Shopping for apples is always a fun time. I am very specific about what apples I purchase, and I rarely will buy a bag of apples. I am the strange person you see in the produce area picking up each piece of fruit, turning it around in my hands, closely examining the entire item before making a decision to either place it back with the others of its kind or place it in the fruit bag I will take home. I guess you could call me an apple snob.
When I examine the apples, I’m looking for bruising, for signs of rotting, for firmness, for signs of bug infiltration. I look at the color. I am particular about the type of apples. I know which ones are more crisp, which is something I desire in an apple. I know which ones are more for baking so I avoid them most days as I seek out apples to eat as they are—simple apples.
You may think I’m a bit crazy with my apple selecting process; however, we each are to examine in life. The Bible tells us to examine ourselves. Yes, you are to examine yourself. We are constantly to be examining ourselves, to see if we are in the faith. We are to examine ourselves to see the state of our heart. We are to examine ourselves to test our motives, to see if we are too comfortable, to know if we are allowing something to get in the way of our relationship with God. We are constantly to be examining ourselves. As well, we are called to test ourselves. This means we are not standing still. We are doing. To be tested, something must be in action. That something is us. We must be in action. We must take steps forward. We must move from our comfort zones. To finish the examining process, there is always a testing. Each apple I examine eventually is tested at a future time when my daughter or I grab hold and take a bite. So after you examine yourself, don’t stop there. Test yourself. Walk forward. Faith that is not tested—is that really faith at all?
“Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!” – 2 Corinthians 13:5 [ESV]
I’ve Got the Power
“I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.” – Ephesians 1:19 [NLT]
How to Get It?
“Peter replied, ‘Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. This promise is to you, and to your children, and even to the Gentilesh—all who have been called by the Lord our God.‘ Then Peter continued preaching for a long time, strongly urging all his listeners, ‘Save yourselves from this crooked generation!‘Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day—about 3,000 in all.“ – Acts 2:38-41 [NLT]
- Hear the Word
- God Calls you to Himself
- You receive the Word – Repent & Trust Him
How you Quench or Grieve It?
- Quench—1 Thessalonians 5:19 – Do not quench the Spirit. (NIV) Do not stifle the Holy Spirit. (NLT) [[Suppressive / Destructive / Non-Unifying]]
- Holy Spirit – Fire – Purifying / Enlightening / Enlivening – Don’t despise Spiritual Gifts
- NOT ALLOWING HIM TO MOVE FREELY
- Grieve—Ephesians 4:30 – And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. (ESV) [[“Lupe” – To cause grief / To offend]]
- Lying, angry, corrupt behavior – actions, behavior towards God and others
- ACTING OUT IN SINFUL MANNER
How You Use It?
Counsels You (John 14:16)
Cleanses you (Romans 15:16)
Comforts you (2 Corinthians 1:3)
Empowers you (Romans 15:13)
Helps you when weak (Romans 8:26)
Gives you confidence (2 Corinthians 5:5-6)
Assures adoption in God’s family (Galatians 4:6-7)
Encourages you (Acts 9:31)
Gives you new life (Romans 8:11)
Gives you wisdom & revelation (Ephesians 1:17)
Leads you to all truth (John 16:13)
Helps you pray (Romans 8:26)
Convicts you (John 16:8)
Strengthens & renews you (Ephesians 3:16)
Brings you reassurance (Romans 8:16)
Sanctifies you (2 Thessalonians 2:13)
Fills you (Ephesians 5:18)
Gives you joy (1 Thessalonians 1:6)
Helps you remember (John 14:26)
Dispenses God’s love in our hearts (Romans 5:5)
Recently I read a posting from a friend who was sharing something she heard earlier on television. To summarize the discussion, she held that comfort and courage cannot coexist in life. I felt compelled to speak up because personally speaking I have both comfort and courage from Christ. I am not sure I would have the courage without the comfort.
I will always believe that both are possible. Yes sometimes we face difficult trials in life. I’ve had and still have many. I have the courage to step forward through the storms of life and the comfort to know I am not alone. It is all because of Jesus. It is summed up as confidence in God’s grace and His care.
Comfort and courage are actually used synonymously in multiple areas of the Bible. Psalm 23:4, “Your rod and your staff give me courage” [GW] and “your rod and your staff, they comfort me” [NIV]. How about 2 Corinthians 13:11, when Paul writes to “take courage” [WEY], whereas the YLT says, “be comforted”? I only have courage because I have the comfort of Christ. It is courage. It is comfort. It is confidence. Jesus is my hope. I pray you too can have the same comfort and courage in your life.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. – Psalm 23:4 [NIV]