Sunday, September 30, 2012

Dependent upon the Holy Spirit……………

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
Because the Lord has anointed me
To bring good news to the afflicted;
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to captives
And freedom to prisoners..”  Isa. 61:1 NASB

What was Jesus’ relationship to the Holy Spirit?

One of complete dependence!

Nowhere do we read that Jesus performed any miracles or uttered marvelous teachings before His baptism and filling by the Holy Spirit.  But at His baptism, at about age thirty, God filled Him with His Spirit “without measure.”  (John 3:34)

From that point on Jesus was a dynamo of power, healing, teaching and snatching people from death and from demon possession.  Even His ability to die for us on Calvary was accomplished through the Holy Spirit. (Heb. 9:14)

That simple dependence upon the Holy Spirit was necessary on Jesus’ part for the accomplishing of God’s will through Him.  It is necessary on my part if I am to accomplish God’s will through me.  God does not build His work on my personality, gifts or abilities; He builds it on the Holy Spirit in me, with or without my abilities.

The world calls Jesus a “religious genius” which is nonsense.   Jesus, the Son of God, chose to allow the Holy Spirit work completely through Him, and the “genius” aspect of Jesus’ life is simply the Holy Spirit doing the will of the Father through the obedient Son.

Victorious Christian living is not me “fulfilling myself” rather; it is letting the Holy Spirit fulfill Himself in me.  If Jesus, the perfect Son of God, felt it necessary to surrender completely to the Holy Spirit, then certainly I must feel the same way.

“Have Your way Holy Spirit in me to fulfill God’s will in my life.  I surrender it to you completely!”

Thank God, it is possible!  Being Spirit filled is not a privilege of the Son only, it can be shared with each one of us. 

Ephesians 5:18 says, “Be filled with the Spirit…..” 


Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Dependent Life……

“……He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.”   John 8:29 KJV

“God, my life must be a copy of Your Son’s life on this earth.”

I may never copy all of His acts such as raising the dead, feeding the five thousand, walking on water but I am to copy Him.

As He is, so also are we in this world.” (I John 4:17)    Just as Jesus went through a certain pattern, so I am to duplicate that pattern in my life.

The patter is one of dependence.  “By myself I can do nothing.”  (John 5:30)

Those are not the words of a helpless Christian, but the strong Son of God.   He deliberately chose to live a life of utter dependence upon His heavenly Father.  He taught only what His Father allowed Him to teach; He revealed as truths only what His Father permitted; He walked only where His Father directed.

No life has ever been lived on this earth in such absolute dependence upon God, His Father, as the life of Jesus. 

In that same sense I am to copy Jesus. 

“Without me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5 KJV)

To accept Jesus as Savior and Master is to become a dependent.

“……“My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.”  (Matthew 27: 39 NASB)

What would have happened if Jesus had become independent of His heavenly Father?  

What happens when I become independent of Him?   The result is complete confusion and misery.   Just as Jesus was necessary to His Father’s plan of salvation for mankind, so are we necessary to the ongoing of that salvation today.

A breakdown of obedience means a breakdown of the instrument of salvation to others.

What a responsibility that is, and yet what a joy!   Who else in the world offers us an opportunity to connect to an eternal scheme, in which what we do now has consequences that will never die?

Jesus calls us to follow “in His steps” that is to live the life He lived on this earth. (I Peter 2:21)

What an honor to represent Jesus in all we do!

Our actions and words will reveal Jesus in our heart or……………..

 “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit.   You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.  

The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil.   But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment.  For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”   Matthew 12: 33-37  NASB

The test of a disciple………….

“…….. he shall be like a tree firmly planted [and tended] by the streams of water, ready to bring forth its fruit in its season; its leaf also shall not fade or wither; and everything he does shall prosper [and come to maturity].”  Psalm 1:3 AMP

What is the chief result of a disciple’s life?

The very same result that characterized the life of Christ-----He made things live!

The Nile is called the “breadbasket” of Egypt because it changes barren deadness into living greenness.  

God sends us disciples into a spiritually arid waste and expects us to leave it fertile and green.   Ezekiel’s river of blessing began at the altar and traveled down through brown deadness, but what a result!   Everywhere the river went, everything lived.  (Ezek. 47:9)

Have you ever noticed the sharp contrast of Hebrews 11?  Against a bleak background of death, those men and women of faith created life.   Look at Abraham: “From this one man, and he was as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky”  Heb. 11:12.

