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Surrender to the Holy Spirit

As Christians the Holy Spirit lives in us (2 Cor 1:22). In the Bible we read that God has given us the Holy Spirit (Gal 4:6) and that we are the temple of His Spirit, “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you” (1 Cor 6:19; NKJV). As we allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives He can develop His fruit in us, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Gal 5:22-23; NKJV). As the Holy Spirit interacts with our born-again spirit (Rom 8:16) we become more and more like Jesus (2 Cor 3:18b). Our flesh, which is our body, mind, will and emotions, was not born again when we asked Jesus into our lives and needs to be disciplined and renewed from its sinful ways (1 Cor 9:27; Rom 12:2). We need to allow the Holy Spirit through our spirit, to dominate our thoughts, speech and actions (Gal 5:16-17). In the Bible we are taught not to “resist the Holy Spirit” (Acts 7:51; NKJV) and not to “grieve the Holy Spirit” (Eph 4:30; NKJV) and not to quench, extinguish or stop the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives (1 Thess 5:19). The apostle Paul wrote about his tussle between the Holy Spirit and his flesh (Rom 7:13-25). However, he went on to assure us that as our walk is directed by the Holy Spirit, we can bring our flesh under control and live a Christ-like life (Rom 8:1-2). It’s a growing process so don’t get condemned, stay focused and keep on, cooperating with the Holy Spirit. We promise you that the growth and changes will be amazing.

Love and Unity

Jesus prayed for unity in John 17:20-23 but did you know that love and unity go hand in hand? “Beyond all these things put on and wrap yourselves in (unselfish) love, which is the perfect bond of unity (for everything is bound together in agreement when each one seeks the best for others)” (Col 3:14; AMP). This verse shows us that love and unity go hand in hand. We spend so much time praying for unity but maybe we should be focusing more on love? Phil 2:2 (NLT) reads, “Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.” Here again love and unity are closely tied together; if we work together in love and unity as these verses describe then much will be accomplished. Finally, in Ephesians 4:2,3 Paul again encourages us to patiently and lovingly bear with each other, staying united in the Spirit.
Basically, you can’t have unity without love and you can’t have true fellowship in the body of Christ without unity and therefore without love. It would seem from these 3 sections of scripture above that if we put others before ourselves, show them unselfish love and overlook their weaknesses, then unity in the body of Christ will result and, “How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers dwell together in unity” (Psalm 133:1; NLT).

God’s promises never change

“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through Him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God” (2 Cor 1:20; NIV). As Christians we can walk in all of God’s promises found in His word, but sometimes questions may creep in to our minds. Are those promise still for today or just when Jesus was on the earth? Were they just for the early disciples or just for the early church?
How does scripture answer these worrisome questions that may come up? Well, to start with, in many places in the Old Testament, God tells us that He won’t leave us or forsake us (e.g. Deut 31:6). This verse is also quoted by the writer of Hebrews (Heb 13:5). The apostle Matthew quoted Jesus saying, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt 28:20; NKJV). In Malachi 13:8 we read, “For I am the Lord, I do not change” and of Jesus it was written, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever” (Heb 13:8; NKJV). James, the brother of Jesus, wrote that with our heavenly Father there is “no variation or shadow of turning” (James 1:17; NKJV). Now let’s look at a couple of scriptures that refer specifically to God’s word. “The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever” (Isaiah 40:8; NKJV) and 1 Peter 1:25: “But the word of the Lord endures forever”. We could certainly conclude that all God’s promises in His word are “Yes” and certainly ours now and forever! Don’t let your mind, anyone or anything talk you out of all God has for you.

All things are yours

“Son, he said to him, you are always with me, and everything I have is yours” (Luke 15:31; CSB). This is found in the parable of the prodigal son. The father is talking to the older son who was having a bad attitude. The father represents our heavenly Father who is still saying to us today that everything He has is ours. This is confirmed in 1 Tim 6:17 (NKJV), “Command those who are rich in this present age not to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.” God is a generous God and He does not want us to go without. He is Jehovah Jireh, our provider. Matthew 6:25-32 tells us not to worry about our physical needs such as food and clothes and ends in verse 33 by telling us the most important thing to go after is the kingdom of God and if we do that “all these things” will be provided for us. God wants to take care of all of our needs, whether they be spiritual or physical. This is reiterated again in Romans, “Who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things” (Rom 8:32; NKJV). (See also 1 Cor 3:21,22).
Rest assured God will not give us anything bad, He just wants to pour out His love on us by blessing us with everything good (James 1:17). The Bible also tells us that we don’t have things because we don’t ask for them (James 4:2) so ask God for something today but make sure you ask in faith, believing!

Focused on God.

“So Jesus explained Himself at length. “I’m telling you this straight. The Son can’t independently do a thing, only what He sees the Father doing. What the Father does, the Son does”” (John 5:19; MSG). Jesus’ ministry on earth was focused on the directive of the Father. Even as a boy, years before He began His ministry, His parents found Him in the temple and He told His parents He was, “about My Father’s business” (Luke 2:49). Jesus spent much time in prayer and in the presence of His Father (Matt 14:23; Mark 1:35) to ensure He was acting precisely according to His Father’s ways and plans. Wow! Do we ever wonder how our lives could be if we were as focused on God?
In 1 Chron 16:11, we are exhorted to continuously seek God and His strength and in Jeremiah 29:13 (NKJV), we read, “You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” If we pursue God with our heart, with all we are, we will discover and walk in all He has for us! The desire of King David’s heart was to, “dwell in the house of the Lord, all the days of my life” (Ps 27:4). This speaks of a wonderful, intimate relationship. In the New Testament, we are directed to, “draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8; NKJV). “Set your minds on things above, not on things on the earth” (Col 3:2; NKJV). As we focus on God, His ways, character, and our relationship with Him, He will supply everything we need in life (Matt 6:33). If we truly make Him our priority, He will use us mightily and we will experience His abundant and fulfilling life (John 10:10b).