Monday, September 05, 2011

September 5, 2011 … Need for the Promise

Passage of the Day: John 16: 13 … But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come.

My Journal for Today: Here’s an image presented by John MacArthur in his Strength for Today devotional for this date. … Imagine a really “snazzy” car, sitting on a showroom floor. It looks great; but it has a damaged engine, making it essentially useless as an automobile.

It’s an apt word picture of any Christian (or the church collectively) who is not surrendered to the Holy Spirit. I could be an orthodox, and even highly disciplined Christian, … one who lives rigorously close to God’s commands; but without being totally dependent upon God’s Spirit, I would be as worthless as the beautifully appointed car with a useless engine. And my ineffectiveness as a Christian would express itself as impotence of witness and in personal ministry for God’s glory. God cannot get the glory for a pretty car that can’t go anywhere because of a useless engine.

However, the opposite is true as well. Imagine an old jalopy, looking very broken-down on the outside; but having a highly-tuned and an extremely high-powered engine, capable of driving that old, broken, chassis at very high speeds.

An empowered witness for God could be like a Billy Sunday, who was certainly unpolished, and maybe even at times crude. But Billy Sunday was a man who was totally sold out to Jesus and filled by God’s Spirit; and in his day, the Holy Spirit empowered this highly charged, but very unorthodox, man for God’s mission and ministry with thousands saved by Sunday’s highly unpolished, but effective, outreach for Christ. To return to the auto word picture, Bill Sunday was a beat up old car; but he had an engine which was highly tuned and energized for speed.

Such witnesses for Christ are cut in the mold of Acts 1: 8 [hopefully you have that one memorized! - But, linked here in NIV]. We read of such a one when we read of the newly energized Apostle Peter in Acts, chapters 1 & 2. Here is the big, foot-in-the-mouth fisherman, … the one who had almost crashed and burned in his devotion to Jesus before Christ’s ascension; … but early in Acts, Peter becomes fully surrendered and sold-out to God’s Spirit; and he is used as God’s candle to ignite the Church, which, in turn, would light up the world for Christ.

We have a lot of innovative programs and ministries in today’s seeker-friendly Christian world. However, without a total reliance on God’s empowering Spirit, these ministry programs are merely “Christian” window dressing, which can do little for God’s Kingdom. They are fancy autos with impotent engines. What we need, however, are Christians, like those in Acts 1 & 2, … Christians who are fully charged for action and speed by God’s Spirit. They don’t have to look good; but their engines have to be highly-tuned by God for what they were designed to do … go fast and win the race for Christ in this world.

My Prayer Today: I move, Lord, when You give me the power! Amen

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