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

DOES THE HOLY SPIRIT INDWELL YOUR SPIRIT?

The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all his innermost parts. Proverbs 20:27

This Scripture indicates that spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord. What is missing until we are born again by the Holy Spirit is the oil to fuel the lamp. In fact, our spirit cannot function as God intended without the Holy Spirit. A lamp needs oil to provide light.

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16

Andrew Farley shares New Covenant promises that will assure you of your union with the Spirit and address whether you need to ask for more spiritual blessings. Old Testament references to a double blessing or double anointing of the Holy Spirit might leave you wondering if you have all of the Spirit. Should born-again Christians today ask for more of the Spirit, a fresh anointing, or worry about the Spirit of God coming and going? Andrew provides the answer in this short video.

ARE WE WORKING OUT OUR SALVATION WITH FEAR AND TREMBLING?

Paul tells us “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” Philippian 12-13

“With fear and trembling” sounds daunting and certainly not pleasurable. In fact, is it even possible?

Working out your salvation is not possible if you have not accepted Christ as your Savior. But once you have, the Holy Spirit comes to live inside of you.

With His partnership you can “work out” your salvation. You can experience practically in your everyday life the unlimited resources of peace, joy, and hope that accompany the Holy Spirit’s presence inside of you.

Sadly, you have to question how many people in our churches today are born again and have received the Holy Spirit as their counsellor, teacher and comforter. It is only the Holy Spirit that produces the fruit of the spirit in our lives: love, joy, peace. patience, faithfulness, gentleness, goodness, kindness and self control. It is only the Holy Spirit that provides the gifts of the spirit for ministry: word of knowledge, word of wisdom, prophecy, faith, healing, miracles, discerning of spirits, tongues and interpretation of tongues.

The “fear and trembling” Paul is referring to is the attitude Christians are to have in pursuing this goal. We are to have a healthy fear of offending God through disobedience and an awe and respect for His majesty and holiness.

How we act right now as followers of Jesus will greatly impact our internal peace. Fear and trembling simply means, approach God with humility and ask him for His peace to be increased to a greater measure than the anxiety you are experiencing. Say to Him, “Lord, I humbly ask for your peace to be increased in me. I need it Lord to get through my day. Please help me Lord.”

And guess what? God will. God promises us in Philippians 2:13 that “He is at work in us both to will and to work for his good pleasure“. This is a promise.

Obedience triggers greater peace in our lives and greater peace triggers greater effectiveness for us as witnesses for Christ. Paul tells us in Philippians 2:15 that obedience brings blamelessness into our lives in the midst of a crooked and twisted world and this enables our light for Him to shine brighter.

We have to hold on to God’s Word, be in God’s Word, and apply God’s Word to our lives if we hope to maintain any sense of peace in this world. If we hold fast to God’s Word we are fixing our gaze on God by reading His Word and applying it to our lives regardless of our circumstances.

Much of this article was taken from a post by Pastor Kelly a Guest Contributor to http://www.patheos.com entitled Working Out Peace In Your Life In 2021

GOD, THE HOLY SPIRIT IS YOUR SOURCE OF STRENGTH

Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

How good is this verse of Scripture. It is the benediction given by Paul to the church at Thessalonica. Note: God is the One who will sanctify you and cause you to mature into the image of Christ. It does take work on your part, which is detailed in the preceding verses.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.1 Thessalonians 5:16-22

Thankfully, God, the Holy Spirit is the source and strength of our progress. One day you’ll be completely whole, perfect, and pleasing to God in every way. This will happen at the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Until then, we are works in progress.

He has called you, and He will be faithful to work in you what is pleasing to Him.

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

HOLY SPIRIT POWER

“The Spirit of a man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all the inner depths of his heart.” Proverbs 20:27

A lamp requires oil to function. The Holy Spirit is the oil. You must be born again with the Holy Spirit to be holy, to function as God intended.

Man’s Spirit was always meant to be the vessel for the Holy Spirit, to produce the fruit of the Spirit in man; love, joy, peace patience, faithfulness, goodness, gentleness, kindness and self control.

Listen to Dave Wilkerson talk on Getting to Know the Power of the Holy Spirit.

AOG CHURCH MUST EMBRACE BIBLE AS ABSOLUTE TRUTH

It will be interesting to see what impact Dr Doug Clay will have in getting the AOG church to reaffirm the Bible as the absolute inerrant word of God – the truth about the cosmos from Genesis to Revelation.

During his recent consecration as the new general superintendent of the Assemblies of God, Dr. Doug Clay had two things in mind: First, he wanted to reaffirm the identity of his denomination, and second, to look to the future by keeping four AG core values at the forefront.

Drawing an analogy between Martin Luther and his 95 Theses and today’s Assemblies of God church, Clay, 54, said he recently had a dream about what it would look like to start a Pentecostal Reformation through the denomination. It would begin, he said, with the reaffirmation of these tenets:

  • The Holy Spirit is a person, not an “it.”
  • The Bible is the absolute truth.
  • Character, regardless of your title or position, matters.
  • The purpose of the Assemblies of God is evangelism, and the denomination must avoid getting sidetracked from that purpose.

