Statement of faith

2 Timothy 3:16-17 "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." (NIV)

"The Spirit of God uses the Word of God to make us like the Son of God. To become like Jesus, we must fill our lives with his Word.
- Warren


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Quiet-Time Reflections

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Week of: March 19, 2012                                      pmcrawford.blogspot.com
Sharing by: Pam Crawford


                                        1 Corinthians 2:4-5
“My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.”

SPIRIT OF TRUTH
When you are called to give witness, you are called to give a truthful account of something. Today I’m going to do just that. I’m going to take the example of the Apostle Paul and be transparent from the heart. I’m going to tell you about a time in my life when I could not understand the Bible and how God turned that around for me. Maybe some of you reading today can relate to being right there. It might be that you have a Bible, but you leave it on your bookshelf or in your nightstand drawer only to open it occasionally when you’re in dire confusion or you have some sort of need. Then, you put it back because it makes absolutely no sense to you at all!  Well, that is part of my testimony. I would open the Bible and wonder, “What in the world are these stories about, and how in the heck do they apply to my life? 

The primary reason we put something down is because we don’t understand it. When we think of someone not reading the Bible, we might be tempted to point the finger at unbelievers. Be careful my friends as many church goers are not reading the Bible on their own either.  For many years I believed it was not necessary to open the Bible because that is what I had been taught as a little girl. We had workbooks in religion classes and it was my understanding from the Sister's who taught us, that only the Priest had the ability to discern correctly what God was teaching. I believed them because no one else in my life ever told me anything different. So for me, reading the Bible never became a desire of mine. I was content to leave the Bible in my nightstand and wait for the teachings on Sunday mornings.    

When Sunday came I would go to church out of obedience to my parents, and as an adult I would go out of a sense of obligation. I would listen to the Priest recite the Scriptures and we would participate in the rituals and sacraments.  And, whether I understood what it was all about or not, I was good for the next week. I truly believed that they gave me enough knowledge to keep me from committing those really big sins that kept you from heaven. Fortunately, when God began to really stir something within me as an adult, He did so via the way of Bible study and the power of His Holy Spirit. With God’s help I discovered that some of what I had been taught didn't match up to the Scriptures at all. 

For some of us, we underestimate the power and the role of the Holy Spirit because we don’t truly understand it. Because of this we can fall prey to false teachings if we're not careful. Although there are many good resources and great Christian teachers to assist us, we should never overlook the Holy Spirit’s ability to help us discern the message straight from God’s Word. As we pray and ask God to help us, we can learn to properly study in context what God instructed from the beginning of time. It is a lot of hard work and it takes a lot of time to study it properly, but I am convinced that it will be worth it in the end. 

As you study the Bible be aware that there are many misconceptions concerning the identity of the Holy Spirit. I believe it is very important that we understand what the Bible says about the identity of the Holy Spirit in order to truly grasp the power available through Him. After doing an in-depth study of the Spirit on my own, I have concluded that The Holy Spirit is God, the third Person of the Trinity. In the Bible we're told that He comforts, guides, teaches, grieves, convicts, corrects, teaches and inhabits believers. If you don't agree or you’re interested in exploring the Biblical references which led me to this conclusion, I would invite you to check out the following resource found on:  http://www.gotquestions.org/who-Holy-Spirit.html  

I don't know about you, but I love to let the Scriptures speak for themselves. So if you don't mind let’s go directly to the Word of God to better understand the role of God’s Spirit.

John 16:13-15 “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not be presenting his own ideas; he will be telling you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. He will bring me glory by revealing to you whatever he receives from me. All that the Father has is mine; this is what I mean when I say that the Spirit will reveal to you whatever he receives from me.” (NLT)

After Jesus appeared to His disciples after the resurrection He spoke these words. Then he said, “When I was with you before, I told you everything written about me by Moses and the prophets and in the Psalms must all come true. Then he opened their minds to understand these many Scriptures. And he said, “Yes, it was written long ago that the Messiah must suffer and die and rise again from the dead on the third day. With my authority, take this message of repentance to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem: There is forgiveness of sins for all who turn to me. You are witnesses of all these things. “And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven.” – Luke 24:44-49

I have to stop here and catch my breath a moment ~ Did you get it? Did you hear it? JESUS opened the minds of the people to understand the Scriptures. They didn’t need anyone else, He did it! This truth leaves me with such a sense of awe. God did that very thing for me through His Spirit. When I began to ask God to help me discern what He was saying to me through His Word, He was more than willing to oblige me through directing me to Bible study. From there He began to show me my personal need for a spiritual rebirth (John 3). He opened my eyes to some wrong thinking and He revealed to me some habits/actions in my life that did not align to His Word. 

It is my prayer that you have concluded that the gift of God’s Spirit (Holy Spirit) is available to anyone who desires to be in relationship with Him. I hope that you are already enjoying this valuable gift. If not, what is holding you back? Why not ask Jesus to come into your heart and allow God to reveal himself through the power of His Spirit. God is waiting and He loves you!  The way I see it, it is far too dangerous to delay. Seek out for yourself a good Bible teaching/believing church and get connected with others to help you learn. I am available too if I can ever be of any help. Be blessed.

“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” – Matthew 24:36 (KJV)

Today’s prayer:
Father in Heaven, thank you for your gift of the Holy Spirit. It is my prayer that those reading today would take some time out of their busy schedules to truly discover who you are as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Give them wisdom and the ability to discern Your instructions for godly living on their own. Provide them with all they need to develop a relationship with You. May it be full of rich blessings and joy? If there is something in their life that needs to be adjusted, speak with gentleness into their hearts and lead them onto the path of Your righteousness and love.  In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.  

Additional Scripture for study:
Luke 1:15, Judges 3:10, Matthew 10:19-20, Luke 12:11-12, Mark 1:10-11

Article of interest: The Holy Spirit – An absolute essential.

About Gotquestions.org

Purpose: To point you to what the Bible says about your question.

“The Spirit’s goal is not to fill your mind with information, but to bring you to a deeper level in your relationship with the Lord. He wants you to understand the truth so you will fall in love with Jesus. Then you’ll long to spend time in the Word, thereby getting to know Him even better.”
                                                                                -  Dr. Charles Stanley  


About Gotquestions.org
Purpose: To point you to what the Bible says about your question.

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