i will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls. if i love you more, am i to be loved less? [2 cor 12:15]


we are constantly calculating cost. with a husband who works in finance, and a good number of mouths to feed, i hear a lot about what investments in life are worthwhile and which ones need to move to the back burner. we do this with all of our resources, though, not just our money. we assess the choices we need to make according to how much time it will cost, how much effort, commitment, or mental energy. maybe even how much pride it will cost, or status. we evaluate sometimes without even thinking about it what we will gain in return for these costs. will it benefit our status, our position at work, or our pride? will our family gain from it? how much pleasure will we receive? how much comfort? how much control?

but i love God’s math. we spend and we are filled. we give love, but we are not drained of it. we pour out grace and mercy because our cup of grace and mercy are overflowing. why does it work this way? because God is doing the spending, the giving, and the pouring. these are not things we do in our own flesh. and when we do, we become exhausted, frustrated, bitter, and burnt out. but when the spirit is working through us, he is our strength, our joy, our perseverance, our satisfaction in the sacrifice. and he accomplishes such great things…


in the Spirit, Jesus brings justice to the nations-

behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations. [isaiah 42:1]


in the Spirit, God’s rebellious people received rest-

like livestock that go down into the valley, the Spirit of the Lord gave them rest. so you led your people, to make for yourself a glorious name. [isaiah 63:14]


in the Spirit, mary gave birth to the Son of God-

when his mother mary had been betrothed to joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. [matthew 1:18]


in the Spirit, Jesus successfully battled temptation-

then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. [matthew 4:1]


in the Spirit, the disciples (including us) withstand persecution- 

and when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. [mark 13:11]


in the Spirit, God’s children can interpret scripture-

but the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. [john 14:26]


in the Spirit, God’s children are given spiritual gifts to bring God glory-

and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. [acts 2:4]


in the Spirit, stephen died a martyr’s death-

but he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. [acts 7:55]


in the Spirit, elders can care for God’s church-

pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. [acts 20:28]


in the Spirit, God’s elect walk in the righteousness of Christ-

in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. [romans 8:4]


church, look what God can do through the weakest of men by the power of his Spirit! we can be spent, pour out love, give graciously, and end up full, satisfied, and renewed. what is the God leading you to do in the power of his Spirit today? come before him and ask. submit, and obey in the power of the Holy Spirit. you will be filled with the sweetness of his love and glory, ready to give it out again.


~arwen eastman