The Spirit Of...
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The closest followers of Jesus quibbled and argued about who was the greatest, even on the night of the Last Supper. A pharisee named Saul considered Jews who turned to Christianity as worthy of imprisonment and death. Those who weren’t Jewish he considered beneath him. Yet these men changed and put aside their animosity and hate. How? The Spirit of God, who is the Spirit of Christ. On this Pentecost Sunday as our nation's cities convulse with violence, let’s look to Jesus and power to conquer hate with love by the Spirit of God.
Jesus promised his disciples this about the Holy Spirit: “He lives with you and will be in you.” Jesus repeated that promise before he was crucified and after he was resurrected. He told his followers to remain in Jerusalem until they received the promise, and they were obedient to wait. When the day came and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, the apostle Peter declared the promise of the Holy Spirit extends to all who come to Christ. The Holy Spirit gives comfort, counsel, help and in these uncertain times something we all need: Hope. He is the Spirit of Hope. Trust in Jesus and you can overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
I am speaking toward the idea that we have Promises today, promises that the Word of God has for each of us. But I think it is important for us to understand that not all the promises of scripture are for everyone. God’s promises are for his people, His children, His followers.
What is truth? That was the disdainful response Pontus Pilate, the Roman Governor of Judea, gave to Jesus at His trial. Pilate didn’t care about the truth, neither did the mob who wanted Jesus dead. Since the beginning of time, truth has been blurred by the enemy Jesus called the Father of Lies, Satan. Yet Christians are called to live out the truth. How can we do that in world full of untruth where the Father of Lies is still active? We need the promised Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth. God’s standards do not shift to conform to the modern world and the ways of mankind. His standards are confirmed by the Spirit of truth, who guides us and directs us into all truth.
The Spirit of wisdom and revelation Paul writes about in Ephesians 1:17 is what helps us know God better. But our pride and self-sufficiency can prevent God from revealing the deep truths that are waiting to be discovered in His Word. What can help bring the full story of the Bible into focus? A hint: “A Humble Heart is a Hearing Heart.”
"How well do we know Jesus, or do we just know about Jesus? After we apply the understanding to what "know" means in context, it will help us with the next question we will address. Do we really love Jesus? Looking at some scripture and applying it to our lives can be difficult and challenging. Jesus didn't attempt to give us the "fast pass" to just go to the front of the line. His disciples learned things just like everyone else does, through experience, difficulties, trials and problems. We all need to know how much He loves us.