by Pastor Tim Burt
How are you feeling today? Pretty ordinary? Maybe under the weather or tired from the busy lives of family and work? Tired from the demands on your time? Maybe feeling a little depleted? When we get this way, our emotions usually follow suit. They go where they shouldn't go and we can too easily react in a way that we shouldn't. It is easy to think that this life is too difficult! And it would be true if it's weren't for Jesus! “You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men?” 1 Corinthians 3:3 (NIV)
Doesn't this seem an unusual question? "Are you not acting like mere men?” How else are people supposed to live out their lives? We are what we are—aren't we?
Paul is implying to those he is speaking to, that because they are Christians—those who have given their lives to Jesus Christ and consequently been filled with God’s Holy Spirit—that living life as “mere men” is unsatisfactory. Could this be true? It is true! We are not to be acting like mere men or women. This is one of the greatest truths missing from the Christian church today. When we were born again, we were made new creatures in Christ (2 Cor 5:17.) According to the Word of God we were given the Holy Spirit, to be more than just ordinary men or women. We were given God's nature so that we could resist the power of sin and emulate Jesus, learning to walk after Him in love, power, and authority. Ephesians 5:1 (NIV) drives home that truth! "Therefore be imitators of God as dear children." The moment we become Christians, we were commissioned to become the touch of His love to the needs of those around us in our day-to-day life—whether it be by prayer, sharing, teaching, or by anointed encouragement—or even by the laying on of hands on the sick. This was Jesus' life. This was His purpose for us.
One thing I've always taught to Christians who want to make a difference in the life of others, is to know that there is always someone feeling weary around them at some point in their day. In all likelihood, numerous people. If you understand that, you can be used of God. How can I be so sure of that? Isaiah 50:4 tells us that God will daily give us a word for the weary—of course that word being a word of encouragement. That is, if you are willing to seek Him for that word. And by a word, I don't mean one single individual word. I mean a verse from God's Word that brings hope and lifts the heart. And, maybe that person feeling weary is you! That word God gives you is going to be the same word that God uses to lift your heart!
After I received Jesus into my heart, I still walked as a "mere man" in many areas of my life for a long time. I didn't know how to walk any other way. The Bible says we have a divine nature that we are to partake of. 2 Peter 1:4 (NIV) “Through these God has given us His very great and precious promises so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” "Mere man" vs '"divine nature." Does it get clearer than this?
To participate in His divine nature you have to shake off feelings of being ordinary. You have to purpose to believe that the Holy Spirit within you will strengthen you today and every day. You have to believe that as you seek Him, He’ll speak to your heart through His Word, encourage and lead you, and then use you to be a blessing to someone else. That's what the divine nature in you does!
God has a tremendous plan for each and every one of us! If we will just get over ourselves and give ourselves over to Him and believe what He says, we can go beyond being just mere men. Then He can begin to do a mighty work in us and through us.
And by the way, forget trying to be perfect or cleaned up before God uses you. God will use you long before you are cleaned up. God transforming us is a lifelong process. I've been at the cleaners for 38 years. I'm so glad that I've leaned on His divine nature so I could quit walking as a "mere man" that was powerless to change, and instead be changed and used of Him. How about you?
Hebrews 13:21 "May God equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him. All glory to him forever and ever! Amen. "
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt