Are You… Lost??

Hello readers! The popular tv show Lost starts its final season tonight. I haven’t seen any episodes, but from what I have heard, it is a good show. The focus of this post is not about what is going on on tv tonight, but what is going on in the world around us and even what is going on in our own backyard.

There are so many people in this world that are considered to be “lost” or ” un-saved”. I can’t even fathom how big of a number it is. This is either by a decision to not follow Christ, or just simply not even having the opportunity to know Him.

The largest group of people who haven’t had the opportunity to know Him fall into what the church likes to call the  10/40 window. Most of the people groups still unreached by the gospel live in places stretching across the maps of northern Africa and Asia. For more information on the 10/40 window click here.

Now I would like to turn attention to an even more important topic.. Are you… Lost?

Here in the United States, most people have heard about the man named Jesus. But some of them don’t have a relationship with Him. Do you have a relationship with the Son of God? If not, here is some information on how you can establish that relationship.

The message of the Bible is abundantly clear. We have all sinned against God (Romans 3:23). Because of our sin, we deserve to be eternally separated from God (Romans 6:23). Because of His love for us (John 3:16), God took on human form and died in our place, taking the punishment that we deserve (Romans 5:8; 2 Cor. 5:21). God promises forgiveness of sins and eternal life in heaven to all who receive, by grace through faith, Jesus Christ as Savior (John 1:12; 3:16; 5:24; Acts 16:31).

If you would like to become a Christian, please pray this prayer with me.

Lord, I know I am a sinner. I am coming to you to repent of my sins. I believe that you sent your one and only Son to Earth, He died, and arose on the 3rd day. I am truly grateful for your love. Please come into me now and make me new.

In Your Name I Pray… Amen.

Until next time readers, God Bless!

*Thanks for reading! Please take a moment and subscribe to my RSS Feed or for an email subscription click ” Subscribe To This Blog” on the right side of your page.

A Real Relationship (part 2)

Afternoon readers. Today we are going to continue Chapter 5 of Francis Chan’s Forgotten God. As mentioned in a part 1, this post is going to cover two obstacles that may be stopping you from having real intimacy with God.

Comfort (Maybe Your Life Is Too Safe)

The first obstacle Mr. Chan presents is comfort. The Bible says that the Spirit comes through in times where we would normally be afraid (Luke 12:11-12). Jesus refers the Spirit as the “Helper” or “Comforter.” Mr Chan asks a great question here.

Why would we need to experience the Comforter if our lives are already comfortable?

The Bible says that it is those who put their lives at risk and suffer for the gospel (Phil. 1:29) who will most often experience His being “with you always, even to the end of age” (Matt. 28:20 NASB).

Are you being too comfortable?

Volume (Maybe Your Life is Too Loud)

I like the question that Mr. Chan asks at the beginning of this section.

When was the last time you had an uninterrupted conversation with anyone? No phones, text messages, or to-do lists running through your mind?

Some of us would have to think for a while to come up with that answer. Our lives are becoming so fast paced and full of continual multitasking, it is hard to focus on one thing or one person. This constant going and going and going probably has affected your prayer life, I know it has affected mine.

Jesus didn’t get to experience the technology we have today, but he did have tons of people pursuing Him at once. At any given part of the day, people were looking for Jesus. He had the priority of His relationship with His Father, and found ways to escape. He took the time to focus and be quiet (Mark 1:35). He was willing to remove Himself from people’s reach in order to pray and commune with God the Father.

Mr.Chan says something so true here.

Our lack of intimacy often is due to our refusal to unplug and shut off communication from all others so we can be alone with him.

Francis challenges us at the end of this chapter to read John 14-16. He tells us to get in a space free from distraction and soak in the words we read. He says to notice particularly how Christ desires that His disciples have peace and how He comforts His disciples with the truth that they are not left alone. Part of His answer to how we are to have peace and be comforted is through the provision of the Holy Spirit, the other Counselor, who He promised would come one He left.

