THIS SERIES: REST IS...
For the Israelites living in the Promised Land, rest was about living in the provision of God and enjoying the fruitfulness which would result from that provision.
It is the same for Christians living under the New Covenant—with an important difference. The ultimate provision was in the sending of the Holy Spirit. Jesus’ death and resurrection paved the way for this momentous expression of divine love. And His ascension and glorification as the one who had conquered every force of darkness, not only meant Jesus sat down on the Father’s right hand as Lord Over All, but that He was able to release the same Holy Spirit who had empowered Him, on all who acknowledged him as Lord and Saviour, as prophesied by John the Baptist:
And I myself did not know Him, but the one who sent me to baptise with water told me,
“The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain
is the one who will baptise with the Holy Spirit.”
And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another advocate to help you
and be with you for ever –the Spirit of truth.
The world cannot accept Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him.
But you know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you.
I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
Exalted to the right hand of God,
He has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit
and has poured out what you now see and hear.
No longer was the Spirit’s activity to be limited to a few chosen ones. Amazingly, He would come to take up residence in all believers. And His mission—to fill each one to overflowing.
We just need to ask…
If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will your Father in heaven
give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!
Whoever believes in Me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water
will flow from within them.
Each one of us is called to live a fruitful life:
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you
so that you might go and bear fruit – fruit that will last…
But it is fruit which is produced from the inside out. We never see fruit trees in an orchard groaning and straining to produce a crop. Fruit is the natural consequence of life coursing through a tree planted in healthy ground and supplied with water and nutrients. The key is not in the effort of the tree, but in the quality of the provision.
…it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfil His good purpose.
By His divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life.
We have received all of this by coming to know Him,
the one who called us to Himself by means of His marvellous glory and excellence.
[2 Peter 1:3 NLT]
As Christians around the world celebrate Pentecost this weekend, whether or not you are part of a liturgical church, why not take some time to respond to the Father’s invitation, and ask Him to fill you (again) with the promised Holy Spirit.
If you wish, you can follow the steps on the Holy Spirit and You page.
THIS WEEK’S GRACE RHYTHM:
Due to the need to rest and recalibrate, this will be the last blog post until July 22nd (6 weeks). In the interim, why not take the opportunity to start the Rhythms of Grace Study Course, details on the link below:
[Photo credits: Cullan Smith (fire); Rohit Tandon (grapes) @ Unsplash, with thanks]
Da Kraplak (type writer);
Merakist (social media)
@ Unsplash, with thanks]
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