Often I think of life as a simple “spiral.”
It circles, and as it turns, advances a little at the time.
Nothing is required for us to move in a downward spiral.
A natural downward spiral begins when we are born into this world. Our minds are set on things of this world, which draw us and drag us down. We are unable, of our own volition, to change our direction. Life never stays the same, and nature itself, by its gravity, keeps pulling us to its depths and the impending death that waits for us.
Those who are born into a culture that teaches Biblical principles may hear of God’s grace and His means of changing our direction, but we are at a loss to apply these principles in our own power.
The Bible teaches us that the direction of our lives change when we are reborn of the work of God’s Spirit in our heart and spirit (Ezekiel 36:26). God gives us a new life through His Son, Jesus Christ, and by the power of His Spirit within us turns us, from the power of the downward spiral. By His kindness He brings us in repentance and faith to Himself (Acts 20:21; Romans 2:4). He continues through this life to bring us onward and upward, and to eternity with Him.
There is much more we could say in this short treatise about life here on earth, including sin and evil in this world, which is the reason for the downward spiral. The world has been in this downward deathly movement since the beginning of time, when our first parents turned from their Creator to make and take their own lives, and ours, in a different direction than His.
Are you aware of how you are turning, which way your life is going? Do you want to know this onward and upward movement in your life? Do you want to know the power of God’s Spirit working in you to bring you to Himself? No one can do an about-face, turning themselves. Many have tried, but to no avail. It requires the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit working through our spirit to give us a new heart and a new spirit (Ezekiel 36:26) This requires a new birth (John 3:3) which only He can give (John 1:12-13; 1 Peter 1:3). Regeneration, a new creation, and repentance is His spiritual work in us, and what a glorious experience to be turned and moving in the opposite direction from the world.
If you have yet to know this new life, I pray that you will reach for God’s Word, which He offers to you. Read the Holy Bible. If you have never read before, begin with the New Testament. Ask for His Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13); pray and pour out your heart to Him. He knows where you are and what you need. Read and pray until He, by His Spirit, turns you to repentance and faith as a new creature in Christ. He gave His life to deliver us from the present evil age (Galatians 1:3).
If you have never heard the good news of God’s changing our lives and our direction, and want to hear more I would be blessed to tell you more. You can email me at email@example.com. There is oh, so much more of this glorious upward spiral that is ours in Christ through whom we, as God’s children, live.
I will end this post by saying that your wedding day will not be the most wonderful day of your life. Neither will the birth of your children be the greatest experience you can know. There is nothing as wonderful as being born of the Spirit of God and living every day in Christ, in light of His promises and hope. It is the most uplifting experience of this life as He is preparing us for eternity with Him.
Gracious Father, how can we tell someone what it is like to know you and what life is like as your children? It is impossible to share the width, the depth and the height of your love. You must do the work in each of us. I pray that you would shine your light and the life of Christ through us, and by your Spirit, draw and birth others into your house and kingdom. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
As I taught my grandchildren, we would all do well to HEAR, HIDE, and HEED the words of Christ. He came to declare the kingdom of God through His life and His words. He set the record straight for truth and life for humanity.
Only a few people of Jesus’ day could stomach His words.
Jesus asked, after other disciples left Him, “Will you also go away?” Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” John 6:67-68
If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.
The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. John 12:47-48
In verses 49-50 Jesus states that He speaks on the authority of the Father, whose commandment through Him was for eternal life. His words bring life against judgment. Without them we will stand naked and without hope before God.
For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. Luke 9:26
It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. John 6:63
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32
To abide means to spend time, to dwell in time through the truths that were set for us in the New Testament where His words are recorded. His words mean nothing if we do not take them in hand, read, study, meditate and memorize that which pertains to eternity. As we look at food on a table and do not eat, so to have God’s word given through His Son without receiving it in the heart and mind, leaves us without true life, now and for eternity.
It is said that Jesus spoke more warnings than promises of the eternal kingdom. We receive the promises, the freedom and the life of Christ when we know and heed His words and His warnings. This is the work of the Holy Spirit in the heart and mind.
Dear Father, I pray that today these references stand alone as you draw your people to Jesus, your Son, who came to speak the words of life. Give us your Spirit to quicken and enable us to hear what He says, recorded for eternity with your love, mercy and grace. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen
Ten years ago I learned how to dress a horrible wound that was a result of Jerry’s left leg amputation. The wound left from Jerry’s surgery three weeks ago is somewhat different, but both would be described as an open hole. These kinds of wounds have to be treated and healed from the inside, with medicated packing, so that it does not close on its own and leave a cavity underneath the skin.
This one seems to be more difficult for me to handle than with the amputation; perhaps, because I watched a visiting health nurse do the dressing for several weeks. Jerry and I came home from the hospital this time with simple instructions for cleaning and dressing the incision. But after a week we noticed the difference in the top of the incision from the four inches below.
The next visit to the vascular surgeon confirmed the need for wound care, which she began in her office, and gave me supplies to care for it every day at home, with an appointment for a return visit each week.
