Tag Archives: holy spirit

Charles Stanley – Our Helper in Bible Study

Charles Stanley

1 Corinthians 2:12-16

The Bible is God’s revelation of truth, and it is intended for regular use by every believer. The Holy Spirit’s indwelling presence is a necessity since He is the one who makes clear the meaning of the Word. He illuminates the mind of each person who genuinely seeks to know God.

When we read, our Helper opens our understanding to the true meaning of the text so that we can grasp its significance. We never outgrow this need for Him. Even a mature believer with decades of experience meditating on Scripture requires as much revelation as a child who has just received Christ. Not long ago, I had reason to recall this fact as I read a passage I had seen often in my studies. For the very first time, my soul opened wide to these verses, the truth burst in, and I felt immediately energized. Grasping a new truth from the Scriptures gets us excited and inspires us to apply what we have learned. Then, as we integrate one truth into our life, the Spirit of God reveals another in order to make us increasingly like our Savior.

Learning about God and conforming to the image of Jesus Christ are the highest ambitions of Christianity, and we can achieve these goals only by learning and applying scriptural principles. But truth cannot be poured into a dirty heart. Nor can we expect to understand the Bible if we refuse to obey its precepts. If we want the Holy Spirit to reveal biblical meaning, we must ask first for a revelation of our sin. When we repent of the wrongdoing brought to mind by our Helper, our heart opens to His illumination.

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – His Mighty Power Within

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“Last of all I want to remind you that your strength must come from the Lord’s mighty power within you” (Ephesians 6:10).

When my saintly mother became a Christian at 16, she immediately determined to become a woman of God with the help of the Holy Spirit. She devoted her life to my father and to the rearing of seven children.

Through the years, as I have observed her attitudes and actions closely, I have never seen her do anything that reflected negatively on the Lord.

As a result, my life has been greatly affected in a positive way. There is no question in my mind that everything God has done and ever will do in and through me will be, in no small measure, a result of those unique, godly qualities of my mother, and especially of her prayers.

In today’s world, there often is considerable criticism of a woman who finds her fulfillment as a wife, mother and homemaker, as though such roles are demeaning to the woman. The popular thought is that there is something better, such as a professional career.

I would not minimize the fact that there are gifted women who should be involved in business and professional life, but in most cases this would be a secondary role compared to the privilege of being a mother, especially a godly Christian mother in whose life the fruit of the Spirit is demonstrated.

What I can say about my mother, I believe my sons can say about theirs, for Vonette has demonstrated those same godly, Christlike qualities toward them as a mother – and , as a wife, toward me.

These two examples underscore a wonderful, basic truth of supernatural living: As we continue to live supernaturally, walking in the power and under the guidance and control of the Holy Spirit, the personality and character of Christ become more and more a part of us.

Bible Reading: Ephesians 6:11-20

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: When I need special strength – whether physical or spiritual – I will claim by faith the Lord’s mighty power within me to meet the need.

Charles Stanley – Our Helper in Prayer

Charles Stanley

Romans 8:26-27

Most Christians feel they need help in order to pray effectively. Even the apostle Paul admitted that he sometimes did not know how to petition the heavenly Father as he should. In the supernatural exchange between God and believers, the Holy Spirit acts as a vehicle for our communication, laying our needs and desires before the Father.

We humans make our requests with a very limited knowledge of the future and an impaired sense of what is actually best for us. Consequently, circumstances arise that cause us to wonder how we should pray. If all we know to ask is, “God, what is Your will?” then the Spirit, who knows the Father’s plans for us, tells Him of our need for understanding.

Our Father does not hide His will from us. He desires to equip believers with all the information necessary for making right decisions and for being continually conformed to the likeness of His Son. Just as the Spirit carries our needs to God, He also clarifies the Father’s will to us.

Some people find the power of prayer intimidating— “Be careful what you pray for, because you might get it,” goes the old joke. Believers sometimes quit praying before receiving an answer, because they are fearful of making the wrong request. However, the Holy Spirit’s divine nature prevents Him from going before God with a petition that is outside the Father’s plan. Instead, He intercedes to make the right request. He also impresses upon us the need to adjust our desires. Therefore, we can pray in every situation, knowing the Holy Spirit is our Helper.

Greg Laurie – Refills         

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The believers were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. —Acts 13:52

Imagine that you bought a new car, drove it around town for a few days, and really liked the way it performed for you. But suddenly it started sputtering and not running as well as it had in the beginning. Finally, it just chugged to a stop and wouldn’t go any further.

“What’s the problem here?” you ask. “I just bought this car. I don’t even have a couple of hundreds of miles on it yet.”

