Bible Ballistics: BBs #324 On To 2017 To…….???
As we talked last time about the need to remember that Jesus didn’t stay in the “manger”, I’d like us to take it a bit farther and consider where we are going from the “manger”. I pray that we will join with Paul and commit to be devoted to the cross of Christ and His power, not the appeal of the flesh, nor the gratification of worldly pleasures. I want to move on from the manger to the crucified life with Jesus.
“And I, brethren,
when I came to you,
came not with excellency of speech
or of wisdom,
declaring unto you the testimony
2 For I determined
not to know any thing among you,
save Jesus Christ,
and him crucified.
3 And I was with you
and in fear,
and in much trembling.
4 And my speech
and my preaching
was not with enticing words
of man’s wisdom,
but in demonstration
of the Spirit
and of power:
5 That your faith
should not stand in the wisdom of men,
but in the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:1-5
We can stay at the manger, enamored with the baby, or we can go on and grow through the work of the cross. We can embrace the life that is totally lived out by the power of the cross and the blood of the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. We can allow the work of the Holy Spirit to purify, cleanse and sanctify us for His service. Sanctify:
“Verb (used with object), sanctified, sanctifying
1. to make holy; set apart as sacred; consecrate.
2. to purify or free from sin: Sanctify your hearts.
3. to impart religious sanction to; render legitimate or binding: to sanctify a vow.
4. to entitle to reverence or respect.
5. to make productive of or conducive to spiritual blessing.”
Jesus will grow us in His grace, power and courage to be bold servants who accomplish His work, by His power, and for HIS glory, if we will but “fix our eyes on Him”. May this be our heart’s desire as children of God?
“But what things were gain to me,
those I counted loss for Christ.
8 Yea doubtless,
and I count all things but loss
for the excellency
of the knowledge of Christ Jesus
for whom I have suffered the loss
of all things,
and do count them but dung,
that I may win Christ,
9 And be found in him,
not having mine own righteousness,
which is of the law,
but that which is through
the faith of Christ,
the righteousness which
is of God by faith:
10 That I may know him,
and the power of his resurrection,
and the fellowship of his sufferings,
being made conformable
unto his death;” Philippians 3:7-10
Oh, to “KNOW HIM”—more and more each day. To march on into 2017 with a heart set on KNOWING HIM more each day. And that can only be done as we march on, in His power and Spirit, to the cross from the manger; growing in our devotion to Him and our sensitivity and yieldedness to His Spirit’s leading. (See John 16:13)
“This I say then,
Walk in the Spirit,
and ye shall not fulfil the lust
of the flesh.
17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit,
and the Spirit against the flesh:
and these are contrary the one to the other:
so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
18 But if ye be led of the Spirit,
ye are not under the law.
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these;
and such like
of the which I tell you before,
as I have also told you in time past,
that they which do such things
shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is
against such there is no law.
24 And they that are Christ’s
have crucified the flesh
with the affections
25 If we live in the Spirit,
let us also walk in the Spirit.” Galatians 5:16-25
This is not a cause for condemnation, but a clear contrast between the flesh and the Spirit—the Holy Spirit of God, who is dwelling within and at work in the lives of those who genuinely belong to Jesus. What marks your life? Is the Spirit’s work evident in your heart and life? And as I’m often heard to say, “Saying so, doesn’t make it so!” But belonging to Jesus, and having His Spirit within us does make it so. No Holy Spirit—No Jesus—No Life!
“There is therefore now no condemnation
to them which are in Christ Jesus,
who walk not after the flesh,
but after the Spirit.
But ye are not in the flesh,
but in the Spirit,
if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.
Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ,
he is none of his.
10 And if Christ be in you,
the body is dead because of sin;
but the Spirit is life
because of righteousness.
11 But if the Spirit of him
that raised up Jesus from the dead
dwell in you,
he that raised up Christ from the dead
shall also quicken your mortal bodies
by his Spirit
that dwelleth in you.” Romans 8:1 & 9-11
Will you choose Jesus, and walk in the power of His Spirit? I pray that you will go on from the manger to the cross in this coming year. May we take up our cross, die to self, and live the crucified life with the Lord Jesus Christ who gave His Blood for US! Resolve to stay near the cross, letting nothing come between your heart and the Savior!!!
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20