A SUFFERING STANDARD
For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens.
~ 1 PETER 3:18
Jesus was executed as a criminal on a cross. Yet He was guilty of no crime—no wrong, no trespass, no sin. He never had an evil thought or spoke an evil word. His was the most unjust execution ever perpetrated on a human being. Yet it shows us that though a person MAY be perfectly within the will of God— greatly loved and gifted, perfectly righteous and obedient— he May still experience unjust suffering. Like Jesus, you MAY be misunderstood, misrepresented, hated, persecuted, and even murdered. Yet you must follow His standard.
How shall we think of the Spirit? A great deal can be learned about the Holy Spirit from the word spirit itself. Spirit means existence on a level above and beyond matter; it means life subsisting in another mode. Spirit is substance that has no weight, no dimension, no size nor extension in space. These qualities belong to matter and can have no application to spirit. Yet spirit has true being and is objectively real. If this is hard to visualize, just pass it up, for it is at best but a clumsy attempt of the mind to grasp that which is above the mind’s powers. And no harm is done if in our thinking about the Spirit we are forced by the limitations of our intellects to clothe Him in the familiar habiliments of material form.
So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.
Spirit means existence on a level above and beyond matter; it means life subsisting in another mode. Spirit is substance that has no weight, no dimension, no size nor extension in space.
Holy Spirit, we long to know You, to have a personal encounter with You.
Many books and programs these days talk about messages from the spirit realm, supposedly from people who’ve died and now speak through channelers or mediums. They claim to have come from Heaven to interact with loved ones, yet they almost never talk about God or express wonder at seeing Jesus. But no one who had actually been in Heaven would neglect to mention what Scripture shows to be Heaven’s main focus: God himself. If you had spent an evening dining with a king, you wouldn’t come back and talk about the wall hangings and place settings; you’d talk about the king. When Heaven was revealed to the apostle John, he recorded the details, but first and foremost, from beginning to end, he kept talking about Jesus.
~ Randy Alcorn, [50 Days of Heaven]
As you come to know Me more intimately, you grow increasingly aware of your sins. This presents you with a choice: to focus on your flaws and failures or to rejoice in My glorious gift of salvation. When you keep your focus on my sacrifice for your sins, you live in the joyful awareness that you are wonderfully loved. There is no greater Love than Mine, and it is yours forever! The best response to such a fathomless gift is to love Me with all your heart.
Tragically, many people think they have little—or even nothing—for Me to forgive. They’ve been deceived by the prevailing lie that there is no absolute truth. They believe good and evil are relative terms, so they see no need for a Savior. These deluded ones do not seek My forgiveness, and their sins remain unpardoned. The evil one’s deceptions have darkened their minds. But I am the Light of the world, and My Light can shine through you into their lives. Because you are My follower, you never walk in darkness—you have the Light of Life!
But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me.
“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”
Jesus replied, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”