You have that stalled-out new car towed back to the dealer, demanding an explanation. “Hmm,” he says, slipping the key into the ignition and trying to start it a couple of times. “Umm . . . sir . . . do you see this little light on your fuel gauge? Some people call that an idiot light. It means you’re out of gas. You need to fill your car up with gas every now and then.”

“Oh,” you say. “I never thought of that.”

“Yes, sir. You see, you’ve got to keep refilling your car over and over if you want it to keep going.”

The same is true in life. You’re cruising along, enjoying life and the scenery, experiencing peace and success in your family, your marriage, your business, and your ministry. Suddenly, however, problem after problem starts cropping up, and life suddenly doesn’t seem to be working very well.

Maybe you need a refill. Maybe you need to ask the Lord to give you the power of His Holy Spirit to be a better husband—or a better father, a better grandmother, a better witness, a better student, a better employee—to be a better whatever He has called you to be.

We may ask and receive the filling of the Holy Spirit in the morning, but by the time late afternoon comes along, we have allowed that filling to drain out of us.

The apostle Paul wrote, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13, NIV). God wants us to come to Him again and again for refilling and refueling. The fact is, we have a never-ending need, and He has an inexhaustible supply.

Today’s devotional is an excerpt from Every Day with Jesus by Greg Laurie, 2013

Charles Stanley – The Abundant Christian Life

Charles Stanley

Jesus said, “[Satan] comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). Unfortunately, many Christians live only an adequate spiritual life, rather than an abundant one. Though they go through the motions of being “good Christians,” they do not enjoy the power, peace, and joy that God intends believers to experience. To them, Christianity feels more like a burden than a source of delight and comfort, and habitual sins hold them in bondage.

Letting Christ Live Through You

When we received God’s gift of salvation, the Spirit of Jesus— also known as the Holy Spirit—came to live within us (Rom. 8:9).

  • What does the presence of the Holy Spirit in our life guarantee (Eph. 1:13-14)?

One of the Spirit’s roles is to manifest the presence of Christ through our lives. In other words, He helps us think, act, and react as Jesus would. As we develop in relationship with the Lord, we grow in our ability to allow Him to live through us. This means that our success as believers isn’t dependent on our ability to follow rules or rituals. Instead, the secret is to humbly let Jesus work in and through us.

  • Can you relate to seeing your faith as a burden—a set of duties and religious customs? Explain.
  • Do you ever feel frustrated at your inability to overcome certain sins in your life?
  • The flesh is that part of us that wants to rebel against God. Do you see fruit of the flesh in your life? (See Gal. 5:19-21.)

The concept of allowing Christ to live through us is stated in different ways throughout the New Testament. In Galatians 2:20, the apostle Paul puts it this way: “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”

Paul knew that to have spiritual victory, He had to be “crucified with Christ” and let go of the right to run his own life. He didn’t have the power to be a holy person in His own strength. But as he surrendered to Jesus and lived by faith, Paul found the power to live a righteous, confident, joyful life. The spiritual principles that gave him success are no different for us today.

  • Have you ever surrendered control of your life to God? If so, describe what prompted that decision.
  • Why do many believers never learn to rely on Christ’s power for holy living?
  • What beliefs or distractions have the potential to interfere with your dependence upon Jesus?

Paul also wrote, “To me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Phil. 1:21)

  • Explain what he meant. (See verses 22-23 if necessary.)
  • Can you relate to both parts of the statement in Philippians 1:21? Why or why not?

The Next Step

If you feel compelled to let Christ live through you, pray the following:

  1. Confess your inadequacy. Acknowledge that you have tried to be a godly person but feel spiritually frustrated or defeated.
  2. Acknowledge that Christ is sufficient. Since He is God, He can give you wisdom for every decision and strength to overcome temptation and adversity.
  3. Abandon your life to Him. You must give Him permission to live His life through you. Let go of your own efforts to “be good enough” or “do enough” to please Him.
  4. Confess it to be true. Say out loud, “Jesus, please live through me. I yield myself to Your will. Help me remember that I am now dead to sin and alive in You.” This is not a one-time commitment; you will probably have to surrender multiple times in your life. When you fail, be reminded that you cannot live a holy life apart from the Lord’s power.
  • Name a specific situation in which you need God’s help to react righteously and wisely, and then commit it to the Lord in prayer.

Closing: God does not call you to endure a tolerable Christian life—He wants it to be extraordinary.  Experience the life He has planned for you—yield control of your life to Him, and stop trying to be righteous in your own strength. Trust Jesus to live through you. By guiding and empowering you, He will take care of all your troubles.

