Posts Tagged With: Holy Spirit

Partnerships

Acts 3:6-8

New International Version (NIV)

Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God.


Partnerships are characterized by two or more parties coming together with ideas and sharing the benefits of working together.  We form partnerships in school, at the office, on sports teams, and as the church.  We partner with one another to accomplish great and small things. Working together usually makes us feel good and each party walks away feeling satisfied and equally “paid”.

Peter was willing to trust in the partnership and authority he had with God, and in that authority he could do amazing things.  Just like Peter, when we partner with God we get way more than we could ever ask or imagine.  We get His Grace, Mercy, Love, and Holy Spirit.

We get the power to withstand hardship because we have Hope.  We the get the power to show others compassion because we have Love. We get the power of forgiveness because we have Grace and Mercy.  A partnership with God is unbalanced.  God will always give us more than we deserve, and He loves to do it!  He continually grants us His presence and continually guides us.

– God will always give us more than we deserve, and He loves to do it! –

May we remember the partnership we have with God, and let us be people who are willing to listen to His voice, respond, and give Him all the glory.

How will you respond to God this week?

 

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Oh For A Thousand Tongues To Sing

Acts 2:1-4

New International Version (NIV)

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.


This Sunday is Pentecost.  It is the defining moment that the Church was given the authority and power to fulfill their mission from God.  It was the moment that God broke the barriers of Babel and proclaimed the Gospel in many languages.  It was a foretaste of what was to come.  It was a foretaste of God’s Word being available to all.

Portions of the Bible have been translated into over two thousand languages since it was first put together into one collection.  The Gospel is now more available than every before.  It is in major retail stores, online, in apps, and can be heard on certain television stations.   All this because a handful of men accepted Jesus’ call and followed the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

We have one God, one Gospel, and one mission.  The Church is the light of the world and we have the power and authority to spread that light through our love.

 

Will you allow the Holy Spirit to guide your actions?

How can you share the love of Christ that is found in the Gospels this week?

 

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Spirit Led

Luke 24:49

New International Version (NIV)

49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”


Can you imagine attempting to lead someone into a forest, up a mountain, across the ocean, or even through a city you have never been to?  To make matters worse, what if you had to do it without a map, GPS, or cell phone?

Our faith can sometimes feel this way.  We feel overwhelmed by the amount of information that is contained in the Bible.  We feel the weight of temptation and sin everyday.  We struggle to keep denominations straight.  We aren’t quite sure what we should or shouldn’t wear on a Sunday morning, and we shrink back from the thought of sharing our faith or reaching out in love because we don’t have all the answers.

But thankfully God did not leave us blind and Jesus was not content to leave us wandering around without a guide.  In the book of Acts Jesus sends the Helper, The Holy Spirit, to assist HIs people.  The Spirit is always speaking to believers: guiding, instructing, interpreting scripture, and speaking on our behalf.

Our responsibility is to learn to listen, learn to quiet our own desires and thoughts, and learn to follow His promptings.  Have you ever talked yourself out of doing something good like give money or time to someone in need?  How about volunteering?  How about showing love to someone who is a jerk?

Do we rationalize the prompts and move on, or are we open?  The choice to be love, say love, and do love is ours!  We don’t have to have all the answers, we just have to respond.

Are you willing to let the Spirit lead?

How will you show love this week?

 

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Love Does

Acts 8:27-29

New International Version (NIV)

27 So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake (which means “queen of the Ethiopians”). This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet. 29 The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.”


Philip was not forced to stop and speak with someone from a completely different nationality than him, but he chose to listen to the Spirit’s prompt.  He chose to speak to someone completely different from him and he chose to do it out of love.  A love for Christ and a love for this stranger that he never met.  I think the words from Paul in his letter the church in Rome sum up our calling.

Romans 15:7-8

Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews on behalf of God’s truth, so that the promises made to the patriarchs might be confirmed and, moreover, that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy.

We, the gentiles, were on the outside of the promise until Christ came.  He welcomed us who were different and calls us to do the same.  We are the light of world, we are the sheep in shepherds clothing, and we are the vessels of love that God can use.  We only need to be willing to hear and answer the call to love.

That call could come in the form of offering the mow your neighbors lawn, pay for someones groceries, take out their trash, or stopping and getting to know the homeless person on the street.  Whatever the call, are you ready to respond?  Have you made room in your schedule to do love?

How will you choose to love this week?

** For practical examples, uplifting and wild stories, and God-honoring ways to do love I highly recommend the book Love Does by Bob Goff.**

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Are we only hitting the “tip of the iceberg”?

Have you ever stopped to wonder what people mean when they use the term “worship”?  Are they simply referring to the music?  Or perhaps they are referencing the entire service?  In either case, only the surface of such a diverse word is being utilized.

Worship is more than what we do on a Sunday morning;

it is more than the music,

the preaching,

or the prayers.

Worship is a lifestyle; it is everything we do in adoration of the Lord and it is rooted in our reception, response, and relationship to God and all those who surround us on a daily basis.

Worship is rooted in our reception; it is expectant and always preaching.

“Every weekend we should anticipate the coming of Christ.  After every worship service, we should celebrate the fact that he is alive forevermore, and consequently, so are we!  After every worship service, people should leave our services withe an anticipation of heaven.” (43-44)
-Kevin Navarro “The Complete Worship Service”

Worship is the choice to approach God and respond after we have been called.

“Worship is an active response to God, whereby we declare His worth.  Worship is not passive, but is participative.  Worship is not simply a mood; it is a response.  Worship is not just a feeling; it is a declaration.” (16)
-Allen and Borror “Worship: Rediscovering the Missing Jewel”

Worship is an active partnership between God and creation as relationships are cultivated.

“Worship is a conversation between God and God’s chosen people.  There is a mutual exchange, a holy dialogue, an invested sharing back and forth in worship” (9)
-Constance Cherry “The Worship Architect”

Worship is a conversation between creation and the creator, between man and God.  Worship is a two way street whereby we communicate with God and He answers through the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  Our worship must be lived out is such a way that it demands an explanation.  We must be living testimonies as we encounter the world and worship the Lord.

In the next three weeks we will unpack and expand on each characteristic  of Worship: Reception, Response, and Relationship.  I invite you to join me at The Table as we discover more of what it means to Worship God.

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Table Talk

Why ‘the worship table’ as a web address? Are we worshipping a table? No, but I want to stress the importance of the table.

Let’s begin by discussing what I mean when I use the phrase “table it”.  The common use of this phrase gives it a negative connotation, it tells a person that what they have to say or present is of little value and will most likely be overlooked.  I, however, believe that some of the best things can happen around the table.

The table is a place of fellowship, it is a place where meals are enjoyed, a place that hosts “all-nighters” and board games of all genres, it is a place where new relationships are cultivated.  The table also reveals to us the character of Christ and welcomes us into the presence of something magnificent through celebrations such as the Lord’s Supper.

So I invite you to the table,
I invite you to journey with me as I attempt to a live a life of Worship.

May the table be the place where conversations are ignited and passions revealed,  a place where Truth is uncovered and actively pursued, and place where we discover our daily purpose in God’s grand scheme of things!

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Ethan & Emilie

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Tales from the Great Adventure

a journal of living-like-we-mean-it, by Derek Maul