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The Essential Holy Spirit

 We often try to do the work of God in the energy of our own strength, mind, heart, even soul.  Yet, that is sure to leave us tired and frustrated.  It is not our own flesh that gives us the grace to do what God wants us to do.  I've learned over time that all the learning, practicing, and doing fall short when the Spirit of God is not driving me onward.  Think about this in this essay on: The Role of the Holy Spirit Do not grieve the Holy Spirit.   Ephesians 4:30 All that the believer has must come from Christ, but it comes solely through the channel of the Spirit of grace. Just as all blessings flow to you through the Holy Spirit, so also no good thing can come out of you in holy thought, devout worship, or gracious act apart from the sanctifying operation of the same Spirit. Even if the good seed is sown in you, it still lies dormant until He works in you to will and to do of His own good pleasure. Do you desire to speak for Jesus--how can you unless the Holy Spirit touc
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Duty or Delight

  Just 10 days remain in Lent, and I am thinking about Jesus’ willingness to come for us. The Psalmist say in Psalm 40:   Then I said, “Here I am, I have come—it is written about me in the scroll. I desire to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart.” The writer of the book of Hebrews reminds us that Jesus came to change our lives from the slavery and penalty of our Sin, to one of love and faithfulness.   Today my prayers are going out to Tim and Kathy Keller.  Tim has been a faithful servant of Christ for many years and now he battles late-stage cancer. He reminded me this morning that David wrote this Psalm expressing his changed life where he no longer did things from duty, but for the pleasure of Joy to serve his Lord and Savior.   That’s how I want to live each day - grateful and joyfully giving thanks for all God has done and therefore acting from love, not duty.  The Puritan, John Bunyan (Pilgrim’s Progress) said this way: “Our pleasure and our duty,  though opposite be

My Hope, My Friends, This Life

  The Second Sunday in Lent and as you probably know Sundays are days of celebrating the Resurrection of Christ. During the forty days of Lent, Sundays are excluded from those days. We gather - whether in person or online - to worship our Savior - our resurrected Jesus Christ. This morning I'm thinking - afresh - of dear friends who have gone home to be with Lord. I have three close friends just in the last eighteen months. Wayne Pferdehirt was a man who knew how to be loving and kind while enjoying the company of whoever he was in. He took his relationships seriously, and yet kept everyone at ease around him. I miss him much. Milo Bishop's friendship goes all the way back to the early '70's in Chattanooga, Tennessee. A Seminary friend, we moved to different parts of the country. Thought about starting a church together, but lived at a distance. Still, over the years whenever we got together - whether in person or by phone - we picked up our conversations as i

Lenten Sacred Spaces

  'For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of God, as the waters cover the sea. ' - Habakkuk 2:14 During Lent we have the opportunity to spend time in reflection and the wonder of the Cross. We realize that Jesus came to "live among us" - literally "tabernacle" - with us. God made his presence known to us in that "when you have seen me (Jesus), you have seen the Father". John 14:7   If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” Is it possible to have that kind of experience where we spend time with God - in his presence - prayerfully and worshipfully entering into a quiet sacred space. I believe it is. The Celtic Monastics were a group of Christians who brought Christ to most of what we know as the United Kingdom - beginning in Ireland, then to Scotland, England, Wales, and even into Europe - these Christians practiced a spiritual work and worship rhythm for l

How Do We Pray

 With Lent just two days away, I want to preface today with a suggestion that you join me for the 40 days of Lent beginning Wednesday.  If you would like to you can buy my book on Amazon, "A Lenten Sojourn", which will aid in following along with a rhythm for thinking, musing, praying our way through the Lenten Season.  The link will be at the bottom.  The purpose of  Lent is to help us to pause and focus on the purpose of God in sending His Son, our Savior, Jesus, to this world that eventually he might die upon the cross.  Last week I posted about Prayer and God's hearing.  Today, a short reminder of praying Jesus' prayer for our own sake: How Do We Pray? Pray then like this: 'our Father in heaven. . .' Matthew 6:9 This prayer begins where all true prayer must start, with the spirit of  adoption : "Our Father." There is no acceptable prayer until we can say, "I will arise and go to my Father." This childlike spirit soon perceives the

He Remembers Our Prayers

Spurgeon's ability to look at a text and "see" behind the context to the special grace contained in God's word has always amazed me.  He sees what others pass over and shares what others do not comprehend.  This one is about "prayers". Acts 9:10-11  Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.”  And the Lord said to him, “Rise and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying, Prayers are instantly noticed in heaven. The moment Saul began to pray, the Lord heard him. Here is comfort for the distressed but praying soul. When our hearts are broken and we bow in prayer, we are often only able to employ the language of sighs and tears; still our groaning has made all the harps of heaven thrill with music. That tear has been caught by God and treasured in the receptacle of heaven. "Put my tea

Till now the Lord has helped us.

 From the Master Teacher C. H. Spurgeon Till now the Lord has helped us.  1 Samuel 7:12 The phrase "till now" is like a hand pointing in the direction of the past. Twenty years or seventy, and still "till now the LORD has helped us." Through poverty, through wealth, through sickness, through health, at home, abroad, on the land, on the sea, in honor, in dishonor, in perplexity, in joy, in trial, in triumph, in prayer, in temptation, "till now the LORD has helped us." We delight to look down a long avenue of trees. It is delightful to gaze from end to end of the long vista, a sort of verdant temple, with its branching pillars and its arches of leaves. In the same way look down the long aisles of your years at the green branches of mercy overhead and the strong pillars of loving-kindness and faithfulness that support your joys. Are there no birds singing in those branches? Surely there must be many, and they all sing of mercy received "till now.