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For Who’s Sake?

03 Dec

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In my last post titled “Good People, Careless Stewards,” I wrote about how we should be eager to change our understanding and walk in a new direction according to Truth (i.e. repent), because although change can be difficult, the Kingdom/Reign/Will of God is more important and valuable than us individually.  All attachment to the ideas or creations of men becomes a snare and a pit, keeping you from the way of Christ and from walking in the Spirit.  I think this is a very important point.  

Recently, I began to read through Romans, and something stood out to me in Paul’s introduction in this amazing, incredibly deep spiritual work.  It reads like this:

Romans 1:1-5 WEB (R):  “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the Good News of God, which he promised before through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, who was declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we received grace and apostleship, for obedience of faith among all the nations, for his name’s sake…

I underlined “for his name’s sake” because really, this is the same idea I wrote about in my last post, just in different words; namely that the Kingdom of God is about God, not us.  Apparently, Paul wants to make it clear at the very outset that God choosing him as an apostle of the good news, and God’s gift of grace and calling to bring “all the nations” into the “obedience of faith,” are ALL for the sake of the “name” of God the Father and His son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Our individual destinies are secondary, at best.  The good news is the good news of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God.  Selfishness has no place there.  

So, what exactly does it mean that we are to live for the sake of the “name” of Jesus and the Father?  It’s much deeper than what typical Christianity has taught.  In scripture, a “name” refers to one’s character, their nature, their essence – it represents all that someone is, and what they have done.  So, to glorify or magnify or even be a partaker in the “name” of Jesus means we become united with him, that we take on his character and nature and then express it.  In John 12:28, we read even Jesus himself prayed that the name of the Father would be glorified,1 meaning that Jesus desired that through his life, the Father’s nature and character would be seen, known, worshiped, and honored.

So, anything and everything done in the Spirit, however big or small, is for the purpose of manifesting Christ on the earth (we are his body, are we not?) and glorifying the Father, bringing His will to earth.  Again, this is the purpose of every manifestation of the Life of God in us, whether we are chosen as apostles who travel the world with deep revelation and miracle-working power, or if we just live humble lives, showing kindness and compassion to those we encounter.  If done in love, even a simple hug or an encouraging word can be divine and healing.

If you look around at what’s going on in the world, it is tempting and easy to join in the “doom and gloom” crowd.  But there has always been evil in the world, and death.  In fact, in the past, there was often a lot more than there is today.  I really do believe, and not without reason, that people are slowly beginning to wake up from the stupor that has been upon them due to the influence of religion and fear.  My desire is that we don’t leave one religion only to join another or that we don’t simply trade idols.  The issue is this: “is our way of belief and life a manifestation of the Spirit, or of the mind/heart/soul of man?”  Have we REALLY been taught by the Spirit, or are we following a religion or a way of life for reasons we don’t want to admit or examine?  Why are we afraid to change, why do so many of us find it so hard to truly and radically love, even though we know deep down that’s the best way to live?  These are good questions to ask.  

I suppose that’s enough for now.  Until next time, God bless you and thank you for reading.

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Posted by on December 3, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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