The Fruit that Flows from Love

 

The Holy Spirit flowed through the pen of the apostle. He wanted the Church in Galatia to know that the fruit of the Spirit is love and that from that marvelous, wondrous and everlasting agape flows fruit that testifies of the goodness, grace and glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. That testimony begins with unspeakable joy and peace beyond human understanding. Paul had used joy and peace in addition to righteousness in his letter to the Romans (Romans 14). The word translated “joy” is from the Greek word chara (khar-ah’) and literally speaks to the joy and gladness others receive from the Lord or from an occasion of joy. The root word of chara is chairo (khah’-ee-ro) meaning to rejoice, be glad, to rejoice exceedingly or to give one greeting or salute.

Added to such joy, wonderful joy is the peace that passes understanding. Using the Greek word eirene (i-ray’-nay), Paul chooses to such to declare that we who are “in the Spirit” can live in a state of spiritual and emotional tranquility. By using the word eirene Paul wants his readers to know that they have an exemption from the rage and havoc of war and the struggle that comes with it. Such peace comes with the promise of security, safety, prosperity, felicity, (because peace and harmony make and keep things safe and prosperous). Thus, the peace experienced out of the Spirit’s love for us is the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation in Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is.

 

Paul’s next triad of fruit is patience, kindness and goodness. Wayne Field in his message on The Fruit of the Spirit: Signs of Life – the Marks of Vibrant Living says the key point for all of us today, especially when it comes to patience, kindness and goodness, is to remember this, it takes the power of God to produce the character of God. Whereas human patience, kindness and goodness have their limitations, God’s is unlimited – endless, infinite, boundless, immeasurable. You don’t need to “try harder” to be more patient or kind or good. If you want a higher patience – you need to plug into a higher power.

 

In other words, we need to be filled full of the Holy Spirit and manifesting His patience, kindness and goodness. The word translated patience in the New International Version is translated as “long-suffering” in the KJV and other versions. Long-suffering comes from the Greek word makrothumia (mak-roth-oo-mee’-ah). Makrothumia is a compound of two words (Makro and thumia). When they are put together the word means patience, endurance, constancy, steadfastness, perseverance, longsuffering and slowness in avenging wrongs.

 

Kindness (or gentleness in the KJV) is from the word chrestotes (khray-stot’-ace) and means moral goodness or integrity. As a fruit of the Spirit, kindness means to exude the quality of being honest and fair as well as to possess the state of being complete or whole by being full of God. Kindness also speaks to “being of the same kind.” It is a group of people that belong together or have some shared quality (like salvation).

 

Goodness is next. The English name Agatha comes from this Greek word (agathosune). The word means to have uprightness of heart and life and is from the Greek root agathos (ag-ath-os’) which means to be of a good constitution or nature, to be useful, pleasant, agreeable, joyful, excellent, upright and honorable.

 

Paul’s last triad concerning the fruit of the Spirit is faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Faithfulness here is the same as faith (KJV). In both instances the Greek word is: pistis (pis’-tis). In the Word of God, faithfulness is the conviction or belief respecting man’s relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervor born of faith and joined with the expectation of reward (Hebrews 11:6). Faith is having the conviction that God exists and is the creator and ruler of all things; He is the provider and One who bestows eternal salvation through Christ Jesus. With such comes the idea of fidelity and faithfulness or the character of one who can be relied on to follow through.

 

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for (Hebrews 11:1-2). 

 

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). 

 

Gentleness (Meekness-KJV) is used twice by Paul in his letter to the Corinthians. His use of the word has to do with the correction he tried his best to give to the believers in his letters. In 1 Corinthians 4:21 he wrote, “What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a whip, or in love and with a gentle spirit?” And in 2 Corinthians 10:1 Paul said, “By the meekness and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you.” Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance describes gentleness as mildness and meekness. It means to have a mild disposition and a gentle of spirit.

 

Self-control is sometimes called temperance. Temperance (egkrateia) is an old Greek word from stemming from egkratês. It means to be one who is holding control of one’s self or having self-control (the virtue of one who masters his desires and passions, especially his sensual appetites. This word is found in the New Testament only twice. It is used in this passage and in 2 Peter 1:6. Paul has a better list than the four cardinal virtues of the Greek Stoics (temperance, prudence, fortitude, justice), though they are included with better notes struck. Temperance is alike, but kindness is better than justice, long-suffering than fortitude, love than prudence.

