“However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. And if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you.” Romans 8:9-11
Speaking a generation ago, Evangelist Vance Havner said, “We are suffering today from a species of Christianity as dry as dust, as cold as ice, as pale as a corpse, and as dead as King Tut. We are suffering not from a lack of correct heads but of consumed hearts.” And the Reverend Billy Graham said in a sermon from 1976 entitled, You Can Have Resurrection Life, ‘Most of you will admit that something is missing in your life, but you probably will not admit that you are already a living dead person.’
The Bible tells us, that the consequence of our rebellion against God in the Garden of Eden is that people are born ‘”living-dead.” But, Paul tells us in today’s Scripture “…though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness.” First Thessalonians 5:23 says that God has a created a human with a body, a soul, and a spirit. An animal has a body and an animal has a soul in the sense that it has a personality, but only humans have a spirit that lasts forever, encased in a human body.
Isn’t it marvelous! Paul tells us that Christ’s death and His subsequent resurrection from the dead, transforms anyone and everyone who has repented of his or her sin by the power and grace of God and has turned to Him by putting their faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection, from “the Living Dead” to “the Living Living!” (See John 10:10 and John 5:24). Praise God, for this: “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you.” The Bible says that Christians will not face the second death (See Revelation 20:11-15), but will rejoice forever with God, Jesus, and the fullness of the Holy Spirit in heaven. Praise God! Praise God! Pastor Louie
The Breakfast of Champions!
“This book of the [covenant] law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.” Joshua 1:8
Many folks often rush out into the day without having had any breakfast! I realize some folks may not eat breakfast nor feel that it’s necessary, but spiritually speaking, to miss out on breakfast with God spiritually, is like missing out on what many consider to be the most important meal of the day: breakfast! As a matter of fact, if I were to ask you what your favorite breakfast cereal was growing up, what would you say? For many, they would say, “Wheaties” which has always billed itself as the “Breakfast of Champions.”
Recently, I ran across this very old quote by Thomas Watson, while looking through some materials at home: “By holy meditation the soul doth, as it were, breakfast with God every morning.” WOW! What if we were to spend some time every morning having breakfast with God seated with Him at the table of His Word! God told Joshua prior to Joshua’s leading the Israelites into the Promised Land, that he and the people would experience success (mastery of the world and insight into its challenges; acting with Godly wisdom) and prosperity if they would read aloud, and chew over-and-over again, the word of God which for them, was the word given to Moses as we have recorded in the first five books of the Bible.
So, here are some helps to personalize and apply the Scriptures through daily Biblically-based meditation: (1) Pray for God to show you what He wants you to see as you read your Bible and then pray for the Holy Spirit to guide and empower you as you navigate through your daily set of circumstances based upon what God has shown you. Then, ask the Spirit of the Living Christ to cause you to overflow with the truths learned, into the lives of others. (2) When you read the pronoun you in the Bible, insert your name. (3) Journaling down what God shows you in His word is always very helpful!
Mothers Who Pray
“Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it shall be opened…If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!” Matthew 7:7-8, 11
I read of a true story recently in which a persistent goose kept pecking at a Cincinnati patrol officer’s car until he followed this concerned mother about 100 yards away to a grassy area near a lake. And guess what he found? One of her baby’s feet entangled in a balloon string. The policeman called for his female assistant who carefully freed the gosling from its entanglement as its mother patiently watched nearby, and as both officers watched with great joy in their hearts as mommy and baby waddled into the nearby lake for a swim.
You know what’s wonderful? If a goose knows to call out for help, how much more, does our heavenly Father who birthed this instinct acted upon by this goose, desire that you and I call on him in our time of need! And not only in our time of need, but just to get to know Him deeper and deeper in daily conversation! God loves you, mess and all! He wants you to keep asking, keep seeking, and keep on tap-tap-tapping on the door of His heart! Luke 11:13: “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”
Thankful for mothers (women of God) who A-S-K!
On Eagle’s Wings
“Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.” Isaiah 40:31
To ask someone if he or she ever becomes tired and weary would be a rather silly question to ask. The reason of course, is that we all become tired and weary from the daily affairs of life. And oftentimes that weariness is the result of mental exhaustion which can be as draining as physical exhaustion. But what about spiritual strength?
Today’s verse historically centers around the prophet Isaiah offering God’s people living in Judah centuries before our day and time, both a warning and a consolation. Because of their gross rebellion against God, the prophet foretells of the coming day when Judah would be held captive to the Babylonians who were coming to take God’s back to Babylonia as God’s judgment in response to their sin. But Isaiah is also telling the people that God would preserve and restore His people back to himself in the future. The problem is that God’s people were telling Him that He didn’t care about them anymore! How we forget! God, in turn is consoling His people through the prophet who uses the metaphor of an eagle to proclaim that God is never too big or mighty to care for His people!
An eagle soars whereas a robin flies. An eagle can capture the thermal updrafts and ride above the storm! When we invite the Holy Spirit to enable us to get God’s perspective on our problems, we will see with new eyes and with a new heart. Then, we will mount up with eagle’s wings and run and walk in life with God’s strength empowering our flight as we wait on Him! Read more about God’s eagle in Isaiah 40:27-31. In His Strength! Pastor Louie