Monday, September 12, 2011

My Adoration of Autumn

Pennsylvania's annual beauty is neatly framed into four seasons. Of these seasons autumn has grounded its roots deepest in my delight. Naturally, the rapture of fiery hue captivates my sight; but more so, the Lord's goodness captivates my heart. After the struggle in the birth of spring and in the heat of summer, autumn surrounds me with a sense of completeness. The fruits of labor have ripened! Autumn portrays the Final Harvest when in radiant glory Christ shall return for His own. Thanksgiving, matchless to any other gratitude, will define each soul –now fully complete with Him. The promise of redeeming grace shall surely be satisfied.

"Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to the wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen." Jude 21;24;25

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Holy Spirit's Rejoicing

Am I abiding in the Spirit or quenching it? What function can the enlightened heart perform? Where does praise originate? And how can I thank God for all things in sincerity? Is there really a position in which the soul freely submits one to another?

And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” Ephesians 5:18-21

This passage in Ephesians directs, “Be not drunk... but be filled with the Spirit.” A person drinking an overabundance of alcohol is soon possessed by it and unable to control himself. He does not know who he is, where he is, or what he is doing. In the same way, Christians should be filled --or possessed by-- the Spirit. If you were controlled by the Spirit, your identity would be Christ, your location would be the Father's will, and your calling would be Spirit's power and precedence.

Quench not the Spirit.” 1 Thessalonians 5:19

This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.” Galatians 5:16-18

Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.” Psalm 15:1;2

As a Child of God the Spirit lives in you. Your heart is the Spirit's home and workplace. The Holy Spirit is God on earth today. The Spirit was sent here to teach, empower, lead, and comfort us after God the Son returned to reign victorious in Heaven. When you confess your sin and ask God the Father to cleanse you from all unrighteousness He can and will because His Son is making intercession for you now before the Father. Being pardoned from sin, you are enabled to stand in pure unity before God. Present sins are the very means of “quenching the Spirit.” --And when they are purged, you are placed in fellowship with God-- allowing Him to work in your life.

But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” John 4:23;24

Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will shew you things to come." John 16:13

The excellent work begins: The Spirit reveals the truth of God's holy Word. Truth revealed is not merely a Christians reading God's law, but the Christlike wisdom and understanding from which Christians can be used of God to the utmost. God wrote His Word, and only by God can you fully understand what He would have you to know. The ultimate foundation of truth is Christ. In being exposed to the image of God your mind and heart is transformed. The response to such glory in the unity of God is proclamation. Since it is from the meditation of your heart you act, the truth is testified to others through you by the Spirit Himself!

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Acts 1:8

At the realization of God's power, the heart swells with a boldness to not only tell of it but also sing forth in wonder and thanksgiving. You can see no greater call than to praise the Lord before the throne of grace. This is the heart the God desires you to have. This is the heart of Jesus Christ --in the streets of the blind, at the table of publicans, and on the cross of separation from His Father-- for you.
No greater joy and strength is found than knowing the Truth --glimpsing the glory of God. Paul, the human author of Ephesians 5:18-21, later wrote in 3 John 4, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walking in truth.” Your walk blesses fellow brothers in Christ by saying, “Being strong and of good courage; greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world!”
Your praise to God continues in thanking Him for all things. Not just singing about it-- living your every action in gratitude always. Although an imperfect sinner, as long as you am abiding in the Spirit, you will always be thanking God for all things. If you are not thankful you are not in fellowship with God, believing that all things are being fitted into the perfect masterpiece. Therefore, may you daily seek the Lord's face and walk in His footprints... and witness His blueprint being unfolded.

Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.” 1 Corinthians 13:5;8

For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps.” 1 Peter 2:21

O God, thou art my God; early will I seek Thee: my soul thirsteth for Thee, my flesh longeth for Thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.” Psalm 63:1

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.” Psalm 19:14

As a result of this power, joy, strength, and love you freely submit yourself “one to another in the fear of God.” You have understanding in our Father. His will is made clear. Being acceptable before the Lord is the safest, most glorified place to be. There your will is none other than that which the Lord wills.
Am I possessed by the Spirit today? Is there any way that I am poisoning the the truth that the Spirit is trying to show me? What is there in my life that is keeping me from being fully in the Spirit? Lay aside not only every sin, but also every weight. What is my song? Is it of corrupt, former things of unrighteousness –or of truth, joy, thanksgiving, and a godly willingness? Remember, it is from the meditation of the heart that I act. May our lives continue to grow up in Him in all things.

For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” Ephesians 5:8-11
I will sing unto the LORD as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. My meditation of Him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the LORD.” Psalm 104:33-34