Thursday, April 27, 2017

Keep growing in Christ - Part 3

That you may walk (live and conduct yourselves) in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him and desiring to please Him in all things, bearing fruit in every good work and steadily growing and increasing in and by the knowledge of God [with fuller, deeper, and clearer insight, acquaintance, and recognition]. Colossians 1:10 AMP

I don't know about you, but when I read the first part of this scripture ....

That you may walk (live and conduct yourselves) in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him

... there is some conviction in my heart as I reflect on the previous day and think - ummmmm yes there were some times in the day when what I said, thought, or did would not have been fully pleasing to the Lord. The tone I used when speaking to the children about their electronic devices. The attitude in my heart when my husband asked me to do something for our business, when I would rather work on my book. The packet of M&M's I ate instead of choosing to eat a carrot. Yes, I know I need help! Thank God for His truth in Romans 8:1

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. Romans 8:1 NKJV

I recognise all my thoughts, words and actions are not fully pleasing to the Lord, but also know in my heart that those stuff ups I make, do not change the truth that Jesus died for me and that I am saved. And they do not change the truth that there is a desire in my heart to do the right thing, to love properly because He loves me despite all my human failings.

We love Him, because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19 AMP

Thankfully I can take yesterday's words, thoughts and actions and leave them at The Cross, asking Jesus for help to do it better today. I can ask for His help to steadily grow and increase in and by the knowledge of God, so that I can understand of how God works. The Message Bible puts it this way,

We pray that you'll live well for the Master, making him proud of you as you work hard in his orchard. As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work. Colossians 1:10 The Message

It is a daily choice to continue to grow and allow ourselves to be transformed by God, for His purposes, so we can bear fruit in every good work. It is His Spirit in us that teaches us and transforms us. It is not our might or will power.

So he answered and said to me: 'This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: 'Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit.' says the LORD of hosts. Zechariah 4:6 NKJV

A final thought, how do you know if you are doing something in your own strength or power? 

For me, one indicator is exhaustion! If I am doing something that I believe God has asked me to do, and I am feeling emotionally and/or physically exhausted, I know I have been using my own strength and capacity to do the task. 

I have not been taking the time to be still, let the Spirit make things come to pass, rather than me engineering it. That doesn't mean I sit back and don't do anything, but rather that I ensure I am spending time with God before I start the task, seeking His wisdom on the how. And then working with Him on the task, so I am doing things in His order and His way. As opposed to charging on ahead, only to find that the work doesn't bear the fruit that was intended.

Learning how to work this way is another aspect of continually growing into that fuller, deeper, and clearer insight, acquaintance, and recognition of God's ways.

Some questions for today...

What happens for you when you read the first part of Colossians 1:10? 

What does the Holy Spirit quicken to you about the way you live and conduct your life? 

What do you need to ask Jesus to help you with?

How do you know if you are doing something in your own strength?

These are interesting questions, and not necessarily answered quickly. The wonderful truth is that we have a God who is patient and kind and wants to help us transform into all He has called us to be.

But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God's instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you - from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted. 1 Peter 2:9-10 The Message

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