Yesterday was a wonderful time with our friend, Peter Louis. He preached and gave some very straightforward practicals on walking in the design of God - how to become what He has made us to be.
...much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
Peter pointed out that God has planted, through the Holy Spirit, grace and righteousness. The only thing we need to do is receive the gift and we will become what He planted. Much like a apple seed produces apple trees, the seed of grace and righteousness will make us become grace and righteousness.
His encouragement was to partner with the design of God. Like all seeds, we need three things:
Son (get it?) - in order for a seed to grow it needs time in the sun. Or in our case, time in the presence of the Son. Here are three simple ways to do that:
1. Stillness (Psalm 46:10) - As we sit still in His presence (literally being still, no phone, resting) God will shine the light of His Son on our hearts.
2. Worship (all of the Psalms) - Worship is a declaration that Jesus is the Lord. Typically, the places where Jesus is not yet the Lord of our hearts indicates an idol, a part of our flesh that doesn't want Jesus to rule.
3. Word (John 5:39) - Daily time in the word. Whether reading, meditating, or listening to the word - He promises to nourish our souls and bodies with His word (Duet. 8:3; Matthew 6:11)
Alright now pause - this isn't about striving. Before we all start striving and performing a wonderful religious duty, remember the air that we breathe is grace and mercy. This is the air of the kingdom.
Soil - Community - a seed needs to be rooted in soil, in the case of a Christian, believers are to be rooted in community. Our tendency is to put things, programs, events and goals before relationships. However, when we walk in God's design, the more attached we are to one another, the more fruit we will bear.
1. Confession (James 5:16) - Confession is part of how we are known. It is a regular practice of believers. And as we do this, God will heal us (confess your sins and pray for one another so that you will be healed).
2. Fellowship - (1 John 1:7) - be with one another! This is the joy part - the glad to be with you. Have fun and enjoy the grace of each other's presence.
3. Encouragement (Hebrews 10:24-25) - Encouragement is one of our top ten needs. Encouragement calls out the gold in another. Each time we meet we can look for someone to encourage.
Water - The Holy Spirit - You can have all the soil and all the sun you want, but no seed is going to grow without water. The same is true of the Holy Spirit. Remember this is God's design - to send the rain of the Holy Spirit to wash and refresh you. The Holy Spirit can wash over you in a few ways:
1. Fall on you like rain (Acts 10:44-48) - Sometimes God just decides to pour His presence on His people. It can happen during the preaching of the word or perhaps during worship. This is something to be desired!
2. Manifest through the laying on of hands (Acts 19:1-7) - Throughout the Bible gifts, callings, and blessing are passed through the laying on of hands. It is not some is magical formal, but simply our Father's heart to bless.
3. We can drink and be filled with the Holy Spirit (John 7:37; Ephesians 5:18) - Think about it. You can drink your 8 ounces of water in your trendy Yeti, but you are going to need a refill from time to time. Ask God to give you drink of the Spirit today!
Remember Christ desires for you to reign, to make it, to overcome and He is doing His part. He longs to cherish and nourish you (Ephesians 5:29). Be encouraged to put some of these things into practice this week!
Peter Louis has a passion to see the nations of the earth liberated from the bondage of sin, sickness and death through the ministry of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.