Meet the Holy Spirit: A Proper Introduction

 

A Proper Introduction

Our discussion on “surrender” has raised new interest in a topic WordBytes has “directly” addressed only ten times since our first publication in 2010.   Although each bible teaching makes mention of the works of this person, I have failed to dedicate a study about Them.

Who is it?  The Holy Spirit!  My failure was not my belief that teaching about the Holy Spirit wasn’t important.  On the contrary, I wrongly supposed that everyone knew everything about the Holy Spirit.  Faulty assumption!

Therefore, for the next few weeks, I’m going to dedicate time to reintroduce us to the Holy Spirit.  It is my prayer that at the end of this series, we will desire to draw closer to God after learning about His Spirit (Psa. 42:1-2). Why is this important?  As we will learn, the Holy Spirit is vital for victorious living and kingdom building.   That’s why we need a “proper introduction”.

The Holy Spirit of Pentecost

This month we celebrated Pentecost in churches across the nation and around the world.  With Christ’s completed work of salvation—His crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension—the promised Holy Spirit would come and dwell within us (Acts 2).

It was the Holy Spirit’s indwelling presence that would enable Jesus’ disciples to continue the work He had begun. Pentecost marked the availability of the Holy Spirit to everyone who would “call upon the name of Jesus” (Rom. 10:13).

While we may know about the various ministries of the Holy Spirit, it is even more important to fully grasp the enormity of His Presence within us. Deity is living within us! I love the way Jesus described this phenomenon: “I (Jesus) in them (Believers) and You (God) in me, (so) that they may be made perfect in one” (John 17:23).

Like the disciples on the day of Pentecost we need the Holy Spirit’s power and direction as we live for God’s glory. We are invited to join with the Triune God in Their ministry of deliverance, wholeness, and grace (Eph. 2:10).

God wants to lead you to places you cannot get to without Him, and He does that by the power of His Spirit. He can bring you into the realm of the miraculous—not as a show, but as a demonstration of His love and compassion for the lost, hurting, or needy. Who among us doesn’t want or need that?[1]

Another like the Other

In anticipation of His departure, Jesus promised the disciples “another Comforter” (allon parakletos)—another of the same kind to aid (John 14:16).  The Holy Spirit would represent God to the disciples as Jesus did in his incarnate state.

The Holy Spirit would direct the disciple’s decisions, counsel them continually, and remain with them forever.  Jesus knew the heart of His disciples and the importance of His presence in their life.  That same Comforter now dwells within each of us who are in Christ (Eph. 1:13).

Jesus knew that, even in the 21st century, we would need the loving reassurance of His presence.  With the uncertainty of the world we live in, it is comforting to know that we are never outside the watchful eye of God IN ADDITION to being indwelt by the very presence of Jesus, who is the Holy Spirit living within us.

“The world is perishing for lack of the knowledge of God and

the Church is famishing (starving) for want of His Presence.”

                                                  A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God

God never changes and His promises are still true—”He will never leave or forsake us” (Gen. 28:15).   We are never out of God’s watchful eye or reach.

[1] Stormie Omartian, Lead Me, Holy Spirit:  Longing to Hear the Voice of God.

A New View of Surrender, Part 2

 

 

A New View of Surrender, Part 2

What, why, when, how… to surrender?

It is not easy for us to surrender.  It is, therefore, important to understand how surrendering operates in our daily lives.  This is where we will begin today.

As we stated earlier in this study, to surrender means to give up power, control, or possession of a thing.  For believers, that thing is us!  Spiritual surrender is the relinquishing of our will to the will of God.  Each day we are tempted by our flesh, the world, and Satan to give up power, control, or possession of our life (1 John 2:15-17).  That’s why it is important to be alert and watchful to decisions that lead us to death or to obedience (Rom. 6:16).

Why surrender?

This question, for me, was a game changer!  To truly understand “why” surrender, it is important to understand what it means to be “filled by the Spirit”.   While the definition of “filling” or “indwelling” of the Holy Spirit may vary based on one’s denomination, I will share the most common understanding by theologians.

The filling of the Spirit refers to a continual process of spiritual growth and maturity, where believers are constantly controlled by the Holy Spirit in their mind, emotions, and will. It is not a feeling or emotional experience, but rather the yielding of one’s life to the Lord. The filling of the Spirit empowers us to live the surrendered life.

