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Showing posts from August, 2021

Verse 2

 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:18‭-‬20 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/eph.5.18-20.NIV

Verse 1

 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:10 NIV https://1peter.bible/1-peter-4-10

When The Holy Spirit Moves (Day 5) Last Day

  Gifts of Grace As children of God, every one of us is born again through the Holy Spirit and become part of the body of Christ. Every one of us is a member of the broader Church and has a specific function and task to perform. Accordingly, not all Spirit-filled Christians can have the same function in life. Every Christian is a blessing to others in a unique way and the Holy Spirit enables us to spread the Kingdom in different ways. God does this by distributing different gifts that He knows will be the best for another’s spiritual well-being and growth. We also realize that the gifts of the Spirit are gifts of grace. This means that a spiritual gift is not something that one can earn or attain. It remains a gift of God for someone else’s spiritual well-being and growth. We receive the gifts as gifts from God, which we are not to keep to ourselves but are to pass on to others who need them. Even the gift of speaking in tongues is ultimately intended not for ourselves but for spiritua

Verse 2

 7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 1 Corinthians 12:7 NIV https://1corinthians.bible/1-corinthians-12-7

Verse 1

 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. Romans 12:4‭-‬8 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/rom.12.4-8.NIV

When The Holy Spirit Moves (Day 4)

  The Fruit and Gifts of the Spirit In Romans 12:6–8, the following spiritual gifts are named:  • the gift of serving; • the gift of teaching; • the gift of encouraging people; • the gift of contributing to the needs of others; • the gift of leadership; and • the gift of showing mercy. No Christian may have all the spiritual gifts to the same extent in their life. The Bible specifically teaches that the Spirit distributes these gifts as He wishes, because He knows what is necessary in every situation. Every Christian must be open to the concept of God making the spiritual gifts function in and through them. Believers have different spiritual gifts, but the fruit of the Spirit should be fully present in each and every believer. Different people receive different gifts because God has a unique plan and purpose for every person, and He knows what gifts we need in order to be of service in His kingdom. By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is the same in all people. All Christians must expr

Verse

 11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up Ephesians 4:11‭-‬12 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/eph.4.11-12.NIV

When The Holy Spirit Moves (Day 3)

  What Are the Spiritual Gifts? The Holy Spirit’s spiritual gifts are spiritual workings, gifts and abilities that God grants to every believer through grace and love in order to build up the Church, bring people closer to God and extend His kingdom.  The spiritual gifts are not your natural talents, but a small portion of God’s blessing that He wishes to give to someone through you. A Spirit-filled Christian is someone who has received gifts from the Holy Spirit for the purpose of passing this on to other people. You do not have this as a personal gift inside you; it is something that is received from God and that will spiritually enrich and build up the person to whom you pass it on. In other words, the Holy Spirit gives those special abilities to believers for the purpose of building up and extending the kingdom of God. Ultimately, the purpose of the spiritual gifts is to enable God’s will to be done on earth and to glorify His Name. The purpose of the gift is therefore not simply s

Verse 2

 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. John 16:13 NIV https://john.bible/john-16-13

Verse 1

 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 1 Corinthians 12:13 NIV https://1corinthians.bible/1-corinthians-12-13

When The Holy Spirit Moves (Day 2)

  Knowing the Holy Spirit The Holy Spirit also confirms the unity that exists between believers, because if the same Spirit of God is in every believer, then He binds us with each other in one physical body. Despite the many examples in the Gospels, the human mind is too restricted to intellectually understand God in His Holy Trinity. In addition, no person can think in a divine way, because the human mind is polluted with sin and was damaged and weakened by the Fall. There is no point in even trying to know and explain God with our human intellect. No person will ever be able to grasp Him intellectually. All that we can do is to love our great God: the Eternal, the Almighty, the Omnipresent. As His children, we are simply reminded to obey, serve, praise and glorify God. I love the Father because in His faithful love for me, He drew me to Him, made me His and cares for me. I love Jesus because He gave His life for me on the cross of Calvary and removed my sin. The question is whether I

Verse

 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Matthew 28:19 NIV https://matthew.bible/matthew-28-19

When The Holy Spirit Moves (Day 1)

