Christianity 201

August 27, 2011

Being “In The Presence” Isn’t Sufficient

Filed under: Uncategorized — paulthinkingoutloud @ 6:50 pm
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Today we listened to a sermon by one Robert Bell. Yes, that Rob Bell. And it was a good sermon. In typical Bell fashion, the June 26th message was titled, “Helicopters, Alicia Keys and a Woman in an Art Museum.” You can find it here. The message was part of a series where Bell and associates have divided up the epistle First John. Bell spoke about the different meanings of ‘anointing,’ and how up to the coming of Christ, God was in the temple, God was with the priests, God was with David, and then with the coming of Christ, God was with Jesus.

But then, Jesus breathed on His disciples and said, “Receive the Spirit;” and suddenly, God was with everyone. As He is today. He compared it to the broadcasting industry, which once had a somewhat exclusive abilities to take a news story and disseminate it; whereas today, anyone with a cell phone — mobile phone for non-Americans — can take a picture and post it to a website within seconds. It’s really an interesting analogy that holds well all theological aspects considered.

The message could have stopped there, but then Bell pointed out that there’s a difference between being in the presence of God and having the presence of God within

I have to ask myself how my own life is characterized by having the Spirit, and people seeing that Spirit radiating within me. It’s easy to be around God’s presence and even to mirror what’s going on in the lives of others; but I need to be constantly aware of the need to cultivate God’s Spirit, uniquely given to me and working out His will and purpose in my life.

If someone looked at your life, would they say that you are a person who has obviously spent time in God’s presence, or is the overarching characteristic of your life that God ‘presences’ himself within you?

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