How many times in the course of the day do you have that powerless feeling? Sometimes, it is over issues that are minor, but more often, it is over things that are very important.For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” Romans 8:15 Click To Tweet
As someone who is in Christ, did you know you are no longer a slave or orphan? You don’t have to live as if you are alone and powerless.
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever,
even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him.
You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me.
Because I live, you also will live.
In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.
Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me.
John 14:15-21 ESV
For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again,
but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”
The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,
and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ,
if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.
Romans 8:15-17 ESV
If you are well acquainted with Scripture, you are probably saying to me, “Of course, I know that.” And you probably know it in your head. I have known it intellectually for a long time too.As someone who is in Christ, did you know you are no longer a slave or orphan? You don't have to live as if you are alone and powerless. Click To Tweet
But there is something that happens for all of us. We know a lot…especially a lot about the Bible and GOD. We only put a small amount of what we know into practice. We call what we put into practice practical theology and honestly, that is what we actually believe!
I know, you sit in church for years. Your head is loaded with information. You know all the right answers. But remember, what we do shows what we really believe. That’s only one of many reasons why I don’t feel the urgency to learn volumes of new information for the sake of learning new information! I want to learn how to put what I know into practice.I know, you sit in church for years. Your head is loaded with information. You know all the right answers. But remember, how we live shows what we really believe. All that head knowledge does no good if we don't live out what we know. Click To Tweet
This past week, we have been getting ready for our women’s small groups for the Fall. Our group leaders are facilitators which means they may have teaching gifts, but often are encouragers. Facilitators certainly aren’t passive. They need to know what their focus is and how to ask questions in a way to bring out their ladies. In general, our focus is on encouraging our women in the Gospel…but that often takes defining. I have been encouraged in these sessions as one of our pastors (Ron Clegg) has briefly led us in what our responsibilities are as we lead.What is the Gospel? Jesus is my holiness and sanctification. He is the Author and Completer of what He has begun in me. I will finish the race. Click To Tweet
What is the Gospel? How do we define it briefly? There are many ways. Here is one. Jesus is my holiness and sanctification. He is the Author and Completer of what He has begun in me. I will finish the race. (We were given a sheet with almost 20 descriptions found in the Bible similar to this one. Another was listed above re not being a slave or orphan.)
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us,
let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us,
and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith,
who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame,
and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself,
so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Hebrews 12:1-3 NASV
How do we help our women…and ourselves, put the Gospel into practice in our everyday lives? By reminding each other of who we are in Christ and what our resources are because of what He has done for us on the cross! Put more simply, by preaching the gospel to each other and to ourselves.
How do we help each other change? Speak the gospel to each other and pray with and for each other. Don’t expect GOD to work according to our agenda. His way of working is so much wider, deeper and higher than ours. We often need to submit our agenda to Him as He works out His plan for us.
When I look back now, it is so interesting to see the ways He worked out a plan for my growth and change that was creative and unique. Was it the way I would have planned? No, not every detail. But many parts of it were much better than I would have imagined. Don’t settle for a life that looks like the plans and dreams you have for yourself.