What is Happenin’?”

Nathan, our only grandson, now seventeen, used this expression when he was younger, being the middle child of five granddaughters. 

He learned this from my reading to him The Man Who Couldn’t See from Ella K. Lindvall’s READ ALOUD BIBLE STORIES.

Children and adults are asking the same question today? Children are growing up in a culture unlike any other in our history. There is a lot of walking and talking, and our children are becoming more anxious, affected by all that is going on in the world.

No one is blind to the news of evil. It is very evident through mass communication for the world to hear and see. We are blind, however, to the causes. We cannot see behind the scenes. And the world is blind to the solution.

What we hear and see is a prelude to what hell will be like for those who are blind to the good news of Christ.

Imagine, if things continue as they are, where the chaos will take us. Without Christ there is no hope.

It is as if God has removed Himself from the world, to show us what it is like without His rule and presence with us. All we need for more evil and  destruction is for the world to be left alone to decide what is good in our own eyes.

Imagine the worst scene in history. Multiply this in our day with all that is happening, and you can imagine hell. Our only hope is Jesus Christ.

Dear Heavenly Father, show us your mercy. As we hear and see what this world is like, in disobedience to you, rend the heavens and come down, as the melting fire burneth, and make your name known to the adversaries. Enable us to see Jesus as our only hope. Open our eyes to see Him and to tell others about your marvelous grace through Him for our deliverance. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

How the Holy Spirit Works ~ Part Three

Do you question God’s power to work in your life? Do you doubt or wonder at His supernatural working what He has planned and desires in your life? We are continuing to learn how God, who is Spirit, works supernaturally, whether it is for our salvation, our sanctification or contentment. His kingdom begins here on earth, His Spirit working in ours. He made us spiritual creatures in a physical body with the intentions of living His own Spirit in us, and portraying His own image. Jesus, being the example and the means through which He would accomplish His plan, is through the power of His Spirit, revealing and fulfilling His plan in us.

We have seen in our previous posts, the first and Part Two, where He begins. In this post we will continue to see the flow of His Spirit bearing the fruit of His own work (John 7:37-39; Galatians 5:22-23).

The Holy Spirit works in the spirit of man through the soul and the body; in the body, through the mind, heart and will. Here we see how He works in our impressions, our affections, emotions and expressions for His desired results.

The Spirit and Impressions

The Spirit works with the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17).

“For freedom Christ, (through His Spirit and Word) has set us free” to know, fear, love, obey, and bear the fruit of His Spirit.” Galatians 5:1

Jesus promised His disciples to send the Spirit of truth, explained in the priestly prayer in John 17:17.

We cannot avoid the impressions of the Holy Spirit when the Father sends Him to witness of Christ in us. He brings us to read or hear His Word, and He brings conviction ~ “And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment:” John 16:8

“the spirit of glory and of God rests upon you:”
1 Peter 4:14
“lively stones, built up a spiritual house .”
1 Peter 2:5
“Sealed with the holy Spirit of promise.”
Ephesians 1:13

The Spirit and Affections

Do we sense the stirring of the Spirit within us? Where are our affections when the Holy Spirit does the will of the Father and the work of the Son within us? Where are our affections when we learn the truth of God’s love for us?

“Seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” Colossians 3:1-2
“And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” Galatians 5:24

The Holy Spirit impresses us with the Father and Son’s love for us, so that we respond in brokenness, humility, repentance and faith.

“God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance.” Romans 2:4

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” Romans 12:1-2

The Spirit and Emotions

“But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
Romans 8:11
“Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.”
Romans 12:11

“The meek and quiet spirit” 1 Peter 3:4

The Holy Spirit works through our emotions and zeal in the body of the church.

“Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.”
1 Corinthians 14:12

“in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:”
1 Peter 1:22

The Spirit and Expressions

From the Spirit’s working in our spirit, soul and body, through our mind, heart and will, He is able to make His impressions real, and to express what the Father and the Son do in and through us as His people. In the following references we see what He expects to do in and through us to the Father’s glory.

“How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
Hebrews 9:14

“For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Corinthians 6:20

“Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:3

“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit.” Ephesians 6:18

“in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.” Philippians 1:27

By the power of the Holy Spirit we are brought together as His people to live the abundant life here, bearing the fruit of the life of Christ, by the power of the Spirit, content with what He is doing in us until He brings us home to glory ~ ready to answer those who ask our reason for hope and contentment.

