40:10; Psalm 85:11; Psalm 119:142; Proverbs 3:32; Proverbs 10:32; Proverbs 12:5; Proverbs 13:5; Isaiah 26:2; Isaiah 26:9; Isaiah 28:17)

Life and Death

“He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour.” Proverbs 21:21

“The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.” Proverbs 10:11

“The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting: give me understanding, and I shall live.” Psalm 119:144

“The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him.” Psalm 37:32 and gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous.”Psalm 94:21

“The labour of the righteous tendeth to life: the fruit of the wicked to sin.” Proverbs 10:16

 “The lips of the righteous feed many: but fools die for want of wisdom.” Proverbs 10:21

 “in the day of wrath righteousness delivereth from death.’Proverbs 11:4

Proverbs 10:2  “in the way of righteousness is life: and no death.” (Proverbs 12:28)

“As righteousness tendeth to life: so he that pursueth evil pursueth it to his own death.” Proverbs 11:19

“And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” Matthew 25:46

“That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.” Rp,ams 5:21

“Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.” Romans 6:13

(Psalm 37:29; Psalm 119:144; Proverbs 10:3; Proverbs 10:25; Proverbs 16:8; Proverbs 10:28saiah 51:6)

Peace and Oppression

 “And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.” Isaiah 32:17

“For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink;
but righteousness, and peace, 
and joy in the Holy Ghost.
Romans 14:17

 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.” James 3:18

Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” Psalm 119:165

“And I delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all that oppressed you, and drove them out from before you, and gave you their land;” Judges 6:9

“For strangers are risen up against me, and oppressors seek after my soul: they have not set God before them. Psalm 54:3

In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.Isaiah 54:14

“The Lord executeth righteousness and judgment  Psalm 103:6 and a refuge for the oppressed,” Psalm 9:9

There is a connection between Isaiah’s prophecy of Jesus being oppressed and afflicted for us and the fulfillment of His power in healing all that were oppressed of the devil.

 “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.” Isaiah 53:7

“How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.” Acts 10:38
(Deuteronomy 26:7; Isaiah 49:26)

Spirit and Flesh

We close this chapter with the most profound teaching of God’s Word for His people. The Christian life is more than just physical. It is a supernatural life given by the power of His Holy Spirit. The righteousness of Christ is ours by His Spirit drawing us to Him and His living in us.

The Spirit of Christ within us is our only true defense and our means of thriving. His Spirit teaches us His Word and arms us with divine power to destroy strongholds, casting down imaginations and whatever exalts itself against the knowledge of Him and brings our thoughts captive to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:4-5

 “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. John 3:5-6

Paul teaches more about the power of the Holy Spirit in the believer than any other New Testament writer. Read and study Romans 8:1-16. If you are not already familiar with this passage, spend time with this one and Galatians 5. Below are verses from these chapters.

 “That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:4

 “And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.” Romans 8:10

 “For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.” Galatians 5:5

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.” Galatians 5:16-17

Paul gives a list of the desires of the flesh in Galatians 5:19-21 “they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance:
And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” Galatians 5:22-24 

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“For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.” Isaiah 61:11

“I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.” Isaiah 45:23

Gracious Father in heaven, I am speechless. Your Word is precious and powerful. By it, you created all things and by the Word of your power, you maintain. You birth your own children by it, fill us with the life that is in it and you speak it through us for our defense and joy. We are not worthy but we praise you for your written word and more than this, for your Living Word ~ our Lord Jesus Christ. In His name, we thank you and desire your continued Spirit leading us onward. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

Image: Google

Reflections on a Lord’s Day in the Year of our Lord 2001

(Written on the afternoon of the Lord’s Day, September 23, 2001)

Imagine a soldier in the service of his country who is given an order. Instead of obeying, he says, “I cannot because I have something else  to do.” Or he says, “Let me check with my wife to see if we have other plans.”

As ludicrous as this sounds, was this not Adam’s reason for his dishonorable discharge. And is it not the reason for so many who fail to obey their call to active duty as soldiers of the cross. Our calling on this day of each week is to be in His house of worship to praise Him and to hear His Word, to renew our covenant with Him, and receive His grace for the following week.

In the afternoon of a Lord’s day in 2001, I was thinking of the gift of righteousness, the unspeakable gift of His grace, and the unsearchable riches of Christ  (Ephesians 3:8). My heart was quickened in the understanding of our Father’s overwhelming love and His redeeming grace for us (1 John 4:10).

Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.
2 Corinthians 9:15

We can give to Him only what He has given to us ~ our time and worship, our talents and all this life. The love, the gifts, and fruit of the Spirit ~ all that is from Him ~ when used for His glory, He gives again and again.

Dear Father in heaven, thank you that your grace continues to bring the fruit of the life of Christ in and through us. Fill us with your Holy Spirit today that we may worship you in spirit and truth; to spend this day faithfully with you. Prepare us to serve you this week. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

Image: Google

 

The Need for a True Christianity

As we near another year in celebration of the Protestant Reformation ~ October 31, 1517, there seems to be a need for two articles from this heart that beats for the Lord Jesus. Before Nailing Our Theses next week, my thoughts are turned to how far we have come from the corruption that ruled the church in the century of Martin Luther and other reformers. Though the church will never be perfect here in this world, we do have God’s Word available for every person who desires to know the truth; not depending on man for the knowledge of our relationship with God.

We have enough wickedness in the world. I can’t bear to see it in God’s house. Having experienced almost eight decades of this wilderness, I think of the song Leaving on a Jet Plane and want to take that plane home, but like Jesus, I have a purpose here for now. “Stop the world; I want to get off” is an expression from past decades which reflect the thoughts of many who wonder where the world is going.

We praise the Lord that He, as our Lord God Almighty, is still and always reigning and ruling His universe. We are still learning to live in the language of a new world order with Christ as King and to spread this vocabulary wherever we can. Others need to hear and know that this world is not all there is. We will look briefly at why Christianity is necessary in the world in every generation.

What we advocate is not what is normally seen, but what is real in the true Christian life and the difference we make, being who we are in Christ. We see this in the individual life and the life of the true church. We see the difference between Christianity and other religions.

The True Christian Life
Christians are those who individually and adamantly follow Jesus Christ, learning, knowing, believing and loving with all the heart, soul, mind and strength the Lord and Master who lived and died sacrificially for His people. We follow and obey Him through a knowledge of His Word, and by His Holy Spirit live daily by His example. This world is not our home. We are only here to witness of Him and the salvation He came to give. This life is preparation for eternity with Him and our heavenly Father in their kingdom.

The true church is not the visible church that meets every week for planned programs and entertainment, but the invisible body of Christ whom He has brought to Himself, living where we are in every generation with others who join in worship around His Holy Word and His Supper renewing faith and love. From this gathering we go into the world as salt, light, a sweet fragrance and full of His Spirit bearing the fruit of His kingdom ~ love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, holiness, righteousness, truth, grace, humility, godliness, mercy and compassion.

True Christianity is revealed to the senses  of sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch.

Salt was necessary in Jesus’ day to preserve food. Salt is needful in a world that is in decay.

Light is necessary in the darkness of this world, as we “hold forth the word of life.”

“That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the worldHolding forth the word of life;” Philippians 2:15-16

Good fruit is produced by true Christians.

“Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.” Matthew 7:17

Fragrance is needful to cover the stench of this world.

 “And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.” 1 John 5:19

The world needs Jesus’ touch.

“And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid.” Matthew 17:7

The world filled and overflowing with oppression, sin, and corruption has no recourse in other religions, nor in a false Christianity. Only a true Christianity has the answer to sin through the only person who has claimed to be God and became a sacrifice for the sins of those who believe His claim on their lives.

We live, proclaiming LIFE over death. If we die for our faith, it will not be to take other lives with us, but to witness of the life of Christ who loved us and gave His life to deliver us from this evil age (Galatians 1:4).

We must know who we are in Christ and live accordingly. True Christianity makes a difference.

Gracious Father, we could say so much more, but you have said it all. It is but for us to read your Word faithfully, intentionally seeking your guidance for us as your people. Enable us to speak your truth wherever you lead us, living our faith to the fullest and most fruitful with our families, in our churches, and in the workplace. Shine your light in and through us into the darkness of this world.  In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

Related Post: Beyond a Mere Christianity
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I AM a Perfectionist

I AM is a Perfectionist. Remember those italicized words in the King James Version, those smaller words that added clarity to the sentence from the Hebrew translation? I speak here as I have learned from the Great I AM.

