Weather Report From Heaven: Sunny and bright, with an abundance of light and lots of singing and rejoicing.
Scripture- “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”- Romans 12:2
Insight: As Christians, we are commanded to tell others about the Gospel message we have been entrusted with. It is the Great Commission that Jesus preached in Matthew 28:19-20 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” In Acts 1:8 we learn that we cannot achieve this on our own, but we must be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit to guide us; “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” But in practical terms, I believe many really struggle in understanding how best to carry this out. I think we often grow stale in our approach or get easily discouraged if others not only don’t respond to our message in a way we are praying for, but in many cases actually ridicule or persecute us because of it. So, we must be always thinking of ways to ‘renew our mind,” as Romans 12:2 says above and come up with ways of explaining how our real life experiences with Christ can benefit others. Well, I have found that sometimes these ideas come in different ways. Definitely mostly from reading scriptures and meditating on them and praying for God’s wisdom, but also occasionally from seeing a video or listening to a message that really strikes a chord, and provides a new insight that can help us try a new way.
I had such an epiphany recently when listening to a Sermon by John Piper. He listed 6 habits of mind and heart for surviving depletion and honoring God with your joy that is not circumstantial: Careful observation, accurate understanding, fair evaluation, proportionate feeling, wise application, compelling expression. He mentioned the critical nature of each of these when presenting the Gospel Message to others, and the potentially devastating negative impacts of getting these wrong. For example, Without careful observation, you will be run over by a truck. Without accurate understanding, you’ll always miss the point. Without fair evaluation, you will drink sweet poison. Without proportionate feeling, you will take your jackhammer to a broken heart. Without wise application, you will be sidelined as useless in every group. Without compelling expression, everything you learn will be bottled up, and you will serve no one. These words were penetrating to my heart, and caused some deep reflection which led to cathartic repentance in some areas of my life where I had clearly missed the mark. Specifically, instances where I had failed in “proportionate feeling,” and had inadvertently taken a jackhammer to a broken heart. But this was a great teaching moment for me, learning how to renew my mind to think about new things and new ways to present the Gospel Message in a more powerful and effective manner. I think this is a powerful way the Holy Spirit works in us believers, bringing new messages in a powerful way through Christian Leaders at just an appropriate time before staleness or fatigue has a chance to metastasize in our faith walk.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You that You are always bringing us new ideas and leaders into our faith walk at just the right time to energize us and bring us fresh wind in our sails through the power of the Holy Spirit. Let us run with perseverance the race marked out before us for your glory. Amen!