My inadequacy for this has kept me awake, but finally, I think I am able to do this without anxiety.
During these last two weeks the thoughts came of how we are all born into this world wounded from the Fall due to our first parents’ disobedience. Though the fault is not ours, we have this hole in our soul that can only be healed from the inside.
Just as jerry cannot care for his own wound, and must depend on me for his care and healing, so we cannot cure ourselves. Our wound is much more serious than a physical one. There is no one who can apply what is needed except our heavenly Father, through the blood of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit to fill the void that sin has left in us all. He is able and promises the witness of our healing from grateful hearts as we submit to His working, His tender care and comfort. He is the great physician and able to bring complete healing of the heart and soul.
Dear Father in heaven, thank you for providing all things pertaining to life and godliness through your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Whom have I in heaven but thee, and there is none on earth I desire besides thee. My flesh and my heart fail, but you are the strength of my heart and my portion forever. We praise you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
The title for this post came as Jerry and I waited for the nurse to bring his discharge papers late last Monday afternoon.
He was admitted as an outpatient early Wednesday morning and discharged as an inpatient late Monday afternoon.
Wednesday, we waited two hours before they took him to have a stent inserted in an aneurysm in his right leg.
After the procedure, we waited while they applied pressure to stop the bleeding where a sheaf was used to insert the stent. He had to stay overnight to be sure there would be no more bleeding.
Thursday, we waited for the results of an ultrasound that showed the artery had not sealed and for the news that Jerry would need major surgery to seal the artery.
Then we waited for the results of an EKG and ultrasound of his heart to determine if he could endure the surgery.
Friday, we waited for the outcome of the surgery.
Saturday and Sunday, we stayed while a wound vac was used to suction drainage from the four-inch incision.
Monday we waited until the vascular surgeon removed the wound vac.
Now at home, we both wait for Jerry’s healing and our strength to return, so that we may continue to serve Him.
We have indeed experienced many blessings everyday, as the Lord continues to show us His mercy and grace. It is in these difficult times that He continues to grow us in grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Before I began this post early this morning, my thoughts were centered in how to describe the true Christian life. The words, faithful, obedient, and steadfast, were a few that came to mind. Patience is not always the first that we think of, but if we look to the last book of God’s Word, in Revelation 13:10 and 14:12 (KJV) these both speak of “the patience of the saints.” The English Standard Version translates patience as endurance.
“If anyone is to be taken captive,
to captivity he goes;
if anyone is to be slain with the sword,
with the sword must he be slain.
Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.”
When I think of waiting in the circumstances of this life, it in no way compares to the terms of “taken captive” or “slain with the sword.”
In Revelation 14:12-13 we find again the word endurance related to faithfulness and faith of the saints in Jesus.
“Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.
And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!”
It is amazing what the Lord does during our times of adversity. Waiting is linked to patiently enduring whatever He has planned for us, working all things for our good, as He has predestined us to be conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 8:28-29) even as He is faithful to us in all that He is and does.
Three main thoughts came during those six days in the hospital (this is our third visit since it opened three years ago):
God, our Father, is always faithful, even when we are not. He promises to complete the work He has begun in us.
Blessings are hidden in the places we would rather avoid.
We mature when we endure.
Contentment was the only sense that I experienced as we waited for Jerry’s discharge papers Monday afternoon, the fruit of the Lord’s working in my heart during those six days.
Dear Father, we thank you for continuing to fill us with your grace, wrapped in your glory, so that you will not fail to bring us through this life in Christ, even as you are preparing us for your eternal glory. We praise you that you never fail, able always to hold us, strengthen, and grow us as your children. Fill us with your Spirit today and through us, witness to others of your goodness. In Jesus’ name we thank you and praise you. Amen.
Continuing from our last post The Spirit of Contentment, and using the following diagram, we will explain how the Holy Spirit works in man to produce the fruit of the Spirit. Scripture explains all the Holy Spirit does, so to fully understand how our contentment depends solely on the working of the supernatural power of God’s Spirit, we will need to spend time in these passages. I love the word “passages” as it pertains to the Scriptures of God’s Holy Word, Through this wilderness on our way to eternity with our Lord, we are spending time in the passages that He has given us, so that we know how to get through with the contentment that He has planned and works in us.
While in one sitting you may not get what we have included here. Please, save this segment and refer to it often, as these passages continually speak to us and direct us. We will only get to mid-point in this post. We will continue in our next post to how the Spirit works through the heart to our expressions.
God’s Spirit With Our Spirit
We are born of the Spirit of God
by His will and Word .
(John 1:12-13; John 3:3-8; 1 Peter 1:2-3, 23)
The Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.
(Romans 8:9-11; 14-17; 23-24 )
The second Adam (Christ) is a quickening Spirit.
(1 Corinthians 15:45)
Spirt, Soul and Body
Sanctified wholly, spirit, soul and body; preserved until the coming of Christ.
(1 Thessalonians 5:23)
The Word of God, piercing to the division of soul and spirit discerning the intentions of the heart.
