“Do Not Make the Holy Spirit Sad”

30 And do not make the Holy Spirit sad. The Spirit is God’s proof that you belong to him. God gave you the Spirit to show that God will make you free when the final day comes. — Eph. 4:30 NCV

Ephesians 4:25-30 NCV

Maybe because His name is Holy Spirit we tend not to think of Him as a person.  But the third person of the Trinity is just as much a person and just as much God as Jesus, the second person and God the first person.  Each has a different office and duty but they are One and the Same.  When we ignore God or reject Jesus, we are doing the same thing to the Holy Spirit.  When we grieve God, we cause sadness in the whole Godhead.  When we are obedient and faithful, we bring joy to the Trinity.  There is a person living inside of every Christian who feels grief, sadness, pain and joy just as we feel those things.  None of us like to be ignored, neither does He.  How long would a friendship last if we walked with a human friend 24/7 and never acknowledged his/her presence or spoke to them?  What if we never invited them to join in our conversations and our mealtimes?  What if, for all practical purposes, our words and actions denied that we had a friend with us?  Yet, hour after hour, we treat the Holy Spirit exactly this way.  We deny that He is within us by our actions but more often by our lack of actions.  How many times and places do we have an opportunity to introduce our Friend but we don’t?  How many times does He asks us to introduce Him by that little nudge we feel but we won’t?  If we say that we have never felt that nudge, what does that say about our relationship with our Friend?  Let us all pray that the next time we feel that nudge, we will have the boldness to introduce Him to our other friends and acquaintances.

“The closer I get to the end of my life, it seems the only question that matters, Is the life I am living pleasing to God?” – Ken Gire In “Sacred”

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 03-02-2019

Fervent, Powerful Prayer

The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. — James 5:16b NLT

James 5:13-18 NLT

As small tots and children, we were taught prayers word for word.  There were prayers to say before the meals we ate and prayers to say before we went to bed at night.  These are wonderful experiences and great memories. But just as we moved from the “Dick and Jane” books, there comes a time when our prayers should become more personal.  We are still presenting the same issues to God but now instead of rote memory, they should be from a heart that understands and knows that God not only hears our prayers but He answers them.  Most of us may have had more faith that God would answer our prayers then than we do now.  Those were prayers from innocent hearts and minds.  Now, we have a lifetime of sins and doubts to overcome.  But God is still the same God we prayed to when we were children and we must approach Him with that same childlike faith.  We must become as little children in the Kingdom of God.  Part of that process is to understand that all of our sins have been washed away by the blood of Jesus.  God sees each of us as the righteousness of Christ.  So, when we pray let us believe that we are righteous people, that God hears our prayers and  that our prayers do have great power.  Not because of us, but because of Jesus and His work that He finished at the cross.  We can know that our prayers have great power because Jesus is at the right hand of the Father praying with us and the Holy Spirit is praying through us and for us.

Romans 8:26, 27 NLT

“The closer I get to the end of my life, it seems the only question that matters, Is the life I am living pleasing to God?” – Ken Gire In “Sacred”

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous 

Post 02-22-2019

The Great Commission-Part 2

19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.– Matt. 28:19 NLT

The Great Commission

In yesterday’s reading, we thought about how we might have reacted to the instructions of Jesus to “go and make disciples of all the nations”.  The important part for us in any work in which God asks us to participate is to agree and believe.  How do we get to that point?  We start by remembering that God never asks us to do anything that He has not prepared us to do and that He is ready to provide everything we need to complete the work. Look at the training that Jesus had given the disciples.  They had had three years of walking and talking with Him on a daily basis, observing Him as He interacted with people on all levels of society and healing them.  In today’s society, that would probably qualify them for a doctorate degree in Christianity.  God had used the evil Romans to build the roads necessary and to make the country safe enough to travel.  He had sent the disciples out once before with absolutely nothing but the clothes on their back and the sandals on their feet.  They had passed the survival test then and they would again.  When God calls us to participate in His Kingdom work, He just wants us to agree and be available,  He provides everything else.  So when you feel that little nudge, don’t doubt, don’t fear, don’t be a Zechariah and get struck dumb for nine months, be a Mary and become “blessed above all”

.Luke 1:39-42 NLT

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 02-03-2019

“Lay Up Treasures In Heaven”

14 Through Christ Jesus, God has blessed the Gentiles with the same blessing he promised to Abraham, so that we who are believers might receive the promised Holy Spirit through faith. — Galatians 3:14 NLT

