Only one adequate plan has ever appeared in the world, and that is the Christian dispensation.
John Jay - First US Supreme Court Chief Justice
Wednesday's Word: The Spirit is Strength

Wednesday's Word

Welcome friends, feel free to look around, make comments and whatnot. I'll try and keep this thing updated with interesting pics, stories and other odds & ends. Feel free to criticize, but please share the 'truth in love'. No reason to be purposefully offensive. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Spirit is Strength



Here’s The Word;

Ephesians 3:16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;

What is this “Spiritual” strength for? Acts 1:8 starts with “But you shall receive power…” from the Holy Spirit and goes on to talk about the disciples being ‘witnesses’. Are we to assume that this power is just to calm our fears about evangelizing and sharing our testimonies?
Not exclusively. Being a witnesses doesn’t only require the boldness to go and speak – witnesses LIVE according to the Truth they’ve been exposed to. They live ‘altered’ lives which have more of an apparent impact. Our lives need to synchronized expressions of personal disposition, walking the walk AND talking the talk.

Is this strength to overcome the tough issues of sin in our lives that we can’t seem to finally put to death? Definitely part of it, but still, that’s only part of the bigger picture.
It’s got to be more than something that simply falls easily out of our mouths as a remedy for ‘trials and tribulations’, right?
Just like when Christ promised the delivery of the Comforter to help DO what we’re supposed to do - to act accordingly when it comes to spiritual matters you NEED the Spirit and you must USE the strength of the Spirit to accomplish those things that we’re supposed to do.

Here’s The Word;

Galatians 5:22- 25 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

See the relationship between the gifts (fruit) of The Spirit and our commitment to appropriating and applying them.

2 Peter 5:5 - 9 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.

Use The Spirit's Love

– Indeed, this is the easiest one to counterfeit because our lives are literally bombarded daily with contemporary displays of ‘loving’. We love everything! But we know that this is not the Spiritually empowered, divinely expressed, sacrificially displayed LOVE that we’re to walk in spiritually.

1 Peter 1: 22 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:

Use The Spirit's Joy

Colossians 2:5 - 7 For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ. As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

The joy of the Spirit has a wonderful way of overlooking immediate circumstances to finding happiness in the reality of applied deliverance and future promises.

Use The Spirit's Peace

– Did you kind’ve raise an eyebrow when I mentioned ‘personal disposition’ earlier? As Christians we need to be joyful, peaceful people. So many are geared toward dispensing hard truth like a 'brick to the head' that even though some can overlook it for value sake, not everyone can and it’s no accident – weak people aren’t somehow NOT worthy of the truth. The Bible emphasizes how a gentle answer turns away wrath and we need to be ambassadors of peace as empowered by The Spirit.

Use The Spirit's Longsuffering

- (also called patience) This is probably the hardest one for most people and this is why I’m most glad that it’s included. The other aspects have a worldly expression that easily masks itself as the genuine article. Not going off on someone is not the same as peace. Giving someone stuff they want with a smile is not the same as love. However, longsuffering touches us more personally and most of don’t do lasting pain or unhappiness (or discontentment) well. This is how you can know that The Spirit’s influence is becoming stronger in your life: you can be content in whatever state you’re in (lack or plenty) Phil 4:11 - and it’s not just in a tolerating (refusal to complain) mode….you can have true peace about it.

Use The Spirit's Gentleness

Galatians 6:1 Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently.

Living by the Spirit IS the prerequisite for the ability to restore gently, as gentleness is an expression of the fruit and strength contained IN the Spirit. Related to peace and meekness, this is a calm understanding of the process people are in, since we're in it ourselves. We can't shy away from giving messages of truth that may be hard to receive, but the delivery of those messages should always be with compassion. It's a gracious thing to be right, gently.

Use The Spirit's Faith

– Faith is fundamental and can often be hard to understand since the word can be used as a verb, noun and adjective. If you are a ‘believer’ – Faith is the first ‘Spiritual’ thing you’ve been given; the ability to believe. It’s then a partnership of our surrender and Christ’s work to finish(strengthen and perfect) our faith.

Hebrews 11:5 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

"faith" without the strength of The Spirit has NO substance - it's just wishful thinking easily given to chance.

Use The Spirit's Meekness

2 Timothy 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;

Often times, WE want to convince someone to change their behavior, and if they do – WE want the credit for telling/helping them. The Spirit helps us live in the truth that one plants, another waters, but GOD gives the increase and therefore deserves all the glory – but feel free to take pleasure in the fact that He uses us as the method He uses to provide it. Realize that we were once in dark places that we are now able to help others out of and it’s not that we were ever able to save ourselves….God is merciful.

Use The Spirit's Temperance

– (Self control) Another one that isn’t easily disguised over time. When entrusted to our own devices, things build up to breaking(or boiling) points all the time. Not so with The Spirit. In the Spirit’s strength we can control our tongues, our flesh, and the pull of those old ‘less than commendable’ desires that mar our ability to be sincere witnesses for Christ.

In closing, it’s pretty clear cut – you either have the Spirit, or you don’t. If you do; yes, it is a process of growth but the evidences are not to just convince others, it should comfort you as confirmation to the genuineness of your conversion and to give you boldness to USE the power that God used to speak all created things into existence, the power that ripped the vail of the temple from top to bottom and that same Spirit's power that raised Christ from the dead - it's meant to be at work in you.(Romans 8:11)

Philippians 2:13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.


In Him,
Cros

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