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The Advantage of the Holy Spirit

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The Advantage of the Holy Spirit

The Disciples saw Jesus operate under the influence of the Holy Spirit as John 3:34 says; “Jesus had the Spirit without limit!”

No doubt they thought, I wish I could do that, but it’s only because Jesus is the Son of God. That’s how God used Him because He’s God.

Jesus said, that’s not it. You too are going to be filled! And the closer Jesus came to leaving, the more He talked about the coming Spirit. At His Last Supper He said. “I can guarantee this truth: Those who believe in me will do the things that I am doing. They will do even greater things because I am going to the Father” (John 14:12 GW).  Then he said, “If you ask me to do something, I will do it. If you love me, you will obey my commandments. I will ask the Father, and he will give you another helper who will be with you forever” (John 14:16-17 GW).

And in John 15:26 he promised a helper: “The helper whom I will send to you from the Father will come. This helper, the Spirit of Truth who comes from the Father, will declare the truth about me” (GW). Also in  John 16:7 he said he had to go: “I am telling you the truth: It’s good for you that I’m going away. If I don’t go away, the helper won’t come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you” (GW).

I like the ESV: “I tell you the truth, it is TO YOUR ADVANTAGE …”

There are so many different ways the Holy Spirit desires to provide us with an advantage.

  • He baptizes us.
  • He renews our spirit.
  • He gives us the power to live holy. He reveals God’s Word.
  • He imparts spiritual gifts and then He anoints as to excel in our gifts.
  • He indwells us, fills us, leads us, empowers us.
  • He fills our mouth with words from God, sets us free from the bondage of sin, reveals truth in every situation, prophesies to us and through us, gives us power over the devil, and reveals all things concerning Christ.

That is by no means a complete list of all that He does!

Are you experiencing the advantage that the Holy Spirit has for us?

Ask yourself, are you better off as a result of His work in you?

Do you utilize His power in your everyday, walking around life?

 

You can watch or listen to the full message here. 

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The Holy Spirit is for Everyone Today

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The Holy Spirit is for Everyone Today

Peter led those who didn’t understand the Holy Spirit to God’s Word “Then Peter stood up with the eleven apostles. In a loud voice he said to them, “Men of Judea and everyone living in Jerusalem! You must understand this, so pay attention to what I say. These men are not drunk as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning. Rather, this is what the prophet Joel spoke about” (Acts 2:14-16 GW).

Who was the prophet Joel? He was an Old Testament prophet, prophesying about a coming age. Joel gave them hope! Things are going to change in the age of the Spirit in a big, big way!

And … that’s the age we’re living in. “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour my Spirit on everyone. Your sons and daughters will speak what God has revealed. Your young men will see visions. Your old men will dream dreams. In those days I will pour my Spirit on my servants, on both men and women. They will speak what God has revealed (Acts 2:17-18 GW).

Joel said, in this new era the Spirit will no longer work in only a select few; prophets, priests and kings. He will work in everyone. Peter said, that day is here! It has arrived. And here’s the upshot. God desires to empower all of us – male and female, young and old, rich and poor, the powerful and the powerless.

Every difference that mankind has used to separate and differentiate has been overcome by the power of the Holy Spirit working in all of us!

As you read through the Old Testament clearly the Spirit came on a select few, and it came occasionally, in limited amounts.

Notice Joel’s language; “God says, I will pour my Spirit on everyone!”   

I’m not going to give you a dab of the Holy Spirit occasionally. I’m going to pour Him into your body. The Spirit will empower your voice! He will work through your hands! He will infuse you with visions and dreams.

The Holy Spirit is for everyone!

Peter led those who didn’t understand the Holy Spirit to God’s Word “Then Peter stood up with the eleven apostles. In a loud voice he said to them, “Men of Judea and everyone living in Jerusalem! You must understand this, so pay attention to what I say. These men are not drunk as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning. Rather, this is what the prophet Joel spoke about” (Acts 2:14-16 GW).

Who was the prophet Joel? He was an Old Testament prophet, prophesying about a coming age. Joel gave them hope! Things are going to change in the age of the Spirit in a big, big way!

And … that’s the age we’re living in. “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour my Spirit on everyone. Your sons and daughters will speak what God has revealed. Your young men will see visions. Your old men will dream dreams. In those days I will pour my Spirit on my servants, on both men and women. They will speak what God has revealed (Acts 2:17-18 GW).

