If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
“Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
The prophet Isaiah says godly people dream great things, not just for themselves but for the needy. He speaks of godly people standing up for the lost and serving the outcast.
“You humble yourselves by going through the motions of penance, bowing your heads like reeds bending in the wind. You dress in burlap and cover yourselves with ashes. Is this what you call fasting? Do you really think this will please the Lord?
When Scripture says the Holy Spirit “abides” in us, it means God’s Spirit comes in and possesses our bodies, making it his temple. And because the Holy Spirit knows the mind and voice of the Father, he speaks God’s thoughts to us: “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come” (John 16:13). The Holy Spirit is the voice of God in and to us!
“Remember those who are called to be models for you and to teach you the Word of God. Consider [imitate, reproduce] the issue [the fruit, the example, the result, the outcome] of their lives. Imitate their faith for Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:7-8).
When we look at the Christian landscape today, we see many churches that are doing great things for God — people are finding Christ and being baptized, prayer meetings are bringing down God’s blessings, and a spirit of love is pervading the atmosphere. The Spirit of Christ is in those churches, and excitement is in the air.
Jesus sees and knows what could destroy us. He is Alpha and Omega, the first and the last page of our existence. He is never stunned by our mistakes, our secrets, and our failures. He never “finds out” anything about us — he has all knowledge and all love and he never gives up on us and our future.
This is beautifully illustrated in the relationship between Jesus and the brash Peter. Peter had boldly proclaimed his undying loyalty when he proclaimed that he would never forsake Jesus: “Even if all others forsake You, I will stay with You, even to my death!” (see Luke 22:33).
The world has a very definite narrative about what the ‘best life’ is, but is passionate living and thrill-seeking okay according to the Bible?
“It’s one thing to climb a nearly 500-foot high frozen waterfall in Canada or jump off a cliff in Moab – it’s something completely different to capture a beautiful picture of people doing these things,” wrote Jakob Schiller for Wired.
“You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you” (John 15:16).
I am convinced by Scripture there is only one core purpose for all believers. Our specific callings are gathered up in this single purpose, and every gift springs from it. If we miss this purpose, all our desires and pursuits will be in vain. This purpose is simply this: we are all called and chosen to bear fruit.