CREATE IN ME A CLEAN HEART, O GOD

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!
Psalm 51:1-2

A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet challenged him about his sin with Bathsheba.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.Psalm 51:10-12

“that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.” Philippian 3:10

NOTE: God had given David an understanding of the role of the Holy Spirit in living Christ-like and this is one thousand years before Jesus made it possible for our Heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit to indwell believers as a result of His atoning sacrifice.

But also note what Paul says about living Christ-like, we are to forget those things that are behind us and focus on those things ahead.

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.Philippians 3:12-16

John 10:10 says that Jesus came to give us life, freedom, and a relationship with Him. He is our only hope—the only source of true peace. Are you experiencing this peace? If not, that can change if you trust in Him as Lord and Savior, repent, and turn to Him (Romans 10:9).

Gordon Cove once challenged his audience: “You have not sought the Lord with ‘your whole heart’ until you have tried a protracted season of prayer and fasting.” Could a lack of prayer, fasting, and repentance be one of the hindrances to a spiritual awakening? Absolutely! Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Fasting doesn’t twist God’s arm, but it does bend our knee. There is simply too much on the line—a massive spiritual awakening is our only hope.

As G. Campbell Morgan said, “We cannot organize revival, but we can set our sails to catch the wind from Heaven when God chooses to blow upon His people once again.”

It’s time to break up our fallow ground and seek the Lord while He still may be found (Hosea 10:12).

“We prepare the sacrifice with a humble and contrite heart and God will bring the fire of revival.” shaneiIdelman.com

WALKING IN THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

What a powerful testimony by Torben Sondergaard on the true meaning of Resurrection Sunday.

People have just been celebrating Passover/Easter all over the world, and we have been hearing the words “He has risen,” and yes, indeed He’s risen, but what does that mean for you?  Many people don’t understand what it truly means that Jesus has risen.  How does that influence your life?

Read Torben’s testimony and watch the video. You will be challenged, encouraged and some even inspired to truly start walking in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Torben’s Testimony

“I went to an Easter service in America for the first time yesterday.  I had not been to church on Easter in the U.S.A. before, because personally I’m not into all of those traditions, as I know its root, but I love Jesus, and I want to celebrate HIM – and we can ALWAYS celebrate that He has risen!  But yesterday I went, and it became very, very powerful! 

I saw a girl there with crutches, and I knew this was her day.  This was her day!  As soon as the meeting was over, I went down and prayed for her, and she got healed!  She got set free!  She got filled with the Holy Spirit, and her life got changed!  And I got it on video.  At the beginning of the service the priest said, “Walk in the resurrection power!”  But what does that indeed mean? 

There were a few thousand people in the church that day.  Many could have prayed for her.  Many could have set her free.  Many could have helped her, but they didn’t.  Why?  Because many don’t understand what it means to walk in the resurrection power of our Lord Jesus Christ.  We are here to help you out there to walk the life Christ has called you to.  Watch the video.”

ARE YOU EMPOWERED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT?

This is important new teaching from Torben Sondergaad. Whilst the series is called FIGHTING FOR THE TRUE GOSPEL, the emphasis is on the Holy Spirit. In the first video Torben looks at the Holy Spirit in Jesus’ life. In the second video he looks at the Holy Spirit in the early disciples’ lives. In this video, the focus is on HOW TO RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT. This is such an important message. He starts by looking at Pentecost and what that day was all about. Torben connects Pentecost with the first harvest, and to the Law given by Moses at Sinai. When you do this, you really see how beautiful it is. At Pentecost God did not write the Law on stones. Now, He came down to write the Law on our hearts by the Holy Spirit! We also see that Acts 2 was really the birth of the church! We are also looking at how people in the early church received the Holy Spirit, and that it was not something which happened automatically when people came to faith, as sadly many people think today, and where they misquote Ephesians 1:13. He also looks at the misunderstandings there are today with the baptism of fire, as John was saying in Matthew 3, that Jesus was baptized with the Holy Spirit and fire. What was that fire baptism?

You will love this teaching, and it will challenge you, and bless you, and give you a clear understanding of how we receive the Holy Spirit!

LET US CELEBRATE PENTECOST SUNDAY 2021

With Pentecost Sunday coming up, it is an appropriate time for us to reconsider what Jesus made it possible for our Heavenly Father to do when He went to the Cross and died on our behalf.

Our Heavenly Father sends the Holy Spirit to indwell every believer to make it possible for us to live the Christian life.

“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.1 Corinthians 2:12-13.

If we have the Spirit, our hearts will be gentle and kind. 

If we have the Spirit, our intentions will be pure.

If we have the Spirit, our words will show compassion and not judgment.

If we have the Spirit, our lives will exhibit the fruit of spirit: love, joy, peace, faithfulness, gentleness, goodness, kindness and self control.

And God will give us the right words if we heed His SpiritHe will guide and guard our every step.