Dear Heavenly Father, as we close this segment of our series on Contentment, I praise you for leading us to know how you work through your Holy Spirit to prepare your people for our eternal glory with you. As we wait and grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, continue to bear the fruit of your Spirit within us. Conform us to the image of Christ by His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and temperance. Thank you for loving us and making us your children. Enable us to be content with your glorious blessings in and through us. ~ for your glory and our joy. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

“Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, by the power that works in us; to Him be glory in the church throughout all ages, world without end.” Ephesians 3:20-21
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Grazing in the Right Pasture

Like sheep, my thoughts often wander. When the Lord gets my attention, I realize that I have left the green pastures to dwell on what is going on around me. My thoughts take me wherever they want to go. They must be trained by the Shepherd, so that I stay close to Him.

The apostle Paul tells us, “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:4-5

When the things of the world come to mind I am easily led into the barren fields among the rocks and thistles. In the cares and distractions of this world, I forget that my thoughts should be on that which is true, honest, just and pure, that which is lovely, of good report, of virtue and worthy of praise.

When my thoughts dwell on what I hear of the world, I am negating the Word of God, nurturing the seeds of the tares and wasting time that I could be sharing the good news of God’s grace.

Our Lord teaches us to remember whose we are. Once we were sheep without a shepherd going our own way, led by the god of this world through a barren wilderness, but now are returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of our souls.

Jesus, our Lord, has prepared green pastures and still waters; He restores my soul and leads me in the paths of righteousness.

Yes, we pray for our enemies and those who despitefully use us, but we don’t take up their lament, captive to the lost region in this world. Instead, we bring our thoughts captive to Christ so that we may speak the truth of God’s Word in love and compassion to those who live in this wilderness. This is our weapon against the stronghold in which the enemy would keep us bound. We focus on and praise our Lord for His goodness and His wonderful works to the children of men (Psalm 107:8).

The less we speak of what is happening in the world, the opinions and arguments ~ its grazing habits ~ the more we experience the obedience and happiness in our own pastures. Through our witness of Him, He draws others to Himself.

Gracious Father, we praise you that you have bought us, sought us, caught us, and brought us to Christ and taught us how to live as your children, your sheep in your pastures. Let us proclaim the legacy of your kingdom, so that you may draw more of your sheep to Christ where you have every good thing prepared for us. In Jesus’ name we pray and praise you. Amen.

Related Article: A Sheep’s View

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How the Holy Spirit Works ~ Part Two

I should have known when I started How The Holy Spirit Works that it was not possible to condense it to one post. We continue with our diagram where the Holy Spirit centers His work.

The Spirit and the Heart

God’s Spirit in our spirit, soul, and body, works through the mind to “shine in our hearts the knowledge of the glory of God in the face (the person and humanity) of Jesus Christ.” This “treasure,” the apostle Paul states, is “in earthen vessels that the power may be of God and not of us.” 2 Corinthians 4:6-7

We are given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. 
2 Corinthians 1:22
The love of God is spread abroad in our hearts by the Spirit. 
Romans 5:5
Our hearts are circumcised in the Spirit.
Romans 2:29

God’s Spirit of love and circumcision of the heart is the fulfillment of the promise made in Ezekiel 36:26.

“And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

It is this “new heart and new spirit” through which His Spirit works to reveal, and fulfill all that He wants to do in us as His children. This is the “new birth”  so that by His Spirit working in our spirits, we are being conformed to the image of Christ, His Son.“ (Romans 8:29)

Whoever believes in me, as he Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” John 7:38-39

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ, the Son.

“God sent the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.”
Galatians 4:6
“that Christ may dwell in your hearts”
Ephesians 3:17
“the hidden man of the heart, the meek and quiet spirit”
1 Peter 3:4

The Holy Spirit reveals what only the new heart and spirit can understand.

“having the eyes of your hearts enlightened.”
Ephesians 1:17-23
“the heart of man has not conceived the things of God,
but they are revealed by His Spirit”

1 Corinthians 2:9-10

Paul prayed for the early church to “be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may comprehend and know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:16-19  It is in knowing the love of Christ in the heart, the fullness of God in the heart, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit through the heart that we come to the understanding of the Spirit in the will. 

The Spirit and The Will

If we were speaking of God alone or man alone, we would separate His will from man’s will, but as we come to this section, we cannot separate the two. As we started with God’s Spirit and our spirit united, and follow His work through the soul and body, in which the mind, heart and will are encompassed, we have the two wills, God’s and man’s, united by the power of His Spirit. From the beginning God created man from the dust of the earth and breathed His Spirit into him, providing a soul through which God would direct and care for His creation. His Holy Spirit, by the power of Christ’s resurrection has redeemed the soul and body from the law of sin and death and brought us by the law of the Spirit of life in Christ to know His will (Romans 8:2). His Spirit of love and grace draws us to Christ, so that we willingly come to Him and desire His will, not our own (John 6:44-45). Other references include Mark 3:35; John 7:17; John 9:31; Romans 8:27

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12-13

“So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.”
Romans 9:16

Our ultimate reference is from Jesus’ words, “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” Luke 22:42

If we follow the path of the Holy Spirit, we see the power that works to bring all things together for us in Christ, so that the knowledge and His light in our hearts melts our hearts and our wills and they are melded into His.

