How to Live

This week on GUWG, we’re looking at ROCK’S GREATEST HITS — words of wisdom from the disciple Jesus nicknamed “Rock” (aka Peter).

Want to know how to live in your short time on this planet? Here’s a a top ten list of Peter’s practical principles:

  1. Get Ready For Action. “Prepare your minds for action: be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given to you when Jesus Christ is revealed.” (1 Peter 1:13)

Higher Authority

Here’s this week’s question . . .

The Bible says to obey our earthly authorities (e.g., Romans 13:1). What should we do if our “earthly authority” asks us to do things that conflict with God’s word? In other words, what if our boss is a Nazi?

Great question.

Here’s the full text of Romans 13:1: “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.”

While we’re told to submit to “governing authorities,” in the very next phrase the Bible notes that there’s no authority apart from what God puts in place.

Here’s what the Apostle Peter said when he faced such a conflict. He and the other apostles were ordered by the religious authorities not to preach about Jesus. Peter’s response? “We must obey God rather than men!”

In short, GOD RULES.

Got a deep, thorny, mind-boggling Bible question? Send it to getupwithgod@gmail.com and I’ll do my very best to answer it in 100 words or less.

Spirit Test

For the past couple of weeks here on GUWG, we’ve been discussing the Holy Spirit and what He means to us today. Here’s a little test just to make sure you were paying attention.

1.  The Holy Spirit . . .
a. Is a person
b. Is God
c. Lives in all Christians
d. Guides, helps, teaches, comforts, warns and prays for us
e. All of the above

2. The Holy Spirit is NOT . . .
a. An “it”
b. An impersonal force that we can manipulate
c. A ghost that haunts our attics and only comes out at night
d. Someone we should ignore
e. All of the above

3. Which of the following is NOT a fruit of the Spirit?
a. Love
b. Joy
c. Peace
d. Patience
e. Kindness
f. Goodness
g. Faithfulness
h. Gentleness
i. Self-control
j. Bananas

4. Which would you rather have more of in your life: the fruit of the sinful nature (hatred, jealousy, discord, etc.) or the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, etc.)?
a. The fruit of the sinful nature — I love being miserable and despised
b. The fruit of the Spirit

5. In John 15, God is the gardener, Jesus is the vine and we are the branches. In that picture, what is the Holy Spirit like?
a. Pesticide
b. The dirt
c. A cute little bunny hopping to and fro
d. Sap running through the branches, helping them produce good fruit

6. True or False: Christians should be grumpy, grimace and grit their teeth a lot as they serve God.
a. True
b. False — joy is a fruit of the Spirit

7. Complete this phrase: Blessed are the _______________.
a. Cheesemakers
b. Pacemakers
c. Green Bay Packers
d. Peacemakers

8. Christians should be faithful even to the point of ___________.
a. Mild discomfort
b. Embarrassment
c. Potentially negative financial consequences
d. Death

9. True or False: It’s OK for Christians to yell at telemarketers and/or customer service reps on the phone.
a. True
b. False — we should let our gentleness be evident to all

10. Which of the following is NOT a spiritual gift?
a. Serving
b. Teaching
c. Administration
d. Encouragement
e. Excellent karaoke skills

EXTRA CREDIT: What happens to trees that don’t bear good fruit?
a. Nothing — all trees and fruit are basically good
b. They wither, die and are reincarnated as ugly shrubs
c. They’re ground into paper pulp and turned into church bulletins
d. They’re cut down and thrown into the fire

Answers:  1(e), 2(e), 3(j), 4(b), 5(d), 6(b), 7(d), 8(d), 9(b), 10(e), EC(d)

I hope you enjoyed the past two Spirit-filled weeks. Always remember . . .

KEEP IN STEP WITH THE SPIRIT

Question of the Week: How to Live

Send your deepest, thorniest, most mind-boggling Bible questions to getupwithgod1@yahoo.com and I’ll do my very best to answer ’em in 100 words or less.

Here’s this week’s question . . .

I like to keep things simple, straightforward and practical. What exactly does the Bible say about how Christians should live?

Great question. Here’s one take from the Apostle Paul:

Be joyful always:
pray continually;
give thanks in all circumstances,
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Do not put out the Spirit’s fire;
do not treat prophecies with contempt.
Test everything.
Hold on to the good.
Avoid every kind of evil.
(1 Thessalonians 5:16-22)

Here’s another:

So I say, live by the Spirit . . .
the fruit of the Spirit is
love,
joy,
peace,
patience,
kindness,
goodness,
faithfulness,
gentleness and
self-control.
(Galatians 5:16a, 22-23a)

Here it is in 3 little words . . .

LIVE
LIKE
JESUS

Christianity in a Nutshell

I have been crucified with Christ
and I no longer live,
but Christ lives in me.
The life I live in the body,
I live by faith in the Son of God,
who loved me and gave himself for me.
(Galatians 2:20)

Stop whatever you’re doing right now and memorize this verse. Then get out there and live it.

LIVE BY FAITH IN JESUS

Christianity In a Nutshell

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

Stop whatever you’re doing right now and memorize this verse. Meditate on it. Live it.

LIVE BY FAITH IN JESUS

Spirit Week

And I will ask the Father and He will give you another counselor to be with you forever. (John 14:16)

This week we’ll focus on one of the most important but misunderstood (at least by me) topics in the Bible: The Holy Spirit.

Some quick facts to get us started . . .

The Holy Spirit is a person. It’s critical to understand that the Holy Spirit is a person — not an “it” or some impersonal force that we can manipulate. He has a mind (Romans 8:27), emotions (Ephesians 4:30) and will (1 Corinthians 12:11).

The Holy Spirit is God. He’s part of the Trinity, along with the Father and Jesus (Ephesians 4:30). He’s omnipresent, eternal and loves us more than we can possibly imagine.

What does the Holy Spirit do? The Father sent the Holy Spirit to help us live the Christian life. The Holy Spirit lives in us (1 Corinthians 6:19). He guides (John 16:13), teaches (John 15:26), leads (Romans 8:14), warns (Acts 20:23), assures (Romans 8:16), helps (Romans 8:26), convicts (John 16:8-11), gives us spiritual birth (John 3:5), prays for us (Romans 8:26) and makes us holy (1 Corinthians 6:11).

What do we do? That’s the simple part: just let Him fill you. Here are two of my all-time favorite verses:

  • “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.” (Ephesians 5:18)
  • “You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you.” (Romans 8:9)

The Christian life isn’t a formula — it’s a relationship. Don’t go it alone. Get to know the Holy Spirit. Talk to Him. Let Him teach you and guide you. Ask Him to fill every nook and cranny of your life — your thoughts, emotions, work and relationships — so that His love can flow out of you and into the world around you.

BE FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT