Tuesday, September 06, 2011

September 6, 2011 … The Reality of the Promise

Passage of the Day: 1st Corinthians 12: 13 … For we were all baptized by [or “with”] one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.

My Journal for Today: It has been over 2000 years since Pentecost. However, even today the most potent evidence of the reality of God’s Spirit is a unified and living Church where God is seen in the transformed lives of Christians coming together into the collectively fruitful ministry of the Body of Christ.

When one Christian is truly saved, we see that life metamorphose from a life lived for the flesh (see Gal. 5: 19 - 21) to one brimming with the fruit of the Spirit (see Gal. 5: 22 – 23). But when that life is joined into a collective body of believers, God’s Spirit is magnified and loosed into the world with the collective witness of many fruitful Christians, who become the river of living water written of in John 7: 37 – 39, … a torrent of God’s power working in an anti-God world. Many today try to find this kind of power in science, technology, politics, new-age pursuits, or far-eastern mysticism. However, as today’s passage declares, we really only find the evidence of God’s Spirit when we see Him in all of His presence and power working in a united and collectively surrendered church.

I have been privileged in my life to see this on display in my local church – Central Church in Collierville, TN – where God has transformed my life from one who was obsessively driven by sexual drives to an Elder and Ordained Minister in this body of believers. I could tell story upon story of God working through the life of our body of believers to help yours truly become what is described in 2nd Cor. 5: 17, “a new creation in Christ.” You’ll never be able to get this witness to deny what I’ve seen many times over when God’s people come together in what I call “surrender mode,” allowing God’s Spirit to be loosed in their collective and unified efforts for God’s glory.

Oh, I know that “the Church” collective is not perfect. There are many stories that can be told of churches splitting or becoming impotent in their outreach for Christ. However, in every one of those instances you can probably find a story similar to what caused the Church at Ephesus to fail (see Rev. 2: 4 - 5) by losing their “first love, which is ”… that singular, unified dedication to Christ and His great commission (see Matt. 28: 19 – 20). I pray that God’s Spirit flows in and trough your church in these days where God’s church is being surrounded and embattled by growing worldly evil.

But we should be uplifted by the promise of Jesus Himself, where He was teaching His disciples at Caesarea Philippi, and more specifically trying to show Peter, that once He [Jesus] builds His church with Himself as the cornerstone, the very powers of hell itself will not prevail against it (i.e., Christ’s Church) [see Matt. 16: 18].

My Prayer Today: Dear Lord, flow like a river through Your Church today. Amen

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