I love this time of year. Of course, I love the changing leaves. It is so fun to drive through the hills in my area. But what I like most is that my mornings are greeted by stunning sunrises. You may say that we have sunrises every day, but I say that sunrises are most enjoyed when one is awake. Summer sunrises are too early for me! Today, I walked outside to an absolutely break-taking, orange sunrise that lasted for over an hour. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! (1 Peter 1:3) The photo is on my Facebook page. It really doesn’t do it justice. BTW – please like and share the Facebook posts!
How was your weekend? Did you get charged up? Did you really get connected with God yesterday? If not, no worries. Take a few minutes right now and pray.
John 15:7-8 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.
We’ve covered this promise before, but I have to keep repeating it to myself because I quickly forget. Key to all this is the word “abide.” What does that word mean? According to Google, abide means 1. Accept or act in accordance with a rule, decision, or recommendation). “I said I would abide by their decision.” 2. Informal. Be unable to tolerate (someone or something). “If there is one thing I cannot abide it is a lack of discipline.” We can see in both these a clear standard that has been set. In our bible verse, that standard is Jesus. Not his teachings, but Jesus himself. Yes, his teachings are good and important, but they are part of him, not separate from him.
Before I lose you, I’m not headed down a path that is impossible to attain. My message is simple. This Christian life is too hard for us to attain on our own steam. Let’s not kid ourselves. It can’t be done by human effort. The Holy Spirit is the one who does all this sanctification stuff. All we have to do is cooperate. At times, it’s more a matter of getting out of the way. Seriously.
Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know that to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
Let’s not forget about what Jesus is doing:
Romans 8:34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died – more than that, who was raised – who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.
What is it today that you wish for? Let us remember the word “abide” and desire what God desires for us and abhor that which we should be “unable to tolerate.” You may start with this verse:
Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Wouldn’t that be wonderful! Imagine if we desired God so much that we wanted what he wanted for us. Maybe there are some barriers (strongholds) that need to come down. Can we imagine a sin-free life? Can we desire to live a life free of the sin that gets in the way of our relationship with Jesus?
Simply ask God the Father to show you what needs to be done to be like Jesus. Ask the Holy Spirit to pray for you and show you the way. Relish in him!
Psalm 34:8 Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
Isaiah 55:1-2 “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food.
Father, give us this water so that we will not be thirsty and the bread so that we will not hunger. Align our thoughts to your thoughts, our ways to your ways so that we may abide in you and you in us. Let us then come to you with our desires, your desires. Amen.
Copyright © 2017 Scott Powers