 

The fruit of the Spirit is the result of agape. A life full of agape results in a person being able to manifest the character and grace of the Holy Spirit in practical ways. It is His fruit being manifested in, through and from our lives as we abide in the Vine (the Lord Jesus Christ) and are cared for and cultivated by the Husbandman (the Heavenly Father–read John 15:1-7).

Let us pray to be filled full and running over with the Spirit so that we might manifest the fruit of the Spirit to everyone around us. In doing so, Jesus will be lifted up and glorified. This will result in the Spirit drawing men to the Savior and enduing them with eternal life.

 

I love you,

 

Robert

T

Choose to Be a Blessing, Not a Burden

Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please. From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose. What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned, that will I do. Isaiah 46:9-11 NIV

 

These words are very comforting to me. The God of the Universe chose to bless me. His choice was declared long ago. These verses say that His plans will not be thwarted by anyone or anything. He is resolute, diligent and trustworthy concerning that which He has chosen. If He promised it, He will perform it. Hebrews tells us that the man sent to fulfill the Father’s plan and purpose was and is the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

All of the Gospels tell of Jesus living out God’s plan of redemption and reconciliation. Everywhere Jesus traveled they watched Him beckon, bless, minister, teach, heal and guide. Even when they speak of Him chastising or disciplining His disciples, it was done with an eye on His divine purpose.

Everyone coming in contact with Him is called to embrace to the working of His redemptive purpose. That purpose is to see the blessing of God rest in, on and through every man, woman, boy and girl on the planet. The very essence of that purpose was declared and was perhaps best described by the Apostle Peter in a sermon to the household of Cornelius.

 

You know what has happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached– how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him. Acts 10:37-38

 

Peter declared the purpose of the Lord’s ministry was to break the power of darkness, to invoke the power of light and to bring all people, both Jew and Gentile, into complete union with the Son. This purpose was accomplished as Jesus was anointed by God with the Holy Spirit and power.

 

After the resurrection and ascension, the union of believer with the Lord Jesus is described by the Apostle Paul as the believer being “in Christ” and at the same time having, “Christ in us.” Sadly, many in the Church today seen to miss the focus of or fully embrace the richness of this statement. While many may say that their true loyalty is to Christ Jesus, in the lives of most modern believers, it is the traditions they have grown up with or the theologies they have learned that have become more important than the purposes of Christ Himself.

 

His purpose is to transform us into the image of God’s dear Son, by and through the same anointing He was anointed with. He wants to reconcile us to our original purpose, which is, to embrace and enjoy union and fellowship with the  Heavenly Father, Him and with each other. Only then can we really know Him. When we embrace and enjoy “Christ in others” a revelation occurs. The Holy Spirit opens our spiritual understanding and we begin to see the opportunity that has been afforded each of us. That opportunity is to “become the blessing.” Such can only occur as we choose to give that which we have been given. We must open ourselves and allow the Holy Spirit to flow from us as a stream or channel. Then, as other do the same, we will be joined to other streams (believers) for the purpose of eventually flowing together with all believers into the great river of God, which is the Holy Spirit, and purposed to bless all humanity.

 

The manifest Presence of the Holy Spirit was upon Jesus to heal the sick and set the captive free. The same should be expected by us all as we worship together, pray together and be together in His Name. It is in that place that all who are under the power of the devil are healed and delivered. In that place is fullness of joy, even life evermore. In His Presence the blind see, the deaf hear and the cripple walk. Let us lay aside any weight that besets us, keeping us from embracing and enjoying Christ in us—the Hope of Glory.

