Posts Tagged 'The Holy Spirit'

Relying on God’s Power

JESUS SPEAKING

    Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of me this night, for it is written:  ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’  But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.”  Peter answered and said to Him, “Even if all are made to stumble because of you, I will never be made to stumble.”  Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.”  Peter said to Him, “Even if I have to die with you, I will not deny you” (Matthew 26: 31-35.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

    Peter rejected Christ’s prophecy; vainly exalting himself above the other disciples, saying, “Even if all are made to stumble because of you, I will never be made to stumble.”  And yet, despite his best efforts, he would go on to deny the Lord three times before morning.  Without Jesus, and in the midst of crippling fear, Peter failed to maintain his faith. Relying on his own strength, Peter became as weak as any other man.  Still, Jesus promised he would eventually send a replacement; after his resurrection and ascension, he fulfilled this commitment when Peter and the other disciples received the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost [the Holy Spirit is the fullness of God dwelling within the human heart.]  Upon receiving God’s Spirit, Peter’s strength was restored; he immediately entered a crowded temple and began boldly preaching the gospel.  The Peter who had denied Christ had relied upon his own strength; the Peter that proclaimed Christ chose to rely on God’s power.  Without God, it is impossible to accomplish His will. But with God, we can move mountains.

    Peter shares the experience of divine empowerment with some other notable men of the bible.  While the Israelites were in bondage in Egypt, a young Hebrew man named Moses, who had grown up in Pharaoh’s household, believed it was his destiny to free his people.  One day, Moses witnessed an Egyptian taskmaster beating one of his countrymen.  Filled with rage and a sense of duty, he killed the Egyptian.  In an effort to conceal his crime, he buried the body beneath the sand. However, the body was soon discovered, and a few days later, Moses’ life was in jeopardy.  Alone, and defeated, he fled to the desert and became a shepherd.  For decades he lived a simple existence; caring for livestock.  At the age of 80 God appeared to him and instructed him to return to Egypt to free his people.  He responded by telling God that he wasn’t ‘the right man for the job.’  He no longer believed he was capable of accomplishing the task.  A once prideful and self-reliant young man had become an old man who recognized his own weakness apart from God; he was finally ready to be used by the Lord.  The young Moses, under his own power, was incapable of burying a single Egyptian.  But the mature Moses, relying on God’s power, successfully led a nation to freedom, and buried the entire Egyptian army beneath the waves of the red sea.

    Western culture promotes self-reliance; however, in the divine culture, reliance upon God is paramount.  Is there anything in your life that you are trying to accomplish on your own?  Are you attempting to endure a difficult trial unaided?  Are you struggling to overcome an addiction in isolation?  Do you look to God for provision, or are you the provider?  Your best efforts will never compare to the works of God.  No matter how large the obstacle, or how great the need, if you humble yourself, you will harness the power of the one true and living God.  Do this, and you will be able to say, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4: 13.)

    Lord Heavenly Father, we praise You and honor You.  You truly are an awesome and amazing God.  Apart from You we are weak and incapable of accomplishing good things.  Become our strength Lord; that we may rely upon You and not upon ourselves.  Give us victory over the things that cause us to stumble; may we stand firm, may we endure, and may we overcome.  May we be humble and filled with Your joy.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name we pray.  Amen.  God bless all of you!

The Light of the Eyes

JESUS SPEAKING

       “No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a secret place or under a basket, but on a lampstand, that those who come in may see the light.  The light of the body is the eye.  Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light.  But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness.  Therefore, take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness.  If then, your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, the whole thing will be full of light, as when the bright shining of a lamp gives you light” (Luke 11:  33-36.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

       Most ancient lamps were round, hollow clay containers filled with oil.  One end of the wick was plunged into the oil; the protruding end was then lit.  Although the visible wick seemed to be the source of the light, it was not; the true source was the oil hidden within the lamp.  Every human being is a lamp; a vessel; a hollow container that is meant to be filled with the Holy Spirit.  Much like the flaming wick, the light from within a man, pours out of his eyes.  Those who observe the radiance of Christ are drawn to it.  God’s greatest desire is for others to receive His Holy Spirit; that they too might be transformed and become vessels of His light.

