Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Centred on the Saviour, Empowered by the Spirit, Grounded in the Scriptures

Centred on the Saviour, Empowered by the Spirit, Grounded in the Scriptures – These are the lessons that we must keep on learning if we are to bring glory to God and receive blessing from Him.

* Centred on the Saviour
Being a Christian isn’t something that we do for ourselves. It’s not something that we achieve in our own strength. When we learn about Jesus, we are drawn to Him. It’s the love of God that draws us to Jesus. God shows us how much He loves us. He shows us how much He wants to change us. He leads us to Jesus – “the Way, the Truth and the Life” (John 14:6).
Jesus is “the Way without which there is no going.” Without Jesus, we’re lost. Jesus finds us.
Jesus is “the Truth without which there is no knowing.” Without Jesus, we can’t make sense of our life. He shows us what our life is all about.
Jesus is “the Life without which there is no living.” Without Jesus, life seems empty. He gives us true and lasting joy.
How can Jesus bring these blessings to us? – He is our Saviour.

* Empowered by the Spirit
In ourselves, we are weak. From the Spirit, we receive new strength – God’s strength, the strength that we need to live for the Lord, the strength that we need to be His “witnesses” (Acts 1:8). This is the lesson that we’re learning from Acts. Remember what Peter was like at the time of the crucifixion. He denied the Lord three times (Matthew 26:69-75). Look at what he was like on the Day of Pentecost. Peter preached – and “three thousand” people received new life in Christ. Peter had changed – and lots of other people were changed with him. What was it that changed Peter? – It was the Spirit: “they were all filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:4). In the Old Testament, God had given His promise: “I will pour out My Spirit” (Joel 2:28). On the Day of Pentecost, He fulfilled His promise (Acts 2:14-17).
Can we be changed? Yes. The Holy Spirit can do great things in us and through us – when we pray, “Holy Spirit, we welcome You. Please accomplish in us today some new work of loving grace, we pray –unreservedly – have Your way. Holy Spirit, we welcome You” (Mission Praise, 241).

* Grounded in the Scriptures
How do we come to faith in Christ? How do we grow in Christ? How do we receive the Holy Spirit? How does the Holy Spirit work through us to bring other people to Christ? Do these blessings come to us from out of the blue? No. They come to us from the Word of God. We hear God’s Word. We read God’s Word. We learn about Jesus. The Spirit points us to Jesus. He leads us to Jesus. He creates faith in Jesus.
Don’t just listen to God’s Word when you’re at church. Read God’s Word day-by-day – and pray that the Spirit will work in you, “revealing Jesus through the Word, creating faith in Him” (Mission Praise, 279).

May God help each of us to be changed by the love of the Saviour, the power of the Spirit and the teaching of the Scriptures.

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