header image
 

The Holy Spirit is Sent from God not Man

It is a common misconception that one must speak in tongues in order to be saved. The Holy Spirit gives certain gifts to those according to the measure of their faith. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God. The third person of the Trinity and must be treated with the same reverence as God the Father and God the Son. The Holy Spirit shows us the ways and will of the Father who is in heaven. So, why is this difficult for Christians to understand? The secret can be seen in the second statement. It is because of their measure of faith in Him. Will God give the gift of the Holy Spirit to one who does not believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. No! Is the Holy Spirit only given to those who are of the pentecostal or charismatic movements? No! The Holy Spirit has been given to those who have truly given their hearts and souls to the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior. The Holy Spirit is given as a guide and an empowerment for the ministry of Jesus Christ. He is not for individuals to profit from Him but for Him to be glorified. Praise the Lord!

The Sending of the Holy Spirit on Who?

And it shall come to pass afterward
That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your old men shall dream dreams,
Your young men shall see visions.
And also on My menservants and on My maidservants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days.
(Joel 2:28-29 NKJV)

The important thought to consider when looking at these verses of scripture is not “who” the Spirit of God was being poured out on, but “why” was it being poured out. When looking at the scripture in the gospel, it is evident that the intent was to empower and strengthen those whom Jesus prepared to establish His church to go forward with it. But consider those who were intended to receive the message. Keep in mind that the people of Israel, God’s chosen people, were to be the priesthood to the nations of the world. They were called to a task. These verses are directed to Israel, but it is informing them of His intent to give His Spirit to all who will receive Him, not just Israel but all people. He made this statement to make known His intent to receive the entire world unto Himself and not just Israel. Why then did He pour His Spirit on the group of one hundred twenty people in the room that day in Acts chapter two? Because these were the ones faithful to Him to that moment. They walked and talked with Jesus and He taught and demonstrated everything for them. Even though they did not fully grasp the eternal rewards of this action, they believed and trust in faith that God never breaks a promise, and He was faithful to His promise.

Why did God go through the list of those groups of people that He would give the gift of the Holy Spirit? Because, He wanted the people to understand that Spirit is for everybody who believes in Him and follows His statutes faithfully. God is not partial nor a respecter of persons when it comes to those who love Him. He is stating here that He does not differentiate regarding age, sex or social status, He is faithful and just and wants everyone to comes into a relationship with Him. The scripture that follows in Joel are those not as frequently quoted but are just relevant to the intent of God.

And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth:
Blood and fire and pillars of smoke.
The sun shall be turned into darkness,
And the moon into blood,
Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.
And it shall come to pass
That whoever calls on the name of the Lord
Shall be saved.
For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance,
As the Lord has said,
Among the remnant whom the Lord calls.
(Joel 2:30-32 NKJV)

The key to this section in Joel is the middle part that states “and it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” This is inclusive to all people. It opens a whole new emphasis for the faithful people of Israel. God still considers them the chosen people, chosen for an eternal task, but it hones their target and makes it more defined. At this point God has given new opportunity to the rest of the world. In times past, God sent His Spirit to certain people for a certain task. He sent the Spirit to empower and guide Moses and His people out of Egypt. He sent His Spirit to empower and guide Joshua to lead His people in the conquest of the now Holy Land. He also empowered the Judges to deliver His people from their enemies, and the list goes on and on. With time, the list grows until it comes to establishing the new and final covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34) with not only His people, Israel, but with the entire world. Are you living in the New Covenant of the Lord?

But now I go away to Him who sent Me, and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. (John 16:5-11 NKJV)

The Holy Spirit is sent to you for a reason. The reason being to help you in your walk with Him and growth in righteousness. The purpose for the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer is to empower for service to the Lord Jesus Christ, to also to love one another as He loves us. It is understandable that they were feeling grief when being told that they could not go with Him. When you lose someone close to you, someone that you truly looked up to, it brings a sense of loss that seems cannot be filled. But, this is not so with the Holy Spirit! This is the same Spirit that filled Jesus and guided His obedience to the Father. The Holy Spirit is sent for a purpose. This purpose is for the work of God and to glorify Him. It is through the work of the Holy Spirit that true conviction is found because the Holy Spirit is God’s pure and untainted love. Conviction of sin, righteousness and judgement are the results. Are you encouraged in the fact that God has sent His Spirit to you to empower you for His work in ministry?

And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” (Acts 1:4-5 NKJV)

This is the reminder that what He and the Father have promised will be fulfilled. The comparison of water baptism and the Holy Spirit baptism is one great controversy and debate in the church even today. It is said that we must argue and fight over the most precious gift of God. The arguments are over, for example, whether you are saved if you do not speak in tongues. Not everybody has been given that gift, are they not saved? That is not for you or anybody else to judge, it is between them and the Lord Jesus Christ. There are many other gifts of the Holy Spirit and tongues are only one of them. The Apostle Paul in first Corinthians chapter fourteen really works to dispel the idea of a superiority of gifts given by God. Tongues and Prophesy are the two dealt with in this chapter. But, above all things, love must be the foundation and the cornerstone onto which these gifts are received and then shared. The resurrected Jesus told them to wait on the promise of the Father and He will fulfill what He has promised.

And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:7-8 NKJV)

The problem with humanity is that in all things we are prone to speculate beyond our pay grade. He will give you the Holy Spirit when He will give Him. This is not for a pastor to decide or anyone else to decide. It is empowerment for Jesus’ continued ministry. It is not us to be exalted but Him and Him alone. Denominations box the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit individually into boxes of convenience. Most denominations put their box of the Holy Spirit away primarily because of fear of the unknown. Some exalt the Holy Spirit to the beyond God status and if you do not have the evidence of the Holy Spirit in tongues then cannot be a Christian. But, how are we to be His witnesses to all the ends of the earth if we box Him up and give Him our limitations? The Apostle Paul says in his letter to the church in Rome that the Spirit has been given to all in accordance to the measure of their faith and grace from above. This topic we will go into more detail at another time. But, the power has been given to all who believe and are willing to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior and will live in His ways.

So, when the Holy Spirit was poured out on those in the upper room, it was not because they were Jewish traditional followers. It was because they were faithful followers and disciples of the living Christ, Jesus the Son of God. Jesus told them that it is in the Father’s own authority that the Spirit and the power of God is to be given, so why is the Holy Spirit exclusive to some and so feared and repulsed by others? Lack of knowledge and understanding on the part of all people. Jesus told us simply that the Holy Spirit is a gift from God the Father. It is the promise that He made while He walked the earth and at His ascension. So, why are we living according to the flesh in all cases concerning the Spirit of God? Are we not the created in the image of God and therefore formed as a temple of the living God through His Holy Spirit? Think and pray on these things as you go through your week.

Let us pray

Heavenly Father, please grant me wisdom in all Your ways according to Your Will. May Your Holy Spirit guide and lead into all Your righteousness. Write upon my heart and in my mind the Truth of the gospel and my mouth speak only Your words because Your Word is Truth. Help me Lord in my walk to get closer to You in all that I do and say. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Category:  Uncategorized     

The Holy Spirit and Living as Children of God

The life that God has given us is one that requires, on our part, obedience to Him and His will. Because the world calls the sinful nature into immediate satisfaction, there is a draw toward that conformity as a moth to a flame. This is the deception of the world. Satan wants nothing more than to draw you away from God. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind and heart so that you live the life your Father in heaven has called you to live. So, allow the Holy Spirit to work in your life so you can give God the glory in all things and in all ways. Live your life as a child of the Living God and He will lift you up.

