God’s Greatest Commission the Holy Spirit

Now that Christ rose from the dead and taken His seat at the right hand of God (Mark 16:19) then it becomes our responsibility to partake in the Great Commission. Since God’s Spirit is alive and we believe in the resurrection, this holds us accountable to spread the Good News. In fact, it’s in the Holy Spirit we discover the wisdom behind God’s message of salvation.

God’s new Covenant includes the Trinity and illuminates a believer’s spiritual life. Once God’s awakens His chosen ones, His Living Spirit transforms the heart of a faithful servant. This gift from Christ supplies us with God’s wisdom and governs us to carry the truth to others (Romans 1:16).

One of my favorite conversation is the one placing God as the focal point. When I share with others, the impact Christ makes in my life a God consciousness emerges. This spiritual connectedness inspires me to devote myself to His purpose. Nothing brings me greater joy than glorifying God and in return, the Holy Spirit brings an internal peace unmatched in the world temptations.

Likewise, the moment God captured my life everything changed. His grace empowered me with the Holy Spirit and put me in the hands of Christ. Since then a new and improved outlook on life took root and keeps me seeking God’s truth. But the neatest experience is growing in the image of Christ. I love the way God teaches me.

When it became known Christ rose from the dead, then He appeared to the Eleven Disciples. Their first thoughts on the risen King brought doubt. They couldn’t fathom Jesus resurrection. And Jesus in His glorious triumph took away their disbelief and sent them out to baptize with the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19).

Here, Christ gives them the power of the Holy Spirit to anoint discipleship to God’s people. It’s important to realize the Trinity is the backbone of salvation. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are the qualities of a real disciple and separates true believers from the world.

God’s Living Spirit coupled with Christ’s Deity is an unshakable foundation for eternal life. They are full of spiritual power and the devil flees knowing it’s impossible to penetrate Christ’s armor. In fact, salvation is the greatest protection against the cunning ways of God’s enemy.

Given these points, it’s easy to understand God uses the Holy Spirit to finish real discipleship. The Lord never leaves us in doubt and our personal experience with His Living Spirit gives testimony to Christ’s faithfulness!

Christ’s Resurrection Unveiled God’s Final Plan

God unveiled His promise of an eternal life free from sin through Christ’s resurrection. This assurance of a life spent in spiritual bliss isn’t a theory but a reality to those who live in Christ. And a believer understands this truth because God’s Living Spirit gives them the courage to live holy in a world riddled with evilness.

When I ponder over the great Resurrection, it brings me joy knowing God amended Adam and Eve’s disobedience (Genesis 3:22). It’s important to realize this undeniable event transformed my life into God’s light. So without understanding Christ’s rising from the dead my spiritual life stays elusive.

When Jesus unfolded God’s plan for the end of His time on earth (John 2:19), it set in motion the reality of Christ’s death, resurrection, and ascension. Those who heard Him speak on these events became confused. They imagined He meant destroying the physical building and rebuilding it in three days.

With this in mind, we must accept God’s temple is Christ Himself. Those present when Jesus spoke of the resurrection couldn’t grasp the Lord’s unique way of redemption. Yet when Mary Magdalene saw the open tomb and God’s angel told her the news of the resurrected King, she became overjoyed (Matthew 28:1-10)

We are fortunate for Matthew’s recording of Christ’s rising from the dead. Because when the actual resurrection occurred and the Roman soldiers shared this news with the chief priests they bribed them (Matthew 28:12). Then instructed them to use dishonesty and blame the Disciples for stealing His body (28:13-14).

Under those circumstances, a web of doubt engulfed those alive during this significant interaction with God’s plan of salvation. For example, the Apostle Thomas refused to believe Christ arose from the dead until he touched the wounds of Christ’s body (John 20:24-26).

Not much has changed since those ancient days. Many people reject the resurrection. They cling to individualism rooted in self-searching motives. Everlasting life isn’t their focus because they live in the here and now. And they live a fast-paced existence missing out on the spiritual nature of life.

In the past, I recoiled from the Lord. My outlook on Him was one of disbelief. I spent every day spewing my agnostic venom on others. Even in those dark times, God had plans for me to partake in His Son’s resurrection. I the hope your experience with the Great Commission captures your faith in a profound way.

In summary, God’s exposure to Christ’s resurrection gives us an endless delivery of grace. It’s in this powerful act of the Lord we become purposeful and spiritual useful in proclaiming the Gospel. Now with our newfound wisdom, we can live in this broken world.

