Life by the Spirit
by Joan Rono
3 November 2010Next Day »
Jesus` selection of His close disciples could have been disapproved of by everyone living in His day. Pharisees had disciples who followed them and these people were often well acquainted with Scripture, they fasted and gave generous offerings to the temple. Such people were considered to be suitable disciples. Disciples were called by a Rabbi and they would follow him, the one who had called them.
But Jesus didn`t follow the traditional protocol of the day. Instead, He chose those who were unlikely candidates for discipleship. Among them were fishermen, a tax collector, a doubting man and a betrayer! It`s obvious that He wasn`t looking at their outward appearance, but at their hearts.
These men didn`t even know how to pray, for Luke tells us `One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples” (Luke 11:1). Nor did they keep to the traditions of the Pharisees `So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, "Why don`t your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with `unclean` hands?" (Mark 7:5). Jesus selected imperfect men, who were unqualified in every way, and taught them how to be His disciples. But He didn`t just make them His disciples. He also made them His friends.
One day He taught them that they need `a helper`. They were to follow this helper, the Holy Spirit, and listen to Him. The Holy Spirit, who was promised, was given to them on the day of Pentecost. Their lives were transformed and they no longer did anything in their own power or strength!
Good works can be done by anybody, but righteous living is beyond good works. It`s living to please God, following His will, and obeying Him. You can`t do this by strength of mind and flesh, nor good works. It`s only by the Holy Spirit.
Paul clearly shows us that our lives should be controlled by the Spirit of God who indwells us. It`s the Spirit who enables us to live righteous lives that are pleasing to God. We can let the Holy Spirit control our lives and produce fruit, as the disciples did after Pentecost. They were able to declare the Word of God boldly and to perform miracles.
Prayer: Lord teach me to follow Your Holy Spirit and to live to please You, not just by works but by total reliance on Your Spirit. Thank You for Your Salvation and the gift of `The Helper`, Your Spirit. Amen.
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