Jude 1:20-25 The MSG
20-21 But you, dear friends, carefully build yourselves up in this most holy faith by praying in the Holy Spirit, staying right at the center of God’s love, keeping your arms open and outstretched, ready for the mercy of our Master, Jesus Christ. This is the unending life, the real life!
22-23 Go easy on those who hesitate in the faith. Go after those who take the wrong way. Be tender with sinners, but not soft on sin. The sin itself stinks to high heaven.
24-25 And now to him who can keep you on your feet, standing tall in his bright presence, fresh and celebrating—to our one God, our only Savior, through Jesus Christ, our Master, be glory, majesty, strength, and rule before all time, and now, and to the end of all time. Yes.
Pat Barrett: Canvas and Clay
Pat Barrett: Sails
Pat Barrett is someone who worships in Spirit and Truth and his album “Pat Barrett” has been a mainstay in my personal worship for 2019. I encourage you to listen to his music, read the lyrics and let the Spirit of God minister to you as you open your heart to Him in surrender and adoration.
Lesson: Life Together – Conclusion
These past 7 weeks we have walked together have been so full of life – the earthly life of activities and circumstances and the “zoe” life of relationships. We started with a call to discipleship which is how every joint supplies as we build each other up.
Eph 4:11-15 NKJ …the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God…speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies…the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body…in love.
The power to edify, to come to unity in the fullness of Christ, to speak the truth in love, to grow up into Him, and to work effectively as a body comes from the Holy Spirit. It is this energy that He so effectively works in me.
Colossians 1:28-29 NIV He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.
We have had 6 lessons on the Holy Spirit – walking in Him, being led by Him, living in Him, keeping in step with Him, being unified in Him and praying with Him. I have had so many opportunities to practice His presence over these past few months and I am sure you have had some too. I have recognized some of the opportunities as they were unfolding and others only after the fact. I have failed to follow the Spirit in many of them and yet I have been strangely encouraged by the process. When I look back on my week, I realize that all of the opportunities to see God at work and join Him in it are all opportunities to love. Love will always require me to pick up my cross, deny myself and follow Him. This is the apprenticeship of love: Father’s love for us that led Him to send His son for our salvation; Jesus’ love for the Father which made Him pick up His cross; My love for Him which enables me to pick up my cross.
Loving Him brings me close and keeps my eyes on Him. Watching Him and learning of Him changes me – it changes my motives (heart) and my desires (mind) and ultimately my actions (will). The Holy Spirit makes it possible to love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength and to love others as myself (Mark 12:30-31).
To walk in the Spirit begins with accepting my place in the family of God and identifying with Jesus (picking up my cross). It means to deny the desires of my flesh and respond to His desire for me. I can follow the Spirit’s lead only when I submit/surrender to His authority in my life. In that posture of abiding we can hear His voice behind us saying, “this is the way, walk in it” (Isaiah 30:21). When we listen, we find life – Zoe – “together life” – a life with Him and a life with others that reflects Him. The rhythm of this “together life” is unity. Not a unity of shared circumstances, beliefs or methods, but a unity that comes from being connected to the Source. God is our source and He is love (1 John 4:8-16). His love compels and constrains us. It pushes us to lay aside our selfishness and insecurities and connect with people who are not like us, those who are needy, those who are hostile. His love keeps us from putting our needs and wants above obedience and our thoughts and perspectives above His Truth.
He is building His temple in us, He is building us together with other believers and He is joining us together in the love of God to be a bride for Jesus. He is not finished with us. In Pat Barrett’s song, “Canvas and Clay”, he sings:
“I know nothing has been wasted, no failure or mistake. You’re an artist and a potter. I’m the canvas and the clay. You’re not finished with me. You’re not finished with me yet. You make all things work together for my future and for my good. You make all things work together for your glory and for your name.”
Ephesians 4:11-15 in the Message says that God will continue to work in us, for us, and through us “until we are all moving rhythmically and easily with each other, efficient and graceful in response to God’s Son, fully mature adults, fully developed within and without, fully alive like Christ.” God wants us to grow up, to know the whole truth and tell it in love—like Christ in everything. We take our lead from Christ, who is the source of everything we do. He keeps us in step with each other. His very breath and blood flow through us, nourishing us so that we will grow up healthy in God, robust in love.
Read the following 3 verses about the Holy Spirit as our guarantee. Journal any insights or thoughts about what this means to you, and write a prayer of grateful response for the glorious inheritance that is promised to those in Christ.
2 Corinthians 1:20-24 NIV For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
2 Corinthians 5:1-5 For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
Ephesians 1:12-14 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
Word study, Resources, Tools:
The greek word for gaurantee is “arrhabon” meaning an earnest or a pledge.
“money which in purchases is given as a pledge or downpayment that the full amount will subsequently be paid”.
Take time to respond to God’s promise of the Holy Spirit and the “zoe” life He is inviting you into and equipping you to live and give away.
This online community is a place to spur one another on to love and good works, where we can look to Him and see His glory together. Review the lessons from this series and make a list of what you have learned about the person of the Holy Spirit. How has this knowledge changed your thoughts, motives, desires, or choices? How has the work of the Holy Spirit impacted your relationships in the past 30 days? What prayers has God given you for the people in your life?