Tag Archives: Holy Spirit

I Kings 5-8; Christ In Me

This morning I read about the temple Solomon built for the Lord, every intricate detail. It must have been fabulous. Was there anything too good for the place God would dwell on earth? Solomon didn’t seem to think so.

At the dedication ceremony, after the temple was completed, Solomon appears to be overcome with awe, as he raised his hands and prayed. He had just built the most elaborate building most had ever seen. Yet standing in front of this magnificent structure he said:

But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built. (8:27)

Paul tells us our very bodies are God’s temples these days. (I Corinthians 6:19) He’s not limited to one building, even a beautiful building like Solomon’s temple. He lives in me. Can it be, when even heaven can’t contain him?

The answer is yes!

Christ in me, the hope of glory. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of the redeemed is as real as this chair I’m sitting in. The God of creation lives IN ME. I, like Solomon, am in awe.

Once again I am reminded to care for this temple where the Creator lives. I want to guard my heart, choose purity and commitment. Everyone, Jews and Gentiles alike, knew that God dwelt in the temple Solomon built. I want Christians and non-Christians to know God lives in me today, by the way I talk, the things I do, the stand I take.

Let them see Jesus in me. Because Jesus really is in me!

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Still waiting to get back on the island after the hurricane. Power and sewer companies hard at work to get things up and running, Chain saws are busy clearing the roads. And I sit here, ready to go home, waiting for the “all clear.” Thank you for your continued prayers for all of us effected by Irma. We all still have a lot to do, but am so thankful for God’s mercy.

People are asking why God did this. Is it a judgment on our nation? Honestly, God hasn’t let me in on that secret. But I do know, if it was judgment on a disobedient people, we are very blessed that all of us weren’t thrown into the ocean. God is merciful. And I continue to praise Him!

Ripped

I was reading Mark 15 this morning, Peter’s account of Jesus’ crucification as told through Mark. It occurred to me that Peter set down the facts pretty much without much emotion: Jesus was hung on a cross, people mocked him, Pilate’s sign “King of the Jews” made the chief priests really mad, the sky darkened, people thought Jesus was calling for Elijah, then he died.

Concise and to the point.

Mark even includes a sentence that is easily overlooked: “Then the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom”. (vs 38) Nothing more is said of this event in the book of Mark. Just the fact that it happened.

That blows me away. God ripped that veil in two like I might tear a piece of paper.

Have you ever held a mortgage or a car loan? You are enslaved to that piece of paper that holds the terms of the agreement. You think about it every month as you write that check, chipping away at the debt with every payment.

Then, one day you write the last check. The house or the car is finally yours. Debt paid! Did you take  your copy of the mortgage and rip it in two? How did that feel? Did you experience a sense of freedom, relief, joy?

Paid in full! That house, or that car, is mine!!!

I think that’s a little how God must have felt when he was finally able to rip that curtain apart. That curtain separated him from us. God could not have easy access to us until that curtain came down. But Jesus died on that cross, paid the full price, and now there is no more curtain. Until today I don’t think I ever considered the significance of that from God’s point of view.

What joy he must have experienced as he felt and heard that material rip apart.

Yes, the ripping of that curtain allows us to approach the throne of God. But it also allows God to live in us, walk with us, talk to us and guide us in a personal, precious way. God created us to fellowship with him, but sin separated us. In the Old Testament we read that God instructed Moses to put up a curtain so that we could get as close to God as possible while we still owed our debt. He could only communicate with his people through the prophets. And there were years when God didn’t communicate at all.

But when Jesus paid the price… in full… there was no need for the curtain. I think God must have been pretty excited about that.

As we prepare to celebrate Easter, Jesus death on the cross and his resurrection, let’s also be aware of the privilege that is ours through the ripping apart of that veil. God has access to me and I to him because my sin debt is paid.

Dearest Father, thank you for occasionally letting us in on what you are feeling. Sometimes we think it’s all about us and we forget that you have a stake in our lives, too. I thank you for Jesus, for his death on the cross, for what his sacrifice gives me. But let me remember what it gave you, too. You love us so completely. For thousands of years your dealings with us were from behind the curtain. It must have brought you great joy to rip that curtain in two. Thank you for wanting to walk with me so much. May I never take this privilege for granted.

December 5

Romans 5:1-8:17

Best. News. Ever!