 

I encourage you to pray concerning this with me today. I believe we are standing in front of an awesome opportunity. But, we will have to choose. We will need to choose to be like the Lord Jesus. We will need to pray for His ultimate purpose to fill our thoughts and to become a blessing to Him and to all we meet. It is His desire that we come together in one accord and purpose. It is His will for the Holy Spirit to fill us to overflowing and flow from each of us. The flow of His Manifest Presence will “water the earth” where we live and minister. This water of life will bring forth the purposes of blessing and bud into the fruit of the Spirit. Let us ask for the Holy Spirit to help us learn to pour out the glorious life He has blessed us with so that others may be healed and blessed. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

 

The Outpouring of Revival

John’s Gospel is more elaborate in his presentation of the office and work of the Holy Spirit than the other three Gospels combined. After John the Baptist’s testimony of the Spirit descending upon Jesus at His baptism, John begins his discourse regarding the ministry of the Holy Spirit with his description of this statement by Jesus to Nicodemus. “Jesus answered, ‘I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit’” (John 3:5).

Jesus’ use of the expression, “except one be born of water and the Spirit,” is explanatory of the term “born again.” And yet, there are two different schools of thought as to the Lord’s words. Either, Jesus was saying that the action of the Spirit of God (directly) must be accompanied by water baptism (indirectly) for the salvation experience to be complete, or that a person must be born naturally (of water) and spiritually (of the Spirit).

In the light of other New Testament teachings, however, we do not teach that salvation occurs at or as a result of water baptism.  The “birth,” in so far as it relates to baptism, is of a symbolic and legal nature, not actual.

Water baptism is an outward legal act that speaks to the order of the Kingdom of God. One must die and be buried as a “son of Adam” before they can be raised to newness of life as a “son of God.” The legal symbolism and spiritual fact move on parallel lines.

Our entrance into the Kingdom of God happens when the Holy Spirit executes our “new birth.” Being “born again” is definitely an act planned by the Heavenly Father, purchased by death, resurrection and ascension of the Son and performed by the Holy Spirit.

John’s second reference to the life changing power of the Holy Spirit takes place during the message of Jesus in John 6:63. Jesus said, “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit (or Spirit) and they are life.”

It is the spirit within a person that quickens that person. When God breathed into Adam, he became a living soul; for the body, without the spirit, is dead. In an even greater way, it is the Spirit of God that quickens those who are dead in sin. When the Holy Spirit enters into a person He is the Spirit of life causing them to live spiritually. In a spiritual sense, the Holy Spirit raises men from death to life. Just as Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead the Holy Spirit raises the person who believes on the Lord Jesus Christ and they are saved.1

The Holy Spirit quickens, refreshes, and changes the heart of the new believer. He is the same Spirit that quickened and raised Christ from the dead, and now quickens our mortal bodies.2 The life that the Spirit gives is arousing, invigorating, quickening, producing and like the nature of seed; springing up, growing, productive and abundant.3 The life of the Spirit overflows the heart of the believer with righteousness, peace and joy.4 Within the words of Jesus are the breath of God as well as the life of God. Never man spoke like Jesus (John 7:46). There is life in His Words today because the Spirit is in His Words.5

The next mention of the Spirit in John’s Gospel is found in John 7:37-39 which says, “On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Who-ever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.’ By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.”

Jesus came to Jerusalem with His disciples. They were there to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles or Booths.

On the last day of the feast Jesus spoke making reference to the Scripture in Isaiah 55:1 “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.” Jesus spoke concerning the Word of God because it was the supreme authority for His life and teaching. Both of which included the ministry of the Holy Spirit. He also wanted His hearers to know that the Old Testament was full of descriptive prose concerning “water.”

Water is used throughout the Scriptures as an allegory and metaphor of the Spirit. Some of the Scriptures are:

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. Psalm 46:4

I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs. Isaiah 41:18

For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants. Isaiah 44:3

The words of Jesus concerning the ministry of the Holy Spirit were confirmed to John after the resurrection. Prior to the coming of the Spirit the Lord Jesus was speaking prophetically, but when John wrote his Gospel, the prophecy had become John’s reality.

John’s words were the apostle’s way of giving his audience the teaching of Jesus and not his own theory of Jesus. The words, “whom those who believed in him were later to receive,” is a clear reference to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.6 For the Spirit was not yet given (oupô gar ên pneuma). The reference is not to the existence of the Spirit, but to the activity of the Spirit. John inserts this comment and interpretation of the words of Jesus in reference to the coming of the Holy Spirit as The Comforter.7

Every fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit brings revival to the earth. I have no doubt that given our current world situation we stand on the precipice of either revival or destruction. As believers we must remember the promise given by the LORD to Solomon.  He said, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

Join us in praying today for revival!


