I was standing in line at the post office today and overheard two women talking about the political polarization and anger we find in our country right now. An hour later I stumbled upon this quote from Os Guinness. Continue reading
It’s better to do less and reflect the nature of Christ, than it is to accomplish more in an un-Christlike manner.
I know what you’re thinking: “What about the fruit? Isn’t it important to bear fruit? The bible says to bear fruit!”
True, the bible does say to bear fruit. But Continue reading
How Jesus Loved People
Jesus was on his way to Galilee when He encountered the woman at the well. It should have been just a short break for water and maybe a little food before continuing on to His destination, but that’s not how it worked out.
His Holy Spirit led conversation there at the well, led to the people of that Samaritan town to urge Him to stay. So, He did. For two days Jesus shared the words of eternal life with the Samaritan townspeople.
How to Love Like Jesus — Living Water and the Fluid Life
I love the way Jesus describes the Holy Spirit as living water because when we’re led by the Holy Spirit, our lives often become fluid. (John 7:37-39)
I used to live a life that was just the opposite. I was scheduled to the hilt. I scheduled activity after activity, meeting after meeting, appointment after appointment, both professionally and personally. My motivation was sincere. I wanted to be as productive as possible. But you know what? I left no room for the Holy Spirit to direct my life. How could He? I didn’t have a minute to spare.
Over scheduling yourself is a great way to kill the Holy Spirit’s influence in your life, and His corresponding fruit, which is love.
Jesus didn’t live that way. Here He is, the most important person on the planet, on a trip to Galilee, and, following the direction of the Holy Spirit, He takes two whole days out of His schedule to talk with the Samaritans.
Can you imagine someone important today, say a candidate for president, spontaneously taking two days out of his schedule to talk to one small group of ordinary people? It would never happen. Most people I observe in our culture today don’t leave room to live a fluid, Spirit filled life. They like to keep busy. They have things to do. And when the Holy Spirit presents opportunity, they usually don’t respond, because there’s nearly always a previous commitment. Stop and talk with the lonely awkward guy at church? Can’t, gotta lunch date right after. Share the Lord with the newly divorced guy at work? Can’t, gotta make softball practice. Invite the unsaved friend to Bible study? Can’t, too much already going on that day. This doesn’t describe a life led by the Holy Spirit.
A life led by the Holy Spirit is a life that’s flexible, free, and fluid. When you choose to live such a life, you’re in for both good news, and bad.
The good news is, if you live this flexible life, you can love people like Jesus did. Availability, flexibility, fluidity translates into opportunity for the Holy Spirit to direct you to love people. To love people like Jesus loved people.
The Bad News
The bad news is, some people don’t deal well with spontaneity. When you live this way, you’ll be misunderstood. Some will say you lack discipline. Some will even think you’re flaky. Some will become upset with you. That can be tough to take. Especially when some of those people are people you care about. Some might come from your church. Some might even come from your own family. It’s absolutely essential you respond to those people in love. And I think the more intimate time you spend with God, in His word, and in prayer, the better you’ll handle those who misunderstand your Spirit led life.
In the end though, it’s worth it. Yes you’ll come under criticism for what some will perceive to be a disregard for structure, but the fruit that’s born makes it all worth it. Look what happened when Jesus loved this way, many of the Samaritans from that town believed.
So to love like Jesus, live a life that’s flexible, free, and fluid.
You can too.
The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.
1 Corinthians 2:14
Today scientists know that, in fact, all of the elements that make up the human body are found in the dust of the earth — just as the Bible describes. Did you know that if someone were to collect and separate all of those elements found in your body, and sell them, you would be worth only a few dollars?
But, thank God, and thanks to God, we’re more than dust. God breathed into Adam’s nostrils His breath of life. Formed of dust but without God’s breath of life we’re dead. But with God’s breath of life in us we live, move, and have our being. In the original Hebrew the word ruach is used here for the word breathed in this scripture, and it’s the same word that’s used to mean Spirit.
Perhaps you’re already a Christian, you believe in Jesus Christ, that He died for your sins, and rose again. You’ve accepted Him as your Lord. (If you’re not take a look at the Join Christ’s Family page) But even as we’re but dust without God’s breath of life imparted unto us, we’re also missing out on a more abundant life if we don’t have God’s Holy Spirit upon us. In John 10:10 Jesus said that, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (KJV) Jesus also said in John 7:38 that “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” And in the next verse the Bible says that By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.
Do you want to enjoy your most abundant life in Christ? Do you want to live a life that’s overflowing with streams of God’s living water? Then ask God for the Holy Spirit to come upon you. You may experience greater wisdom, greater knowledge, greater faith, and greater discernment, (1 Corinthians 12:8-11) as well as greater love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22,23) Who doesn’t want that? The Holy Spirit can bring these things into your life in greater measure!
The other thing that happens when you have the Holy Spirit upon your life is that you begin to bear fruit for God’s kingdom. I have observed this in a close friend of mine who I’ll call Jim. Jim’s been a Christian for more than 25 years, and while he’s been pleasant enough, and while I’ve observed no gross sin in his life, there didn’t seem to be much that would indicate any bearing of fruit in Jim’s life. In fact, you could say that Jim’s life was somewhat characterized by selfish pursuits and self indulgence. However, about five years ago Jim confided in me that he began to pray in earnest for the Holy Spirit to come upon his life. Since that time I’ve observed that Jim’s countenance has changed, he’s taught small Bible studies for men, he’s lead small home church groups, he’s visited and prayed for sick people in the hospital, and he’s reached out to others to influence them for Christ. Jim’s life was transformed.
Yours can be too.
Ask for the Holy Spirit. Jesus said,
“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
Chuck Smith, Living Water, The Word for Today, 2007