When we allow God’s word and His Spirit to shape our actions and our words, we are walking in the Spirit and pleasing God.

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.Galatians 5:16-17

Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19-21

How are you living your life? According to the works of the flesh or will you follow Jesus and commit your life to walking in the Spirit.  It is never too late to make the right decision! 

“The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” – Mathew 20:28, Mark 10:45.

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.Philippians 2:5-8

HOPE FOR AN ETERNAL FUTURE

Saints, by receiving the Holy Spirit, we grow in the knowledge of God through the Word and we experience the power of God producing the fruit of the spirit in our lives, of love, joy, peace, patience, faithfulness, goodness, gentleness, kindness and self control . The Holy Spirit provides the gifts of the spirit for ministry; gift of faith, tongues, interpretation of tongues, words of knowledge, prophecy, wisdom, discernment, healing and miracles. As a result, we have full hope for an eternal future and full hope for today as well! When we have needs, we are invited to the throne of grace where we can expect the Lord to speak to us, imparting faith.  By faith Jesus is our healer, by faith Jesus is our provider, by faith Jesus sets us at liberty from all that would come against us in this life.

Let’s learn and enjoy the way of faith.  Trust the Lord completely, for He cares for us. Listen and receive the faith that comes by the word He speaks to us by the Holy Spirit. The word that is the sword of the Spirit to defeat our circumstances.

Let us also look at what Paul had to say about living the Christian life.

For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience—by word and deed, by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God Romans 15:18-19

SCRIPTURE NEEDS TO CHANGE OUR LIVES

Another life changing message from Francis Chan about how Scripture needs to change our lives. He explains how it has and is changing his own life. Francis is now ministering in places such as Myanmar to the poorest of the poor and he and his family are happier now than they have ever been. For most of his ministry Francis says, he did not believe in the supernatural, that has changed dramatically now as he ministers in places where they have never heard the Gospel before. Now! everyone he touches are healed. The power of God is evident as he goes where God leads. Is it any wonder why Francis is happier now than he has ever been.

IN WHOM IS YOUR HOPE PLACED?

Acts 5.40-41,when they (Sadducees) had called in the apostles, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name. And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus.”

After being beaten, Peter and the other apostles were rejoicing.

The same spirit in the Apostles is in us. So, we have the power to stay faithful and rejoice, if we acknowledge His presence and ask Him.

1 Peter 4.12-13 “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when His glory is revealed.

Our hope is in the knowledge that Christ has already won the victory over Satan and that He made it possible for our Heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit to be all we need to be overcomers during the coming tribulation and trials. Also, we know that His glory will be revealed at His second coming and that Biblical prophecy reveals we are in the “last days” prior to the final seven years before Jesus’ return, spoken of first in Daniel’s 70 weeks prophecy.

First coming in the clouds to raise the dead Saints and rapture the Saints on the earth
Second coming to earth, after God’s wrath has been poured out on an unrepentant earth with the trumpet and bowl judgements. Jesus returns with the Saints to redeem Israel and rule and reign for 1000 years

HOLY SPIRIT’S GUIDANCE

The “fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22-23), when taught as merely a set of godly character traits (which they are) (and we need to pursue them), stops short of the ultimate purpose of those traits.

The Amplified Version translates the words “fruit of the Holy Spirit,” as “…the work which His presence within accomplishes.” The Holy Spirit’s presence guides us (as a coach) and guards us (comforts: “strong; fort”) throughout each day and in every decision. As we yield to that work of God’s Spirit (“be filled” Ephesians 5:18), God lives, not merely within us and for us, but through us.

Reimagine discipleship as the ongoing filling of the Spirit (“keep on being filled”) to reveal God’s will through God’s Word. Refocus evangelism as the work of the Holy Spirit to connect each disciple to the needs of the people (family, friends, strangers), the places (work, play), and opportunities (activities, events,) God has called them to serve … resulting in the showing and telling of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit’s internal presence is always purposing towards an external expression of the character of God, revealed to the lost and the least through our unexpected actions and uncommon reactions. Each “fruit” is a gift we bring as we walk a bridge into a conversation to pray for someone or a situation, care for them with acts of service or mercy, and share the Gospel of faith in Jesus.

The fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you: joy that overflows, peace that subdues, patience that endures, kindness in action, goodness (a life full of virtue), faith that prevails,  gentleness of heart and self control (strength of spirit).

The purpose of the fruit of the Spirit is not to make us nicer neighbors; it grows within us to make us loving neighbors who enlighten people to the problem-solving, life-transforming character of God. “This is how God loved the world” (John 3:16): look to what Jesus did, look at how Jesus-followers live and give, serve and sacrifice.