When to surrender?

At the moment of salvation, we surrender to the Holy Spirit who brings us to repentance (John 16:8).  The Holy Spirit regenerates our spirit and we become new creatures in Christ (2 Cor. 5:16-17).  It is at that time that the Holy Spirit takes permanent residence in our life (1 Cor. 3:16).

We continue this process of surrender so that we will “act more like Jesus” or “be conformed” to His image (Rom. 8:29).   This is only possible through our obedience to the Holy Spirit.

How to surrender?

As we stated earlier, the Holy Spirit’s filling is the yielding of our life to the Lord.  Key to this definition is the word, yielding.  Yielding implies an act of cooperation by us as recipients of the Spirit.  Unlike our initial salvation, it is a continual process in our spiritual growth.  This is the daily work of surrender (2 Cor. 3:18).

I offer three “R’s of Surrender” to help us practice this critical element in our Christian walk.

    • Repentance.  Continually examine our life to identify those things that act as idols and influences.  Be brutal in discarding those things that hinder our absolute surrender. (2 Cor. 13:5-6)
    • Realization. Depend wholly on the directions and leanings of the Holy Spirit.  Surrender cannot be accomplished by our “good works” or best efforts.  It is the work of God. (Luke 18:27)
    • Relationship. Understand the will of God by spending time with Him.  Prayer, meditation, and His Word are direct paths to surrender.  Practice His presence throughout the day. (Psa. 42:1-2)
God blesses when we surrender

To live in the fullness God has planned for our life, it is important that we surrender to God.  This means we must give up those things that hinder the Holy Spirit’s work in our life.  This includes not only personal sin, but our self-will, self-confidence, and self-effort.

I close with these insightful words from Andrew Murray as to the blessings associated with our surrender to God.

I say again, God will bless you. You have been praying for blessing. But do remember, there must be absolute surrender. At every tea table you see it. Why is tea poured into that cup? Because it is empty and given up for the tea. But put ink, or vinegar, or wine into it, and will they pour the tea into the vessel? And can God fill you, can God bless you if you are not absolutely surrendered to Him? He cannot.[1]

To be filled, we must empty ourselves.  We must surrender.

[1] Absolute Surrender, Andrew Murray

A New View of Surrender, Part 1

A New View of Surrender, Part 1

What does surrender look like?

To surrender means to give up power, control, or possession of a thing.  It is often used in military terms to express a point of “handing over” a town or a fortification to an enemy.  It is punitive, in nature, when viewed from this vantage point.

However, from a spiritual standpoint, surrendering offers greater benefit when viewed from our loving God.  Spiritual surrender (surrender to God) is based on His grace and love (Eph. 2:4-8).  Through His Holy Spirit, we respond with trust and obedience.   We learn to surrender to God!

Sin and surrender

Sin and surrender have more in common than their first letter.  Sin has at its core the stubborn resistance to surrender oneself to the authority and rule of God.  Remember Adam and Eve?

Often, we fail to see the spiritual reality of these two conflicting influences in the world. Each day we, unknowingly or knowingly, choose one we will surrender to.  Who will rule, control, and influence our life?  This requires that we continually examine our position of surrender.  In his letter to the church in Rome, the Apostle Paul makes clear this truth.

Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?  (Rom. 6:16)

God Expects Our Surrender

Surrendering to God allows the Holy Spirit to accomplish the plans and purpose that God has created for us (2 Tim. 1:9).  Through our surrender, we understand and live a life that reflects our prayer, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10).

The perfect example of surrender is seen in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ.  He often proclaimed that His life was focused only on the things of God.  God’s will versus His own (John 8:29).  Revisit Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane and see how the Holy Spirit undergirded our Savior as He agonized between His fleshly will and the will of the Father (Matt. 26:38-42).  Strengthened by an angel, Jesus fulfilled the purpose for which He came to earth to save mankind.

Absolute Surrender

In his book, Absolute Surrender, Andrew Murray gives a key as to why we must surrender to God.

You know in daily life what absolute surrender is. You know that everything has to be given up to its special, definite object and service. I have a pen in my pocket, and that pen is absolutely surrendered to the one work of writing, and that pen must be absolutely surrendered to my hand if I am to write properly with it.  