 

End Notes

1.    Romans 10:10-13

2.    Romans 8:11

3.    Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance Entry 2227

4.    Romans 14:17

5.    Robertson’s Word Pictures Entry John 6:63 and International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Entry 4385

6.    Acts 2

7.    Robertson’s Word Pictures Entry John 7:39

 

The Anointing: In and On the Believer.

The Holy Spirit lives within every believer. From within us He is passionate about His desire to regenerate our thoughts, words and actions. He yearns to have us depend totally upon Him so that He might discharge His responsibility to the One who sent Him, namely, that of causing the believer to grow into living a full, glorious and victorious Christian life. That statement does not mean His Presence or Anointing rests UPON every believer. Let me explain…

Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. 2 Corinthians 1:21-22

It is important for us to see that from these verses:

The Lord has set His seal of ownership on us. The Greek phrase Paul used  includes the Greek word, sphragizô. Sphragizô is an old verb meaning, “to set a seal to prevent opening” (Daniel 6:17), or “in place of signature” (1Kings 21:18). First century examples show a wide legal use to give validity to documents, to guarantee the genuineness of articles as sealing sacks and chests, etc.

The Lord has put His Spirit in our hearts. Such was used to describe a deposit or to describe the earnest money in a purchase for a farm animal or for a wife (a dowry). Such was part payment on the total obligation and we use the very expression in buying a house today, “earnest money.” This earnest of the Spirit in our hearts is the witness of the Spirit that we are God’s.

We have been given the seal of His ownership: The anointing authenticates or notarizes the ministry God has given to us, in us and through us.

As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit– just as it has taught you, remain in him. The Holy Spirit is placed within the believer. 1 John 2:27 

There are two ministries that 1 John 2 describes;

  1. The anointing does the work of bringing spiritual understanding of the Word of God to the believer.
  2. The anointing gives the believer an innate ability to know in an intuitive way, spiritual things. (Not from the soul or intellectual realm but by and of the Spirit.)

How does this occur? First of all, the Holy Spirit is sent into the believer’s heart for the purpose of making His home there. Each of us have the responsibility to make room for the Holy Spirit and to make Him at home in our lives.

We must give the Holy Spirit absolute freedom to change us from the inside out. We must yield all that we are to the Spirit’s control and depend upon the Spirit for guidance, for teaching and for strength. It is only then that the potential power resident in the Presence of the Holy Spirit can fully operate in our lives.

Once given freedom to dwell fully within us, the Holy Spirit desires to REST UPON us to demonstrate the Lord Jesus to others. He wants come “UP-ON” us. We see this happening in Luke 3:21-22.

When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

The Purpose of the Anointing Being in Us (Internally) Is To:

  •  Teach us until we are taught. To teach means to:
  • Hold discourse in order to instruct others.
  • Provide knowledge in a methodical manner.
  • Impart information.
  • Instill understanding.
  • Interpret the significance of certain truths.
  • Illustrate for the sake of clarification.

Then the Anointing:

  • Uncovers and unveils revelations of truth which we cannot know on our own.
  • Quickens our cognitive powers to understand truth that has been previously; is presently; and will be in the future, revealed.
  • Enables direct communication from God to our heart. We then know things we cannot know in ourselves, but in Him.

This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. 1 Corinthians 2:13

The Purpose of the Anointing Coming Upon (Externally) Us Is To:

Empower us for Ministry

Ministry means to give service either from, to or within the faith community through:

  • Speech (ministry of the Word)
  • Discipleship (mentoring of the people)
  • Giftedness (maximizing gift, talents and abilities)
  • Charity and Serving (such as feeding the poor)
  • The Demonstration of and Display of God (healings, wonders and miracles)

One day as he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law, who had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem, were sitting there. And the power of the Lord was present for him to heal the sick. Luke 5:17

Next week I will complete my teaching on the Holy Spirit coming UPON us for ministry. Don’t miss it! God bless you!

Robert

Serve Today. Be His Hands Extended.

