being free

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19 September 2009

jesus centered spirituality

I have been in Asheville only a short time, but one thing I have notice is how spiritual the people are. You see it on posters, in shops, and in the newspapers. One of the local papers listed 39 different spiritual groups meeting on a weekly basis. The groups include such things as "Awakening Practices", "Mystic Gatherings", and "Meditation for Beginners".

As I was pondering this, I believe God reminded me of the deeply spiritual and mystical nature of a relationship with God in Christ. I then began to read through the Gospel of John and was again reminded of the life giving spiritual relationship that Jesus offers us. All this got me thinking about a study I did on the spiritual nature of a relationship with Jesus. The study develops a Biblical picture of God's spiritual work starting with creation and ending with his relationship with us today. Below are the verses from that study. The bold faced words are my highlighting of Biblical spirituality.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” Genesis 1:1-2

The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” Job 33:4

“A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of YHWH will rest on him…” Isaiah 11:1-2

“Immediately as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove.” Mark 1:10

“Jesus answered, ‘I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.’” John 3:5-6

God is spirit, and his worships must worship in spirit and in truth.” John 4:24

“On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow within him.” By this he meant the Spirit whom those who believed in him were later to receive.” John 7:37-39

Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever – the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.” John 14:15-20

“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as the Spirit enabled them.”…. “this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: “In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people.” Acts 2:1-4, 16-17

"God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” Galatians 4:6

“Now the Lord (meaning Jesus) is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:17-18

Jesus centered spirituality means having the Spirit of Jesus, the Infinite, Personal, Life-Giving, Creator God, living in you. It means walking in step with the Spirit of Jesus, knowing the sweetness of his presence, and following the distinctiveness of his voice. It means living by a power greater than yourself and through that power learning to love others, even your enemies, as Jesus himself did.

Jesus centered spirituality starts with encountering Jesus; it starts by turning from our ways to his ways and from trusting in ourselves to trusting in him. He came to show us “the way” to be human. He offers reconciliation between God and man, man and man, and man and creation. He offers all people forgiveness of sins and with that the restoring, rebirthing Life, of the Spirit of God. As he said himself, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10

2 Comments:

At 10:47 PM, Blogger anyidea said...

Todd I have been captivated by the teachings of the laws of attraction,the power of the now. The teaching in the bible have been somewhat muddled not clear to me.but the underlining of these bible verses of jesus brought me back to the true spiritual source these modern writers have sampled from. THANK YOU

 
At 3:38 AM, Blogger Todd said...

Thank you for your post. I am glad the verses I shared helped bring you back to the true spiritual source. I have found great depths of spiritual life (what Jesus called eternal life)in a spiritual relationship with God in Christ. He is truly the source... like a river of inner spiritual life. Blessings to you.

 

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