by Kathleen Petersen

Earlier this week you received words from some of my fellow Devotional Team members about the shade cast on Jesus’ reputation by dishonorable conduct of self-identified Christians. Such examples prompt doubt that our puny spiritual light can be adequate to combat the negative effects of those fallen reputations.
In addition, we might compare our “good works” with those of the world around us and wonder if our honorable actions can ever be enough. 

There is even more room for doubt. When we give in to a temporal whim or impulse, we can relate to this little dog. 

Like the little dog, our K-9 predisposition/human bent emerges just when we had hoped to be extraordinary. Although we might avoid the worst kinds of depravity and restrain ourselves from spewing the verbal religious garbage of hypocrisy; we lament the slowness of our Biblical transformation as did the Apostle Paul in Romans 7:14-25.

What happens when we briefly join the little dog’s Hole in the Couch Gang for an activity? Is our testimony to the power of Jesus destroyed? Does Jesus cast us aside when we muddle up? Not at all — he provides a way to get us back on track. The spiritually immature in the Corinthian Church received this admonition: 

Don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own… I Corinthians 6:19 CSB

Jesus promised: 

But I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I am leaving; for if I do not leave, the Helper [Holy Spirit] will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. John 16:7 NASB

Jesus sends the Holy Spirit to live in those of us who have chosen to follow him; and to our surprise, Jesus relies on that crazy strategy to produce better results than if he had remained on earth after his resurrection. It’s hard to believe he has that kind of confidence in us, isn’t it?

 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:5 RSV

The light of the Holy Spirit shines in the darkness past deficiencies that often trouble us. 

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 2 Corinthians 4:7 ESV

In no way am I providing excuses for Christ followers to obscure the light of the Holy Spirit.
We have a life-giving connection that requires nurture.

Notice these two exhortations:

Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Ephesians 4:30 NASB

Do not extinguish the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt. But examine all things; hold fast to what is good. Stay away from every form of evil. I Thessalonians 5:19-22 NET

Jesus for planting the Spirit inside you. Pray that the Holy Spirit’s light will shine noticeably through you today. Trust the Holy Spirit to glow in the midst of Darkness around you. Sing this familiar song.

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