Posts Tagged ‘Holy Spirit’

Stair-Master “Faith”

10/12/2011
Church of Christ at Wedderburn, Victoria

Image via Wikipedia

Today is part one of a two-part message, I put together to describe two different kinds of “faith” people like to follow, or tend to, and it is unfortunate that they chose either.

Have you ever been on a stairmaster? Ever gotten off of one, realized how much work you had just done, and acknowledged the fact that you are standing in the exact same place you were, pre-workout?

That is the crummy faith life that many in our modern society have. They show up for church on Sunday, maybe even two or three more times during the week, but as soon as the key is in the ignition and they drive out of the parking lot, followed by unlocking the door and walking into their homes, it’s over until next time.

They built up a spiritual sweat during service and worshipped with all of their hearts while learning with all their minds. But when the lights of the church go off for the day, so do those people’s faith.

The workout in the gym might be great, but living your faith life that way is absolutely counterproductive to what Christ instructed us to do. We are instructed to serve the purpose of Christ in all aspects of our lives, not only at church.

My advice for you today, if any of the above applies to you, as your personal spiritual trainer for the day, get off of the stairmaster, and hit the spiritual cross-country track of the world to share the love and redemption of Christ.

 

Chris

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We > Me

10/02/2011
Bulletin/Handout notes
 
Original Message/Sermon: J. Chastain
 
From One50Five service on 9/25/11.
 
(listen to sermon at one50five.com)
 
From the series: ”  > ”  (Greater Than)
 
“Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” Ephesians 3:20 NLT
 
God’s “Bigger Picture” requires us to work together AS CHRISTIANS.
 
What is God’s bigger Picture?
How can I get involved?
 
Three Ways People Worked Towards the “Bigger Picture”:
 
1. By TAKING RISKS. (Rahab and the two spies: Joshua 2:1-22)
2. By BEING COMMITTED. (David and Jonathan: 1 Samuel 20:1-42)
3. By SETTING THE EXAMPLE. (Jesus: Matthew 1- John 21)
 
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere–in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the Earth.” Acts 1:8 NLT
 
Matthew 1:1-16— The Genealogy of Jesus
Rahab and Jonathan played a role in Jesus “Bigger Picture”: SALVATION FOR EVERYONE.
 
Walk away point: When WE recognize God’s “Bigger Picture” and live as though we are meant to fulfill it, we BECOME GREATER.

Explaining the seven spirits

05/12/2011
Illustation to Book of Revelation

Image via Wikipedia

This letter is from John to the seven churches in the province of Asia. Grace and peace to you from the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come; from the seven spirits  before his throne. Rev 1:4

We know from reading the Bible that the number 7 is usually associated with completion. Bible scholars are in agreement that the seven spirits are in fact the broken down spirit of God himself. When this scripture mentions Asia, it is not the same Asia we know, but instead was a province in what we now know as western Turkey. Much like the lampstand in Zechariah 4:2 that is only one lampstand, but serves seven different functions, the spirit of God is one, but with the intensity of seven. At the time John wrote the Book of Revelation, he foresaw the church degraded, and in a very dark age, therefore the seven times intensified spirit is necessary for God’s work to be done on Earth. The spirit of God grants grace, peace and leadership for us now, but in the end times, will serve an intense purpose. This verse also indicates the crucial need for the intensified spirit’s move to counteract the fall of the church in those days.

From the throne came flashes of lightning and the rumble of thunder. And in front of the throne were seven torches with burning flames. These are the seven Spirit of God.  Rev 4:5

In his vision of the end times, John is looking at the throne of God, and describing to us what is going on in Heaven while the Earth is being tormented beyond all imagination for its wickedness. Here John is describing what the Spirit looks like, the Spirit is such a vivid thing to view, that the brightness of the one, is as bright as seven torches of fire. I gave you a verse in Zechariah to support the meaning of the seven spirits, now you can read further in Exodus 25:37 for even more study and confirmation. In Exodus the command is to set the lamps where the light is reflected forward, this indicates for us, proof and encouragement in moving forward in, or pursuing the spirit. It is there for believers seeking guidance, we only have to reach out.

Then I saw a Lamb that looked as if it had been slaughtered, but it was now standing between the throne and the four living beings and among the twenty-four elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God that is sent out into every part of the earth.   Rev 5:6

The seven eyes symbolize constant searching and observing. The Lamb in this verse, is Jesus who was killed, but now stands as powerful as ever. The seven horns indicate something that can inflict damage and harm, they indicate the power of Jesus, and both times you will notice it uses seven to symbolize the intensification of things during these times. 