A steadfast anchor of the soul (Hebrews 6:19)
The salvation of your souls (1 Peter 1:9).
The body and spirit; faith and works
Soul and Body
Now returned to Shepherd and Bishop of our souls (1 Peter 2:25).
The body and soul (Matthew 10:28).
The body, more than clothing (Luke 12:23).
The body and its passions (Romans 6:12).
The Spirit, the body, and life (Romans 8:12-13).
The body for the Lord, and the Lord for the body (1 Corinthians 6:13).
Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit
(1 Corinthians 6:19).
A natural body, and a spiritual body
(1 Corinthians 15:44).
“Who will transform our lowly body
to be like his glorious body,
by the power that enables him
even to subject all things to himself.”
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear;
but of power, and of love,
and of a sound mind.”
2 Timothy 1:7
“Love the Lord God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength”
“received the word with all readiness of mind.”
“serving the Lord with humility of mind”
“mind the things of the Spirit” Romans 8:5
“to be spiritually minded is life and peace”
“transformed by the renewing of the mind”
“mind not high things” Romans 12:16
“we have the mind of Christ” 1 Corinthians 2:16
“a willing mind” 2 Corinthians 18:12
“renewed in the spirit of your mind”
“keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus”
“humbleness of mind” Colossians 3:12
“I will my put laws into their minds
and write them in their hearts”
“Gird up the loins of your mind” 1 Peter 1:13
“pure minds” 2 Peter 3:1
Dear Father, it is difficult to stop at this point. It seems we are just getting started, knowing we can never cover all that you are opening to us. I pray that those who read will by your Spirit be given wisdom and understanding into how you work in us as your children. Thank you for trusting me with your Word. By the power of your Spirit, please enable me to carry this over to our next post as we come to the center ~ the heart of the matter ~ how your Spirit works in and through our hearts to bring forth the fruit of your love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, temperance; even your holiness, righteousness, truth, grace, humility, godliness, your fulness, the fulness of your Spirit, and the fulness of Christ, who in us is the hope of glory. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
“Seeing ye have purified your souls
in obeying the truth
through the Spirit
unto unfeigned love of the brethren,
see that ye love one another
with a pure heart fervently:”
1 Peter 1:22
The essence of contentment is distilled from the presence of the Father in His own children. It is a seventh sense that comes from the new birth. The birth of God’s Spirit within us springs up to eternal life with a new heart and a new spirit directing our course of life here, preparing us for the eternal glory with the Father and His Son. Most of us have something of our parents that is reflected in us, some trait or expression. The same is true of our relationship with our heavenly Father who, in Christ revealed Himself. We, too, as His children will exhibit His character, when by His Spirit and His written word we become more and more like Him. He is content to have desired us, and sired us for His own family.
We are continuing to learn and proclaim the legacy of God’s kingdom through our books and here on God’s Grace ~ God’s Glory as He is leading and teaching us. We are each given short-term goals but none of us have arrived at His planned destination. We are learning to live in this wilderness of oppression trusting His Word, His presence and His power with us (Ephesians 3:20-21).
The Sixth Sense
We are normally born into this world with five senses. I believe that “faith” is a sixth sense that comes with the new birth. Regeneration brings us in faith and repentance to citizenship in God’s kingdom. There is a sense of new life, a difference from what we lived before. Faith brings a sense of distinction from the old life that we knew. Although it is a new sense of its own, it is connected to the other five senses. Faith is a spiritual sense that comes about through our physical senses of seeing, hearing, touch, taste, and smell.
Faith comes by hearing the gospel, the good news of Christ and our redemption (Romans 10:17). We read God’s Word and the Holy Spirit moves with our spirit to know that we are God’s children (Romans 10:17, Ephesians 1:18). We touch and hold His Word as He teaches us (Proverbs 4:13; 1 Timothy 4:16; Philippians 2: 14-16). We “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8; Matthew 4:4). We become a sweet fragrance of Christ (2 Corinthians 2:15). These are but samples of how God uses the senses He created in us to birth us to a living hope and the inheritance that we have as joint-heirs with Christ. (1Peter 1:3-4)
Faith Leads to Contentment
Faith then affects how our senses are used to lead us and grow us in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ and conform us to His image (2 Peter 3:18; Romans 8:28-29).
Remember the diagram of oppression, adversity, and contentment from an earlier post. Our Father uses faith to bring us out of the state of oppression, through adversity. We would rather say that His presence and power lift us above the adversity and brings us to the state of contentment. We do not escape adversity, but learn to live in conformity to the image of Christ. His Word and faith in His Word train our senses. By these we are enabled to accept and live unmoved by our circumstances. We are being trained and we practice keeping our senses focused on God, our Father and our hearts centered in Christ and His promises, as we are led by the Holy Spirit.
Dear Father, Thank you for filling us with your fulness and spreading your love in our hearts; for becoming life to us through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Continue to fill us with your Holy Spirit,and to work your contentment in us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.