Therefore, be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.

(Ephesians 5:1-2 NKJV)

The belief that when you go to the altar and give your life to Jesus Christ as your savior and your done is not totally true. The believer must live up to their side of the covenant. When you go to the altar, wherever that may be, and give your life to the Lord Jesus Christ, you are making a covenant with the Trinity. He will gladly forgive your sins, but you need to live a life of obedience to Him. It is a given! Jesus did not precisely say this, but this seems to be the natural flow. After all, He has given you eternal life! Most Christians believe that when you kneel and give your life to the Lord, then you can walk away and live the way you wish. Your life should be changed! You should not want to live like the heathen you once were. But once your “ticket is punched” or your “fire insurance is paid,” then you don’t have to worry, right? Far be it for me to judge, but did not Jesus say that “many will come to Me and say Lord, Lord. And He will say depart from Me for I never knew you.” Also, He said that wide is way that leads to destruction, but narrow is the way that leads to eternal life. Reflect on your “Christian” life. Do you live as a child of God?

The one who imitates God is one who truly lives completely in His ways and obeys His commands and statutes. It does not say, live the best that you can. It says to be imitators of God as dear children. When we were children, as young boys, we looked up to our fathers. Most people, of there are always exceptions. We want to be like them when we grow up. At least that should be the model. God wants us to imitate Him and follow in His footsteps. He truly knows what is best for us because He knows us better than we know ourselves. The next statement tells us how to do it. He says to “walk in love.” The qualifier is the next statement. He says that we should love as Christ has loved us and gave Himself for us. This is not some ordinary love. It is deeper than even the love for a family member or child, even your spouse. Just so there is no confusion, Paul says that this love of Christ is an offering and sacrifice as a sweet-smelling aroma to God, not to man. We are to live to love God! When we do this, then we can love one another the way we are to love. Are you an imitator of the Living God or man?

You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

(Matthew 5:14-16)

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught His newly found disciples everything they needed to know concerning Him, the teachings of the Father and the Kingdom of Heaven. In the beatitudes, He set in place the structural framework for a life as imitators of God. The light mentioned here is the light that is given as the image of God into which we were created. Striving to live up to the life in the beatitudes, we need to understand the possible “why” in the equation. The “why” is because we are the light of the world. Jesus shines through us and the light of God is in us. If we live like the world and say that we are Christians, we are trying to serve two masters. Remember that Jesus said, you cannot serve two masters, you will either love the one and hate the other. In doing this, how can you imitate God? How can you live as a child of the living God? People in the world live to find fault in your walk with Christ to justify their own godless living. Do not give them reason to question your faith, but give them reason to want to live the life you live.

The misconception of this whole idea of sharing the light is not to make you look more holy than those around you. The whole reason for God the Father calling you to share His light with others is to glorify Him. Do not play into the hands of the devil and celebrate “your” success or “your” winning of so many souls for the kingdom. It is not you but the light of Christ that shines in you. Your greatest achievement is your obedience and that is between you and God. The light that He says you are to shine before men is not your light but it is the light of God that should draw men unto Him, not you. If you are in the ministry for fame and fortune, then you are being led and deceived down the path to destruction. But, Jesus tells us that if you live a life of humility, repentance, meekness, love, mercy and the like, toward others, then you will be imitators and therefore children of the Living God. What a beautiful, life is it not?

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

(Romans 12:1-2)

We are to offer ourselves to God as living sacrifices. We cannot do this apart from the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We cannot be holy before a Holy God without the work of His Spirit every moment of every day. He also says that this is the only way to be acceptable to God. The interesting part is that Paul say this your reasonable service. This means that it is the least you can do considering what God has done for you. The sacrifice we give to God is not one that we do before men but toward God. Jesus spoke against the Pharisees concerning this boasting of self. He told the disciples not to do as they do and admonish yourself on the street corners, but glorify God and He will lift you up. The Holy Spirit leads and guides you, if you allow Him, into a life that is glorifying to God as holy and acceptable to Him.

The sacrifices we need to be is contingent on the transformation of our minds and hearts. Paul tells us not to be conformed to the world. We are a part of the world because we are living in the world, but we don’t have to conform to the ways of the world. When you give your life to the Lord Jesus Christ, your way of thinking is being transformed by the Spirit of God to be renewed once again in His image. The reason for this is that you will then be able to prove, without any doubt in your mind or anybody else, the perfect will of God. It is only through work of the Holy Spirit in our lives that we can accomplish this and live it to the glory of God the Father. Are you allowing the Holy Spirit to transform you so you can be an imitator of your Father in heaven? Is your body and mind a living sacrifice that is holy and acceptable to God? When looking into your spiritual mirror, who do you see? Is it Jesus Christ or is it you?

Let us pray

Most Gracious Heavenly Father, forgive me of my unbelief and the hindrances I put in my life between you and me. Lord, may I show mercy, love and compassion on others as You have shown on me. Transform me into the Godly person You need me to be for You that I may glorify You in all that I say and do. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for sending the Holy Spirit to guide me and lead me in Your ways. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Category:  Uncategorized     

The Holy Spirit and the Body of Christ

The church is not a true reflection of the church originally establish by the Lord Jesus Christ in the beginning. The church today is full of tolerance and compromise in the name of Jesus that even the Biblical teachings are tainted by the lack of the Holy Spirit. It is a reflection of the fall in Israel as a nation in the Old Testament and we need to heed the warnings given to us in scripture. We need to follow the clear call back to repentance throughout both the Old and New Testaments. Just because we call ourselves a “church” does not mean that we are following God’s direction. Many churches today are so focused money and numbers that they will do and allow anything to guide their ministries (programs). We need to put the Holy Spirit back into the church and allow Him to guide and direct the church in God’s vision and mission for the world. Are we the Body of Christ or the reflection of the world?

There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. (Ephesians 4:4-6 NKJV)

Why is it so difficult for people to accept the idea of a monotheistic God who is omniscient, omnipresent, eternal and at the same time ever involved in the lives of individuals? We hold on to the gods in our lives like they are the very thing gives us breath. If we approached our obedience and love of God that way, then would truly see everything in a different light. The Holy Spirit is given to those who truly love the Lord their God and believe that He is who He says He is and obeys Him. The denominational schism dilemma is evidence of the faultiness of the church today. One denomination believes that their beliefs descended from John the Baptist and another says that they are from teachings of John Calvin. Even others, worship the ground that John Wesley walks on and they have journals and books dedicated to their theologies. There are others who, sadly enough, believe that you cannot be saved unless you speak in tongues or baptized.

The Christianity that morphed from its foundational beginnings with Jesus and later with the Apostles is not the Christianity of today. I do not believe that Christianity today is not what Jesus established. The Apostle Paul in these verses in his letter to the Ephesian church established firmly that there is only one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one baptism, one faith and one God and Father of all. The one body means that all these different churches that say they are the right in doctrine and everyone else are heretics, do not know or understand the scriptures. God the Father, through the Son and in the power of the Holy Spirit established a single church. Jesus was not Baptist, Methodist, Assembly of God, Church of God, Apostolic Church, Catholic, etc. Do you think that God the Father shared with Jesus in their time together the plan for many denominations? Or maybe He said, “Look Jesus, I want to set up all these churches where the people believe just a little differently than these over here. I want to do this because I do not want another Babel on My hands.” No! I don’t think so. Denominations were created by man and they are human institutions established by human standards. I say this because in many cases there is a slight twist to interpretations of scripture, many times to the advantage of those who wish to justify themselves to others. Enough of the soap box!

