Much of the world is running on empty emotionally!
After tsunamis....and hurricanes Katrina and Rita....mud-slides in Guatemala and now earthquakes in Japan, Pakistan, India and Afghanistan, our world is in much pain!
The USA is running on empty....and most everyone wonders, 'Will it ever end?'
The answer may have come in the bombings of the far-off pleasure Island of Bali where terrorists have reigned death and destruction two times (and probably more that we're not aware of) in the last 2 yrs.
The world is not the same anymore....
Matthew 24:1-14 tells us this is true...but keep on sharing the Gospel with all the world (Vs. 14)
The Word and Jesus (The Incarnate Word) are STILL the answers anywhere, anytime, anyhow, and with anyone!
We are still 'light in a dark world' and 'salt' for any corruption or disruption.
So emotionally, the world is running on empty!
How do YOU feel?
You may feel, 'What can I do? I am just one person.'
I John 4:4 tells us "Greater is the power that is within us than any power in the world'!
The important thing is not 'How low is my car's gas tank? (or the high prices), but rather
'How low am I?' concerning the presence, power and potential of the Holy Spirit?'
The Holy Spirit is the 'dunamis' (dynamite) and the 'pneuma' (wind) of God in the world
and in each of us who know the Three in One' (God the Father, Son and The Holy Spirit).
Concerning The Holy Spirit, let me ask some questions about the power of The Holy Spirit, quoting James H. McConkey in his book on 'The Holy Spirit'.
(The quotes are his....the comments are mine)
McConkey asks the question, "Will there be much manifestation of the fulness of The Holy Spirit?" He answers:
1) "Is the sluggish stagnant river, conscious of the in-rushing waters of the sea...as it feels the throb and rush of her cleaning tide?" I remember seeing a TV special about crocodiles surviving in the mud-holes of Africa, but oh, the difference when the rains came.
Let the water of the Holy Spirit make a difference whenever you feel 'empty'.
2) "Is the dark gloomy castle conscious of the fresh sweet air that fills it's wind-swept chambers when they are flung open?"
The Hebrew word for wind is 'ruark' and when said, it is very guttural as wind rushes through the vocal chords.
In the New Testament, the Greek word for wind is 'pneuma'.
In John 3:8, Jesus says (after His emphasis on the New Birth), "The wind blows where it will and we hear the sound thereof, but we cannot tell where it comes from nor where it goes; so is everyone born of The Spirit."
So we can not explain the power of The Holy Spirit, but we had better RELY on it for power and strength to say, 'No' to wrong and 'Yes' to God's Will and God's Ways!
I'll never forget the first time that I got ahold of a pneumatic tool (or did it get ahold of me?!) and the difference the 'pneuma' made in it!! Let it make a difference in your life!
3) "Are the sightless eyes that have been veiled for years in hopeless darkness, conscious of the bright light of day when it first breaks upon their enraptured vision?"
If we are to be 'light', we must come in contact with the Light of the World....
through conversion by....and commitment to....Jesus!
Your light shines best in the darkest places, but you MUST be 'light'
and....STAY 'lit' by The Holy Spirit.
4) This fourth illustration of The Holy Spirit is one that I like and have used many times.
Is there a change when the hand enters a glove and brings 'life' to that which was 'lifeless'?
Life and usefulness happens. So in our somewhat lifeless (empty) life,
Jesus comes by His Redemption...through His Blood...bringing in The Holy Spirit...
and we are to show that LIFE, LOVE and HOPE to others.
The wind still blows...
the water still flows...
the fire still burns...
and the light still glows!
I'm speaking of The Holy Spirit within us. (For your best study on The Holy Spirit, read John 14, 15, and 16.....and Ephesians 5 and Romans 8)
Jamall Badry (one of our most favorite singers) has a song on one of his CD's,
"Lord, I Want to Know You More".
When you can not see His Hand....trust His Heart, for God is too wise to be mistaken...
and He's too good to be unkind.
So when you do not understand......and you do not see His Plan....trust His Heart.
For the balance of this paper, let us study Ephesians 5:14-21.
Paul (from prison) tells us how to appropriate all of the fulness and benefits of The Holy Spirit.
Verse 14: WAKE UP, OUT OF SLEEP AND ARISE FROM THE DEAD UNTO THE LIGHT OF CHRIST.
Don't miss what can happen.
You may feel 'empty' or 'dried up', but there is more (so much more) to be had,
if we will wake up to The Word and The Holy Spirit.
Verse 15-16: WALK WISELY
Salvation is not only a POSITION that we take through repentance and faith,
but a PERSON in us and walking with us!
We MUST stay focused and strictly conforming to the standard!
The key is the phrase in verse 16, "Redeeming the time, for the days are evil."
This encourages us to make the most of every opportunity and pay the price in dedication and effort.
Verse 17: WILL OF GOD, UNDERSTOOD
Read The Word, rely on The Holy Spirit and walk by faith.
This way, you 'get in on' what God is 'up to'!
Verse 18: WHAT WILL HAPPEN WHEN FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT?
WE WILL BECOME:
a) A JOYFUL person: (vs. 19)
Jesus is not only our salvation and our strength, but our song.
Paul wrote from prison, "Rejoice in the Lord always and again, I say Rejoice" (Phil. 4:4)
b) A THANKFUL person: (vs. 20) 'For all things always'
The best way to be cheerful, is to be Thankful...
and the best way to be Thankful, is to count your Blessings!
They say that the cost of fuel this coming winter will be expensive,
but compared to most of the world, we are still most fortunate.
c) A SUBMISSIVE person: (vs. 21)
'Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God'.
Notice that all of these verbs are continuous action....trusting, obeying, submitting.
As the song says, "There is no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey."
We see that there is something worse today than empty gas tanks....and the high cost of gasoline.
It is the high cost of NOT 'tapping in' on the power of The Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is free, but there is a price to pay in our lives if we do not know about the Holy Spirit....or we do not appropriate all that is available in and through, the Person, Presence, Power and Provisions of The Holy Spirit.
It's not 'how much of The Holy Spirit do I have'.....
but rather, 'how much of ME, does The Holy Spirit have'?
As we learn more about The Holy Spirit (and yield more of our life to Him) we will want to love Christ supremely....obey Him unreservedly... and glorify Him completely!
At our bank this week, I asked my favorite cashier (Millie), 'How are you doing?'
She replied, "Well, I'm plugging along."
I responded, "I know that you are Millie, but you and I both know 'where' to plug in, don't we?"
She smiled and said, "Yes, I do!"
We ALL need to be 'plugged in' to The Holy Spirit, don't we?
PLEASE ENCOURAGE AUTHOR,
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