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The Holy Spirit is for You, Today

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The Holy Spirit is for You, Today

There are some who teach that the outpouring of the Spirit and the ability to have a Spirit language was only for the early church. It’s not for today. (See Acts 1:3-9.)

Charles Spurgeon, one of the greatest preachers of the 1800’s wrote: “First of all, remember that whatever the Holy Spirit was in the beginning of the church He is now. God is the same yesterday, today and forever! So whatever the Holy Spirit did then He is willing and able to do now. His power is in no way diminished and we shall greatly offend the Holy Spirit if we suppose that it is. Every member of the Body of Christ should be anointed by the Holy Spirit.”

Here are some great questions you might want to ask yourself:

  • Am I walking in the power of the Holy Spirit?
  • Am I seeking for more?

Before you found Christ you probably searched out the claims of Christ. You probably asked questions or began attending church, reading the Bible. Why? You were searching for more to life than you had found.

And one day you found Christ. One day all the tumblers in the lock aligned and you were transformed.

It’s the same with the Holy Spirit. Start a personal journey today. Seek out the claims of God’s Word regarding the power of the Holy Spirit. And remember the promise of Christ. Those who hunger and thirst shall be filled!

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. 

Jesus Incarnated … Christmas through the Eyes of John

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Jesus Incarnated … Christmas through the Eyes of John

Our job is to do exactly what Jesus did. Jesus INCARNATED.

Break down the word carnivorecarnalflesh.

As followers of Jesus our job is simple. We do what Jesus did. Jesus incarnated. We incarnate. We enter the world of others. We don’t come to condemn, we come to understand their world and to care.

We are touched by Jesus, and we, in turn touch others. It’s really simple. This is the message we heard from Christ and are reporting to you: God is light, and there isn’t any darkness in him (1 John 1:5 GW).

Throughout the rest of John’s pastoral letter, he seems to deal with the same themes over, and over again:

  • The brokenness of our flesh.
  • The pain and darkness of our world.
  • The endless battles between life and death.
  • And the unlimited power of Jesus love that overcomes the world.

The amazing book of 1st John ends with a great awareness: We know that we are from God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. We know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding so that we know the real God. We are in the one who is real, his Son Jesus Christ. This Jesus Christ is the real God and eternal life. Dear children, guard yourselves from false gods (1 John 5:19-21 GW).

Aren’t you glad that Jesus came in the flesh to give hope to my flesh and bring peace to a broken world!

Watch or listen to the complete message here.

 

The Battle Against Sin Is Actually Part of God’s Plan

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The Battle Against Sin Is Actually Part of God’s Plan

We have it in our heads that if we struggle with temptation, if we fall into sin from time to time, there must be something terribly wrong with us. Everyone else seems fine. We must be pretenders. But the truth is everyone struggles with something. The battle itself is part of living in the already … but not yet dilemma.

Through the cross Jesus overcame sin and nailed them on it. Yet still we have to fight the battle against sin. And I am convinced we will fight that battle until the day we die.

That’s basically what the writer of Hebrews says.

God uses the struggle against sin to grow us, so don’t be surprised by it.

Don’t be discouraged by it.

Fight the fight (Hebrews 12).

Since we are surrounded by so many examples of faith, we must get rid of everything that slows us down, especially sin that distracts us. We must run the race that lies ahead of us and never give up. We must focus on Jesus, the source and goal of our faith. He saw the joy ahead of him, so he endured death on the cross and ignored the disgrace it brought him. Now he holds the honored position—the one next to God the Father on the heavenly throne. Think about Jesus, who endured opposition from sinners, so that you don’t become tired and give up.

You struggle against sin, but your struggles haven’t killed you. You have forgotten the encouraging words that God speaks to you as his children:

“My child, pay attention when the Lord disciplines you. Don’t give up when he corrects you.

The Lord disciplines everyone he loves. He severely disciplines everyone he accepts as his child.”

Endure your discipline. God corrects you as a father corrects his children. All children are disciplined by their fathers. If you aren’t disciplined like the other children, you aren’t part of the family. On earth we have fathers who disciplined us, and we respect them. Shouldn’t we place ourselves under the authority of God, the father of spirits, so that we will live? For a short time our fathers disciplined us as they thought best. Yet, God disciplines us for our own good so that we can become holy like him. We don’t enjoy being disciplined. It always seems to cause more pain than joy. But later on, those who learn from that discipline have peace that comes from doing what is right.

 

Strengthen your tired arms and weak knees. 13 Keep walking along straight paths so that your injured leg won’t get worse. Instead, let it heal. Try to live peacefully with everyone, and try to live holy lives, because if you don’t, you will not see the Lord.”[1]

 

Every single one of God’s children lives between the “already” and the “not yet.”

Already Jesus reigns, but His final kingdom has not yet come.

Already sin has been defeated, but it has not yet been completely destroyed.

Already God has given you his Word, but it has not yet totally transformed your life.

Already you have been given grace, but God’s grace has not yet finished its work.

We all must wait for the final end of the work that God has begun in and for us.

But be assured, GOD IS AT WORK EVERYDAY!

“He who began a good work in you will will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

IMPERFECT? Yes.

PERFECT? Absolutely!

 

[1] Hebrews 12:1-14 GW

(IM)Perfect – Already, But Not Yet

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(IM)Perfect – Already, But Not Yet

The theme of this blog series is really a play on words. You could read the title as IMPERFECT or you could read it as (I’M)PERFECT.

Because the truth is in Christ, I am perfect but the reality is I am also imperfect. That can be confusing.

  • If I’m perfect in Christ then why do I still struggle?
  • Why don’t I see victory in every area of my life?
  • Why is my mind not always clear?
  • Why is my body weak at time?
  • Why does my marriage struggle?

Is something wrong with me?

You have to understand that in Christ, I am positionally perfect but in this life, I am functionally imperfect.

Through the death, burial, and resurrection, of Christ He provided all that I will ever need to live a holy, victorious, overcoming life.

You and I live in the land of already … but not yet.

Hebrews 2:8 says, “You put everything under his control.”[1] When God put everything under his Son’s control, nothing was left out. However, at the present time we still don’t see everything under his Son’s control. Christ has already won the battle. He has already defeated Satan. Jesus has already dealt with sin, sickness, shame, sorrow, death and despair.

But in this present time we DO NOT YET see the fullness of it all.

Our theme text for this series is Hebrews 10:14: “For by one sacrifice He has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.”[2]

So which is it? Are we already MADE perfect or are we being made perfect? It’s both.

It is already….but not yet.

There’s a tension between the age that is and the age to come.

In this age we fight sin. We resist the devil. We contend against sickness. And in the already … but not yet age, Satan

[1] GW

[2] NIV

Make God’s Word a Weapon

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Make God’s Word a Weapon

Of all the pieces of the armor the Word instructs us to put on in Ephesians 6, only one of the pieces is actually a weapon. There’s a helmet, a shield, boots and a belt, but the only weapon is the Word of God.

“ABOVE ALL … take the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.” Ephesians 6:17 says, “God’s Word is an indispensable weapon” (MSG).

This blog series comes from the story of the “Temptation of Christ” in the wilderness. The devil came to Jesus and tried to get Him off course. Satan tried to trip Jesus up by tempting Him to do things that were not a part of God’s plan.

And every single time Jesus came back with, “It is written!”

Memorize the Word. Eat it. Read it. Love it. Live it.

Say this aloud:  I will accept the Word as it is written. I will obey the Word! I embrace it! I will believe it! With God’s help, I will try my best to live it!

You can listen to the audio message here.

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