Why Do You Want Him? (part 2)

Hello again readers. I hope you had a great weekend. I did my monthly volunteering at NorthChurch.tv I always enjoy doing that. Other than that, not much really happened here in Oklahoma.

Today, we are going to pick up where we left off in Francis Chan’s Forgotten God. We are in Chapter 4 for those who have just joined us.

In part 1, we were asked the question:

Why do you desire the Holy Spirit’s activity in your life?

Below, Mr. Chan explains some of the reasons why we as humans desire Him.

Attention

I like what Francis says here. I am sure you will agree with me that some Christians witness to others and use the Holy Spirit to draw attention to themselves. The Holy Spirit works to glorify Christ (John 16:14), and that is what we are supposed to be doing. We are to be glorifying Him, and not ourselves.

The Bible has a great example of this in 1 Cor. 14:23-33. The Corinthian church basically liked to draw attention to themselves. By doing this, the church became chaotic. The people in the church really weren’t concerned with the betterment of the church. They were trying to use the manifestations of the Spirit for their own glorification. They ended up all fighting for attention, which resulted in mass confusion as everyone tried to talk at once.

Miracle Hunting

Another reason we as humans desire the Holy Spirit is to witness a miracle. Mr. Chan really explains this well. Wanting to talk about supernatural things like miracles, healing or prophecy is a great thing to think about, but focusing on it too much can get us off the true path of pursuing Him. God calls us to pursue Him, not what He might do for us or even in our midst. God does miracles when He sees fit and for His own purposes.

Followers or Leaders?

Are you a follower or a leader? Many times, people try to lead the Holy Spirit instead of following Him. The Holy Spirit was given to us to direct us. I like what Mr. Chan says here. The Spirit is not a passive power that we can wield as we choose. The Spirit is God, a Being who requires that we submit ourselves to be led by Him.

The Right Reason

As Christians, we need to desire the Holy Spirit for the right reason.

The Spirit is intentional as He apportions these spiritual gifts to each person, according to His will and purposes. The most obvious and stated purpose of these manifestations is for the good and edification of the church. The Spirit desires to use us when our hearts are aligned with this vision, when we are filled with genuine love for the church, and when we desire to see the church grow in love for God and others.

Here are a few questions I want to leave you with today.

  1. Do you believe the church needs you like a body needs a mouth?
  2. Why do you desire the Holy Spirit? Is it to glorify yourself or is it to glorify Him?

Until next time readers, God Bless!

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Theology of the Holy Spirit 101 (part 3)

Hello again fellow classmates! Today will be the last time I can say that because this is the last posting of this series (Theology of the Holy Spirit 101).  Chapter 3 of Francis Chan’s Forgotten God has been absolutely amazing!

This post is going to cover the last few pages of Chapter 3. I really am just going type out what he highlights on pages 74-76, and then leave you with some questions to think about.

If the Holy Spirit dwells within you, a number of things should be a part of your life. Consider how each one is manifest in your life; and if it isn’t, spend some time asking God for that specific thing.

  • The Spirit helps us speak when we are in precarious situations and need to bear witness (Mark 13:11; Luke 12:12).
  • The Counselor teaches and reminds us of what we need to know and remember. He is our comforter, our adviser, our encourager, and our strength. He guides us in the way we should go (Ps. 143:10; John 14-16; Acts 9:31; 13:2; 15:28; 1 Cor. 2:9-10; 1 John 6:6-8).
  • From the Spirit we receive power to be God’s witnesses to the ends of the earth. It is the Spirit who draws people to the gospel, the Spirit who equips us with the strength we need to carry out God’s purposes. The Holy Spirit not only initially draws people to God, He also draws believers closer to Jesus (Acts 1:8; Rom. 8:26; Eph. 3:16-19).
  • By the power of the Spirit we put to death the misdeeds of the body. The Spirit sets us free from the sins we cannot get rid of on our own. This is a lifelong process we entered into, in partnership with the Spirit, when we first believed (e.g., Rom. 8:2).
  • Through the Spirit we have received a spirit of adoption as children, which leads us into intimacy with the Father, instead of a relationship based on fear and slavery. The Spirit bears witness to us tat we are His children (Rom. 8:15-16).
  • The Holy Spirit convicts people of sin. He does this both before we initially enter into right relationship with God and as we journey through this life as believers (John 16:7-11; 1 Thess. 1:5).
  • The Spirit brings us life and freedom. Where the Spirit is, there is freedom, not bondage or slavery. In our world that is plagued with death, this is a profound truth that points to real hope (Rom. 8:10-11; 2 Cor. 3:17).
  • By the power of the Holy Spirit we abound with hope because our god is a God of hope, who fills His children with all joy and peace (Rom. 15:13).
  • As members of God’s kingdom community, each of us is given a manifestation the Spirit in our lives for the purpose of the common good. We all have something to offer because of what the Spirit gives to us (1 Cor. 12:7).
  • The fruit of being led by the Spirit of God includes love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These attitudes and actions will characterize our lives as we allow ourselves to be grown and molded by the Spirit. The Spirit is our sanctifier (2 Cor. 3:18; Gal. 5:22-23).

Hopefully reading these truths about the Holy Spirit will lead you into a deeper relationship with and a greater reverence for the Spirit.