“And the Spirit says , Come ~
whosoever will may come.”
Revelation 22:17

“Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness.”
Psalm 110:3

“We do hold and teach that though the will of man is not ignored, and men are not saved against their wills, that the work of the Spirit, which is the effect of the will of God, is to change the human will, and so make men willing in the day of God’s power, working in them to will to do his own good pleasure. The Spirit makes a revelation of truth to the soul, whereby it sees things in a different light from what it ever did before, and then the will cheerfully bows that neck which once was stiff as iron, and wears the yoke which it once despised, and wears it gladly, cheerfully, and joyfully. Yet, note that the will is not gone; the will is treated as it should be treated; man is not acted on as a machine, he is not polished like a piece of marble; he is not planed and smoothed like a plank of wood; but his mind is acted on by the Spirit of God, in a manner quite consistent with mental laws. Man is thus made a new creature in Christ Jesus, by the will of God, and his own will is blessedly and sweetly made to yield.” Charles Spurgeon

Dear Father, as the knowledge of your Spirit’s working is too much to include in even two posts, we will stop here and finish the last part next week. You have so blessed us to take us though this path of your Holy Spirit’s working in us as your children. Thank you for our creation and redemption that is secured by the power of your Holy Spirit as you are preparing us for eternity with you. Continue to work your will in and through us to do your will, for your glory and our joy. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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How the Holy Spirit Works

Continuing from our last post The Spirit of Contentment, and using the following diagram, we will explain how the Holy Spirit works in man to produce the fruit of the Spirit. Scripture explains all the Holy Spirit does, so to fully understand how our contentment depends solely on the working of the supernatural power of God’s Spirit, we will need to spend time in these passages. I love the word “passages” as it pertains to the Scriptures of God’s Holy Word, Through this wilderness on our way to eternity with our Lord, we are spending time in the passages that He has given us, so that we know how to get through with the contentment that He has planned and works in us.
While in one sitting you may not get what we have included here. Please, save this segment and refer to it often, as these passages continually speak to us and direct us. We will only get to mid-point in this post. We will continue in our next post to how the Spirit works through the heart to our expressions.holy-spirit

God’s Spirit With Our Spirit

We are born of the Spirit of God
by His will and Word .
(John 1:12-13; John 3:3-8; 1 Peter 1:2-3, 23)
The Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.
(Romans 8:9-11; 14-17; 23-24)
The second Adam (Christ) is a quickening Spirit.
(1 Corinthians 15:45)

Spirt, Soul and Body

Sanctified wholly, spirit, soul and body; preserved until the coming of Christ.
(1 Thessalonians 5:23)
The Word of God, piercing to the division of soul and spirit discerning the intentions of the heart.
(Hebrews 4:12).
A steadfast anchor of the soul (Hebrews 6:19)
The salvation of your souls (1 Peter 1:9).
The body and spirit; faith and works
(James 2:26)

Soul and Body

Now returned to Shepherd and Bishop of our souls (1 Peter 2:25).
The body and soul (Matthew 10:28).
The body, more than clothing (Luke 12:23).
The body and its passions (Romans 6:12).
The Spirit, the body, and life  (Romans 8:12-13).
The body for the Lord, and the Lord for the body (1 Corinthians 6:13).
Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit
(1 Corinthians 6:19).
A natural body, and a spiritual body
(1 Corinthians 15:44).

“Who will transform our lowly body
to be like his glorious body, 

by the power that enables him
even to subject all things to himself.”

Philippians 3;21

Mind
 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear;
but of power, and of love,
and of a sound mind.”
2 Timothy 1:7

 “Love the Lord God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength”
Luke 10:27
“received the word with all readiness of mind.”
Acts 17:11
“serving the Lord with humility of mind
Acts 20:19
mind the things of the Spirit” Romans 8:5
“to be spiritually minded is life and peace”
Romans 8:6
“transformed by the renewing of the mind
Romans 12:2
mind not high things” Romans 12:16
“we have the mind of Christ” 1 Corinthians 2:16
“a willing mind” 2 Corinthians 18:12
“renewed in the spirit of your mind
Ephesians 4:12
“keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus”
Philippians 4:7
 “humbleness of mind” Colossians 3:12
“I will my put laws into their minds
and write them in their hearts
Hebrews 8:10
“Gird up the loins of your mind” 1 Peter 1:13
“pure minds” 2 Peter 3:1phil-2-5

Dear Father, it is difficult to stop at this point. It seems we are just getting started, knowing we can never cover all that you are opening to us. I pray that those who read will by your Spirit be given wisdom and understanding into how you work in us as your children. Thank you for trusting me with your Word. By the power of your Spirit, please enable me to carry this over to our next post as we come to the center ~ the heart of the matter ~ how your Spirit works in and through our hearts to bring forth the fruit of your love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, temperance; even your holiness, righteousness, truth, grace, humility, godliness, your fulness, the fulness of your Spirit, and the fulness of Christ, who in us is the hope of glory. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

“Seeing ye have purified your souls
in obeying the truth
through the Spirit
unto unfeigned love of the brethren,

see that ye love one another
with a pure heart fervently:”
1 Peter 1:22

How the Holy Spirit Works ~ Part Two

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The Spirit of Contentment

As we begin this chapter we want to remember the three main things that pertain to contentment.