How do you live in the resurrection?

God’s Unbelievable Sacrifice

God’s unbelievable sacrifice of His Son shows each faithful believer His undeniable love for those who glorify Him. Throughout, the Old Testament, the Lord taught His people how to make sacrifices favorable to Him. And when our Father delivered Christ as His new covenant then He planned to offer the death of His son as the gift of salvation.

Good Friday reminds us of Christ’s death. Each year this significant reflection on God’s incredible sacrifice keeps us focused on Christ’s ministry. God used Christ’s death to set us free from original sin.

God’s love for humanity is hard to fathom. The most compelling evidence of God’s love is His eagerness to interact with humans. In fact, when Adam and Eve fell from His grace He didn’t stop loving them. Instead, God forgave and reopened His door (Genesis 3:22).

Likewise, Christ is our tree of life. Nothing is more satisfying to God than to watch us surrender our wills and lives over to His Son. And God’s personal sacrifice of His Son makes life on earth a joyful experience.

In the centuries leading up to Christ’s arrival on earth, God used the Prophets to teach His children the truth of His word. In those times most of the people rejected or ridiculed the Lord’s messengers. They stayed in disbelief. And when God changed His method of faith (Christ) many of them couldn’t accept God’s new plan.

In Christ’s final hours (Matthew 27:45-50), God showed those witnessing this sacrifice His disapproval for rejecting His Son. Verse 45 sets the mood of God by the darkness He shed on the land. It’s important to realize when God darkens the sky He is manifesting His wrath.

And in verses (Matthew 27:51-54)  we see God’s wrath on display.

Imagine experiencing an earthquake and watching the dead rise from their graves. Those terrifying events are most compelling evidence to God’s existence. This shows the power of God because it’s supernatural and unrepeatable.

One of the more popular verses in this part of Matthew’s Gospel is scripture 27:46 when Christ cried out to God.

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

Matthew 27:46

This scripture’s impact is mighty. Here God shows Christ absorbing the sins of the world. Christ’s death separates sin, and it’s a point often overlooked. It’s in this statement God completes His unbelievable sacrifice.

Christ’s crucifixion is crucial to remember. But to stop here isn’t wise. Because it’s in His resurrection, we become God’s new creations!

Divided We Stand In God’s Glory

God used Christ’s kingship to set His chosen ones apart from those who fail to glorify Him. The great division between real believers and people unfit to live in spiritual eternity became necessary. And it’s in becoming divided we stand in God’s glory!

Christ made it known (Matthew 10:34-39), He didn’t come with peace but to carry out God’s ruling. In fact, God decided it was time to rescue His people from the false teachers and set up Christ as His Supreme Ruler. So, from this point forward a real believer must accept Christ as God’s way (John 14:6).

 

It’s important to realize not everyone enters heaven. This may confuse you because we hear a belief in Christ (Acts 16:31) equals salvation. Christ shared this:

 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.  Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ (Matthew 7:21-23 NKJV)

With this in mind, Jesus is reminding us a simple belief isn’t enough. We must go further and live by examples of God’s grace (Romans 10:9). This means our actions must show others the internal changes Christ made in our hearts.

Remember talk is cheap, but faith in action is life-changing (James 1:22).

The message of Christ’s division is easy to grasp. It’s in those verses (Matthew 10:34-39) that Christ shows God’s truth on a believer’s relationship with Christ.

First, He shows us loving Him must become our number one priority and fail to love Him above everything will end up unfavorable in God’s eyes (Matthew 10:37).

It’s important to realize our love for Christ must go beyond the kind we have for our families and friends. God commands us to love him first then love others (Matthew 22:36-40). Our ancient ancestor Abraham is a prime example of how to love God even when it means denying a love for family (Genesis 22:1-24).

Christ divided love as a reminder of glorifying God. Here we must accept the Lord as the reason we live and love Him without reservations. In reality, Jesus is saying by loving God first our affection towards family increases.

As important to loving Christ is denying oneself for His purpose (Matthew 10:38). Nothing is more satisfying to God than humbling ourselves before Christ. When we abandon our personal agenda and seek Christ, then God steps in and blesses us with His grace. This remarkable interaction with God is experiencing the undeniable existence of the Holy Spirit.

Again, Christ teaches us we must become divided from our powerlessness over temptations. Until I surrender myself to Jesus, the mystery of God stays elusive.