Prayer: If you did not already do so, pray through the steps above. Even if you made a similar commitment in a previous season of life, it can be helpful to reaffirm your reliance on Christ’s power for daily living.

 

Related Resources

Related Video

The Key to the Christian Life

Who is going to run your life: you or Jesus Christ who lives within you? (Watch The Key to the Christian Life.)

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Promise of the Spirit

 

“And Peter replied, ‘Each one of you must turn from sin, return to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; then you also shall receive this gift, the Holy Spirit. For Christ promised Him to each one of you who has been called by the Lord our God and to your children and even those in distant lands!'” (Acts 2:38- 39).

The most important truth that I or anyone else could share with Christians is to help them understand the person and the ministry of the Holy Spirit. My own life was dramatically transformed when by faith I claimed the fullness and power of the Holy Spirit.

“One day in New York – what a day!” declared Dwight L. Moody. “I can’t describe it. I seldom refer to it. It is almost too sacred for me to name. I can only say that God revealed Himself to me. I had such an experience of love that I had to ask Him to stay His hand.

“I went to preaching again. The sermons were no different. I did not present any new truth. Yet hundreds were converted. I would not be back where I was before that blessed experience if you would give me Glasgow.”

The Holy Spirit is the key to revival. He is the key to revival because He is the key to supernatural living, and apart from living supernaturally – living in the fullness of the Holy Spirit – the believer has no power to introduce others to Christ and help fulfill the Great Commission.

The Holy Spirit is convicting many Christians of their lethargy, their coldness of heart and unbelief, the loss of their first love. A spiritual Mount St. Helens is about to erupt, spreading the good news of love and forgiveness of our Lord Jesus Christ far and wide through our land and the world. We shall see a resurgence in evangelism and a zeal unparalleled in church history as we endeavor – in the power of the Holy Spirit – to help fulfill the Great Commission.

Bible Reading: Acts 2:32-37

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I shall ask the Holy Spirit to empower and control my life so that I may be a part of a mighty spiritual awakening to help fulfill the Great Commission, beginning in my home, community and church in obedience to the Lord’s command.

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – His Spirit Tells Us

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“That is what is meant by the Scriptures which say that no mere man has ever seen, heard or even imagined what wonderful things God has ready for those who love the Lord. But we know about these things because God has sent His Spirit to tell us, and His Spirit searches out and shows us all of God’s deepest secrets” (1 Corinthians 2:9,10).

For many years, on every populated continent, I have asked millions of Christians this question: “What is the greatest thing that has ever happened to you since you became a Christian?”

The answer invariably has been: “To experience the reality, power, control and fruit of the Holy Spirit.” There is no other truth that so transforms the life of the Christian and enables him to be fruitful for the glory of God.

Two strangers were viewing the Niagara whirlpool rapids one day and one said to the other, “Come and I’ll show you the greatest unused power in the world.”

Taking him to the foot of Niagara Falls, he said, “There is the greatest unused power in the world!”

“Oh, no my friend,” came the reply, “not so. The greatest unused power in the world is the Holy Spirit of the living God.”

Christ’s strength is given to us through the Holy Spirit to meet our every need. How do we receive that strength, that supernatural power?

As Christians, we have the potential within us, in the person of God’s Holy Spirit, but sin hinders the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

By confessing all our known sin and appropriating that supernatural power of the Holy Spirit within us, we can, by faith, be filled and continue to be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. Then, according to God’s Word, the Holy Spirit ministers to our every need.

When we by faith are filled with the Holy Spirit, He guides us, empowers us, makes us holy, bears witness in our lives, comforts us, gives us joy, gives discernment, bears fruit in and through our lives and gives us spiritual gifts for the building up of the Body of Christ.

Bible Reading: I Corinthians 2:11-16

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will by faith appropriate the greatest unused power in the world today, the supernatural power of God’s indwelling Holy Spirit who enables me to live a supernatural life. I will share with someone today how he, too, can live a supernatural life.

Charles Stanley – The Signature of the Spirit

Charles Stanley

Walking in the Spirit involves moment-by-moment sensitivity to the Holy Spirit’s guidance. But is there an objective standard by which we can measure the vitality of our relationship with Him?

Yes, there is. Fruit is the telling sign. It is not simply one mark of a Spirit-filled life; it is the preeminent mark—the public testimony to a believer’s sensitivity to and dependency on the Holy Spirit.

Those who walk in the Spirit possess the following nine virtues: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23). I believe there’s a reason Paul simply listed these virtues and moved on. They aren’t goals to pursue. Why? The fruit of the Spirit was never intended to be a demonstration of our dedication and resolve. Instead, it’s the evidence of our dependency on and sensitivity to the promptings of the Spirit.

