Keep On, Keeping On!

“Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have show hospitality to angels without knowing it. Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.” (Hebrews 13: 1-3 NIV)

How simple are these instructions? Keep on loving, keep showing hospitality to strangers, keep remembering those in prison and keep remembering those who are mistreated! Who are our brothers and sisters? Who are the strangers we should be nice to? Who do we know in prisons? Who is being mistreated?

Our brothers and sisters are everyone in the Body of Christ–no matter what denominationalism is recognized and honored, all Believers–are joint-heirs with Christ, we are the spiritual seed of Abraham, and children of the Most High God. If then, we are all children then we are all brothers and sisters in The Lord! I love meeting my brothers and sisters who I’ve never met–at car rentals (had a great time of fellowship at Enterprise once with two brothers in The Lord upon our first meeting), in supermarkets, at the park, in parking lots, at phone stores, online, in restaurants–everywhere I venture, I meet a new brother or sister and we just rejoice like we’ve known each for all our lives. In the spirit–we have–which is why we have no problem loving one another.

Showing hospitality to strangers should never be a problem for those of us who Believe since we never know who it is we’re treating right. And it shouldn’t matter. If we treat all we know the way we would be want to be treated, they will know who we are. And I don’t mean we should treat people who are celebrities or politicians with more respect than any other person with whom we have no relationship. The beggar on the street deserves our respect just as much as any other person of any type of status. I’m not advocating being foolish, but in exercising the wisdom God has so abundantly given us, in all things. I realize that sometimes, we can not, avoiding certain people is an exercise of using wisdom rather than putting ourselves in danger. We must be wise as a serpent, but gentle as a dove–not being hateful, but mindful of our safety and staying out of harm’s way. The enemy is a master of deception and some of his demons will try to use this instruction to worm their way into our lives and destroy everything we’ve worked to accomplish.

Remembering those in prison means so much more than just empathizing with those locked behind bars a prison cell. Some people are prisoners of their mind because they don’t have the mind of Christ are constantly at odds with themselves. Some people are prisoners of their addictions and don’t know how to break loose. And some are prisoners of spouses, parents, or children–locked into situations they cannot escape. We must continue to pray for them and those who are locked up in prisons–for standing for justice and holiness.

There are so many people who are mistreated that this space is not room enough to enumerate them. But there are people who are persecuted for their faith in God; parents are mistreating children, and children are mistreating parents and grandparents; spouses are mistreating each other, governments are mistreating the people and total strangers are abusing and mistreating those they encounter. Lord help us all to seek You for wisdom in all situations! For anyone who mistreats someone else, they demonstrate they have not received the love of God, are incapable of loving themselves and therefore, cannot love others. We cannot give or demonstrate what we do not have!

Lord, help us to keep looking to You to know how we are to do all You have asked us to do. Help us to keep on keeping on, doing all that pleases You, mindful of the fact that You know our hearts and see all we do.

Is Holy Spirit Infilling Wasted On Us?

“This is what God the Lord says–the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out, who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it: I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison, and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.” (Isaiah 42:5-7 NIV).

The Spirit of the Lord–poured into His Servant (Jesus Christ) and for all who choose to serve Him–this is the promise fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ and is still being fulfilled in those who follow Him and obey the Father. When He returned to heaven, He promised that He would provide us with the Comforter–His Spirit–so we would be able to do all things.

Through the record of events as noted by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, we know that Jesus did all that had been prophesied by the prophet Isaiah and what is more notable is–Jesus telling us that we would do greater things than He did because we would have the power of His Spirit to guide us, strengthen us, and teach us.

We know what Jesus did being filled with the Spirit of the Father–but what are we doing–being filled with His Spirit? Has His promise atrophied in those who claim to be filled or do we need to stay before–seeking constant refilling and when we are filled, are we doing the greater works that He said we would do?

If we are filled (not just sealed as some would argue) with Holy Spirit–are we seeking to open blinded eyes, laying hands on the sick so they will recover, interceding on behalf of those in far-away places as well those under our own roof? Are we visiting those in prisons promoting the message of Good News–a Risen Savior has taken upon Himself all of our sins that we might abundant life? Are we the beacons of light that shine brightly, leading those in darkness out of the dungeons of circumstances and oppression?

Before you ask yourself these questions, please think about what being filled with Holy Spirit means versus being sealed by Holy Spirit. Paul tells us in Ephesians 4:30, ” And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” To understand the difference between being sealed and being filled–think about the contents of an envelope. We are the envelope–an empty vessel–until we are filled and then sealed. Now, many are filled with various content which is why Paul admonishes us to not be filled with bitterness, anger and slanderous tongues. Once the envelope is sealed–nothing else should be able to get into it, unless it is opened and its content revealed. When we first repent and accept Jesus as our Person Savior, we are sealed against the wiles of the enemy, but when we receive the infilling of Holy Spirit, we are empowered from within to withstand the fiery darts the enemy throws our way.

When we understand that our bodies are the “temple where Holy Spirit resides” we would be careful as to how we treat our bodies–providing Holy Spirit a clean place in which to live so He can clearly communicate with us all we need to know. Choosing to live in sin grieves Holy Spirit and He will leave since He will not dwell in a defiled place. When He leaves, the seal is broken and all that is within us exposed for all to see.

What are you doing with the infilling of Holy Spirit? Are you seeking the lost to bring them to the light of love and has your seal been broken because of the content within you–is not of Holy Spirit?

Looking at the world today–and the number of professing Believers–I’m not sure Holy Spirit is guiding many people and I can tell by the chaos that most of our government leaders do not even Holy Spirit has left the building and there are voids in their hearts that the enemy has filled.

But all is not lost for the Lord promised He would save for Himself–a remnant–the few who will remain faithful and filled, serving Him at all times, and allowing Holy Spirit to direct them. On that remnant–the infilling of Holy Spirit resides within and they will serve The Lord until the day of His returned, completely sealed–immune the tricks of the enemy.