If another holds it partly, I cannot write properly. And now, do you expect that in your immortal being, in the divine nature that you have received by regeneration, God can work his work every day and every hour unless you are entirely given up to him? God cannot.[1]

For God to accomplish His purpose in our life, we must be absolutely surrendered to Him.

[1] Absolute Surrender and Other Addresses, Andrew Murray

The Surrendered Life

The Surrendered Life

Living for Christ

In my faith walk, I must constantly remind myself that “I am not my own.”  My new life in Christ was purchased with the precious blood of Jesus Christ (1 Corin. 6:19-20).

This life brings new responsibility as we share Jesus’ message of reconciliation  Jesus died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them. (2 Corin. 5:15) Living for Christ requires that we live a surrendered life.  It is not by accident or happenstance.  It is intentional.

Understanding surrender

In his book, Immortal Diamonds, Richard Rohr shares a glimpse into the secret of living a surrendered life through the contemporary example of the Amish.

The Amish people know they are connected to and a part of a much larger divine reality which looks naïve to the rest of us.  On the foundation as to what is real and what is passing, they are experts.  It also explains their peace, happiness and contentment.

Understanding begins when we seek and prioritize God’s plan for our life.  It is in God that we live, breathe, and have our meaning (Acts 17:28).  Our worldview is based on the reality of God, the certainties of faith, and the “end game” that leads us to eternity with the Lord (1 John 5:13).  The surrendered life begins with denying self and the world.  It begins with Jesus as our priority.

Surrender begins with denying

Jesus in His teaching on the cost of discipleship was brutally honest about His expectation of His followers.  There was no mincing of words to make the offer more appealing to His listeners.  Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” (Matt. 16:24) Jesus’ ministry continues today with us as His disciples.  His expectations have not changed.

Deny has two meanings: (1) to affirm that one has no acquaintance or connection with someone and (2) to lose sight of oneself and own interests.  Matthew uses the second definition to explain Jesus’ rebuke to would-be disciples unaware of the cost to follow Him.

As we deny our own interest and forsake our past self, we must also reject our love for this world— “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life” (1 John 2:16).  All these create within us a divided heart which cannot love Jesus well nor surrender to His leading.

The surrendered life

The world, Satan, and our flesh are not big on “denying”.   They encourage us to place our desires above the Lord’s.  They deceive by whispering, “You can have it your way right now.  Jesus can wait another day.”  Jesus replies, “I am The Way” (John 14:6) and offers instead His love (John 3:16), salvation (Heb. 2:10), forgiveness (Ep. 1:7), freedom (Ps. 146:7), and peace (Col. 3:15).

The goal of the Christian life can be summed up by Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Such a life of surrender is pleasing to God, results in the greatest human fulfillment, and will reap ultimate rewards in heaven (Luke 6:22-23).[1]

The surrendered life in Christ results in great joy and wisdom.  There is great confidence in knowing we have made the best choice by seeking “the Pearl of Great Price” (Matt. 13:46). To give up other offers, by comparison, is a surrender of the lesser.

[1]   Got Questions, “What does it mean to surrender to God?”

Clarion Word Classics: The Dangers of a Shallow Faith

 

What are Clarion Word Classics?

The Clarion Word Classics (CWC) is a learning series WordBytes has launched to share faith writings that will strengthen and enrich our spiritual lives and faith walk.  Some of our classics come from sage theologians.  Others introduce contemporary writers who offer spiritual answers to the challenges of 21st century living.

The word “clarion” comes from the Latin word that means “clear”.  Used as an adjective, it means “loud and clear”.  Our intent with this quarterly series is to make “loud and clear” what is ours in Christ (Rom. 8:17) and the relevancy of our faith for this present generation (Matt. 24:34).

This quarter CWC, will introduce A.W. Tozer, a self-taught theologian, pastor, and writer whose powerful use of words continues to grip the intellect and stir the soul of today’s believer.  He has authored more than 40 books, the best known are The Pursuit of God and The Knowledge of the Holy.  The Dangers of a  Shallow Faith is a never-before-published compilation.

How does it connect with our faith walk?

Lethargy is a lingering tiredness that is constant and limiting. Spiritual lethargy may be defined as a state of indifference or inertia with regard to one’s own spiritual growth and vitality.

The Apostle Paul urged the Thessalonians to avoid succumbing to spiritual lethargy: “so then let us not sleep as others do but let us be alert and sober” (1 Thess. 5:6).

