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Monday, September 22, 2008

Got Holy Spirit?

I have been reading the biblical book of Acts devotionally over the past few weeks. Acts is the chronicle of the earliest Christians describing how they lived in community and mission together. After Jesus ascended into heaven, he sent the Holy Spirit to guide His followers. Many things happen once the Holy Spirit comes upon God’s people, but everything that happens can be summed up under two categories. When the Holy Spirit comes he moves the church toward more intimate COMMUNITY with each other and more intentional MISSION to the world. Simply put, when the Holy Spirit comes upon a local church the people in that church will begin to experience vital relationships with each other and outreach to the world that bears fruit.

There are many people out there who claim that when the Spirit comes weird things happen like people barking like dogs or getting gold fillings magically to appear in their teeth or they simply begin to levitate or something weird like that. But that is not what happens when the Spirit come according to Acts. The Holy Spirit is much more purposeful.

Go ahead and read Acts. You will see that the Holy Spirit moves Christians to love each other enough to share resources, spend lots of time together, support each other through tough times, and celebrate together during the good times. You will also see that when the Holy Spirit comes, Christians begin to love those outside of the church enough to go out and proclaim with boldness the good news about Jesus, even if they get arrested or beaten or mocked because of it.

Here are a few questions to consider. How do you know if the Holy Spirit is filling your life more and more? According to Acts you will love your brothers and sisters in Christ more, even when they are difficult to love, and you will begin to live a missional life that embodies the gospel for those who have yet to believe in Christ. So, where do you see the Holy Spirit evidenced in your life and/or where do you see the Holy Spirit evidenced in your church in the areas of your community or mission together?

8 comments:

Roberta said...

One of the ways that I know that the Holy Spirit is filling my life more is that I am more uncomfortable with my sinfulness and more quickly feel sorrow when I am not honoring my Lord. I am more aware of how much I fall short in loving the way He does. I have a deeper desire to be more like Him and to not be satisfied with less than what he wants for me. I feel his nudging where he wants me to grow. I genuinely love his Word and my time with Him every day.

Anonymous said...

One of the first steps the Holy Spirit has led me is by leading me to SWC. Each week Iam blessed and feel God's presence. Just like a song says "There's a sweet,sweet Spirit in this place and I know that its the presence of the Lord " I very much look forward to The Holy Spirit's leading me to serve him at SWC and give him all the Honor and Glory he is so deserving of.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous- above would be me oops!!

maria said...

I'll get this blogging stuff down yet still me from the 2 previous blogings

Lenny Luchetti said...

Thanks Roberta and Maria. You both said it well...that the Spirit purifies our love for God and for others and compels to serve through the mission he has given us. So glad that the Spirit has led us here at SWC "for such a time as this," to quote from the book of Esther.

Brad said...

In the last three years, the Holy Spirit has just blown me away! God is no longer distant but up-close and real to me! I love the time I spend with Him daily! The Spirit is with me as I am serving in SWC, the community and the world in so many ways, which is quite opposite of where I was for most of my life. I may not always feel it, but I know it’s there! You can see it in those who serve with you! I do feel very much pain and regret when I am taking my will back and struggle with sin. As the Spirit fills more of my heart, the sinful desires are being removed by God! Now, I need to share it with those who do not know Jesus!

don said...

I'm a Christian outsider. Pastor Lenny's message here really impressed me, an so did the comments, especially Brad's. Thanks. The Holy Spirit has gloriously filled me with himself and given me a purpose, worshipping the Living God [and loving my wife!]. He has also blesse me with 25 plus years in mission work. I am convinced we, the Church, are unwittingly missing God's #2 priority for us [after worship]. Getting the 10,000 Unreached into the kingdom. I have a website aimed at pastors especially, urging congregational prayer for the 2.4 billion souls so bonded to their ethnicity they feel disloyal even considering the claims of Jesus. www.prayforup.com. After 2000 years, a radical tragedy deserves a radical solution. Please check out my site, especially the page, "Your Options." Blessings!

MICHAEL said...

SAVED BY GRACE
Four years ago I dropped into a black hole – four months of ABSOLUTE TERROR!! I wanted to end my life…

I reached out to a friend who took me to hospital. I had three visits [hospital] in four months – I actually thought I was in hell. I had been seeing a therapist [1994] on a regular basis.

I actually thought I would be locked away – but the hospital staffs were very supportive...I had no control over my process.
I was released from hospital 16th September 1994, but my fear, pain & shame had only subsided a little. I remember this particular morning waking up [home] & my process would start up again [fear, pain, & shame].

No one could help me, not even my therapist [I was terrified].

I asked JESUS CHRIST to have mercy on me & forgive me my sins. Slowly, all my fear has dissipated & I believe Jesus delivered me from my “psychological prison.”

I am a practicing Catholic & the HOLY SPIRIT is my friend & strength; every day since then has been a joy & blessing.
I deserve to go to hell for the life I have led, but Jesus through His sacrifice on the cross, delivered me from my inequities.

John 3: 8, John 15: 26, are verses I can relate to, organically. He’s a real person who is with me all the time.

I have so much joy & peace in my life, today, after a childhood spent in orphanages [England & Australia].

Fear, pain, & shame, are no longer my constant companions. I just wanted to share my experience with you [Luke 8: 16 – 17].

I, MICHAEL, AM THE HOLY ONE OF GOD.