Thursday, March 23, 2023

Casteel: growth in grace

Thursday, March 23, 2023
    While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.
    The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus.
    —Acts 13:2-4 (NIV)
    Above all, the group must keep remembering that true growth in grace is not to be achieved by our own efforts or contriving, but must be received as the gift of God’s Spirit, working in, and among, us. The work of the group is to keep open the channels of receptiveness through study, discipline, prayer, and self-offering... When a group learns to live in this faith, it can keep the lines of endeavor tentative and sensitive to new headings and possibilities, on the one hand; and on the other, move forward resolutely under such light as is now given.
    ... John L. Casteel (1903-1993/5), Spiritual Renewal through Personal Groups, NY: Association Press, 1957, p. 195 (see the book)
    See also Acts 13:2-4; Lev. 26:12; Luke 11:13; John 16:13; Acts 15:28; Rom. 8:9-10; 1 Cor. 3:16; Eph. 1:13-14; 2:8-9; Phil. 2:5-7; Heb. 6:1-3
Quiet time reflection:
    Am I open to the Spirit’s guidance?
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