I am continuing my thoughts on the ministry of the Holy Spirit.  It has become more and more evident that the modern Christ-follower understands little about the purpose of the Holy Spirit other than to bring about a person’s salvation.  In the last chapters of John, Jesus shared with His disciples that the Holy Spirit’s ministry would be to take of the things (words, will, and ways) of Christ and reveal them to, in and then through the believer.

Such revelation (by both information and installation) enables the believer to follow, live for and then minister not only “for” the Lord Christ Jesus, but “as” Him. Paul used the term “ambassador” to convey the same idea in 2 Corinthians 5. The Lord Jesus Christ desires to shine from and through every Christ follower by the Holy Spirit. But, the Holy Spirit can only do this as the Christ follower submits to the Holy Spirit. The Spirit’s expression is limited by our level of our surrender, knowledge, understanding, fears, experiences, etc. 

The Holy Spirit seeks to do more than to remind us of the words written in our Bibles. He seeks to make the Word of God experientially known to, in, and through us. His full expression can be prevented and/or limited by many different things. These things include, pride, unconfessed sin, lack of faith, fear of men, lack of spiritual understanding or by our lack of understanding concerning God’s Word.

Why is this so important to understand? It is because the Lord Jesus Christ will not glorify Himself by His own self-expression. The expression of Who the Lord Jesus Christ “is” was given to the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the Holy Spirit must not be prevented or limited in the very purpose for which He was given to us. Max I. Reich put this beautifully when he said, “If we make room for the Holy Spirit, He will make room for the Lord Jesus.” The converse is also true, that if we do not make room for the Holy Spirit, He cannot make room for the Lord Jesus.4

The Galatian Christ-followers had deviated from the gospel by accepting the teaching of the Judaizers. The Judaizers were Jews who were saved by grace but believed that to be “completely saved or completed in their faith” a believer had to follow the Law of Moses (including all of the fence laws created by the Pharisees and Sadducees). They taught that a Christ follower was not completely saved by grace, but was completed by keeping the Law. In response to them Paul wrote, “Are ye so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” (Galatians 3:3)

Paul is asking them a rhetorical question as to their belief of being justified by grace and then sanctified or completed through keeping the law. Paul presses the point in Galatians chapter five, verse four, by saying, “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.” (Galatians 5:4 KJV)

And while Paul does not seem to be telling them they have fallen from grace to the point of losing their salvation. Their salvation (which was a spiritual and legal matter) should and would have been producing a sanctified life—if they were making room for the Holy Spirit to fill and manifest in and through their lives.  

So while Paul does not seem to be addressing their salvation, he is directly addressing the spiritual development of the Galatians. He is telling them that it is impossible to start out in the Spirit and finish in the flesh. It wasn’t that Jesus (their Savior) had become of no use to them. It was that their spiritual development in Christ (the Anointed One and His anointing revealed in and by the Holy Spirit) had become of no effect or use to them. They had drifted away from the original gospel. They saw themselves as being saved without the need to become what God has intended—Christ Ambassadors that were full of the Spirit.

Paul’s solution for the Galatians was for them to stop trying to live the Christian life in their own strength and to experience the victorious Christian life through the Holy Spirit. They had been saved. Their lives had changed. But, they had only experienced a limited amount of victory over sin. But as far their lives radiating the glorious presence of the Lord Jesus, there was very little of that. Why? The Lord Jesus has given that ministry over to the Holy Spirit5 and they were unwilling to recognize and embrace the Holy Spirit’s purpose for their lives.

I want to encourage each of us to come to the following revelation, which is, if the Holy Spirit is not recognized and depended upon for the work of completing and developing our spiritual lives, He simply cannot perform it. We see this same pattern of thought in Paul’s exhortation to the Thessalonians, “Quench not the Sprit” (1 Thessalonians 5:19). We must stop “trying” and start “being.” Our being in Christ produces a becoming that is inspired and conducted by the Holy Spirit. The more we give of ourselves to Him, the more He will develop and reveal Christ in and through our lives.

Take the step. Declare that you are in the state of becoming totally dependent upon the Holy Spirit. Ask the Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus to help you make room for the Holy Spirit. Pray to experience Him. Seek to depend upon Him. Walk and live in Him. I promise your life will never be the same. Why? You will become Christ’s hands extended to the hurting and the hopeless. Your hands will be His hands—open, loving and conveying the love of God to everyone around  you.