I AM is a holy God, a perfect Father, Creator and Redeemer. The realm of His kingdom is perfect, nothing lacking, nothing out of order, no frustration, no oppression, no war, no anxiety, no fear, violence, sickness, death, disappointment or tears. In His kingdom there is no criticism, anger, jealousy, envy, dishonesty, or falsehood. He is surrounded by righteousness, humility, peace, harmony, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and temperance.

The LORD has established his throne
in the heavens,
and his kingdom rules over all.
Psalm 103:19

Through His Son, Jesus Christ, He rules in power, truth, grace, mercy and glory. From His own mind, heart and Spirit He lives and lavishes His own Being throughout His heavens. As a Perfectionist, He created the heavens and the earth, with expectation of having a perfect family bearing His image.

Did He go wrong somewhere? Then He is not a Perfectionist, and He is not able to rule and govern what He created.

Or is all still going according to His plans? Is providence the working out of His holy will?

Human Perfection
If we were perfect, then we would understand His plans and agree that He is perfect.

If we could see the end of all things as He has planned, we would understand His perfection.
We cannot, so we must look to the Perfect One who makes all things perfect.

“The trying of your faith works patience.
But let patience have her perfect work,
that you may be perfect and entire,
wanting nothing.”
James 1:3-4

Special revelation comes by the power of His Spirit in the lives of those who are His children, born of His Spirit through His Word. Within us He enables us to see beyond this world and its imperfections  (the list is too long). We are brought beyond the power of sin to be occupied with God. The heavenly Father, Creator and Redeemer, whose perfect, heavenly love, humbles us, and begins the process of perfecting us by the power of HIs Son and His Holy Spirit, to share His eternal kingdom.

We give up our human perfectionism when we understand that only He can make things perfect, and His plan for perfection was not intended for this earth, but for eternity with Him. The only perfect thing here on this earth is His love. In the end, it will perfect all those who are in Christ, His Son. We are holy and acceptable in Him, now and forever  (Romans 12:1)

Gracious and blessed Father, Perfect in all things, with the plan to perfect the disciples of Christ, your Son: in the power of your Holy Spirit, birth and train us according to your perfect will through your Word. Through us, by transforming our minds and hearts, make known your love to a perishing world . Fill us with your light that pierces the darkness and brings your children to a perfect love, joy and peace, as we wait for our Lord. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Fran
Related article: The Power of God’s Holy Will

Psalm 18:32
It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.

Psalm 19:7
The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: .

Psalm 138:8
The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me:

Proverbs 4:18
But the path of the just is as the shining light,
that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

Luke 6:40
 but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.

2 Corinthians 12:9
 strength is made perfect in weakness.

James 1:17
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above,

1 Peter 5:10
But the God of all grace…make you perfect.

1 John 2:5
But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected.

The Flow of Contentment

In this article we are continuing our search for divine Contentment, our special topic for the year. Contentment is woven into God’s kingdom, experienced by His people as we live daily by the filling of His Holy Spirit. Our other articles are written to bring us to know the legacy that is ours and to keep us content in His kingdom.
In this post, we want to look at the difference in what God creates ~ a world of contentment ~ and what man creates.
When we look at God’s creation, beginning with the heavens and the earth, we see a flow which man can never create. Between the heavens and the earth, there is connection. We cannot sever where one ends and the other begins.

No Corners

Notice that there are no corners, nothing to stop the flow. God’s intentions are, that the present heavens and earth will be replaced by a new heavens and earth so as to make His people a part of a new creation (2 Peter 3:10-14). By His plan and power, it will be in His timing, so as to show His presence and power over all things.

Continual Light

Though in different parts of the world the sun is hidden so that we may rest and sleep, the light of the sun continues to shine, even casting its reflection on the moon as a reminder of God’s presence with us. So, too, the light that shines in our hearts continues to flow so that we are content with His presence and power in our lives (2 Corinthians 4:6-7).

Water

Water flows from heaven, to the springs in the earth, to the streams, the waterfalls, the rivers, and the ocean. So, too, the Spirit of the Lord continues to fill us with the life of Christ.
Plants and trees grow upward and outward, landscaping the terrain in beauty from one hillside and mountain to another, even as they reach to and praise the Creator. 
So, too, the fruit of the Spirit is continually produced in us, for unity with each other and praise to our heavenly Father and our Lord (Galatians 5:22-23).
None of God’s creation has anything to hide, so we see all things living openly and peacefully, uninhibited by pride and sin. They are content to be a part of the flow, producing what the Creator planned for each one. We, too, are content when we experience the flow of the Spirit of the Lord, producing what He plans for each of us, freeing us from sin and pride, in humility to live as a witness of His work in and through us.

