Posts Tagged ‘Spirit’


1 Timothy 3:15-16
If I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great:
He appeared in a body,
was vindicated by the Spirit,
was seen by angels,
was preached among the nations,
was believed on in the world,
was taken up in glory.

Earlier in the chapter, Paul explains to Timothy what pre-qualifications one needs in order to be made an overseer or deacon in the Church. An overseer also referred to as an elder are people who should be peacemakers, prayer warriors, teachers, leaders by example, and decision makers. Deacons are generally more like servant-leaders helping out with non-teaching roles whereas elders can be described as teaching-leaders. When we look at the pre-requisites, very few people in every Church fit that role and might be willing to perform that role. Obviously the role involves serving the body of Christ and therefore there is much at stake. The draw of power and prestige should not be the earmarks of the role but instead the focus should be on whom God calls and how the chosen are able to serve with servant-hearts. What then is the mystery of godliness?

As we look at the 6 lines that explain it, we understand it as:

1. Appearing in body: Jesus Christ was fully man and yet fully God

2. Vindicated by the Spirit: After his condemnation to death, the power of God raised Him from the dead

3. Seen by angels: The angels were at the open tomb and told the women about Jesus’ resurrection

4. Preached among the nations: To Paul, a Jew who was taught that Gentiles (Non-Jews) were not chosen, it was significant to Him that God came to die for sinners regardless of their culture or heritage

5. Believed on in the world: Two thousand years later, Christ is still preached and lives in the lives and hearts of millions today

6. Taken up in Glory: Christ’s resurrection

Those who seek to take up office in the Church need to be mindful most importantly that they are called to serve Jesus Christ and his bride, the Church, which is the people in the body among them. This calling is a fulfillment of how God wants His body to be led and instructed and served and those called into it His servants.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

1 Corinthians 3:16 Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?

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Philippians 2:1-3, 5-8
If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose… Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!

According to my dictionary, humility means a modest or low view of one’s own importance; humbleness. This is something we can ascribe to people with low self esteem or people who feel they are less than those they serve. It is a very defeated attitude in today’s world and therefore as much as we talk praise about people who are humble, we cannot aspire to it because it is not in us. When I had the inspiration for ServantBoy as a handle, it seemed to the world the worst way to portray oneself and I was told more often than not to change it as it embarrassed people who knew me. When I look at today’s passage, I am encouraged by Christ’s example and feel inspired once again.

So many traits of Jesus in His earthly life are painted by the picture of humility. He was born in poverty, He knelt and prayed to God the Father, He was surrounded by the lowest in society, He amassed no wealth, He rode on donkeys and He was even stripped, beaten and humiliated by being hung on the cross beside two criminals for no fault of His. If we are to serve Him as our God, how can we not humble ourselves below Him? How can we seek our own comforts before the comforts of those suffering around us? How can we justify our gain at someone else’s loss? God rewards us for loving His Son and living a life worthy of His name and that reward will be for eternity but to be blessed, we need to first seek His Son Jesus and live by His example. I hope you are encouraged by Jesus’ example and are proud to call yourself His own and live a life worthy of His name?

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

Matthew 11:29 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.


Ephesians 6:10-11, 14-18
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes… Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

In today’s day and age when wars are being fought using technology rather than weapons and weapons are smaller, more powerful and more devastating, talk of the armor of God seems futile. The war that Paul is getting us to be armed for is not one fought with arms and ammunition of this world because the ones we are to fight are not human, but the war we are to fight is the war against the evil forces in the heavenly realms, unseen to the human eye but real and powerful. Satan is powerful enough to have blinded the world from seeing the truth about God and cunning enough to have driven us to vain pursuits of money, power, possessions, etc. all of which never seem to be enough and will take us to the grave unsatisfied. How are we, as mere humans supposed to fight this battle?

To fight a war, we need to know our enemy and since we were once on that side, we know what pleases and upsets the enemy. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, Holy Spirit, Word of God are all things that the enemy hates. However, these are things that are also alien to us because we have lived our lives speaking lies, disobeying God, causing conflict, putting our faith in everything but God and so to be on God’s side, our first act is to submit ourselves to God for His Holy Spirit to work in us and cleanse us. Then only can we live lives transformed by the Holy Spirit that effectively fight the battle against the forces of evil. Are you in God’s army and if so, are you trying to fight the battle in your own strength or His?

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

Isaiah 59:17 He put on righteousness like a breastplate, And a helmet of salvation on His head; And He put on garments of vengeance for clothing And wrapped Himself with zeal as a mantle.


Galatians 5:16-17, 22-25
So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature… the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

Freedom in Christ if not clearly explained might mislead us and therefore Paul clarifies the spiritual freedom we receive as a people saved by the grace of God. As humans, we like to establish boundaries to know where we can operate and what is out of bounds. While this might be the case, as broken as we are, some of us like to work on the edge of these boundaries and when challenged argue our way out of it. For example when we have a speed limit on the road, the purpose is to ensure safety of all who use the public road and the keyword stated with the speed limit is ‘Maximum’. However, we like to use it as a gauge of what speed we can drive at and we generally drive around that speed or higher, seldom lower. How then does the spiritual freedom operate and how do we exercise it?