Reading the parts in the Bible about the seven spirit’s must be confusing to many, but there is no need for that. It is symbolic of how everything concerning God is seven times more intense than we could imagine. That is the whole point.

God bless,

Chris

 

5/2 The Eternal Security of the Believer

05/02/2011

‘He who has begun a good work in you will complete it..’ Philippians 1:6 

Simply put, when God starts something He finishes it! There are no open-ended promises on His part. The question is, how? The answer is:

‘In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.  Ephesians 1:13-14

After a person comes to Christ, they are sealed with the Holy Spirit, that leads us in the direction God wants us to go, all the while being our personal guarantee of salvation and eternal life with Jesus, the very source of our salvation.

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.       Ephesians 4:30

The word “grieve” means to “feel grief because of”. Once we’ve been sealed by God, there is no longer a need to feel grief over being the new you and not the old you.  For more on this particular section of today’s lesson and griving the spirit I strongly encourage you to read the following two full sections of Ephesians chapter four, they describe how God feels when we greive over our past life because of the change that the spirit has made in us, read by clicking HERE. When we become Christians there is simply no reason to miss our sinful life, but our past life, in all its ugliness does become evident as Paul tells us here:

Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.  Galatians 5:19-21

Paul’s words make it pretty clear that a person who has found salvation in Christ cannot live in the ways of the world, specifically the ones he listed in those three verses. To make a mistake, is human, but to have known Christ and reverted to those as a full-time lifestyle, as he is clearly warning against, is to essentially smack God in the face after He has given you the most precious gift imaginable. And since we have now gone through the “acts of the flesh”, it seems only fitting to go through our next list from Paul, the “fruit of the spirit”.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

Nobody would criticize this list. And these are all FREE when we accept Jesus and live a life that is pleasing to Him. Also, the parable from Jesus, about the unforgiving servant comes to mind. Click HERE for that passage. Now let’s get back into what Jesus did for us.

For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will
be made righteous.  Romans 5:19

One man, Adam, may have been to blame for sin coming into our world, but one man is to thank, praise, worship, and love for bringing salvation to the world, Jesus Christ.

Look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2

Simply put, Jesus paid the debt of our sin off once and for all on the cross. Notice that he “despised the shame”. Jesus the man, hated the shame that dying on a cross brought Him, but more importantly, He did it lovingly, and compassionately for us, where we could make the obvious choice to live with Him in eternity and not perish.

So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.  John 19:30

 IT WAS PAID IN FULL. So how could we become in debt to God again if it was paid in full? YOU CANT.

And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. John 10:28-29

Below I’ve listed a few more verses that you can look up on the same topics we have discussed in this page just simply click the verses and a new window pops up.

Romans 8:31-39     8:34-35    8:38-39

Before I close this, I want to share something with you all. The piece you just finished reading was not written by me, or anyone else who has published on Inspired Ministries in the past. I had a hand in the editing but these were the sermon notes from my brother in Christ, Keith H. Keith is a few years younger than I am, and just finding his way in ministry. These particular sermon notes were from his first sermon a week ago, that was conducted in a homeless shelter in his home state. I’ve had the privilege of posting this, and sharing it with all of you. I have also had the privilege of hearing about how my brother works with kids day in and day out and does his best to interject Christ into their lives, when the world would inject the opposite. Also, the privilege of serving with him in the prayer ministry I was a part of recently, and he still is. You can email prayer request anytime day or night to weliftyouup@gmail.com and they will do for you, exactly what the email address says. While I know he is probably going to fuss with me over writing this closing part here, and he would be the last to request any acknowledgement for carrying the torch of Jesus Christ, or receive any thanks. I would like to thank God for the servant’s and teacher’s heart he has given my brother and the guidance to do the works he does in the name of the Lord.

With that all said,

Stay blessed,

Chris

Jesus Christ 8

04/29/2011
Dove of the Holy Spirit

Image by hops_76 via Flickr

Now that we’ve talked about Jesus’ ascension, I want to talk about Jesus consummating in the spirit, or becoming complete, or perfect.

~When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory. John 7:39~

Once Jesus ascended to Heaven from Earth after his resurrection, he became glorified, he became one with God, in ever sense of the word. After this completion of his ministry on Earth, the Holy Spirit fell on his faithful. But not until he returned for the last time to Heaven.

~And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God.  Rom 8:10~

The spirit is a part of God himself, and once Christ completed his works on Earth, the spirit became our guide. The spirit is how Jesus himself communicates with us. And real believers, the faithful have this spirit inside of them even though our bodies are dead from sin, our spirits are alive in Jesus.

~Christ is a life-giving Spirit. 1 Corinthians 15:45b~       find proof in Genesis 2:7 where God (Jesus) breathes the very life into Adam.

Jesus not only allows life to exist, he gives us life to begin with, the Holy Spirit gives us eternal life by living inside us and guiding our lives.

~For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 2 Corinthians 3:17~

This final verse on the matter proves beyond all doubt that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are ONE in the same way Jesus and God the Father are ONE. And true life and freedom come with that spirit that Jesus gave us after he left Earth.

Think of Jesus as an “all-inclusive resort”. Salvation is all-inclusive, everything you can imagine comes in this package and it is for everyone who accepts him and walks with him. I am going to speak more on this in a later post, but for now take these verses for example, they are all directed at you and me.

~God will do this, for HE is faithful to do what HE says, and HE has invited YOU into partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ OUR Lord.  1 Corinthians 1:9~

~He has enabled YOU to share in the inheritance that belongs to HIS PEOPLE, who live in the light. Colossians 1:12b~

~just as YOU accepted Christ Jesus as YOUR Lord, YOU must continue to follow HIM. Colossians 2:6~

~don’t let ANYONE condemn YOU for what YOU eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain “holy days”, “ceremonies” or “Sabbaths”. For rules like these are ONLY shadows of the reality yet to come. And Christ HIMSELF IS THAT REALITY. Colossians 2:16-17~

 

Stay blessed,

Chris

 

 

Notes on salvation and witnessing

04/19/2011
Gustave Doré, Depiction of Satan, the antagoni...

Image via Wikipedia

Jesus and Satan were having an ongoing argument about who was better on the computer. They had been going at it for days, and frankly God was tired of hearing all the bickering. Finally fed up, God said, ‘THAT’S IT! I have had enough. I am going to set up a test that will run for two hours, and from those results, I will judge who does the better job.’  So Satan and Jesus sat down at the keyboards and typed away. They: moused, faxed, e-mailed, e-mailed with attachments, downloaded, did spreadsheets, wrote reports, created labels and cards, 
created charts and graphs, some genealogy reports, they did every job known to man. Jesus worked with heavenly efficiency and Satan was faster than hell. Then, ten minutes before their time was up, lightning suddenly flashed across the sky, thunder rolled, rain poured, and, of course, the power went off. Satan stared at his blank screen and screamed every curse word known in the underworld. Jesus just sighed.  Finally the electricity came back on, and each of them restarted their computers. Satan started searching frantically, screaming: ‘It’s gone! It’s all GONE! ‘I lost everything when the power went out!’  Meanwhile, Jesus quietly started printing out all of his files from the past two hours of work.  Satan observed this and became irate. ‘Wait!’ he screamed. ‘That’s not fair! He cheated! How come he has all His work and I don’t have any?’……….God just shrugged and said, “JESUS SAVES” !!!

Now that you have read that, and hopefully at least got a chuckle. I want to address a very serious situation. Every single day thousands die without knowing Jesus. Clicking HERE takes you (or anyone you know and think need it) to a wonderful outline for salvation. I have been wanting to get this information out there for a week or so and have not been sure how to do it, then magically, my friend Amy (who readers are familar with) sent me the above joke. I love ice-breakers and couldn’t think of a better way to get your attention, because tons of us meet people all the time we want to help and other than our own words, don’t really know how to do it, or help someone do it. So forward this, or that link to a friend in need.

Before closing I want to give a quick lesson on witnessing, from my ministry mentors at SCC.

~The key to maintaining a lifestyle of sharing the Good News is to be aware when the Holy Spirit is leading you. As Paull tells us in Galatians 5:25 “Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the spirit’s leading in every part of our lives”. Well, that presents the question: How do I build a lifestyle of sharing the Good News? Below are the three ways to doing just that.

1. I have to leave my circle of comfort when the Spirit says to move. (Click HERE for Acts 1:8)

2. I have to accept that Jesus’ mission is also My mission. (Click HERE for Acts 20:24 & HERE for John 17:18)

3. Remember that I can’t ordain the role I get to play. (Click HERE for 1 Corinthians 3:6)

In closing, a fact that you should be aware of is this: Some people are close to making a commitment to Christ while other’s still have a very LONG way to go. Prayer, and just being a friend to those in need can help build that bridge to Christ.

