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Thursday, February 5, 2009

Being Built Up

So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied.
~ Acts 9:31 (ESV)

By the fear of the LORD one turns away from evil.
~ Proverbs 16:6 (ESV)

Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh.
~ Galatians 5:16-17 (NKJV)

A goal of every church is being built up in both strength and numbers. The early church was successful with "walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit." Could something so simple be more effectively employed in 2009?

To walk in the fear of the Lord is to appreciate God's zeal for holiness and man's sin-filledness, and know that it will require me to either lay myself bare before Him so He may purge my sin, or wait for a loving Father's good but possibly-painful discipline.

To walk in the comfort of the Holy Spirit is to deny the pride, selfishness and lust of the flesh. Flesh is my natural inclinations (dignity, survival, hunger) turned gratuitously inward rather than submitted to the Creator's use to strengthen me, edify others, and exalt my God.

Simple doesn't mean easy. Being built up as individuals and as churches requires far more than once a week attendance of a feel-good worship service.

Heavenly Father, You offer our souls so much more than the satisfaction of a thriving church congregation. You make us like You, in love and holiness. Let our being built up be because we are filled with Your Spirit, following close behind You, walking in fear and fellowship.

Feedback invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy

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