Are you an optimist or a pessimist? Read these four quotes before you answer the question:
When you consider your spiritual life, is your cup half full or half empty?
Jesus doesn’t want us to settle for a half full or a half empty life. Nor does he want us to dumb down our lives, or our theology, in order for our half–hearted, lack luster experience of the Holy Spirit to appear full. On the contrary, Jesus wants to give us the Holy Spirit without limit, (John 3:34.) His promise is not to give us a sprinkle of the Spirit; instead, he says if we embrace radical generosity as a way of life, a good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into our lap, (Luke 6:38.) Jesus said his intention is to give us abundant life; (John 10:10) a life filled with meaning, purpose, and power; or as St. Peter defines it--a life filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, (I Peter 1:8.)
Is that your life experience? Does your faith in Christ fill you with an inexpressible and glorious joy? Do you face the challenges of each day and the routine of life knowing that the power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in you? (Romans 8:11) If not these four words from scripture may be a timely encouragement.
LIVE BY THE SPIRIT (Romans 8:1-17)
In this passage St. Paul distinguishes between a life lived in the flesh and one that is lived in the Spirit. There is a choice we can make each day. We can live by the flesh and let self will govern our lives and our minds; we can live under a religious spirit, believing we must appease God by being good and following the law; or we can choose to live in the freedom of the Spirit, believing there is indeed a Spirit realm and allow our lives and our minds to be governed by the Holy Spirit.
DON’T GREIVE THE SPIRIT (Ephesians 4:29-32)
In this passage St. Paul makes it clear that it matters how we treat one another. How we talk to and how we talk about one another makes a difference in the way the Holy Spirit interacts with and through our spirits. If you want to experience more of the Holy Spirit in your life start honoring the person right in front of you. Love your neighbor! Love your enemy! Use your words to encourage and lift up other people.
REPENT AND BELIEVE THE GOOD NEWS (Mark 1:15)
In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus announces that the kingdom of heaven has invaded earth, “The time has come; the kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:15) I used to think repenting meant confessing sin and getting ready to die; now I know God wants me to change my mind and agree with God’s desire to invade my life with heaven today.
Larry Stoess is an author, public speaker, and urban church planter. He loves telling stories about how dreaming with God will empower people to make old and broken things new again. Larry and a band of friends founded the Church of the Promise in Louisville's Portland neighborhood; The Table, a pay-what-you-can community café; and Promise Housing Plus, a non-profit construction company. He has written about their experience of dreaming with God in his new book: Think Red.