How else can we characterize believers who walk in the Spirit? The closer you get to them, the better they look. They radiate integrity and trustworthiness. They don’t rely on personality, intimidation, or trumped-up enthusiasm to win you over. They accept themselves as they are and accept you as well. They’re the people you want to be like because of the depth of their character.

We’re not talking about perfection. They still have the flesh to contend with. They can be as unkind and insensitive as anybody else. But when they realize their sin, they are quick to apologize. They are aware that, through the power of the Holy Spirit, they can rise above their sinful desires. Tuning in to His presence results in spiritual fruit that remains even during difficult times.

Unconditional love in a marriage or friendship shines brightest in the midst of our differences; in a similar way, the fruit of the Spirit demonstrates its divine source when circumstances and relationships take a turn for the worse. Then it becomes most apparent that the source of the Christian’s abiding character is something that lies deep within. When all the crutches and props are kicked away, and the believer is still standing, no one can argue that his uniqueness was simply a by-product of his environment.

Spirit-filled believers don’t win every battle. Doubt, temptation, hurt, and disappointment trip them up from time to time. But they don’t dwell on their missteps. They refocus their attention on the big picture, acknowledging the truth that their peace is from the Lord. Then they move on. They know “the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace” (Rom. 8:6).

The fruit of the Spirit is just that: fruit produced by God. When we abide in Christ and allow Him to live His life through us, the result is character that endures despite the chaos of life.

The fruit of the Spirit includes:

Love—for those who do not love in return.

Joy—in the midst of painful circumstances.

Peace—when something you were counting on doesn’t come through.

Patience—when things aren’t going fast enough for you.

Kindness—toward those who treat you unkindly.

Goodness—toward those who have been intentionally insensitive to you.

Faithfulness—when friends have proven unfaithful.

Gentleness—toward those who have handled you roughly.

Self-control—in the midst of intense temptation.

It is not uncommon for the Spirit’s fruit to take us by surprise. I have seen this happen many times, especially in the lives of new believers. When we shift our focus from self to the Holy Spirit, He can work freely in our lives. The results are uncharacteristic character, true change, and fruit that remains (John 15:16).

That is the nature of fruit. We don’t produce it; we discover it. As you begin walking in the Spirit, you will finish a debate with your kids and realize you didn’t raise your voice. You will walk away from a heated conversation and think, Wow, I didn’t lose my temper. You will be asked to go somewhere you have no business going, and you will hear yourself saying, “No, thank you.”

Eventually you will overhear someone make a comment to the effect of, “I don’t know what’s gotten into him, but he’s really different.” And you will realize that person is right, though not because you set out to change. Transformation will happen only when you surrender to the promptings of the Spirit. Remember, fruit is not something you work to attain. It’s something that can take you by surprise as the Holy Spirit produces it in your life.

Adapted from “The Wonderful Spirit-Filled Life” (1992).

 

Related Resources

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Walking in the Holy Spirit

Do you want to live with real peace, contentment and joy in life? Do you want to have the power to overcome temptation or persevere through adversity? (Watch Walking in the Holy Spirit.)

 

Joyce Meyer – Follow God With Boldness

Joyce meyer

. . . the righteous are bold as a lion. —Proverbs 28:1, NKJV

God has uniquely created you and gifted you to fulfill His purpose for your life. It may be something others regard as “important,” or “cool,” or it may be something other people don’t find impressive. For example, we live in a society that esteems being a doctor more highly than being a janitor; some believe leading a Bible study is somehow better than being a stay-at-home Mom, but really, what matters is that you do what God is calling you to do. Regardless of your chosen profession or how you choose to spend the time God gives you upon this earth, the only way to find joy and satisfaction is to live your life according to His will.

The Holy Spirit leads us into the will of God. I have discovered that boldness is necessary in order to be led by the Holy Spirit, because He may not always lead us to do what everyone else is doing. Some insecure people tend to feel “safer” doing what others do. They are fearful of standing alone or going against the crowd. But sometimes God calls us to do something new or different, and we need to be willing to “break the mold” and do whatever He asks. This is one way we honor God and express our love for Him.

Any time we step outside the boundaries of what other people say is permissible or “right,” we risk being judged or criticized. Insecure people will usually give in to the expectations and demands of others rather than face disapproval and possible rejection. We must be secure in God and not allow such things to keep us from following the Holy Spirit and fulfilling our God-given purpose.

Do you really believe you are doing what God created you to do or have you allowed other peoples’ opinions to cause you to hold back? Great joy and many good things are waiting for you as you move forward with courage into all God has called and created you to do!