Overcoming sin such as that mentioned above is a real challenge because as hard as we try, we fail. However, when we are saved by the grace of God, we are in-dwelt by the Holy Spirit and it steers us away from sin because it desires to serve God and not Satan. The fruits of the Holy Spirit evident in us are listed in the passage above and it shows that there is no room for sin. When we are confronted by sin, we know it because we are reminded by the Holy Spirit and our response should be to run away from it because if we court sin, we cannot serve God. When I am reminded by the Holy Spirit about doing something that is not pleasing to God, I submit myself into God’s hands and run from it. Satan attacks us in very subtle ways and walking close to God helps us hear His voice which directs us away from sin. This is hard for me to talk about because I know my brokenness and my propensity to sin but I also know that Christ has won the victory and as long as I am His, I am protected.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

Romans 8:5 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.


Galatians 4:21-23, 28-31
Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law says? For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. His son by the slave woman was born in the ordinary way; but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a promise… Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. At that time the son born in the ordinary way persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now. But what does the Scripture say? “Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman’s son.” Therefore, brothers, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.

As I continue to seek God through His word, I realize that every word written is worth it’s weight in gold because of how it reflects the character and nature of God. Quoted in verse 30 are words spoken by Sarah in anger when her son Isaac was being mocked by Hagar’s son (Born of Abraham) and even though it sounded crude at that time, God told Abraham to comply because it was through Isaac that Abraham’s offspring would be established. Isaac was born because of God’s promise to Abraham and Sarah whereas Ishmael was born because they decided to take matters into their own hands. While all of this might be good and true, what does it have to do with us today who cannot draw any direct lineage to Abraham and are being called free?

I was born an Indian national and it might seem strange to some that I was saved by the grace of God in India because it is not in any way connected to Israel. God calls the Israelites His people and I call myself a Christian but I’m not Israelite and is there a problem? Our rebirth or the experience of being born again is not a physical one but spiritual and baptism is the physical act of obedience we follow to understand this transformation. When we submit our lives to Jesus Christ, God enters us through His Holy Spirit, cleanses (sanctifies) us of our sins, transforms our hearts and minds to be able to communicate with Him, and calls us His own which makes us Abraham’s offspring. We are not slaves to the law anymore but are now reborn free in Christ who conquered sin and death and gave us life eternal with Him and God the father. Are you still a child of slavery or the child of a promise?

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

Galatians 5:1 It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.


2 Corinthians 11:2-4
I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.

After days, I have been able to sit with the study again and the reason is laziness. Yes, laziness of mind and body which caused me to spiritually drift and lose my bearings for many days. This is such a strange feeling and I am not proud or glad for having slipped but I thank God for waking me up and placing me back on my feet. I tried to write yesterday and it was futile because I was doing it in my own strength and wisdom, not the Lord’s. What caused it I wondered and this morning, as I drove into work and talked with God, He revealed it to me.

As we go along in life, we tend to take things for granted and God is someone we most easily manage to take for grated because we don’t see Him and therefore reprioritize our time with God because we think He will understand. This is the same issue that God warned the Israelites about when He gave them the Ten Commandments. Jesus is real and truly alive and deserves our complete time and attention. When we take Him and God the father for granted, we lose our footing and suddenly we realize that we are in the middle of an ocean of meaninglessness and we are desperate to be saved from it. That is what I felt this morning and God threw me a lifeline to bring me back to him. Are you being led astray by the serpent’s cunning or do you have your feet on the solid ground called Jesus? 

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

Hosea 2:19 “I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, In lovingkindness and in compassion


2 Corinthians 7:1, 9-11
Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God… yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us. Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter.

Start of another new week here in Vancouver and as time flies, so do missed opportunities to serve God and I thank God for His patience with us even as we sluggishly serve Him. This morning, my passage of scripture was a confirmation yet again about the purpose of suffering in our faith walk. Many will disagree with me and I ask the many to seek God in His fullness just as I am learning to. First Paul talks about what our faith walk must be like by saying that we should cleanse ourselves mind, body and spirit of everything that prevents us from doing so and we should become holy in reverence for God. This is quite the ask and is impossible for us to do on our own. How then does God accomplish this in us?

Suffering is something we have always looked down upon, prayed against, and begged God to take away from us. Yet God permits suffering in our lives and we wonder why? Paul in his 1st letter to the Corinthians was very harsh and in doing so brought about a revival in the church that glorified God. For God, purifying us to become like Him is what counts as we are going to share eternity in His presence. For Christ to live in God’s presence every moment, He has to be holy and has to love God beyond everything else. This is the same for us and to change us, God uses trials and tribulations because this life is the training grounds for the wonderful life after. Are you sorrowful, hurting, suffering? Get on your knees now and ask God to reveal what changes He wants in you to make you more like Him. Stop looking at suffering as an issue but instead look at suffering as an opportunity to learn and grow in the Lord.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

Romans 6:19 I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification