What does it mean to be alive in Christ on an everyday basis as i live out the often mundane days of my life?
I had prepared to go down a different path in writing this post. But as I listened today to the worship service from a week ago, (I was unable to link up to today’s worship service) I found a more helpful path to go. There, one of the pastors reminded me of the power of the Holy Spirit in my life as shown below.
And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem,
but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said,
“You heard from me; for John baptized with water,
but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you,
and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria,
and to the end of the earth.”
Acts 1:4-5, 8 ESV
Yes, I’m writing to you older woman…and any of you others who want to listen in. I’m also talking to myself. My pastor reminded us that Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit in order that we would make use of Him. He is a gift to us.
What exactly is the gift of the Holy Spirit that we have been given or baptized with?
My presbyterian pastor described Him as a gift given to us not simply sprinkled with, as we think of when we get baptized, but rather in more of a sense of immersion. The Holy Spirit is a gift of God given to every believer in Christ who is not simply a tiny part of us, but is more like Someone we are immersed into! Think of being so thoroughly immersed into the Sprit and His attributes. How does that make your day? Or blow your mind?!
While it is true that we are weak and have nothing to offer Jesus, He has gifted us HIs Spirit to give us power in order that we an be witnesses about Him to all around us in all kinds of geographical locations. Are we up to the task of bringing spiritually dead people to life? Absolutely not! We, in the American church, tend to underestimate this miracle.
We can’t bring people to Christ with the best reasoning in the world or with clever arguments. Only God can change their hearts. Sometimes, it is surprising to see what the final step is that brings someone over the brink to Christ. That is when you know that GOD prepared them long before they met you.
We can increase our preparedness both in attitude and study.
But we can learn more of God’s Word and the truth of it so we are ready when God places us with another person who needs to know the truth. We can trust the Holy Spirit to guide us as move out toward others in friendship love and ministry. There are ways to be more prepared. But in the end, we do have to trust the Spirit to prepare us and the other person to be tender.
It’s not like we have to do anything unusual. We give our day to GOD as we start out. We ask Him to guide us. We ask Him to meet our needs wherever they are. We ask Him to help us not be tied to our to-do list too tightly.
We just go about our everyday life paying attention to those around us.
Are they struggling? Do they need prayer? How can we help them?
These are two questions you can ask to go deeper
Recently two questions I heard that are good to ask are:
- How are you doing?
- How can I pray for you?
It was suggested that they are open-ended enough to give the person space to answer, yet specific enough to get a substantive answer to work with. I know these are simple questions. But honestly, more recently people are needing someone to ask how they are more than ever. The isolation is really difficult.
We want to be kind, sensitive, loving and wise. We also need to be aware that we have the powerful Holy Spirit alive in and through us, enabling us to want to do things we don’t naturally want to do and guiding us to do things we need to do.
Why did the church in Acts grow so fast and with such vibrance?
We wonder why the Spirit was so alive in the church in Acts. Maybe it had to do with the fact that people were aware that they had the Holy Spirit with them to empower them to share the Truth with others or to give them the needed strength to stand strong under persecution or just to live a life of joy and contentment despite difficulties all around them. No one was stuck in the “way things have always been done.” It was all new and fresh. Maybe our mindset needs some changing.
Either way, they knew they were forgiven and free of the sin and guilt they once carried. They knew it was wonderful news and passed it on all the time! We need to become more aware of this wonderful gift we have. It isn’t to be hidden. It is meant to be used because we know the Spirit. As Christians, we have become a part of Him and He has become a part of us in ways we don’t always understand. We no longer have to live as if we have no resources. We have all the resources of GOD at our disposal. The poorer and weaker we feel, the better off we are in one sense, because we are aware of our need for Him.
**recent helpful resource: podcast Hope and Help podcast by Christine M. Chappell. Friendship: A Lost Theology for One Anothering. https://ibcd.org/friendship-mens-panel/. (yes, this was a men’s panel with specific applications to friendships with men, but has some very helpful things to say about friendships with spouses and appropriate cross-sexual friendships that are not with your spouse that were very helpful and interesting. when you think about it, if you can help a group of men learn to be friends when they often don’t feel the need, you have learned some important things about friendship.)
This is a great podcast. Has a lot of interviews on all kinds of topics a person would need to get counseling for…and then some! She is a great interviewer. Christian perspective.