Posts Tagged ‘HolySpirit’

Love, The Way

Posted: January 20, 2013 in Sermon
Tags: , , , , ,

workIf our ultimate goal is to keep the business (or the ministry) going, I’m afraid we will miss the mark. The way we do things matters.

The Most Excellent Way (.mp3)

The Past (things we have done and perhaps continue to do)
The Present (the Do list)
The Future (what will remain)

IMG_4224The church in the first century (like today’s church) faced many kinds of circumstances.  In the book of Acts, we see the believers started out with wonderful times of friendship and harmony (Acts 2:42-47) but these times were followed by times of trouble (Acts 5).  Fortunately, the troubles did not define them and then entered a period of great adventures.

The Early Church (.mp3)

Listen to the entire sermon to hear how God moved his church through

  • Times of obvious blessings
  • Times of hidden blessings, and
  • Times of unexpected blessings

IMG_4361We are told in the Scriptures that we fight not against flesh, but against the powers of darkness (Ephesians 6:12).  Additionally, we see that “The world is unprincipled. It’s dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that way – never have and never will….” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

The bottom line is that we don’t fight power with POWER.

In other words, we don’t fight the powers of darkness with human (flesh side) power.

So where does that leave us?

We need to live by the Spirit.  “My counsel is this: Live freely, animated and motivated by God’s Spirit. Then you won’t feed the compulsions of selfishness…. “(Galatians 5:16-26)  When we live by the Spirit we will fight power with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (all that while we put on the armor of God).

Because power likes spin more than truth, speaking the truth is a must; and it must be done in humility and love.

Why?

Because when we do we promote unity and we all “grow up into him who is the Head…” (Ephesians 4:1-16)

Going through difficult circumstances is often confusing, frustrating, and exhausting.  An analogy I heard a while back is that difficult circumstances are like flying a plane during a heavy storm.  The pilot has to deal with rain, wind, darkness, and fatigue.  The rain is like the torrent of difficulties that come and never seem to stop.  The wind is like the rumors and gossip (or even our active imagination) that threaten to push us off course.  The darkness symbolizes the limited knowledge we have during difficult events. And fatigue represents not only the physical and emotional exhaustion but also the “flesh side” (the ugly side of a person) that seems to always get in the way of living a righteous life.  During the voyage, if the pilot focuses on the rain, wind, darkness or fatigue, the mission is in great danger.  Similarly, when we face difficulties, our life mission or being disciples of Christ can be compromised if we get overwhelmed by the torrent of needs, or we get carried away by “the buzz” around us, or we allow ourselves to be paralyzed by our limited understanding, or we give into the “flesh” tendencies of our fallen nature.  (Unfortunately we all get bumped off course once in a while – don’t panic, there is hope.)

So what are we (and the pilot in the analogy) to do?

A saving move for the pilot is to use the light in the cockpit to “fly by instruments.”  The pilot must rely on what the instruments are saying about speed, altitude, direction, etc. and course correct based on that information rather than any feeling he or she may have.  By analogy, God has placed the light of the Holy Spirit in every one of his followers and has given us the wealth of the Scripture by which we may order or lives (and correct the course as necessary).  But even more, we have the benefit of our mighty Heavenly Father who loves us with the greatest love possible and the relationship with Jesus Christ who promised to never leave us.  So, God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) lights our way, loves us mightily, and engages in deep intimacy with us personally.

So my encouragement to you (and to myself) is to stay focused on the light of the Holy Spirit, be refreshed by the knowledge of God’s love, and hold on to the promise that Jesus will never abandon us.

I find great comfort from Psalm 121:

I lift up my eyes to the hills– where does my help come from?  My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.  He will not let your foot slip– he who watches over you will not slumber;  indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.  The LORD watches over you– the LORD is your shade at your right hand;  the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.  The LORD will keep you from all harm– he will watch over your life; 8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.

I pray this short reflection ministered to your heart as much as it ministered to mine.  Feel free to pass it along to anyone who may benefit from it, and may God by glorified through it.