That’s what I think when I read the first 17 verses of Romans 8. Just look at verses 1&2:

Therefore, there is now NO CONDEMNATION to those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me FREE from the law of sin and death. (those caps are mine)

When I accepted Christ as my Savior, Jesus took on the guilt of my sin and I became guilt-free. No condemnation for this woman! And to top it off, verses 14-17 tell me I became a child of God, a co-heir with Christ. Paul calls it a spirit of sonship. I like it!

So I have a choice, which in my opinion is no choice at all. I can reject the Lord and live according to what nature desires. Or I can accept Jesus and set my mind on what the Spirit desires. Verse 6:

The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.

Death, or life and peace. I choose Christ. It’s a no-brainer.

The Spirit of Christ lives in me. Like I said…

Best. News. Ever!

Dear Jesus, thank you for coming into my heart and life. Thank you for taking the penalty for my sin and setting me free from sin’s control. Thank you for making me your child. I give you my life. I give you my mind. I give you today. Thank you for promising to go with me. Prepare me to do the job you want me to do. I love you, Lord.

November 20

Galatians 4:8-6:18

What does it mean to be free in Christ? Did Jesus erase the law when he died on the cross? Are the things that were considered sin in the Old Testament no longer sinful? 

Paul explains that because Jesus took on himself the penalty of sin we are no longer justified by following the law. Forgiveness for sin no longer requires slashing the throat of a cow. Salvation comes through the blood of Jesus and is ours for the asking.

But, Paul says, evidence of this work is played out in obedience. Sin is still sin. He tells us not to indulge in the sinful nature, rather serve and love each other. Paul lists acts of the sinful nature in 5:19-21. Among those are sexual immorality, jealousy, drunkenness, and hatred and people who live like that will not inherit the kingdom of God.

But he also says, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. People who have the Spirit of the Living God just naturally live like that. It’s as natural as an apple tree bearing apples.

Who wouldn’t want to live being filled with the those fruit of the Spirit? Aren’t those the things most people are looking for in this life? Dear one, we are free to choose that life! We are free to choose Jesus.

Father, once again I thank you for what Jesus did on the cross when he took on himself the penalty for my sin. Help me to recognize sin and flee from it. May I be quick to confess sin in my life and may I be filled with your Holy Spirit so that I will bear that precious fruit. Not only will my life be better, but I can reach out and help others, too. May I bear fruit for your kingdom today.

November 11

Mark 16:9-20; Acts 1:1-2:47

What a transformation we see in Peter. Can the man we read about today be the same hot-headed coward who denied he even knew Jesus just a few weeks earlier? The disciples needed a leader and Peter stepped up to the plate. He spoke boldly to the crowd of people and reminded them of their part in the crucifixion of Jesus.

And what was his message? Repent. He didn’t write them off or tell them they had gone too far to be forgiven. He invited them to join him and the other disciples. Many people repented and made a dangerous public statement by being baptized that day. No secret believers here! This act identified them as enemies of the government.

I love the picture of this first century church. They really took care of each other. And, no I don’t think it’s an argument for our current welfare system in the US. They all brought something to the table.

I think it’s a little sad how our modern day churches have lost some of the unity the people enjoyed in Acts 1&2. We’ve become so compartmentalized. Multiple worship services, small groups replacing corporate worship. Mega churches where it is impossible to know everyone – even if you are the pastor. i know there are some good things happening in churches today but I wonder if we aren’t missing out on some important things, too.

I thank God that the Holy Spirit who came upon those dear ones that day still works in the lives of people today. I pray that he will find our hearts open to be filled by him and that we will be determined to obey him as we reach out to those who are lost without him. May we, like Peter, be less concerned about popular opinion and more concerned about proclaiming the truth of Scripture.

Father, that is my prayer. May I follow the example of the first century church and care selflessly for my brothers and sisters in Christ. There are those who are struggling here at home and around the world. Help me to know what you want me to do about that and may you find me faithful. Give me the confidence you gave Peter and may I proclaim your truth – Jesus Savior, Jesus the name that will cause every knee to bow and every tongue confess that he is Lord. Jesus, the only way to the Father and the one who holds the key to eternity with you. 

Just a side note: Thank you, US Veterans. I am a daughter of a Marine and the aunt of a soldier and I am proud of both these dear men and thankful for their sacrifice. May all Veterans today know that we Americans applaud you with grateful hearts. And may we hold on to the freedoms your service has provided. God bless each of you today, Veterans Day, and every day.