I experienced both sides of this division. On the negative side, I defied God. In this chapter of my existence agnosticism caused me immense suffering. I tried my best in convincing others to turn away from God by pointing out His unresponsive reactions to the wickedness of the world.

My argument based on the cruelty people inflicted on each other was wrong. I didn’t understand how God works in a broken world. As shown above, those thoughts got me nowhere.

It brings me great joy to announce God has removed my disbelief. Today I no longer live on the wrong side of Christ’s division. As a matter of fact the Lord shed His grace upon me, and now I see the world through faith’s eyes. This new and profound outlook isn’t of my making but Christ.

Given these points, I owe everything to God.

In summary, Jesus’s division paves the way to an eternal life with God. Jesus divided us so we can glorify God in heaven.

What’re your thoughts on Christ’s division?

Redemption Through God Unbiasedness

One undeniable fact of God is His fairness. The root of this truth first surfaced after Adam and Eve’s great fall from His grace. Once God finished handing them their consequences for disobedience, He provided a way out (Genesis 3:22). It’s here, where God’s unbiasedness gave birth to faith and redemption.

The ensuing story is my experience with the Lord’s impartial interaction with me.

On the negative side, agnosticism fueled my disbelief of God and I spread its poison to anyone with open ears. Many times I argued God’s none-existent using the evilness of the world to point out His dislike for humanity.

How could God exist in a world riddled with death, hatred, and cruelty to children?

This outlook on God showed my misunderstanding of faith. I couldn’t grasp the idea those kinds of human actions in the world are not acts of God but the results from wicked people doing evil deeds. In my mind, I used those realities as a way to reject God. I didn’t know faith is an example of the inner changes God provides to remove sin’s corruption.

During this period of life, my thoughts became influenced by alcohol and drugs. This sent me on the road of self-destruction causing severe problems.

In fact, addiction almost killed me. One time I wrecked the car. It happened driving home from a bar. I became intoxicated from several hours of hard drinking and this impaired my ability to think. My drunkenness caused me to veer off the side of the road and crashed into a metal utility pole.

Then the next thing I remember is waking up in the middle of the road in the opposite direction from the flow of traffic. Even though I walked away uninjured, this incident put me in the path of death. This wasn’t enough to stop me ruining my life. I continued driving drunk.

Besides the substance abuse, I lived in fierce resentment, self-centered fear, and other unrighteous behavior. Sin ran wild, causing emotional, mental and physical harms to many people. My life continued to get worse, and along the way, suicide raised its ugly head.

Then one day in the spring of 1985 God got my attention. Alcoholism reduced me to one hundred and ten pounds, looked as if I was walking death and ended back home at mom’s house. This devastated her, and those tears she cried showed the terror behind her eyes. Now she experienced up close a frightening example of the horrors of an unsaved soul. With the agony of defeat prevalent and nowhere else to turn I heard God’s calling.

God took my hand and taught me the real meaning of life. His light overpowered the darkness hanging over my head. And nothing mattered except God. Over the next fifteen years, the relationship between God and me blossomed. He gave me the keys to the meaningful and purposeful life anchored in His purpose.

Even though God took hold of me, He understood I wasn’t ready for His way of living. And in the summer of 2000, I chose to distant myself from God. It began with complacency. You know those times when I believe my spiritual life is well but fail to rely upon Him. Well, this lack of faith cost me His grace, and three years later I returned to the nightmare of addiction.

It wasn’t a wise decision returning to alcoholism. But because of my dead faith and failing to recognize my error God’s voice fell on deaf ears. Under those circumstances, the day I drank, alcoholism returned with a vengeance.

Over the next eight years nothing I tried to ease the unnecessary suffering caused by my disobedience worked. My ability to make sound decisions ceased to exist, and this drove me deeper into despair. In my darkest days, I remember sitting on the couch with no electricity or running water with a cooler full of beer getting drunk. Self-pity filled my heart driven by my refusal to turn back to God.

I tried geographic changes to no avail. Every time I moved the lurking notion of impending doom never left my mind. Other ways included changing friends, hangout places and isolating myself at home. Nothing overtook the reality of my choice to walk away from God. And from my actions to live willful the quality of life continued to get worse.

Alcohol became my worst enemy and every time I drank the blackouts from abusing it became severe. It wasn’t uncommon for me to awaken from a blackout with black eyes or broken ribs because others told me I became violent. They had to manhandle me to stop me from causing more physical damage to property. And this led to more destructive drinking to drown out the embarrassment.