Joel said, in this new era the Spirit will no longer work in only a select few; prophets, priests and kings. He will work in everyone. Peter said, that day is here! It has arrived. And here’s the upshot. God desires to empower all of us – male and female, young and old, rich and poor, the powerful and the powerless.

Every difference that mankind has used to separate and differentiate has been overcome by the power of the Holy Spirit working in all of us!

As you read through the O.T. clearly the Spirit came on a select few, and it came occasionally, in limited amounts.

Notice Joel’s language; “God says, I will pour my Spirit on everyone!”   

I’m not going to give you a dab of the Holy Spirit occasionally. I’m going to pour Him into your body. The Spirit will empower your voice! He will work through your hands! He will infuse you with visions and dreams.

The Holy Spirit is for everyone!

You can watch or listen to the full message here. 

The Work of the Holy Spirit

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The Work of the Holy Spirit

At Lakeview Church, we always lay out each new year by praying and seeking God for the upcoming teaching series. We felt God leading us to come out of this prayer season by putting a strong focus on the work of the Holy Spirit.

It’s amazing how many Christians know almost nothing about the Spirit. Maybe they grew up in a church that avoided the subject. Some churches don’t focus much about the Holy Trinity. They don’t know much about the Spirit because they haven’t been taught much.

What keeps people away from the truth about the Spirit is ignorance and fear, and both of those have been around since the beginning of the church.

The day God poured out His Spirit, questions arose that very day. Notice the two reactions: “All of these devout men were stunned and puzzled. They asked each other, “What can this mean?” Others said jokingly, “They’re drunk on sweet wine” (Acts 2:12-13 GW).

Isn’t it amazing that it’s still true about the Holy Spirit? Some are curious because they’ve never been taught, and others mock because they don’t understand. When it comes to spiritual matters, we ought to be very careful about ignoring, mocking or even attacking the things we don’t understand.

Peter gave some great advice regarding the Holy Spirit’s work on that day. Seek to understand. “Then Peter stood up with the eleven apostles. In a loud voice he said to them, ‘Men of Judea and everyone living in Jerusalem! You must understand this, so pay attention to what I say’” (Acts 2:14 GW).

If the work of the Holy Spirit is new to you, I hope you follow Peter’s advice. Seek to understand. Seek to open your heart to all God has for you. Become a seek-er!

You can watch or listen to the full message here. 

A Right Way to Show Anger

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A Right Way to Show Anger

But our emotions must be examined. They must be sanctified and controlled by the Holy Spirit, or they can easily become sin to us.

Today we’re looking at anger and here’s the deal. Did you know that anger should not always be suppressed? There’s actually a right time and a right way to show anger.

I grew up in a family system that didn’t allow anger (Amish were pacifist). My dad would say, “People don’t get mad. Animals do!”

Consequently, I always thought anger in any form was wrong. People who protested for any reason were always wrong (unions/civil rights movement). Good people never show anger. They never speak out. But I have grown up since then. I have come to realize that silence is not always golden. Sometimes it’s plain YELLOW!

Anger can be a powerful emotion for change. If it’s used in the right way it accomplishes much good, but used wrong, it destroys.

The key is found in Ephesians 4:26-27, “Be angry, but do not sin, do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil.”

The Amplified Bible says; “Be angry [at injustice, at ungodly behavior], yet do not sin; do not let your anger last until the sun goes down [causing you shame]. And do not give the devil an opportunity [to lead you into sin by holding a grudge, by nurturing anger, by harboring resentment, or by cultivating bitterness].”

They tell us this election, perhaps more than others, has been fueled by an angry electorate. If that’s true of you, be sure to check your heart. Be certain that you are angry for the right reasons.

And how can we know? Begin by asking yourself, is God angry about the same things that anger me?

Ask yourself, “Is my anger driven by a sense of self-protection or am I more upset about those who cannot protect themselves?”

In the Old Testament, God was angry at His children, Israel because they loved worship but didn’t care one bit about the injustice all around them.

  • God said, I’m tired of you being in love with worship but showing no love to those who are powerless, who daily experience injustice.
  • He said, I hate your festivals, your incense is detestable to Me, your worship has become a burden to me.

