Posts Tagged ‘Holy Spirit’

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Ephesians 1:1,2 CALLED FOR HIS PURPOSE

October 1, 2011

            Today I begin reading Ephesians on my journey with my Lord.  He first took me through 1st and 2nd Timothy, then Romans and now we begin to unwrap the treasures in Ephesians.  I am excited to find out what the Holy Spirit has in store for me.

            The book begins with Paul qualifying himself.  He says that he is an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God.  God’s word proves itself.  We can look back through the book of Acts to see Paul’s story.  It is unique, but then so is mine and so is yours.  The emphasis in this book is to the church, to the “saints who are also faithful in Christ Jesus”.  We are the saints.  It begins with a blessing of grace and peace to us from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

            The first thing that jumped out to me was “by the will of God”.  We have all been chosen by the will of God   (John 6:44).  We have all been called for His purpose (Romans 8:28).

            Paul was called to be an Apostle.  His calling came after Jesus rose from the dead.  So did mine.  God placed him in is position.  God placed me in my position.  He spent time learning from those who had already been called; however his ministry began immediately. (Acts 9: 19:20).

            Look at your life.  What are you doing?  Looking for purpose?  You already have one.  God chose you, enabled you, and equipped you to do certain things.  What are you good at; what is your passion?  Those things are not a mistake or just a part of your personality.  It is your calling.   Do it unto the Lord, do it well, learn to do it better from those in Christ who have gone before you.  Submit your ways to God and let him lead you down His path, ask him to open your eyes just like He did for Paul.  God bless.

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Romans 15:1 TRUE LEADERSHIP

September 15, 2011

  Yesterday, I had to go and meet someone who had gotten lost on her way to my home in order to show her the way.  As I drove ahead of her, I kept the space between my car and hers measured so that she could stay behind me.  She was driving slowly and I would have to slow down to maintain the distance.  We were on our way when I heard the Lord say to me, “This is how to lead.” 

   In today’s verse, we are told that “We who are strong [in our convictions and of robust faith] ought to bear with the failings and the frailties and the tender scruples of the weak. — We ought to help carry the doubts and qualms of others — and not to please ourselves.” (Amplified).

   Yesterday, we were told in the end of Romans 14 that although we are no longer under the law, we must be careful that our freedom does not cause another person to sin and we were reminded that whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.

   So, the Lord showed me how I am supposed to lead:  by gauging the needs of the one being taught, and accommodating my guidance to their level.   I cannot teach a six year old the same thing I could share with a 20 year old.  It works the same in the Kingdom.  Jesus spent three years with his disciples, He lived with them, taught them, showed them, loved them and He knew who they were inside and out. 

   I must take the time to discern what the failings, frailties or tender scruples are in the person God has entrusted me to help.  I must take care not to be puffed up or pompous when I share with them.  I must take the time to know them and love them and only then can I be an effective leader.  In all of that, I must rely upon the Holy Spirit for guidance and take care to hear Him instead of me. 

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No More Land for Peace!

July 22, 2011

Yesterday, I touched a spiritual level I had never experienced before, a place where God’s heart lives.  I was overwhelmed with the weight of it.   I tried to explain it, but I could not.  His heart is heavy.  We Christians have ceded His territory just like the modern day Israelis…for peace…for “political correctness”.  Satan knows how to take territory, little by little, ever chipping away at land, at faith, at courage and finally at hope.  We have allowed it, stayed silent, kept out of controversy, safely hidden in our little church fellowship groups where the “world” cannot touch us. 

What is wrong with us!  Who are we?  Who do we belong to?  What do we believe!  People are being led to the slaughter day by day and we do nothing!  We let the Lord, the Holy One, the One and Only God be removed from the public square and we do nothing!

We are called the “silent majority”, yet Jesus called us to Preach the Good News!  Silent! Silent?  Do we belong to the Almighty?  Are we Ambassadors for Christ?  Do they “know us by our love?”   Did Jesus die in vain? 

I am ashamed.  God is watching and we are not doing what He called us to do.  “Well done, good and faithful servants”?  I think not. 

