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A Plan for the New Year

I am not big on making New Year’s resolutions, but I do believe that we can all resolve to be more like Jesus. When I think of Jesus, this is what I think of:

The Son of God (1 John 4:15), The Word Made Flesh (John 1:1, 14), The Christ (John 4:25), The Crucified Savior (Revelations 1:5), The Son of Man (Luke 19:10), The Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6), The Messiah (Acts 5:42), (John 1:41), The Lamb of God (John 1:29), Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14), (Matthew 1:22-23), The Good Shepherd (John 10:14), The Mediator Between God and Man (1 Timothy 2:5), The Resurrection and the Life (John 11:5), Wonderful Counselor (Isaiah 9:6), The Mighty God (Isaiah 9:6), The Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).

That list goes on and on, but the point of this blog is—I have begun to decree that I have the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16) in all things. I can have the mind of Christ and you can, too. We must focus, like a laser on God’s plan for His people and, like Jesus, give all glory to Abba Father. Jesus’ purpose was to redeem and restore His lost creations. (Luke 19:10) He prayed; was obedient to God, the Father, and he sought out sinners, the lost, the sick, the demon-possessed and the poor—the least of these. In Matthew 9:9-13, when the Pharisees criticized him for eating with publicans and sinners, Jesus chastised them in verses 12 and 13:

On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means:’I desire mercy, not sacrifice .’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.

In essence, the Pharisees followed the law meticulously, but fail to demonstrate the love and mercy of God. Jesus demonstrated a new wine skin that did not fit into the old wineskin.

Also, must also give full reign to the Holy Spirit in our lives. The Bible states that “the Holy Spirit knows the mind of Christ and He instructs and reveals it to us as believers.” (Cor 2:11; 2 Pet 1:4)

So, how does this occur? Well, first of all, we get the indwelling of the Holy Spirit upon salvation as noted in the following scriptures.

Do you know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? (1 Cor 3:16)

. . . When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 1:13)

However, we, not only need the Holy Spirit dwelling in us; but we also need the baptism with the infilling, the empowerment, of the Holy Spirit. The infilling comes after we are initiated and baptized in the Holy Spirit. The baptism and infilling are opened to all believers who have surrendered and committed their lives to God—those who have chosen holiness over a sin life. Most of the time it comes at a point when we have “come to the end of our ropes”; we have nowhere else to turn. The process continues as we become more yielded and surrendered to the Holy Spirit which, in turn, brings about Christ-likeness, maturity and the ability to work as unto the Lord.

The first example, was after Jesus’ crucifixion—the disciples were mourning, dejected and literally “at the end of their ropes.” They were lost. Jesus knew that they would be. Acts 2:4 states that they waited in Jerusalem and met in the Upper Room as Jesus had commanded them to do so that they could receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 1:4,5)

It was on this day—the Day of Pentecost—that they received the baptism in the Holy Spirit with the infilling, as noted in Acts 1:4 and 5. We, also, must receive the baptism (by fire), a prerequisite to the infilling.

Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind cam from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit (and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them). (Acts 2:2-4)

Having received the baptism in the Holy Spirit, they were infilled with the Holy Spirit again in Acts 4:31. Paul received the indwelling of the Holy Spirit after his dramatic encounter with Jesus on the way to Damascus. As Paul received his conversion with the laying on of hands by Ananias, Paul (he was then Saul) was baptized and filled (empowered) with the Spirit. (Acts 9:17)

This sanctification through the Holy Spirit’s baptism and infilling is very much a part of our having the mind of Christ. After receiving the baptism in the Holy Spirit, we are filled continuously in our walk as we read and study and obey God’s Word and yield to the work of Holy Spirit.

This statement in The MacArthur Bible Commentary, aptly provides a clear expression of what it means to have the mind of Christ through the Holy Spirit.

Being filled with the Spirit is living in the conscious presence of the Lord Jesus Christ, letting His mind, through the Word, dominate everything that is thought and done.

I have surmised that being focused on the purpose for which Jesus came to the earth (to save the lost) and having his mind through a continuous filling with the Spirit will provide the Christ-likeness that I need for the coming year.

What about you, my friends? Are you on board?

Be blessed.

Scripture References:

1 John 2:2 He (Jesus) is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.

Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.

A word of note: There is no growth and maturity if we do not spend time with our Abba Father in prayer. Praying to God both in the natural and in our prayer language (tongues) is essential to our spiritual development. Prayer is not a one-way street, we must allow God to speak to our hearts as well. The prayer aspect of growth and maturity is not covered in this blog.

Published inCultivating a Devotional Life

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