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The Power of the Spirit
We have seen in Genesis that the Spirit is not a person of a “trinity,” but the power of God – God’s spiritual resources. It was by His Spirit that God created the universe and brought light into the world. The scripture explains that the Spirit is the power that gives us the desire to do what is right. It helps us discern between good and evil. And, it guides us along God’s path and gives us the wisdom to do God’s will. In the future, God will judge the world by his Spirit of truth. Do you have God’s spiritual resources? More
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Power of God’s Spirit
God’s Creative Force
The power of God’s spirit is first seen in the story of creation. The raw materials of the universe were formed by the spirit from “nothing.” This matter was like a wasteland, void and empty. So God sent his spirit and began the transformation. The spirit hovered over the water, lovingly moving over it as a bird brooding over its young. Then by his spirit, God willed the light into existence. God’s spirit was the projection of his will and power into the physical universe. By his spirit the Creator formed the universe, and renewed the earth for his children. So how does God’s spirit work in the lives of his people? More
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The Great Debate
It takes real detective work when searching for the Spirit of God. Often those who have rejected the “orthodox” belief about the spirit are considered illiterate at best, and heretics at worst. But, we must not base our understanding on tradition or hearsay. The real test is, “What do the scriptures say?” And, according to the apostle Paul, “All scripture was “breathed-out” by God. Peter adds to our understanding of how this was done. He confirmed that it was the spirit that led the prophets to speak and write God’s words. So, it is these words that inform, train, correct, and discipline those who are now being led by the spirit.
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Fellowship in the Gospel
All Things in Common
Can you imagine the excitement, the conviction, and the enthusiasm of those who were called of God in Jerusalem? They had heard Peter preach and had been baptized, then received God’s spirit. People from all over the known world had come to Jerusalem for the Holy Day season. And an amazing group of 3,000 people had been baptized. The local believers devoted themselves to the “fellowship of the gospel.” They opened their homes and sold their possessions to provide for the needs of all those God had called into the fellowship. Daily they met together, praying, eating, and sharing their lodgings. Do we in our world, have the same type of understanding when it comes to “fellowship” – koinonia?
Fellowship in the Gospel Community
The zeal for the gospel felt by these early believers was grounded in the concept of “koinonia.” They understood that they had a partnership in the community. But they also were given an opportunity to make a contribution. It was natural for them to understand their position as one of a stakeholder in their community. And, they were willing to make sacrifices. Sacrifices that would express their love, affection, and compassion for those in the fellowship. Why? Because they were an “association” that was knit together in the spirit. And, God’s love empowered them to preach the good news.
Fellowship in the Family of God
The apostle Paul understood the greek concept of “koinonia.” It was an enterprise or partnership with family ties. Paul made it clear that Jews and Gentiles were united in God’s family — his clan. As God’s family they had a new identity in a new fellowship. With their common faith uniting them, they were able to transcend traditional social, ethnic boundaries. As one family they could provide mutual support and partake in Christ’s mission. Because of this fellowship individuals were able to escape the crushing burdens of pagan society. And they could also receive support – both physical and spiritual. As a result of community they could begin to have a positive impact on those around them. Their fellowship in the gospel could offer spiritual light in the gloom of a decadent society. What about our fellowship? Do we have some things to learn from those early believers and their fellowship in the gospel?
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There are Consequences
From Genesis to Revelation there is a powerful theme of “reaping what we have sown.” David reflected in the Psalms on God’s faithfulness to the faithful, and his abasement of the proud. Mathew wrote of the Son of Man coming to reward everyone according to their works. And John reiterated this theme in the last chapters of Revelation. There will be a time of judgment when we will receive “payment” for what we have done — good or bad. But, we can take hope in the knowledge that God is “tamim” to those who are “tamim.” What does this mean? More
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Hope is a Choice not mere Optimism
If you were facing the Red Sea on one side and the Egyptian army on the other, what would you be thinking? Many in this moment of fear and dread, 3643 years ago, trapped between the water and the pursuing army, cried that they wanted to return to Egypt. Some had contempt for God and his promises. They’d lost hope and had forgotten so quickly the great miracles that had secured their escape from slavery. God’s advice to his people was to have courage and be like Moses who was faithful. Moses’ faith gave him the hope that God would be true to his promises. This was not mere optimism, but hope that was a deliberate and consistent choice to believe God the maker of the universe. Are you living with this kind of hope? More
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The Importance of “Vision”
“Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restrain.” But what is the answer to this dilemma? Scriptures assure us that those who have vision will be blessed. Why? Because they will know the truth that sets them free. They will no longer be enslaved by false ideas and lack the vision that is essential to a hopeful future. So what is that truth? As we rehearse year by year the story of the Exodus and God’s deliverance we should be mindful of the prophetic vision it provides. A vision of freedom that is rooted in the truth of God’s word. Do you have this vision of the future to encourage and empower you? More