Posts Tagged ‘Holy Spirit

27
Apr
17

The Evidence Of A Changed Heart

We might think we’re pretty spiritual and religious by the religious things we do. We might feel pretty good about ourselves because we go to church regularly or put a $20.00 bill in the offering plate. Those might be good things to do, but they’re outward shows of religion that might not reflect an inner change of heart. James wrote:

Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. – James 1:26 (NIV)

Jesus said that what we say comes right out of our hearts. God is more concerned about the state of your heart than He is with your “religious” activities. You can put on a good show, but the real proof of a changed heart is so much more basic. You can go to church with a begrudging attitude, but people will think you’re a good person. You can give an offering out of a clenched fist and people might think you’re generous. But your tongue will show the real you. Are you being transformed by the Holy Spirit? Are you being changed by God’s grace? Your tongue is the evidence of God’s work in your heart.
21
Apr
17

Get Rid Of Filth

I don’t like to get dirty. I’m not a germophobe. I just don’t like to get dirty and sweaty and stinky. Maybe you’re like me and you don’t like to get physically dirty. But what about our souls? Do we get filthy in a spiritual sense? James wrote:

Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. – James 1:21 (NIV)

He said that human anger does not produce the kind of righteous life that God desires. God wants us to live righteous lives and that means getting rid of moral filthiness and wickedness. That comes by accepting God’s Word. The Holy Spirit, through the Word of God, transforms us and helps us live righteous lives. What moral filth have you allowed to dirty your body and your mind? Get rid of it! Do whatever it takes to get rid of the spiritual dirt that is making you filthy. Listen to God’s Spirit and God’s Word and be transformed and cleansed today.
09
Jan
17

The Work Of The Spirit

John 7:37-44 (NIV)

On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.
40 On hearing his words, some of the people said, “Surely this man is the Prophet.”
41 Others said, “He is the Messiah.”
Still others asked, “How can the Messiah come from Galilee? 42 Does not Scripture say that the Messiah will come from David’s descendants and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?” 43 Thus the people were divided because of Jesus. 44 Some wanted to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him.

God gives the Holy Spirit to those who trust Jesus for salvation. In Acts 2:38-39 (NIV), Peter told the crowd gathered at Pentecost:

“Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

God’s Holy Spirit is vital to the life of the born again believer. He convicts us of sin and sanctifies us as He transforms us from the inside out. He challenges us and changes us. He makes us look more like Jesus. Jesus said that the Spirit is the river of living water flowing within us. He gives life to our dry and weary souls. Do not be afraid of God’s Holy Spirit within you. He is given to us as a gift from our Heavenly Father. He dwells within you and wants to bring about life transformation that you are incapable of on your own.
PRAYER: Father in Heaven, fill me with Your Holy Spirit today as I move about through my life. Help me to listen to Your Spirit and to obey You. Thank You for this wonderful gift that is transforming me. Amen.
19
Oct
16

We Need The Power

In 1 Corinthians 4, we find Paul defending himself and his ministry to the Corinthian congregation.  He has some harsh words of rebuke  in chapter 5 and in chapter 4, he is justifying himself and his fellow Apostles.  Toward the end of this chapter, Paul speaks of wanting to come and visit the Corinthians.  He was sending Timothy to them in order to remind them of the things that Paul had taught them.  Paul was their spiritual father as they came to faith under his teaching.  Paul had shared the Gospel with them (Acts 18) and they eventually put their faith and trust in Jesus.  Luke records in Acts 18 that Paul stayed in Corinth for a year and a half in order to preach the Gospel.  Many believed and were baptized and the church was born.
Apparently there was some trouble in the church at Corinth as Paul writes about in chapter 4.  Some were full of arrogance and pride.  They were full of talk, but not full of power.  This is what led Paul to write:

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. – 1 Corinthians 4:20 (NIV)

Paul echoes this thought in 1 Thessalonians 1:5 (NIV):

our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction.

The Greek word that is translated as power is the word, “dunamis” from which we get our word, “dynamite.”  It is an explosive power that comes by the Holy Spirit.  God’s Kingdom is revealed in power, not in a whimper.  We need to pray for God’s power to be revealed in three ways:
  1. We need the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives to help us overcome sin and temptation.
  2. We need the power of the Holy Spirit in the church to reach those who don’t know Jesus.
  3. We need the power of the Holy Spirit to bring God’s Kingdom and reign to earth that the world will be transformed.

Let us pray for power to come by the Holy Spirit in our lives, our churches and our world.

PRAYER: Father, fill me with the power of the Holy Spirit today. Empower Your people with Your Spirit to bring about change in our world. I ask for Your power to fill Your church again that lives may be transformed, including mine. Thank You for the Holy Spirit. Amen.

