Posts Tagged 1 Peter 2: 9

No Worms Please

John 5: 19

Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself.”

Jesus said he was nothing without God so consider me, as David said, a worm (Psalm 22: 6). Who are we if Jesus could do nothing without the Father’s assistance? Before Jesus’ ministry began, Father sent him to be baptized by John the Baptist. When John baptized Jesus in water, God baptized him in the Holy Spirit. The text from Matthew says that the Spirit of God descended from heaven and rested upon Jesus (Matthew 3: 16). Everything Jesus did from then on was done in the power of the Spirit of God. So again, I ask, who are we that we can do anything apart from God’s Spirit?

Jesus would have known the scripture from yesterday, “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts,” (Zechariah 4: 6). He knew that his ministry was dependent on working with the Holy Spirit. In fact, did you know that even the Father relies on the Spirit’s power? Look at the account of creation from Genesis. The Spirit was hovering over the void. Then when God spoke, the Spirit made it so. He is the power part of God. So, if God operates by the Spirit and Jesus operates by the Spirit, it would seem imperative that we learn how to work with him too.

Of course, this isn’t natural for us but truly, we aren’t supposed to live in the natural anyway. We are part of the super-natural family of God. The natural realm was what we had before Jesus. Now, we are above natural having been adopted into God’s family.

Does this sound a bit far-fetched? I think so, but that is an indication of how far we have slipped. It certainly was not far-fetched or unusual for Peter, John, or Paul. This wouldn’t have even sounded implausible to Doubting Thomas. Remember, he was one of the people who fed the five thousand. They would think our existence is strange. Few miracles, healings or manifestations of the Spirit. And do you know that these people continued to walk in the miracles after Jesus exited? Why? It wasn’t Jesus performing the miracles. It was his Father’s power through the person of the Holy Spirit.

Because of the Holy Spirit, you can lay hands on the sick and they will recover (James 5: 14 – 15). There is no reason you cannot change water to wine, walk on the water and feed the hungry. In fact, Jesus said that you should be doing greater works than he. “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father,” (John 14: 12). That scripture has bothered me for some time because I am not doing greater either. I think the first step is for us to wrap our minds around the fact that we are supposed to be supernatural people living in the supernatural world even as we traverse this physical earth. That is what Jesus did and we Christians are all the time talking about walking in his footsteps. Well, this is what it means. We are to partner with the Holy Spirit as he did and believe for the manifestation of God’s miracles everywhere we go. We are too complacent though. It is comfortable to settle for the natural. We don’t want to be weird and frankly, it takes some faith to live in the supernatural. It takes faith to be like Jesus, no doubt. Still, that is what distinguishes us from those who are not under his lordship. We aren’t called to be natural. In a way I guess I am asking you to be unnatural. We are called to be peculiar, unique. “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” (1 Peter 2: 9).

Be anointed by the Holy Spirit as was Jesus and walk out into the world as he did. Sure, it’s a challenge but we have the highest and most holy calling. Let’s honor it.

Who are We?

1 Peter 1: 15 – 16

Like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

This has been weighing on my mind quite a bit lately, so I am compelled to write about it. Few people want to hear holiness preaching and few pastors want to preach it. None the less, God calls us to be a holy people. What does that mean and how does it apply to everyday life? Is God calling us to give up everything that is fun in order to be His? The answer to that is, “No,” but He is calling us into a life with and in Him and that necessarily means a life which is distinguishable from the world, a life which has been transformed.

Romans 12: 2 tells us not to be conformed to this world but rather to be transformed. This is one of the most important lifestyle verses in the New Testament. The more you meditate on this scripture, the more application you find for it in your life. Jesus came to give you an abundant life (John 10: 10). However, that does not mean that he came to increase your appetite for the things of the world. He doesn’t mind you owning things. He is not depriving you of the good things in the earth. He is, however, trying to save our lives from the pitfalls.

Everything we are and everything we do should be offered up to Him. We should be living a life in which we put our desires on the altar so that He is in charge of them. Anything can become an idol if it occupies space in front of God. So, that may be television, games, books, social events, food, drink, sports, literally anything. If you are a coffee drinker and you have never put coffee on the altar and sacrificed it to God, you should. That does not mean He is going to take it away. It means that you choose to put coffee behind your passion for God.

We are called to be a peculiar people (1 Peter 2: 9 KJV). That is a strange statement. What it means is that we are different from people of the world. Ephesians 1: 4 reads, “He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.” That’s got to mean something. He has called us to be holy and blameless before Him. He provided the blood which cleanses us, but we have a role in this too. I don’t want to say it this way but . . . Jesus didn’t spill his blood so that we can run around like heathens. Do you agree? And yet, I find myself, my Christian friends and frankly, most Christians, looking no different than unsaved, unwashed, unredeemed Gentiles. I have to counsel myself that Jesus’ blood means more than that.

Can we get real for a moment? I have struggled with my weight, so, have I really and truly done as Romans 12: 1 commands, “Present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” What about alcohol consumption? I have never been one to preach abstinence, but I wonder, sometimes, if a beer with friends has become more important than the Word of God. Is our pleasure coming from the things of the world or the things of God? Only the things of God will satisfy. Things of the world tend to be addictive by which I mean, we always want another. That is why we binge watch TV. It’s fun but even after a weekend of watching television, we still want more. On drink, one piece of candy is rarely enough. We will never get satisfied and the more we try, the further God recedes into the background of our lives.

This is not about recrimination or condemnation. “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,” (Romans 8: 1). It is a call, however, to examination. Are we individually and /or collectively a people whose priority is God? Do we attempt to live lives which are holy before the Lord? Or have we been seduced by the world such that there is no distinguishing characteristic between the children of God and the children of the world? Have we put the pleasures and enjoyment of this world before our service to God? These are the questions we should be asking ourselves and praying about. I am convinced that the church needs a wake-up call but that will only come about as we join in praying for the body of believers we call Christians. Be united in holiness before the Lord. Worship Him with all you do. He is worthy.