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January 28th, 2010

A Spirit-powered message

Holy Spirit Dove Fire

My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power. — 1 Corinthians 2:4-5

When the good news of Jesus is preached, the Holy Spirit is at work making the message powerful.

This may refer to miracles accompanying the preaching of the message of Jesus (Hebrews 2:1-4). However, in this context, Paul is primarily focusing upon a greater truth. While the message of a crucified Savior doesn’t appear to be wise and persuasive by human standards of wisdom (1 Cor. 1:18; 2:1-3), the Holy Spirit is active in the telling of the story of Jesus so it has inexplicable power to reach into our hearts and call us to Jesus.

For those of us who know the Holy Spirit, this power is not inexplicable; it is a reminder of God’s grace to not only give us the gift of Jesus, but also the gift of the Holy Spirit to help us understand the gift of Jesus!

Prayer : Words cannot express, dear Father, how precious your love is to me. I realize that everything that I am and have in Jesus is the result of your grace. I believe that my future is secure because of that grace and because of the blessed Holy Spirit who is in me, and who helps convict, correct, and console me. I thank you for such grace in the name of Jesus. Amen.

January 25th, 2010

God-breathed or Spirit-inspired Scripture

God-breathed or Spirit-inspired Bible

But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you. You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus.

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work. – (2 Timothy 3:14-17)

I love Paul’s challenge to Timothy. Paul roots the power of Scripture to make us wise, give us faith, correct, teach, prepare, and equip us in two important places.

Place one: the powerful example of a Spirit-filled mentor or parent.

Place two: the Scriptures, which he describes as holy and inspired (God-breathed or Spirit-inspired).

In other words, people formed by the Spirit and the Spirit of God formed word are the source of the Scripture’s power.

Why would we ever neglect letting the  “sword of the Spirit” be at work in our lives?

Prayer : Almighty God, thank you for speaking to us in words. As I place myself under the guidance of the words of Scripture, dear Father I pray that the Holy Spirit uses them to form me into a person who is increasingly more like Jesus each day. In the name of the Lord Jesus, I pray. Amen.

January 23rd, 2010

Be Filled with the Holy Spirit

Be Filled with the Holy Spirit

Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. – (Ephesians 5:18-21)

When someone is drunk, we talk about them being “under the influence.” When a person is a follower of Jesus, he or she should be under the influence of the Holy Spirit. Paul lists fives ways that we fill ourselves with the Spirit. Four we would normally identify with worship.

Speaking to one another in song, singing, making music in our hearts, and giving thanks to God. Paul adds a fifth way to turn loose the Spirit in our lives: submitting to one another as part of our worship of Jesus. I don’t know about you, but there are times when I have not wanted to do each of those things, but in doing it with a genuine desire to honor the Lord, I find myself blessed and empowered in ways I would never have expected. But we shouldn’t be surprised: the Bible tells us that when we do these things, God’s Spirit fills us!

PRAYER : Loving Father, thank you for entering into me through the Holy Spirit. I am going to try to do all I can to worship you with my words and with my relationships, trusting that you will empower me with your Holy Spirit. Please help me see your presence and power in my life as I do these things. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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