This is a quote From Oswald Chamber’s My Utmost for His Highest. “Maturity is produced in the life of a child of God on the unconscious level”
It’s an odd quote demanding my thought because of the word maturity combined with the phrase “unconscious level.” Long ago I made what seemed to be a conscious decision to walk into Jesus life and let his become a part of mine. I followed that by consciously acquiring all the facts that would lead me to devotion to God and to maturity.
It’s easier to do the conscious stuff. It may not seem easy to surrender your time but it’s do-able. In your conscious mind you know so much you must be mature, right? Surrendering your mind at the same time you surrender your time is the unconscious part. It’s harder and riskier to let your mind creatively roam in the realm of God, Christ, and the Word. Maturity is very likely that unconscious part that drives you to invest yourself in that realm knowing that even though you will likely get much of it wrong at some point you can Depend on This: It’s the only way you’ll ever get anything right.
Romans 8:26 “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.”
I believe so strongly that the Holy Spirit is alive and well and at work. I believe that if I have put my life in Jesus it is my foolishness if I do not begin to explore the reality of the teaching, supporting and personal guidance God has promised that Spirit will give me according to his will. I may get wrong at times…but then I’ve been wrong many times for nowhere near as good a reason as trying to find faith in my daily life.
It’s the groaning part I understand the most; mine first, and then the Spirit’s as he and God strategize about my journey to holiness. That advocate who can explain me to God is great but here’s the rest, and the best, of the plan from my human standpoint. It’s the purpose and promise that the Holy Spirit will Show Me…to Me. It’s a really big deal.
John 8:36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
It’s obvious even among the most devoted believers that there are individual quirks leftover when God deals with the serious business of saving a person. Surely you know someone of deep and true faith that gossips, or lashes out, or lies, or….[you fill in the blank].
It’s easy for me to see those flaws in others and much harder to recognize them in myself. These are the hold-out things that can become the secret weapons of the enemy. He can’t have our souls back but he can cause a lot of hurt and havoc in our lives with those leftover quirks.
Jesus has saved my soul and now he’s standing ready to save me from myself; to free me from those quirks. After all these years, and hours of devotion, and true transformation here I am seeing one of those little “quirks” in my own life. It’s awful and it’s wonderful at the same time. It’s awful to see it…and wonderful to know Jesus has got a plan for me to be free of it.
I’m crawling up on the altar again Lord, to sacrifice one more “last” thing…again…to you. I love you. I love that your purpose is to make me whole and into your likeness, first with redemption and now with renovation. It’s the best kind of Home Improvement.
But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven.Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”
It’s Sunday. Remember the tradition of Sunday dinner? Today you may be celebrating communion in your church. Think of it as a very special Sunday Dinner. This is the menu for today’s dinner:
The appetizer is your invitation to come. It’s meant to whet your appetite for more.
This is Sunday dinner with Jesus. He’s the main course, the meat and potatoes, to nourish your life…right here and now. Help yourself to more. There’s plenty to go around.
Finally there’s the lovely “dessert” course. The sweet taste of Sunday Dinner forever.
Come again won’t you?
Romans 1 – New American Standard Bible (NASB)
1 Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2 which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3 concerning His Son, who was borthe Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord, 5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name’s sake, 6 among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ; 7 to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
When I first read this passage my inclination was that it didn’t meet my study criteria of looking for ways to understand the effect and application of Grace in today’s world and in my life. Here’s what changed my mind.
“…through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name’s sake, among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ;…” And here’s why.
This Sunday I’ll be in church. I’ve chosen my churches carefully since becoming a believer. I know it’s just a building filled with people who are drawn there for many reasons. It’s likely there would be a very small number of people who would declare one of those reasons to be “needing the obedience of faith.” But up in front stands a man who has been given that charge of Grace, “in His name,” regardless…
• Regardless of what we think we need or what he knows we need, he speaks of offered Grace.
• Regardless of our recognizing his elevated status he confesses his own need for Grace.
• Regardless of strife in the body, he hopes Grace will prevail.
• Regardless of exhaustion when sacred and moral duties use up all his energy and time, it’s Grace that makes him put one foot in front of the other.
• Regardless of sometimes being a wounded target, it’s Grace that heals and encourages.
• Regardless of all the evidence to the contrary it’s Grace that lets him look out at our faces and believe “you also are the called of Jesus Christ.” That’s real-time, real-life Grace…Regardless.
Excerpts from a 1928 Sermon by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
…Watch out for your soul. What should we say about this soul? It is the life God gave us; it is what God loves in us, what God has touched from eternity. It is the love within us and the longing and the sacred restlessness and the responsibility and joy and pain. It is the divine breath breathed into a transitory being. Human being, you have a soul
…But, ah, look what has become of it down through the years! A restless, distracted, tormented, despondent thing, shaken to and fro by daily events, a thing that knows not whether it’s coming or going. And now it encounters the statement: my soul is silent before God
…And yet our entire being thirsts for solitude, for silence, since ultimately we have all, at one time or another, experienced such silence and have not forgotten the benefits of such hours. Today, however, we are not talking about being silent while reading a book or listening to a song or something like that, but about being silent before God
…Such silence requires the daily courage to expose oneself to God’s word and allow oneself to be judged by it; it requires the spontaneity to rejoice in God’s love every day. But this already brings us to the question: What are we supposed to do to penetrate through to this silence
…None of us is so rushed that we cannot find ten minutes a day during the morning or evening to be silent, to focus on eternity alone, allow eternity to speak, to query it concerning ourselves, and in the process look deeply into ourselves and far beyond ourselves, either by reading a couple of biblical passages or, even better, by becoming completely free and allowing our soul to travel to the house of the Father, to the home in which it finds peace…