What does it mean to have God’s Spirit in you?

What does it mean to have God’s Spirit in you?

Great question and the answer can be very lengthy, so let’s start. We all are one in body, soul and spirit. However, when we place all our faith and trust in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit comes into and indwells us. Mark 1:1-8 (and many other Bible passages.)
   What’s known as the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is part of that mystery of the Trinity, God the Father, God the Son Jesus Christ, and God the Holy Spirit, and yes, the Holy Spirit is NOT an ‘IT’ but a being who has all the attributes of a personality. Once this commitment to Jesus Christ is made, many changes occur as a result of the Holy Spirit indwelling us. The Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin and calls us to repentance. Previously, sinning did not bother us and often we were not even aware of our thoughts and actions that alienated us from God. The Holy Spirit enables us to be free from our slavery to sin.
   The Holy Spirit through His Word, the Bible, and speaking directly to our minds gives us inner peace and contentment in now knowing for certainty where we will be when this life on earth ends. The Holy Spirit will change our desires and what we think is important. Previously, perhaps earthly gains, fame or money were our objectives. Now it is to grow closer to our Savior every day of the rest of our lives. God’s Spirit will reveal His plan for your life as a Christian, giving it real meaning and purpose.
    Friends will change because our interests and priorities will differ from theirs. The Holy Spirit will guide you to seek fellowship with fellow believers who will help each other grow in the knowledge of His Word. Love for one’s children and family and our ‘neighbors’ will become stronger when we personally experience the love of God in Jesus.
   The Holy Spirit will additionally open our eyes and hearts to the needs of others that includes their physical and daily needs but also and more importantly their need to say ‘yes’ to Jesus and experience this new life too. There are many more benefits to elaborate on but suffice it to say, having God’s Spirit in you is the greatest thing that can ever happen to you.(Gal. 5:22-23)
   We pray that you may experience this indescribable new life TODAY.  Just invite Jesus in. He is waiting at the ‘door’ of your heart.  Open it wide and His Spirit will come in and reside with you forever.

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I’m afraid of the virus, is that normal?

I’m afraid of the virus, is that normal?

Yes. Fear is part of the fallen human condition. When we are confronted with something that may alter our future, we become fearful. With the 24-hour news cycle reminding us of ever-increasing numbers of cases of COVID-19, blasting out stories of deaths and body bags, and reminding us of our dire financial straits, fear is inevitable. As the disease enters our communities and we hear of a friend or neighbor that has taken ill or died, we wonder if “I’m next.”

We’re also asking how this event will change the lives of our loved ones. And we’re probably wondering why God has let this happen. Contemplating these questions leads to anxiety and fear.

Fortunately, God knows us better than we know ourselves and wants us to turn our focus from our personal situation and our inward focus to an upward focus on Him and an outward focus on others.

So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10

The Bible has a lot to say about fear. We read of great men of God who became fearful. And, we saw how God turned fear into Joy. When David was being pursued by men who wanted to kill him, he cried out to God. “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you,” he wrote in Psalm 56:3. From the many Psalms David wrote we see a man who was regularly afraid but knew that God was there for him, no matter the outcome.

The apostle Paul encountered many life-threatening situations and shared what he discovered with others. In his letter to the Church in the Greek City of Philippi he wrote: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

Paul knew that we all fear, but he wanted people to understand that fear did not have to control us. He reminded his disciple, Timothy: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

In 1 John 4:18, Jesus’ disciple, John, reminded readers “that perfect love drives out fear.” Here for what is translated as “perfect” John used the Greek word, teleios, a word that means complete, finished or fully grown. He is reminding Christians that when we refocus on God’s love, a love so great that He was willing to sacrifice his own son, that we might know peace in this life and a fear-free eternity with him. It’s a journey, not a destination.

As you meditate on scripture, sing songs of joy and hope, and seek ways to help those around you who are fearful and suffering, you will find your fears receding into God’s love. In a 100-year-old gospel hymn, we are reminded that “This world is not my home, I’m just a passing through; My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue.” COVID-19 is part of this world, not the next. It may make you sick. It may result in your financial ruin, and it might even cause your death. But don’t let fear paralyze you. Don’t be afraid to tell others of your fears and even seek professional help if necessary. But right now, stop and direct your thoughts to God. Tell him your fears, ask for his help and listen quietly for the Holy Spirit to begin guiding your thoughts.    

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What does it mean that Jesus is our Advocate?

What does it mean that Jesus is our Advocate?

Webster’s Dictionary defines advocate as “one who argues or pleads for a cause or proposal.” A picture of an advocate is a lawyer pleading a case before a judge for a favorable verdict for a client. This is what Jesus is for us, our advocate with God the Father. We find the word advocate in the Bible in John 2:1-2, “if anyone sins we have an Advocate who speaks to the Father in our defense – Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.”

Our basic problem as human beings is that we are all sinners. Sin separates us from being in a right relationship with God the Father. The guilt of our sins carries with it the sentence of death, both spiritual death in this life and eternal death in the life to come. That is the bad news, but the good news is that we have an advocate in Jesus Christ. Jesus, who is without sin, pleads our case by having offered his own earthly life as a sacrifice, which freed us from the guilt of our sin. The truth is that all who receive by faith Jesus as their Advocate will be set free from the guilt and the power of sin and into a new relationship with God, a relationship that brings salvation to life that is both abundant and eternal.