       As a new Christian, I remember interacting with some believers’ whose eyes were unique; looking into them was like staring into crystal clear water; there were no waves; there was no turmoil either; just a supernatural purity and peace.  On the contrary, some people’s eyes were filled with darkness.  I once knew a man who was engaging in perverse and despicable sins; his eyes were dull and covered in a yellowish film; his hair was greasy and thick; the skin on his face was also quite drab.  Still, his condition wasn’t biological; it was spiritual.  As he began to grow closer to God, that yellowish film began to fade away; his eyes started to clear up; and his face grew warmer and more alive.

       Today, many are overflowing with the Spirit of God, while others are wandering around in darkness.  How can non-believers be filled, and believers grow closer to the Lord?  They can ask God every day for more of His Holy Spirit.  They can take the time to pray and to speak with God.  Reading the bible is another act that produces faithfulness.  We can also practice the teachings of Christ, which will increase our spiritual growth.  With every act of selflessness, charity, outreach, and love, we will grow closer to God.  As the Lord continues to fill us, others will see something different in our eyes.  They will observe a peace, clarity, purity, and a genuine hope that only the children of God possess.  May God fill you with His Holy Spirit, and may you be a light to others in this dark world.

       “Lord Heavenly Father, you are an awesome and mighty God; full of grace, peace, and mercy.  Push the darkness out of our hearts and fill us with Your light.  Help our eyes to be a beacon of hope to others; that we might draw the lost to Yourself and Your Son.  May our eyes reveal all of Your glory, and all of Your goodness.  We love You Lord, we thank You, and we praise You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”

Christ’s Replacement

JESUS SPEAKING

        “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. However, the helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you” (John 14: 25-26.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

        The Lord informed his disciples that he would soon be taken away from them. In his absence, he promised to send them a replacement; a helper; someone to guide and direct them; a spiritual entity that would remind them of all of his teachings. After the crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus ascended into heaven; having reached His eternal position, he sent the Holy Spirit into the hearts and minds of every believer (on the day of Pentecost.) The disciples began to speak in foreign languages; they were given the power and authority to forgive sins; to cast out demons; to raise the dead; and to heal the sick. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit was, and is, proof that Jesus Christ did reach his destination; the work of the Spirit today confirms that He is still seated at the right hand of God; a place of honor from which He continues to guide and direct His church.
        In the early 20th century a bold and daring explorer named Roald Amundsen set out to reach the remote poles of the earth. He succeeded in reaching the South Pole in 1911, and the North Pole in 1926. As the story goes, during his northern journey, he took along a homing pigeon (homing pigeons mate for life; in turn, when separated from their mates they have a unique ability to return to their nests from anywhere in the world. Before leaving for the North Pole, Amundsen, not wanting his wife to worry, promised to release the pigeon when he reached his destination; when the bird arrived at its nest in Norway, his wife was elated. The pigeon was a symbol; a message proclaiming that although the explorer had arrived in a distant land, he was very much alive.
        The Holy Spirit is also a symbol; it is a message and a reminder that Jesus Christ still lives. Many have received the message, many have not. Those who have opened their hearts to God’s messenger have acknowledged that Jesus is their Lord and master. That he is a living God; that He currently guides and directs His church through the power of the Holy Spirit. If you have never received His gift, go somewhere quiet, and ask God to provide you with the Spirit of Truth. The Lord never withholds this wonderful thing from those who genuinely ask Him.
        “Lord Heavenly Father, we believe that Jesus Christ is Your Son, and that he is seated at Your right hand. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit; guide and direct us; teach us and remind us of Your ways. May we be faithful believers; may we never waiver; may we never grow weary, and may we never turn away from Your truth. May You continue to use us to fulfill Your will in this place, until the time when we will see You, face to face. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.” God bless all of you.


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