The deadness of Abraham’s body was the beginning of a miracle----by faith.  That is how Jesus lived!   He constantly touched “dead” people, spiritually as well as physically and made them live.

Greenness is the test of a disciple.  Is my path strewn with people whom I have touched into life? 

Worldly men can coerce others into conformity, but the man of God can ignite them into spontaneous, living obedience.  But only---------if the disciple himself is in direct touch with Him who is life. 

Do the signs of life follow me-----healed wounds, enlightened minds, selflessness, reborn souls, purified relationships, righteousness and an atmosphere charged with the glory of God?

Lord, my purpose in life is to make the “land live” but only as You, the Prince of Life, live out Your life in me!  Thank you for the awesome promise, “ I will put My Spirit within you, and you will come to life” Ezek. 37:14.

Lord, make the land around me live, also!


Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Community Action of………………..

And if one member suffers, all the parts [share] the suffering; if one member is honored, all the members [share in] the enjoyment of it.

Now you [collectively] are Christ’s body and [individually] you are members of it, each part severally and distinct [each with his own place and function].”                 I Cor. 12:26-27  AMP

Just as there is a community action in righteousness, which means I am forgiven my sins “for Christ’s sake,” so there is a community action in sins.  (Eph. 4:32)

Achan’s sin resulted in the death of many of his fellow countrymen. For that reason Achan was discovered with his sin, which was stealing what belonged to God and his whole family was destroyed.  (Josh. 7:5, 24-25)  

His family suffered judgment with him as a symbol that no one sins unto himself any more than he dies unto himself.

Community sin begins with Adam; I am a sinner because he was.  But if I were the only sinner in the world, others would still suffer because of me.  In fact, the more godly my acquaintances and fellow Christians are, the more they will suffer because of my sin.  

Since I am not a solitary Christian but a member of a body, when I sin I infect the body and the cells nearest to me suffer the worst.   The Bible warns me against having a “root of bitterness” in me by which “many (are) defiled”  Heb. 12:15.

Paul warns that sin, like leaven, permeates the whole dough. (I Cor. 5:6)

So sensitive is my example to my fellow believers that even the “appearance” of sin must be avoided for their sakes. (I Thess. 5:22)

I must never repeat the behavior of Jeroboam, who “made Israel to sin”. (I Kings 14:16)   The tragedy of Jeroboam was that he never realized the community action of sin.   He sinned and a nation sinned with him.

I am encouraged by the “keeping” power of God, “The Lord is your keeper”. (Psalm 121:5)

If He is my Keeper, He will protect me from all harm, the harm to others as well as the harm from others.



My friends, how I wish with all my heart that my own people might be saved! How I pray to God for them!”  Romans 10:1 GNT

One of the richer purposes God has for me as a Christian is that I become an intercessor.

An intercessor is someone for whose sake others are blessed.  You and I are forgiven our sins “for Christ’s sake” (Eph. 4:32 KJV).

Every spiritual blessing God bestows upon men is due to Christ’s intercession for us. (Eph. 1:3)

Jesus is the perfect Intercessor whose life and character earned Him the right to plead with God for others.   But the privilege of interceding for others is also given to His followers. 

Moses interceded time and again for his people Israel, and for the sake of Israel was both spared and blessed as a nation. (Ex. 32:11-15)

The outstanding quality God requires of all intercessors is not sinlessness; otherwise no one could qualify, but utter selflessness.

Moses was willing to be blotted out in order that Israel might be spared destruction. (Ex. 32:32)

Paul was willing to be “cursed” in order that Israel might be saved.  (Rom. 9:3)

Am I that kind of an intercessor?

Intercession need not be an earthshaking ministry but a simple one.

Lot was blessed for Abraham’s sake and Jacob’s family was exalted for Joseph’s sake. (Gen. 19:29, 47:6)

Am I that disciple for whose sake others around me are favored by God?

God is looking for intercessors and is delighted when He finds a person to bless others.  (Isa. 59:16)

God wants me to have an intercessor’s heart, one that feels keenly the pain and sin of others.   Then, for my sake, He will bless them!