14
Sep
16

Taking Up Residence

John 4:25-26 (NIV)

The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”

In John 4, Jesus has an encounter with a Samaritan woman at a well. They discuss living water that never runs dry as well as the sordid details from her past and present relationships. This causes her to change the subject to something a little more comfortable and less convicting – the proper place of worship. He tells her that those who worship the Lord must worship in Spirit and in truth. He then reveals His true identity – He is the Messiah.
Jesus didn’t come to solve the age-old dilemmas about the proper place of worship. He didn’t come to make us comfortable about our sin. He came to renew and renovate our hearts. He isn’t doing some kind of exterior job of touching up paint and clearing out a few cobwebs. Jesus wants to empty our hearts of our hoarded sins. He wants to do more than clean up the clutter. He wants to gut the place. That’s what the Messiah does. He shines His light into our hearts in order to clean out every nook and cranny in order to move in and take up residence.
When we put our faith and trust in Jesus by believing in Him, repenting from sin, confessing Him as Savior and being baptized, Jesus forgives our many sins and gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit. God moves in and makes our hearts His home. There can be no more room for sin. He cleans out every room and empties the closets of their skeletons. He cleans up the past and transforms the present in order to give us a bright future.
So let Him in! Let Jesus, the Messiah, take up residence in your heart in order to be conformed to His image. As you grow in faith, you’ll continue to be renewed and changed into the new creation He wants you to be.
PRAYER: Father in Heaven, fill me with Your Spirit today. I want to look, act, speak and think more like Jesus. I can’t do this on my own. I need You to rid me of anything that is not of You. In Jesus’ saving name, amen.
19
May
16

By The Power Of God’s Spirit

Zechariah 4:1-7 (NIV)

Then the angel who talked with me returned and woke me up, like someone awakened from sleep. He asked me, “What do you see?”

I answered, “I see a solid gold lampstand with a bowl at the top and seven lamps on it, with seven channels to the lamps. Also there are two olive trees by it, one on the right of the bowl and the other on its left.”

I asked the angel who talked with me, “What are these, my lord?”

He answered, “Do you not know what these are?”

“No, my lord,” I replied.

So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.

“What are you, mighty mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become level ground. Then he will bring out the capstone to shouts of ‘God bless it! God bless it!’”
The visions Zechariah continue into chapter 4. He sees a very bright lamp with seven lamps and seven channels to the seven lamps. These channels are connected to two olive trees that provide an endless supply of oil to these lamps. Zechariah asks about the olive trees, but is not given an answer until later in chapter 4. Instead, the angel gives a prophetic word to the governor of Judah, Zerubbabel. He was in charge of rebuilding the temple. The key to rebuilding the temple is found in verse 6. Zerubbabel would not rebuild the temple by military might nor human power, but by the power of the Holy Spirit. Even the mountains would be flattened by the power of God’s Spirit when it came to rebuilding God’s temple.
We can attempt to do many things in our own power. We can try to overcome obstacles and mountains in our own lives. The fact is that we are powerless in our own strength. We need the power of God’s Spirit to overcome the mountains we face each day. It might be an obstacle of sin. It might be a mountain of fear. It could be a struggle with doubt. On our own, we are weak and frail. But with the power of God’s Spirit within us, those mountains and struggles may as well be flattened. Quit trying to do life on your own. Let God flatten your fears. Let His Holy Spirit level the mountains of doubt. Let Him lift you high above the peaks of doubt. It is not in your strength that you can overcome. It is by God’s Spirit that you can have victory.
 
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help me to overcome the fears, doubts and struggles in my life. The journey is hard and the climb is difficult. Fill me with Your Spirit today as You flatten the mountains in my life. Let me hear the voice of the Holy Spirit as I face these mountains today. Give me Your strength so that I may have victory and You may receive glory and praise. Amen.
29
Mar
16

God’s Spirit Is Greater

1 John 4:4-6 (NIV)
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us.This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.
 
We oftentimes give the enemy too much credit.  The spirit of the antichrist (which John says is in the world in 1 John 4:3) is not greater than the Holy Spirit.  Those who deny Jesus Christ have the spirit of the antichrist.  Those who follow Jesus are filled with the Holy Spirit.  God’s Spirit is greater than the evil one.  God’s Spirit is more powerful than the devil.  For the follower of Jesus, the One living in you has already defeated Satan.
Do not give the enemy more credit than he is due.  Yes, the devil is prowling around like a lion looking for someone to devour.  But that doesn’t mean that he can can devour you.  Surrender to the leading of God’s Spirit and submit to His guidance.  Call upon the power of the Holy Spirit when tempted by evil to deliver you from the temptation.  Don’t blame the devil every time you give in to temptation (“The devil made me do it”).  The enemy is dangerous, but he is also defeated.  God’s Son defeated Satan when He arose from the grave on that glorious Sunday morning!  We have Resurrection power living in us.  Let’s trust in God’s Spirit to empower us to overcome sin, temptation and the evil one.
PRAYER: Father, protect me from the evil one today.  On my own, I am weak.  But in You I find strength to overcome sin and temptation.  Fill me with the power of the Holy Spirit today for He is greater than the enemy.  In Jesus’ name, amen.



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