Love God Today: What is it that you sense God is calling you to do, but have lacked confidence to do in the past? Break the mold, and be bold!

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Spirit of His Son

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“And because we are His sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, so now we can rightly speak of God as our dear Father.” (Galatians 4:6).

What would you say is the most sacred privilege and indescribable honor of your entire lifetime? If you are a Christian and you rightly understand the meaning of our verse for today, you will agree that nothing compares with presenting your body to the Holy Spirit to be His dwelling place here on earth.

Wherever I am in the world, whether speaking in meetings, reading the Bible, praying, counseling, attending various conferences, alone in my hotel room, or enjoying the company of my dearly beloved wife and family, I am always keenly aware that my body is a temple of God and there is no higher privilege.

I am reminded of the Virgin Mary’s response to the angel’s announcement that she would conceive a child by the Holy Spirit. “Oh, how I praise the Lord! How I rejoice in God my Savior, for He has taken notice of this lowly servant girl and now, generation after generation, forever shall be called blessed of God, for He, the mighty one, has done great things to me.”

“His mercy goes on from generation to generation to all who reverence Him,” she continues in triumphant, joyful expression of her grateful heart.

We, too, should praise and give thanks to God constantly for the privilege of being chosen to be a temple in which he dwells here on earth. As one meditates upon this fact, one becomes intoxicated with the realization that the infinite, omnipotent, holy, loving, righteous God and Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now dwell within us who have received Him.

There are many believers who are not fully aware of the significance of this fact, because though they as believers in Christ possess the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit does not possess all of them. Ours is the indescribable privilege of presenting our bodies to Him as a living sacrifice, as temples in which He will dwell. Only then, will we have the power to live the abundant, supernatural life promised to those who yield their hearts and lives to the control of the Holy Spirit.

Bible Reading: Galatians 4:7-14

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: As often as the thought comes to mind today, I will acknowledge the fullness and control of God’s Holy Spirit in my life. I will also encourage other Christians to claim by faith the fullness and power of the Holy Spirit for their lives.

Charles Stanley – Acquiring Spiritual Discernment

Charles Stanley

Psalm 119:97-99

Spiritual discernment is the ability to see from the Lord’s viewpoint. God’s Holy Spirit works in our lives so that we are able to see beneath the surface of things. This is necessary if we are to know the difference between . . .

• What is error and what is truth.

• What is good and what is best.

• What is God’s will and what is man’s.

Because our heavenly Father wants us to know these distinctions, He provided the Holy Spirit to instruct and guide us. God’s Spirit discerns perfectly because He knows everything that the Father and Son know (John 16:13).

We often struggle in our spiritual walk. For example, in our prayer life, we are unsure what to pray; in our decision-making, we wonder whether a particular choice is God’s will; and in our relationships, we question how to be an effective witness for Christ.

But as we mature in the knowledge and wisdom of the Lord, we will be able to pray confidently to perceive God’s will and to share our faith. It is the responsibility of the Holy Spirit to help us. He will guide us into all truth. Our part is to cooperate with the Spirit and learn from Him (John 14:25-27; 16:5-15); to study the Word of God (Heb. 4:12-13); and to put into practice what is revealed to us.

Just as it takes time and perseverance to develop strong physical muscles, acquiring discernment requires persistence and patient submission to the teaching of the Spirit. But this is our Father’s desire for us. Why would we want anything less?

Charles Spurgeon – The outpouring of the Holy Spirit

CharlesSpurgeon

“While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.” Acts 10:44

Suggested Further Reading: Micah 3:5-8

There is a necessity that the preacher himself, if souls are to be saved, should be under the influence of the Spirit. I have constantly made it my prayer that I might be guided by the Spirit even in the smallest and least important parts of the service; for you cannot tell if the salvation of a soul may depend upon the reading of a hymn, or upon the selection of a chapter. Two persons have joined our church and made a profession of being converted simply through my reading a hymn—“Jesus, lover of my soul.” They did not remember anything else in the hymn; but those words made such a deep impression upon their mind, that they could not help repeating them for days afterwards, and then the thought arose, “Do I love Jesus?” And then they considered what strange ingratitude it was that he should be the lover of their souls, and yet they should not love him. Now I believe the Holy Spirit led me to read that hymn. And many persons have been converted by some striking saying of the preacher. But why was it the preacher uttered that saying? Simply because he was led thereunto by the Holy Spirit. Rest assured, beloved, that when any part of the sermon is blessed to your heart, the minister said it because he was ordered to say it by his Master. I might preach today a sermon which I preached on Friday, and which was useful then, and there might be no good whatever come from it now, because it might not be the sermon which the Holy Spirit would have delivered today. But if with sincerity of heart I have sought God’s guidance in selecting the topic, and he rests upon me in the preaching of the Word, there is no fear but that it shall be found adapted to your immediate wants. The Holy Spirit must rest upon your preachers.

