What is the Holy Spirit to you?

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Whilst Dr Walter Wilson was saved December 21st, 1896, he did not personally become acquainted with the Holy Spirit until January 14th, 1914. After he was saved, Walter had a deep love for the scriptures yet it bothered him that his life did not seem to bear spiritual fruit. In 1913 he was challenged by a missionary with the question  “What is the Holy Spirit to you?” Wilson answered “He is one of the persons of the Godhead, a Teacher, a Guide; the third person of the trinity”.

“He is just as great,” the missionary said, “just as precious, just as needed as the other two Persons  of the Trinity. But you still have not answered my question, What is He to you?”

“He is nothing to me”, Wilson said, surprised at his own candour. “I have no contact with Him, no personal relationship, and get along quite well without Him”. His visitor replied, “it is because of this that your life is so fruitless even though your efforts are so great. The missionary’s words taunted Wilson into the next year. He wanted to bear the fruit of the Spirit but feared becoming a fanatic, giving an inferior place to Jesus Christ by overly exalting the Holy Spirit. On January 14th, 1914 everything changed when Wilson heard Dr James Gray, later to become President of Moody Bible Institute preach a sermon on Romans 12:1

Gray asked, “Have you noticed that this verse does not tell us to whom we should give our bodies? It is not the Lord Jesus…..He has his own body. It is not God the Father….He remains upon His throne. Another has come to earth without a body….God gives you the privilege and indescribable honour of presenting your bodies to the Holy Spirit, to be His dwelling place on earth”.

Wilson reported later that he said to the Holy Spirit, “My Lord, I have mistreated You all my Christian life. I have treated you like a servant….I shall do so NO more. Now I give you this body of mine ; from my head to my feet……………., I hand over to YOU for YOU to live in it the life that YOU please.

Walter Wilson , the “beloved physician” often testified, “With regard to my own experience with the Holy Spirit, I may say that the transformation in my life on JAN 14th 1914, was greater , much greater than the change that took place when I was saved DEC 21st 1896.

Dr Wilson died in 1969 after a life of amazing service as a physician (1904 – 1912), General Manager (1912 – 1920) and then President (1926 -1928) of a major corporation. He founded the Kansas City Bible Institute in 1932 which became the Kansas City Bible College when he became President. He hosted a daily Bible exposition broadcast on two radio stations in Kansas City 1933-1944, one rated the most popular radio program in the area. But above all he considered Holy Spirit guided “soul winning” his prime task since handing over his life to the guidance of the Holy Spirit in 1914.

What is your answer to the question, “What is the Holy Spirit to you?”

Embrace change in 2014

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You can confidently embrace change with our unchanging God.

Our faithful, changeless Lord will show us the way to go, guide and bless our every step and provide goodness and mercy everyday of our lives.

Joshua is one of my favourite Old Testament heroes. He led Israel in at eighty years of age to take the “Promised Land”. He confidently and courageously defeated more than thirty enemy armies because he understood victory comes through faith in God and complete obedience to His word. He knew victory would not come through military might or numerical superiority.
Like Joshua let’s confess at the start of 2014 “We have never been this way before” but also like Joshua be confident that God will show us the way if we are humble and obedient, seeking to serve Him faithfully.
My scripture for 2014 will be Phillip 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Have you chosen one as yet?

Foundation for Affirming Moral Absolutes

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Without the cross of JESUS CHRIST the world has NO foundation for affirming moral absolutes, for calling corruption by its name – SIN.  The cross of Christ is also the only available force that can withstand and push back the storm of moral relativism that is upon us.
Thanks to the cross of JESUS, we have a firm basis – empirical, historical and philosophical for affirming moral absolutes without the same moral law condemning us. The cross does not just provide a philosophical framework for moral absolutes. It also provides the WAY to deliver us from SIN.
By the cross GOD shows us that the power He wants us to have is not the power to Lord it over others, not power to exploit and oppress, but power to sacrifice ourselves for others.
Of course, God knows we can’t do this in our own strength so He sends the third person of the Trinity, Holy Spirit to indwell all believers. The transformation of the disciples at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended upon them in power is the same power available to Christians today. They were able to disregard the threats of the Jewish leaders, rejoice in persecution and deliberately chose to disregard the state and continue preaching JESUS. This is real evangelism.
The author of Truth and Transformation, Vishal Mangalwadi described by Christianity Today as India’s foremost Christian intellectual is authentic. Vishal has spent time in jail in India for civil disobedience in helping the lowest caste, Dalits. He has planted churches there, is an international lecturer, social reformer, political columnist and author of fourteen books.
Truth and Transformation is a must read for anyone concerned with the state of current world events.
I like Vishal’s explanation for the rational cynicism that has now become the hallmark of secular universities. “The west has exchanged its worldview shaped by the Bible for a lie that the human mind is an accident of blind chance, no more valid than an animal brain”. Remember most of the prestigious universities in the UK and USA commenced as Christian Institutions, e.g. Oxford and Harvard.

HEARING THE VOICE OF GOD

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A wonderful example of a man who lives eternally now is LOREN CUNNINGHAM, founder of YWAM (Youth With A Mission). Loren Cunningham’s dream began with a vision – waves of young people moving out across the continents announcing the good news of Jesus Christ to the whole earth.
Decades later, Loren’s vision was realised. YWAM has grown into an interdenominational movement of Christians from around the world dedicated to presenting the Gospel to their generation.
The amazing story of Youth With A Mission demonstrates that God does speak to HIS children, those who will obey Him. He does guide and provide for them in miraculous ways which not only impacts their lives but also the world to the glory of God’s Kingdom.
Loren’s book “Is That Really You God? is truly an adventure in hearing and obeying the voice of God.  As Loren  explains, hearing the voice of our heavenly Father is a basic right of every child of GOD.  Don’t make guidance complicated, says Loren. “It’s actually hard not to hear God if you really want to please and obey Him! If you stay humble, He promises to guide you. ” Proverbs 16:9.

Loren offers three simple steps that have helped him and the leaders at YWAM to hear God’s voice:

1. Submit to His Lordship – silence your own thoughts and desires and the opinions of others. Make it clear to the Holy Spirit you need to know God’s thoughts/direction.

2. Resist the enemy – use the authority Jesus has given you to silence the voice of the enemy. James 4:7, Eph. 6:10-20.

 3. Expect an answer – expect your loving heavenly Father to speak to you. He will. John 10:27, Ps. 69:13, Exod. 33:11.

Start living eternal now by listening to and obeying the voice of God. He has a plan for your life.