Tag: by the Spirit

Rejoicing in the Spirit!

Scripture reading for November 22nd:  Romans 14-16, 1st Corinthians 1-2

Key Scriptures:  1st Corinthians 2:7-10  “No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began.  None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.  However, as it is written:  “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him”–but God has revealed it to us by His Spirit.  The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.” 

God’s ‘secret wisdom’ was that through the sacrificial death of His only Son, Jesus Christ, that access to God would be given to all who by faith believe in Him.   This wisdom was hidden from the rulers of this world at the time Jesus was on earth.  But now that Jesus has died and rose again and sent His Father’s gift, the Holy Spirit, God has opened up the unfathomable riches of His wisdom and eternal kingdom to all believers!  The best is yet to come!

Thankful for hidden wisdom:  “For when You did awesome things that we did not expect, You came down, and the mountains trembled before You.  Since ancient time no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides You, who acts on behalf of those who wait for Him.”  (Isaiah 64:3-4)

 

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Prophetic warning and spiritual direction

Scripture reading for June 3rd:  Acts 21

After leaving the elders of Ephesus, Paul went on towards Jerusalem.  Disembarking from the ship he was traveling on, they stopped at Tyre.  They found some disciples there and stayed with them while the ship was unloading cargo. “Through the Spirit they urged Paul not to go on to Jerusalem.”  (Acts 21:4)  Paul listened but felt compelled to go on towards Jerusalem.  These believers were hearing what the Spirit was saying about the suffering that Paul would endure and sought to warn him.  But Paul felt directed to go, even if there was suffering involved!

At another stop, Paul reached Caesarea and stayed with Philip the evangelist who was one of the first seven deacons. (Acts 6:5)  There a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea and came over to Paul,  ” . . .he took Paul’s belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said, “The Holy Spirit says, ‘In this way the Jews of Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will had him over to the Gentiles.'”  (Acts 21:11)  When all who were with Paul heard this, they pleaded with Paul not to go.

Notice that the warning given here by Agabus did not forbid Paul to go, but only told what would happen to him.  His friends did not want him to suffer.  But Paul had already heard from God himself and knew he was supposed to go. “Why are you weeping and breaking my heart?  I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the Name of the Lord Jesus.”  When he would not be dissuaded, we gave up and said, “The Lord’s will be done.”  (Acts 21:13-14)  Prophesy in the New Testament is not directive, but used to confirm God’s will.

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Sunday Rest and Reflection:Not by Might!

Dear Spirit-filled Friends,

Greetings on another day of rest and reflection!  We have covered most of the Old Testament and many of the minor prophets.  Their message has been one of coming judgment and hope for God’s people.  They spoke of the coming King who would rule to the ends of the earth and destroy the wicked.  They called God’s people to seek Him humbly and to walk by faith, encouraging them with the promise of eternal rewards and a time of everlasting peace.  The ‘day of the Lord’ was a common theme in many of these prophet’s ministries.

As I reflect back on the past week, a scripture from Zechariah comes quickly to my mind!  “So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.”” (Zechariah 4:4)  As we think of all the happenings of the coming end times and the day of the Lord, we can become overwhelmed by how we are going to make it and be ready.  We see the work yet to be done in reaching this world with the Gospel and think how difficult it is.  Zechariah was given a word of God by an angel who spoke to him.  This angel relayed God’s encouragement to His people of all generations.  We are not to rely on our own strength or power to accomplish the work of building the temple any more than Zechariah and his people were told not to!  God, Himself, by His Spirit will empower His people.

This is good news for us today!  We need to be reminded that God has everything under his control.  He is bringing about His plans and His purposes are established forever!  (Psalm 33:9-10)  Those things that look like mountains will become level by the power of the Holy Spirit.  He is building His Temple and by His Spirit it will be accomplished!  We must be filled with the Holy Spirit and walk in the Spirit and we will have nothing to be concerned about!  God bless you and your family!

In His Love,  Pastor John

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