Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Be Uplifted!

Scripture: 2 Peter 1 v 2-3:

"Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue."

There are some people who uplift you into the presence of Jesus every time you encounter them. They have a ministry gift of exhortation which operates unconsciously in them through the power of the Holy Spirit.

I am reminded of a plumber who came to repair some pipes at my home years ago. I met him at the front door and he walked round the house to the back door while I went through the house. The Lord said This man needs the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I told this stranger what the Lord had said. Tears filled his eyes and he said I am afraid of the Holy Spirit.

Praise Jesus, I did pray with him and he did receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit that day. There came a day when I was under a heavy attack and really struggling. Suddenly there was a knock at the door. There stood the plumber. He said The Holy Spirit drove me here! I was on the highway when the steering wheel turned and I was exiting at your offramp!! I had to come here.

We spoke of this and that and had tea. I did not mention my heavy heart. He went away and I found that the burden had gone. The plumber had uplifted my spirit. Those were the only times I ever saw him. God used me to meet his need so that he would be equipped to meet my need when the time came.

Let Peter exhort your spirit as you read and absorb this passage of scripture. Let grace and peace be multiplied to you through the knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord. He was equipped to exhort by first suffering such sorrow after he betrayed Jesus three times before His crucifixion.

Then he was anointed to preach the first sermon after the Holy Spirit baptism of 120 believers in the Upper Room ten days after Jesus' ascension to Heaven. He preached and exhorted and accused that crowd until they cried what must we do to be saved?  Peter told them:

Acts 2 v 38: "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."

And 3000 got saved that day. The same 3000 who shouted Hosanna to the King and laid palms on the path for His donkey; who three days later screamed, Crucify Him! And now sorrowed for Him and needed Him to save them. Verse 40 says that Peter exhorted them. He lifted them up and empowered them to follow Jesus.

We can all either tear down or uplift our fellow believers. Sometimes they need to first fall so that the Lord can fully lift them by His divine power and strength.  Sometimes you have to rebuke first before the exhortation can do its proper work as people can be stubborn and do their own thing leaving a mess behind them. 

We tear people down when we indulge in gossip and slander about them.  If they are true ministers of God, He will repay your slanders in the same manner according to the golden rule - what you do unto others shall be done to you.  

A long while ago Jesus told me that the way people treat me is the way they treat Him, and that I should use this as a tool to assess their spiritual standing with Him.  If people love, trust, bless, and talk to me, then they are sure to be in right fellowship with Jesus.  If they persecute, reject, snub, ignore, or hate me, then their Christianity is false as they do the same to Jesus. This is not my judgment, it is just an observation, but over the years it has proved to be accurate.

We build people up when we have real fellowship with them, sharing testimonies and revelations from the Bible, praying together and enjoying the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  Jesus says that if there is a misunderstanding or disagreement you approach the person yourself, privately, to sort it out.  If no agreement can be reached then a third person can be included to arbitrate.  If that fails you take it before the church for those in spiritual authority to decide the matter.  This way division  and disunity are avoided.

We are commanded to love one another as Jesus loves us, to have respect for others and to esteem every one higher than oneself.  That way you remain a humble servant who follows the commands of the Master, and eliminate pride and arrogance which wounds the Body of Christ.

Prayer: Father God please give me this ability to consciously or unconsciously exhort and strengthen and edify the Body of Christ. Let me lift their burdens and give them Your uplifting care. Let me be as Your hand extended to bless the weary. In Jesus' name. Amen.