Tozer describes this condition well: “there is little communion and little joy in the Lord. To have a cold heart with little pity, little fire, little love and little worship is spiritual lethargy.”[1] 

Some of the most common symptoms include any combination of the following:

  • Chronic indulgence in sinful thoughts and actions
  • Little or no desire to pray
  • Engagement in exclusively Christ-less entertainment
  • Avoidance of personal accountability
  • Decreased appetite for Bible study
  • Selfish and materialistic orientation
  • Reluctant and sporadic church attendance

Spiritual lethargy renders us “unserviceable” in God’s Kingdom.  Deceived by Satan’s lies, tempted by the world, and weakened in our flesh, we are, as the mothers of the church would say, “no earthly good.”  Satan’s most successful strategy is not to kill our faith but to silence our witness.

Tozer’s insights

Tozer urges us to be aware of the times in which we live.  We are to “gird the loin of our mind, be sober and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 1:13).   While Tozer’s dangers were centered on the evangelical church, its application is “spot on” for us individually as we move from “glory to glory” in our walk of faith (2 Cor. 3:18).

In the Word Ministries provides CWC in our effort to “inspire authentic communities of faith, fellowship, and learning.”  It is in that spirit that we share this book.  This is not an endorsement or agreement with the views shared.  Here is an introductory reading  from The Dangers of a Shallow Faith:  Awakening from Spiritual Lethargy. 

[1] The Dangers of a Shallow Faith:  Awakening from Spiritual Lethargy. 

Our Faith Walk: Who are You? Part 2

Who are You? Part 2

Identity in crisis

Last week we presented identity as the set of characteristics that constitutes individual personality.  It is influenced by both internal and external factors.  Our identity is dynamic, in that it can be influenced by situations and circumstances that surround us.  Therefore, our identity is to be carefully guarded and protected.  This is especially true when we consider our spiritual identity (Prov. 4:23).

It is difficult to maintain our identity in Christ while living amid the 21st century.  Temptations offered by Satan, the influence of worldview, and the weakness of our human flesh, create conditions for a “perfect storm” that can negatively impact our walk of faith.  Considering these tests, how can we protect our identity in Christ?

A Change in Identity

Why do people change their identity?  Because of change.

Human beings have a complicated relationship with change. While it is both inevitable and essential for growth, change can also be deeply uncomfortable — especially if it feels involuntary, or out of our control.

As researchers focused on social change, we’ve spent the last ten years studying how people react to drastic changes in their lives. We’ve conducted hundreds of interviews with people who lost a desired identity, such as former white-collar professionals forced to move into lower-status careers, as well as with people trying to shed an undesirable or stigmatized identity, such as former prisoners working to reintegrate themselves in their communities.

Interestingly, regardless of whether the changes were ostensibly positive or negative, many of the people we talked to struggled to move on from their past identities and embrace their new selves. This feeling of stuck-ness — a phenomenon we call identity paralysis — often left people feeling angry, frustrated, and hopeless about their current situations.[1]

Changes in identity are normal and to be expected.  We live in a world of constant flux.  However, it is important to embrace those identity traits that best accomplish the plan and purpose God has for our lives (Jer. 29:11).   Why?  Because our identity influences how we live our life!

Our Behavior follows our Identity

Behavior and identity are linked.  In the Old Testament, God continually warned His people to remember who they were and their covenant relationship with Jehovah (Deut. 6:4-9).  God knew that their identification with the wrong things and people would affect their faithfulness.  They would be drawn away from the plan and purpose God had for their life (Deut. 8:11).  The same is true for us today.

In the New Testament, especially in the writings of the Apostle Paul, the Church in its infancy was continually reminded of their “new identity in Christ” (2 Cor. 5:17).  Ministering in countries that didn’t worship God nor honor the teaching of Jesus would be challenging.   Their worldview would be very different, just as it is today in the 21st century (1 John 1:7).

Paul’s exceptional testimony of his previous identity as an Orthodox Jew, speaks to the transforming power of Christ to change our identity.  It is probably the most thorough testimony in Scripture.

Circumcised when I was eight days old, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews [an exemplary Hebrew]; as to the [observance of the] Law, a Pharisee; as to my zeal [for Jewish tradition], a persecutor of the church; and as to righteousness [supposed right living] which [my fellow Jews believe] is in the Law, I proved myself blameless. But whatever former things were gains to me [as I thought then], these things [once regarded as advancements in merit] I have come to consider as loss [absolutely worthless] for the sake of Christ [and the purpose which He has given my life].  (Phil. 3: 5-7, Amplified) 

Paul’s identity changed his behavior and his life forever.  What can we say about Jesus’ entry into our lives and the change it has made in our identity?