For meditation: The one who is filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) is filled with the word of Christ (Colossians 3:16); the mark of being filled with the Spirit is speaking the word of God (Luke 1:41, 42, 67; Acts 2:4; 4:8,31; 7:55,56; 13:9-10). Do you pray this for your preachers? And for yourself?

Sermon no. 201

20 June (1858)

 

 

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – He Gave His Son

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“Since He did not spare even His own Son for us but gave Him up for us all, won’t He also surely give us everything else?” (Romans 8:32).

George was very faithful in his Christian walk. In fact, he had a little black book in which he recorded all of his activities for each day. These included daily devotions, note-taking, verses to be memorized, appointments to be kept and every activity of his life. Outwardly he seemed so perfect that I, as a young Christian, wanted to be like him. Then one day he had a nervous breakdown. As he told me later, the last thing he did before he went to the hospital was to throw away his little black book and tell his wife he never wanted to see it again. Without realizing it, he had become very legalistic in his relationship with God rather than accepting, by faith, what God had already done for him. while in the hospital he began to recall some of the thousands of verses which he had memorized through the years. It was then that he relaxed enough to allow the Holy Spirit to illumine his mind to comprehend the importance of living by faith.

As Paul writes to the Galatians in the third chapter: “What magician has hypnotized you and cast an evil spell upon you? For you used to see the meaning of Jesus Christ’s death as clearly as though I had waved a placard before you with a picture on it of Christ dying on the cross. Let me ask you this one question: Did you receive the Holy Spirit by trying to keep the Jewish laws? Of course not, for the Holy Spirit came upon you only after you heard about Christ and trusted Him to save you. Then, have you gone completely crazy? For if trying to obey the Jewish laws never gave you spiritual life in the first place, why do you think that trying to obey them now will make you stronger Christians?”

I ask you again: Does God give you the power of the Holy Spirit as a result of your trying to obey His laws? No, of course not. He gives that power when you believe in Christ and fully trust Him. The greatest heresy of the Christian life is legalism; and yet, it inevitably seems to attract dedicated, committed Christians. They are happy to accept salvation as a gift of God by faith. But like the Galatians, they insist on earning their way thereafter.

We must never forget that salvation is a gift of God which we receive by faith. Nothing can be earned. If we believe God, we will want to work to please Him, not to earn His favor.

Bible Reading: Romans 8:33-39

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will invite the Holy Spirit to protect me from becoming legalistic in my walk with Christ. Having received salvation by faith, I shall claim each day’s blessings by faith as I live the supernatural life.

Charles Spurgeon – The power of the Holy Spirit

CharlesSpurgeon

“The power of the Holy Ghost.” Romans 15:13

Suggested Further Reading: Acts 2:1-21

In a few more years—I know not when, I know not how—the Holy Spirit will be poured out in a far different style from the present. There are diversities of operations; and during the last few years it has been the case that the diversified operations have consisted in very little pouring out of the Spirit. Ministers have gone on in dull routine, continually preaching—preaching—preaching, and little good has been done. I do hope that perhaps a fresh era has dawned upon us, and that there is a better pouring out of the Spirit even now. For the hour is coming, and it may be even now is, when the Holy Spirit shall be poured out again in such a wonderful manner that many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased—the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth as the waters cover the surface of the great deep; when his kingdom shall come, and his will shall be done on earth even as it is in heaven. We are not going to be dragging on for ever like Pharaoh with the wheels off his chariot. My heart exults and my eyes flash with the thought that very likely I shall live to see the out-pouring of the Spirit; when “the sons and the daughters of God again shall prophecy, and the young men shall see visions, and the old men shall dream dreams.” Perhaps there shall be no miraculous gifts—for they will not be required; but yet there shall be such a miraculous amount of holiness, such an extraordinary fervour of prayer, such a real communion with God and so much vital religion, and such a spread of the doctrines of the cross, that everyone will see that verily the Spirit is poured out like water, and the rains are descending from above. For that let us pray: let us continually labour for it, and seek it of God.

For meditation: Spurgeon saw answers to his prayers in the 1859 revival. What are your visions for revival? Lots of excitement with extravagant claims that the Holy Spirit is involved? Or a genuine work of the Spirit which speaks for itself in real conversions, true fellowship and godly living (Acts 2:37-47)?