  The Person of the Holy Spirit To some people, the Holy Spirit is simply one of God’s powers. In some or other vague way, this power has an effect on people’s lives and can be taken out like a “spare wheel” and used when the need arises. To others, the Holy Spirit proceeds from God, but nothing more than that. Many Christians declare with great certainty that in their spiritual life they have knowledge of the Father and the Son. They testify to a relationship with the Father and the Son. They know the Father and experience His faithful care, and His love is a reality to them. They further confirm that they know Jesus Christ as their Redeemer and Savior and know that He died on the cross for their sins and guilt. In effect, they do not believe in a Holy Trinity, but in a “Duality”. To them, the Holy Spirit is simply a biblical concept. They don’t deny the existence of the Holy Spirit, but they are unable to present any evidence of a specific relationship with or experience of Him. In o

Verse

 From "-" is Written in Red  9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV https://2corinthians.bible/2-corinthians-12-9

Rescued to Rescue (Day 7) Last Day

  Willing Rescuers   When I was growing up, my dad worked at a university. One summer he led a group of students to Brazil and my family was able to join him. While there we stumbled across this little boy who was about 5 years old. He had no shoes, no shirt – he was just wearing a torn piece of underwear.  He was a street child. At that time in Brazil, there were thousands of street children, but God had put this one little boy in my path — one little boy named Nildo. I may not have been able to help all the street children in Brazil, but I could make a difference for him.  Since then, my work has taken me around the world, and I have been confronted with great human need everywhere I go. People living in extreme poverty; women abused, sold, and treated as property; children sick from the effects of dirty water, and Christians persecuted for their faith. And it is not just halfway around the world. There are desperate people right across the street. Friends battling cancer, marriages

Verse

 16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 1 John 3:16‭-‬17 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/1jn.3.16-17.NIV

Rescued to Rescue (Day 6)

  Don’t forget who you are The story goes that there was once a little lifesaving station on a dangerous seacoast. It was just a small building and they only had one boat, but they had dedicated members who kept constant watch over the waters. They saved many lives — so many in fact that this little station began to draw attention. People began to take notice. And before long their membership grew. The new members wanted to do some improvements to the little operation, and they replaced the cots with beds, purchased new furniture, and expanded the building. The facility was now so nice that the members wanted to spend time there. And it started to become a social club. And instead of the members doing the lifesaving work themselves, they hired it out. Around that time there was a huge shipwreck off the coast with many people aboard. The hired rescue crews started bringing the desperate passengers into the station. They were hurt, sick, hungry, dirty, and soaking wet. The influx of peop

Verse

 17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. Psalms 34:17 NIV https://psalm.bible/psalm-34-17

Rescued to Rescue (Day 5)

  Charge the Dungeons I heard a story once about a place called Cape Coast Castle. Located in central Ghana, this old castle was originally used for trading, and then as a fort — but during the height of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, it was used to house slaves while they awaited transport to the New World.  Dungeons were added beneath this building where up to 1,500 slaves could be kept at one time for as long as three months. Hundreds were crammed into tiny rooms … chained and forced to lie in their own urine and feces for months. Can you imagine the smells and the absolutely horrific conditions?  Today, Cape Coast Castle is a tourist attraction. And as one of the tour guides led a group through the dungeons, he told them something that I have not been able to forget. “Guess what is right above these dungeons?” he asked. “A chapel!”  Think about that. A chapel. A place of worship was right above those horrible dungeons. So, while hundreds were held captive, people in the chapel abo

Verse

 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36 NIV https://john.bible/john-8-36

Rescued to Rescue (Day 4)

  You are Free Years ago there was a commercial by the Royal Bank of Scotland showing people riding up a mountain in a gondola lift, when all of a sudden it stops — just swinging mid-air, high above the ground. Everyone begins to panic and scream. One guy takes charge and says, “It’s OK, guys, I’ve taken a course — positive thinking — a positive thought makes a positive impact.” They all start nervously chanting … “a positive thought, makes a positive impact — a positive thought, makes a positive impact.” Meanwhile, another passenger is quietly searching inside the gondola for a way to help and spies a green button. He pushes it, which starts the gondola back up again. The tagline of the commercial is, “There’s no substitute for action — make it happen.”  Sometimes Christians can act like the frightened people in the gondola. We get paralyzed by the fear of our circumstances. But we aren’t really stuck … there is a “button,” a simple solution to fix the crisis. Christ has made a way fo

Verse

 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:5 NIV https://john.bible/john-1-5

Rescued to Rescue (Day 3)

  Lost in Light Maybe you have heard of light pollution. It’s the artificial light that contaminates our night sky, limiting our view of the stars. That’s why the stars are clearer and brighter the farther away you go from all the artificial lights. Because of all the city lights, it’s hard to see clearly the beauty and vividness of the stars lighting up the sky. Typically, if you want to look through a telescope to see celestial objects in deep space, you have to go somewhere that’s pitch black. Only then can you see the night sky as it truly is — littered with stars and planets. I’ve never felt the presence of darkness more strongly than when I walked the streets of Thailand and saw firsthand the impact of the sex industry. I felt lost in darkness. In contrast, what I have realized is that here at home we live in a bright world — a blindingly, bright world. We are not lost in the darkness, we are lost in the light.  This artificial light can distract us from the true needs that exist