So right now, take the time to read John 14-16. Afterward, come back for today’s questions.

—–

  1. Does your personal baggage keep you from enjoying intimacy with God?
  2. Do you ever want to distance yourself from Him because you feel so much shame over your sin?
  3. What obstacles do you have in your life keeping you from Him?

Until next time readers, God Bless!


*Thanks for reading! Please take a moment and subscribe to my RSS Feed or for an email subscription click ” Subscribe To This Blog” on the right side of your page.

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!

*Thanks for reading! Please take a moment and subscribe to my RSS Feed or for an email subscription click ” Subscribe To This Blog” on the right side of your page.

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!

*Thanks for reading! Please take a moment and subscribe to my RSS Feed or for an email subscription click ” Subscribe To This Blog” on the right side of your page.

Theology of the Holy Spirit 101 (part 1)

Good afternoon class! Are you ready for today’s lesson? Just kidding everyone. I thought with a title like “Theology of the Holy Spirit 101“, I would just throw that in there.Well I hope you have been enjoying the study of Francis Chan’s Forgotten God. It has really opened my eyes to a lot of things. I want to point out to you that I am not an educated man in the ways of the Bible. The following post is strictly what I am taking from the Bible and Mr. Chan’s book.

Today’s post is going to cover Chapter 3 of Forgotten God. In this chapter, Mr. Chan helps us understand the Holy Spirit by looking at who He is and what He does.

I like the way Mr. Chan says the following statement.

“The Bible says we cannot fully understand God, and I am certainly not the exception to that rule. There are things about God that are mysterious and secret, things we will never know about Him. But there also are things revealed, and those belong to us (Deut. 29:29)”.

Along with what I mentioned before, Mr. Chan also helps us see some of the things that have been revealed about the Holy Spirit.

Several times in the Bible, we see the Holy Spirit enter people and change their lives. Below are a few examples. By clicking on their name, you can read more about them.

  • Stephen, the first martyr
  • Peter was changed and became a courageous man
  • Saul turned from killing Christians to Paul (one of the most famous Christian leaders)

Now that we have seen some examples on the changes the Holy Spirit can do in people’s lives, let’s focus on who the Spirit is and what He does in our lives.

The Spirit is several different things.

The Holy Spirit is a Person.

I like how Mr. Chan describes the Holy Spirit here. He is not an indistinct “power” or “thing.” Many people refer to the Spirit s an “it,” as if the Spirit is a thing or force that we can control or use. John 14:17 (The Message) states:

This Friend is the Spirit of Truth. The godless world can’t take him in because it doesn’t have eyes to see him, doesn’t know what to look for. But you know him already because he has been staying with you, and will even be in you!

The Spirit has a personal relationship with not only believers, but also with the Father and the Son. He works together with them (Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14)

The Holy Spirit is God.

Again, Mr. Chan does a brilliant job describing the Holy Spirit. He is not a lessor or different kind of Being than God the Father or God the Son. The Spirit is God. When we forget about the Spirit, we really are forgetting about God.

The Holy Spirit is Eternal and Holy.

I really love what Mr. Chan says in this section. The Spirit is not just a flighty, whimsical spirit who comes and goes like the wind. He is an eternal being. The Spirit is also holy. Obviously, we commonly call Him the “Holy Spirit,” and this is reinforced throughout the New Testament (Romans 1:4 and 5:5)

The Holy Spirit has His own mind, and He prays for us.

Romans 8:27: “He who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”

One word here… AWESOME!

Well readers, this has turned into a long post. Stay tuned for part 2 where we will continue with Chapter 3.

Right now I want to leave you with some questions to think about.

  1. What is the Holy Spirit doing in your life currently?
  2. Do you trust the path that the Holy Spirit is taking you on?

Until next time readers, God Bless!

*Thanks for reading! Please take a moment and subscribe to my RSS Feed or for an email subscription click ” Subscribe To This Blog” on the right side of your page.