Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Holy Spirit - Who is He, Actually?

We are called to be filled with the Holy Spirit, always. We are called to be baptised in the Spirit. This is all great, but why?

Why cant I just believe in Jesus? Or should I be believing/worshipping the Holy Spirit rather than God, or do I worship all of them, or some of them?

When I am filled with the Spirit, am I supposed to fall over, or speak in tongues or "feel something?"

I have all these questions, maybe you do too? Lets try and iron this one out...

Lets put it plainly....The Holy Spirit is God in a Spirit form. A form that is sent to us as humans on earth. BUT, do we worship the Holy Spirit (who is God) or what.
John 15:26 says that the Spirit is to testify of Jesus, not to Himself. Some Christians tend to worship the Spirit or create some kind of cult that they have to feel the Spirit otherwise they are not Christian. Well this is surely not true.The task of the Spirit it to testify of Jesus to us, to show us Jesus' way and to guide us through life.
I suppose we could put it plainly that the Spirit is the link between God and us.
Jesus sent the Spirit so that we can have a relationship with Him, not only in the Spirit.We use the Spirit to speak to God, to pray to God and to be close to Him.

My belief is that the Spirit is not some kind of product that you purchase or buy, and that once you have got it then everything is great! No,the Spirit is a process. We need to work on it, we need to pray for the Spirit all the time, be filled by the Spirit all the time. The more we dwell in the Spirit of God and deepen our relationship with Jesus, the stronger the Spirit dwells in us.

When we pray for the Spirit, often we expect to "feel" something or have this sense of power descend on us from the heavens. Some people fall over, some talk in other languages, some laugh alot, whatever. Often we see ministers on television, displaying "powers" of the Spirit and casting them over their audiences and everyone falls over their seats and lands on the floor and cries etc etc.
Surely this is not what God wants?
Is this the purpose of His Spirit?
I don't disagree that some people show certain manifestations and feel very strong feelings when they receive the Spirit, and there is nothing wrong with this at all, but having to feel something is not what its about.
Measure the Holy Spirit in your life by His fruits, not His gifts!
Galatians 5 - love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and self control

See the Holy Spirit as a sort of seal from God. A seal of a relationship with God and a seal of eternal life.
The Holy Spirit works in us to break the chains of sin. He supplies the life between the tree (God) and the branches (us). We still need to trust fully in the tree to live and once we believe that the tree is our base for life and supplies us the life we need to exist, only then can we "communicate" through that life (The Holy Spirit) to the base (God).

Receiving life (The Holy Spirit) from God is enough.

So how do we know that we have the Holy Spirit in us?
  • We believe the Cross is enough. That what happened at the cross is sufficient grounds that God forgives our sins and Jesus died for our sins.
  • We openly confess about the Lord to the world. We are not ashamed of Him.
  • We must must have absolute surrender to God, always? Say to Him, "Here I am, take me and use me!"
  • Believing Gods Word. What God says, God does. God said that all who ask for the Holy Spirit, will receive it!
Have you asked God to fill you? Have you opened your door to God and let Him in?
Accept the filling of the Spirit as it is. Don't rely on feelings, Don't rely on what people say and don't rely on having to be charismatic to be able to receive the Spirit.
Rely on God only and allow Him to supply you with everlasting life!

Amen and God Bless




Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Gifts of the Holy Spirit

So now, we have prayed to be filled with the Holy Spirit...What does this now mean to us?
What will the Holy Spirit give us or do for us?

By having the Spirit in you, you get a better sense of understanding. I think the Spirit tends to reveal alot more out of the scriptures of God, than we would normally try and understand without the Holy Spirit. We can read something one day and then the next day read the same thing and understand something totally different. The Spirit helps you understand the true meaning of the scriptures as they were written. With this in mind, I guess the Spirit will then also help us understand Gods voice and discern what is from God and what isn't?

The Spirit can also supply us with intuition. Often you may get a feeling that you need to pray for someone, a situation or a place. Just out of the blue you may have a feeling that something is wrong or is going to happen. Now here I think we should be careful because we don't want to be going off on a tangent and verge on fortune telling. The difference here is that intuition coming from the Holy Spirit will ALWAYS agree with the Word of God, also by praying for someone or something has nothing to do with fortune telling. Some people may receive a vision or a message that they need to pray for someone.

Have you ever been in a situation where you have spoken to someone about God, about the Holy Spirit, about Christianity because either they have asked about it or they are confused or they want to know more but don't know much about Christianity. We are able to receive and supply counsel which allows us to help others who are confused, suffering, depressed, feeling spiritually attacked or generally need help. God gives counsel to those who ask Him for it and we can receive it ourselves by allowing God to give us a clear mind and one full of wisdom. By just talking to someone because they need someone to listen, the Holy Spirit will talk to you at the same time and help you feel what the other person feels and show compassion, maybe pray for them, maybe share their feelings?