A favorite hymn of the Church is, “My Faith Has Found a Resting Place.” The refrain catches the essence of Jesus as an advocate. It goes, “I need no other argument, I need no other plea; it is enough that Jesus died, and that he died for me.”

So remember this, when Satan tries to lay a guilt trip on a Christian, Jesus steps in as advocate and says, “this believer is mine and is forgiven and is free from any condemnation.” That fact of blessed assurance is what gives a Christian peace that passes all human understanding. That’s really good news.

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What’s the meaning of “The Fruit of the Spirit is Love”?

What’s the meaning of “The Fruit of the Spirit is Love”?

When a person decides to enter into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ he or she receives the gift of the Holy Spirit. This is a new life that one finds only in Jesus. In other words, a person is ‘born again’ and becomes a new creation in Christ. The Bible clearly states in Galatians 5:22 that “the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” These virtues are among the fruits that grow within a believer by the power of the Holy Spirit. This means that the seeds of truth have fallen on receptive hearts. The Christian’s purpose is to provide these marvelous virtues or fruits to the world in which one lives.

It is important to notice that love is the first in the list of fruits of the Spirit. This is because all of the others are expressions of love. Without love, the others are not produced and are worthless. So, where can one get this love? This love, God’s love, comes from a relationship with Jesus Christ. A person is able to love like this because God first loved him or her. The best expression of this love is seen at the foot of Jesus’ cross. The Scriptures remind us, “greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”

Love is like a window through which we can see God. His love comes to us as a gift. Believers are like the tree waiting for its Question – What is the meaning of “The Fruit of the Spirit is Love”?

When a person decides to enter into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ he or she receives the gift of the Holy Spirit. This is a new life that one finds only in Jesus. In other words, a person is ‘born again’ and becomes a new creation in Christ. The Bible clearly states in Galatians 5:22 that “the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” These virtues are among the fruits that grow within a believer by the power of the Holy Spirit. This means that the seeds of truth have fallen on receptive hearts. The Christian’s purpose is to provide these marvelous virtues or fruits to the world in which one lives.

It is important to notice that love is the first in the list of fruits of the Spirit. This is because all of the others are expressions of love. Without love, the others are not produced and are worthless. So, where can one get this love? This love, God’s love, comes from a relationship with Jesus Christ. A person is able to love like this because God loved them first. The best expression of this love is seen at the cross where Jesus died. The Scriptures remind us, “greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”

Love is like a window through which we can see God. His love comes to us as a gift. Believers are like the tree waiting for its fruits to ripen. Each one must make sure that they are planted by streams of living water. In a way, Christians are like a sailboat waiting to catch the winds of the Spirit. God’s marching orders for each of us is to make love our aim so that the world will know we are Christians by our love.

What does it mean, the fruit of the Spirit is love?

What does it mean, the fruit of the Spirit is love?

The Bible verse you are referring to is from a letter that the apostle Paul wrote to fellow Christians in the city of Galatia, in what is now central Turkey.

… the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Galatians 5:22,23

Paul explains that when you ask God’s Spirit to guide your life, you will become more loving of others and know an overarching joy and peace in all circumstances. You will also become more tolerant of those who offend you, and be more willing to show kindness to those who are not kind to you—something that is usually very difficult without the Spirit guiding your thoughts and actions.

Likewise, you will find that doing good and being faithful in your relationships and your work will come more naturally. You will be gentle in your speech and actions, and in all ways you will find yourself better able to control your destructive behaviors.

A tree bears fruit based on its DNA plus water and nutrients it absorbs through its roots. Good genetics, the right amount of water and the correct balance of nutrients will yield good fruit. In the same way, when you allow God’s spirit to infill you, your life will yield wonderful fruit.

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What Can a Person do to have a Clean Heart?

What Can a Person do to have a Clean Heart?

There is a familiar quote that says, “Cleanliness is next to Godliness.” We know from life experiences that when something or someone needs gets soiled a bath or a cleaning up is required. We wash clothes, dishes, cars and of course our bodies to keep them clean and get the dirt out. In some fashion we want to be seen as Mr. or Mrs. Clean, just like the character in the commercial.

In most cultures, outward appearances are considered important. What most people fail to recognize is that while ‘man’ looks at the outside God looks and sees the inside, the condition of the human heart. God’s standard of clean is perfection because He is Holy.

In this context, we are not referring to the beating physical heart but to the very essence of a person’s being, or the real self that resides within the human eternal soul. The ‘heart’ defines the individual’s personality and character. In other words, the real you is on full display to God at all times. A person cannot achieve a clean heart on their own efforts. A clean heart is only possible by the cleansing power of the Holy Spirit through a life-transforming personal relationship with the person of Jesus Christ.

So, therein lies the answer. While there is absolutely nothing a person can do to achieve a clean heart on his or her own, God can and wants to do just that for everyone, as all are created in His image. It becomes a matter of personal choice and a decision of the will. In Psalm 51:1-2 we read King David’s prayer,  “Have mercy on me O God…cleanse me from my sin…create in me a pure clean heart.”

David is pleading with God to make his heart new, forgive his sin and receive the cleansing power of the Holy Spirit to keep it pure so he can have a restored loving relationship with God in the present and for all eternity. God is waiting to cleanse your heart today. All you need to do is ask. It’s that simple. Why wait? No one is assured of tomorrow.

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