Friday, October 21, 2011

By His Power

“‘Not my might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,’”

says the LORD Almighty. Zechariah 4:6(NIV)

What does it take to survive in difficult times? The world says a person has to be physically strong; it also leads us to believe that we need to be rich-at least well-heeled. When I was in junior high school, we read about how people reacted to the crash of the stock market in 1929. That scene came to my mind on September 11, 2001. In 1929 the people seemed to not have any hope. In 2001, the people were trying to reach safety.

God tells us that we can accomplish things of lasting value only when we have His Spirit. What can we do to receive it? We can ask for Him to send His Spirit to us.

Once we receive God’s Holy Spirit, He becomes boss over our lives. At the bottom of the church bulletins in our yoked ministry churches, the following sentence is printed: “This service is subject to change by direction of the Holy Spirit.” We have seen this happen several times.

I once heard a pastor’s wife ask us what our world would look like if we listened to and obeyed the Holy Spirit in our daily living. Would any of us be able to commit to something so bold? One of the classic Christian books of all times, “In His Steps, What Would Jesus Do” by Charles M. Sheldon, deals with this issue of allowing Jesus and the Holy Spirit rule our lives.

Can you remember a time when you didn’t listen to or obey God’s Holy Spirit? I know I can. All we can do when we realize what we have done is to prayerfully ask for forgiveness and He will.

Dear Lord:

Please help us to sort out our lives and live for You with the help of the Holy Spirit. Help us to remain true to Your teachings and model our beliefs and Your ways before others. We will give You the praise. In the name of Jesus I pray. AMEN

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Counselor Testifies

I'm Waiting for a breakthrough.

“When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you

from the Father, the Spirit of Truth goes out from the Father,

he will testify about me.” John 15:26 (NIV)

These words of Jesus explain the purpose of the Counselor. We learned, in John 14:16-18, He comes because Jesus sends Him. This Counselor comes to bear witness about Jesus.

The third person of the Trinity does the work of sustaining us of in our Christian walk while we are in this world.

When God speaks to us, it is through this Spirit of Truth. This Spirit guides us through each of our days, speaks to our hearts, and comforts us when we need Him.

Our Father told us through Moses that he would never leave us or forsake us. (Deuteronomy 31:6, 8) He promised Joshua to always be there for him (Joshua 1:5), as Joshua led the Israelites into the Promised Land.

I recently learned something about myself. I am not proud of this. I know this fact came to me from God. Before, when I looked at this particular situation, I made excuses for my lack of activity in this one area of life. I have to work on this. I believe that with God’s help I can correct this shortcoming. But, I know I have to do my part in making the change.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Holy Spirit Empowers

God speaks and the Holy Spirit comes to Jesus after he was baptized.

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit

comes on you and you will be my witnesses

in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria,

and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8 (NIV)

Several years ago, a man at our former church used this verse as a way to instill interest in missions in our youth. He equated Jerusalem to our city, our neighborhood, or our part of town. He likened Judea and Samaria to our state or our region. He explained the phrase, ‘to the ends of the earth.’ as the work done worldwide.

Recently, as I prepared to work on this blog entry, I paused at the phrase, in all Judea and Samaria. “In Samaria?” I thought. That’s the region Jesus and all the Jews tried to bypass in their travels. The Jewish people believed they were the ‘chosen ones of God.’ Yes, they were and still are. But in Biblical times, they acted haughty about it. They considered the Samaritans inferior because some of ‘their’ people intermarried with inhabitants of that region.

The first Century Christians received the promised Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Because of this they were able to carry the message of God to all they met. From the world they experienced persecution. Because they had the Helper promised by Jesus Christ, their numbers grew.

*Is there a Samaria in our lives?

*Is there something we don’t believe we can do for the LORD?

*Is it something we don’t feel equipped to do?

*Or is it something that scares us when we think about it?

I believe, if we were honest, we would all say, “Yes.” I learned we can trust God’s Holy Spirit to lead us through these feelings of fear into a place where we can work for Him and help enlarge His Kingdom.

Dear Lord: We look to You for guidance. We lean on You for strength. Please help us as we decide on how to approach our personal Samaria, whether physical, mental or emotional. In the name of Jesus, we pray. AMEN

Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...