THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH

The one thing we desperately need in our world is the spirit of truth (Holy Spirit) to combat satan the father of lies. The problem is, as Christ shared with His Disciples, that many in the world would not receive The Spirit (John 14:17).

In the Old Testament only a few had the Holy Spirit that either came upon them (ex. Moses, Gideon, Samson and David) or that came into them (ex. Joseph and Bezdiel). Today as with the time of the Disciples (John 16:13-15) we can also have the Holy Spirit upon and within us. We also can be guided by all truth apart from a world of lies. We also can receive the supernatural gifts of The Spirit listed in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 not unlike our brothers and sisters in Christ whose time has already passed.

To have the presence of the Holy Spirit is a wondrous thing. He gives us words and emotions that comfort and instruct. The Holy Spirit gives us the ability to create, renew and place conviction upon the hearts of mankind. Indeed His indwelling within each of us (Romans 8:11) empowers us (Micah 3:8) in an amazing fashion. Today we should all seek THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: The Spirit of Truth satisfies all seeking salvation.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Romans 8:11 “The Holy Spirit can dwell within us”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord I desire Your presence within me.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. What are the gifts of the Spirit that can be ours?
  2. Why are satan’s lies gaining such a foothold in our world?
  3. When a lie confronts you how do you respond?
  4. Do you have the Spirit of Truth?

A FULL AND COMPLETE LIFE!

In life there are a great many obstacles to overcome. For me a full life is one where I have lived out God’s plan to the fullest in the areas of faith, family, freedom, friends, finances and fun. Always with the Bible as my travel guide and keeping my faith first.

Obstacles can include financial resources, health, time, abilities and more. Yet all obstructions can be eliminated first of all by God. Cyrus received this assurance as told in Isaiah 45:1-3. If a matter we desire will bring us closer to our Creator then I believe God will see it to its conclusion through our lives.

In our journey through life we also need a Shepherd guiding us on our daily journey. That Shepherd, Christ Jesus, when we place our faith in Him will “preserve” us (Isaiah 49:8-11) for all eternity. His life, death and resurrection point the way.

Finally Scripture tells us that our daily obstacles can be eliminated by the presence of the Holy Spirit within us. Zerubbabel heard these comforting words as recorded in Zechariah 4:6 . The born again experience of our inviting the Holy Spirit to dwell within us is the beginning of understanding what it truly means to live A FULL AND COMPLETE LIFE.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Obstacles become opportunities when our oath is to God.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Zechariah 4:6 “the power of the Spirit”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord thank you for eliminating the obstacles in my life.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. Do you have obstacles in your life?
  2. How are you handling your obstacles?
  3. What is most important in your life?
  4. Have you been ‘preserved’ unto eternity?

HOMECOMING KING

For those of you who have had the experience of being selected a homecoming king or queen you know the elation and good feeling that comes from the popularity that goes with the selection. Today I want to share the message of a true Homecoming King by the name of Jesus Christ. Christ in His return to Galilee in the message related by John 6:22-71 was drawing large crowds in his homeland but some of those who were disciples discovered that what was expected in the relationship was more than they could handle. The message Christ would share in these verses was that He was the bread and living water that like the bread we consume for physical nourishment would not only nourish the body but more importantly the spirit. Communicating with those who would follow Him on a higher plane (spiritual not just physical) was more than some disciples could understand and accept and so they fell away as verses 60-66 tell us.

Today we need to understand that living in the spirit is indeed special. Our horizon goes far beyond what the eye can see and our vision is far greater than most any man or woman can imagine. Our perspective is eternal and if the Holy Spirit is indeed truly present in our lives we have a spiritual insight that goes with our claiming the moniker of Christian. An insight that the world will not understand.