I declare this day, in the Name of my Lord Jesus Christ, with the power of the Holy Spirit, that I will serve my Father in Heaven and establish a beachhead wherever He leads me and, once established, I will hold it!   All the armies of Heaven go before me and surround me as I do the will of my Father…no more land for peace, no more hiding in my comfort zone.  Here Am I, Lord…Send Me!.

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Rejoice With Those Who Rejoice, Weep With Those Who Weep

July 15, 2011

Romans 13:15  “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” 

There was a time in my life when I had shut off most of my emotions.  I did not allow myself to feel happy or sad.  When I saw someone really happy, I resented them.  When I saw someone sad, I didn’t want to be around them.

 In thinking about this scripture, I am so very grateful that today this is not the case.  God has truly removed my heart of stone and given me a heart of flesh (Ez. 36:26).  This process was not quick and was not easy. The stone had to be chipped away with His chisel and many times was a painful process.  There are still bits of stone hanging on, but I know that God will continue to conform me to the image of my Lord (Ro. 8:29).

 I can truly rejoice with those who rejoice today and I can weep with those who weep.  I am no longer afraid to feel. I am able to become vulnerable and not be threatened.  I can love.  Thank you Jesus Christ for making this possible and giving me Your heart.

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Practice Hospitality

July 12, 2011

In Romans 12:13c, Paul tells us to practice hospitality.  Since he says to “practice”, I would guess it does not come naturally.  I know it did not for me.  It took years for me to develop that trait, and it was my husband’s hospitality that initiated me. 

For most of my life, I did not allow others to get to know me.  I had a very few friends who managed to infiltrate my walled up self, but that was more because of them than because of me.  I was more comfortable by myself-isolating.  I did not invite people to my home because I didn’t know what to do with them, or I was afraid they would judge me as insufficient.  However, my home was open to my son’s friends any time they were in need.  But then, I was in a maternal position and I knew how to do that.

 Today, all of that has changed.  I got into a recovery program, turned my life back to Jesus Christ, and little by little, He changed me into the person I was always supposed to be.  He truly pulled me out of the miry clay and set my feet upon a Rock. (Psalm 40:2)

 In attending recovery meetings, I began to interact with other women and found out that they liked me and didn’t judge me.  I married my wonderful husband and that broadened my world.  He truly has a heart of compassion and hospitality.  We slowly began inviting people that we did not know well over for dinner, a couple at a time.  I started a bi-monthly woman’s group on Saturday mornings so that I could learn to be comfortable around women…it lasted about six years and was a tremendous blessing to all of us.

We now host an open Thursday night dinner followed by Bible Study and a Sunday morning brunch following church.  We’ve opened our home to others in need.  And, guess what?  I love it.  I will continue to “practice”, I hope, for the rest of my life.

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Ro. 12:13a Contribute to the Needs of the Saints…

July 9, 2011

We are commanded to love one another (John 15:12).  When you love someone, you are aware of their needs.  Many of us support missions financially and that is good.   Many of us do not “see” the needs in our own church family.

I know that there is a “church mask” that is worn by most of us.  It masks the needs we may have.  The Holy Spirit can break through that mask by giving us discernment if we are willing to follow His lead.  He can also show us how to meet the need in a way that will not produce an enablement of what might be a bad habit (like giving money to an addict).   That is a place where the gift of mercy sometimes does more harm than good.  But, for the most part, if someone needs financial help and we can help, then do it.  If they need friendship, love, compassion, or just to be welcomed and noticed we must be able to fill that need.   And if we ourselves are in need, let others know. 

I belong to a fellowship where there are no masks for the most part.  If someone asks “How are you?”  An honest reply usually follows: “fine” is not an acceptable answer.  “Hi, how are you?” has become a greeting instead of a question in our society.  That’s too bad.

Jesus said in John 13:35 that all men shall know that we are His disciples by our love for one another.  So…how’s that going?

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Rejoice in Your Hope (Ro. 12:12a)

July 6, 2011

I often wonder how those without faith can navigate this world.  I also can see the anger and combativeness of those who have chosen not to believe.  Without faith, there is no hope.   There are “wishes”, but no hope.

I often wanted to be able to place into an unbeliever, just for a minute, the experience of faith, hope and love in Christ.  Unfortunately, I cannot.

