Did you know that Starbucks is dropping the word “Starbuck” from it logo. This is happening in time for its 40th anniversary in March. A company spokesperson observed that people can now recognize the logo without the words. It was stated that the new logo is a “metaphor for the company dropping the boundaries of itsown business and growing into new areas.” Being associated only with coffee is to confining and restrictive. The idea is to keep selling experience with coffee being only a part of the experience.
As I read that article I was preparing my sermon for last Sunday. The text for last Sunday, which was the Baptism of Our Lord, was from Matt 3:13-17. It is the story of Jesus’ baptism. I made the point that there is nothing restricting about the way of Jesus. If our spiritual life seems restrictive, not giving us life and energy to live for God, we have misunderstood the nature of the gospel. The same Holy Spirit that came upon Jesus that day, is the same Spirit that fills us with the presence of God when we put our trust in Jesus
I kept thinking about men who read this blog site. The text declares that in Jesus all righteousness in being fulfilled. The message puts it this way, “God’s work, putting things right all these centuries, is coming together now in this baptism.” All the preparations that God had made for us to enter into abundant life was now going to be fulfilled when Jesus entered into his baptism experience. It as after he came up out of the water that he was himself was baptized with the Holy Spirit. Mark tells us, “As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove” (Mark 1:10). Matthew tells us that, “at that moment heaven was opened.”
The implication from the baptism of Jesus is that heaven was opening up in a new way. God was now becoming involved in the lives of his people in a new way. Jesus, John tells us, would now be the one who would baptism us with the same Holy Spirit. The very presence of God would now take up residence in our lives. Peter in his sermon recalls Jesus baptism, remembering, “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him” (Acts 10:38). That same power for doing good could now reside in each of us.
One of the continually questions men ask in the secret place of the heart is, “Do I have what it takes?” This question causes a lot of men to stand on the sidelines, living a passive and silent life spiritually. They so often think that the spirituality of their wives is much more affective then their own. But the good news from this text is that we have been given in the person of the Holy Spirit that very presence of God. Jesus baptizes in the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. When we put our trust in him, he will carry us through, giving all we need through the work of His Spirit in us. So don’t restrict your spiritual life and practice. Turn your heart to heaven, asking Jesus to come a fill you will all you need for the journey. All the requirements have been met. Our posture is that of being able to receive what is being given.