Thought of the Day October 9, 2017 Separation and prioritization

By 9:48 AM

To disciple one into the full life of the Spirit involves separation and prioritization. The cross defines each. When we are baptized in water this separation includes the death of the old self so that the new self can live in Christ. The old self steeped in sin, unable of itself to break this bondage, is gratuitously freed by the death and resurrection of Jesus. From that point on we are called to make intentional that which was made explicit in our lives. We are to choose more and more to separate ourselves from sin no matter the cost. This separation of ourselves from sin becomes more actual when we develop a true abhorrence of sin, as we view sin more and more as God does. As sin is abominable to God, so it becomes to us as we grow in God's life after baptism in water.

Baptism in the Spirit brings about a deeper separation. On our own we can do nothing. Only in the power of the Spirit do we have the means to overcome the shortcomings of our human limitations. Only in the power of the Spirit can we extend the boundaries of our tent pegs. Only in the power of the Spirit do we have the gifts of knowledge, wisdom and understanding to perceive things beyond our rational abilities.

The Baptism in fire brings about another separation within us. "Whoever loves father or mother, son or daughter, more than me is not worthy of me. He who will not take up his cross and come after me is not worthy of me" (Mt 10:37-38). Jesus is speaking of the separation of affections, not that we are not to love those closest to us, but that not even these can be first in our lives. Only Jesus is to be the Lord and prime focus.

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