I listen to those who hate Christianity and am so grateful that I have the Lord, that the Father called me.  I don’t know why, but I am sure because scripture tells me, that He calls all men to Him.

We are being watched (even when vilified).  No matter what happens, we must rejoice in our hope.  God has planned everything out for us (Jer. 29:11) and nothing in His Kingdom happens by chance.  We are placed here to show others the Hope that overcomes all obstacles and by our example to draw others to Christ.   Our hope springs eternal…and is a beacon here in the surrounding darkness.  Let your light shine!

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Be Aglow with The Spirit

July 5, 2011

Romans 12:11 continues… “be aglow (burning) with the Spirit, serving the Lord.” 

Since Paul exhorts us to “be aglow with the Spirit”, this must be something we can do.  I have always prayed that I would be filled with the Spirit, only to find out that Paul said, “Stir up your gift” and “be filled.”  So, again, this is something we must be able to do within ourselves. 

I became born again the in the Charismatic Movement of the 70s.  That was something.  People were being saved and baptized in the Spirit everywhere.  We were all on fire for the Lord.  It was an exciting time.   But, although it was a real movement of God, it was experiential.  I had a thirst for the Word of God, but did not have a strong teacher.  We all just prayed, praised and witnessed.  We gathered together at God’s party. 

I now know that a foundation on the Word of God, good mentors and teachers are necessary to continue in the faith.  When I know the promises of God, when I remember the urgency of the Gospel…when I hear my Lord say “Tell them!” and I know what to say, then I can stir up my gift and “be aglow”. 

 

When I share my Lord with others, my spirit burns within me.   If I want to be aglow, I have to do what He commanded:   “Go into all the world and preach the gospel…”

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Zeal…Ro. 12:11a and Isaiah 6:8

July 4, 2011

 Still in Romans 12:11.  Yesterday, while still thinking about “zeal”, I could not shake the prodding  of the Holy Spirit.  I previously wrote about how I felt when I was first born again and how zealous I was to proclaim what God had done in my life.  There is more to it than that.

 Little by little, our faith is being eroded in this country.  It is being chipped away by those who choose to misinterpret our Constitution.  The threat of someone’s perceived discomfort is enough for the ACLU to attack long standing Judeo/Christian practices and bully establishments to remove God from the public arena.

 The latest is that the VA will no longer allow any reference to God in their funeral services without Government approval!!!  What country do we live in? 

 Yet, as this trend continues, backed by progressive Judges who do not honor the Constitution, we Christians just sit back and shake our heads.   Me too.

 Jesus asked if there would be faith on the earth when He returned.  Will there?

 Who is the one who says to God, “Here am I Lord, send me.”

 Maybe we should look at the way that Russia became communist or what led up to Hitler’s holocaust.  I am sure that God was removed, little by little, chipped away bit by bit, while the Christians did nothing.  It’s happening again and it’s happening here. 

Good v. evil continues…and God still asks, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?”  Is silence the only answer He hears?

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Never Lag in Zeal and Earnestness

July 3, 2011

Romans 12:11 begins, “Not lagging behind in diligence”; some versions say “zeal”.   

I remember when I was first born again in 1975; my passion for the Lord and for sharing the good news was intense.  I could not stop talking about Him, about grace, about freedom.  I drove most people around me crazy; they either ran away from me or accepted the Lord to shut me up.  Thankfully, those who accepted Him are still with Him today. 

I walked away from Him for several years in the 1980s and didn’t fully recommit myself until 1996.  During that time, although my life took a downward spiral, I always had a strong sense that He was just waiting for me to come back.  Even then, if anyone asked me about Him, the fire returned as I witnessed (in word, truly not in action).  The Holy Spirit honored the attempt despite me.  A friend told me during that time that because I had been sealed with the Holy Spirit, I would return to the Lord.

 Well, I did return and He received me back, and blessed me and loved me and forgave me.  What I learned while wandering in my self imposed wilderness has now given me compassion, understanding and a ministry to guide others who need a savior back to Him as well. 

 The zeal and passion has returned, but now in a mature, level-headed, scripture based and guided fashion (by the Holy Spirit, good teaching of the Word and great mentors). 

So, if the zeal has left, do not despair:  “Our misery becomes our ministry” (Mark Shell). Return to Him and He will return to you.