Bread as we all know obviously does not nourish a body that is not living. So also Christ as our spiritual bread does not nourish a spiritually dead person.Without this spiritual nourishment many are nothing more than ‘Christian Zombies’ walking around in their faith but missing so much. In fact many, I believe, are walking in spiritual blindness not unlike the Pharisees of Christ’s time or the atheists and others of our time.  In fact without the soul the flesh of man is of no value (vs. 63). Sadly that is the case for many including those who may at one time have been selected HOMECOMING KING.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Today seek the Spirit to save the soul.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE: John 6:63 “without the soul the flesh of man is of no value”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord thank you for Your presence in my life.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. How do you exercise your faith?
  2. In what ways can bread be of both physical and spiritual value?
  3. What are the teachings of the Holy Spirit that keep us away from guilt and danger?
  4. Do you have the presence of the Holy Spirit in your life?

FIRE!!!

There are few who aren’t mesmerized by fire. Be it a campfire, fireplace or even some major fire related catastrophe. Why the amazement? Perhaps it is because of how we are told God uses it in Scripture.

For me it begins with the fact that God made Himself known to Moses through a burning bush (Exodus 3:1-6). Fire indicates God’s power (Exodus 9:24) which will one day be used to punish the wicked as Christ Himself spoke in Matthew 25:41 and will occur in the end time as noted in Revelation 19:20. Interestingly enough when this end time comes all of “the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up” (2 Peter 3:10).

Knowing this Peter who may have been Christ’s closest friend asks all a legitimate question. If everything we seem to be in such hurry to accumulate is destroyed why are we not more about living lives of holy conduct and godliness (2 Peter 3:11) and by so doing hastening the return of God (vs. 12)?

Fire can also represent God’s glory. This occurred on what we now celebrate as Pentecost. On this day tongues of fire sat on the devout men of God filling them with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-4). At this point for those of us who truly desire God’s presence within us 24/7 will know and understand what it means to be a child of God. That is what is so wonderful about FIRE.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: The Spirit of fire fills the forgiven so we never forget our Father God.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Exodus 3:2 “Fire manifests God”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord fill me with the fire of Your Spirit.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. Why do you enjoy watching fire (assuming you do) ?
  2. Knowing ‘the rest of the story’ about earth and our possessions why are we not more about living godly lives?
  3. How do you honor Pentecost?
  4. Have you welcomed the Holy Spirit into your life?

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AGE OF ENLIGHTENMENT!

Several hundred years ago someone labeled the period of time being experienced as the ‘Age of Enlightenment’. Since that time in an ever increasing fashion we have allowed moral relativism to take over. Those who once followed God’s law for their own best interest and to lead holy and pleasing lives to God now changed. Sin became irrelevant and as evil so often does sin relabeled itself. Sin became then and continues now as personal choice or perhaps at worst a mistake.

The age of not only enlightenment needs to return but more importantly spiritual enlightenment. That happens only when we are open to working in God’s Spirit for His Spirit alone enlightens as Christ affirms in Luke 12:12.

Enlightenment from and through God will be the light  (Psalm 18:28) that guides us through the difficult journey of this life. This happens as we keep our ears open to the Holy Spirit’s guidance as we study God’s Word (Psalm 19:8) and come to him in prayer for revelation (Ephesians 1:15-18).

Spiritual enlightenment is a process that is partial now (1 Corinthians 13:9-12) hindered by sin we choose to continue to live in (1 Corinthians 2:14). One day for those of us who choose to live in the Spirit we will have all things fully revealed (Isaiah 60:19). It is only then we will fully and truly experience THE AGE OF ENLIGHTENMENT.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Spiritual enlightenment will be fully established in eternity.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Isaiah 60:19 “spiritual enlightenment will be complete in Heaven”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord I pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance 24/7.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. What does it mean to be enlightened?
  2. What is moral relativism?
  3. How has moral relativism taken over our world to such a large extent?
  4. How are we fighting against the Holy Spirit and what must change?

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OUR BATTLE ARMOR!

Many in this life are concerned about battles. That is as it should be as on occasion evil needs to be confronted and defeated (ex. Nazism, radical Islam). The battle that should be uppermost in our hearts and minds though has eternal consequences for it is a spiritual battle. That battle is ongoing every day and involves all ages.

The battle uniform is laid out in Ephesians 6:10-17. In this battle you need truth, righteousness, the Gospel of peace, faith, the Word of God, knowledge of salvation and the power of the Holy Spirit. The spiritual hosts of wickedness are all around us and they must be defeated whenever or wherever they appear.

If we prepare ourselves in this fashion then we will be that light that overcomes darkness (Romans 13:12) like a beacon on a hill. the key is that our character must be one God would approve of. In 2 Corinthians 6:7 we are told that we must be righteous on all sides. There are many who feel they are living as God would want them to but what is the standard God has put on their hearts and where is that truth recorded? For the Christian it must be the inerrant Word of God (Ephesians 6:17) which is our Bible.

For others their philosophy of truth is in other books or religions none of which contain the true Word of God. Those documents and thoughts are works of the flesh carnal in nature. The Bible contains the Knowledge of God and it alone can bring every thought captive to obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). Indeed the knowledge of God given us in Scripture is OUR BATTLE ARMOR.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Spiritual armor of God is apparel of which God approves.

DEVOTIONAL VERSES FOR TODAY: Ephesians 6:10-17 “the armor of God”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord cover me with Your spiritual armor.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. What kind of battles are there in the physical realm?
  2. Have you taken on the full armor of God and become a beacon of light?
  3. Why is the Christian Bible the only true Word of God?
  4. Which Bible do you read and why?

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WHY DON’T SOME PEOPLE GET IT?

With each day that I get older and grow deeper in my faith the world seems more foolish. The actions of people who society gives authority over matters of finances and life and death on earth seem ever more remote to me. Know that I have not abandoned society but I have given my life (as I believe we all should) over to one who has ultimate authority that being our Triune God.

In my personal devotion today the thought was shared that those who live in spiritual darkness are those who just don’t get it. Their lives despite all the power and prestige they may have been given by humanity are being lived out in absolute darkness as one would experience going into the deepest parts of a cave without a light.

We read in 1 Corinthians 2:14 that “the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them for they are spiritually discerned”. W. Hoffecker once said that truth illuminates the mind. This is not the truth that is evidenced by graduation certificates hanging on walls. It is truth gained when we open our hearts to God’s Holy Spirit and open the Bible.

I have long believed that upon a ‘born again’ Christians death the Spirit uplifts our soul to Heaven immediately as the Holy Spirit cannot exist in the darkness death brings upon us. For those who continue to dabble in false gods or diminish God’s Word in some fashion they not only live in darkness now but total darkness awaits their soul at death.

The answer for all is in Psalm 119:18 where we read the prayer filled words “open my eyes that I might see”. Only then will we know WHY SOME PEOPLE DON’T GET IT and perhaps when the Holy Spirit open’s their heart and eyes they too might finally get it.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Spiritual discernment disarms our enemies such as satan from any influence over us.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: 1 Corinthians 2:14 “Spiritual discernment is denied to the unregenerate”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord I seek the fulfillment of the Holy Spirit in my life.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. How does having spiritual discernment change your life?
  2. Who are the unregenerate?
  3. Is society abandoning the power of spiritual truth and if so how?
  4. How did Old Testament leaders like Solomon and David feel about spiritual discernment?

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MY LITTLE HELPER!

Growing up most all of us likely experienced a parent or grandparent building up our self-image by calling us their ‘little helper’. It might have been when we picked up something that we had left lay on the floor or when we helped to set the table. All relatively meaningless yet it showed us how to be responsible and the good feeling that comes from it.

Help comes in many forms for example such as glasses that help us see better or lights that overcome darkness. Both illuminate but not so much as the greatest helper we can have which is the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is the helper of all helpers who abides with believers forever (John 14:16) from the moment we invite Him into our hearts. There is no way to explain this in human terms other than like a 24/7 cleaning lady living with you only in the case of the Holy Spirit the cleaning is done within our hearts (John 16:7-11).

The Holy Spirit also teaches (John 14:26). A full time instructor on how to live life in the fullest since of the word and showing us how to do it correctly which is truly important having been born into sin. What keeps us on the straight and narrow is that conviction or testifying of Christ (John 15:26) that we receive with the indwelling of the Spirit.

