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What Shall I Do, Lord? part 5
After Paul’s conversion, all those wild, tempestuous forces in his own nature, those forces that fiercely rise up against the Lord, all that riot of evil that was in his life, was brought into subjection to Jesus Christ. Once Paul went from self-preservation to self-denial, denying his own will in preference to the Will of God, the turmoil in his life subsided.
It’s easy to feel condemned by a message that has an emphasis on self-denial because so many of us feel as though we have failed the Lord in this area. And sometimes, out of guilty feelings, we will determine to subject our lives more and more to Jesus – which ultimately is good. However, if our motives are religious rather than pure – first of all we will never be able to accomplish it, and secondly, we will never fully benefit from being apprehended by Christ. On the other hand, if our motives are pure, we have the opportunity to completely turn our lives around. We can go from turmoil of spirit to peace of spirit.
I want us to go back to Simeon for a moment. He was a man of great interests. He has been traced by scholars to be the son of Hillel, the great Jewish scholar who founded a school of law. He was the father of the great Gamaliel, at whose feet Paul was brought up. And yet all these great attributes meant nothing compared to his submission to the Lord. Simeon could easily have justified self-preservation being the great man he was – but he didn’t. He died to self-exaltation and made himself a bond-servant of the Lord.
Now let’s go back and examine, Luke 2:25-30: “And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 And he came in the Spirit into the temple.”
Rather than turmoil, confusion, and conflict in his life we find a man who was righteous and devout. He was looking for the consolation of Israel; he had a mission in life. And the Holy Spirit was upon him. Can’t you just sense the peace in his life, and even the steadfastness? It goes on to say that it had been “revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he saw the Messiah.” Then in verse 27 it says “… he came in the Spirit into the temple.”
That is what we all need. We all need, and have the opportunity, to walk in the Spirit, and to have the Spirit of God reveal things to us. Don’t you want that? Aren’t you tired of just being a Christian? Self-preservation keeps us walking in this world. Self-denial causes us to walk in a totally different realm. Self-denial, in this case, means saying, “Jesus, master me.” WSIDL. Our total life’s position should be exactly like Paul’s; What Shall I Do, Lord? END
Medication: A Merry Heart:
ADVICE FROM AN OLD FARMER, Part 1
~ Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong.
~ Keep skunks and bankers at a distance.
~ Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.
~ A bumble bee is faster than a John Deere tractor.
~ Words that soak into your ears are whispered... not yelled.
~ Meanness don’t jes’ happen overnight.
~ Forgive your enemies; it messes up their heads.
~ Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you.
~ It don’t take a very big person to carry a grudge.
~ You can’t unsay a cruel word.
~ Every path has a few puddles.
~ When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.
~ The best sermons are lived, not preached.
~ Most of the stuff people worry about ain’t never gonna happen anyway.
God Bless, Have a Great Weekend,
New Beginnings Church, New Ulm
Verse of the Week: Acts 1:8 CSB
Today’s readings: Proverbs 19 – 21
Saturday: Proverbs 22 – 24
Sunday: 1 Kings 5 -6 & 2 Chronicles 2-3