Receiving the Exchange

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One of the things I notice as I walk in Jesus is that I often stumble over the difference between my perceived understanding of who I am and His understanding of who I am. My eyes are often on what is “true” in my understanding of my flesh. His is based on absolute truth according to His love for me and the placement He has given to me through that love. The obvious failings can so outweigh the Word in my heart that I must stop and repent of that stumbling. It is not humility that makes a choice to look at those things, it is sheer unbelief.

I often say “If He said it, then I believe it.” Yet on a day to day level, this is not always easy.

9“We continue to ask God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 10so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,” Colossians 1:9b-10 NIV

Living a life worthy and pleasing Him in every way, growing in the knowledge of God. WOW! That is a huge expectation from flesh people. Yes, it is! Yet, here it is and it is true. So, as I adjust my thinking to the thinking of my Lord through His Word, I become aware that He has made me “worthy” in every way, and that I please Him just because of who He is. Learning to live out that reality in His power is what the passage is talking about.

It has never been up to you or me. He always only awaits our permission, to move us and make real what Has been purchased through His sacrifice. As I choose Him, repeatedly, I make the permission real, and immediately it is true in me, of me, and about me.

Flesh will always argue, but faith will receive. So, as we continue through this passage, let us become receivers in our daily thinking. We can do all things that He asks because He lives within us and supplies us daily power – more than we can use.

Whatever the reluctance and whatever the seeming lack, remember 2 Peter 1:3.

“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” NIV

Next post – more on Colossians 1:9b-10. It’s too good to leave yet.

Knowledge of His Will


(I took this photo a week or so ago. The leaves are gathered (a couple of times already) and it is beginning to look like this again. It is my front yard looking toward one of my neighbors. I thought you might enjoy it. It is a beautiful fall day today in Central New York State. A bit warm for our fall tastes, but excellent for getting yard work completed before the cool air sets in to stay).

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so, that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way:…” Colossians 1:9-10a

(This sentence continues to verse 14. However, we are going to work with it in sections so each post will take us a bit further in the passage).

Even though Paul does not know them personally, his heart overflows here with love and connection in the Spirit. He lets them know he prays for them – all the time.  What preciousness!

Paul, in this book, has several of these lead on sentences. They have much in them for us to allow to penetrate our minds and souls. Our spirit is one with him in Jesus, so the Spirit in all of us know – now lets direct the mind to embrace what the spirit already knows.

He asks that God will fill them with the “knowledge of his will.” The word “knowledge” here is full-experiential knowledge. It is not just the mind, but heart and soul involved in this fullness. It happens only experientially. Let me repeat that. The full-experiential knowledge of God’s will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives only happens through experience.

Lest we think otherwise, let’s make clear that the mind is always engaged and used in the experiential. It does not “take-a-hike” and you just “feel.” Quite the contrary, what we think determines what we will feel.

If I have do not know that experience in the will the Spirit is essential, I will tend to discount it and just hang tight to what I know mentally. However, when we personally get involved in His love and thoughts, then we experience His goodness and love without measure and discover the fullness of His will through the wisdom and understanding of the Holy Spirit.

Now we all know that time with Him is very important. Let’s allow that knowledge to lead us into more of an emphasis in our whole being of His presence and His thoughts. He will lead if we allow.

Next step – next post. Thanks for joining me.

Love in the Spirit


“You learned it (the gospel) from Epaphras, our faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, and who also told us of your love in the Spirit.” Colossians 7-8 NIV

I thought this post would move on into Paul’s prayer for the saints in Colossae, but instead, the Spirit alerted and informed me that we needed to allow this one to be seen a bit more than just a mention.

“and who also told us of your love in the Spirit.” This is an excellent rendering of the Greek and tells us that they loved Paul with a love that wasn’t human love. We have a tendency to interpret all the commands to love, as conforming our human understanding to loving as He loved. Well, that is eventually done through the Spirit, but it is not such much a matter of effort as it is His work.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23

The fruit of the Holy Spirit is not developed in us through study, prayer, our diligent effort or any action we can do — it is simply the by-product of fellowship in and with the Holy Spirit. “Fruit” is always a by-product. The apple tree simply stands and allows the tending of its fruit to the environment around it and the care of its caretaker. The development of any fruit is much the same. It does nothing but “be.” That is much like the fruit developing within us as believers. We must just rest and fellowship in the Holy Spirit and leave the rest to Him. The realm of the Spirit is not a matter of human control and development, but of a willing heart to simply dwell in and with Him. Through that willing heart, much will be developed. But it is His work and His fruit.

