Sunday, November 14, 2010

Knowing God - Acts 1:8, 2:2-4

(fp)
Your Name is UNQUENCHABLE
Lord, you are Spirit, wind, and fire.
Blow through my life — unstoppable — today.
How real is the Spirit to you? Pray for him to have a bigger effect on your life.
 
Jesus said to his disciples,
"You will receive power when
the Holy Spirit has come upon you" ...
And suddenly from heaven there came a sound
like the rush of a violent wind ... 
Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them,
and a tongue rested on each of them.
All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit
Acts 1:8 and 2:2-4
 
Years ago I attended a retreat. Reflecting on the spiritual power of Pentecost (see our lesson for today), the theme song for the weekend was "Rushin' Wind."
 
Again and again we sang, "Rushin' wind flow through me." "Rushin' wind flow through me." "Rushin' wind ..."Rushin' wind ..."
 
Halfway through the retreat, one of our more patriotic participants asked in all seriousness, "Why do we keep singing about a RUSSIAN wind? That's not what I want flowing through me!"
 
The Holy Spirit is not Russian. But he is active, alive, and moving. And he wants to bring a literal power to your life:
  1. The Spirit wants to draw you closer to Jesus and his love (John 15:26)[When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me.]
  2. The Spirit wants to bring us more love, more joy, more peace, more patience, more self-control, and still more and more (Gal 5:22-23)[But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.]
  3. The Spirit wants to help us pray by interceding for us (Rom 8:27) [And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.]
  4. Furthermore, the Spirit wants to bring new life, fresh energy, and more tangible results to your prayers (Eph 6:18, Acts 16:25-34) [And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.] [About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose. The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!"The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized. The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household..]
  5. The Spirit wants to comfort us in our sorrows (John 14:16) [And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—]
  6. The Spirit wants to guide us into all truth (John 16:13) [But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.]
  7. The Spirit wants to empower kingdom living by drawing us away from sin (John 16:8) [When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment:]
  8. The Spirit wants to help us turn away from the hurts of our past and be born again (John 3:3-5) [Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again." “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit."]
Our question for today is: How real is the Spirit to you? Pray for him to have a bigger effect on your life. Indeed, ask God to fill you with the Holy Spirit in a new way.
 
In Christ's Love,
a Russian pastor
(who trying to rush less
and abide with God more)
-----------------------------
How real is the Spirit to me? Some days, very.  However, more often than not - he is very distant.  #8 up there has me baffled ... "turn away from the hurts of our past and be born again."

John 3:3-5 says, "Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”  “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!” Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit."

For me - the hurts of the past have a very strong hold on me.  I KNOW I am born again, yet the hurts of the past continue to haunt me.  The hurts, habits, hangups, failures, disappointments, shame, guilt, etc. etc of the past are still there in living color.  Reminding me daily that I am worthless. Nothing but dust to scatter in the wind. At least when I die, I know I will be with Jesus.

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