Not sure what happened. One day in the summer of 2011 I asked God for help. And within a few weeks, God’s Living Spirit became visible. He embraced me with His grace. God showed me mercy, and Christ entered my heart. This remarkable and unbelievable spiritual awakening changed me forever.

I knew God answered my cry for help because He removed my obsession with alcohol. No longer was I consumed with constant thoughts of getting drunk. Those became non-existent and God replaced them with a peace of mind unlike any other I had every experience. And God freed me from the bondage of self and as the result of His intervention, my thoughts shifted from the alcohol to thinking on Him.

I am grateful the Lord gave me another chance. Today I keep my faith active. For example, once awaken the first thoughts of the day begin with glorifying God. Prayer is where it starts and throughout the day a conscious effort made to rely upon Christ. And every night a sincere thanking for His daily bread.

God didn’t give up on me nor will He for you. His unbiased treatment of me keeps me seeking Christ and I look forward spending time with Him. I cherish His Spirit. I hope your experience is one full of His love and filled with His presence!

What Lies Beneath the Parables?

Parables are priceless analogies of faith in action. Jesus used them to show examples of God’s truths through visualizing His word through a story. And what lies beneath the parables is an endless delivery of God’s wisdom.

In Matthew’s Gospel twenty parables come to the surface and overall thirty-nine appear in three Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke). With this in mind, we see they play a significant role in learning God’s truths.

Their simplicity is a point often overlooked. The Parables are full of incredible insight of God’s word, yet I have a tendency to over-think them and complicate the message. This is why placing my trust in Christ is crucial in understanding these fascinating scriptures. Because my limited knowledge isn’t enough to comprehend their profound meanings.

It may surprise you not everyone understood Christ’s parables (Matthew 13:10-15). Since God knows the hearts of humans (Luke 16:15) and at Jesus’ time on earth, many lived in dead faith; He decided to hide their meanings. And their refusal to accept God’s real word cost them the wisdom to understand God’s will.

In fact, the Apostles were the first men to gain the knowledge (Matthew 13:16-17) of their powerful lessons. Jesus knew His ascension into heaven was inevitable and used the Parables as a way of preparing them for life after His departure. Christ explained their secrets to help them spread His Gospel.

It’s in the Parables we find the spiritual actions needed to apply God’s truth in our daily lives. They cover a multitude of Christian behavior favorable in God’s eyes. For one thing, they teach us the value of faith, love, and humility. Each of them gives reverence to the way God intends for us to live in harmony with Him and the world.

For example, the Parable of the workers in the vineyard (Matthew 20:1-16), shows Christ’s way of humility. Here we see how one’s impartial generosity stirs up an unacceptable reaction in receiving fairness. In this case, Christ’s message is humility. And humility is gratitude in disguise, but complaining is the result of a hardened heart.

Another more famous Parable is the Sower (Matthew 13:1-9). This leaves no doubt the faith needed for finding God’s saving grace (Ephesians 2:8). It is important to realize real faith and Christ great explanation (Matthew 13:18-23), points out God’s definition of eternal faith (Matthew 13:23).

And we must follow Jesus so we can build on the Lord’s unshakable foundation and secure our eternal lives.

One of the most compelling evidence of love is the Parable of the unforgiving servant (Matthew 18:21-35). Behind the act of forgiving is unconditional love.

When we forgive others, our love radiates through a compassionate heart. It’s in our willingness to let go of our hurt feelings and show our offenders a loving spirit. This valuable lesson teaches us it’s pointless to hold onto bitterness. This great freedom transforms our lives into one working for Christ and living God’s will.

When I spend time on the Parables, I meditate on them. I breathe in their spiritual air refreshing my spirit and re-energizing my heart. And I ask myself what the action I need to take so I bring them into my life is.

We have discussed a few Parables. Now that we have a basic understanding of their purpose then it becomes easy to use them in helping us grow in the knowledge of Christ. We will never find God’s hidden wisdom until we take time and apply them to our faith.

What do you find lurking beneath the Parables?

Unleashing the Power of Prayer

One of the most common stumbling block in unleashing the power of prayer is avoiding alone time with God. It’s easy allowing the demands of family, careers and social events to override my prayer life.

When I become too busy for God, it opens the door for unnecessary troubles. I know this from experience because when I’m not active in embracing Christ, my problems become overwhelming and I take the wrong actions in finding a resolution.