Sermon no. 30

17 June (1855)

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Faith Can Grow

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“His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thous has been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord” (Matthew 25:21, KJV).

At one stage of my spiritual growth, I was able to trust God for a soul – and He answered that prayer by leading me to one person whose heart He had prepared. Through the years God has increased my faith to trust Him for 6 souls then 20, 50, 100, 1000, 1 million, 100 million souls! Always He has honored my faith and obedience. Now I pray for a billion souls and by faith I believe that a billion will be harvested for the glory of God.

God has not changed; I have changed.

I believe that God deals with us in a similar way with regard to spiritual fruit. As we continue to trust God to develop in us all the various love traits, He honors that faithfulness because we are obeying Him by doing what He commands us to do.

Faithfulness is that trait of the Holy Spirit (faithfulness- love) that makes faith a living reality every day in the life of the believer who is living supernaturally. As we continue to walk in the power, love and wisdom of the Holy Spirit, we learn to develop greater confidence in the Lord Jesus Christ, in His Word, in our rights as children of God and in the ability of the indwelling Holy Spirit to empower and control our lives.

Faithfulness can be compared to an athlete’s conditioning. A marathon runner does not begin training by running great distances. Instead, he starts with short runs. Then, as his body becomes more conditioned, he increases the distance of his runs until he reaches the full distance of the marathon.

Faithfulness in the life of a Christian also develops over an extended period of time spent in “conditioning.” As we learn to trust God in small things, our faith grows and grows until we are able to trust Him in greater things.

God rewards us for our faithfulness, and each time we see Him respond favorably, He reaches out to us through His Holy Spirit and increases our faith to trust Him for even greater things.

Bible Reading: Matthew 25:14-20

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will seek to cultivate this fruit of the Spirit by being faithful to the calling God has entrusted to me.

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Bring Forth Much Fruit

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“Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit” (John 12:24, KJV).

Alex was distressed over his constant failure to live the Christian life victoriously.

“I am always failing,” he said. “I know what is right, but I am simply not able to keep the many commitments, resolutions and rededications that I make to the Lord almost daily. What is wrong with me? Why do I constantly fail? How can I push that magic button which will change my life and make me the kind of person God wants me to be, and the kind of person I want to be?”

I turned with him to review Romans 7 and 8, and discussed with him how all of us experience this conflict when we walk in our own strength. But the victory is ours as we walk in the Spirit. It is impossible to control ourselves and be controlled by the Holy Spirit at the same time.

Perhaps you have had that same problem and wondered why your life was not bringing forth much fruit. Christ cannot be in control if you are on the throne of your life. So you must abdicate – surrender the throne of your life to Christ. This involves faith.

As an expression of your will, in prayer, you surrender the throne of your life to Him, and by faith you draw upon His resources to live a supernatural life, holy and fruitful. The command of Ephesians 5:18 is given to all believers: We are to be filled, directed and empowered by the Holy Spirit, continually, moment by moment, every day. And the promise of 1 John 5:14, 15 is made to all believers: When we pray according to God’s will, He hears and answers us.

The person who walks by faith in the control of the Holy Spirit has a new Master. The Lord Jesus said, “He who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me” (Matthew 10:38, NAS). “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (John 12:24, NAS).

Bible Reading: John 12:25-31

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Because my deep desire is to “bear much fruit,” I will surrender afresh to God’s Holy Spirit so that He might endow me with supernatural life and enable me to bear much fruit for His glory.

 

Presidential Prayer Team; P.G. – Broken Beauty

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Japanese ceramists have a word for it – kintsukuroi. It is the art of repairing pottery with gold or silver resinous lacquer and, with it, the philosophy that the piece is more beautiful for having been broken. There is no hiding the prior damage, no shame in the brokenness.

Hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.

Romans 5:5

Isaiah 64:8 reminds you that God is your potter, and you are the clay and the work of His hands. But suppose you fall and you break? Can He not pour the golden resin of His Holy Spirit into your life and mend the shattered parts? The poignancy inherent in the mended pot is not lost in your new, restored, beautifully-enhanced life.

Every week the news tells of more broken people across America, including people within government. Make it a matter of consistent prayer that they would acknowledge the Potter’s claims on their lives and then find salvation and hope in Christ. Finally, pray they would allow the Holy Spirit to flood their damaged lives with the golden love of the Father and fellow Christians, turning them into persons of beauty – all to His purpose and glory!

