By My Spirit

 

Then he answered and spoke to me, saying, ‘This is the word of Yahweh to Zerubbabel, saying, ‘Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says Yahweh of Hosts.’ Zechariah 4:6 WEB

Read the blog at: http://www.refreshinghope.org/blogs/1/1528

9 Signs That You’re Operating In Your Own Power

It’s one of Satan’s most subtle strategies. He’s so sly that we don’t even recognize it’s happening. That strategy? To entice us to do ministry, whether as a pastor or a layperson, in our own power. He simply is not alarmed when we go through the motions and activities of church, but without the power of God on us.

Here are nine signs that you might be operating in your own power:

  1. You act first, and pray second. If your tendency is to do ministry and then pray about it only when you have to – that is, when you finally face a mountain you can’t climb on your own – you’re operating first in your own strength.
  2. You choose not to tackle ministry activities outside your interests or your abilities.Church leaders who do only what they love to do or what they know they can do well don’t have to depend much on God. Why rely on Him when you can do it without Him?

Read more of chuck Lawless’ blog at: http://chucklawless.com/2017/08/9-signs-that-youre-operating-in-your-own-power/

5 Ways To Revive Your Spiritual Passion

John Mason, in his book, Let Go of Whatever Makes You Stop, wrote, “The trouble with many educated (people) is that learning goes to their heads and not to their hearts. The heart is something of a prophet. The heart is no traitor. It is only with the heart that one can see correctly; what is required is invisible to the eye.

Mason’s words, unfortunately, speak to many Christians who have lost their passion for the Lord. Their Bible knowledge and learning, though it may be extensive, has only affected them intellectually, but not touched them emotionally. Or if it once did, that passion has subsided over the years.

“Find something that consumes you,” challenges Mason. “A belief is not just an idea a person possesses; it is an idea that possesses a person.”

Yesterday’s post addressed 5 passion killers. Today we want to share 5 ways to revive your spiritual passion.

#1 Receive Spiritual Renewal Through Worship

Worship impacts the spirit. The soul. The heart. The mind. The inner person.

Worship refreshes. Renews. Revives. Worship inspires. Awakens. Enlivens.

Worship invigorates. Worship even relaxes. Yes, worship has the power to recharge our run down spiritual batteries.

Can we say with David, “I was glad when they said to me let us go into the house of the Lord” (Psalm 122:1).

We can revive our passion when we allow worship to provide a force for living.

There is more at: https://thepreachersword.com/2017/07/28/5-ways-to-revive-your-spiritual-passion/

Musings On the Holy Spirit, Water, and Sacrament

https://hcchristian.wordpress.com/2017/07/10/musings-on-the-holy-spirit-water-and-sacrament/

The Holy Spirit Isn’t Just for Charismatics

https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/book-review-rediscovering-the-holy-spirit

Who is the Holy Spirit?

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~ Sam Storms:

From Sam’s contribution to The New City Catechism:

Rarely does a Christian struggle to think of God as Father. And to envision God as Son is not a problem for many. These personal names come easily to us because our lives and relationships are inescapably intertwined with fathers and sons here on earth. But God as Holy Spirit is often a different matter. Gordon Fee tells of one of his students who remarked, “God the Father makes perfectly good sense to me, and God the Son I can quite understand; but the Holy Spirit is a gray, oblong blur.”

How different this is from what we actually read in Scripture. There we see that the Spirit is not third in rank in the Godhead but is co-equal and co-eternal with the Father and Son, sharing with them all the glory and honor due unto our Triune God. The Holy Spirit is not an impersonal power or an ethereal, abstract energy. The Spirit is personal in every sense of the term. He has a mind and thinks (Isa. 11:2; Rom. 8:27). He is capable of experiencing deep affections and feelings (Rom. 8:26; 15:30). The Spirit has a will and makes choices (Acts 16:7; 1 Cor. 2:11) regarding what is best for God’s people and what will most glorify the Son.