God bless you.

Robert

 

 

 

Listen for the wind

The whole creation has been groaning as though it was experiencing the pains of childbirth. As followers of Jesus Christ we have a hope (concerning these pains) that the world does not have.  Our hope? The Holy Spirit will help us in our weakness. When we do not know what to say or even what we ought to pray for, the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. Listen for carefully today for the sound of His voice. The wind of the Spirit is blowing again. He is ever interceding.

I have been writing about the Holy Spirit’s expression. He historically has revealed Himself as like smoke, water, rivers and wind.

Jesus said that the Spirit—like the wind—is sovereign. In John 3:8 Jesus said, “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

  •  Like the wind, the Holy Spirit is invisible.

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary,  but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:18

  • Like the wind, the Holy Spirit is incomprehensible.

God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding. Job 37:5

  •  Like the wind, the Holy Spirit is indispensable.

Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.” John 3:5

  • Like the wind, the Holy Spirit is life giving.

I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them. Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, `This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these slain, that they may live.'” So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet — a vast army. Ezekiel 37:8-10

  •  Like the wind, the Spirit is irresistible.

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Acts 1:8

Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, “This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, said the LORD of hosts.” Zechariah 4:6 KJV

In all things the Holy Spirit desires to explain and express.

Jesus said, “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth.”  (John 16:13)

As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:10-11

His expression grows exponentially when we fully embrace the Altar of His Presence through:

DEVOTION: Ardent and selfless affection for the Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit and for people.

DEDICATION: The act of committing yourself experientially and expressively to the Kingdom of God.

DISCIPLINE: Training that produces God’s character and His pattern of behavior revealed in Jesus Christ.

His expression grows exponentially when we seek to Enlarge Our Understanding through:

EXPERIENCE: Some things are better caught than taught.

ENLIGHTENMENT: Removing the dimness or blindness from our eyes or heart. (Ephesians 1:18)

ENRICHMENT: Ask the Holy Spirit to express and improve the quality of our lives.

His expression grows exponentially when we willing to Bear the Burdens of One Another through:

SERVING: Making room in our own lives so that we can be made a storehouse for others.

SUPPORTING: Encouraging and elevating the ministry of others by adding value and strength to their lives as the Holy Spirit leads. How can we better support our brothers and sisters in Christ?

We must be willing to:

  • Praise each other
  • Accept each other
  • Respect each other
  • Trust each other
  • Need each other
  • Encourage each other
  • Reinforce each other

I pray you make room for the Spirit to flow into, from and through your life today.

Robert Stone

Holy Spirit

The Sound of Heaven

But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. John 14:26

There are two parts to the Holy Spirit’s ministry. First, He takes the things of Christ Jesus. Secondly, He reveals them to, in and through the believer. His revelation is not only to give knowledge and understanding, but expression.

The Holy Spirit desires to express the Lord Jesus Christ TO, IN and THROUGH the life of the believer.

The Christian’s life is a prism in which the Holy Spirit breaks up the expression of the Lord Jesus into His component graces (the beauty of our Lord—see Psalm 27:4). If the believer does not have an intelligent understanding of the ministry of the Holy Spirit and does not submit to His ministry, there is little of the Lord Jesus seen in the believer’s life.1

It is important to note that the Holy Spirit does the best He can under the limitations imposed upon Him by the believer. The Lord Jesus will not glorify Himself by His own self-expression through the Christian, and if the Holy Spirit cannot, because He is prevented by the believer, then the life of the Christian reveals a very small amount of the grace, goodness and glory of the Son of God. Herein lies the imperative necessity of every believer. He must first understand and then be willing to express the ministry of the Holy Spirit.

