To Follow Jesus
My notes on Every Day with Jesus, written by Selwyn Hughes; revised and updated by Mick Brooks, published by CWR.
May/June 2016 Issue – The Presence of God, ‘You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.’ Psalm 16:11
The text set for today’s reading and meditation:
Ephesians 5:8-20 (NIVUK): ”For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.
It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible – and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.
This is why it is said: ‘Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.’
Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit.
Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
I liked this study, seeing it is Pentecost Sunday – the title, The Spirit makes Christ real, is such a great summary for what ‘Pentecost’ is all about. In Jewish culture, Pentecost is the fiftieth day of the Festival of Weeks, seven weeks after Passover plus one day, making fifty days. It was also known as the Festival of first fruits (associated with the wheat harvest Exodus 23:16, 34:22) and the giving of the law (Torah, Jewish tradition), which in effect, made Israel a nation.
Selwyn writes: “Another way in which we can heighten the awareness of God’s presence with us is, as our text puts it, to be ‘filled with the Spirit’. This is a wonderful text to consider on this Pentecost Sunday. One of the ministries of the Holy Spirit is to make God and His Son, Jesus Christ, known to us (John 16:14). It follows, therefore, that the more we allow the Holy Spirit to have sway in our lives, the more aware we will be of the divine presence. …
Every (true) Christian has the Holy Spirit, yet the Holy Spirit does not have every Christian in the sense that they do not allow Him to fill every part of their lives.”
What’s your relationship with God’s Spirit like? Do you allow Him to have full control of your heart, mind and spirit?
It’s a good question to meditate upon during this day of Pentecost.