22nd October 2020


“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”
Matthew 25:40 (NIV)

It is very easy to become over-focused on what I will call the macro elements of God’s great plan for mankind. The great sweeping world events foretold in prophecy, including the return of Christ and the promised wonderful “world of tomorrow”. Some may imagine that the role of most Christians is simply to ‘pray and pay’ in support of spreading the gospel message. The gift of the Holy Spirit both facilitates and demands much more than that.

Of course there truly is a macro-scope to God’s work, and hope and joy in God’s promises to end the suffering of a mankind in bondage to sin and Satan is a wonderful thing to contemplate. The early disciples did this too (Matthew 24:3), and they thought it would be in their lifetime. But this phase of God’s plan was for the long term, and Jesus warned the disciples not to over-focus on macro developments which would unfold over a long and indeterminate timescale. He gave a whole series of prophecies, warnings and parables, running through Matthew 24-25, culminating in the analogy of the sheep and the goats, making it clear that the true Christian focus should be on the micro issues of the here and now. Indeed, it is where the Holy Spirit is focused, and is the very purpose for which the Holy Spirit is given to us.

God is love, and godly love is the primary focus of the Holy Spirit: Love of God, above and before all things; love between members, given as a sign to non-Christians of true Christian fellowship; and love for other people, demonstrated in practical ways (Matthew 25:34-36). The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is the power to fulfil these obligations, which are much more than just overcoming our personal sins.

Here’s a one-liner worth remembering: “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” Jesus showed how much He cared for people, and the role of the Holy Spirit within us is to carry on that work which is integral to spreading the gospel message. It is what I call ‘micro-Christianity,’ and it is for the long-haul. For this we truly need the transforming and powerful, persevering, resilient, loving, patient and kind, forgiving, merciful power and nature of God working in us through the indwelling of God’s Holy Spirit.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the Holy Spirit working in our lives. Help us to be stirred and motivated by His mission to accomplish your work on earth. In Jesus Christ’s name.

Study by Richard Whiting


About the Author:
Richard Whiting is an Elder of Grace communion International now retired and living in Dumfries in South-West Scotland

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