Dr. Max I. Reich put this beautifully when he said: “If we make room for the Holy Spirit, He will make room for the Lord Jesus.” The converse is true, that if we do not make room for the Holy Spirit, He cannot make room for the Lord Jesus.2 The Holy Spirit does all He can for believers. A believer’s life is certainly different than what it was before the believer was saved. For some believers there has been a right-about-face, and for others, the transformation is slow and almost unnoticeable. For most, there is only a small amount of victory over sin. Most enjoy some of the things of God. But as for their lives radiating the Lord Jesus, there is very little of that.3

If the Lord Jesus is only left to dwelling in their hearts, He will not give an outward expression of Himself in their lives. He has given that ministry over to the Holy Spirit. And if the Holy Spirit is not recognized, received and depended upon for this work, He simply cannot perform it. Just as Jesus never saves a person until a person recognizes His ministry, and by an act of his free will, chooses to trust Him to perform it.Most Christians never depend upon the Holy Spirit in this way. They see His dwelling in them as a guest. He is present, but confined to having little room to express His fruit and gifts.

I encourage you to make room today. How? Begin by rescheduling your time. Find 15-20 minutes each morning to spend fostering the manifest Presence of God. Second, open your heart through thanksgiving. Our spiritual eyes come open when we express our gratitude for our redemption. Express freely, openly and vocally your heartfelt thanks for all of the goodness God has shown to you. Begin with the day of your salvation and then focus on two or three things where the evidence shows the Lord loves you, has been with you and has chosen to bless you.

David said in Psalm 103, “Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”

Come to the altar today…the Lord will meet you there.

There is a River that Flows from Deep Within

It is so important, with all that is happening in our world, for every follower of Jesus Christ to make room for the Holy Spirit’s ministry. His ministry empowered the Lord Jesus Who “went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with Him (Acts 10:38).” Following after the example of our Lord and Savior the Holy Spirit desires to flow through our lives for the sake of bringing healing and deliverance to the hurting, helpless and hopeless of our world.

Metaphorically, the Holy Spirit flows as like a river. Rivers are channels or conduits to places where the refreshing of water is needed. Jesus pinpoints that the work of the Spirit as rivers or streams of living water was to flow from the believer’s life after Jesus’ ascension (John 7:37-39). The Holy Spirit manifested as a flowing river brings refreshing from within the believer outwardly making the believer an overflowing tributary of His Holy Spirit’s fullness, life, and love.

Ezekiel 47:1-9 says, “The man brought me back to the entrance of the temple, and I saw water coming out from under the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). The water was coming down from under the south side of the temple, south of the altar. He then brought me out through the north gate and led me around the outside to the outer gate facing east, and the water was flowing from the south side. As the man went eastward with a measuring line in his hand, he measured off a thousand cubits and then led me through water that was ankle-deep. He measured off another thousand cubits and led me through water that was knee-deep. He measured off another thousand and led me through water that was up to the waist. He measured off another thousand, but now it was a river that I could not cross, because the water had risen and was deep enough to swim in – a river that no one could cross. He asked me, “Son of man, do you see this?” Then he led me back to the bank of the river. When I arrived there, I saw a great number of trees on each side of the river. He said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, where it enters the Sea. When it empties into the Sea, the water there becomes fresh. Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so where the river flows everything will live.”

Look at these truths about Ezekiel’s river:

1)  Water came out from within.

2)  Water was flowing.

3)  The river sought the path of least resistance.

4)  The farther the river flowed the deeper the river became.

5)  The river can be measured as to its expression and effectiveness.

6)  Everywhere the river flows, it brings life.

7)  Salty water become fresh and blessing is found wherever the river is flooding or flowing.

The River in Ezekiel 47 describes:

•  Water to the ankles: changing our direction.

•  Water to the knees: changing our praying.

•  Water to the Loins: changing our witnessing.

•  Water to Swim in: changing our lives.

Spiritual Expression given through us by the Person of the Holy Spirit it is important. We must remember to:

•  Pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to teach us.

•  Submit to the Scriptures as our only rule of faith and practice.

•  Believe that Holy Spirit intends for us to fully understand Who He Is and His expression.

 •  Desire to grow emotionally, intellectually and spiritually as we learn.

I encourage you to ask the Lord Jesus to help you make room for the Holy Spirit’s manifest presence to flow in, through and from your life today. There are both adults and children who are in your life who need His touch, His encouragement and His blessing. Open your heart to Him and then open your heart to others with the expectation of Him flowing from your heart, your voice and your touch. You will witness first-hand His goodness, His grace and His glory.

Have a blessed day.

Robert

 

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