March 20, 2016

How are we empowered by the Holy Spirit?

       “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
                                                                      Philippians 4:4-7

       Do you ever feel like you’re being watched? I have some good news for you! You are. Everyone you interact with are watching how you live and react to things. You are also using their examples of living as well be it for good or bad. (This is usually for little things that one is unaware of, but one can still recognize when he doesn't want to live like somebody else or even subconsciously reject an example. Either way, our brains are always analyzing other people's lifestyles.) Have you ever met someone who acts really weird and you wonder what makes them live like that? A few days ago, I met someone who just walked around asking everyone if they wanted to be her friend and have them a hug if they said yes. :-) Why on earth was she doing that? As Christians, we should be the same way. (Okay. She was a little crazy, but what I mean is, people should react to us the same way I was surprised by her.)

       From the verse, our joy, gentleness, and confidence should be evident to the people who watch us and the people we serve. 

       “Give thanks to the Lord , for he is good. His love endures forever.”
                                                                                                       Psalm 136:1 NIV

       Again, we have joy, gentleness, confidence, and now thanks and praise.The world does not have these things. Just watch some popular TV shows in a restaurant or at the gym or something and you will see what I mean. What praise can they give? They can only take pride in themselves. What gentleness are they able to show? Only what their tempers and other feelings allow. What confidence do they have? Only what their god’s give and there is no other God than the God we serve. These people live in the dark land of work that only reaps thorns and blood, war that settles nothing, and a broken society that harvests hate and utterly ignores the God that is able to save them.

    How can we hope in this dark world? We are loved and saved by Jesus. He gave us light, peace, joy, gratitude, and filled us to the overflowing with his love. We are a light in the dark land because we have His Holy Spirit. What are we to do?

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
   and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
   and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry
   and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
   and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
   and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
   and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
   you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I."
                                             Isaiah 58:6-9

       We are to let Christ’s love that overflows out of our cups land on the oppressed, the hungry, the wanderer, the naked, to everyone made in the image of God. Then our light will be to them like seeing the dawn again after dying. They will wonder how we are so different, so holy, so joy filled and radiant. It is because the Lord is with us. When we cry for help, He tells us He is right beside us and will support us. 

       Later on, in verse 11, Isaiah says that when the Lord guides, satisfies, and strengthens us, we will be called repairer of broken walls and restorers of streets with dwellings. If you watch the highly recommended With All Your Heart video series, Ray Vanderlaan talks about God’s nation on a fertile hillside. Each farmers owned one level of the hill that spread horizontally across the side of it. The other farmers owned the raised or lowered levels on either side. The levels held up by rock walls: walls made of stacked rocks carefully fitted into each other to be firm and smaller rocks crammed in the cracks. If these walls fell, all the fertile soil that may have taken years to nurture would erode away at the next rain, never to be retrieved.

       To be a repairer of broken walls is to be one of those farmers, who works on his wall and on his neighbor's wall because both would be affected if one wall collapsed. A repairer of broken walls is somebody who loves his neighbor and takes care of them; he is one who takes a firm responsibility in his community and keeps it strong. 

       So my main point are that when we have Christ, we have joy, gentleness, confidence, peace, thanksgiving, praise, light, purpose, and the ability to spread these great things to others because God wants to gather all His children back together.

       Also, when people wonder why you are so different, when people ask you for a reason for the hope that is in you, be prepared to give an answer with gentleness and respect. (1 Peter 3:15)

1 comment:

  1. Your title, and the content focused on others and living in community, is a great reminder that we are empowered by the Holy Spirit primarily for God's glory and His kingdom's benefit. We benefit mostly as a side-effect.


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