The assembling of believers in Jesus Christ are called Christians. True Christians are those who follow the leading of the Holy Spirit for teaching, comfort, power and strength. Jesus said for us to love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. But, He added to this the greatest conditional statement and that is to love one another as He loved us. Jesus loved all people equally with the unconditional love of God the Father through the power of the Holy Spirit.

However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.

(John 16:13)

This scripture is just as true today as it was then. When Jesus spoke these words to His disciples, He was preparing them for His coming death. The same Holy Spirit that is in Him will be in you. How do you think we are able to live Christ-like life? It is not because we are so good that we deserve it or that we had bunch of truly Godly people pray a Holy Spirit prayer over us as they wail and shout gibberish that we don’t understand. The Lord Jesus Christ gives you the Holy Spirit and if you speak in tongues that is great and it is your gift. But, you do not have to speak in tongues to be saved! The Holy Spirit tells you and works in you only what God the Father reveals to Him, not what a preacher tells you is right. Test the spirits and the word spoken!

The church must rely on the Holy Spirit for leadership and guidance. Because humanity has dictated the path for the church, it is heading down the same path as the Israelites of the Old Testament. For the church to grow into the Body of Christ it was designed to become, then the must look to the Holy Spirit and the Word of God for direction. Why is it so difficult for people to accept the idea of a monotheistic God who is omniscient, omnipresent, eternal and at the same time ever involved in the lives of individuals? It is because of the sinful nature that resides within that drives the inner need to control our surroundings. People, even Christians, have a tough time accepting the idea of God having access or even knowledge of their inner most thoughts and desires. If God keep to times of the week, then they have gained the upper hand and therefore control of their own life. Give the Holy Spirit your whole life and you will grow spiritually by leaps and bounds. This is a promise of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. God never breaks a promise.

Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away. (Acts 13:1-3 NKJV)

The church also needs to rely also on the Holy Spirit for the establishment of leaders in the Body and that represent the Body to the world. The church is the Body of Christ. It is not a building. It is an assembly of believers in Jesus Christ and His teachings. But, too, the church is the training ground and equipping center for God the Father’s vision and mission to redeem His fallen creation back into a right relationship with Him. Every Christian is called by God to be a minister of the gospel of Christ to the world. Those who are called into leadership in the church must enter that position with much prayer, fasting, and being full of the Holy Spirit. Barnabas and Saul was not chosen to be sent out into the world lightly. Saul, after all, was one of the most feared persecutor of the church known. It took the opposites sides of the same coin, Barnabas the son of encouragement and Saul the feared God driven persecutor, to form the Holy Spirit team in motion as never.

When Stephen and the others were chosen to wait tables of the Greek widows that were neglected, these were chosen by God because they were full of the Holy Spirit and power (Acts 6:1-4). Then, you might wonder, why do you need to be full of the Holy Spirit just to wait tables? Every task given by God are of equal importance to Him. Why should we have to ask? Waiting tables, cleaning toilets, cooking meals, preaching, teaching, they all must be led by the Holy Spirit to be a Godly pursuit. It is the Holy Spirit who determines the direction of the call as per God the Father’s instruction. When you look at the commission of Saul and Barnabas, you see a strategic move by the Lord to spread His gospel effectively throughout the known world. Stephen, on the other hand, is demonstrating total dedication and commitment to obedience to the gospel of Christ. The Holy Spirit could work in his rather short life and he spoke with boldness and confidence regardless of the cost. Not everyone will lose their life for the faith, but many have and many more will. What is the price your church is willing to pay in faith for the gospel of Jesus Christ? Imagine the effect on the world or even your community if everyone in your church gave the Holy Spirit full authority in their lives! I pray that this has made you think of who your church and the people are serving. Seek and receive the Holy Spirit into your lives and your Christian world will never be the same. To God be the Glory!!

Let us pray

Heavenly Father, as we serve you in spirit and truth, show us Your great mercy and grace. Forgive us, O Lord, of our sins and guide us as a unified body of Christ through the power and work of Your Holy Spirit in obedience to Your Will. Thank you lord and Praise to Your Holy name for all of Your Mighty Blessings. To God be the Glory! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Category:  Uncategorized     

The Holy Spirit and Facing the Giants in Life

We face many things in life that have a tendency to derailing our relationship with Christ. When people in our life come against us by condemning us for our faith, we need to stand firm in our faith. Also, Jesus teaches us to love and forgive even our enemies. The love of God was given to us in such great measure. Why, then, can we not face our giants in life with the Holy Spirit as our strength and guide? We have to stop facing these giants in our lives on our own and then blaming God because it does not go in our favor. Also, stop taking the glory for yourself when the Holy Spirit walks you through the storm. He loves you and lifts you up when you seek Him. Seek Him in all things and in all ways. Amen!

 

The Holy Spirit and Facing the Giants in Life

Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.

(Matthew 5:11 NKJV)

The greatest giants we face in our lives as Christians are those that involve people closest to us. Our friends, family, even our church family can be guilty of saying things that may offend, belittle, or even slander your good name. We may try to ignore it, but it has been said and cannot be taken back or even forgotten. When stepping out in faith for the gospel of Jesus Christ and you are obedient to the call of the Holy Spirit on your life, these kinds of persecution will come to you. Everything that Jesus taught His disciples, He demonstrated. The teachings of Jesus were put in to real time action for the disciples to learn both through audio and visual. Jesus set the teaching paradigm that will be the perfect model for all time.

People are harsh for no other reason except they need to feel superior. Speaking negative and blasphemous things about you and your faith in Jesus Christ is expected. You will not be Blessed because you are persecuted. You will be Blessed in the way you handle the situation. Do not expect to be Blessed if you choose to lash out and take revenge on the person or persons. Remember, God said to His people that “Vengeance is mine!” He wants us to pray and seek His guidance through the power of the Holy Spirit and not take things into our own hands. We think either we are doing God a favor or we don’t trust that God is interested or capable to handle the issue. If that is the case, then you are far from knowing God.

For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

(Matthew 6:14-15 NKJV)

The Holy Spirit is the one person in your life who is closer than any spouse, parent or sibling. When somebody comes against you because of your faith, the Holy Spirit is the one who is there as a guide, comfort, mentor, and strength to walk you through the situation. It may hurt, as you are being persecuted, but rest not in your own understanding. Give it to the Spirit of God and He will truly walk you through it. In this quote from Jesus, He speaks plainly concerning the giants in our lives. We face these giants daily in our work, home and in the public. They are people who attack you because they do not understand you and your faith. Jesus said in Matthew 5:44-45a concerning those who persecuted you, But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; In other words, Jesus is telling us that regardless of the conditions of the relationship with others, we need to pray for them and let Him handle it or at least let Him show us how to handle it.

Forgiveness considering times of persecution is very difficult. Jesus speaks plainly concerning this for the Christian. If we are unwilling to forgive those who persecute us, then why do you think God needs to forgive us. God does not have a double standard as human being do with forgiveness. Jesus is speaking straight to the point when He speaks of forgiveness. It is true. It is easier to forgive than to forget. But, I believe that we are unable to forget as a reminder of how vulnerable we are to the attacks of those around us. We are also not to forget so that we remember how God moved on our behalf in that situation. We then are able to glorify God and not vilify the person or the situation.

Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.  (Matthew 12:33-37)

Give God the glory in all things and He will give you the desires of your heart. The beauty of a pure relationship with Jesus Christ is that He has an eternal love for you. He asks that you, in turn be the same toward Him. We are born with a sinful and tainted nature into a sinful world. The Holy Spirit in the life of those who truly believe in Him and live obedience to Him will seek the light in Him, find it and follow it. If your life is growing from the roots of the Son of God who is the way, the truth and the life, then you will produce fruit that is everlasting to life eternal. If then, by the same token, you are rooted in a life of sin and desires of the world you will be overtaken by the evils of the world and therefore subject to and overwhelmed by those who come against you.

The world offers only desolation and hurt. Sin offers nothing but hopelessness and destruction. We must be of the good tree which produces good fruit to bring glory to Jesus Christ. We can only do this through the power of the Holy Spirit. Remember that when we speak and how we speak to others reflects our relationship with Son and the Father. These also so whether we are the Holy Spirit guided life. Consider the words you speak because they reflect Jesus in your life. I work in construction and as a construction worker the manner of speaking on many occasions does not show the sinner struggling with life the true light of Christ and the way to the Father. I always try to pray that the Lord, through the power of the Holy Spirit, guards my thoughts and my speech in a way that show Jesus Christ those around me who need Him. We must guard ourselves against damaging our testimony of Jesus Christ before a sinful and lost generation. The giants we face in our lives are found mostly within ourselves in our responses to everyday life. So, remember that you can face and conquer those giants in your life just as David did in facing Goliath when everyone else was afraid and running scared. Jesus is your strength in the power of the Holy Spirit. Love and obey Him and He will lift you up.

Let us Pray:

Heavenly Father, forgive me when I have fallen short of Your glory. May I look to You for strength in the facing of my giants as David did with Goliath. Holy Spirit, lead and guide me the true ways of righteousness, for You are the lover of my soul and Your desire is for me to grow closer with You. Give me the strength, oh Lord, to love my enemies as You have loved me. Glory be Yours and Yours alone. In Jesus’ name, Amen

Category:  Uncategorized     

The Holy Spirit and the Persecuted

The Holy Spirit is the crucial part of the one who has committed their life fully to the love of God. Jesus said that the cost would be high, even possibly death. The question we should be asking ourselves as we seek the Lord Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit, how far are you willing to follow Jesus? We may not be killed for our faith, but are you prepared? There have been many who were killed in this country for the sake of the gospel of Christ. Do not think that just because we live in the United States of America that this will not happen to you. Terrorism is all over the world, even here. Are you ready? Seek the power of the Holy Spirit for guidance and strength while He can be found!

The Holy Spirit and the Persecuted

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,

for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

(Matthew 5:10 NKJV)

Throughout Christian history, the people of God and followers of Jesus Christ have been at odds with the world. It is a wander that the Christian faith has flourished. But, we should first consider the fact that all those who are completely committing themselves to the obedience and call of Christ on their lives. They are following the call of Jesus to go into all the nations and proclaim the good news of the love of Jesus Christ to a lost and dying world. When Jesus walked among the people and taught and healed with the word of God, even His closest disciples were oblivious to the true cost of being a disciple.

Jesus Christ did not come to demonstrate the love of God and then die for nothing! It because of our sins that He volunteered to come down from His throne to live and die for us to have the opportunity for eternal life. Jesus told his disciples on several occasions concerning the fact that He had to die. He spoke concerning not only that He would be persecuted but that they should expect the same, if they follow Him. Many preach a gospel of prosperity and a bed of roses for all who choose to follow Him. Jesus never taught that following Him would be easy. In fact, persecution will come to you in form or another. He never told His disciples that they get rich if they did a certain program or formula from the scripture. Sure, The Holy Spirit cares for those who love the Lord and follow Him with all their hearts. The emphasis is on all their hearts. Those who seek prosperity and riches apparently have not studied the scripture.

Why shouldn’t we ask the Lord for money? Look at King Solomon. All that Solomon ask for was wisdom from God so that He could rule God’s people by God’s Holy hand. God chose to not only to give him wisdom to rule but He gave Him riches and fame. Look! The Lord will give you the desires of your heart but your heart must desire the things of God. Money, fame and fortune will become your God. For one to stand against the evil days to come, one must know and understand, per Jesus, that you will be persecuted. Your only defense against the evil days to come is keep your eyes on Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.

(1 Peter 4:12-13 NKJV)

The Apostle Peter was an example of the everyday human being with the focus of the Holy Spirit as the driving force that led him. He was the one disciple who truly spoke up concerning issues that he did not understand. Peter had moments of failure and despair. He also had moments of great triumph in the Lord. But, the light did not truly come on for Peter until he received the Holy Spirit in his life. Peter was never the old Peter again after that moment. Everything that Jesus taught and demonstrated concerning the kingdom of God became real and never took his eyes off the mission commanded by the Lord. As one who not only witnessed the Lord Jesus persecuted and beaten for nothing other than fear. He denied Jesus three times the night He was betrayed. Peter watched from a distance as his Lord and master was led to Golgotha and nailed to a cross between two thieves. These two thieves, according to the law, were serving their just sentence, death on the cross. But, Jesus was innocent blood and pure blood as a sacrifice without blemish.

We all will betray and deny our Lord, mostly without intention or knowing. We all fall short of the glory of God. We do not deserve grace and mercy, but praise be to the Lord God Almighty, we are blessed. The greatest understanding of persecution in the life of the believer who truly follows Jesus Christ, will look to the Holy Spirit in all things. What is the cost of discipleship? What are you willing to do for your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?

He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.

(Matthew 10:39 NKJV)

The more we give our life to the Lord Jesus Christ, the more we will lose it. This means that when you decide to follow Jesus with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength, then you truly deny self and the things that would normally direct your life. Many believers who sought to follow Jesus Christ unblemished went out of their way to stand in the path of destruction to sacrifice themselves for the gospel, but that is not what it means. When you sacrifice yourself for the gospel of Christ, you do not have to go looking for it, it finds you. If you are living for the Lord Jesus Christ and Him alone in the power of the Holy Spirit, then Satan will seek to destroy you. Live for Christ and for Him alone. If you are not seeking to sacrifice your life at every turn and you truly live for the Lord Jesus Christ, be prepared! You need to establish a firm stand with the Holy Spirit and in the power of His might, for persecution will come to you. The one who seeks out the fight is considered a bully and is not right in the eyes of the Lord. But, the one who prepares for persecution, may never see it, but they are ready for the fight when it comes.

When a person looks for their life and finds it, they were not looking for Christ. They were looking for acceptance in the world and not in the Lord. The Holy Spirit is not in them and guiding their steps. But, when you are looking for the Lord Jesus and follow the guiding path of the Holy Spirit, then you will find it. If you lose your life because of your love of Jesus, then you will find it for eternity. Our true life is not here serving and loving the world, but our true life is eternal with Jesus Christ. If you do lose your life for the sake of Christ, your reward is eternal. To believe that persecution is not real, one needs to only look to the news, local, national, and world news. There are believers persecuted and killed every day in the world. People young and old, rich and poor, insignificant and high profile. Satan is ramping up his fight because he is desperate. Are you willing to stand firm for what is right and just in the eyes of the Lord God in the power of the Holy Spirit? Are you going to compromise your beliefs and your relationship with Christ for fear of the worldly consequences? Are you willing to stand up, take up the cross of Christ and follow Him regardless the cost? Rely fully on the Holy Spirit for guidance and strength and He will lift you up in times of weakness and rejoice and know that your redemption is here in Christ. Believe and live eternally rejoicing in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. Compromise and be cast out like the chaff into the lake of fire. Where are you in this picture?