1.  Divine Contentment is supernatural, possible only for God’s people.
2. It is the result of a relationship between God and His children.
3. He teaches us how He works contentment in us.

From the first point, we consider contentment to be of a different realm than the natural.
It is a divine working of God’s own kingdom here on earth as He is preparing us for eternity with Him.
It is established by the will of the Father for His children through the person and work of His Son, Jesus Christ.
It is a relationship brought about by the revelation and fulfillment of the power of His Holy Spirit.
We have looked at Contentment with God Our Father, Contentment in Jesus Christ, The Reason and Season for Contentment, and The Center of Contentment, all relating to the expectation and anticipation of contentment in this life.
Again, all is based, not on our own working, but on the promises of God’s Word as revealed by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:19-21).

The Power of the Holy Spirit

We look now at the power of the Holy Spirit that makes what the Father and the Son willed and accomplished for us a reality.

How did we come to hear and to know God? How did we first believe?
How do we continue to believe when others scoff and ridicule the truths of God’s Word and His kingdom?
How can we be content in this life without all that the world offers?
How do we continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ, seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness, while others seek happiness and contentment in material possessions or human relationships?

6639130a860b96331bde612f927e440dA Mind-set of the New Birth

This contentment is a heavenly mind-set of those who have been born of the Spirit (John 3:3-8).

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:1-2

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ; His life by the power of His Spirit in us.

“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him”—
these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit.
For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. (See 2 Corinthians 6-16)

From the beginning of time, the Holy Spirit has been working to bring light into our darkness, to reveal the will and the work of the Father in His children.

This Spirit of contentment is the same as the power that raised Jesus from the dead; the same power that “made alive in Christ” those who were dead in trespasses and sin (Ephesians 2:1-5).
Paul prayed for the early Christians to know of their inheritance in Christ; and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places,”  Ephesians 1:19-20

 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,” Ephesians 3:16

The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit’s Working

In many of Paul’s letters He makes reference to the three persons of the Trinity.

” being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.  He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:11-14

The Things of the Spirit

“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.” Romans 8:5-6

If you are in Christ and Christ in you, you have been bought with the blood of Christ. Your body is the temple of His Holy spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

“And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” Galatians 5:24

Contentment is for those who are led by the Spirit (Galatians 5:18); for those who walk by the Spirit (Galatians 5:16) and for those who live by the Spirit (Galatians 5:25). Who is not content who bears the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)?

Dear Gracious and Holy Father, who has created us and redeemed us by revealing the good news of Christ and bringing us to Him according to your will, we thank you and praise you for your mercy, and for your grace. Your work of love and compassion has restored us to a right relationship with you, and made possible the freedom in Christ that brings contentment. Continue to teach us from your Word, and by your Holy Spirit write your promises on our hearts and minds. Enable us to crucify the desires and passions of the flesh that we may bear the fruit of the Spirit of Christ. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

There were too many references of the Holy Spirit for us to include in this post. What is your favorite that we did not use?

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GOD Is Our Goal ~ GOD’S Plan for His People

(Fourth in the series Little Books About the Magnitude of God)
Our new book is available from Amazon.

How do you wrap up fourteen summers of study with your grandchildren? The diagram we used to summarize our years together is still on the blackboards (two stacked on the back of the door leading to our prayer room) from five years ago. This book, with the diagram, is the conclusion we came to ~ GOD at the top, our Purpose at the bottom, and His PLAN through JESUS between Him and us, doing His work to keep us and bring us to Himself.

“How many goals do we set in a lifetime? How many do we actually reach? The Christian worldview is one that sees goals based on what has been accomplished for us by our Creator and Redeemer. God has a purpose for His creation. He has a plan. He has set the goal, and by His plan in Christ, brings us to Himself. As we live in anticipation of reaching this goal, it affects all that we think, say and do, making our pilgrimage here a joy and a glory to Him.”
eBook $1.99  Paperback $5.59.
Profits designated for missions and charity.

Dear Father, I pray for your grace to lead those who will read this book to see, to know, and to live in assurance of reaching the goal that you have set for us as your people. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.