Monday, October 31, 2011

When you don't feel saved

Ever feel like you are outside of the grace of God?  If so, this could be a situation where the Spirit works mightily in you.


Being patient, trusting your knowledge of God and not your feelings about what you have done (or failed to do).  You don't have to feel the Spirit to know that God is at work in you.  


It helps to look at the span of your life and to see where you've come from.  Looking at the trajectory of your life, the same way you might look at the flight-path of a thrown ball, you should be able to see where you are going - eternally speaking.  This picture becomes clearer as the years and decades pass.


Growing in assurance, through times when you don't feel it much, there is a powerful work of God.


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Feeling Saved (or not)

Do you struggle with assurance of your salvation?  One thing is certain, if you have never had to deal with the possibility that you are eternally doomed then you have missed something essential.  Even if it was in a very brief moment when you saw the value of Christ's cross and trusted immediately.


Some agonise over whether they are saved for years rather than for moments, but in this agonising is the work of the Spirit.


Remember that a bruised reed he will not break, a smouldering wick he will not put out (Isaiah 42:3).  Also remember that whoever comes to him he will never cast out (John 6:37).  But you have to work out the balance between these verses and whether you are one who has said Lord, Lord (yet he will say he never knew you (Matthew 7:21)).  The Spirit, and your assurance, is in and through this battle.


A tale of assurance worth reading:


Friday, October 28, 2011


Some Christians flit from church to church.  This can be an interesting journey from both the inside and the outside view. 


If you look closely, you can see a few patterns to this journey through the churches.


Some are looking for their personal taste in worship that will help them "connect" with the worship better.  Some are looking for worship they believe is most pleasing to God.  Some are looking for a worship structure that honours and protects the truth the best.


You can find the Spirit working in all of these people and in all of these church "styles":

Matthew 18:20 ESV  For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them."


You will also find the Spirit in those who can't keep away from good preaching.  They will crave the spiritual nourishment and God will not let them slip through His fingers.  The Father has given them to Jesus and He is the greatest of all - none can cause them to be lost (John 10:29).

Thursday, October 27, 2011


While a person might appear to be going backwards in their career, can we say for sure that this is due to Spiritual deficiency?


Made redundant or fired for refusing to follow the party line - while this can be the result of a rebellious streak, it can also come from a principled life.


God would have us live by His principles and values. A part of His work in building our character is to gradually change us into the image of Christ. Christ lived these values and principles perfectly.


As the Spirit works in a person to grow their character, there will be times when the cost is high to do what is right. In the keeping of godly character, despite the cost, you will find the joy that comes with the Spirit.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Assurance of Salvation

For some, their assurance of salvation rests in their ability to be good. For others their assurance rests in God's power to hold tight.

Only one of these views leads to glory for God. The same view is where you will find the Spirit.

If you find someone who rests in the assurance from God's power, but who does not grow in obedience to His will, you have not found the work of the Spirit. Keep looking.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

In Speaking, Not Necessarily Responding

Ezekiel 2:4-5 ESV  I send you to them, and you shall say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD.'  (5)  And whether they hear or refuse to hear (for they are a rebellious house) they will know that a prophet has been among them.

Isaiah 6:9-10 ESV  And he said, "Go, and say to this people: "'Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.'  (10)  Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and blind their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed."


Sometimes God does not want people to be saved.  Sometimes he wants to demonstrate a measure of His Judgement.  That doesn't mean that we should not speak the gospel.


The Spirit is in speaking the truth.  And sometimes despite the lack of response, or expected response.

Through Self-Restraint

Jumping on every opportunity to share the gospel, getting in everyone's face with the truth, plastering the town with tracts...  Sometimes I think that evangelists want to test God's ability to save by driving away those they are witnessing to.  


While the gospel must be preached, it must also be lived.


You can see the Spirit in the person who watches for signs that their "target" for conversion has had enough.  You are not loving your neighbour by wearing them down until they accept Christ just to get a rest from you.


God will ensure that everyone who will be saved will hear the Word.  You concentrate on being a graceful and loving ambassador who lives the gospel as well as speaking it.  In this you will see the Spirit.



Monday, October 24, 2011

In Death

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (Psalms 23:4 ESV)


Can you face your own death without fear?


If you are not ready to die at a moment's notice, without fear for your own fate, has the Spirit really given life to your soul?


We can feel sad about separation from loved ones, but if we go to be with the Lord our joy will be complete.  We must trust God to take care of those who we leave behind.


The Spirit is not seen in a fearful expectation of Judgment, or fear of the unknown, or in a baseless trust in empty religions.  Where full assurance of salvation exists, and the confidence in God to deliver according to His promises, in that person you will see the work of the Spirit.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

In marriage

If you are married, do you see your marriage as a parallel relationship to that of Christ and his bride (the church)?


Husbands, do you work fervently at your own sanctification, knowing how much your wife can frustrate you, and how much you could frustrate Jesus yourself (if he did not have infinite patience)?


Or perhaps you should be more patient and steady in leading, knowing how much Christ has done this for you!


The Spirit is not in frustration because this is not a path to trusting God for the best outcome.  Be patient, and trust God, in this we can see the Spirit at work.


Wives, what is the flip side of your husband exercising patience?


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Where is the Spirit?

It's not necessarily in the tale of a miraculous healing - there are many false signs in the world.

It's not necessarily in the amount put in the collection bag - rich men go to hell beside poor men.

And it's not necessarily in the amount of theological knowledge attained - look at the Pharisees.


When your spouse hurts you and you do what is right, despite the urge to do what is spiteful, there is the Spirit of God.  Doing what is right because you love God, because it hurts more to hurt your spouse back than it does to be hurt by them.

Where the Spirit of God works, there is a willingness to suffer for nothing in return but His glory.