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Tag Archives: Holy Spirit

On the Road…with Timothy

Paul went on also to Derbe and to Lystra, where there was a disciple named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer; but his father was a Greek. 2He was well spoken of by the believers in Lystra and Iconium. 3Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him; and he took him and had him circumcised because of the Jews who were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. 4As they went from town to town, they delivered to them for observance the decisions that had been reached by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem. 5So the churches were strengthened in the faith and increased in numbers daily. 6 They went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. 7When they had come opposite Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them; 8so, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas. 9During the night Paul had a vision: there stood a man of Macedonia pleading with him and saying, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us.’ 10When he had seen the vision, we immediately tried to cross over to Macedonia, being convinced that God had called us to proclaim the good news to them. (Acts 16:1-10, NRSV)

I wonder as I read this, “How were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to not speak in Asia, and how did the Spirit not allow them to go to Bithynia?”

Have you ever wanted to go somewhere or do something, and circumstances lined up that you couldn’t do that? Just plans don’t work out or something better comes up?

Sometimes we think the plans we have for our lives are the best thing that could ever happen. But then the Spirit steps in and doesn’t allow what we want to happen and shows us the life that God has planned for us. I

If we can allow the Spirit to be our cruise director, we will have a great ride through life!

 

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Pentecost

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.3Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. 5Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. 6And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each.7Amazed and astonished, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? 9Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.” 12All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13But others sneered and said, “They are filled with new wine.” 14But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. 15Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. 16No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: 17‘In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. (Acts 2:1-17, NRSV)

This reading has always baffled me. Because I can understand it 2 different ways.

When the disciples spoke, did they speak in the other languages, or did those who spoke other languages just hear the disciples speaking in their language? The text is unclear to me which way it is. But in the end, does it really matter?

You see the miracle here is that the disciples spoke and everyone understood. Language was no longer a barrier to telling the good news of Jesus. Communication was not the issue. When has communication not been the issue?

So know that we can actually communicate and God will make it happen!

 

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Words and Deeds

22Then they brought to him a demoniac who was blind and mute; and he cured him, so that the one who had been mute could speak and see. 23All the crowds were amazed and said, “Can this be the Son of David?” 24But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons, that this fellow casts out the demons.” 25He knew what they were thinking and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand.26If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then will his kingdom stand? 27If I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your own exorcists cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges.28But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come to you. 29Or how can one enter a strong man’s house and plunder his property, without first tying up the strong man? Then indeed the house can be plundered. 30Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. 31Therefore I tell you, people will be forgiven for every sin and blasphemy, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. 33“Either make the tree good, and its fruit good; or make the tree bad, and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit. 34You brood of vipers! How can you speak good things, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. 35The good person brings good things out of a good treasure, and the evil person brings evil things out of an evil treasure. 36I tell you, on the day of judgment you will have to give an account for every careless word you utter; 37for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:22-37, NRSV)

This passage gives us the unforgivable sin, blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, or speaking against the Holy Spirit.

What is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit? Well, Merriam-Webster Online defines blasphemy as “the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God”. So it is insulting the Holy Spirit or showing contempt for the Holy Spirit,

And how does one do this? By saying that someone casts out demons by the devil, and not the Holy Spirit. By saying that something was done by someone or thing other than God.

So what does God do and are any of us really safe from blasphemy of the Holy Spirit?

All of our words and deeds should point others to God and the love that is there for all of us, and if we are not doing that, we may be showing contempt for the Holy Spirit. Our words and deeds can not earn us grace, but they can keep others from seeing the love God has for them.

 

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Saul Escapes from the Jews

After some time had passed, the Jews plotted to kill him, but their plot became known to Saul. They were watching the gates day and night so that they might kill him; but his disciples took him by night and let him down through an opening in the wall, lowering him in a basket. When he had come to Jerusalem, he attempted to join the disciples; and they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took him, brought him to the apostles, and described for them how on the road he had seen the Lord, who had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had spoken boldly in the name of Jesus. So he went in and out among them in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord. He spoke and argued with the Hellenists; but they were attempting to kill him. When the believers learned of it, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus. Meanwhile the church throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and was built up. Living in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers. (Acts 9:23-31, NRSV)

Saul just went from being the man every follower of Jesus despised and stayed away from, to Saul being the most wanted man by the high council.

That escalated rather quickly I think.

But that is exactly how God works.

You see. God can instantly take your heart and change it and set you on fire with the Holy Spirit and send you out to tell the world about His love.

Making those that despised you still afraid and those that were for you wonder what happened.

God works in mysterious ways. Just hold on and enjoy the ride!

 

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The World’s Hatred

”If the world hates you, be aware that it hated me before it hated you. If you belonged to the world, the world would love you as its own. Because you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world—therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘Servants are not greater than their master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you; if they kept my word, they will keep yours also. But they will do all these things to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin.Whoever hates me hates my Father also. If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not have sin. But now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. It was to fulfill the word that is written in their law, ‘They hated me without a cause.’ ”When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf. You also are to testify because you have been with me from the beginning.” I have said these things to you to keep you from stumbling. They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, an hour is coming when those who kill you will think that by doing so they are offering worship to God. And they will do this because they have not known the Father or me. But I have said these things to you so that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you about them. (John 15:18-16:4a, NRSV)

You are to testify to the truth. And know in speaking the truth there will be those that hate you because of your testimony to Jesus. But Jesus has called us and sends us to testify.

He has sent us into the world to tell the truth if His love for all the world. And because the world hated Him, we will also see hatred. But be of good cheer for He is always with us.

We belong to God and He is always with us. So go knowing it won’t be easy, but also knowing that you do not go alone.

 

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The Promise of the Holy Spirit

”If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you. ”I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.” Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will reveal yourself to us, and not to the world?” Jesus answered him, “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me. ” I have said these things to you while I am still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I am coming to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you this before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe. I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no power over me; but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us be on our way. (John 14:15-31, NRSV)

I am going away but I will never leave you.

Jesus promised that the Spirit of Truth would come and live in every person who listened to God and did what He told them to do.

We are not to be troubled or fearful of heart for God will always be with us!

Rejoice that Jesus returned to the Father and the Spirit of Truth came to us. And know that we will never be alone.

 

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you are my witnesses

Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy; and they were continually in the temple blessing God. (Luke 24:44-53, NRSV)

You are witnesses to these things, and I am giving you what my Father has promised, so wait until you have been clothed with power from on high!

You will receive the Holy Spirit, and she will lead you in all joy to be my witness to the ends of the world.

The Holy Spirit will give you power and be with you.

The Holy Spirit will never leave you and give you the words to speak.

My Father and your Father has promised the Holy Spirit, so the Spirit will be with you and guide you.

Trust in the promise, and know you are never alone!

 

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