Fear of what He might do will hamper and stunt our growth. Controlling Him is off the table. Willing hearts, open to be and do as He wills — that produces what human effort cannot do. It is known as sabbath — not as a day, but as a lifestyle. Trust and rest in our Jesus and purposely releasing the action of the Holy Spirit within us. Fear is always a work of our enemy to keep us from truly becoming who the Lord made us to be in Him and from enjoying Him entirely.

“And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Romans 5:2b-5

God’s love has been “poured” (“gushed into” is a better rendering of the word) out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us! The very “love of the Holy Spirit” that is required to love others, regardless of who they are in our lives, has been given abundantly (like a Niagara Falls gushing) into our hearts. This happened as a result of our hearts receiving Him. It had nothing to do with our effort to get it; it was given free of any effort and given massively.

Human love is manipulative, controlling, and self-serving. His Holy Spirit love is free, abundant, entire, and a gift – always. We discover we can love — regardless. We learn to put up boundaries where they are needed and to order this love by the Spirit’s ways and instructions.

But Brother and Sister, our ability to love and include others is boundless. Our human love is to be given to Him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, strength” – remember? It is all to Him, but He has given us an ability supernaturally to love others – regardless of who they are and what they have done in His love.

This is an awesome provision. Now as we lean into the Spirit of God, we are shown how to love appropriately and thoroughly to release Him to interact within the relationship. He has given it all. Now, let’s take some time with and in the Holy Spirit to refresh our hearts and allow Him to show us the difference in our lives – His way.

How? It is simply. Get alone with Him and release Him inside you and around you into your atmosphere. Allow what He moves and receive what He gives. Over time, this time will be so precious that we will learn to do it anytime we have a moment to spare. The boundless refreshment and riches are more than can be spoken or written. Let’s give it a go Beloved readers!

May the blessings of the Lord rest upon you and teach you His goodness today!

A Faithful Servant


“In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world — just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace. You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, who also told us of your love in the Spirit.” Colossians 1:6b-8 NIV

These dear saints of the Beloved Lord, learned about Him through the faithful servant, Epaphras. As far as anyone knows, the Apostle Paul did not found this church. This dear servant, Epaphras, was a minister to Paul on their behalf and was relating even their love for Paul.

We will find out more about this man, Epaphras, as we move through the book, but today I believe we should spend our time pondering and meditating on the nature of faithfulness. One of the most beautiful things about grace is that it requires the same from every heart. Everyone can be faithful. That is the bottom line. Faithfulness is not a matter of gifting, knowledge, activity, position, anointing, nor appointment. It is simply a matter of choosing to be faithful to what we have been given.

So as we live today (and every day) let’s rest in the faithful nature of our Lord, and allow faithfulness to rise within us and be expressed thru His love. That is simply a matter of choosing to be as He is. Let’s do it! May the Lord call us faithful – no matter what the task.

Bearing Fruit and Growing

Apple-tree-with-fruit1“…the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel that has come to you. In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace.” Colossians 1:5-6 NIV

We have covered most of the above scripture in previous posts, but it is needed to understand verse six. Notice the phrase “in the same way.” The way the gospel grows is being referred to and described. As the faith and love they expressed toward all God’s people was contained in the “seed” of hope that was given to them, so likewise, the gospel grows the same way – first the seed, then everything in the seed grows into reality.

This is often talked about in scripture, but it begins (as with all things) in Genesis 1. In Genesis 1:11, we are told

“Then God said, ‘Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.’ And it was so.”

This verse was the pattern for all things on the earth – seed-time and harvest. Everything grows and matures just like the plants do. All things are changing, and as believers, we either are moving and growing forward in the things of Spirit in Jesus, or we are moving backward and becoming less and less imprinted in Him. The choice continually remains in our hands.

This “seed” principle explains the obvious problem when we understand we have been given all from the beginning. We have received from Him full grace and the fullness of the deity, yet we do not feel like it and we have trouble even reaching for that reality. All things begin in seed form and then develop into reality when they have been patiently covered, fertilized, and allowed to spend time in the Son with the rain providing the needed moisture. So, it is in Spirit. First in the natural, then in the spiritual. (1 Corinthians 15:46)

So, the gospel spreads this way and when we become Christians, we are not only like a human baby in the Spirit, we are also like a seed that has just been put into its soil. Our lives will take time to unfold. How they unfold is left to our careful or careless care. We need to see from this passage that all things take time to unfold. Let’s give Him time with us, one-on-one as well as our moments spend in our work and leisure.

It is true – God is not finished with us – yet! So we continue to trust Him and push forward into what is already given. He is so very good!