God said to the Israelites, be angry about the powerless. Isaiah 1:17 says, “Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed, defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.”

God also became angry when His people were living in sin but still gathering to worship and acting as if everything was just fine.

Jeremiah 7:9-11 “Will you steal and murder, commit adultery and perjury, burn incense to Baal and follow other gods and then come and stand before me in this house, which bears my Name, and say, “We are safe”—safe to do all these detestable things? Has this house, which bears My name, become a den of thieves? I have been watching you!”

Jesus quoted these very same verses when He cleansed the temple.

You see, God’s is always more concerned about the condition of our hearts than the mere form of our worship.

He Has What You Need—Every Time

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He Has What You Need—Every Time

I’ve had many occasions when I’ve ministered to someone in my office, and the things that came out of my mouth, I know they didn’t come from my intellect. They came from the Spirit’s wisdom. I’ve had people come back and say you, that changed my life! And the truth is, most of the time I don’t even remember saying it!

I’ve gone back and listened to sermons I’ve preached and thought, That’s awesome. I didn’t remember even saying it. “But when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not worry beforehand or premeditate what you will speak. But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.”[1]

The Holy Spirit gives us wisdom, knowledge, insight, understanding and power for each and every situation we can face in life.

If we are filled with the Spirit He will show us and give us what we need every time.

Isaiah 11:2-3 was written of Jesus, “but the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells in us.”[2]

Listen to how the Spirit will work in us; “It is the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, The Spirit of counsel and might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD. His delight is in the fear of the LORD, and He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, nor decide by the hearing of His ears.”[3]

I am convinced that all who live, filled with the Spirit, will have moments when they feel led to lay hands on the sick, and they will recover. They will have moments when they are moved by faith and see the miraculous hand of God in their situation or on behalf of another.

 

You can listen to the complete message here.

[1] Mark 13:11 GW

[2] GW

[3] Ibid.

The Spirit Equips You

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The Spirit Equips You

The Spirit knows all, sees all and is a vital part of the God-Head. He is filled with all the knowledge and power we will ever need.

Why would we not want to be filled with the Spirit every day?

Jesus told His disciples that when the Spirit came, He would show them great and mighty things they were completely unaware of!

I remember listening to Dick Foth, former director Chi-Alpha in Illinois, would tell his college students, “Be filled with the Spirit.” He told one of the most amazing stories about of one of his college students. The student came out of the grocery to find a guy speaking gibberish and throwing dust on the student’s car. So he walks over to the car with his arms full of groceries and realizes the guy is a witch, trying to cast a spell on him.

This witch knows he’s a Christ follower and connected to other followers of Christ. The student said, “I didn’t know what to do. I started to pray under my breath, and I suddenly felt impressed that I should grab a hold of him and lay hands on him, so I did. I started speaking in tongues and the devil just came out of him.”

In fact, the student said, “He threw up all over my car.” The student was upset. The witch turned around and said, “What did you do?” His eyes changed, his countenance changed.

The Spirit of God gave that student what he needed in that instant. Whenever you encounter a demonized person it’s a good idea to be filled with the Spirit! 1 John 4:4 says, “Dear children, you belong to God. So you have won the victory over these people, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”[1]

The Spirit of God can equip you for every situation.

 

You can listen to the complete message here.

[1] GW

Finding Strength in Ourselves

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Finding Strength in Ourselves

 

Only the Lord can provide the strength we need when we feel we have no more. In those moments, how do we reach out for help? The Apostle Paul had many times when he had to find strength in himself. He knew what that felt like.

He wrote a letter to his son in the faith, Timothy, and said, “Don’t be ashamed of me, but share in the sufferings of the Gospel.”

He sat on death row. It grew harder and harder to get other Christians to come to visit him in prison. In all likelihood, they feared they too would be arrested. The last thing Paul ever wrote was about his deep feelings of loneliness.[1]

There are seasons in life when we feel all alone. In those moments, we have to know how to reach down and strengthen ourselves in the Lord.

In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus agonized over the cross and what lay before Him. He prayed, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him.”

God has given us everything we need to be strengthened and move through every situation and problem. Know the strength is there—in Him!

For more on this topic, listen to the podcast, Finding Strength When We Think We Have None

[1] 2 Timothy 4:16-17

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