But the moment I show God my undivided attention then He takes my life and eliminates my obstacles. This doesn’t mean it takes place right away. A point often overlooked is God uses a timetable, unlike mine. The emphasis is without Christ as my top priority my prayers stay unanswered.

The Lifeline of Prayer

Think of it this way. When a child’s conception happens, the umbilical cord is its lifeline. And without this essential physical bond between mother and child life doesn’t exist.

Likewise, the same holds true in prayer because failing to speak with the Lord cuts me off from the Light of Christ. And living in spiritual darkness is eternal death.

As we continue looking at the Gospel of Matthew Christ shows how confused the believers are in knowing God’s truths. One problem they experienced is understanding the way God wants a believer to pray.

With this in mind, Jesus delivered them the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13).

Many of us approach prayer with good intentions but lose focus on the way God wants us to speak to Him. No one is perfect in their walk with the Lord (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

In Matthew sixth chapter verses five through fifteen we find Christ’s exceptional lesson for praying. It’s not by accident Jesus first shared on preparing the proper mindset for rightful praying (Matthew 6:5-7).

Our Messiah pointed out two unfavorable approaches for praying and one worthy of receiving God’s grace.

Improper Prayer

Jesus started with a stern message on humility. It’s important to realize God disapproves prideful actions. Here Jesus tells us not to pray intending to show others (Matthew 6:5). And Christ warns us a prayer anchored in self-centeredness is unprofitable in God’s eyes.

Remember the Lord doesn’t find it amusing to live as a hypocrite.

The second key in Christ prayer lesson is avoiding repetitive words. Our Messiah identified prays with long and duplicate words are worthless to God.

Christ said this:

“And when you pray do not use vain repetitions as the heathens do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.” (Matthew 6:7)

No, the Lord prefers a simple and sincere language.

Christ’s Vision of Proper Praying

God is faithful to those who follow His commands and Christ reminds us this truth. Jesus left no doubt the greatest approach in praying is private. Nothing pleases God more than facing Him alone. Here Jesus promises if we do this then God will answer our prayer, and our reward becomes noticeable (Matthew 6:6).

Christ’s Prayer Command

Once I get Christ’s recipe for acceptable praying, then the wisdom behind the Lord’s Prayer is at my disposal. It’s in this prayer I find the three ingredients needed in unleashing the power of prayer.

The first action to take is glorifying God (Matthew 6:9). Christ made it known God responds to those who glorify Him. And when we obey our Messiah God steps in and protects from His enemy. Nothing draws us closer to our Creator than honoring His presence. And nothing matches God’s indisputable grace.

Selfless service to God (Matthew 6:10) is a key to finding the full might of prayer and brings us to Jesus’s second point in the Lord’s Prayer. Each of us understands the essence of serving God’s purpose brings us incredible spiritual balance in every circumstance of living. Nothing is more impactful or profound than working for God!

The last three verses of Christ’s lesson on proper praying is asking God for guidance (Matthew 6:11-13). In those scriptures, Jesus commands us to ask God for spiritual food (our daily bread), forgiveness of sin (others included), and removal from temptation and deliverance from evil. Each of those requests is straightforward petitions keeping us focused on fulfilling His will.

Now with Christ’s knowledge of praying and our willingness to apply it then we can unleash its full potential. Every one of us has bear witness to the miracle of prayer both in personal experience and observing others victory. Remember with God everything is possible!

Have you unleashed the power of prayer?

The Undeniable Key of Righteousness

In Christ’s sermon on the mountain (Matthew Chapters 5-7) He shows the conduct God expects a member of His kingdom to manifest to their neighbors. When we take an honest view of the Bible, our understanding of how God opposes mistreating others emerges. And Christ spoke on the key of righteousness.

Jesus held nothing back when speaking of God’s truth. In His homily, He set right every misinterpretation on anger (Matthew 5:21-26), adultery (Matthew 5:27-30), and marriage (Matthew 5:31-32; Matthew 19:1-10).

Likewise, Christ illuminates the way to selflessness (Matthew 5:38-42), unconditional love (Matthew 5:43-48), and humility (Matthew 7:1-6).

It’s in this part of Christ’s teachings He lays out the Christian actions necessary in living a God-centered life. The first thing to remember is Jesus highlights love (Matthew 5:43-48) as God’s favorable interaction with those who cause us trouble. So finding spiritual love comes from reliance on Christ.