Do we know who we are?

Our identity is founded in Christ Jesus.  It has been revealed in both His living Word and reflected in His love for us.  It is based on a firm foundation that is eternal and abides forever (Ep. 1:4).  Jesus has made it possible for us to become partakers of God’s grace and power.  Knowing our identity, we can hold firm our “confession of faith without wavering” (Heb. 10:23).

CAUTION:  If we as believers are unable to accept the identity God has communicated to us, we need to enter a time of prayer and examination as to why we choose not to believe God (choosing rather to believe the lies of Satan, self, and the world).

[1] “When a Major Life Change Upends Your Sense of Self “, Harvard Business Review.

Our Faith Walk: Who Are You? Part 1

Who are you?

Who are you?

In the story, Alice in Wonderland, we are told of a young girl drawn into a world of contradictions and challenges to her way of thinking.  How did it start?  She chased a rabbit with a watch.  In the process, Alice falls into a “proverbial rabbit hole”, entering a new reality that tests everything she claims to believe.  My favorite character is the plump caterpillar who, positioned on a posh pillar, asks of Alice, “Who are you?”

Joseph, being sold into slavery by his brothers, found himself in new and perilous circumstances that challenged his faith and godly beliefs (Genesis 37-39).  Daniel and his comrades, exiled in Babylon where continually tested and dared to “hold fast to their confession of faith”, even at the potential loss of their life (Daniel 1-3).

One of the challenges in living in the 21st century is understanding, “who we are”.   Our identity.  Why is it important?  Who influences the choices we make daily?  There are rabbit holes, temptations, and risks to life we must acknowledge as we continue our walk of faith.  That’s why it’s important that we hold firm to our identity as followers of Jesus Christ.

Who do you identify with?

Identity is the set of characteristics that constitutes individual personality.  It is our essential self and our personal uniqueness.

Our identity is shaped by personal traits, talents, values, and beliefs. External factors such as friends and family, social groups, and cultural heritage also shape who we are.

While identity deals with personal uniqueness, it also describes a person’s sameness with others.  For example, one’s identity may be tied to a particular area (Midwesterner, New Yorker), a certain group (Boomers, Gen-Xers), or a cause (Save the Whales).  It can also be tied to a political affiliation or religious denomination.

Our world is daily challenging us to “choose” who we identify with.  The results are that we, as a society, are experiencing an identity crisis.

Identity crisis, in the psychosocial sense, is a condition of disorientation and role confusion as a result of conflicting pressures and expectations.   Identity crisis seeks a clearer sense of self and acceptable role in society.  Spiritual identity crisis is very similar, in that it occurs because of the conflict exerted from Satan, the world, and self.[1]

Unfortunately, rather than celebrating our God-given uniqueness, the world and Satan is using our identity to polarize us and to weaponize who we are.

Identity and our faith walk.

For believers, our identity is rooted and grounded in Christ Jesus (Col. 2:7).   Through His work of redemption, we have been reconciled to the Father (Rom. 5:10).

Satan challenges our identity in Christ Jesus by first targeting our mind.  He uses as his weapon, lies.  These lies are designed to deceive and discourage.  Satan’s purpose is to make us ignorant of God’s will and plan for our life.

The world also attacks our mind and our body.  It creates an insatiable desire for “all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life” (1 John 2:16).

Lastly, self contributes to identity crisis by demanding freedom to exercise its personal will.  The desire to rule self and operate independent of God leads to self-promotion, self-elevation, and selfishness.  Left unchecked, man’s attention shifts from “what God desires” to “what feels right.”

In Christ we are now sons and daughters of God (John 1:12), endowed with a new identity and power.  Through spiritual regeneration (2 Cor. 5:17), we have become partakers of His divine nature, the Holy Spirit, who is daily conforming us to the image of Christ (2 Pet. 1:4).

We must continually be on the watch for social, political, and yes, religious “rabbit holes” that challenge our identity in Christ. Next week, we will continue our discussion on identity and its importance in our faith walk.

