Section One: The Spiritual Characteristics of a Godly Life.
Our current theme: Characteristic Two: Being Empowered.
Our reading for today: John 14: 23-27 (MsgB)
A loveless world, (said Jesus) is a sightless world. If anyone loves Me, he will carefully keep My word and My Father will love him—We’ll move right into the neighborhood! Not loving Me means not keeping My words. The message you are hearing isn’t Mine. It’s the message of the Father who sent Me. I’m telling you these things while I’m still living with you. The Friend, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send at My request, will make everything plain to you. He will remind you of all the things I have told you. I’m leaving you well and whole. That’s My parting gift to you. Peace. I don’t leave you the way you’re used to being left—feeling abandoned, bereft. So don’t be upset. Don’t be distraught.
Let’s face it. Jesus was right.
You and I live, work and play in a loveless, sightless world. So short-sighted and self-focused, the only option for survival is dog-eat-dog.
You see, when our ancient ancestors, Adam and Eve, decided to go it alone in this brave new world, checking in with the Creator only when they found themselves in big trouble, they set in place a world where only the strongest survive. Since then, every generation of mankind has developed its own unique environment where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Success is defined by how much you and I can conquer and keep for ourselves. Failure is defined by those who simply can’t find the inner fortitude to win at all costs.
And then, in the midst of this generational turmoil, came one unique man named Jesus of Nazareth. He said that He was sent by the Creator/God, and that He was here to model for us a much better option for life than dog-eat-dog. In today’s passage, as Jesus was preparing to pay the supreme price for buying back our souls out of this fallen world, He told His friends that those who love Him and follow Him in this way of life He modeled for us, will be given a unique Gift that this world just won’t understand.
That Gift is a Person. A Companion. A Friend, who will be to us just as Jesus was to His earthly friends while they were walking through their loveless, sightless world.
The Holy Spirit, indwelling and empowering us, gives us God’s Truth (our blog topic last time), and gives us God’s Wisdom, and gives us God’s Peace. In all honesty, these three gifts are more valuable than all of the riches this planet could ever offer. You see, in our dog-eat-dog world, there’s an on-going pursuit of great power and wealth, but a massive void when it comes to those who are pursuing the greater benefits that flow from God’s Truth, Wisdom and Peace.
But here’s the catch that most folks don’t understand. As a matter of fact, even a lot of well-meaning Christians fail to embrace this hidden truth about accessing God’s treasure chest of Truth, Wisdom and Peace.
These great riches are only available to those who access them, not as the world accesses riches (by might and by power), but through quiet, often hidden actions of Faith, Hope and Love.
You see, Jesus offers us an amazing promise here in John 14. The Gift of the Holy Spirit, given by God through the hands of His Son, is offered to every generation wise enough to step out of the dog-eat-dog way of doing life and access God’s amazing power through simple acts of Faith, Hope and Love. Acts that truly confound those caught up in this loveless, sightless world, but gold and silver to those of us who truly desire to love and obey the Master.
Wanna access that kind of power?
More on that next time.
My prayer: Father God, I’m fed up with dog-eat-dog and it’s time for a change. A deep change. A radical change. And I see in Your Son, Jesus of Nazareth, a life filled with the Holy Spirit, and a life that truly mattered. I choose today, Jesus, to love and follow You, so that my life might be indwelled and empowered by the Spirit of Truth, Wisdom and Peace. For Your name’s sake. Amen.
My questions to ponder: So where am I still buying into the world’s system of success? Am I warring my way through life, trying my best to win the prize through my own strength and inner fortitude, or am I willing to consider the radical alternative modeled by Jesus of Nazareth? What will need to change inside me today to allow the Holy Spirit more room for this type of change?
So what is God speaking to you today as we attempt to live the Christ-centered life?
Over a thirty-six week period, you and I will take a deeper look into twelve key characteristics of a godly life. In other words, we’ll take A Journey into Christian Discipleship. In order to keep all the blog sessions organized, we suggest you bookmark our Journey home page for ease of use. ENJOY!
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