You know when God really wants you to hear something, He continues the theme over and over until you listen and hear and change.
I have definitely experienced that two times very recently. This weekend being one of those times. So I gave you the gist of what Beth talked about on Saturday and then we get to church Sunday and it’s a continuation of what I was already hearing. That evening a friend posted on his Facebook wall a question to answer. He wanted to know how we could be sure of our salvation. He’s a bible teacher, pastor, theologian, and most recently and author. I would say he’s a jack of all trades, but I think that implies he’s a master of none. He is definitely a master of being obedient to God and getting believers to think. Anyway, the continuation of my education…
Pastor Chris started a new series on the Holy Spirit and The Spirit Led Life. So here we go delving into something that I have really not been living by in a while. It’s not that there weren’t periods of time when I would suddenly tune into the Spirit’s moving, it’s just that for the majority of the time I was trying to do it all under my strength and determination. The Holy Spirit was thumping me on the head for a long time this time. In fact, I wouldn’t doubt that the holy hot glue stick was getting ready to come out and smack me. (if you have a question about that let me know)
So anyway, I hear Beth’s message, I went to church Sunday morning and sat through the sermon, took notes, but I wasn’t really listening because I was agitated about getting home and finishing my blog post for yesterday. I was severely agitated and once I hit the publish button, several hours after starting it, I felt this rush of peace. The only explanation that I have for it is that God was really wanting me to share.
So anyway, this morning I printed off my devotions for the week from the sermon notes and reopened by notebook to read my notes. Below is the summation. John 3:1-8
First of all, I wrote that the work of the Holy Spirit is miraculous, John 3:2. Private faith propels public ministry and the Holy Spirit gives life and understanding to God’s word. Secondly, the work of the Spirit is mandatory for new life. John 3:3-5. All the things we do count for nothing unless we have the Holy Spirit and have been born again. In other words, if we serve and give to others, we are doing good work, but unless it is motivated by the Holy Spirit it doesn’t mean a thing. The Holy Spirit is the one who tells us that we are lost and in trouble, then offers salvation. It is then our choice to accept it or reject it. The Holy Spirit is the one who effects change. Third, the Spirit’s ministry is mysterious, John 3:5 You can’t predict it or control it. Like the wind, He blows where He pleases. He brings mysterious transformation. 1 Samuel 10:6-7, 9-11 shows us that when God finished with Saul, he wasn’t who he formerly was. The question for us is not whether we are changing ourselves but whether we are being changed. Fourth, the ministry of the Holy Spirit is a mighty, moving, force. He moves us where, when, and how He wishes. God overcomes our resistance, He makes our efforts effortless. He changes our hearts. Lastly, He joins us to the mission of Jesus. The Holy Spirit makes us the hands and feet of Jesus by leading us to the mission. We just have to be tuned in and listening.
So here are Pastor’s devotional verses and questions to ponder.
1 Samuel 10:6-10 Consider the work of the Spirit on Saul. What happened as a result? What was the reaction of the people around him?
1 John 2:29, 3:9, 4:7, 5:1 and 4. Have you been born again? 2 Cor 5:17 and Ezekial 36:24-28 Praise God for His desire to make beautiful creations out of us and His ability to redeem us from our previous lives. Give thanks to Him and take time to address any business you have with Him…heart to heart.
Ecclesiastes 11:5; Ezekiel 37:1-14 The Spirit of God mysteriously breathes life into whomever and wherever God decides. Reflect on where you have seen God breathe life into death. Consider how God may want His Spirit that dwells within you, to breathe life into the people and circumstances around you. How is He stirring you?
John 3:1-8 As Christians, we surrender our lives to Christ, but don’t we often try to take back control? What are you holding on to that may be causing you to sail against the Wind rather than allowing the Wind to push you?
Romans 9:15-16, Philippians 2:12-13, Ephesians 2:8-9 the Spirit of God can indeed overcome our resistance to God. Is there someone in your life who is resisting Jesus? Take time today to pray for them. Pray and ask God to show you how to be His ambassador to that person.
Ephesians 1:15-23 Read. Pray. Give thanks. This is God’s hope for you, with Him, and for the world. Commit yourself to Him and intercede for others today.
I promise I am listening!