Recommended Reading: Romans 5:1-11

Alistair Begg – God will Finish His Work

Alistair Begg

. . . made perfect. Hebrews 12:23

Remember that there are two kinds of perfection that the Christian needs—the perfection of justification in the person of Jesus, and the perfection of sanctification accomplished in him by the Holy Spirit. At present, corruption still remains even in the hearts of the regenerate—experience soon teaches us this. Within us there still are lusts and evil imaginations. But I rejoice to know that the day is coming when God shall finish the work that He has begun; and He will present my soul not only perfect in Christ, but perfect through the Spirit, without spot or blemish or any such thing.

Can it be true that this poor sinful heart of mine is to become holy even as God is holy? Can it be that this spirit, which often cries, “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?”1 shall get rid of sin and death—that I will have no evil sounds to vex my ears, and no unholy thoughts to disturb my peace? May this happy hour come quickly! When I cross the Jordan, the work of sanctification will be finished; but not until that moment shall I ever claim perfection in myself. Then my spirit will have its last baptism in the Holy Spirit’s fire.

I think I long to die to receive that last and final purification that will usher me into heaven. An angel will not be any purer than I shall be, for I shall be able to say, in a double sense, “I am clean,” through Jesus’ blood and through the Spirit’s work. We should extol the power of the Holy Spirit who makes us fit to stand before our Father in heaven! Yet we must not allow the hope of perfection there to make us content with imperfection now. If it does this, our hope cannot be genuine; for a good hope is a purifying thing, even now. Grace must be at work in us now or it will not be perfected in us then. Let us pray to “be filled with the Spirit,”2 that we may increasingly bring forth the fruits of righteousness.

1Romans 7:24 2Ephesians 5:18

Devotional material is taken from “Morning and Evening,” written by C.H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg.

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The family reading plan for May 15, 2014 * Isaiah 14 * 1 Peter 2

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Charles Spurgeon – The teaching of the Holy Spirit

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“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” John 14:26

Suggested Further Reading: Galatians 1:10-17

The Holy Spirit specially teaches to us Jesus Christ. It is the Holy Spirit who manifests the Saviour to us in the glory of his person; the complex character of his manhood and of his deity; it is he who tells us of the love of his heart, of the power of his arm, of the clearness of his eye, the preciousness of his blood, and of the prevalence of his plea. To know that Christ is my Redeemer, is to know more than Plato could have taught me. To know that I am a member of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones; that my name is on his breast, and engraved on the palms of his hands, is to know more than the Universities of Oxford or Cambridge could teach to all their scholars. Not at the feet of Gamaliel did Paul learn to say—“He loved me, and gave himself for me.” Not in the midst of the rabbis, or at the feet of the members of the Sanhedrin, did Paul learn to cry—“What things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.” “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” No, this must have been taught as he himself confesses—not of flesh and blood, but of the Holy Spirit. I need only hint that it is also the Spirit who teaches us our adoption. Indeed, all the privileges of the new covenant, beginning from regeneration, running through redemption, justification, pardon, sanctification, adoption, preservation, continual safety, even unto an abundant entrance into the kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ—all is the teaching of the Holy Spirit.

For meditation: The Holy Spirit exercises a perfect teaching ministry (1 John 2:27); how good a pupil (disciple) are you?

Sermon no. 315

14 May (Preached 13 May 1860)

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – He Prays for You

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“Likewise, the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit itself [Himself] maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” (Romans 8:26, KJV).

Prayer is our mighty force for supernatural living and the most personal, intimate approach to and relationship with God. Through the instrumentality of God’s Holy Spirit, we have access to the Almighty, leading the way to supernatural living.

In some theological circles there is much skepticism and hesitancy about the Holy Spirit. We must not forget, however, that Jesus Himself had much to say about the Holy Spirit.

In John’s gospel, for instance, Jesus explained to the disciples that it was necessary for Him to leave them in order that the Holy Spirit should come to them. “He shall guide you into all truth…He shall praise Me and bring Me great honor by showing you My glory” (John 16:13,14 LB).

Just as the Holy Spirit transformed the lives of the first- century disciples from spiritually impotent, frustrated, fruitless men into courageous witnesses for Christ, He wants to transform our lives in the same way. We need only to surrender ourselves and by faith we will be filled with His power.

It is the Holy Spirit who draws us to the Lord Jesus whom He came to glorify. He makes the difference between failure and success in the Christian life, between fruitlessness and fruitfulness in our witness. Through His filling of our lives with God’s love and forgiveness we are “born again” into the family of God.

And it is the Holy Spirit who not only enables us to pray but who also prays on our behalf, as today’s verse clearly points out.

Bible Reading: Romans 8:27-31

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:  Today I will visualize, with deep joy and gratitude, the Holy Spirit Himself praying for me, beseeching God on my behalf.