We are able to ward off evil and spiritual attack from the evil one. We do this using Gods Power in us. We can stop these spirits in Gods name and if we truly believe that we have been filled by the Spirit, we can do anything in Gods name!

We are called to have a relationship with God. The Holy Spirit is the "intermediary" that allows this to happen. We are given the ability to pray, understand the scriptures and spend quiet time with God. The more we pray, the more we fuel the fire of wanting to know more about God and His way for us. The Holy Spirit brings with Him a bunch of gifts:
Galatians 5:22 - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.

The Holy Spirit supplies us with  a Holy fear! This is fear of the Lord when we disobey Him or when we offend Him by sinning.
We cannot fear God because He is going to punish us, that He is going to "teach us a lesson" or "show us who is boss". God is a loving God and  we must fear God because our lives depend on Him and if we sin, we ourselves separate from Him and risk to be on our own.  The Holy Spirit convicts us when we do something that is not of God, but The Spirit ill never force us to do anything, it is still our decision. But if we insist on sinning and offending God by ignoring Him, it means we are walking away from Him and turning to evil as our "Father".

John 15:1-6:
 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.  He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.  You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.  Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.  If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.

The Spirit supplies people with others gifts as well. Spiritual gifts. There are many different spiritual gifts that come from God and we all receive them. Everyone will receive different gifts or a gift. These gifts are implanted into your soul by the Holy Spirit and are for the sole purpose of glorifying God and helping others.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Can anyone receive the Holy Spirit?

Is  anyone good enough to receive the Holy Spirit?
DO we have to do something special to receive the Spirit of God?

Ezekiel 36:26-27, the Lord says, “I will put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in my ways.”





Every single person on earth was created by God. He made us in His image!
No matter what you may have done, are doing or are going to do in the future, God is a faithful God and always acts on His promises.

God provides His Spirit to us on earth to be able to witness to others about Him, to Glorify Him, to help us have a close relationship with Him, to guide us when we go off track and basically to protect us and love us.
Isn't that awesome!.

Well, The apostle Paul clearly taught that we receive the Holy Spirit the moment we receive Jesus Christ as our Savior. We have all been given the same Spirit to drink...the ONE Spirit...the spirit of God!

Ephesians 1:13-14 teaches us that the Holy Spirit is the seal of salvation for all those who believe: “Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession—to the praise of his glory.”

All we have to do is have a relationship with God and believe in Him! This is available to anyone!

So how do we "receive"the Holy Spirit?
Ask God without fear, knowing that God said you would receive His Holy Spirit. All we have to do is pray to God,repent and be baptised and  ask Him for His Spirit to come and fill us. When we ask God to fill us with His Spirit, He will do just that, ALWAYS!
Be prepared to be transformed by the Spirit. Don't rely on feelings or anything that you may want to "feel" or don't wait for confirmation that you have received the Spirit. I think the words of Jesus below are enough confirmation to us.

Jesus said "And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened... how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" (Luke 11:9,10 & 13)

Receiving the Holy Spirit is a wonderful experience that doesn't go away. From this day, go with faith, knowledge, understanding and love into the world, knowing that you are loved by Jesus, adored by Him, saved by Him, forgiven by Him and most of all....with Him all the time!
Pray, Pray, Pray.Ask God today to transform you using His Spirit...He will act!

Amen

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Holding the Power to Serve God!

It is so easy not to be a christian. In fact I think its easy not to be a christian in this world than it is to be a christian and serve God.
But does it have to be hard. It shouldn't be a chore and in fact it, very quickly, becomes a habit and a way of life.

But how do we do it?
Well, God gives us the power to serve Him. God blesses us to serve Him and others, but it requires effort and sacrifice from us as well!
God gives us all the blessings we require in order to serve Him and then have eternal life.

God gives us the means to know and understand His Word, if we willingly study it with an open heart.

John 1:12 - But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.

The power of God made available to us will allow us to have the power to become a child of God.
We also have the power to resist sin. Yes, we all sin and as soon as we do we should repent and ask for forgiveness, but as soon as we start believing that its alright for humans to sin and "we sin because we are mere humans", then we are relying on our own power and not looking and receiving the power of God to resist evil.

Ephesians 6:10-13 - Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

People ask then, why do we have so many problems in our earthly life?
Nowhere does God say we will never have problems, but God does say that He will give us the power to endure our problems, remain faithful to Him and have eternal life.
God gives us the power to do everything necessary to receive eternal life with Him.