A third-generation pastor’s kid, Clay spoke passionately about each of these values as applied to the AG church. The largest Pentecostal denomination in the world, the Assemblies of God has grown to more than 67 million members worldwide.

“I really want to see the Holy Spirit do what He does best: magnify Jesus,” Clay said. “We just need to let the Holy Spirit be the Holy Spirit. … With the Bible, we really do believe it is the foundation for all of life transformation and community transformation. Biblical literacy is one of the major initiatives I want to take on during my administration.

“We also need to place a high value on character. Paul says that if you don’t have the fruit of the spirit, then you are not a tuned instrument. … And finally, I’m committed to say that, in the DNA of the Assemblies of God, a Pentecostal organisation, evangelism is going to have a high priority, as it has for the last 103 years.”

 

WORSHIP THAT EXALTS ALL THREE MEMBERS OF THE TRINITY

So many worship songs are simple or cliche. This one from Hillsong will astound you. All three members of The Trinity are acknowledged in this worship song. How important it is we know the roles of each member of The Trinity.

Our heavenly Father sent His Son to pay the price of our redemption, to bring us back into a relationship with God. The Son made it possible for our heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit to indwell our spirit.                               

“The spirit of a man is the lamp of God. Proverbs 20:27 and “For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the spirit of God.” 1 Corinth. 2:11.

All three members of the Trinity are involved in our salvation. It is essential we understand their roles. To know that the Holy Spirit is our counsellor, our comforter, our teacher. How often have we quenched His work in us and grieved Him. He is the third person of the Trinity. He will indwell us forever including our resurrected body. We cannot be holy with the Holy Spirit indwelling us.

WAKE UP CHURCH: WE NEED BELIEVERS MINISTERING IN THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

We urgently need a mighty move of God. We need a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit, which will awaken believers to the reality of people lost without God.

Urgency can be defined as importance requiring swift action. As such, one of the essential qualities of the kingdom of God is urgency. Let me suggest that if multitudes are going to receive the witness of Jesus Christ, there is a great urgency, which exists for the continual manifestation of the power of the Holy Spirit

Jesus tells his disciples in Luke 10 as they engage in the evangelism of their generation: “Say, … the kingdom of God has come near to you” (Luke 10:10b-11b). How were the disciples to demonstrate the nearness of the kingdom? Jesus tells them to heal the sick—a direct manifestation of the Holy Spirit’s power.

Urgency in 21st century evangelism is the announcement that the kingdom is just as near today as it was then.

Why would the kingdom manifest in our generation with anything less than it was in Christ’s? Urgency means that the kingdom is of supreme importance and requires a demonstration of God’s power. Such kingdom urgency necessitates a kingdom message, coupled with kingdom power. How do we live in this place of urgency?

We need the Spirit’s presence! We must not allow the “tyranny of the immediate” in today’s culture to numb us from our need of “immediate urgency” for the Spirit’s presence.

Paul reminds us that the kingdom of God is righteous, joy and peace in the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14:17). Our ongoing fellowship with the Holy Spirit equips us to be kingdom ambassadors operating with kingdom urgency and power.

It is His holy and healthy power working in us and through us that draws the world around us to His transforming grace.

Let me offer two thoughts on this idea based on the internal and external expression of the Spirit’s presence in our lives:

His Grace Working Inward 

There is an inward urgency of the Spirit within the lives of believers:

We see this in Romans 15:13. “May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Spirit.” The greatest need for every human being is hope. Paul tells us that no matter the obstacles or challenges it is possible to overflow with hope. This is the work of the Holy Spirit establishing the kingdom—righteousness, joy and peace—internally. Are you abounding with hope? Without it, urgency is impossible. Only the hope-filled recognize the importance of swift Kingdom action.

His Grace Working Outward

There is an outward urgency that the Holy Spirit release through the church to draw the lost to Christ’s transforming grace. This is found in
Romans 15:19: “By the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and as far around as Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.” This verse shows us Paul expressing the kingdom with urgency through his witness. The result was that throughout all the surrounding cities and provinces the Spirit manifested the message of the Kingdom.

The importance of the kingdom requires our swift and holy action. Our generation wants an expression of authentic kingdom urgency. Jesus the King is worthy of nothing less. 

Mikel French has challenged  spiritual awakening all across America, where many celebrations extended into multiple weeks, and has conducted celebrations in France, Sweden, Russia, Romania, Poland, Ukraine, Moldova, Serbia, Germany, South Africa, Malawi, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Haiti, Japan, Singapore, India and Thailand. He conducted an outreach celebration in Manila, Philippines, reaching 200,000 teenagers with The Book of Hope. Through the generous support of partners, he has presented the message of Jesus Christ to millions of people in the nation of Russia through televised citywide Soul-Winning Celebrations. Mikel considers it an honor to assist in conducting the annual pastor’s conference, where thousands of pastors from Russia’s 11 time zones come for training, teaching and equipping. Mikel and his wife, Marsha, reside in Tulsa, Oklahoma.