Le Us Pray

Father, forgive my unfaithfulness to Your ways and belief in Your Son Jesus. Lord help me strive for a closer and more intimate relationship with You in the power of the Holy Spirit. May the Spirit of the living God guide my steps that I may not waiver from the path set before me to eternal life. Lord, remove any hindering spirit that may stand in the way of my loving and serving You with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength. In Jesus’ most precious name, Amen

Category:  Uncategorized     

The Holy Spirit and the Peace of God to the Lost

The Holy Spirit shows the believer the way of peace. It is not just any peace but the peace of God that has all understanding. The human mind cannot grasp the depths to which the peace and love of God is given, if we only seek His face earnestly. Are you wanting to be a peacemaker? Even to your enemies? Consider these things as we look into the life of the peacemaker for God to the lost of this world.

The Holy Spirit and the Peace of God to the Lost

Blessed are the peacemakers,
For they shall be called sons of God.

(Matthew 5:9 NKJV)

The peace of God is that which is difficult to explain. The scriptures say that the peace of God surpasses all understanding. Why? Probably because it is the peace of God. We are not wired to understand fully the concepts and ideas concerning God. The peacemaker, as we may perceive the notion, is one who is a moderator or even the diplomat in foreign affairs. I believe that this is what defines us as Christians. This is the reason for its position among the beatitudes. A true peacemaker is the living example of the peace of God in action. A peacemaker is active and not passive. The misconception of the peacemaker is that they are possibly passive by nature. This is not true. Because the peace of God, by its nature, is the result of the love of God present and active in the life of the totally committed follower of Jesus Christ. Keep in mind that it is not your peace that you are displaying, but the peace of God. There have been many politicians and ambassadors who have met in international summits in attempt to establish peace between two or more countries, many in vain. Not so with God! God’s Word will not return to Him void, so it is with the peace of God.

The most amazing aspect of this whole idea of those who are peacemakers for God is that they will be called sons of God. Wow! You are probably thinking, “I thought that I was a son or daughter of God!” When this level of relationship is achieved by the believer, then their lives have totally changed and have been entirely committed to the work of the Holy Spirit. These are not new Christians, but they are those who live every moment of every day in the love and peace of God. People know it and want what they possess. They may not understand it, but out of curiosity or even a sense of emptiness they feel in them that needs to be filled, but they have a desire for the peace of God. When one is willing to fully yield to the Will and love of God can they experience everything that the Holy Spirit has for them. A peacemaker is the true reflection of the Heavenly Father. Jesus was a prime example of a peacemaker. Are you following the example of the most amazing peacemaker of all? If you truly want to be like Jesus, then here is your chance. Are you going to be obedient to the call of God through the empowering work of the Holy Spirit?

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

(James 3:17-18 NKJV)

The fruit of true righteousness is found in those who allow the peace of God to be sown through them. The act of being a peacemaker is pure, holy, gentle, full of mercy and good fruits of the spirit. They will set the pace for all others to follow and will be examples of the holy life despite the cost. The focus for James is found in his understanding of Godly wisdom. Remember that this was the very thing Solomon ask God for when preparing to rule as king over the united nation of Israel. We may consider the idea of wisdom as that of just and right decisions. This is true but not to the full measure God intended. I believe that Solomon had full purpose in ruling God’s people rightly, but there is much more to the wisdom that comes from God. James is telling his audience that to be wise in Godly wisdom, one must first possess the following qualities, then live them out throughout their entire life.

The intent of Solomon in asking for wisdom was to genuinely rule as God saw fit for him to rule. He did not understand what that fully consisted of for God. His thoughts are not our thoughts and His understanding is not our understanding. Therefore, why do we think we know better and are wiser than God? We need to just listen and obey! So, James says that only the fruits of righteousness can be sown in peace by those who make peace. Most people are quick to speak, but slow to listen. God’s wisdom is contradictory to the world’s notion of wisdom. Though you ask for wisdom, you must consider the workings of Godly peace. God only wants us to live in peace and love with Him and one with another. Remember that when the rulers that ruled over God’s people sought after God with all their hearts and were obedient to Him, then He brought peace to them. The lack of peace came from their disobedience. The peacemaker is pure in all their ways with God and others. They are an example of transparency before God and others. He says that are to first be pure then they will be peaceable. If you are pure before God, then you bring the peace of God to others. Can you do this on your own? No, by no means! This is the purpose and work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer.

Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:

(Hebrews 12:14 NKJV)

The writer of Hebrews was not just writing this statement to the Jewish Christians, but to all who are pursuing an eternal relationship with the risen Lord. He is stating the fact that if you do not pursue the peace of God with Him and for all people you will not see the eternal life you are seeking. The problem with many today is that it is believed because you do all these things for God that you deserve eternal life. The problem is in the fact we do not deserve eternal life, it is a gift from God. So, when he says to pursue peace with all people, it is not just people you like. He tells us to pursue peace with all people, that means your enemies and those whom you do not like and are critical. Without this you cannot see God. In the beatitude of Matthew chapter five verse nine, Jesus says that the peacemaker will be blessed and called sons of God. God wants us to not only love Him with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. But, He wants us to love one another as He has loved us.

The most awkward thing to do for human beings is to love others with a Godly unconditional love with no strings attached. If you have the peace of God, then the love of God should be a natural out flow to others. The lesson from history tells us the that the Love of God is truly unique from all other religions. The monotheistic, or belief in one God, belief system of Judaism and Christianity find at their core a loving and merciful God who loves all humanity and desires to have a relationship with everyone. It is the choice of the individual to decide whether to follow Him or not. The desire must be rooted in His peace and love. He has mercy and shows grace on His creation. Most other religions have a god or sort of deity who is impersonal and distant. These deities are solely judgmental, vengeful, and arrogant toward their creation. True, the Christian God is a jealous God, but He is a merciful, peaceful, and loving God, as a Father. The peace of God is at the point of the relationship that the Christian know without a doubt that they are a child of God, not just in word but in life. The actions of this person will truly reflect the peace and love of God through the Holy Spirit to those around them. The beauty of being a peacemaker is that we have the perfect example in Jesus Christ.

Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil,
But counselors of peace have joy.
(Proverbs 12:20 NKJV)

We need to look for the joy in our lives. The peacemaker brings joy and peace to those who choose to accept it. The Lord Jesus Christ wants you to have joy and peace. The more you seek an eternal relationship with Him, the more joy and peace you have in your life. You cannot fake true peace because the peace of God for your life is far beyond your understanding. Those who are not showing genuine peace are deceitful, manipulative, and evil rests in their hearts. Sowing peace into others is an act of humility, spiritual maturity, and mercy toward those who need the strength and hope that is provided only through the Holy Spirit.

We are told by the writer of Proverbs that as counselors of peace we will have exceeding joy and peace in our own lives. Strive to have peace one with another and you will have peace with God. The beauty of the peace of God is that there is a calmness in your spirit that encourages a desire in your life to strive for peace for all. When Jesus was preaching and healing, He brought a message of peace and love for all those who would receive Him and the message that He and the Father bring. Are you bringing the same message of peace or are you leading them down a path of deceitfulness away toward your form of peace away from the Father? I pray that you have peace in your life that is shown through to others for the sake of the gospel of Christ!

