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The indwelling Christ!

so that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God, that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, … - Colossians 1:25-27

So based on what I’m seeing here, Jesus – God – is going to live in me. Clearly it will be by His Spirit – the indwelling of the Holy Spirit – right?

I mean there is not a 5’9”ish rabbi in robes and sandals living somewhere in the organ that pumps blood to my extremities on a good day.

So when Jesus says:

If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. - John 14:23

…what He is talking about is the Holy Spirit.

So how much Holy Spirit lives in us? What is the maximum allowable measure?

I know this about Jesus:

For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for He gives the Spirit without measure. The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hand. - John 3:34-35

Can a man – a born again child of God – walk in that same measure or are we given a rationed amount of the Spirit?

We have a few passages that might inform this.

Can we correlate the indwelling Spirit with grace as in:

But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift. - Ephesians 4:7

Or when I think this way am I limiting God’s ability to use me by diminishing His presence in me to a smidge of the Spirit?

Look where Paul goes from this “measure” of Christ’s gift…

And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. - Ephesians 4:11-13

Follow me for a minute.

Christ gives grace by measure in verse 7, then He gives men to the body – apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. These are given for the express purpose of equipping us for service.

This equipping is to lead to the building up of the body in unity.

This unity of the faith in the body of Christ brings us to a place in our corporate knowledge and experience with God.

WE (ok – this is really important) become A mature man – comparable to the fullness of Christ.

Notice please – It is not that I equal the measure of Christ – it is not that YOU mature to that level. It is that WE – the body of Christ – have the potential - in unity – to be ONE MATURE PERSON.

This can only happen together – with brothers and sisters. A lone believer will never mature. [Tweet This] Without the gifts of Christ (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers) we are not being equipped, we are not being sharpened, we are not growing.

You may sit at home and read your Bible, and sense God’s voice, but there are some things He will not share with you, except through life in community.

Oh this is hard for me. I am such and independent soul. I soooo want to do everything on my own, and never want to depend on anyone for anything.

And so I sit here, missing God’s best, missing His plan for my growth because I won’t submit to a teacher, or listen to a prophet, or I despise some evangelist.

Lord, save me from my self.

Ben NelsonThanks for coming by.

Walk with somebody today.

Ben

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question-mark

I know I said I was done, but I never did answer the question I asked the very first day.

I said in the first post about the Sabbath that when God blesses something He give is a assignment, He confers upon it the authority to carry out that assignment, and He equips it to complete what it was given to do.

For me this begs the question: When God blessed the Sabbath, what did He assign it, and what are the implications for those of us in the faith?

This Sabbath rest we have been given, this one day off in seven, so often ignored by those hoping to increase achievement, and squandered by those who simply swap work for amusement, is intended to refresh and rejuvenate us.

When God rested, He did not withdraw from creation. When Jesus finished His work on the cross, He sat down at the right hand of God the Father, but He did not disengage from that which He labored so hard to win.

Sabbath was the day, in the life of Creation, intended for worship, for reflection, for fellowship, for enjoying that which our labors have produced.

Jesus asked a question that might hold the answer for us.

And He said to them, "Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath, to save a life or to kill?" But they kept silent. - Mark 3:4

Clearly the answer that the Pharisees could not come up with is that it is lawful to do good, and it is lawful to save a life.

I would encourage you to let neither sloth nor religion dictate your Sabbath activities, but I would exhort you to give a Sabbath day to the Lord. Let Him guide your activities. I don’t really care if you celebrate Sabbath on Saturday or Sunday, or if your life currently does not allow a weekend based Sabbath, fit one in somewhere.

Some might say, I can’t afford to live if I don’t work seven days a week. That may be true on paper, but I will tell you that I believe the Sabbath day’s blessing in the very beginning of time, gave it the power and authority to provide for those who honor it.

There is no quicker way to “burn out” than to skip the Sabbath.

One last thing: Pastors

You pastors, you’re included. I know many of you work on Sunday from sun up to sun down. You must take a day. And you Christians – make sure you honor your pastor’s day off. We Christians can be the worst bosses in the world. We feel like since it is the money we are “giving” that supports the pastor, that he is at our beck and call.

He is worthy of double honor, and needs to be given that day to refresh and let God stir up that wonderful gift you saw in him the day you hired him.

And that goes double for youth pastors!

Ok – I better not rant on here, or I will hurt some feelings.

Have a blessed weekend. Give your time to the Lord this week, and He will press it down, shake it together and run it over back into your life.

Ben NelsonThanks for coming by.

I would love it if you would “like” my Facebook page here.

See you again soon.

Ben

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