My attitude should always be that of Samuel, “Far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you; but I will instruct you in the good and right way.”  (I Sa. 12:23)



Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Get Serious

Where do you think all these appalling wars and quarrels come from? Do you think they just happen? Think again. They come about because you want your own way, and fight for it deep inside yourselves. You lust for what you don’t have and are willing to kill to get it. You want what isn’t yours and will risk violence to get your hands on it.

You wouldn’t think of just asking God for it, would you? And why not? Because you know you’d be asking for what you have no right to. You’re spoiled children, each wanting your own way.

You’re cheating on God. If all you want is your own way, flirting with the world every chance you get, you end up enemies of God and his way. And do you suppose God doesn’t care? The proverb has it that “he’s a fiercely jealous lover.” And what he gives in love is far better than anything else you’ll find. It’s common knowledge that “God goes against the willful proud; God gives grace to the willing humble.”

So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet.

Don’t bad-mouth each other, friends. It’s God’s Word, his Message, his Royal Rule, that takes a beating in that kind of talk. You’re supposed to be honoring the Message, not writing graffiti all over it. God is in charge of deciding human destiny. Who do you think you are to meddle in the destiny of others?.......................

As it is, you are full of your grandiose selves. All such vaunting self-importance is evil. In fact, if you know the right thing to do and don’t do it, that, for you, is evil.           James 4 1-17    The Message
“No mountain, no valley, no gain or loss we know
could keep us from Your love
No sickness, no secret, no chain is strong enough
to keep us from Your love
to keep us from Your love

How high, how wide
No matter where I am, healing is in Your hands
How deep, How strong,
And now by Your grace I stand, healing is in Your hands

Our present, our future, our past is in Your hands
We're covered by Your blood
We're covered by Your blood

How high, how wide
No matter where I am, healing is in Your hands
How deep, How strong,
And now by Your grace I stand, healing is in Your hands

In all things we know that
we are more than conquerors
You keep us by Your love

How high, how wide, Oh Lord!
No matter where I am, healing is in Your hands
How deep, how deep is Your love,
How strong, how strong is Your love,
And now by Your grace I stand, healing is in Your hands”

Healing Is In Your Hands lyrics     Christy Nockels






Tuesday, September 25, 2012

When You Open Your Mouth

A bit in the mouth of a horse controls the whole horse.  A small rudder on a huge ship in the hands of a skilled captain sets a course in the face of the strongest winds. A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything—or destroy it!


It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire.  A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that.  By our SPEECH we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell.


This is scary: You can tame a tiger, but you can’t tame a tongue—it’s never been done. The tongue runs wild, a wanton killer. With our tongues we bless God our Father; with the same tongues we curse the very men and women he made in his image. Curses and blessings out of the same mouth!


My friends, this can’t go on.  A spring doesn’t gush fresh water one day and brackish the next, does it?  Apple trees don’t bear strawberries, do they? Raspberry bushes don’t bear apples, do they?  You’re not going to dip into a polluted mud hole and get a cup of clear, cool water, are you?


Live Well, Live Wisely


Do you want to be counted wise, to build a reputation for wisdom? Here’s what you do: Live well, live wisely, live humbly. It’s the way you live, not the way you talk, that counts. Mean-spirited ambition isn’t wisdom. Boasting that you are wise isn’t wisdom. Twisting the truth to make yourselves sound wise isn’t wisdom. It’s the furthest thing from wisdom—it’s animal cunning, devilish conniving. Whenever you’re trying to look better than others or get the better of others, things fall apart and everyone ends up at the others’ throats.


REAL WISDOM, GOD’S WISDOM, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only IF you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor.


James 3:3-18 Message Bible

“In the quiet of my soul
In the stillness I hear Your voice call
And I am overwhelmed
And I am lost for words
To describe You

Jesus You're more than a friend
Jesus You're more than my heart could ever express
Your love and Your grace never fail me
Your merciful touch always heals me
You bring joy to my soul

My heart longs to worship You my King
And I long to bring You a pleasing offering
And I am overwhelmed
And I am lost for words
To describe You”             
More Than A Friend lyrics  Jeremy Riddle