1 Peter 1:3-5 - By God's power we are guarded to an eternal and incorruptible inheritance in heaven.

But how does God give us this power?
The power of the blood of Jesus is in the cross. When we believe that Jesus did die on the cross, shed His blood for us and then rose again, we can use that power (of Jesus blood) to fight sin and evil in our lives.
Gods love is so "much" that we cannot comprehend. He loves us so much that the bond that it creates between you and Him, give you the power to serve Him in love. But loving God and Him loving us has to lead to obedience on our part.
The power of the scriptures give us the knowledge of how to live in a way the God wants us to be. The scriptures tell us what to do. They tell us how to become children of God.
They comfort us in trouble.

1 Corinthians 1:18 - The word of the cross is the power of God.

As humans, we are unable to carry our problems/burdens alone. We have to use the power of God to help us. God says that we should cast our burdens to Him and stop trying to sort them out ourselves. This would be done by praying to God and asking His guidance/advise/help etc.

Ephesians 6:18 - 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.

God says to us that we need to associate with other christian children. There is power in a group of people praying to God. There is power in a group of Christians studying the Word. God provided all of us with a family, a christian family with whom we can share our burdens.

2 Corinthians 1:4 - They comfort each other in times of need.......

We need to use the armour of God properly as it says in Ephesians. God gave us the power to do anything in His name, but we often try to use our own power to accomplish tasks and bear burdens and then wonder where God is in the situation?

We are soldiers against Satan. We have to use what God gave us to fight off Satan's attacks and evil influence. When we totally trust in God and use His given powers, we will win, we will defeat satan and we will get stronger and stronger in Jesus name!

Amen.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Seeing God in Others

Here is something that I know I don't do, something which I should do and something that I am going to ask God to help to start doing....




Challenge to myself......
When I see the next person wherever they may be, on the street, poor, handicapped, someone who cut me off in traffic, a fellow believer...Try to see God in them?
Really??? Is this possible? Especially to those who I believe are wronging me.

I firmly believe that God created all of us in our own special way. We each have a purpose on earth, we each have our talents and gifts that were given to us and thus, I guess this would make everyone a work of art. Every single human on this earth is special in their own right!
So then, when I meet a person somewhere and I believe they are acting in a manner that is, well, not acceptable, do I remember the above statement?

Here's a scenario, You are at a shopping centre with your family and you notice an "unkept" or a poor person walking towards you. Now you know that they are either 1.Asking for money, 2.Drunk and could cause a scene or 3.Selling something you don't want.
What is your first reaction? Do you try walk the other way to avoid them when you know they are coming to you, do you just brush them off, are you rude to them because they are "annoying"? Well, I can say for myself that I have done all of these things.
Sad, isn't it?
How about turning it around and trying to see God in that person! After all, He/She is a work of art from our God, they were made to the same perfection just like you and me....so what right do I have to be rude and brush them off.
Does God brush you off when you go to Him and ask for His blessing?
Does God try and avoid you when He sees you are just about to pray and ask Him for something?

Never!
Matthew 28:20 says: And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

God will never forsake us, ever.
So who are we to forsake a fellow brother or sister. I do this all the time. I brush off people like this and then expect God to bless my life! How selfish!

Instead of turning away, maybe we should look for God in that person. What does Matthew 25:36 say? I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

If you turn away from a person asking for help, you are turning away from God.

How do you see God in someone that is shouting at you and reprimanding you? Maybe God is trying to send you a message through that person?
Although I am not sure how one would see God in a murderer or a rapist, but people like these are still Gods work of art, they have just chosen the wrong path and turned away from God. God still made them, maybe they have never had a positive influence in their lives. (Yes, easy to say this now until it happens to me i suppose)

I am going to try and see people wearing costumes. That every person you come across is wearing a costume. That the way you see them is actually not the person they are, that the costume is some sort of outer covering, but what is important is their inner soul/heart.
I imagine the most important reason to love our enemies and pray for our persecutors is because it’s the first step to penetrating the disguise and seeing God’s face, instead. Sometimes you may never actually see God underneath all of someone’s paint and makeup – the costume is just that good. That doesn’t have to prevent you from knowing it’s a costume and behaving accordingly.

Do we have to give money to people asking for it. No I don't think so. But maybe if we give them our time, greet them, be nice is all they may want. We all have our own way of dealing with things like this, just ask Gods guidance and see what happens....
Now the hard work starts, and that's to change my bad habits and start living my thoughts!

Bless you, Amen.



Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Power of Prayer


This is a personal story of our experience in the last week which, once again, proves the power of prayer and how effective it actually is when we ask God. It says in the Bible that if we ask anything in Gods name, it will be given to us. I have struggled with this verse many times, because I have often asked God for “stuff” and it has never come to being…

Here goes:

Our little boy who is only 5 months got very sick last week. On Monday we took him to the hospital where he was admitted for an “unknown” problem. After many tests, blood tests and other tests were done, it was deduced that he has meningitis. The night before we had no sleep, He screamed all night long, very uncomfortable and clearly in pain (us as well J)…
Straight away, I got onto the social networks and text messaging and stated the above, told a few friends and family about the situation and asked them for their prayers.This was on Monday morning at around 8am. By lunch time, I already had people phoning me whom I had never even known because they had heard via someone through their prayer chain about the situation. The news spread like wildfire and we had messages, status updates on facebook, voice messages, phone calls, emails, all sorts of things from hundreds of people saying they were praying for our little boy and his healing. We were overwhelmed!

On Monday night we heard the fate of the lumber puncture tests that it was indeed meningitis and that our son had to stay in hospital until it cleared and the fevers were back to normal and the swelling in his head had disappeared.
Tuesday morning came, the doctor came to evaluate him, and they couldn’t believe the difference in him. He was recovering, his fevers had subsided, he was smiling, happy, talking etc. It was like a different child from the day before.

Yesterday (Wednesday) He was discharged from hospital, and we are monitoring him now at home.
Whats my point here?
Being a Christian means that we believe that Jesus died for our sins, that we have a relationship with Jesus and that we accept Jesus Christ as Lord……..but what it also means is that we are apart of a very, very big family. A Christian family!

We are there for each other, like close brothers and sisters in a close-knit family. When I had message the few people on Monday morning and updated my status on facebook, the word spread like wildfire. Friends of ours praying for us, they let their friends know and soon we had a huge force of Christian family all praying for us, asking God to heal our little boy.
And it worked!!! Our son is healed, yes we are still keeping a close eye on him, but the healing power of God, through all the prayers from our friends/family/people that know or don’t know us. These people all have a personal relationship with the one and same God, the God that heals, the Gods that loves and the God that has endless mercy and grace!

Being a Christian doesn’t just mean knowing Jesus, but it also means being part of a family. A family in God, Christian brothers and sisters who all serve the same God and when the need arises, all stand together as one and repel the forces of evil!
We care for each other, we love each other and we stand together as one family, praising our Lord Jesus Christ, the ONLY Lord and Saviour!

Thank you to our Lord for sending the power of healing over our son and our family and thank you to my Christian family for laying down your time to bring our little boy to Gods hands.
Amen

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

DOING or BEING?


Does doing all this ‘christian stuff’ get us anywhere?
Do you often try figure out what you are doing, if its Christian, breaking  Christian law, is God happy with me doing what I am doing or does it pass Gods approval?
Is living my life the way am, accepted by God? Have I been too angry? Have I hurt to many people? Have I helped enough poor people? Have I been a decent husband? Etc etc etc

I often feel that, when doing something good or something ‘christian’….its like, what is the point! Is anyone looking at me going, “Hey, He is a good person!”
The question here is, are we doing things to impress humans or to impress God? You know what, if you are doing anything to IMPRESS anyone or God….you have some serious thinking to do. We don’t have to impress God. God knows us already! God created us!
God calls us to be in a relationship with Him. With this comes being filled with the Holy Spirit, being guided by the Holy Spirit and then with that guiding you will find yourself doing all these ‘christian’ things without even knowing about it, purely because of the person you have been transformed into and not because you are trying to prove to someone or impress God.

Can we do this alone? No! God needs to change us. How does He do this…..He wants YOU! He wants you to speak to Him, ask Him, Need Him, rely on Him and praise Him. With all of this, you will be transformed into a different person, a person that enjoys doing things just because. (its Gods will).
I think it’s a matter of BEING instead of DOING!
I have been very bad at this because often I wake up in the morning and think, “OK, today I am going to do this or say that or give this.” It should come naturally. It should be the person I am and not doing it to become a better Christian.

The Holy Spirit, when you ask Him into your life will invite you to BE and not to DO.
This mean the following in my life, maybe yours as well:

·         BE a good husband and Father instead of doing good for my family.
·         BE a person who loves integrity instead of trying to do things that attract integrity
·         BE a person that loves and do loving things
·         BE a person who goes the extra mile instead of thinking of how to do more. It will come naturally
Do we fall into the trap of trying to do things that Jesus taught and did, instead of just BEING a follower of Christ. Do we actually know Christ or do we just try do the things He did? Being a true companion of Christ, getting to know what kind of a person Jesus is will transform us into the likeness of Christ automatically and you will find yourself doing things that you never thought you could and all because of that’s the kind of person you have become and not the person you are trying to become.

Its all about Jesus, He saves lives!