We see even more of the Spirit’s personality when he is described as being grieved when we sin (Eph. 4:30). The Spirit, no less so than the Father and the Son, enters into a vibrant and intimate relationship with all whom he indwells (2 Cor. 13:14). The Spirit talks (Mark 13:11; Rev. 2:7), testifies (John 15:26; 16:13), encourages (Acts 9:31), strengthens (Eph. 3:16), and teaches us, especially in times of spiritual emergency (Luke 12:12). That the Spirit is personal is seen in that he can be lied to (Acts 5:3), insulted (Heb. 10:29), and even blasphemed (Matt. 12:31-32).

Above all else, though, the Holy Spirit is the “Spirit of Christ” (Rom. 8:9). His primary role in us, as the temple of God in whom he dwells (Eph. 2:21-22), is other-directed or other-oriented as he ministers to direct our attention to the person of Christ and to awaken in us heartfelt affection for and devotion to the Savior (John 14:26; 16:12-15). The Holy Spirit delights above all else in serving as a spotlight, standing behind us (although certainly dwelling within us) to focus our thoughts and meditation on the beauty of Christ and all that God is for us in and through him.

As we prayerfully meditate on the person and work of the Spirit and give thanks for his powerful presence in our lives, we would do well to consider the words of Thomas Torrance who reminds us that “the Spirit is not just something divine or something akin to God emanating from him, not some sort of action at a distance or some kind of gift detachable from himself, for in the Holy Spirit God acts directly upon us himself, and in giving us his Holy Spirit God gives us nothing less than himself” (Thomas F. Torrance, The Trinitarian Faith, T & T Clark, 191).

4 Ways We Go Wrong in Thinking about the Holy Spirit

This sponsored post was prepared by Michael Horton, author of over thirty books, including the just-released Rediscovering the Holy Spirit.

Many of us still remember the “Holy Ghost” from the old King James Version. For most modern people, a ghost is associated more with All Hallows’ Eve (a.k.a. Halloween) than with Pentecost Sunday. Especially in our age, the Holy Spirit is regarded (when taken seriously at all) as the “spooky” member of the Trinity. If you’re into that sort of thing—the paranormal and sensational—then the Holy Spirit is for you.

Who exactly is the mysterious third person of the Trinity? Why does he seem to possess less reality than the Father and the Son? Perhaps we think of the Holy Spirit as a divine force or energy that we can “plug into” for spiritual power. Or as the kinder and gentler—more intimate—side of God. But a person—in fact, a distinct person of the Godhead?

I want to challenge this association of the Spirit merely with the extraordinary.

This is unfortunate all around, because it distinguishes his work too sharply from that of the Father and the Son and also because it distracts us from the vast range of his activity in our world and in our lives. On both sides of the Pentecostal divide, we too easily treat the Holy Spirit as a placeholder for the “extra” things in Christianity. Sure, we have the Father and the Son, but we also need the Holy Spirit. You may be redeemed, but have you been baptized in the Spirit? The Word is vital, but we must not forget the Spirit. Doctrine is important, but there is also experience.

Consequently, the Spirit becomes typecast into predictable roles—mostly cameo appearances, especially from the book of Acts—that provoke debates over whether we should expect the same signs and wonders today. We think of him when we are talking about regeneration and sanctification and when we are arguing about his more controversial gifts. Otherwise, he is out of sight and out of mind.

The Holy Spirit is the easiest person of the Godhead to depersonalize—and not only because of cultural forces. One might even say that, for the Spirit, being somewhat forgotten is an occupational hazard. Some of our confusion about the Holy Spirit arises from a distortion of genuinely biblical truths.  Here are four ways in which we can go wrong.

First, we must remember that God is an incomprehensible mystery.

Read more: https://www.challies.com/sponsored/4-ways-we-go-wrong-in-thinking-about-the-holy-spirit