“Over the years,” Stan began, “I have read many books dealing with the subject generally described as ‘victorious Christian living’. One is clearly the best.”
“Which one is that?” I asked.
“The Bible,” was Stan’s response. “And I saw that again this morning in my journaling time with the apostle Paul’s first letter to the church in Thessalonica.”
“I think,” Stan continued, “that, in the first instance, God is the absolute authority on being victorious in my Christian living, but I also think that Paul has more to say about it than any books I have read by anyone else.”
“Why would someone want to read a book about victorious Christian living, if, as you say, the apostle Paul covers it so well? Why not just read the Bible?”
“Good question,” Stan replied. “That’s another subject for another day.”
“I think,” he continued, “that the apostle Paul addressed this quite well in one of the opening lines in his first letter to the church in Thessalonica.”
“What did he write?” I asked.
“He wrote about the gospel not being just a bunch or words to read, but a life to be lived through the power of the Holy Spirit.”
“Lived, not just read,” I repeated.
“And the essential part,” Stan added, “is that it is though the power of the Holy Spirit.”
“If I do not surrender to the leading of the Holy Spirit on an ongoing basis,” Stan continued, “there is no way for the words I read to have a lasting impact on the life I live.”
“They’re not just words on the printed page or on the screen of my phone or computer. They are life-giving words that have to be claimed.”
For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit with full conviction. 1 Thessalonians 1:5.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for your word. Thank you for the freedom to read it. I pray for those who do not have the same freedom that I do, as well as for those who do not choose to exercise the freedom they have. I confess that too often I read your word without taking the time to truly surrender to the leading of the Holy Spirit in making your word an integral part of my life. Please forgive me. And please lead me in how I read and take into my life all you have for me so that I truly live the victory you have for me to live. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.