Missing Link-Part III

So rather than immediately dive into all the intricacies of the Holy Spirit’s ministry, let’s start with what occurs when an individual accepts the salvation message of Christ and becomes a child of God (John 1:12).

Do you remember coming to a saving faith in Jesus? Well, you couldn’t have done that on your own, that was part of the ministry of the Holy Spirit. God uses the Holy Spirit to enlighten our hearts that we may know the hope in which He has called us (Ephesians 1:18. We also see in in John 16:8 where Jesus is describing the Holy Spirit He says, “And when He (Spirit) has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgement of sin, because they do not believe in Me.” So the first real interaction a person has with the Holy Spirit is that He convicts them of their condition (Romans 3:23). According to Romans 3:11, one’s decision to accept salvation through Christ would not have been made without the ministry of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit convicts us and leads us towards Jesus. So we yield to the Holy Spirit and accept the free gift of salvation, then what? Is the Holy Spirit’s ministry complete? Oh no, He’s just getting started.

Every person who receives Christ’s redemptive work on the cross receives the Holy Spirit at the moment of salvation. The Bible tells us the Holy Spirit is our seal, the guarantee we have that we are God’s child. 2 Corinthians 1:21-22 is pretty straight forward, it reads, “Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.” The Spirit has transitioned from an outward influence whose ministry is to lead us to Jesus, to an inward indwelling whose ministry is to now lead us to grow in our spiritual maturity and closer to Christ-likeness. John 16:13 tells us the Spirit will guide us into all truth. With the Spirit living in us, we have a guide. The Spirit is our constant seal, He never leaves us and He leads and guides us if we allow Him. This is huge! The Spirit of the living God, the God of all creation, sets up residence in you and guides you. That’s pretty cool stuff, guys.

Guiding is one thing but teaching takes it to the next level. Not only does the Holy Spirit lead you but part of the Ministry of the Holy Spirit is to actually teach you the things of God. Look at John 14:26, I love this verse! It reads, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” Wow! If your like me, this is encouraging. This is more than encouraging, this is a promise of supernatural power. If you submit to the leading and teaching of the Holy Spirit and you study to learn the teaching of Jesus, the Holy Spirit will supernaturally assist you in remembering what you’ve learned. You doesn’t need this help? I hope your beginning to see this isn’t only God saving and residing in you (although that would be beyond words in itself), we are now getting into some pretty cool, supernatural stuff that is not possible or available to you without the Holy Spirit. You need to take the Holy Spirit and His ministry serious or your really missing out.

To conclude this episode of the blog, lets discuss on additional work from the Holy Spirit and this one, like the others, is pretty incredible. Did you know the Holy Spirit lives inside you to help you pray. Have you ever felt like you didn’t really know how to pray? I don’t necessarily mean “know” how to pray, but what do you say. Hopefully, sometimes when you intend to pray you are without words, speechless. After-all, you are talking to the creator of the universe, God Jehovah. I think it is healthy for all of us to be so in awe of God that, at times, we don’t have the human words to describe what we want to say. The Holy Spirits ministry helps you with this. Let’s look at Romans 8:26-27. It says, “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”

So today we’ve really covered some of the broad aspects of the Holy Spirit’s ministry that is available to us upon salvation. The Spirit convicts and initially draws one to Christ. Once salvation takes place, the Holy Spirit moves in! He moves in and begins to lead, guide and even teach you all things according to Gods will. Finally, the Holy Spirit has a unique ministry in which He intercedes in our prayer life. Wow! This is exciting stuff. Maybe the reason you’ve been struggling in you walk with Christ or aren’t progressing towards spiritual maturity is because your not tapping into the resource of the Holy Spirit who resides in you. Over the next couple of days, pray that Christ will reveal the Spirit to you. Don’t just pray, finish with an “amen” and move on. After you make your request known to God, spend some time in silence, listening for His still small voice. As you see the Spirit, He WILL reveal Himself to you.

Finish Exhausted-Pastor Daryl

Missing Link-part II

Anytime you are seeking a life change, you need to identify your “why”. Without a “why”, it’s just an idea. So “why” take the time to focus on the Holy Spirit? I want you to leave this series with a new found view of your necessity of the Holy Spirit. I’m not talking about the indwelling that takes place upon salvation. I’m talking about being filled, being baptized in the Spirit as a continuous experience. To get there, we need to answer your “why”.

Prior to Christ’s ascension to Heaven, he made one of the most significant statements in history. In John 16:7 Christ states, “But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate (Holy Spirit) will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.”

Marks gospel continues this event in Mark 16:19 which reads, “After the Lord Jesus has spoken to them, He was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God.” John 14:3 says He is in heaven preparing a place for us and that He will return to take us home (heaven). This obviously has not happened yet so we are in between these two events. Christ is in heaven preparing our home, He will return for us in the future and in the meantime He has sent us the Spirit.

As we move into this next point, we need to be careful. Nothing I am writing is intended to take our focus from Christ. Christ is our savior and king. Do not get so focused on the Spirit that your focus is removed from Jesus. As a matter of fact John 16:14 says, “He (Spirit) will glorify Me (Jesus) because it is Me that he will receive what he will make known to you.” The Spirit will always point you to Jesus. But there is a simple truth that Christians often overlook. Let me explain.

God the Father is in heaven. He is the creator and Ruler of all things. The Father is upon His throne, ruling over all creation, fulfilling His will upon all things. The future judge of all people’s. Jesus is also in heaven. Jesus is seated at Gods right hand. Jesus is advocating for us and creating our future home.

