Being Does

Is your church doing to be or being to do? We ended Paul’s prayer for the Colossians last week with the phrase, “unto all pleasing”. We continue his prayer with, “being fruitful in every good work…”(Col. 1:10).

DSCF4336Pleasing the Father, bearing fruit, good work…”Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.”(John 15:8).

How do the good works of the world differ from the good work of the follower of Christ? One pleases self being born out of a desire to feel good about oneself. The other pleases the Lord being born out of a spirit filled with the fullness of God and pointing to His goodness and character.

“…being fruitful…”  A believer in Christ is full of fruit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance…”(Gal. 5:22,23a). Notice there is only one fruit made up of nine kinds of seeds. Those receiving life in the Spirit of God through faith in Christ are admonished to, “also walk in the Spirit.”  This fruit, those in Christ are to bear, is His very character, and it begins with the knowledge of His love for us. “And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.”(Eph. 3:19).DSCF4346

Those who are in Christ are given the fullness of God through the Holy Spirit. He plants each seed of His character in our hearts beginning with the knowledge of His love. This knowledge of love blooms into joy bringing forth the peace of God that reigns in our hearts through the trials we face. We patiently wait/trust in Him to walk with us in gentleness because of His goodness. Experiencing His goodness waters our faith, the conviction He is who He says He is and does what He says He will do. He is meek, acting according to who He is and remembering who we are, and deals with us accordingly, even as we are to be with one another.

Our heavenly Father has put this fruit in us to bear to others. This is the good work we are to do because of our being filled with His fruit. What we have learned of Him, we are to follow. What He has born in us we are to bear to others.

Peter puts it this way: “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature…giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance: and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness charity; For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2Peter 1:3-8).

“…in every good work…””Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” “Thou shalt love the Lord they God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind…And…Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works.” (John 6:28,29; Matt. 22:37,39; Heb. 10:24). Knowing this: “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.” No matter the work if it is not motivated by the love of Christ, “..and have not charity, I am nothing…it profiteth me nothing.”(Taken from 1Cor. 13).

Being in Christ you live by the Spirit. You have His character in you. He, living in you, cannot help but produce good work, a work that glorifies the Father. Being does.

How might you encourage your local body of Christ to love and good works?

Heavenly Father, You have given us all we need to bear fruit unto your glory. Show us how to be an encouragement to your body in love and good works. May we bear the righteous eternal fruit of the Spirit to a world feasting on the temporary fruits of sinful pleasure.


Living Water

“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever. Even the Spirit of truth…ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” John 14:16,17.

DSCF1527One of my fondest childhood memories revolve around the one week camping trip my family took each year. A group of us kids regularly hiked the woods to  our favorite spot. On the way we stopped by a natural spring, racing to see who would win the first drink. It never ran dry and always quenched our thirst. Then off we continue to our prize. Nestled off the beaten path, enclosed in the rocky cliffs, surrounded by the tallest trees, lay a pool of cool water fed by a trickling waterfall.DSCF1503 The pool invited us in, but I don’t remember any of us every jumping in. We couldn’t see the bottom and the water was always cold. Mostly, we climbed around the pool and up the cliff to the top of the waterfall, never experiencing what it was like to be fully immersed in the water’s refreshing touch.

The Holy Spirit abiding in believers is like that childhood spring. He abides with us for ever springing up into eternal life within us. Only one big difference, we had to keep returning to the spring to abate our thirst. Jesus says, “…whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 5:14. The Holy Spirit abides in any who trust Christ to be the word of truth, the fulfillment of the gospel of salvation. If He is not in you, you do not belong to Him. The Holy Spirit is our guarantee of redemption and our witness of the new life we have in Christ.

“To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Col. 1:27

But there is another aspect of this relationship believers have with Christ.

“At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.” John 14:20.

The apostle John knew what it was to be in the Spirit. Four times in Revelation he was said to be in the Spirit. Did that experience belong to John alone? What took place, how did it happen?

David experienced it when, “The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his word was in my tongue.” 2Sam. 23:2. The disciples on the Day of Pentecost experienced it to the salvation of 3000 souls born into the kingdom. Philip experienced it when the Spirit took him to the Ethiopian and then to another place. Each time that I found one  being “in the Spirit”, a revelation of the word of God followed. The Lord revealed himself, the word spread and He was exalted.

The Spirit in believers is a constant. We being in the Spirit isn’t necessarily a constant.We live in the Spirit by hearing and obeying His word to us. Drinking of His water. How can we experience being in the Spirit? It is like jumping into that pool and becoming immersed in Him. There is no formula but let’s look at what scripture says.

“I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet.” Rev. 1:10. Remember where John lives. He is alone on an island, no where else to go, no cell phone, tv, radio, or interruptions. He is alone with God. We cannot be immersed in the world, cares of the world, pleasures of the world, and hope to be immersed in the Spirit, too. It won’t happen. “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” Rom. 8:9.

“Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” Col. 3:2.

God’s word is His revelation of himself. Notice, also, in Revelation John heard the voice of the Lord. Today, God speaks to us through His Son, the living Word of God. Do you have ears to hear? Begin your time with the Lord in prayer, seeking to know Him, in order to make Him known. He will meet with you and you will taste and see that He is good.

“Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.” James 4: 8. Now it is time to take the next step…DSCF1514no, it’s time to jump into the water and become immersed in the Spirit, in order to hear the voice of our God and exalt Him. It is time to be still and know He is God.