Stay blessed,

Chris

Jesus Christ (3)

04/14/2011
Jesus at the house of the Pharisean, by Jacopo...

Image via Wikipedia

The topic here is Jesus’ actual human incarnation.

Matthew 1:18 Now the origin of Jesus Christ was in this way: His mother, Mary, after she had been engaged to Joseph, before they came together, was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit.

-Through Mary, Jesus received his flesh. However, as we know, Jesus was God before he was “Jesus”. He was impregnated in Mary’s womb via the Holy Spirit. God’s spirit, so therefore Jesus’ very own spirit. If you are one of the many who still tries to think of Jesus, God, and the Spirit as different people, please try to avoid that. Think of a corporation with different divisions yet the same name.

Luke 1:35 The angel said to Mary, The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore also the holy thing which is born will be called the Son of God.

-Oh how happy the Demons of Earth would have been to hear this angel’s words first-hand. Calling Jesus the Son of God, embraced his divinity as you can clearly read, it was only when he was called The Son Of Man, did the prophecies (and their demise) begin to come into play. The spirit, if you can envision this with me, totally enveloped Mary in a very supernatural way and when it left, she was pregnant with our Savior.

John 1:14 14 And the Word became flesh and lived among us (and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only Begotten from the Father), full of grace and reality.

-One of the most famous verses in all of Christianity. Pronouncing that the very Word, or breath, of God himself spoke Jesus as a human incarnation of himself, into existence. Much in the same way God spoke the world into existence in the beginning. I get goosebumps reading and writing about the supernatural ways that God has touched mankind! God, in a sense, spoke himself (in the form of a man) into existence! And why? For YOU. For ME, and all of humanity to be able to receive salvation that we could never deserve or even begin to! What a mighty and loving God indeed.

Romans 1:3 3 Concerning His Son, who came out of the seed of David according to the flesh…

-Here we read the words of the apostle Paul, clearly explaining Jesus dual nature to the Romans. And explaining the beginning part of how God became a man for their salvation.

Romans 8:3 For that which the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God, sending His own Son in the likeness of the flesh of sin and concerning sin, condemned sin in the flesh…

-While Jesus had the likeness of the “flesh”, he did not have the sinful nature that we do. In case you are wondering how Jesus could be of the flesh, without carrying the sin of the flesh, let me remind you of Numbers chapter 21 when Moses had the bronze serpent, but that serpent did not have the venom of a real snake, only the appearance. Similar to Jesus, that serpent was a supernatural event. We need to also be reminded that the Jews had turned away from God and become all about the law in those days. That same law is what kept power in the hands of the Pharisees and Sadducees, which is a massive, if not the only, reason they refused to admit that Jesus was the Messiah. Their greed and gluttony for power and control over the people is what condemned those of them who did not receive him in the manner that Nicodemus did.

Philippians 2:7 But emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, becoming in the likeness of men; 

-In Jesus’ human incarnation he didn’t change his divine nature. Just his outward appearance and expression. From the highest life form, God the father of all creation to that of a servant. The lowest form of humanity. And not just any servant, but a servant to a divine cause. When he addressed his father in Heaven, it was for the benefit of those around him seeing how they are supposed to interact with HIM. Otherwise he would have just been talking to himself all the time, right? In the servant role, Jesus was showing us how we are supposed to be.

We are supposed to be servants, so those of you who believe that your sole responsibility is to go to church every time the doors are open but do NOTHING more……I pray over you desperately. To sit in a pew every week, and hear uplifting music and words of encouragement is never a bad thing, but to leave it at that, is a far cry from the plan Jesus has put in place. We are in church to serve, not be served. If you are a believer, you have already received more than you could ever deserve in salvation from eternal torment alone! It is your/our duty to serve, and not simply serve God, but to serve God by serving his flock, especially the lost sheep.

Grace and peace,

Chris

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spirit of Religion

03/31/2011

Two faced Christians

“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12).

