Finding the Greatest Gift of All in The Gospel
- Monday, December 21, 2009
Ask the Holy Spirit to awaken you. Understand that the Holy Spirit authenticates the Gospel as God's own word. Ask the Spirit to awaken your soul to see God's manifest presence in the Gospel. Rely on the Spirit's power to help you confirm that the Gospel is both reasonable and spiritual. Remember that God's glory is what the Gospel events and promises are meant to show.
Realize that seeing God's glory is the key to becoming more holy yourself. Understand that you are transformed more into Jesus' image by means of focusing your attention on His glory. As you admire Jesus' purity and holiness, your sinful habits will begin to feel foreign and distasteful. His worldview will gradually shape your values, thinking, and decisions. His wisdom, power, and promises will give you greater confidence to choose faith over fear. His glory will inspire you to delight in His fellowship and yearn to see Him face-to-face in heaven. His love will empower you to love others more.
Join God in His joy. As you see how glad God is to have His Son, Jesus, rejoice with Him that He thought of the perfect plan to extend His love to all people through Jesus. Don't be somber when pondering the Gospel. Realize that it's a message of great joy.
Let your love for God lead you to repentance. Know that you can't appreciate how the Gospel makes forgiveness possible for you if you don't first feel genuine remorse for your sins. Recognize that the only way to truly experience that remorse is to ponder how glorious God is, and to let your love for Him motivate you to repent because you want to please Him.
Appreciate how God's gift of pain leads you to Himself. Understand that when you're willing to suffer for the sake of the Gospel message, you're choosing the beauty of God's truth over the ugliness of Satan's lies, and you'll be able to see God's beauty more clearly. Remember that you can trust God to meet every genuine need you have, no matter what your circumstances, but true needs are only those that are necessary for you to do God's will and bring glory to Him. Know that the Gospel's aim is not an easy life. Rather, it is deeper knowledge of, and trust in, God.
Don't let miracles distract you from the One who performs them. Remind yourself that the material world God has created, the spiritual power He gives believers, and the signs and wonders He sometimes unleashes in answer to prayer are meant only to draw you closer to God. Make sure you're not focusing on God's miracles at the expense of God Himself.
Consider why you truly want to grow to be more like Jesus. Ask yourself: "Do I want to be strong like Christ, so I will be admired as strong, or so that I can defeat every adversary that would entice me to settle for any pleasure less than admiring the strongest person in the universe, Christ?", "Do I want to be wise like Christ, so I will be admired as wise and intelligent, or so that I can discern and admire the One who is most truly wise?", "Do I want to be holy like Christ, so that I can be admired as holy, or so that I can be free from all unholy inhibitions that keep me from seeing and savoring the holiness of Christ?", and "Do I want to be loving like Christ, so I will be admired as a loving person, or so that I will enjoy extending to others, even in sufferings, the all-satisfying love of Christ?" Make sure that your goal to become like Jesus is rooted in a passion to see and savor Him in the Gospel message.
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