Growing in our salvation is a process…a conscious, everyday struggle of putting off our old self to be made new in the attitude of our minds. (Ephesians 4:22) This verse should convict and challenge us all to look at our conduct, actions, and manner…and free ourselves from the chains of all the negativity. For it tells us later in this chapter, “Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.” (Vs 16) Letting loose of negative emotions will unchain you from the past while freeing you for the future.
Truth comes from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in you. We are to be firmly established in that truth, which is ultimate, absolute, and divinely revealed, but at the same time difficult to distinguish from all the world’s noise. That still small voice is a whisper against the clamber of everything around us. Oh how wonderful it would be if the Holy Spirit had a blow-horn poised by my ear to direct me! But instead I must listen…and listen acutely for His voice. Do you want to know the truth? Then you must train your ears to listen carefully, blocking out the din around you and disciplining your mind . As this verse says, the truth lives within you…you just need to listen.
Peter and the other Believers with him couldn’t dispute what they witnessed in the house of Cornelius. The Holy Spirit was super-naturally poured out on the Gentiles while Peter was still mid-sentence, telling them about Jesus. Now Peter could have questioned this…”But Lord, these people are very different from us! We don’t have anything in common with them. They’re a different race and culture from us! Are You sure You know what You’re doing?” Sometimes, as fellow-Believers, we can find ourselves asking the same questions of those we find different from us. Yes, we may not share a lot…but we do have a common denominator…faith in Jesus Christ. Together we are one Body…one Church…united in our trust of our Savior…joined together eternally by our faith.
I can’t stress too much the need for you to be in the Bible…to be reading for yourself…learning for yourself what is said within the book covers. Devotionals and commentaries are good…but they’re telling you about God. To have a full, complete, and enlightened instruction of what’s in the Bible, you must read it for yourself…allowing the light of truth to illuminate the areas of your life that need change. So I ask you…are you brave enough to have the word of God shine a light into the dark places of your soul?
Everyday we have to make the decision to either accept the world’s view or to trust God with His vision. We can either be driven by fear, gloom and doom in a world of pessimism and distrust, or we can stand on God’s Word with hope and confidence, knowing He’s still in control. It all boils down to asking yourself one question, “Whose report do you believe today?” Is your faith and trust in the world or the Creator of it?
Jesus spoke of this glory in John 17:22, when He said, “I have given them the glory that You gave Me that they may be one as we are one.” When we become Christians, we undergo a spiritual transformation…a invisible process, a metamorphosis if you will, where our very character is changed. And by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit we become a mirror, reflecting Jesus to others. But you’ll also notice that this Scripture says we are “being” transformed with “ever-increasing” glory…which means His work in us will never be completely done until that day we meet Him face to face.
A Holy Spirit empowered ministry is bold and fearless. Psalm 138:3 says, “You made me bold and stout-hearted.” And this Scripture is so true…for under our own power we’re nothing but scaredy-cats. It’s the Holy Spirit that endows our soul, spirit, and self with confidence and courage. It’s the Holy Spirit that gives us the trust to place our total dependence and hope on God alone.