While many of the evils Paul is warning the church of Ephesus about are unable to be seen, even in modern times. There are others that can be seen. One of the main ones I have learned about as of late is the “Religious Spirit“. Naturally, I am not saying that I believe there is a demon named Religion, but let us face facts, is it not possible? Think of how many otherwise wonderful christians have fallen victim to church tradition. Think for a moment about how many young women have come to a church for the first time in their lives and felt outcast by the members or staff because they turned their nose up at her clothes or her hardware (piercings) and never sought Christ again. You never know when your first impression ON someone can be their last about Jesus. I am not perfect, not by a long shot. I love the ink that I have put on my skin, not entirely certain I would do it all again, and for those of you who don’t know and are wondering, no they are not obvious. But it makes me sad that anyone would feel the need to ask that to begin with. At one point I had five pieces of jewelry hanging from my head via my ears, now there are only three and thanks to my son Christian being a “grabber” I am debating the two lowest hanging of those fruits. Many think that if they are visibly seen praying aloud, carrying a Bible everywhere with them, or talking to everyone about Jesus even, then they are doing their part, and to a degree they probably are. But if you are that person I just spoke of, and you are sadly one of the many that is only working for God because of what He can do for you, then I earnestly ask you to reconsider your works. As christian ministers, disciples, and apostles we have but one job, to get to Heaven by forming a one on one relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the very Son of God who died for all of our transgressions and everyone else’s for that matter; while doing our very best to take as many to Heaven with us. There are many examples of Church Tradition or Religious Tradition being the very downfall of many a great woman or man of God and I pray today that you do not let that spirit lead you down that path.

Stay blessed and not stressed.

Chris

Speach & Baptism

02/28/2011
Cover of "Ticket to Heaven"

Cover of Ticket to Heaven

Keep your tongue from speaking evil & your lips from speaking deceit. Psalm 34:13

That may sound like a simple thing to do, but how often do we get wrapped up in our own conversations and forget to control our thoughts. Our “filters” if you will. We constantly mean to say all the right things but so often we take the high road and back away from doing or saying what is right. David knew this all too well. Do you think that as a King of a great nation in war times he never regretted a single word that came from his mouth? I guess the beauty is that he served a God that could forgive him and provide him with a better way of expressing himself while still reflecting godliness.

(Peter speaking to the church) “And I remember the Word of the Lord, how He said ‘John baptized with water but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit‘.” Acts 11:16

This is correct, a water baptismal is only the beginning. And we need to make that known to new believers when they enter into the community of our faith. I can’t begin to tell you how many people have this WAY wrong. How many pastors I have heard utilize the tool of baptism in the incorrect manner. Baptism is NOT, I repeat NOT a one-way ticket to Heaven. That is why Jesus said very clearly that the baptism of the Holy Spirit was the more important of the two. While I do agree that baptismal is a wonderful thing, it is more for symbolic purposes. If someone gets hit by a car after giving their life to Christ, but before they are baptised, do they go to Hell? No. Being baptized is something we do to express to our families, friends, and our church along with ourselves of course that we are no longer the same person who went under the water. That we are dedicating our lives to Him who gives life.

Verse of the Day!

(Paul to speaking to Timothy) For there is one God, & there is one mediator between God & men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. 1 Timothy 2:5-6

 

God Bless You and Yours

Chris

Explaining the Trinity

02/22/2011
Holy Trinity by Fridolin Leiber (1853–1912)

Image via Wikipedia

I don’t remember my dreams very often. I even more rarely claim God sent me a message in my dream. But last night (Sunday night) I had a dream of a young brown-haired girl with freckles that looked like someone from my childhood but wasn’t asking me to explain the trinity. She gave a vibe that indicated she already knew about it but wanted me to explain it. So I did. And I am again here, because I feel it is something I am supposed to do. To explain the concept of a Triune God we can refer to one simple verse from the apostle Paul. 2 Corinthians 13:14 broken down as follows

‘The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all’

~~The grace, is the Lord Himself as the life to us for our enjoyment, the love is God Himself as the source of the grace, & the fellowship of the Spirit is  God Himself as the transmission of that grace plue the love of God for our participation. NOT 3 separate matters but 3 aspects of ONE divine unit.

~~It’s evident that the divine revelation of the Triune God in the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, is not for theological study only but even more so for us to learn how God in His mysterious and marvelous trinity dispenses Himself into His chosen people, and that we as His chosen and redeemed people may (as indicated in the apostle Paul’s blessing to the Corinthians) participate in, experience, enjoy, and possess the processed Triune God now and forever.
(Don’t forget that all prayers and even guidance where needed on different Bible topics or even about real life can be submitted to the new prayer service offered by emailing WeLiftYouUp@gmail.com )

God Bless

Chris