RSS

Tag Archives: Spirit

The Promise of the Holy Spirit

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.

14For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. 15For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him. 18I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us. 19For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; 20for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; 23and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. 24For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? 25But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. 26Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. 27And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. 29For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn within a large family. 30And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified. 31What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else? 33Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us. 35Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Acts 2:1-4; Romans 8:14-39, NRSV)

We have been given a spirit of adoption. We once were left to our own, struggling to keep our head above water, but now we have been adopted and pulled up. We do not need to be slaves of sin anymore, for now, we are children of God.

In hope, we have been saved by God and called heirs of his kingdom. We didn’t do anything to earn the inheritance, but it was freely given to us.

So we hope in the promise, know that God is good to the promise, and we will be in the family.

We were promised the Spirit and God did not disappoint in sending us the advocate and our helper, and we can rest assured that the hope of our inheritance is true and will be with God in the kingdom as co-heirs with Christ.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Peace and Hope

28For we hold that a person is justified by faith apart from works prescribed by the law. 29Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30since God is one; and he will justify the circumcised on the ground of faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith.

Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand, and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. 3And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. 6For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. 8But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.9Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God. 10For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more surely, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life.11But more than that, we even boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. (Romans 3:28-30, 5:1-11, NRSV)

We are justified by faith. But being justified does not mean we will be free from suffering, but we can take hold of peace that comes from knowing we can hold to the promises of the justification we have.

But we can boast also in our suffering for God, because as Paul tells the Romans, “suffering produces endurance and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.” God has poured His love into our lives through the Holy Spirit. We are saved from the wrath that God would have given us and we deserve because while we still deserved that wrath and were not able to stand in the presence of God, Jesus came and died for each of us. Jesus reconciled us when we did not deserve reconciliation. That is how he wants each of us to live. To show His love to all of the world. not based on who deserves it because none of us did, but just give love, and the fountain will continue to fill out hearts.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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!

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Herod vs. the Church, part 3

12 As soon as he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose other name was Mark, where many had gathered and were praying. 13When he knocked at the outer gate, a maid named Rhoda came to answer. 14On recognizing Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed that, instead of opening the gate, she ran in and announced that Peter was standing at the gate. 15They said to her, ‘You are out of your mind!’ But she insisted that it was so. They said, ‘It is his angel.’ 16Meanwhile, Peter continued knocking; and when they opened the gate, they saw him and were amazed. 17He motioned to them with his hand to be silent, and described for them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he added, ‘Tell this to James and to the believers.’ Then he left and went to another place. 18 When morning came, there was no small commotion among the soldiers over what had become of Peter. 19When Herod had searched for him and could not find him, he examined the guards and ordered them to be put to death. Then he went down from Judea to Caesarea and stayed there. (Acts 12:12-19, NRSV)

We all know that Peter is in jail so there is no way he is at the gate. You are out of your mind.

But then they looked at the gate and it was Peter and he explained what had happened and told them to tell the others.

Has this ever happened to you or someone you know? Something that shouldn’t be happening is.

God does it all the time. All we have to do is believe!

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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!

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Devoted to Prayer

12Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away. 13When they had entered the city, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying, Peter, and John, and James, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. 14All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers. (Acts 1:12-14, NRSV)

After Jesus ascended into heaven the disciples and certain women went back to Jerusalem and went to the room upstairs where they were staying, was this the room where they ate the last supper with Jesus, and they devoted themselves there to prayer.

They had communication with God and each other and devoted their lives to this. Prayer is not an individual conversation but is conversation, it is open and honest about life. I wonder at what the prayer conversation was in this upper room, and how inspiring the spirit was moving in this group of people.

How can we have that fire and spark in our lives?

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

A Promised Hope, part 1

A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide by what his ears hear; but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist, and faithfulness the belt around his loins. The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze, their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den. They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain; for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. (Isaiah 11:1-9, NRSV)

Have you ever seen a new tree growing out of a dead stump? It is the miraculous way that life finds a way…

And in that life, there will be the spirit of the Lord. And it shall bring wisdom and understanding, might and counsel, knowledge and awe.

The awe of the Lord will be the best part of it. And you may now be saying why are you saying awe when the reading says fear?

Well fear carries a connotation of being afraid. And that is not always what biblical fear means. Fear in the bible can mean awe. Like I want my children to like me, but respect me, I want them to fear me but not be afraid of me, I want them to understand that I am their father and love them, but that there will be consequences for unwanted actions. So awe not fear…

And this shoot will judge without using their eyes or their ears. They will judge as God does by looking beyond what we can see and what we can hear to understanding the internal motivations of a person. That is our hope. That the king will be like God and see us as God sees us.

So do you have awe for God and Jesus?

Do you wonder at the love God has for you and share that with the world?

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,