Today I praise the Lord that I ended work early and after some time of prayer , a usual part of my daily routine, I felt prompted to go for a jog after a long time inspired by the following text from Isaiah 40:28-31 “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless. Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”
I remembered a time about 6 years ago when I started this deepening of life to take up the challenge of daily reading of the Bible, and spending more time with the Lord. I was inspired by an idea that as a person forgiven by the Lord, a repentant sinner and friend of the Lord, you should enjoy your walk with the Lord and enjoy your jogs and swims with Him, for He gives you His love and grace which are your strength to conquer fortresses of doubt, sin and selfishness.
A sign of a person deepening his or her experience of the Lord’s salvation and one’s conversion is being filled with the Holy Spirit. For our Lord Jesus Christ did tell his disciples in John 16:26-27 “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf. You also are to testify because you have been with me from the beginning.”
The evidence that a man or woman, boy or girl is alive in the Spirit, is when she or he can witness by the Holy Spirit that Jesus Christ is Lord and the only Begotten Son of God who has risen from the dead and lives forever because He is the Saviour sent by God the Father to be our Resurrection and our Life. This is only the beginning of a deeper walk with the Lord, but a definite part of the call of all Christians regardless of Catholic, Protestant or Orthodox, for all disciples of Jesus Christ must be ready to witness for the Lord. The sign of conversion is certain when friends and family begin to see signs of love, joy, peace and holiness (set apart for the Lord), humility, increase in Faith and Hope because the person feels loved by Jesus and the Father.
We see this in the conversion of Lydia and her household amongst the new converts of Macedonia whose hearts were opened by the Holy Spirit such that they were receptive to the message of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ preached by St. Paul, St. Silas and St. Timothy and their tracelling companions in Acts 16:15 “When she and her household were baptised, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come and stay at my home.” And she prevailed upon us.”
Conversion in one’s life is evident in one’s household, and a sign of this is gratitude to the Lord and the brethren. Conversion is an ongoing process, it begins with God’s love for us in Creation and then through Salvation when He sent His Son to save us and it continues in the Church, where we are taught and reminded to love and care for all peoples regardless of background or belief, because God loves all men and women and wants to save them all through His Son Jesus Christ the Lord.
I rejoice in the Lord as I know every day is a gift from Him, as in Psalm 117(118):24 “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Remember the Lord loves each and every one of you, and He cares about every detail in your life and He wants to help you be the best He made you to be for He says in Jeremiah 29:11 “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future of hope.”
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.