You are welcome to our thanksgiving Sunday. I hope that you have had a great week. I pray that the Holy Spirit will minister to you and that you won’t go out of this Cathedral, the same way you came in.
I would like us to know that when God invites us into relationship, He doesn’t only have intentions of forgiving us of our sins, thereby securing our lives for eternity; but of equal importance, is His desire to transform our lives into Christ’s own likeness. Over time, we begin to manifest the character of Christ within us, otherwise known as the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22). We probably know that one of the responsibilities of the Holy Spirit is to glorify Christ, and He partially accomplishes this by cultivating that Christ like character within us. With the development of the fruit of the Holy Spirit in a believer’s life, comes a life that looks at the world from Christ’s perspective; and this is what motivates them to act the
way they do. This is the basis for pursuing good works, it is inside out, and not the other way round, as is the case with other religions.
In John 7:37-39, Apostle John records that on the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If any one thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the scripture has said, Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water”. In John 4:10, Jesus used the term living water to indicate eternal life. Here he uses the term to refer to the Holy Spirit. The two go together: wherever the Holy Spirit is accepted, he brings eternal life. The living streams referred to here, refer to the attributes that ‘flow’ out of a transformed life, as a result of the Holy Spirit being resident, and working on our inside. It is this that is responsible for the internal drive to reach out to a broken world with good works of charity.
It is prophet Isaiah, who promises that God will make streams in the waste land, and this could also be interpreted to mean Spirit filled lives bringing life into what apparently looks like a wilderness or barren situation!
For the believer to be like Christ, they must train themselves to think like Christ. To change our desires to be more like Christ’s, we need the power of the indwelling Spirit (Phil 1:19), the influence of faithful Christians, obedience to God’s Word (not just exposure to it), and sacrificial service. My experience as a believer is such that, it is in doing God’s will that we gain the desire or passion to do it. In light of this, I invite us to do what He wants and trust Him to change our desires. Stay blessed!
The Very Rev. Canon Michael Mukhwana