Week 20 — Life-Style in the Spirit
"They devoted themselves to the apostles' instruction and the communal life, to the breaking of bread and the prayers." —Acts 2:42
"I declare and solemnly attest in the Lord that you must no longer live as the pagans do—their minds empty, their understanding darkened." —Eph 4:17-18
Spirit: Some people want to be Christian and yet continue a worldly life-style. It will never work. New wine must be put in new skins or you have a catastrophe (Lk 5:38). Why would a person set free from prison still want to remain handcuffed and chained? The cheap thrills of slavery are eclipsed by misery.
Temple: Holy Spirit, the evil spirit has clouded over my mind and confused me. You have led me to the truth that my life-style is actually a death-style.
Live simply, free from compulsions and addictions—coffee, cigarettes, alcohol, pop, and junk food—resentments, unforgiveness and gossip.
"My point is that you should live in accord with the Spirit and you will not yield to the cravings of the flesh. The flesh lusts against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh; the two are directly opposed." —Gal 5:16-17
Spirit: You can't have both. One of the most believed lies of the devil is that you can live both spiritually and worldly. "What do righteousness and lawlessness have in common, or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What accord is there between Christ and Belial, what common lot between believer and unbeliever? Tell me what agreement there is between the temple of God and idols. You are the temple of the living God" (2 Cor 6:14-16).
Temple: Holy Spirit, most of the Christians I know live a worldly life-style. Even priests and ministers live for pleasure, money, or worldly acclaim.
Spirit: Don't compare yourself with others. Listen to Me.
Live a countercultural life.
"Your own conduct was once of this sort, when these sins were your very life. You must put that aside now." —Col 3:7-8
Spirit: When you're set free from your death-style, you won't know what to do. You never realized how much time, energy, and money you put into that old way of life. Now you're available to live for the kingdom. Fill your life with holiness, or the devil will repossess you (Mt 12:43-45).
Temple: Holy Spirit, not by my power or might but by Yours (Zec 4:6). "Let it be done to me" (Lk 1:38).
Live simply so others can simply live.
"You are not to spend what remains of your earthly life on human desires but on the will of God. Already you have devoted enough time to what the pagans enjoy." —1 Pt 4:2-3
Spirit: I forgive you for wasting so much of My time. Repent. Life is not a game, but a stepping-stone into eternity. Begin now to lead an eternal life-style. Spend time on what will matter 100 years from now.
Temple: Holy Spirit, if I live a new life-style, people will call me a fanatic and a "holy roller."
Spirit: If they call you a "holy" anything, take it as a compliment.
Live independently from others' opinions and dependent on God's grace.
"Go out now and take your place in the temple precincts and preach to the people all about this new life." —Acts 5:20
Spirit: How many have you led to Jesus in the last twenty weeks? Your difficulty is that the gospel message and your manner of life are contradictory. Your walk and your talk must say the same thing.
Temple: Holy Spirit, "those things I used to consider gain I have now reappraised as loss in the light of Christ. I have come to rate all as loss in the light of the surpassing knowledge of my Lord Jesus Christ. For His sake I have forfeited everything; I have accounted all else rubbish so that Christ may be my Wealth" (Phil 3:7-8).
Live with a joy that elicits questions (1 Pt 3:15).
"I have been crucified with Christ, and the life I live now is not my own; Christ is living in me. I still live my human life, but it is a life of faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me." —Gal 2:19-20
Spirit: The deeper your relationship with Me, Jesus, and the Father, the more you are turned off by the world's death-style and turned on to My life-style. Commit your life to Jesus. He will baptize you in Me and be your Way to the Father.
Temple: Holy Spirit, now I see life in the Spirit must be life-style in the Spirit.
Live as the apostles in Acts.
"Through baptism into His death we were buried with Him, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live a new life." —Rm 6:4
Spirit: What's a new creation like you doing in an old place like the world? Jesus chose you out of the world although you still maintain a geographical presence (Jn 15:19). You are a citizen of heaven and from there you await Christ's coming (Phil 3:20).
Temple: Holy Spirit, since I'm a citizen of heaven, remove anything from my life that doesn't fit into heaven, and begin or increase what should be part of a heavenly life-style.
Live a baptized life as a citizen of heaven.
Excerpts from Scripture are taken from The New American Bible, copyright 1970 by the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C., and are used by permission of the copyright holder. All rights reserved.
Nihil obstat: Reverend Robert J. Buschmiller, July 13, 1995.
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of Cincinnati, July 25, 1995.
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