I also hope that these last three posts have made you think about your relationship with God and the Spirit. If you believe something isn’t right with it, do your best to fix it.

The questions I want to leave you with today are this:

  1. On a scale of 0-10, how much do you trust God in your daily life? If not God, who or what are you trusting?
  2. In what way can you change your relationship with God for the better?

Until next time readers, God Bless!

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Theology of the Holy Spirit 101 (part 2)

Good morning again class. I promise I will stop calling you that after this chapter is finished. Today’s post is going to continue where we left off in Chapter 3 of Francis Chan’s Forgotten God.

Before we continue though, I want to recap what we learned from the last post.

The Holy Spirit is a Person, is God, and has His own mind and prays. I don’t know about you, but that was a lot to think about. Did you come away a different person? If you would like, stop here and read the last post.

Here is some more about the Holy Spirit that will make you think as well.

The Holy Spirit has Emotions.

In the Bible, it tells us not to grieve the Holy Spirit (Isa. 63:10; Eph. 4:30). But what does that really mean?  God has feelings? When is the Spirit grieved?

God Himself created feelings. Feelings can be misused and abused, but the purpose of feelings came from God. Mr Chan poses a great question here. Since He created emotions, why is it difficult to believe that He Himself has emotions?

The Holy Spirit is grieved when there is a  break in relationship, whether it be relationship with God or relationship with other people. When we are dis-unified, unloving, hateful, jealous, etc., that is when we grieve the Spirit of God.

The Holy Spirit has His own desires and will.

In 1 Corinthians we read that the gifts of the Spirit are “empowered by one and and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills” (12:11) This reminds us that God is in control. It also should tell us that we don’t get to choose which gifts we are given, and we don’t get to choose what He intends for us or for the church. The Spirit is the one that has a plan for our lives, and a plan for the church. The church would include the one we attend and the worldwide body of Christ.

The Holy Spirit is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient.

What does that actually mean? Basically it means that the Spirit is all-powerful, present everywhere, and all-knowing. Examples of the above can be found in Zech. 4:6, Ps. 139:7-8, and 1 Cor. 2:10b

We are going to stop right there and let what I previously wrote sink in. This chapter is such and important chapter that I don’t want anything to be passed over. The next post will finish Chapter 3. It should be exciting so stay tuned.

Again, I want to leave you with some questions.

  1. Have you grieved the Holy Spirit lately? If so, how do you plan on making that situation better?
  2. Do you trust that the Holy Spirit is in control of your life? If not, why not?

Until next time readers, God Bless!

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I’ve Got Jesus. Why Do I Need the Spirit?

Morning readers. Sorry that there wasn’t a post yesterday. I have been busy with my Capstone class for college. the final project is CRAZY!

Anyway, this post will cover Chapter 1 of Francis Chan’s Forgotten God .

To fully understand why we need the Holy Spirit, I think we need to know who the Holy Spirit is first.

There is a good description of the Holy Spirit on Wikipedia. There you will find the functions of the Holy Spirit, and even how it was active in the life of Jesus.

In this chapter, Mr. Chan challenges us to read our Bibles more, and to gain our own understanding of what we believe in. He also challenges us to listen to the Holy Spirit more and gain more knowledge and understanding on why the Holy Spirit even exists. I don’t know about you, but I am challenged.

One thing that you will learn about me, is that when I read, I like to highlight the book I am reading; well only if I own it. So here is what I highlighted for Chapter 1.

  • p. 30 The Epistles tell us of the Holy Spirit’s amazing power at work in us, our Spirit-enabled ability to put our sin to death through Him, and the supernatural gifts He gives us.
  • p. 32 Romans 8:9 says, “You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you.” According to this verse, if I am a believer, the Spirit of God dwells in me. Paul reiterates that truth in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20: “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price” (NIV).
  • p.32 If it’s true that the Spirit of God dwells in us and that our bodies are the Holy Spirit’s temple, then shouldn’t there be a huge difference between the person who has the Spirit of God living inside of him or her and the person who does not?
  • p. 36 It is impossible for us as finite humans to completely understand an infinite God.

There is a story on page 36 and 37 I want to share with you as well.

Years ago, when a random thought came into my head, I decided to share it with my wife.”Have  you ever wondered what caterpillars think about?” I asked.

Not surprisingly, she said, “No.”

I then proceeded to tell her about the confusion I imagined a caterpillar must experience. For all its caterpillar life, it crawls around a small patch of dirt and up and down a few plants. Then one day it takes a nap. A long nap. And then, what in the world must go through its head when it wakes up to discover it can fly? What happened to its dirty, plump little worm body? What does it think when it sees its tiny new body and gorgeous wings?

As believers, we ought to experience this same kind of astonishment when the Holy Spirit enters our bodies. We should be stunned in disbelief over becoming a “new creation” with the Spirit living in us. As the caterpillar finds its new ability to fly, we should be thrilled over our  Spirit-empowered ability to live differently and faithfully.

Two questions I want to leave you with today are this:

  1. When was the last time I undeniably saw the Spirit at work in or around me?
  2. Are you a caterpillar or a butterfly? The difference should be overwhelmingly clear. Can you describe the difference God’s Spirit has made in your life? What sets you apart from your non-Christian neighbors?

Until next time readers, God Bless!

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