31st January 2012

Let Us Be Clear

“But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus:”
Ephesians 4:20-21 (NKJV) 

Statistically, by now many people who made resolutions for 2012 have broken them, given up or forgotten.  However, as Christians our daily resolution is to let Christ live in us because He is the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27). 

As we strive each day to bring every thought into captivity there are some things we must be doing and remind ourselves to do.  The backdrop for this, as we have entered 2012 with our usual optimism and good wishes, is that most of us are being squeezed and pressured.  There is economic uncertainty, political unrest and religious ambiguity.  Not to mention our own personal failings. 

The reality still remains that we are, through grace, God’s children, and people of faith called to work to advance His Kingdom here and now.  So, in order to endure what lies ahead as we await that blessed hope:
We must know Him (way of life you learned).
We must hear Him  (heard about Christ).
We must teach Him (taught in him).  Ephesians 4:20-21 (NIV) 

How do we know, hear and allow Him to teach us?  The basics have not changed for millennia or in the time since we accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour.  For our relationship to continue to blossom this year, we must spend time with Him. This is not the same as ‘been busy for’ or ‘talking about’ Him, which can be used as hiding places. It really is about open and honest time in His presence. 

So let us be CLEAR, as our politicians kept saying last year!
Change – come to God with a repentant attitude and a willingness to learn. Then receive in certainty and with gratitude what He gives to us.
Listen – as we pray throughout the day and read inspired scripture, have an open mind and heart so that what is said sinks deep, starting to transform us from the inside out. It is the gentle voice of the Spirit that will convict us.
Engage – bring other people into our circle and share what we have learnt—whether that is one to one, or before a large audience.  The preparation ground for this is our times of devotion (personal and corporate).
Attend – be an active part of the community of faith using all that you have in service to our Lord and to our neighbour.  Our good deeds must be done at home, church, work, community, etc., always glorifying God.  We must be present so we can be used.
Reflect – think continually on the things of God and how His will can be done on earth as in heaven through us here and now.  Review so we can with His help always be looking for the better way and as a consequence help others on their path. 

I intentionally did not use, up to this point, the words with which we are so very familiar—the building blocks or spiritual graces for our faith. Yet we know them, and as followers of Christ we need to, and will, in 2012 (I hope) pray, study, fast, meditate and be in church. Some of these come more easily than others, but I encourage us all not to neglect the gifts of God which are given for the benefit of the body of Christ, of which we are part. 

So may we all have many times of clarity in 2012. 

Prayer
Father, thank you that we know, hear and teach Christ.  Please help us each day this year to let Christ dwell in us richly by spending time with you.
Amen

 Study by David Gibbs

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