In Jesus' prayer for the Disciples, he makes some astonishing declarations!
John 17:16-18 (NASB)
16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. 18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.
Jesus was born of flesh and the Spirit and yet He was not of the world. The Spirit is more powerful than flesh. We can buy that knowing that Jesus was the Son of God...but what he says about His followers is even more astonishing!
Astonishment #1: We are not of the world!
Once we have the Spirit of God living in us we have made a transition from flesh to Spirit. Paul brings this out in several places in his New Testament writings too. We belong to HIM. We are of the Spirit and we belong with God. Is it any wonder that many of us do not feel at "home" here? Our true home is in the heavenly places!
Astonishment #2: We are sanctified by the Truth of God's Word.
Being sanctified means we are set apart by God and for God. All true believers are in this state and they remain in this state for eternity. How does one receive this state of sanctification? It is a work of GOD...not man. And it's his WORD so that we cannot take credit. His word is Truth in the purest and most absolute sense there is. It's God's Word and it does not just CONTAIN TRUTH...it IS Truth!
Astonishment #3: We all have a mission!
Once we have been called, we are no longer our own. The Heidelberg Catechism puts it eloquently, "That I am not my own, but belong— body and soul, in life and in death— to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ." Because we are now HIS we accept His mission to go and spread the Good News of God's forgiveness of man's sin through Jesus' death of the cross and his resurrection! Just as Jesus was obedient unto death doing the Father's will...we are given the same task of being obedient to Jesus mission. Such an honor!
Go out and seize the day in Jesus' Name!
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Saturday, January 17, 2015
This summer I recorded a show on my DVR and was getting around to watch it the other day. The show was Last Comic Standing. If you are not familiar with the show, it is a contest where these stand-up comedians compete during the course of a few weeks in different situations. Each week one comic is eliminated until they get to the last comic standing. Very funny...and cleaner than most shows since it is on regular TV...that is always a plus for me.
One thing that struck me is the amount of preparation each person competing put into his or her set of joke that they did each week. They wrote down jokes...they practiced telling the jokes...they got feedback and advice on the jokes before they actually went out a performed. There was a tremendous amount of preparation involved. Those where were more prepared, obviously did better in the competition than those who sort of "winged it".
It also started me thinking about being a Christian. How many times do we find ourselves flying by the seat of our pants instead of being intentional about being a Christian? How many times are we really preparing ourselves by praying and studying God's word and seeking Godly advice instead of just 'Winging it"?
This year, make a commitment to being intentional in your Christian walk. Pray without ceasing. Go to Sunday School and study God's Word without ceasing as well. Meditate on it day and night! I think if you do these things you will find that you just may be...the Last Christian Standing and wouldn't that be worth it? Yes, it would totally be worth it!
Sunday, January 4, 2015
God's Word, the Bible, does some very important things for us and to us.
1) God's Word connects us to God. Make no doubt about it. God's Word helps us understand Him and is a revelation of Himself in the world. Make sure you read it to connect yourself to Him.
2) God's Word answers the questions of Life. Why are we here? Who am I? What is my purpose? There is no science that can answer these questions for you. Only the Word of God can. So again, read the Bible and find out the answers for yourself.
3) God's Word is comforting. This world is not the place for comfort. We are all going through a hard fight. But God's Word shines into our heart and gives us HOPE! As the Heidelberg Catechism puts it very well:
Q. What is your only comfort
in life and in death?
A. That I am not my own,
body and soul,
in life and in death—
to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ.
How comforting is THAT!!?
There are many other things the Word of God does as well...but these should keep you busy. How busy? Probably until we meet the Lord face-to-face.