Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Monday, 5 September 2022:
1 Samuel 10:6, 7, 10, 11 — The Spirit of the Lord will come upon you in power… and you will be changed into a different person. Once these signs are fulfilled, do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you…. God changed Saul’s heart… the Spirit of God came upon him in power…. “What is this that has happened to the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?”
Saul was not searching for God, he was searching for donkeys; but God had chosen him, and God changed his heart and empowered him with the Holy Spirit in order to fulfill God’s purposes. Saul’s life was completely changed. Only through the power of the Holy Spirit could Saul accomplish the work God had in store for him, not through his own wisdom and might. When the people looked at Saul (from their human perspective) they said, “How can this fellow save us?” They could not understand the power of the Spirit.
The Spirit of the Lord came “upon” Saul with power for a specific purpose, but we shall see that due to Saul’s sin, the Spirit will also depart from him. However when a person is saved by grace through faith in Jesus (Ephesians 2:8, 9), the Holy Spirit dwells “within” them (Galatians 4:6; Acts 2:4; Ephesians 1:13-14; Romans 5:5; Romans 8:9-11; 1 Corinthians 3:16; Galatians 4:6; John 1:17; 1 Corinthians 6:19) permanently (Ephesians 4:30), and they are whole new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17), destined to be conformed into the image of Christ (Romans 8:29; Philippians 1:6) and to have unity with God forever within the family of Christ (John 17:21-23; Romans 8:16). The Lord gives His children the Holy Spirit that they may know Him, have unity in Him, and grow up in Him to spiritual maturity; and the Lord empowers His children with the Holy Spirit so they can accomplish the humanly impossible task of sharing the Gospel to the ends of the earth – “And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’” (Matthew 28:18-20) So, what is your story? Were you ever surprised by God while you were searching for proverbial lost donkeys? Have you been saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ and become a new creation, filled with and empowered by the Holy Spirit? How is the Holy Spirit working in your life to fulfill God’s purposes, especially that of sharing the Gospel?
1 Samuel 10:9 — “God gave him another heart.” Only God can give you a new heart. No one can fix his old heart.
Here is a short video overview of 2 Timothy: https://bibleproject.com/explore/video/2-timothy/
2 Timothy 1:3 – I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day.
Do you thankfully serve God each day with a clear conscience?
2 Timothy 1:6, 7 – For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
The spiritual gift of faith God has already given you must be fanned into flame. You must choose to walk in power and self-control.
From Henry T. Blackaby — The only fear that God encourages in a Christian’s life is the fear of God (2 Cor. 5:10-11; Heb. 10:31). Fear of people does not come from God. The problem is that many Christians fear people more than they fear God. Their fear hinders them from pleasing God because they waste their efforts appeasing other people. Timothy was a young man, timid by nature, and probably not strong physically (1 Tim. 5:23). He knew of Paul’s frequent trials and persecutions. He knew that he, too, might suffer those same persecutions. Paul reminded his young colleague that fear of others does not come from God. Fear causes us to stop and question what God has clearly told us to do. Perhaps we were confident in our obedience until persecution came; now we doubt whether we heard God correctly. Most fear is fear of the unknown. We do not know what lies ahead of us, so we become apprehensive. Our imaginations can magnify problems until they seem insurmountable. We need a sound mind to see things in proper perspective. That is why God gave us His Holy Spirit, to enable us to see things as God sees them. Fear is no excuse to disobey God. There is no reason to live in fear when you have the mighty presence of the Holy Spirit within you. Fear will enslave you, but Christ has come to set you free. Ask God to free you from any fear you are experiencing and to open your eyes. As He reveals the reality of your situation, He will enable you to continue in obedience.
2 Timothy 1:14 — By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.
We are empowered by the Holy Spirit, but we must employ the power within us by choice. 1 Peter says, “To those who are…. in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ…, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’ And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.” Through the power of the Holy Spirit, in awe and gratitude for the grace you have received through the blood of Jesus, compelled by love, pursue holiness in your life.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 5 September 2022: Motivated by love, pursue purity, holiness, and obedience today, and from this day forward, don’t act as if the grace you have received through the blood of Jesus is a small or cheap thing.