February 4, 2018
READ: Romans 15:14-19
I bring you the Good News so that I might present you as an acceptable offering to God, made holy by the Holy Spirit (v.16).
The view from our garden is what clinched the deal for us. Having house hunted for ages, the rolling green hill captured the hearts of my husband and I. One morning, as I stood in our kitchen and looked up at the hill, I noticed what seemed to be a monument at the top. We pulled on our hiking boots and set off to investigate. Instead of a monument, however, we discovered a ventilation pipe. Turns out our rolling, green hill is in fact an old mine dump with a ventilation pipe to allow methane gas to escape.
Without the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, we can be a bit like that hill—nice from the outside, but full of potentially harmful stuff on the inside. If we believe in Jesus as our Saviour, we are God’s children and are made right with Him (John 1:12). We’re filled with His goodness and can even begin sharing Christ with others (Romans 15:14). But if we don’t surrender to the refining work of the Holy Spirit, when challenging circumstances squeeze us our sinful nature will bubble up and release all manner of nastiness.
By God’s grace, through faith, we come to salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9); and through the Holy Spirit we grow to maturity in our faith, becoming Christ-like. “For by God’s grace . . . I bring you the Good News so that I might present you as an acceptable offering to God, made holy by the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:15-16). Then the good, transforming work God began at the moment of salvation continues on by the power of the Holy Spirit until Jesus returns (Philippians 1:6).
For me, that hill at the back of our garden serves as a daily reminder of our need for the ongoing, refining work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
365-day plan: Exodus 5:1-23
Read 2 Cor. 3:16-18 to discover how the Holy Spirit makes us more like Jesus.
How have you become stagnant in your journey of faith? Ask the Spirit to make you more like Jesus, and then surrender to His transforming work.