Galatians 3:13-18 NLT

God blessed Abram with abundant natural blessings and changed his name to Abraham.  What did Abraham do to deserve these blessings?  He did nothing to earn them. Blessings are gifts from God, they are not rewards for good works. We can never do enough or be good enough to earn blessings from God.  The greatest blessing we receive is salvation.  That gift is free and cannot be earned. Since the greatest gift of all was freely given, why do we feel that we have to earn the lesser gifts?  The blessings come because of God’s great love for us and His covenant promise to Abraham that all nations would be blessed through his seed (or child), not seeds or children.  It is singular meaning only one and that one is Jesus Christ.  So, all of our blessings come through Jesus Christ and because He gave His life for us at Calvary.  The debt was paid in full for all  the blessings we receive.   If good works can earn salvation or any blessing then Jesus Christ died in vain. The good works are to lay up rewards in heaven and to earn crowns that we can lay at the feet of Jesus.  Good works are a part of our worship here on earth.  The rewards we receive for those good works are laid up in heaven and will be used to worship Jesus there.  The blessings we receive here are a taste of what is to come and to encourage us to continue and never turn back

Treasures In Heaven

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 01-11-2018

Be Continually Filled With the Holy Spirit

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17 ‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on everyone.
Your sons and your daughters will prophesy,
    your young men will see visions,
        and your old men will dream dreams.
​- Acts 2:17 ISV​


The pouring out of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost was a beginning of the fulfillment of this prophesy from Joel in the Old Testament.  God continues to pour out His Spirit on His people even today.  This will continue until Jesus returns to take all of His children home.  Then the Holy Spirit will be removed from the earth and satan will reign. When will this be?  Only God the Father knows.  If we are saved, it doesn’t really matter when it happens, we will be ready.   What does matter is how we spend our time until then.  When we accepted Jesus, we were saved and we are still saved.  Works will not make us more saved, they are an outward sign of who we serve as Master and Lord. The works we do here are also how we earn our rewards in heaven.  We are not to live as we used to live, but through the direction of the Holy Spirit and studying of God’s Word, we are to determine those things that please God and do those things only.  When we see sinful things going on, we are to expose them, not participate in them. We must learn to live wisely and not as fools. We are to spend our time, not in grumbling, whining and complaining, but in joyfully serving the Lord doing everything He asks us to do wherever He has planted us.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 11-25-2018

The Guide and Teacher Arrives

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They saw tongues like flames of fire that separated, and one rested on each of them.  – ACTS 2:3 ISV
 
 
Pentecost is the Greek name for Shavout (Hebrew for “Weeks”).  Shavout was the celebration for the giving of the law to Moses at Mount Sinai.  That occurred fifty days after the Passover in Egypt.  It was now the fiftieth day since the Passover had been celebrated in Jerusalem.  The Holy Spirit was given at this time confirming the New Covenant of Grace and the beginning of what we call the “church” age.  When the Bible says that we can do nothing without Jesus (John 15:5) but we can do all things through Christ (Phil 4:13), the verses are referring to the strength and direction that we receive from the Holy Spirit who abides in us.  He gives us the words to say and the ability to say those words.  We need to make plans, study and be prepared to always give a reason for our hope in Jesus Christ, (1 Peter 3:13), but we should always be flexible enough to make an adjustment in our plans.  Why?  Because we can’t plan for every conceivable event but the Holy Spirit can and does.  It is He Who will give us the exact words to speak and the strength to speak them in any situation. (Luke 12: 11-12).  Just be obedient and trust the Holy Spirit for strength and safety.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 11-24-2018

“Devote Ourselves to Good”

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This saying is trustworthy. I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have put their faith in God may devote themselves to good actions. These things are good and helpful to other people. ​- Titus 3:8 ISV​
Paul started chapter three by asking Titus to remind the church at Crete of certain things, such as  ”be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.”  In verses 2 and 3 ,he reminds them of how they used to act and in verses 4-9, he tells them why they should act differently now and in the future.  They have been saved from the wrath to come, redeemed from their sins and justified by the grace of God.  They are now heirs of God with the hope of eternal life. The same is true for us today. Because God has placed the Holy Spirit in us as an earnest of this hope, we can be sure of its fulfillment. These things still need to be stressed in today’s world, so that we will also devote ourselves to “doing what is good”.   Jesus said that He did the works of the Father and in the book of Acts, we read this verse:

38 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 

So, “doing what is good” means to follow the example of what Jesus did while He was here on earth. The “works of the Father” are accomplished by living a lifestyle modeled after Jesus. A list of “works” would be very long but would definitely include witnessing and disciplining. We can’t do these works alone but, just as Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit and power, so are we.
Ask God today, what “good works” He has planned and purposed for your life. Then be obedient in following the leadership of the Holy Spirit in accomplishing those “good works” . Do not become disappointed if you don’t see immediate results. Just remember three things:
1. Not everyone accepted the message when Jesus gave it, so not everyone will accept it from you.
2. We are not responsible for the results, that is the work of the Holy Spirit.
3. Wherever we are and whatever we are doing, we are witnessing for good or for evil, which one will we choose?
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 07-24-2018