Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Also, God gives a new empowerment to face new situations. Peter and John were faced with the need to confess their faith to the very men who had put Jesus to death, and Peter was filled with the Spirit (Acts 4:8). Now Peter had been among those who had been filled at Pentecost (Acts 2:4). I see no reason to believe he had lapsed into some form of carnality since then. But God gave Him a new filling to meet the new situation, and then also gave later a new empowerment for the body as a whole (Acts 4:31). Also Saul, who was to become the Apostle Paul, was filled with the Spirit at conversion (Acts 9:17), but was later filled again to deal with the challenge of an evil magician (Acts 13:9). Therefore, I would conclude that as we obey God, He will give us the empowering to meet the situation we are in.
Now I do believe that the Holy Spirit is at work within all genuine believers (2 Corinthians 3:18; Philippians 2:13) and He will empower them to minister as He wills (2 Corinthians 3:5,6; Ephesians 2:10). So as we obey Him (Galatians 5:16; Colossians 2:6,7) and trust in Him (Proverbs 3:5,6; Psalms 127:1,2), He will provide us with the power we need when we need it. But He will do it according to His plan, not ours.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
"Welcome to the People Factory," the man said, "We have all the newest models, along with the sentimental favorites. All these are here to make you over into a true servant of the King. Now what type of servant are you interested in becoming?"
"You mean I have to decide?" replied the girl.
"We are a full service People Factory. You have a variety of options--just to suit a discerning customer like you. Feel free to come in and look around. We think our inventory speaks for itself."
The People Factory was a huge squat building of brick and steel with a corrugated steel roof and three chimneys spewing smoke. Between her and the barn-door-type entrance stood a long line of people waiting to get in. On the other side there was a series of doors, and out of each came a different stream of people.
Out of one door marched an army of smartly dressed men and women. The men all wore suits and ties, and the women rather long dresses. They had the stern, determined look of people around whom you should watch you're p's and q's. The next group were more casually dressed and moved with a relaxed, ambling gait. They smiled and chatted cheerfully as they walked by. But somehow, they seemed a little fake; their smiles looked painted on and their talk seemed superficial. The next group did not walk; they danced, and some did cartwheels. They were singing and shouting and waving banners as they cavorted by. Then she saw a group of what looked like young people (though she spied traces of gray hair). These wore t-shirts and jeans, with tattoos and with all manner of jewelry decorating their body piercings. She stood perplexed, wondering which, if any of these, the King really wanted her to become. And as she stared she saw a number of other groups, all different.
The salesman kept insisting she must make a choice, but she managed to sneak away by herself. She was sitting under a tree thinking when an older woman approached her. "You look confused. Can I be of assistance?" said the woman.
"Do I need to go through the People Factory to serve the King?" the girl blurted out helplessly.
"Not at all," the woman responded, "The King's instructions say we are related to Him as parts to a body, each with its own nature and function. There are general rules, but we were not meant to be all duplicates." The girl rose up and walked away slowly with the woman, discussing these things. And the People Factory vanished away into the distance.