Righteousness is out of reach on willpower alone. We understand this truth when we revisit Adam and Eve’s great fall from God’s grace (Genesis 3: 1-19). The second they disobeyed God, sin sprouted and corrupted the human soul. Their penalty for disobedience cost them God’s affection, but the Lord loved them and provided them the key to a pure heart (Genesis 3:22).

 

 

Remember, Christ defeated sin (1 Peter 2:24) and without His intervention, in the way, I react to being mistreated is sinful. Think of it this way. When someone belittles me and I react in the same way, then sin controls my response. But the more I grow in Christ when those circumstances arise my ability to forgive increases. And when I fall short in love, then repentance is my way back to righteousness.

It’s important to realize the key to righteousness as set forth through Christ’s firm teaching is love and humility. Both a loving and humble existence lead to a life of glorifying and serving God, Christ, the Holy Spirit and helping others. God is pleased when we live a modest life and express His love to others.

For example, when Christ talked about murder, He made it known anger is its taproot. In, our generation the world reminds us the devastation anger causes in society. Nowadays, murder is a headline broadcast to the masses.

Jesus understood anger is dangerous and the way to stop it from infesting the heart is reconciling our indifferences and making amends for wrong doings (Matthew 5:24). Making right wrongdoing is an act of love and an example of humility.

Love coupled with humility removes resentment and brings serenity in angry circumstances. And when we show those around us God’s love our lives become rich in righteousness.

Another excellent illustration of pure at heart is understanding other’s sinful ways (Matthew 7:1-6). It’s easy to forget my sinful actions. At birth, sin is present (Romans 5:12). So passing judgment on others is senseless because God knows everyone falls short in living holy.

I am familiar with the unfruitfulness of pointing the finger at people’s shortcomings. Many times when I become self-righteous it’s an unpleasant experience. I never walk away from it feeling good. But the more willing I am to live in Christ the less I judge others. This revelation brings me peace and I can love people who cause me problems.

Our discussion on the key to righteousness comes to an end, and we touched on a few aspects to its reverence for God. Since righteousness doesn’t come easy then a more comprehensive understanding stems from building a personal relationship with Christ. And with Jesus as our guide finding a pure heart is God’s reward for adhering to His word.

Have you found the key to righteousness?

Part 3: The Bright and Sweet Aroma of Salvation

God is incredible. His eternal light is bright, and the sweet aroma of salvation is His endless gift of good fruit. This experience comes from the ones Christ receives from God (John 17:24).

Christ is impressive in the way He teaches God’s truths. One of His greatest messages is making a real believer the salt and light of salvation (Matthew 5:13-16).

In other words, living in the Lord’s kingdom is full of flavor and filled with eternal light. And this means we must show those around us the impact Christ has on our lives through our Christian actions.

In our study of the Sermon on the Mountain (Matthew Chapters 5-7) we come into contact with Christ’s remarkable way of sharing God’s truths. Last week the Beatitudes gave us a glimpse into the Lord’s designed plan for righteous living.

To put it another way, those truths hold us accountable to show others the way the Lord wants us to live for His purpose. This is important to realize because Christ’s next discussion is taking those internal changes and displaying them to those around us.

Since God saves a soul through His grace (Ephesians 2:8), then we need to attract others into His light. For this reason, He delivered Christ to us so we can shine above our carnal selves and radiate the sweet aroma of a saved life.

And when we live by God’s will then our lives are a bright spot to those around us. For one thing, the Holy Spirit gives us the Christian attributes needed to help others overcome adversity. It’s in Christ we find the wisdom to comfort those in distress.

Shining Christ’s Light to those around us comes with responsibility. The first thing to remember is God watches the way we treat our neighbors.

Remember we don’t choose who Christ places in our paths. It’s easy assisting others we love, but the more challenging testimony of our faith is when God asks us to shine His light on someone we want to avoid. In this case, the Lord is asking us to go beyond our personal preference and offer our selfless services. And failing to not act on God’s commandment opens the door for a hardened heart.

Living a distasteful life brought me negative results. My life full of bitterness, resentment, and jealousy. The way I conducted myself left a horrible taste in other mouths. I was vulgar and rude causing people to turn away from my ungodly behavior. This immoral way of living left me alone, afraid and at odds with God.