Let us pray:

Heavenly Father, cleanse me Lord to be an instrument of peace in Your name. Lord, give me the strength to shun evil and focus on Your small still voice for guidance and strength. Show me Your ways and lead me Your ways of peace for the sake of the gospel according to Your Will. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Category:  Uncategorized     

The Holy Spirit and the Pure Heart

The greatest misunderstanding when considering the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer in Jesus Christ is that of a pure heart. What does this mean for you and your church? We will not have a perfectly pure heart until we are standing before the Father in heaven. But, until then, the Holy Spirit has been given to us for help us in the journey set before us. We will strive all of our lives for the perfect relationship with Jesus Christ, but it is not until we yield to the small still voice of the Holy Spirit that we can grow toward a pure heart.  The Marthas and the Marys in your churches are the examples of those who are the pace setters. Are you among them or are you merely a pew person and warms a seat on Sunday Morning?

The Holy Spirit and The Pure Heart

Blessed are the pure in heart,
For they shall see God.

(Matthew 5:8 NKJV)

The most misunderstood aspect of the Christian life is that of the pure in heart. The question is raised can any person with a sinful nature be pure in heart? A pure heart does not mean that we will be perfect and without sin. There are none without sin. The only one ever to be without sin was Jesus Christ Himself. We should not presume to think that we are so righteous that we are pure before a Holy God. The purity of the heart rest in the attitude and focus of the heart. This does not mean that you are sinless but that you are seeking the face of God in everything. You are Blessed by God if you are pure in your intentions toward God and His Son Jesus. We must allow the Holy Spirit to help us work through our sinful tendencies and show us the right path to follow. Our task is to believe and follow the guidance and path given by the Holy Spirit, then we will be blessed.

The reward for the faithfulness of the believer to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit is that they will see God. As I said earlier, the person who is seeking a pure heart is seeking the Face of God. We want to include God in every part of our life. Likewise, we seek to truly do the Will of God the Father in the Son through the power and authority of the Holy Spirit. You must look for God to see Him. If we do not look for God, then He cannot be found. The tendency for most Christians is to only search for God when we need Him. If we are constantly seeking for God and our heart is focused on Him and Him alone, then we will not only find but we will see God. This is something that we cannot do apart from the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Are you seeking Him with all your heart or just when you need Him? We need Him always! Amen!

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.

(Colossians 3:1-4 NKJV)

As we look and rejoice at Jesus Christ rising from the dead to be our salvation. We must believe these things and meditate on them. The tendency is for most Christians to find their Christianity in the church building. The percentage shrinks as the number requirements rises for attendance. Most faithful people go to one service and believe that will be all they need. It is true. Jesus did not tell the disciples that they were required to be in church every time the doors were opened. He did say to Satan at His temptation, quoting Deuteronomy 8:3, that “It is written, man cannot live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” We get our most absorption from Sunday School, Group Bible Studies, Sermons, etc. All these are designed for our growth and strengthening in the word and life of the Lord Jesus Christ. The person with a pure heart is seeking after the Will of God in every way possible. A good Holy Spirit driven and Bible teaching church is where one who sets their minds on things above find strength and power.

The last verse of this passage from Colossians speaks of the reward for the steadfastness of this individual. When Christ appears again, then we will be with Him in glory. Wow! There is our hope. Those who cannot believe this, though they call themselves Christian, do not have hope and their heart cannot be pure before God. It is sad to note that there are people who are non-committal in their relationship with Jesus Christ. A person with a pure heart toward God, believes and is fully focused on Jesus Christ and is relying on the Holy Spirit for everything. It is truly a rarity today where church and world are coexisting. We are to be overcomers of the world not conformers to it (Romans 12:1-3). Do you truly believe that a person who only warms the pew to put in their time on Sunday morning would be considered pure in heart? Are there church goers who go to church every time the doors open yet are not solely focused on Him in their hearts? Let us look at the following story from Luke and consider whether you fit as one of these individuals.

Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone?

Therefore, tell her to help me.”

And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

(Luke 10:38-42 NKJV)

Looking at this story, it always amuses me when I read this passage from the gospel of Luke. This is a true reflection of the church at their heart. There are those who are as Martha. They believe that the more they do the closer they get to God. The Marthas are busy with everything in the church. They are concerned with appearances but are not as much concerned with slowing down and listening to the Holy Spirit guide and speak the things of God to them. Don’t get me wrong! The Marthas in your church are a crucial strength and they are the physical backbone that supports all ministries and functions. I have sat in church business and Board meetings where everything except the ministry of the Lord to the lost was addressed. We need to get away from the church’s business and focus on God’s mission and vision for the church. We need to listen and heed to the direction of the Holy Spirit more in churches and not focus on functionality. God will bring the fruit and the workers who are willing to hear His voice and do His Will.

The Marys in the church are those who focus clearly on the Lord and His direction in everything they do concerning not only the church but their own lives. A person who is pure in heart is still and waits on the direction of the Lord. They act out of obedience. You cannot obey something you do not hear. Jesus said that one thing is needed and this will not be taken away from her. One thing is needed in the churches today. We need enter our relationship with Jesus Christ as a person and a church with pure hearts and focused minds. There is nothing wrong with the Marthas, they are needed. But, they need to also rely first on what God wants for their lives and the church. The direction might be a different one or even a better one. As for the Marys, many times, they are truly the spiritual backbone of the church. But, they can become the less functional in the various ministries of the church. This can cause resentment among the members. They need to be obedient to do what they hear God telling them to do. Listen to the Holy Spirit and thee will be balance and strength in your life and your church. Are you striving to be a Christian pure in heart or just going through the motions? Are you being obedient to the direction God has given you and your church or are you in the habit of asking for forgiveness and not permission? Pray and seek the Lord in everything!

Let us Pray:

Heavenly Father, help me be more focused on what direction that You are guiding me and the church. Help me, Lord, be more balanced and be more conformed to a pure heart that is focus solely on You and Your ways and Will. Lord cleanse me and strengthen me so that I may be pure at heart and have a transformed mind before You and all those that You lead into my path. Empower me, Lord, with Your Holy Spirit so that I will hear that small still voice telling me the things I need to hear. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Category:  Uncategorized     

The Holy Spirit and the Heart of Mercy

The next step in our walk with the Lord is showing mercy to others. This is extremely difficult apart from the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. Look to the Lord Jesus Christ and His example of mercy. He gave us the ultimate gift of mercy when He died on the cross for you and me. Are you willing to show this same mercy toward one other and those who the Lord has compassion? He gave His life that you would have eternal life. It is only through the power of the Holy Spirit that you able to attain such a willingness for godly mercy, even to those who we deem unworthy. Wow, what a life changing thought!

The Holy Spirit and the Heart of the Merciful

Blessed are the merciful,
For they shall obtain mercy.

(Matthew 5:7)

The merciful, today, is many times mistaken for being kind or nice. Mercy is much deeper in relation to Jesus Christ. It can be seen more as compassion rather than kindness. The compassion that Jesus had for the people who followed Him during His ministry can never be compared. Jesus was all knowing and knew their thoughts. He saw deep into their souls for He knew their hearts. No one could ever lie to Jesus. But, in turn, Jesus saw the heartbreak and their defeated spirits. He had true compassion on the multitudes. People brought the sick and dying from the regions around Galilee and Judah because of their faith that He healed those who came to Him and He was from God. Jesus is the living embodiment of Truth and people who are of the world did not understand Him and His teachings. If anything, Jesus personified mercy in all its attributes.

