May 17,2021

Suggested Reading: Acts 10:34-48

How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him—Acts 10:38

As Peter spoke with a group of Gentiles, he was able to summarize Jesus’ lifestyle and life’s purpose in one sentence: “he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil.” Healing, which was not limited to the physical, mental, emotions, or relationships, but spiritual. Jesus rejoined the dead and cut off, to communion and life with God and others. If anyone wanted to know what Jesus’ life had been about; how it was shaped or spent, this made it clear.

Jesus lived an intentional life and existence. Whenever we read about his life, we can see how he never deviated from two principles and agendas: 1) He was always and only doing that which glorified God the Father and 2) he was always communicating God’s eternal, inseparable, inexhaustible, extravagant love to others. And whether he was listening, teaching, preaching, healing, or praying, he was always about those same two intentions. By the end of every sermon, every lesson, every encounter, every healing those whom he encountered went away knowing they were loved unconditionally and extravagantly by the only true God who created them and was sustaining them through that same love. It was this consistent and intentional message of love that Christ introduced which first astounded and mystified people and then helped them heal, convince them of the Father’s forgiveness of sin, affirmed, strengthened, encouraged, comforted, and gave them peace and liberty.

By the time of his death, he knew he had completed all the Father had sent him to accomplish, including fulfilling the law of God so sinners would be saved and enjoy eternal life instead of needing to pay the penalty of sin which was eternal death.  

It is the Father’s desire that we have that same feeling and knowledge of what a life well-lived looks and feels like. Through the Holy Spirit God helps us discover and embrace the same principle of intentionality—which is also beneficial for approaching and living out the Christian life—and develop an intentional lifestyle, designed by God, shaped through the Scriptures, confirmed by Christ, and empowered by the Holy Spirit.

As we learn and grow and remain attached to the vine which is Christ, we uncover and understand practical biblical principles for living, how to cultivate character and adopt a lifestyle which is lived out and exampled in an unbelieving world and society. Because the Spirit is constantly at work, helping us shape and live out an intentional life we might be surprised to know we look more like Jesus than we think we do. And just like God the Father anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit and power he will anoint us with the same that we might hear him say at the end of our life well done, good and faithful servant, enter your Father’s glory.

I can remember when my husband and I were dating and becoming quite serious, and we enjoyed many visits to introduce him to family where he was grilled about his intentions toward me. Always he affirmed his love for me and commitment to me. I could see him sweating bullets as aunts, grandmother, family members put him through a battery of questions. But there was one visit and incident which always makes me laugh to this day, and that is when his eldest brother was visiting and this time it was me who was questioned about my intention toward his brother. Since I was shocked by the heat being put on me, we all had a good laugh.

Through the Spirit, God searches our hearts, reveals our intentions, and helps us shape and formulate new intentions which reflect his character and purpose for our life. He is constantly weeding out and putting in. He wants us to live a good life, to be successful, but especially to live an intentioned life shaped by godly and Christian principles. We are to go about doing good, being loving as Christ was, and in our own way bringing healing to a broken and damaged world and people. We are to use the same principles and intentions that guided Jesus on earth as those which guide us. Our days are no longer just about what we want to do or accomplish on our things-to-do list, no longer just about the career we want to have or how we want to live life, but what God needs and wants to do in and through us. As the psalmist says, “May the meditations (intentions) of my heart be acceptable in your sight O Lord my strength and my Redeemer.”  Let’s Pray,

God, grant us the grace and courage to live an intentional lifestyle designed by you, confirmed by Christ, and empowered by the Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen

Courageous Living: How does thinking about the lifestyle Jesus lived, being one of intention make you want to become courageous in this way also?      

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