Saved, now what?

how to receive the holy spirit - good news unlimited on Image Of The Holy Spirit“But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative – that is, the Holy Spirit – he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.”

John 14:26

Jesus spent a lot of time with his disciples. This time was not always spent in walking, fishing, and telling jokes, although I’m sure they did their share of that. Most of Jesus’ time was spent in teaching lessons that the disciples would need after he left them. Lessons on how to talk with authority when you don’t agree with them, lessons on how to show love to the unlovely, and lessons on repentance when you fall short of God’s expectations.

I have a heavy burden for those who accept Christ and are not taught the “what’s next” of a Christian life. My burden was given to me from God and through that burden I wrote “From Self-esteem to God-esteem.” These words on paper are a guideline to listening to the Holy Spirit in the “what’s next.”

When we accept Christ as our Savior and acknowledge that he has forgiven, and always will, our sins, we are free. We are free to be whoever we want to be. But as we are told in Psalm 37:4 that if you, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart,” our desires will be the same as God’s. Dwelling in the relationship with God is where the Holy Spirit comes in, and also where we fall short in mentoring new Christians in their walk.

Our strength to walk with God comes from the strength of God in us. Jesus did not leave his disciples, or us, to their own devices. He left them with an indwelling Holy Spirit that provides a way to continue walking with Christ. The Holy Spirit teaches us as Christ taught his followers: talking, loving, and repenting. He gives us wisdom and understanding for living in a sin-full world. He  teaches us meaning when we read the Scriptures, and he reveals sin through discernment.

We should never neglect the Holy Spirit power in us. I spent many confusing years trying to do it on my own, because I was saved through a denomination that made me feel like the Holy Ghost was a dirty word. I didn’t realize that I had all that I needed right with me from the moment I accepted Christ to live a Christian life. I worked, I studied, and I did. And I searched for something I thought was missing.

What a revival we could have if we would only take the time to mentor Christians and show them through God’s Word the power against the world that we have inside of us. My pastor has been giving out the “From Self – esteem to God – esteem” book to new converts at the time of their salvation. But we need more. That book is only a stepping stone to helping each other draw on the wisdom, strength, and power of the Holy Spirit living inside each of us.

Who can you mentor today?

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God’s Word is Unchangeable

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“I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.”              Revelation 22:18-19

The Word of God is true, unchangeable, and written for all people yesterday, today, and forever. But the Bible, the pages themselves, is merely a guideline to what God wants us to understand as we read it. We get wisdom and understanding from the Words that we read by allowing the Holy Spirit inside of us to interpret each word.

My husband and I watched a TV show the other night that centered around a cult leader who had taught his congregation that homosexuality was the ultimate sin and that it was mandatory for a proclaimed lesbian to be cleansed from this sin by having a man  from the congregation to rape her. Needless to say, this inspired  quite a conversation between my hubby and me as to  how someone could go so far in misinterpreting God’s Word. First of all, no sin is greater than another except in people’s eyes. Second, sin can only be cleansed through confession to Jesus Christ, one – to – One, and repentance (turning away from the sin through the power of the Holy Spirit living inside us).

Now, maybe you are thinking that I’m being simplistic, but as far as I, myself, am concerned, if how I live doesn’t align with listening to the Holy Spirit inside me as I read God’s Word, then something in my life is wrong. I try to live by my birth verse Galatians 5:25  “If we live by the Spirit, then we must walk by the Spirit.” I can’t separate my Christianity from the way I live; they are one and the same.

The above is a pretty strong example of misinterpretation of the Scriptures, but it is no less wrong than some of the denominational examples we see on a daily basis. Man cannot make rules that either adds to or takes away from, God’s complete Word. As a Christian community we are called to pray for the Holy Spirit to interpret as we read and  prepare to apply God’s Word.  

After Jesus’ resurrection, he appeared to the disciples, “On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”                                                                                         John 20:19-22

I was raised in what I call a “Bapti-costal” family. There were several preachers both representing the Baptist and the Pentecostal beliefs. I can remember the family gatherings after church on Sundays and hearing the banter of  beliefs. “You know you’re going to hell showing up in church with that red lipstick on!” “You know nothing I do can keep me from Heaven’s gate when I die!” “A guitar in church??? God forbid!”  “Women can’t pray out loud, only men.” And on and on. Differences in beliefs. Differences in interpretations of God’s Word. Differences in allowing us to serve God in a way that we want to serve God and making everyone else feel guilty if they don’t serve as we do. That is not God’s plan. God’s plan is that we receive the Holy Spirit at our conversion, our believing in God’s plan for salvation through Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection.

Okay, I’m going to stop for a second and address “receive the Holy Spirit.” We are given access to the Holy Spirit the moment we accept Christ as our Savior. Nothing needs to be done to prove that we have the Holy Spirit. BUT!

