Rom. 7:14; 1 Cor. 3:3Stats that show little difference between those who call themselves Christian and the rest of the world. Churches do not gain against the size of the population around us.
Hebrews talks about those who are satisfied to continue on a milk diet. (5:12 – 6:2)Hebrews 12:1 speaks of sins that easily beset us - temptations are real – we underestimate them -- Pilgrim’s Progress – p. 73 The Bible warns that the enemy goes about like a lion seeking whom he can devour. Low expectations: negative speech betrays us – mostly general prayers, little faith– don’t expect answered prayers. Jesus frequently chided the disciples for “little faith.” I recently read Prayer That Brings Revival by David Yonggi Cho pastor of the largest church in the world in Korea. It’s an inspiring book. Pastor Cho’s purpose in the book is to encourage us to pray. At the end of this section on motivating Christians to pray he gives a summary of reasons why Christians should pray more than they do. To share with you just one of the seven reasons. He suggested as we pray we build an account balance through our prayers. Now this is a challenging concept. And at first I wondered where he got it. But I have been thinking about it for several weeks since I read it. Two of the passages that comes to my mind repeatedly are the references in Revelation to the prayers of the saints being like incense. Revelation 58 describes these prayers as contained in a bowl which could then be poured out as seems to be exactly the picture in Revelation 8 or incense together with the prayers of the saints is presented on the altar. One can hardly escape the conclusion that the picture that John the Revelator is showing us shows a collection, and aggregate, a gathering together of the prayers of God’s people, as an offering before God; which in Revelation 8 results in spiritual effects on earth, , effect which are pictured in apocalyptic language as peals of thunder and flashes of lightning and earthquakes. My point is this. The more prayers, the more incense can be offered in heaven. There is a collective effect to our prayer! Call it what you want, and account, as pastor Cho does, or something else. The point is there is power in earnest, sustained, persistent prayer that is not obtained by occasional quick requests.
See also Ro 12:1-2Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God — this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will. NIV
We get to this verse it is important to note first of all that the Holy Spirit is a gentle person. It does not force us to do as he wants done. He is asking for her cooperation. The situation is this. If we listen to the Holy Spirit, we are listening to the expert of life. We had the inside track, we have the expert advice, we have the ideal solution. So to listen to the Holy Spirit and follow his advice is simply to make the best choice. When we look at in this light, we understand what it means to be controlled by the Spirit. It’s not the spirit dictating in some autocratic way; rather is us desiring to follow good advice.
Overflowing spring – John 7:38,39Salt Matt. 5:13Light Matt. 5:14Fruitful tree Ps. 1:3; Ps. 92:12-15 Nourishing Words Pr. 10:21; 12:18Ambassadors of Good News 2 Cor. 5:20
Kelvin S. Jones<br />Celebrating Pentecost <br />
Key Thought<br />To celebrate Pentecost is to recognize our need for the Holy Spirit to work in our lives and cry out in prayer for more of His presence.<br />
The Situation<br />Christians struggle to deal with behaviors, habits, & attitudes that don’t please God. <br />Christians are often more controlled by the influence of media and peers and selfish desires than by God’s Word and his Spirit. <br />Christians work hard but see little result. <br />
How We Got There<br />Some are satisfied to be entry level Christians<br />We underestimate the spiritual threat<br />We often have very low spiritual expectations<br />Many never tarry in prayer<br />
God’s Spiritual Objectives<br />Converted by the Holy Spirit.<br />Controlled by the Holy Spirit.<br />Conduit for the Holy Spirit.<br />
What God Wants To Do – Part 1Converted by the Holy Spirit<br />Turn us – Rom. 8:13-14<br />Transform us – Titus 3:5,6<br />Teach us – John 14:25,26<br />
God Turns Us By His Spirit<br />For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. <br />Rom 8:13-14 NIV<br />
Transformed By The Holy Spirit<br />He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior<br />Titus 3:5-6 NIV<br />
God Teaches Us by His Spirit<br />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<br />John 14:25-26 NIV<br />
What God Wants To Do – Part 2 Controlled by the Holy Spirit<br />Focus us<br />Direct us <br />
God Focuses Us Through His Spirit<br />Those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. <br />Rom 8:5-8 NIV<br />
Controlled by the Holy Spirit<br />You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.<br />Rom 8:9 NIV<br />
What God Wants To Do – Part 3Conduit for the Holy Spirit<br />Fill us<br />Make us a blessing<br />
Conduit for the Holy Spirit<br />Whoever believes in me . . . . 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. <br />John 7:38-39 NIV<br />
God Makes Us a BlessingMany Bible Illustrations <br />Overflowing spring<br />Salt <br />Light<br />Fruitful tree<br />Nourishing Words<br />Ambassadors of Good News<br />
Surrender to God.<br />Cry out to God.<br />Trust God’s promises.<br />Our Response<br />
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