Friday, July 26, 2013

Power From The Incorruptible

Acts 1:8 (KJV)
8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. 

That verse was the verse for the day in one of my Bible apps.  It reminded me of something shared by a pastor friend of mine, over several days, online. "In the natural, I would like to minister to normal people who are okay that only need to hear the good news. Decent, clean, and ideal.”  “But God loves those who are not who I prefer to minister to. Lord, give me the capacity to love the unlovely, the unclean, the least among my brethren. Only by grace, mercy and compassion will you teach me your ways." ~ Pastor Clyde de la Calzada.

The fact is that the church is the spiritual emergency room.  At the same time, our flesh rebels against dealing with that much damage and pain.  Take a look at what I mean.

We’d like to think we have it all together.  But whether we’re the recipient of spiritual care or the care giver, God doesn’t think much of the product of our flesh.  See Isaiah 64:6.  It’s not that God somehow stopped loving His creation.  What happened was the corruption of all of creation because of one seemingly small decision by Adam and Eve.  God doesn’t love the corruption or the decision that brought it on.  However, He still loves us.  But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

The result of Adam and Eve deviating from God’s thoughts is that man has fallen into one of two states.  Man could end up an obvious spiritual basket case, the patient for the spiritual emergency room.  Or he can become less obviously spiritually damaged, resulting in the wrong impression that his soul is unharmed.  And, sometimes, that’s accompanied by the false idea that his flesh has something to offer the more obviously spiritual bankruptcy of others.  And we already know what God’s thoughts are on that.

Think of all the situations where we’re uncomfortable with someone inappropriate, crude, uneducated, lacking taste.  You know.  People just like us, if we defog our spiritual mirror and take a good look at our flesh.  Those are the people we try to avoid.  Perhaps because a comparison would make our own shortcomings obvious?

Worse, we seem to stretch reality into believing that the flesh of one spiritually ill person can fix someone else’s spiritual sickness.  George Bernard Shaw is quoted as saying,  “If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.”  The family skeleton is corruptible flesh and the dance is corruptible flesh trying to deal with corruptible flesh.  It seeks good dance partners.  So, we end up with those not obviously in need of healing, being ministered to by those who think they don’t need mending, neither being fixed.  That’s a lot of what underlies Pastor Clyde’s first quote.  And it’s a condition that will never get us to Acts 1:8.  So, how do we get there?

1 Peter 1:3-5 (KJV)  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
 
1 Peter 1:23 (KJV)  Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
 
Those verses are the solution in a nutshell.  Only the incorruptible can heal the corruptible.  That’s Pastor Clyde’s second quote, reaching out to a perfect God, seeking to be used in ways unthinkable and impossible in the flesh.  It’s opening ourselves to God indwelling us, joining with Him in unity.  Then, it’s allowing the power of that perfect God to do things through us that we and our flesh could never do alone.
 
Remember that I said, earlier, that God loves us, despite ourselves.  When we’re one with God, we not only get to experience that, but we become a channel for others to share in that experience.  We get to live in Acts 1:8.  Now, that verse is  usually taken as highlighting evangelism.  But, I see nothing in the context that eliminates discipleship as being part of the promise.  Which means we not only can help some begin the transformation from corruptible to fully incorruptible, but we can help others continue in that journey.
 
1 John 3:2 (KJV)  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
 
How will you love the unlovely, today?  And, even more, how will you continue to be transformed from corruptible to incorruptible?  And experience power from the incorruptible?

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