July 13&17, 2016
Field Time: Browning, MT
IGNITE CLASS 10
Inductive Bible Study (IBS)
“And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.” – Romans 5:11 (NKJV)
So often I forget to take joy in the Lord. It seems like it would be such an easy thing to do though, and yet I take for granted the miraculous price Jesus Christ paid. I forget that God bestowed the gift of eternal life on me, undeserving and wretched man that I am, and that I “have now received the reconciliation.”
God is so good; He patiently waits for me to remember that I am nothing without Him, can do nothing without Him, and have received everything from Him. The Lord lovingly receives me after I stubbornly fight and ignore the gentle chastening and instructing in His statutes. To quote the Christian musician/singer/songwriter Rich Mullins: “Sometimes, God ain’t going talk real loud to you, and you have to shut up in order to hear Him. I don’t know why He’s like that. Sometimes it makes me mad. But it don’t do to fight with God cause He always wins.” It is an attitude of humble acceptance, acknowledging He is Ruler of All and being willing to let Him work. I think of what David said in repentance after his affair with Bathsheba: “10Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. 11Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. 12Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.” (Psalm 51:10-12, KJV)
The Holy Spirit continues to teach me the joy of salvation. Recently though, He revealed how I was being legalistic and hypocritical in my walk, much like the religious leaders that constantly debated, antagonized, and accused Jesus Christ during His ministry. They enforced laws, rules, and irrevelent ordinances upon others while they themselves did not obey, thus the reason for Jesus calling them “hypocrites!” They were so focused on the law and technicalities that they missed the freedom and joy the Lawgiver Himself offered them.
In my conviction I finally see how the things the Holy Spirit leads and instructs me to do, whatever it may be, are for me and me alone to follow. So often I hold others so rigidly to a standard, be it one set for myself or of something else, that I neglect to abide by it myself. But the reality is that God has not even asked or instructed me to do such a thing, let alone given me the authority to. All He has asked of me is to follow Him. Then, and only then, does Christ bring me into the joy of my salvation, cleansing me in His precious blood and pouring me into new and abundant Life. From there (my yielding to His will), that life joy begins to spill out to those around me. Yes, the Great Commission says to “19Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all the things that I have commanded you…,” (Matt. 28:19-20a), but how can I lead the blind to see and take joy in His commandments if I myself am not rejoicing in them?
Philippians 4:4-7(NKJV) best states this: “4Rejoice in the Lord always. And I will say, rejoice! 5Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. 6Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”