It is the Spirit that is currently “with us”. It is the Spirit who has been given to us during our time on earth. As we will see later, it is the Spirit who produces godly fruit in our lives, empowers us in Christian living and teaches us all that Christ desires to learn, know and remember. Romans 3:11 reads, “There is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God.” If we were left to ourselves, even as Christians, we would pull away from God. Jeremiah 17:9 tells us we are wicked by nature and beyond a cure on our own.

To close is out today, let’s summarize our “why” (do we need to learn about the Holy Spirit).

Christ came to earth, died for us and rose again to pay the penalty of sin and defeat spiritual death for us. Christ is now in heaven preparing a place for those who believe in Him. He will soon return for us but has not yet.

In the meantime Christ, Boeing man is wicked by nature and cannot follow Him on our own, has given us the Holy Spirit. The Spirit teaches us, empowers us and bestows fruits and gifts to us so we can glorify Jesus during this “in between” time on earth. Guys, an intimate relationship with the Spirit is not only key, it is mandatory if you are to walk in a way that glorifies Christ. Yet we often don’t live as if we know this. We often believe, we receive salvation, throw up a few prayers for help and then never see a change or alway seem to be defeated. If this is you, your not tapping into the miraculous power of the Holy Spirt. Think about it-would Jesus have sent the Spirit for us if He didn’t know we’d need Him? We tend to worship God, we tend to thank Jesus for salvation but we have a horrible tendency to not give the Holy Spirit the time of day.

The “why” of the Holy Spirit is simple guys; without him it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). This week meditate on this “why”. Ask God to reveal to you the ministry and need of the Holy Spirit.

From here on, we will focus on “how” to do this. How to walk daily in the Holy Spirit. How to walk as Christ intends for us to walk because we all know, we cannot do this on our own power.

May God bless you and reveal to you the need to know and follow the Holy Spirit.

Finish Exhausted-Acts 20:24

Pastor Daryl

The Missing Link

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you…Acts 1:8

After being raised conservative Baptist I had, what I believed to be, a solid fundamental foundation of Christianity. I was secure in my salvation and continued in my faith well into my early 40’s. Growing up in private Christian Schools and remaining dedicated to seeking and growing in my Christian life I would not describe my life as “secular” and definitely never “backsliden”. Sure, there were times I can look back and know I wasn’t as close to Christ as I should have been but I definitely saw myself as a person who sought a life following Christ, my Savior. But even with this mindset and drive, I would describe my life as one of spiritual frustration and falling short. Guilt was an everyday feeling. Never living up to the man God wanted me to be was a constant reminder of falling short of God’s standard for my life. How could this be? The Bible is full of scripture speaking of the transforming power of God, yet where was this power? Where was the freedom found in Christ if the only constant in life was was not living up?

Is this you? I believe this sense of mediocrity plagues the men of today. After years of working with Christian men, leading men’s ministry, I saw more men struggling with this same issue than not. Why did I witness men, whose true desire was to follow Christ with whole-hearted dedication, seem to settle with being lukewarm?

One simple theological concept continued to haunt me. One thing that never made sense. My Christian “knowledge”, and even the knowledge of those who had taught me, failed to answer one simple, but very important question. I was taught that the Bible is as relevant to us today as it was to the early Christian Church, with one exception. Acts chapter 2 was an odd and even spooky chapter in God’s Word. It describes the Day of Pentecost. It describes a very unusual incident in which the Holy Spirit came upon these early believers. But that’s not all. The Spirit came down as tongues of fire and everyone present began to speak in tongues. It was an uncomfortable topic to discuss in the conservative baptist world, almost a spiritual taboo if you will. When the subject was questioned or questions were asked that would cause a deeper dive into the subject, the answer was always the same…this was a one time incident that occurred to only those first believers; it was a supernatural event to “jump start” the early church and spread of the gospel.

What does this have to do with the missing link, the mediocrity of the modern day male? This is the question my blog will answer in my upcoming posts. I’m no scholar, no PhD in Theology hangs on my wall. However, because I have been faithful in seeking Him, His grace has brought me to an understanding on this subject that has drawn me closer to Christ and immersed in His love. Guilt no longer plagues me. I still fail everyday to live the life I was created to live. But, the freedom is there, the mercy is abundant and the power to push on is alive and well. Not in me per se but in the Spirit who lives inside me. If you find yourself in this situation please read this series of posts. May the God who loves you, the Savior who died for you and the Spirit who indwells you lead you into a full understanding of the missing link.

Recommended reading: Remembering the Forgotten God by Francis Chan.

Finish Exhausted!

Pastor Daryl

Let’s Be Real!

Do you ever wonder why Christian men seem to sink into the background of the church?  Maybe it’s because we’re too tough for church; too cool for service.  Or, is it our pride, our lack of transparency and our fear of what we perceive is weakness.  This podcast is the first in a series to get men out of this destructive and ineffective pattern and develop healthy, effective ministries in our churches and communities.

The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!

Acts 20:24 I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me-the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.

Calling all Christian men.  This blog is to encourage, edify and motivate men to take up their proper place at home, church and in the community with strength, masculinity and the love of Jesus.  As men of God we are called to be warriors yet gentle and kind.  We can find that balance but it requires us to stop warming church pews with our rear ends and engage them in God’s work.  There is only one task that matters and that is listed in the scripture above.  This blog will help you achieve that task and…FINISH EXHAUSTED!