I’m pleased to announce to you I’m no longer bearing rotten fruit. God stepped in and pulled me out of the black hole of despair and everything changed. And for the first time, I saw His shining Light. Today even in my imperfections Christ’s never dimmed His light. I now know the fruits of salvation, and this keeps me seeking the will of God.

It’s not by accident we cross paths with other believers. Since our bond is with Christ, God attracts us through the Holy Spirit and this unity strengthen His kingdom.

As long as we keep faithful our place in God’s house is secure. It’s important to realize Christ makes sure our light is bright, and this allows us to share with others God’s everlasting reality.

Expressing love, reaching out to others and giving more than expected are the results from Christ’s light and leaves the greatest impression to those receiving it. This is even more rewarding when we show the ones we dislike the same as those we love.

The experiences of Christ’s light are many, and we have touched on a few of them. Christ provides us many opportunities to shine. God’s salt heals because it never goes flat. And when we show others, the source of our Light this pleases God because we are professing His truth.

How do you shine Christ’s light to others?

Christ’s Sermon: Blessed are the Faithful

Part 2: The Beatitudes

Throughout man’s history, God recognizes faithful believers. He rewards those who place Him as their number one priority and live by His commandments. The Lord blesses His chosen ones, and in the Gospel of Matthew, we find this to be true. Blessed are God’s faithful followers.

Christ’s sermon on the mountain begins with the Beatitudes (Matthew 5: 3-12). Each of them starts with a blessing. In fact, this is Christ’s way of reaching out to humanity with the keys to eternal happiness. Because being blessed means living a joyful life through God’s grace.

This blissful consciousness is God given and not by our making. And when we live the Beatitudes, God takes notice, and our lives become prime examples of a Christ-centered life. And this makes living in a broken world enjoyable.

Jesus uses the Beatitudes as the blueprint for a life built on God’s word through living in His truths. They radiate a life anchored in Christ’s Deity showing others the inner-workings of God’s Spirit. In the same way, they are the spiritual principles the Lord gives to those worthy to receive His unconditional love.

In the Beatitudes, Christ outlines God’s eternal plan for a life centered on Christian action. As a matter of fact, it’s in those scriptures that Jesus spells out in perfect detail the behavior a Christian must show to find God’s blessing. For this reason, we need to deny ourselves and live for Christ.

It’s important to realize the Beatitudes have three distinct attributes. First, they show a life rooted in humility. For example, becoming poor in spirit isn’t a lack of spirit but is surrendering free will for God’s purposes.

Once a believer becomes willing to continue letting go of individualism for Christ’s sake then his or her spirit transforms into one driven by the Holy Spirit. And this brings an overwhelming want to serve God better.

This spiritual transition from spiritual darkness into Christ’s light opens the door to the kingdom of heaven. And the more our spirits yearn for God, the happier we become because real gratification of life comes from dependence on Christ and not from selfish motives.

 

The second Christian attribute contained within the Beatitudes is acting on God’s word without reservations. A point often overlooked is salvation is an active participation in God’s truth. And this means developing a personal willingness to apply faith under each circumstance of a Christian’s life. With this is in mind it’s easy to understand words are meaningless until they become active. Christ makes it easy to understand the meaning behind the Beatitudes.

As a matter of fact finding the kingdom of heaven, God’s comfort, eternal inheritance, and Christ’s righteousness are more than words. One must take action by showing God a willingness to do His will in a world that rejects His truths. This means showing a humble, mournful, and righteous life (in unjust circumstances) and knowing others will ridicule us for standing firm on Christ’s words.

The last spiritual attribute in Christ’s Beatitudes is receiving God’s unconditional love. A most compelling evidence to God’s love is best shown in His rewards of mercy, seeing Him, becoming sons of God. And receiving a great reward in heaven for standing firm in times of Christ persecution is His gift to the faithful. Christ didn’t shy away from the way God responds to those who follow the Beatitudes.

In my past unhappiness raised its head. Living in darkness brought me emptiness and discontent. Everything I tried to bring me joy failed because I lived in the lusts of the world. My selfish motives became interwoven in prideful ambitions. I knew nothing of meekness nor God Himself. Then, when I wanted to die, God rescued me.

I’m grateful God saved me and introduced me to Christ. Today my code for Christian living are the Beatitudes. I’m not perfect and fail to live those spiritual truths. But the moment I realize my failure and humbly ask Christ for help then through repentance I’m connected to the Holy Spirit.

How do you practice the Beatitudes?