THE NEW YEAR CROSS…

JOHN 16:7-11: “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor–Counselor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him (the Holy Spirit) to you [to be in close fellowship with you]. And He, when He comes, will convict the world about [the guilt of] sin [and the need for a Savior], and about righteousness, and about judgment: about sin [and the true nature of it], because they do not believe in Me [and My message]; about righteousness [personal integrity and godly character], because I am going to My Father and you will no longer see Me; about judgment [the certainty of it], because the ruler of this world (Satan) has been judged and condemned.” (AMP)

OBSERVATION: Am I an effective Christian? Does my life reflect the truth of Jesus, the character of Jesus, and the power of Jesus? As I read these verses these are the questions that rush to my heart.

How much of my life has been misguided by thinking that “I” was going to do something great for God? In reality, God wanted to do something great in me. I think this is the point I have missed the most. The Holy Spirit in my life desires to help me grow in the truth‬‬, character, and power of Jesus. Yet, I will only realize His desire when I stop trying to live by mine.

The enemy of our souls is always seeking to kill, steal, and destroy. Knowing that he cannot snatch one of God’s dear ones out of His hand, the enemy regroups in an effort to mar the image of Jesus in us, and to diminish our effectiveness. How does he do this the best? – By getting us to rely on our own understanding and strength – rather than the transforming power of the Holy Spirit within. Let’s break it down.

In my own wisdom and strength I cannot convince anyone of the truth (including myself). I can argue with them, I can quote Scripture, I can use logic and great illustrations, but all is powerless without the convicting work of the Holy Spirit. However, when I am seeking His truth, and when I am trusting in the Lord with all my heart, I begin to grow in the revelation of Jesus Christ. The Word of God becomes a living experience within me, and when I share it with others, the Holy Spirit brings conviction into hearts and lives, and leads others to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

In my own wisdom and strength I will never produce one ounce of righteousness. However, as I yield to the work of His cross in my life, as I earnestly desire the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, I discover a true righteousness that transforms me from within and empowers me to walk in newness of life. As I walk in this newness of life, through the power of the Holy Spirit, my life bares witness to the reality of Christ’s righteousness, and becomes an example for others who desire to walk in the way of the Lord.

In my own wisdom and strength I will never overcome the enemy. Too many times I have felt like the seven sons of Sceva in Acts 19. The enemy has gained an advantage in my life as he has attacked my blind side. Yet, that is not to be the reality of the believer in Jesus Christ. As we walk in the Spirit we are to be manifesting the judgment of God against the enemy. We have no power over sin, self, and the devil – but Jesus has all power! As we walk in His power, through the indwelling Holy Spirit, we become more than overcomers and begin to experience victory upon victory. This is the heritage and calling of the children of God!

All three of these examples remind me of my need to rely daily, moment by moment, upon the power of the Holy Spirit in my life. Jesus indwells our hearts and lives through the Holy Spirit. He transforms our intellect, but He does not indwell our intellect. Jesus indwells our spirit with the Holy Spirit.

It is only the Holy Spirit freely working in and through our lives that will produce the truth, the character, and the power of Jesus in our lives. This is His call and this is His desire.

Jesus, baptize me anew in the Holy Spirit today! May I lay down my wisdom, may I relinquish my strength, and may I take up my cross and follow You as I enter this New Year!

In Jesus Name!

About Kirk's Devotional Journal

Kirk L. Zehnder is pastor of The Fellowship at Weatherford, a Foursquare Church in Weatherford, Texas. He has developed an easy to follow program to Read, Reflect, Pray, and Journal through the Bible in one year called L.I.F.E. Unlike other programs there are no dates to follow. You can miss a day and still complete your reading. You never feel like the dates and verses you missed are chasing you. You are free to enjoy your daily Biblical journey and listen to the voice of The Lord. For more information please send an email to klzehnder@aol.com
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