Archive for February, 2016

Jesus’ Recipe for Refreshment

Monday, February 8th, 2016

“I live in the high and holy place,

With those whose spirits are contrite and humble.

I restore the crushed spirit of the humble

And revive the courage of those with repentant hearts.”

Isaiah 57:15 NLT

The Spirit of God is drawn to humility… This world values the rich and famous, the big and boisterous, self-promoters who push their image and agenda to the forefront (as the political theatre taking place in Iowa illustrates). Even the church world has bought into this mindset in recent years, sometimes creating an environment of “top down,” self-assertive, CEO-style leadership (instead of leaders being shepherds who sacrificially serve God’s people).

But not so with the King of Glory. His Word shows us that God isn’t drawn to worldly greatness or self-aggrandizement, but rather to those with a heart of humility and repentance, who are honest about their brokenness and need. God loves to dwell with those who know they need Him, who look to Him and lean on Him as their only hope, strength, and righteousness.

So let His Spirit refresh you today as you quiet your heart before Him, meditating on the promises of His Word:

The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart,

And saves such as have a contrite spirit.

Psalms 34:18

God resists the proud,

But gives grace to the humble.

James 4:6 & 1 Peter 5:5, quoting Proverbs 3:34

The humble He guides in justice,

And the humble He teaches His way.

Psalms 25:9

“And whoever exalts himself will be humbled,

And he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Matthew 23:12

“Repent therefore… in order that times of refreshing may come

From the presence of the Lord…”

Acts 3:19

Repentance is not a bad word… 🙂 In fact, there’s only ONE type of Christian who ever needs to repent: those with a pulse. So, check yourself for a pulse… Yep? Good. Then YOU, my friend, are just like the rest of us: imperfect (even at our very best!), and a prime candidate for God’s love and forgiveness on a daily basis. Isn’t that good news?

There has been a popular teaching in certain church circles in recent years – some critics have coined it “hyper-grace” – which essentially teaches that because Jesus’ death on the cross paid for ALL your sins (amen!) and because you are made righteous in Him (amen again!), therefore you needn’t repent anymore when you sin (uh-oh!). In fact, it teaches that it’s an OFFENSE against God’s grace when you try to repent for having sinned against Him or against others.

The Devil’s in the doctrine… satan knows that a lifestyle of unconfessed sin hardens our hearts, gunks up our consciences, strains our relationships with others, renders us spiritually powerless, invites demonic attack, and opens the door to much more sin (especially pride).   

Good news: God’s refreshing always flows to the repentant heart, to restore their spirit and strengthen their courage. So let’s embrace our need, looking only to JESUS as our strength and righteousness, and inviting His Spirit to dwell in the midst of our lives and families in a powerful way this week.

May the Lord surround you with His unfailing love,

Pastor Matthew Casey

© Springs of Life Ministries, 2016