Verse

 1 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:1‭-‬2 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/eph.5.1-2.NIV

Rescued to Rescue (Day 2)

  Love Like That I was in a remote part of Rwanda visiting a community in extreme poverty. They had the highest concentration of HIV/AIDS in the nation — yet no medical resources. This was also a place where children were abandoned. Parents would leave the village to find work, never to return.  We had the privilege of handing out Bibles to people who had never owned one. They rushed to line up to receive their very own copy of God’s Word. The Scriptures were still so precious to them, in spite of their desperate conditions. It was hot, dusty, dirty and by the end of the day I was tired, hungry, and to be honest, emotionally spent. I had just cleaned off my hands and arms to hold me over until I could get a good shower, when one of our team members said the village pastor wanted me to come to his home and pray over him and his family. Now, I would like to say my immediate reaction was super spiritual. But it was not. I begrudgingly got back out of the car and started walking toward the

Verse

 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10 NIV https://ephesians.bible/ephesians-2-10

Rescued to Rescue (Day 1)

  We are Rescued to Rescue I heard a story on the news about a group of castaways whose boat capsized at sea and they washed up on shore of a deserted island. They spelled out the word “HELP” in big letters on the beach with leaves and branches. The sign led to their rescue when a pilot spotted it from the air. This story caught my attention right away and, in some way, seemed so unrealistic. It sounded more like an episode from “Gilligan’s Island” instead of real life. I wondered, with all of our progress and technology today, if people still cry out for help by spelling it out on the beach? Just like that pilot, we are all flying around in our planes, safe and already rescued. And if we are not careful, we will simply miss the signs. We fly from one destination to another, in our hurried lives, forgetting why we were rescued in the first place … forgetting that we are on a rescue mission every day … forgetting that we are rescued to rescue. When you view your life through the lens of

Verse 2

 1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1 NIV https://galatians.bible/galatians-5-1

Verse 1

 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Ephesians 6:10‭-‬13 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/eph.6.10-13.NIV

Day 10 (last day)

  Standing Firm In this world, you’ll find people who are currently enslaved in some way and those who’ve been set free. But we must always remember that freedom of any kind never comes without cost. Thousands of men and women throughout history have sacrificed their lives to guarantee freedom. And thousands more are willing to do the same in order to maintain this valuable commodity. As long as there are forces in this world bent on stealing freedom, there’s the necessity of having men and women who focus on its preservation. So then, in the process of enjoying freedom, there are those who are constantly having to guard against those who would take it away. The same principle holds true in the spiritual realm. Our independence from the domination of sin with all its trappings carried a high price tag. It cost God a great deal—His Son. Yet the battle for freedom did not end at Calvary. For it’s only as we discover the truth and appropriate it that the liberty made available at the cros

Verse

 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28‭-‬30 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/mat.11.28-30.NIV

Day 9

  The Yoke of Freedom Generally speaking, we don’t associate freedom with a yoke. The two concepts strike us as opposites. And yet the very One who said He came to set us free also invited us to share His yoke. Hmmm. To complicate matters even further, He promised  rest  for those who take Him up on His offer. Once again, we’re confronted with what seems to be a contradiction in terms. How can one possibly find rest by putting on a yoke? When Jesus spoke of a yoke, He was referring to a relationship—a relationship in which two would walk side by side in the same direction, covering the same ground, encountering the same obstacles, and traveling at the same speed. By inviting His audience to submit to His yoke, He was asking them to come alongside Him. In essence, He was offering three things. First, He was offering to help shoulder their burdens. Second, He was offering to guide them, for whenever two oxen were yoked together, one was always considered the lead animal. And third, Jesus

Verse 2

 46 “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? 47 As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. 48 They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. 49 But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.” Luke 6:46‭-‬49 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/luk.6.46-49.NIV

Verse 1

 24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Matthew 7:24‭-‬27 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/mat.7.24-27.NIV