[1]   https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/identity-crisis

 

Our Faith Walk: Keep Your Eye on God

A Message for Fearful Times

Historical trauma

We’ve experienced many horrible events in the tapestry of our nation’s history and in our personal lives.  Natural disasters, war, health pandemics, and social upheaval, just to name a few. These events create trauma and fear that must be navigated daily.

But I come today with a message of encouragement and hope from the God who sees and Who is in complete control of what appears to be “out of control.”  Keep your eye on God!

Keep Your Eye on God

It is important during these troubling times to keep our eyes on the Lord.  As believers, we are aware that in this world we will have tribulation and trials (John 16:33).  But we are also reminded to take heart because Jesus has overcome the world.  One writer reminded me, “it is the tension between ‘overcome’ and ‘taking heart’ that cause us problems.”

Our trust in the Lord is not the result of positive thinking or some new age approach to stress management.   Brian Morykno with Renovaré encourages believers during fearful times to follow King David’s example of magnification.

Imagine David, with the war cry of enemies rising all around, settled of soul and unafraid.  How was that possible?  It’s not that David was out of touch with reality; he was in touch with it.  David understood magnification.  He knew that what we dwell upon becomes large in our spiritual field of vision.  And David dwelled upon God (Ps. 95:3-5).     

Our reality is this.  God is sovereign and is moving forward with His plan of salvation.  God is not the cause of the terrible events we see in our daily social media feed and news broadcasts.  Such events come from “heart issue” of sinful men (James 3:16-18) and the work of Satan (Eph. 6:12; John 10:10).

Where there is envy and selfish ambition, there will also be disorder and wickedness of every kind.   But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy.  And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace (James 3:16).

A Plan for These Times

To help us move through these times, I offer this three-prong approach to help us navigate through these difficult times.

Prayer.  This should be our first response to the troubles we face.  We are told to pray without ceasing (1 Thess. 5:17).  The reason for this mandate is because our prayers connect us directly to God—the Power Source who can resolve our dilemma.  The “only wise God” (Rom. 16:27) is there to guide and direct our steps, comfort our heart, and ease our stress (Phil. 4:6-7).

Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer.  (Romans 12:12)

Practice the Presence of God   We are never alone regardless of the situation we face.  He alone can make good on His promise that He will “never leave nor forsake us” (Gen. 28:15).  He is ever-present.  Regardless of external appearances, God is with us even amid our trouble.

Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence?  If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there. (Ps. 139:7-8)

Praise.  Yes, I said praise.  Why?  Because it is the quickest way to experience the presence of God (Ps. 22:3).    Ruth Meyer, author of the book, 31 Days of Praise, offers this insight on the power of praise.

As you praise and pray, you make your circumstances and your life a test tube that demonstrates the existence of a personal God, a God who is present and involved and who controls the natural Universe. It turns your attention to spiritual and eternal values versus the pleasures and success mentality of our age, which resists all pain and discomfort and delay.

But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. (Ps. 22:3)

A Message for Trying Times

As we continue our walk of faith, we will be faced with trials and trouble.   Although these may be difficult, we have the blessed assurance that we are not in these things alone.  Neither are we powerless (Luke 10:19; Eph. 1:19).

I don’t know how these tumultuous times will end but I do know that God has the final word (Ps. 119:89-91).  God is and will continue to be the Creator and Sustainer of all things (Col. 1:16).

In Response: Living the Resurrected Life

Living the Resurrected Life

Last week’s teaching on Eastertide and “Living in Resurrection Power” has led to many questions from you with regard to its application for 21st century living.

In response,  I invite you to a  follow-up  WordBytes entitled, “Living the Resurrected Life.”   I am pleased that we are continuing to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord (2 Pet. 3:18).  His plan of salvation continues even into this present age.  Hallelujah!

Throwback Wednesday: Living in Resurrection Power

Throwback Wednesday: Living in Resurrection Power

Easter, for Christians, is  more than a one day event.  It is a 50-day celebration. The season of Easter, or Eastertide, begins at sunset on the eve of Easter and ends on Pentecost (see Acts 2).

Eastertide, is also, an excellent  opportunity to expand our  understanding of the power Christ’s resurrection continuous to offer, even in the 21st century (Eph. 1:19-20).

That being said,  we offer for your reading, “Living in Resurrection Power”.   This is an excellent follow-up to our series, “Spiritual Blessing for Victorious Living.”