For me life is a constant search for truth. The truth that ONLY Scripture provides. The truth that only the Holy Spirit can guide us to. Truths found in Scripture that when revealed to us is like the greatest fireworks show ever imagined.

When all this comes together in our life we join the Holy Spirit in glorifying Christ. Indeed the LITTLE HELPER in each of our lives when it comes to the Holy Spirit is actually a really big helper.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: As spiritual heirs recognized by Christ the Holy Spirit is our help beyond all imagination.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: John 15:26 “Holy Spirit testifies of Christ”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord thank you for sending me the Holy Spirit.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. Is the Holy Spirit present in your life?
  2. How has the Holy Spirit enlightened your life?
  3. What is truth?
  4. How does one mine the Scriptures to find truths yet to be revealed to us?

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GROW WHERE YOU ARE PLANTED!

One of life’s great questions is what is our purpose? For non-believers in Christ I leave that to you to decide as for you there is no identifiable end beyond the grave. For we who are believers it is different as we belong to God and have listed gifts in Scripture with which we are blessed to be used for the glory of God.

The gifts of the Spirit fall into 8 basic categories: wisdom (application of knowledge), knowledge, faith, healing, prophecy, judgment, speaking in tongues and translation skills. Many if not most of our careers fall somewhere among these. The key is to use that which you have been given for furthering the work of the Kingdom.

If for example you have been given the gift of  knowledge and are an instructor in a school setting, I do not believe we should be quieted by political correctness in teaching the truths of Scripture or allowing for it to be explored in our classrooms. This can be done even within the misguided understanding of Separation of Church and State.

Needless to say there are many ways these gifts can be used. If not in public certainly within the boundaries of the Christian community. Be prepared always to GROW WHERE YOU ARE PLANTED.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Gifts of the Spirit give back to God what was first given to us.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: 1 Corinthians 12:7 “our gifts for the common good”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord help me to use your gift to bring glory to You.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. How can the gifts of the Holy Spirit be expressed in public in a world of diverse religions?
  2. What is your gift of the Spirit?
  3. Are you  growing where you are planted?
  4. How can the gifts of the Spirit be used to build the Christian church?

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WHERE DO I START?

As a society we place a great deal of emphasis on education yet with all the problems in the world ‘knowledge’ seems to be short changing us. Why is that? Once again as I believe all answers can be found in the one and only source from which truth comes (God’s Holy Word) I turn to the Scriptures for an answer and here is what I discover.

In Proverbs 1:7 we read that knowledge begins with godly fear. In Proverbs 9:10 we see godly fear is also the beginning of wisdom. Unfortunately in our schools at all levels (Pre-K through the Doctorate programs) this is no longer the emphasis as it once was and we are paying a big price.

The fear of the Lord is defined as someone who is growing in holiness and thereby hates evil and is also in this process discovering what it means to be truly alive. That happens only with the anointing of the Holy Spirit. An event foretold by Christ. Introduced to the world at Pentecost and fulfilled in each of us at our conversion.

When we have the Holy Spirit enveloping our entire lives we will recognize good from evil (real common sense) and we will not only hate evil but we will depart from it as Job 28:28 tells us. At that point we will be able to say we not only have knowledge and wisdom but now we have understanding as well.

For me anyone with any authority should have this ‘anointing’ if they want to govern well. This applies at all levels be it political, educational or in the family unit. Life will obviously go on without individuals who have Godly fear but imagine life with it at all levels. We should not be bending to the desires of agnostics and atheists but rather do all we can to build with God’s help a near utopia (realized ultimately only in Heaven) on earth and it begins with each of us. THAT IS WHERE WE START.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Godly fear begins when we build a familiarity with the Holy Spirit.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Proverbs 1:7 “knowledge begins with Godly fear”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord fill me with Your Spirit.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. How does education today compare to when our schools were first founded?
  2. What if today’s technology were available to people at that time?
  3. Do you select leaders, seek employment or base your life on those filled with the Holy Spirit?
  4. Where are you going to start?

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