Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Talk Tuesday-The Holy Spirit Series: Life In The Spirit Pt. 3, The Gifts of The Spirit

Welcome back to our series on the Holy Spirit. In our 7th instalment (on September 6th, 2016) we wrote about The Day of Pentecost when JESUS promised to clothe his followers with 'power from on high' (Luke 24:49). He told them, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit,” Acts 1: 4-5, NIV. By Acts chapter 2, they received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

What does this 'power from on high'-this baptism of the Holy Spirit-look like in our lives of service to GOD? The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the church in Corinth, begins teaching us about the source and purpose of spiritual gifts. “4 There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit; 5 there are many different ways of serving, but it is always the same Lord.6 There are many different forms of activity, but in everybody it is the same God who is at work in them all. 7 The particular manifestation of the Spirit granted to each one is to be used for the general good.” 1 Corinthians 12:4-7, NJB. He then lists the 9 Gifts of the Holy Spirit:

8 To one is given from the Spirit the gift of utterance expressing wisdom; to another the gift of utterance expressing knowledge, in accordance with the same Spirit; 9 to another, faith, from the same Spirit; and to another, the gifts of healing, through this one Spirit; 10 to another, the working of miracles; to another, prophecy; to another, the power of distinguishing spirits; to one, the gift of different tongues and to another, the interpretation of tongues. 11 But at work in all these is one and the same Spirit, distributing them at will to each individual. 1 Corinthians 12:8-11, NJB

While there are many different gifts, they are bound by unity in the Body of Christ. “12 For as with the human body which is a unity although it has many parts -- all the parts of the body, though many, still making up one single body -- so it is with Christ. 13 We were baptised into one body in a single Spirit, Jews as well as Greeks, slaves as well as free men, and we were all given the same Spirit to drink,” 1 Corinthians 12:12-13, NJB

What a wonderful GOD we serve! The experiential aspect of knowing GOD through the Life in The Spirit is so incredible! Yes, we are a bit excited about it!! We have so many wonderful personal accounts of how the Holy Spirit has done incredible things for us, in us and through us. We want to encourage you today to live the abundant life that JESUS offers us. Come to the Father through the Son and experience the Life in the Spirit! You will not be disappointed.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Talk Tuesday-The HOLY SPIRIT Series: Life In The Spirit, Pt. II

What does it mean to live a Life in The Spirit? The Apostle Paul explains it this way, “Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires,” Romans 8:5, NIV. Life in the Spirit is the antithesis of Life in the Flesh.

How we live is a choice that we each must make. “12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live,” Romans 8:12-13, NIV.
What are the misdeeds of the body? “19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like,” Galatians 5:19-21, NKJV.

It is a struggle to live by the Spirit in a world dominated by carnal desires. We are inundated with messages about satisfying our flesh. Our senses are constantly being seduced to taste and touch by what we see, hear and smell. Our minds are influenced by the culture of instant gratification, the pursuit of self indulgence. It truly seems like an uphill, impossible battle.

Here are two important, crucial survival tips to living a Life in The Spirit, “1 I urge you, then, brothers, remembering the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, dedicated and acceptable to God; that is the kind of worship for you, as sensible people. 2 Do not model your behaviour on the contemporary world, but let the renewing of your minds transform you, so that you may discern for yourselves what is the will of God -- what is good and acceptable and mature,” Romans 12:1-2, NJB.

Reading the Bible allows us to refocus our thoughts on the Life in The Spirit. It renews and refreshes our thoughts, replacing worldly values with GOD's values. It has to be a deliberate, constant practice. It will give us strength, and help us to choose to live and walk in the Spirit. “22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit,” Galatians 5:22-25, NKJV.

Message us and let us know some practical ways that you use to help you 'walk in the Spirit'. We would love to hear from you! Also, this is a way for us to encourage one another in the Lord! May GOD continue to richly bless you!