Animals

Animals in their natural habitats are not cornered but live by the cycles of each day, as the Lord feeds them
(Psalm 145:15-16);

even the birds of the air

and the fish of the sea (Psalm 8:8).

 

 

 

Life and Death
Even in His creation He planned for the flow of life and death. He created us to reflect His image in the middle of it all. As we consider His relationship with all of His creation, we can live in the state of contentment, believing that whatever is happening in our own lives, personally, or in the world as a whole, He is with us as we are part of the flow, carrying all things throughout eternity, now and forever, for His glory, our good, and our joy.
Our Father in heaven, continually fill us with your Spirit. Make us to know the fulness of Christ and the contentment that only He can give. Move us in the flow of your power as a witness to a world in chaos and draw others to you. In Jesus’ name we pray, we thank you and praise you. Amen.
A Year for Contentment
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Man’s Calling

This life is a calling to something higher.
God created us for LIFE with Him ~ a spiritual LIFE ~ an eternal LIFE,  apart from the physical life we are now living.
For this LIFE, God is redeeming a people for Himself, in the sacrificial work of His Son Jesus Christ, through the power of His Holy Spirit.
Just as God, through Moses, brought the Israelites out of bondage in Egypt to a land He had prepared for them, He sent Jesus, His Son, to deliver us from the bondage of sin and rebellion, with the promise of eternity with Him.
Since Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension, He now rules at the right hand of the Father, sending the Holy Spirit to bring this LIFE to His people.
The FATHER finished His work of CREATION.
JESUS, the SON, finished His work of REDEMPTION.
His HOLY SPIRIT is now doing His work to give us this LIFE,
separating His people from the power of Satan, sin, self, and the world,
and preparing us for this eternal LIFE with the FATHER and the SON.
Blessed be the God and Father
of our Lord Jesus Christ!
According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ
from the dead,

to an inheritance that is imperishable,
undefiled, and unfading,
kept in heaven for you,

who by God’s power are being guarded
through faith for a salvation ready
to be revealed in the last time.”
1 Peter 1:3-5
Here is a double promise in Simon Peter’s words.
It is not only by God’s power that the inheritance of eternal LIFE is being kept in heaven for us, but we are being kept through faith to receive this inheritance. No one can take it from us, or keep us from receiving what He has willed for us for eternity.
“according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood:”
1 Peter 1:2
In light of the work of Christ, the promises, and this high, heavenly and holy calling, He is preparing us in this life for eternity with Him.
There is no other purpose for physical life than this: preparation and conforming us to the image of Christ, so as to be compatible to share His glory.
His bride (His people) must be ready (Ephesians 5:26-27). It is during this preparation that we get a glimpse of the glory which is prepared for us. His love goes deeper, and our hearts grow fonder as He draws us to Himself.
The nearer we come to the end of this life, the more we anticipate this consummation and eternity with our Lord. Nothing in this life will ever compare to what He has planned for us. We have but to meditate on His promises and imagine this LIFE with Him. I am reminded of the story of Esther’s preparation to become Queen. The King offered her half his kingdom. We are promised the Father’s whole kingdom, as joint heirs with His Son.
“The first man Adam became a living being”;
the last Adam became a LIFE-giving spirit.”
1 Corinthians 15:45
Love, joy and peace are just a sample of the LIFE Jesus came to give through His Spirit. We, who now live on earth, are in the preface of eternity. God’s children are born, sealed, live, led, walk in, and bear the fruit of His Spirit, and grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ as He prepares us to share His glory. Every phase and every stage of this life, with every episode and event, is part of this preparation, all for His glory and our joy (Romans 8:28-29).
Gracious Father, we are not worthy, but we praise you for this new life in Christ, revealed to us in your Word by the power of your Holy Spirit. We praise you for keeping us by the same power to live now, in preparation and anticipation of eternity with you. Let love, joy and peace and the other fruit of the Spirit be evidence that we belong to you, now and forever. Let us sanctify you in our hearts, and expect others to ask us what is our hope and joy. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
~ Fran

Suggested reading: GOD is Our Goal ~ GOD’S Plan For HIs People

All the Way My Savior Leads Me
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BEOtFEs0Jos

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