Midweek Wake-Up, October 18, 2017

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Written by: on: October 18, 2017

As I write this midweek, looking out on the beauty and warmth of the fall season, the effects of the wind are present.  The barren trees indicate that the wind has swept through, leaving the effects behind.  I have not seen the wind, I have not been able to predict when it’ll blow, but the leaves lying on the ground speak loudly that it’s howled through the neighbourhood.

So it is with the Spirit of God, Jesus tells Nicodemus one day.  Stating that like the wind we cannot see God’s spirit move, however, we see the effects in sinful, rebellious individuals becoming followers of Christ.  The Holy Spirit turning their hearts of stone, to hearts of flesh.

Jesus reminds Nicodemus, that only God can draw individuals to Himself through the work of the Holy Spirit, and it is the Spirit that brings change to us as individuals.  This may be unsettling news if you put a lot of stock in your own ability to save yourself.  Or it is incredibly liberating if you understand the depth of grace and what this means.  While we cannot save or change ourselves, the Holy Spirit’s work can do this in us.

So here’s how I’d challenge you to respond this week.  Perhaps pray and reflect on the prayers we heard this past Sunday from the following individuals:

Joan of Arc: If I’m not in the grace of God, may God put me there; and if I am, may God keep me there
John Newton“I am not what I ought to be.  I am not what I wish to be.  I am not what I hope to be.  Yet I can truly say, I am not what I once was.  By the grace of God, I am what I am”

Secondly read 1st John using this book to examine your faith like Paul challenges us to do in 2 Corinthians 13:5.  Asking yourself as you read it: am I grieving over my sin, seeking to walk in the light; am I walking in obedience to God’s Word; Do I love being in the presence of the Father and the Son; Am I delighting in the reality that the Holy Spirit has called me God’s child; Do I have a love for the bride, being filled with a deep love for God’s people; am I persevering in my faith.

And then do one of two things.  Either rejoice that God’s spirit is at work in you, softening your heart.  Or if you find resistance to God’s Word, then pray that the Holy Spirit would do a work in you.  And as you do this, may you have a deep joy of being in the presence of the Father!

Pastor Al