"And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself (John 12:32)." We preach our own experiences and people are interested, but no sense of need is awakened by it. If once Jesus Christ is lifted up, the Spirit of God will create a conscious need of Him. Behind the preaching of the Gospel is the creative Redemption of God at work in the souls of men. It is never personal testimony that saves men. "The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life (John 6:63)."
The above text is an excerpt from today's devotional, found in Oswald Chambers' "My Utmost for His Highest." It's interesting that I read this today, after spending several days thinking on the title to this post. A month or two ago, my good friend Pastor Troy Venning included the hashtag in a post to Facebook. His hashtag, "#preachJesus", combined with today's devotional has caused my mind to spawn several thoughts. Over time, with this blog, I've shared many of my life's journeys, experiences, trials, and victories. As Mr. Chambers mentions above, "We preach our own experiences and people are interested, but no sense of need is awakened by it." Of all those who have taken interest in stories I've shared, I know not who has been lifted to a greater level of spiritual awareness. It's not my job to do so, but it is a responsibility of mine to make more and better mention of the source behind my growth and experiences led by the power of the Holy Spirit, whom I could not begin to tap into without giving my heart to Jesus Christ. Peter told us many, many years ago, "Jesus is 'the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.' Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved (Acts 4:11 & 12)."
Therefore, I tell you all today that in all my victories; in all my good deeds; in my good health; in my love and lasting relationships, there is power beyond my own. There is love greater than my own. There is widsom, intellect, knowledge, and abilty that far surpasses my own! The power of the Holy Spirit, found in my submission to the Word of God, Jesus Christ is the source of all awesomeness in my life. My natural body is NOT what sustained my life prior to being admitted to the pediatric ICU of Mobile Infirmary while chilling with a blood sugar of 996. It was not the strength of my body that allowed me to walk away from a head on collision in January of 1999, with but a scratch or two. There was always a third hand on my steering wheel, in those moments of stopping and pulling over to help with flat tires, buying new tires, providing transportation, or purchasing groceries for others in need. I take credit for none of these things. For I know if it were up to me, my own way of thinking, my own wisdom, I'd likely keep it moving, saying something like "Lord, help 'em" as I and my ability hightail it down the highway.
In today's society, we give more power and credit to distraction than we do anything related to our Creator, God. Think about it. It became our nature to be easily deceived and distracted that first day mankind failed to consult God when something odd and different came about with claims unheard. Distraction is always more attractive, with his pretty words and deceitful derisions of God's Word and law. Why does Jesus not go viral on Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter like much madness and nonsense of the world? It may be because He's NOT a virus. He's a healer, the eradicator of such viral infections of the mind, body, soul and spirit; and a capitalistic society CANNOT allow the machine to be broken down. Governments and major corporations will kill to protect their money, way before they stand up in the Truth of Jesus Christ. Oh, I'm sorry, "It is my opinion......." LOL, I remember having to phrase things in essays and research papers in such away as to not speak as though I am a top or final authority on any matter at hand or of which I was writing.
Anyway, I end this post with the Apostle's Creed, which my family and I recited multiple times a week when I was younger:
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit
and born of the virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
He descended to hell.
The third day He rose again from the dead.
He ascended to heaven
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty.
From there He will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic* church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
Now, before there is a claim that I am promoting the Catholic denomination, be educated for a moment. The term "catholic" (lower case "c") derives from the greek word καθολικός (katholikos), which translates to "universal." I know I've mentioned this in previous writings, but for those who didn't know, here you go. Statements like that of The Apostles' Creed and The Nicene Creed are known as professions of faith. What do you profess?
Bryan Hollomon Williams