I get excited when I receive those boxes from Amazon that are delivered to my front porch. But the real gift is still in the box. I have that gift in my possession, but it’s not doing what it was intended to do until I open the box and take the product out. Are you following me? We have a gift inside of us that opens the door to understanding God’s written Word. We will never misinterpret the meaning of the passage we read today if we first pray and invite the Holy Spirit to show us what it means. And that meaning will be different not just from person to person, but for one person from day to day. And that is why we know that our Bibles are living, breathing, Words from God for us throughout eternity. They will never grow old or unnecessary to read if we allow the Holy Spirit to speak to us each time we open our Bibles.

 

The example I opened with is a television script. But think about all of the cults that have led people down the path to destruction. All because one person was using God’s Word as a book rather than the inspired, Holy Spirit interpreted, living, breathing, guideline for our lives.

Today, sit down, open your Bible and breathe in the Holy Spirit. Open that gift and use it for God’s glory.

From Self – esteem to God – esteem: Introduction

Introduction – From Self esteem to God esteem

“From Self – esteem to God – esteem” is a book that was written to help new Christians find their way from salvation to righteousness. It is also for more mature Christians who are looking for a deeper relationship with Christ.

Join with me as as I read each chapter; don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel so that you don’t miss a segment!

And if you would like to have your own copy, go to the Christian Writer page and order your own copy to write in as God reveals His plan to you.

Thirty Days of Prayer for @realDonaldTrump – Day 23: Open eyes

“Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”

Matthew 15:14

Father God, today I pray that our President – elect Donald Trump have your 20 / 20 vision for America. I pray that his spiritual eyes would be opened to the realities of the battle ahead and that he not be blinded by the noise of the people.

Give sight to each of our leaders: Vice President – elect Mike Pence, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and all appointed cabinet and support that they will see what they need to see in order to make wise decisions for their area of concern.

Deliver our leaders from being the blind leading the blind; don’t let them follow the loudest in order to bring quiet, but let them discern the real issues and see what is at the root. Give them insight into how to walk without falling over their feelings and to deal with each concern with open eyes and open hearts. Speak to them, Holy Spirit, and walk them through the path the God has prepared.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen

We are the church

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“Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.”

Acts 20:28

Church. Simple word, but so much meaning. We enter the door to where we worship and we say we are going to church. We sing special music and we say we are doing it for the church. We serve in fellowship and we do it for the church. But we are forgetting one vital aspect, we ARE the church.

Christ didn’t die for a building, He died for us. His Holy Spirit lives in us to make us overseers of each other, not of the building. He obtained each of us by His Blood to be His living church. We are obligated to pay careful attention to ourselves and to each other in how we choose to live as the church.

So, when we complain about how things are going, we have to remember that we are the church and we alone have the power to pray about and influence where we choose to serve. It is not always going to go as our human minds want it to go, but what does our spirit tell us? We will know if God is moving us to another place of worship, but we will never leave the church because it is inside each of us.

Pray about your part in unifying the body of Christ, what is God asking you to do today? What is He asking you to pray about? Where is He asking you to serve other parts of the church body? Listen and obey. Don’t let Satan take that blessing away from you.

Thirty Days of Prayer for @realDonaldTrump – Day 20: Pray for Persecutors

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“But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…”

Matthew 5:44

Oh, God, I am so troubled that there are still demeaning and prideful remarks being made even now after the victory. Help us, Lord, to move on with rebuilding America. Father, I pray for forgiveness in President – elect Donald Trump’s heart and that he will move on from the impassioned debates and stone throwing campaigns. It’s time to leave the judgment to You and You alone. Help him to see, Lord, that he does not have to bring others down to build himself up. We voted for Donald Trump. We put our trust in him and he should stand strong and go forward in that accomplishment.

I ask You, Father God, to give Mr. Trump the heart of your Son, Jesus Christ. Help him to see that prayer is how to reach the unreachable and the Holy Spirit will guide him to pray.

Lord, God, You are the answer, please, Lord, don’t let it go to pride and self – esteem. Show Donald J. Trump how to move from self – esteem to God – esteem so that he will continue to follow your will.

In Jesus’ Name I pray, 

Amen

Thirty Days of Prayer for My Pastor – Day 16

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 “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”

John 14:21

Father God, I bring my pastor to your throne of grace and lay him at your feet. I ask, Lord, that he would always be an obedient servant to your Son, Jesus Christ. I also ask the he would lead us, his Christian family, to this same obedience to the Words of God.

I pray for a spirit of obedience to Christ to permeate my pastor and our congregation. That the anointing of the Holy Spirit would fill our clergy: music, Sunday school, outreach, children and youth ministers as well. I pray that the Holy Spirit anointing would fill the pews at our church and that we would be obedient to the calling of Christ.

I pray, Lord, that my pastor would enjoy complete fellowship with Christ Jesus, loved by His heavenly Father.

In Jesus’ Name

Amen