Gifting the fruit of the Spirit is intended to be a daily reality for every authentic Christian, not only for those who have the gift of evangelism or the calling of an evangelist. Valuing the fruit of the Spirit as a witnessing tool can be a huge encouragement to believers who deeply desire to share their faith but often hesitate or have been ineffective. Making disciples who reproduce by sharing their faith must include equipping them to simply look for ways to express the love of God through the spiritual traits they most often or easily exhibit. Some display the love of Christ best through acts of kindness and mercy, others as peacemakers. Every Christ follower needs to seek the discernment of the Spirit into how the Spirit is most effective; which “fruit” (character trait) seems most prevalent and effective in which situations?  

Fruit-of-the-Spirit evangelism is walking God’s love over a bridge into a situation or experience with the gift of joy or peace or patience or kindness, goodness, faith, gentle humility, or restoring control. Love motivated gifts, suited to a person or relevant to a problem, bring practical blessings that point lost people to hope that breeds faith…sharing stories can easily ensue.

Instead of looking first at what we should “do” to evangelize (methods), what if we looked at the focus of our prayers for others? Which fruit of the Spirit predominates our intercession? What passion is stirred within us when we are led to care for people; their problems or possibilities? When does our presence result in conversations about spiritual issues or opportunities to share life stories?

Another great article from Phil Miglioratti • The #ReimagineFORUM
How To Equip UnWitnessing Christians to Share Their Faith

TESTIMONY OF A TRANSFORMED LIFE

For me, prison ministry is a no-brainer,” he says. “I’m going to do that until the Lord calls me home. … I want to help the parole board see that people can change. … I want our senators and lawmakers to have a different mentality, and I want the people who are coming home to have the resources they need.

The above quote was made by Jon Kelly the same man who made the following quote

“I was always high every day … always in fights, always getting shot at or shooting at somebody,” Jon Kelly says. “I for sure did not think I would make it past 16.”

Growing up in north Philadelphia with a single mother and a little sister, Jon was the epitome of a disrespectful, troubled teen. He grew up in a rough neighborhood. Multiple schools—including a disciplinary school he says was “like prison, but you get to go home”—couldn’t keep him out of trouble. He dropped out by ninth grade.

Jon began selling crack cocaine when he was only 12 years old, but in his teens, he decided it was more lucrative to rob drug dealers. “I thought it was a good thing,” he says. After all, “I wasn’t bothering law-abiding citizens.”

One night, Jon and his friends went to a drug dealer’s home and robbed him. Things got out of hand, and in the process, one of the group shot and killed their victim.

Jon remembers the day he was arrested. It was a Friday—March 15, 2002—and he had just turned 19 two months before. He was arrested for his role in the murder and brought to jail, but it was overcrowded from the city’s violent crime. The only place with room for Jon was in isolation, or solitary confinement.

A couple of the corrections officers would talk to Jon from time to time. That first week in jail, Jon was so bored he asked if either of the men could bring him something to read. The officers handed him a New Testament. On the cover were the words, “There’s hope for you. Jesus cares.”

“I read God’s Word for the first time,” Jon says, “and I haven’t been the same since.”

pastor jon kelly
Jon Kelly today

Today, Jon Kelly is the pastor of Chicago West Bible Church, a 2-year-old church he helped start after receiving his bachelor’s degree from Moody Bible Institute. He is married and has two children.

“It’s been an amazing journey, and I praise God for that,” Jon says.

Only God can change lives like Jon Kelly’s and provide the people and the resources to make use of that life for the benefit of God’s Kingdom.

Only Holy Spirit led lives are both transformed by God to produce the fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, faithfulness, gentleness, goodness, kindness and self-control and be available to be used by the Holy Spirit using the gifts of the Spirit – Revelation Gifts – Words of Wisdom, Words of Knowledge and Discerning of Spirits, Vocal Gifts – Prophecy, Tongues, and interpretations of Tongues, Power Gifts – Faith, Healing and Miracles.

BE AN OVERCOMER HAVING THE MIND OF CHRIST

  1. The Holy Spirit gives us access to the mind of Christ. The Holy Spirit disciples us with the mind of Christ and brings us into spiritual maturity. Jesus told us that we would accomplish the impossible because the God of the impossible abides within us. 
  2. The Holy Spirit wants to be involved in every aspect of our lives. He produces the Fruit of the Spirit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, faithfulness, gentleness, goodness, kindness and self control. He will also make available the Gifts of the Spirit (all nine) as needed to do whatever task is before us. Gifts of the Spirit are not earned by our merit but are God-given to those who desire them. There is no such thing as a secular job for Christians. With the Holy Spirit resident in our lives, all is sacred. If we ask, He will assign spiritual gifts to a job, regardless of where we work or what realm of society we’ve been given influence over, ministry happens! In other words, when an auto mechanic, architect or housewife becomes spiritually in tune, he/she is in the work of ministry.
  3. You are an overcomer! If you take hold of the truth that Jesus made it possible for your Heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit to enable you to conquer anything that stands in your way, you’ll begin to harness the power that overcomes crises, transforms lives, and radically shifts culture.

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