Jesus shown mercy to everybody He met in His life and ministry. He could have struck down and destroyed all who opposed Him, but He loved and had mercy on them. For example, the Pharisees, every time He encountered them, they were plotting ways to kill Him. Jesus, in all His wisdom, demonstrated ways of dealing with them by attempting to lead them to a better way of understanding. Jesus said that you will be blessed, if you show mercy to others. He was merciful to you and me by sacrificing His life so that we would have eternal life. He also says that if you show mercy, then you will obtain mercy. When you think of the other side of that coin, that if you do not show mercy, then no mercy will be given to you. The statement that I have heard is, “Why should I show mercy, no one has shown me mercy?” I am sure that there is not one person in the world who has not received mercy in one form or another. True Christian mercy as set by Jesus is pure and natural. It flows from a completely surrendered relationship with Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit.

He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly, to love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?

(Micah 6:8)

Mercy is a humble outward expression of the inward love of God in the Christian. The prophet Micah, in this very pointed verse, speaks straight to the point of what is required of us by the Lord. He lists three basic items that are required. First, the Lord requires us to do justly. This is important because everyone is to be treated equally and fairly. God the Father went beyond this by sending His Only Son to live, suffer, and die so that you and I will live in eternity. Do you include sacrifice in your definition of justice toward others? Most people do not because they think it is enough with fairness. Justice, by definition, is moral rightness or righteousness. Even though we find mercy at the foundation of salvation, justice seems to put an added dimension to the definition. God gave you mercy but He also is giving you justice despite the fact that we do not deserve it.

The second requirement that the Lord requests of us is to love mercy. We are not only to show mercy, but to love mercy. Showing mercy can be a fleeting act out of obligation or compulsion, but loving mercy is an act of true compassion and godly love toward someone else. If you love someone, you will go the extra mile for them. But, if you love mercy and that is life’s passion, your actions are from the heart and you will not consider an earthly reward. Do you truly love mercy or are you just showing mercy because you feel you must? The ultimate act of mercy was shown to you through the selfless act of sacrificing Himself on the cross, even for you. We need to search our hearts for the true definition of mercy for us. As our next step of growth, according to the beatitudes, mercy becomes a natural out flow of the one who is striving to closer with God.

The final requirement is to walk humbly with the Lord. We cannot show mercy without a humbleness before the Lord. It is this humbleness that enables us to love mercy and therefore show mercy unconditionally. The mercy that we are talking about is not just helping someone who is down on their luck. It is a mercy will also go the extra mile and give all of themselves to serving someone with no concern for reward. To be humble and a servant first and no worries of reputation or status. Jesus Christ came voluntarily from His heavenly throne to show and love mercy toward us, even when we did not deserve it. Do you have a heartfelt mercy for all people? Jesus did and still does! So, walk humbly with the Lord, love mercy, and act justly before the Lord and your heavenly reward will be great!

So, speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

(James 2:12-13 NKJV)

Mercy and personal sacrifice for the sake of others is the cornerstone of our Christian walk. The love of God is found in the way we serve others. The more we love the Lord Jesus Christ and His mercy on us, the more we can have true mercy on others. Judgement to us is deserved because of our sinful nature, but praise be to God, we have the mercy of our Lord toward us in that when we were in our sins Christ died for us. The ultimate example of mercy. As James puts it, mercy triumphs over judgement because judgement comes when there is no mercy. The only way that we can live and love mercy from God is through the guidance, power, and authority of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God is our strength in times of weakness. Showing mercy, not to mention God’s loving mercy, is not attainable apart from God’s Holy Spirit in the life of the believer in Jesus Christ as Lord. His mercy is one of heartfelt love and compassion toward others. Are you allowing the Holy Spirit to work in your heart? Do you show the same mercy to others He shows toward you? Pray on these daily.

Let us pray:

Most gracious and merciful Father, I pray that you soften my heart that I will not only show mercy but love mercy as well. Lord, that I may have the mercy that showed on the cross when You died for me and for all people. You are my Lord and my God. Guide me through Your Holy Spirit to give mercy where mercy cannot be given and show compassion to those who have none. In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.

Category:  Uncategorized     

The Holy Spirit and Spiritual Desire

The one who is faithful to the Lord Jesus Christ and listens to the call of the Spirit of God is a rare commodity in today’s church and society. The desires of the heart are given to those who humble themselves and pray and seek the face of God. Even this is not achievable apart from a repentant heart. We must realize that true spiritual desire, hungering and thirsting after the righteousness of God, is only given through the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus told His disciples that if they would hunger and thirst for righteousness, then they would be filled. Are you ready to be filled with the things of God or bound by the world and its pleasures?

The Holy Spirit and Spiritual Desire

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For they shall be filled.
(Matthew 5:6 NKJV)

The Bible-believing, Holy Spirit-driven Christian has a focus and a desire that is truly narrow in terms of their knowledge and understanding. Wow! What a statement! But, it is true in its implications. The idea that this is displaying for the average church goer in the modern church is that the person who fits this description is very rare. The sad and more true portion of this idea is that most people who claim to be Christians, either believe they are that person or believe that the above description is for specially called people. This is far from the truth. Keep in mind, Jesus was preaching to men who were very new to His teachings. They had been likely taught in the synagogues and by their fathers in the homes all their lives. But, the reality is that they probably were not deeply versed in the scriptures.

Jesus began teaching His new followers the essentials concerning kingdom living. We have looked at the foundational teachings as Jesus saw them. God is a God of order and everything in the beatitudes is order to their core. A true follower of Jesus must first be humble. Then, they must be repentant and have a mournful heart. The natural flow from there is that a person must evidence meekness, or kindness, gentleness, goodness. All those are great, but there must flow action from the heart. The point that your life is changed is seen in the desires of your life. What do you desire? What is your passion in life? Jesus said that they would be blessed if they hungered and thirsted for righteousness, God’s righteousness. Most people would say “I really want to be a doctor!” or “My desire is to help people!” But, Jesus said that you will be blessed if your greatest desire is for righteousness? Did Jesus say that you would be blessed if some of your desire is for His righteousness? No! He said that you would be blessed if you hunger and thirst after righteousness! This is saying that you will be blessed if all your passion and desire is for the righteousness of God. He said that if you hunger and thirst for His righteousness, then you will be filled. What a promise!

For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

(Matthew 5:20)

Jesus goes on to say to His newly chosen disciples concerning righteousness that they must exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees or they will not enter the kingdom of heaven. This speaks to lack of righteousness of those leaders. This tells the reader of their status as to God and what He thinks of their selfish form of righteousness. He is saying to them, “do not strive to be like those who claim the righteousness of God and do not know what that means. Strive, hunger and thirst with all your being, for the righteousness of God only. The scribes and Pharisees were seeking the glory for themselves and not for God. They believed that since they had full access to the scriptures, they were the only ones who knew their meaning. Therefore, the righteousness of God was theirs and theirs alone. No one could ever know and understand the scriptures except them.

God’s gracious mercy has given us all that we will ever need to serve Him per His Will. The greatest gift that God has given those who truly desire His righteousness is the Holy Spirit. There is no way a person can walk in the righteousness of God on their own. The Holy Spirit is the one who enables and enables the person seeking the righteousness of God, to find it. Do you believe that the Holy Spirit is the only means available to achieve the righteousness of God? Do you live as if the Holy Spirit is the only means by which you enter the Holiness of God? The righteousness of God means right thinking and right living before God. Is this your passion and desire?

As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So pants my soul for You, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?

