March 24, 2016
We are put to sleep by the Americanized Christian. I'm speaking of the professing believer whose life is no different from his neighbor. In whom we see no evidence of the great God of heaven and earth. The one who is probably not a believer at all, except culturally.
But there are others. And these humble, authentic Christ-followers stun the world in so many ways.
None is more profound though, than those who are capable of fulfilling this command of Jesus:
""But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. (Luke 6:35-36)
If you've ever had a real enemy, you understand the impossibility of this command. Jesus does not command us to ignore, or tolerate, or endure our enemies—but to LOVE, DO GOOD, and LEND EXPECTING NOTHING IN RETURN.
This is so contrary to our nature that its’ practice, when seen in a grace-filled child of God, is an undeniable witness. In fact, that is the point. We are to show the world the reality of the God who lives within us who ""Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men."" This counter-cultural response will impact the world in ways that no angry retaliation could ever accomplish.
And for the believer who allows the Spirit to flow through Him with such unnatural love, Christ makes a promise: ""your reward will be great.""
We do not know what that reward will be. But those who have experienced some of this on earth know that there is the reward on this side of heaven as well as the next. The joy of peace instead of bitterness and a sense of God's pleasure with His like-natured children. And the extraordinary privilege of knowing the freedom of love instead of the bondage of bitterness...all made possible because of the One who lives within us!
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January 22, 2020
The omnipresence of God is a reality (that God is everywhere all the time). “Where can I go from Thy Spirit?” David said (Psalm 139). And, since the coming of Christ and Pentecost, which was the sending of His indwelling Spirit to all who believe, the true follower of Christ is assured that Christ will never leave them nor forsake them personally. Once the Spirit comes to reside in the believing heart, He is there permanently.
But, it is possible to have our head turned by the world, the flesh, and the devil. We can quench and grieve the Spirit who lives within us. We can ignore Him or resist His leadership. If we do so, we will lose the conscious awareness of His presence. We will begin to operate on our own, not walking by the Spirit, and the results are always disastrous. We get what our humanity brings. Like an unseen guest standing in the shadows, He is still present, but not prominent.
January 21, 2020
January 20, 2020