Day 8

  Taking the Long Look   In an address to the 1984 United States Olympic Team, President Ronald Reagan made this comment: “You above all people know that it is not just the will to win that counts, but the will to prepare to win.” Wherever there’s the potential for great gain, there’s usually the necessity for equal or greater sacrifice. Those who’ve excelled in their professions understand the relationship between accomplishment and sacrifice. Many believers are unaware of the fact that this same principle applies in the spiritual realm as well. Jesus chose to communicate this important truth in a parable. Two men decided to build houses. One decided to take the easy way. He built his house on a river bank where the foundation would be easy to put in and materials were readily available. The other man chose the difficult task of hauling all of his building supplies to the top of a nearby mountain. Once there, it took him days just to put in a foundation. From the outset of the parable

Verse 3

 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 NIV https://romans.bible/romans-5-8

Verse 2

 1 “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. Matthew 6:1 NIV https://matthew.bible/matthew-6-1

Verse 1

 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8‭-‬9 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/eph.2.8-9.NIV

Day 7

  How Free Is Free? There’s all the difference in the world between working to gain someone’s acceptance and working because of someone’s acceptance. I meet people all the time who feel compelled to serve God in order to merit His love and acceptance. Often this is the result of a theological error they’ve been taught since childhood: “ You better be good or else ...”  On other occasions, it stems from growing up in a home where parental acceptance depended on their behavior:  “Be a good girl, and daddy will love you.”  This pattern of thinking can become so entrenched, adults will work themselves into the grave attempting to prove to their parents they’re not a failure. I’ve met men who were driven by a desire to gain their father’s approval long after their father had passed away. When this system of performance-based acceptance is transferred to our heavenly Father, the result is legalism. Legalism is an attitude. It’s a system of thinking in which an individual attempts to gain God

Verse

 1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, Romans 8:1 NIV https://romans.bible/romans-8-1

Day 6

  No Condemnation Do you believe God likes you? “Don’t you mean, ‘loves me’?” you ask. No, likes you. Do you believe God likes you? This is one of my favorite questions to ask. The reason is it cuts through to the core of how an individual really believes God feels about him or her. So, do you think God likes you? If He were to show up in bodily form, do you think He would seek you out? Would you be someone He’d enjoy being around? Isn’t it strange how much more comfortable we are with the concept of “love” than with the concept of “like” when it comes to God’s feelings toward us? Why do you think that’s true? Often, the reason lies in the fact that we’ve not come to grips with the real extent to which God has forgiven us. Consequently, we live with a subtle sense of condemnation. It’s as if there’s always a dark cloud separating us from God. We say we’re forgiven, but in our hearts, we’re never fully convinced God isn’t still a little angry with us. The truth is, every reason God had

Verse 2

 7 for he is the kind of person who is always thinking about the cost. “Eat and drink,” he says to you, but his heart is not with you. Proverbs 23:7 NIV https://proverbs.bible/proverbs-23-7

Verse 1

 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2 NIV https://romans.bible/romans-12-2

Day 5

  Transformed Most of us have had the frustrating experience of making a sincere commitment only to find that several days later we’ve abandoned it. I call it the “youth camp syndrome.” At many of the churches I pastored through the years, the youth attended camp just about every summer. As is the case with many camps, we always ended the week with a commitment service. Each year was the same. Everyone cried and promised God the moon—no more lying, cursing, cheating, smoking, drinking, and on and on it went. Unfortunately, most of those promises were broken before we ever made it back to the church parking lot the next afternoon. I believe most of the decisions made during those sessions were sincere. The problem was the follow through. While the youth were clear on the “oughts” and “ought nots,” it was the “how to’s” that remained difficult to implement. And the same is true for all of us—no matter what our age. Because of his background, the apostle Paul knew all too well the frustra

Verse 3

 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36 NIV https://john.bible/john-8-36

Verse 2

 18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18 NIV https://1corinthians.bible/1-corinthians-1-18

Verse 1

 7 because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. Romans 6:7 NIV https://romans.bible/romans-6-7

Day 4

  Dead Men Don’t Sin Freedom begins and ends at the cross of Christ. At Calvary, the penalty for our sin was dealt with once and for all. It was there that Christ was punished on our behalf so that we would be free of sin’s debt. But something else took place at the cross that equally affects our freedom. Not only was the penalty of sin dealt with that day, but the power of sin as well. Christ’s death and resurrection marked the end of sin’s power to control the believer. Just as sin could not control the Son of God, so it is powerless to control those who’ve been placed into Christ by faith. Unfortunately, many who would nod in agreement with the above statement are anything but free experientially. They’re still slaves to the same habits and sin that plagued them in their pre-Christian days. There’s no victory over sin. There’s little joy. Consequently, there’s little reason to keep struggling. And so for many believers, their motto becomes, “Well … nobody’s perfect.” God doesn’t int