(Psalm 42:1-2 NKJV)

The picture the psalmist is painting here is that of deep spiritual longing for the Living God. It is beautiful and an amazing visual of where our desire as believers should focus. Those who have ever been in the forests and observed a deer as they run effortlessly through thick under brush. You think, “wow, they make no effort and every stride is so fluid!” Then, they finally stop by the stream and you realize that once they stop their breathing almost seems laborious and they begin to drink. Suddenly, their ears stand straight and head pops up in alarm of something that you never heard in the stillness of the forest. As suddenly as it stopped, the deer runs into full stride to escape the perceived threat. This is how the Christian must be toward God. The psalmist writes that in this same manner so his soul desires for God. His soul thirsts for the Living God. The writer wants more than anything to be in the presence of the Lord God. Is this your spiritual desire, not just for eternity, but now?

When we truly desire the righteousness of God, we are seeking Him with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. Jesus told His disciples that they are blessed when they hunger and thirst for righteousness. The Holy Spirit is given to those who love the Lord God with all their hearts, minds, souls and strengths and love one another as Christ loves us. It is not easy for a child of God to maintain their relationship and live in a sinful world. But, it is only through the empowering work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer that we can achieve the righteousness of our hearts desire. If you love the Lord Jesus Christ, allow the Holy Spirit to guide you into all righteousness for His name’s sake. Are you willingly desiring the righteousness of God? If not, is He and only He the true desire of your heart? Think on these things as you go through your week.

Let us Pray:

Heavenly Father, may Your grace abound throughout my life. May I hunger and thirst daily for Your righteousness and Yours alone. My one desire is to be like You and to live in Your in Will. I desire a deeper relationship with You and I am seeking a more intimate relationship with You. Cleanse me that I may become white as snow before You, O Lord my God. In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.

Category:  Uncategorized     

The Holy Spirit and the Power of Meekness

When considering the power of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer, one should note that the Christian life is full of paradoxes. When you lose your life then you will gain it, for example. So it is with meekness. Meekness in the world is viewed as weakness. If anything, meekness is among the most powerful strengths of the true believer. In this blog, I am looking at the possibility of meekness and its strengths and how we, as believers in Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit, should develop this aspect of Christian character.

The Holy Spirit and the Power of Meekness

Blessed are the meek,
For they shall inherit the earth.
(Matthew 5:5 NKJV)

The marvelous and wonderful ways of the Lord our God is that He can work through any individual in a powerful way. The Holy Spirit is fully capable of great and amazing things, if we only allow Him to do His work in us. The world and its ideological worship of the monetary and material tends to condemn those who exhibit kindness toward others. Random acts of kindness and gentleness, not expecting anything in return, puts many people on the defensive. It is quite entertaining when you attempt to just hand someone a cold bottle of water in the heat of the summer and they walk thirty feet away from you, as if you are attempting a carjacking. Some will ask questions and some it will take a few minutes for the action to register. Everybody reacts in accordance to their situation and their experiences. A meek, gentle, or kind person, when acting in like manner toward the world, is believed to want something in return. Remember that when the Lord Jesus Christ calls you out for service, He empowers you with the power of the Holy Spirit to fulfill the Will of God. So, the meek, when obedient to the call, will be blessed and inherit the earth. This means that those who are last and weakest of the earth will then be the strongest and the greatest and inherit all the earth.

One of the paradoxes of the Christian faith is that the first will be last and the last will be first. So, it is with the meek. These are the ones that the world would use as doormats and cast aside as insignificant. But, God sees strength in that person because of their apparent weakness it leaves room for the strength of the Holy Spirit to work. Therefore, the Lord uses those who are humble, repentant, and meek for their willingness to submit to the authority and power of the Holy Spirit. Are you willing to give the Holy Spirit authority in your life? The Lord Jesus Christ told His disciples that if they will act in meekness then they will inherit the earth. The disciples did not fully comprehend this concept of meekness until the Holy Spirit taught them and brought to their recognition all that Jesus had taught them. Understand that all the actions of the meek are not known to those outside of the act itself. If you choose to attempt service for the Lord, be sure you walk in the light and power of the Holy Spirit, then all things will be added to you. Fear is the greatest obstacle to service of God. The meek are those who do not want the spotlight nor any recognition for they are usually humble and with a repentant heart.

Meekness: Love and Patience Before Action

Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back. And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.

(Luke 6:30-31 NKJV)

Jesus is not teaching how to be a coward, but He is teaching, as you see in verse thirty-one, for you to consider others before yourself. You know what? When you treat someone the way that you wish to be treated, it changes your perspective. Your whole world view becomes transformed. Jesus was meek in many ways. He was the example of all the beatitudes which is why He taught and demonstrated them so often. Today, people are on the defensive when it comes to safety. If they feel insecure or inferior, they begin to stock up on weapons because of the fear instilled toward the everyday person. Crime is on the rise around the world and domestically. If someone attempts to steal your car, do not fight them for it, let them have it and rejoice that your life was spared. It could be a wonderful opportunity for a testimony toward that person. The meek demonstrate a hidden strength that is unmatched when confronted in a crisis. So, do not underestimate a meek and gentle person, because their strength may be from the Lord and the Holy Spirit.

The person who treats others with contempt probably has been treated this way themselves in their past. It is sad but true. People react in large proportion to the manner to which they were raised. For many, it is extremely difficult to change the way that their worldview has been engrained in them. Pacifism, racism, sexism, and those related “isms” are reflections of those who raised us or most influenced our lives. My prayer is that you allow the Holy Spirit to intervene and truly change your life. The truth is that nothing can separate us from the love and patience of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is personal and loving toward us in the most intimate of ways. Once we choose to accept that then the Holy Spirit will be given authority in your life. The result is an enjoyment in the presence of the Lord that is an experience unmatched by any others you will ever experience. But you must change your attitude toward other for meekness, then you will inherit the earth.

Meekness: A Fruit of the Holy Spirit

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV)

The product of the life in Christ of a person who is meek is that they will show evidences or fruits of the spirit. This is not just any spirit, but it is the Holy Spirit. The interesting part of viewing the fruits of the spirit is that three of the nine fruits are ways of describing meekness. Most people do not understand the definition of meekness. When translated from the original Greek, it is referring to either kindness, goodness, or gentleness. These are different in various ways but are the same at their base. The Apostle Paul describes the fruits of the spirit as those things that flow from the heart. If you do not possess these fruits, then you will not evidence them before others. When Jesus spelled this out for the disciples, in the beatitudes, He gave them an eternal strategy for living life for God the Father. I believe that He knew that they could not live per the high standard set by those eight stages of spiritual sanctification and perfection apart from the Spirit of God to assist. But, He knew they would soon be given full understanding once His mission was completed and their path was firmly set before them. So, to understand these fruits of the spirit in relation to the work and guidance of the Holy Spirit, is to grasp the eternal implications of all that Jesus accomplished. He knew that the Father gave those individuals to Him for a purpose, even Judas Iscariot, the betrayer. The basic truth is that one cannot evidence the fruit of the spirit apart from a measure of meekness and love for others.

Let us Pray:

Heavenly Father, and my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, make me mindful in my heart for the hurts of others that I may understand, sympathize, and see the world through Your eyes and act in Your Will. Guide me and lead me in accordance with Your Holy Spirit that I may grow into Your likeness in meekness, gentleness, kindness, and goodness toward others. My Your Love and compassion be experienced by others through me. In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.

 

Category:  Uncategorized