May 2017

29 May The Parakletos

Let me pass along a challenge for you to pursue in the next few days. Using the Bible translations that you might have in your library and/or the vast information available through the internet’s Google, deepen your relationship with the Holy Spirit by studying the word that Jesus used in John 14 – 16 to introduce the Holy Spirit to His disciples, the word "Parakletos". The early translators of the Bible (Wycliffe, Luther, KJV) chose to translate the original Greek word "Parakletos" into our word "Comforter" and had valid reasons for their choice. It's really quite an interesting study. Unfortunately, because of the ever changing evolution of words, their word choice has caused today's readers to miss out on so, so much of who the Holy Spirit is and what He has been sent to do. In reading through the various translations, you will find that many translators have replaced "Comforter" with words like "Friend" (The Message), "Someone to stand by you" (J.B. Phillips translation), and "Helper" (Moffatt Translation). In my reading and studying my translations, I have found twelve different words. (Be sure to check out the Amplified Bible’s translation.) How could there be twelve (or more) different words? The enormity of the Holy Spirit and His Father's assignment makes it impossible to pack the entire meaning of the Greek word "Parakletos" into one single English word. It is like trying to squeeze a size 38 inch waist into a size 32 pair of jeans. One single word can’t capture all that Jesus was saying to His disciples about the Holy Spirit. Each and every one of these translations is needed because they shed a different light of understanding about the Holy Spirit. Here is the reason for this challenge. A greater revelation of who He is will bring about a greater depth in your relationship with Him which will then create a greater dependence upon Him. The greater the dependence, the greater the demonstrations of His presence and power. Can you see how important this is? This will be a GREAT investment of your time. Do it … you’ll thank me for this suggestion!...

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22 May The “Formula” for Maximized Ministry

In a day where the church is driven by formulas, let me share a can't miss "formula" for filling a church to capacity, seeing altars lined with penitent sinners, having walls covered with no-longer-needed braces and wheelchairs, experiencing unprecedented worship where the people are passionate participators and not unengaged spectators, and inviting glorious demonstrations of the Holy Spirit's presence as seen throughout the Book of Acts. I'm taking this Book of Acts "formula" from a book that is a classic Christ the Healer written by a man that was mightily used of God in the area of miraculous healings, F.F. Bosworth. "A Spirit-filled and praying Church produces an atmosphere in which it is easy for God to work and hard for the devil to interfere; because this atmosphere is the Holy Spirit Himself, who is more than a match for the devil." ~ F.F. Bosworth Let me show you a Book of Acts example of this "formula" being put into practice. In Acts 16, Luke writes of a "service" where Spirit-filled men (Paul and Silas) filled their church auditorium (prison cell) with prayer and praise. What were the Book of Acts results? God miraculously demonstrated His presence, captives were set free, and many were saved and water baptized. That's my kind of church service. The results are guaranteed. Without reservation, I can promise that following the Book of Acts "formula" will bring about Book of Acts results. Get ready for a shaking that will impact all of those in your ministry (be it a Sunday school class, children's church/youth service, or adult worship) who will then change a generation that will change a city, state, nation, and world. The Holy Spirit is ready. Are you?...

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15 May Put Your Passion on Display

A few weeks ago, I was on an airplane sitting beside a stranger for one eternally long flight. After the usual small talk, he asked me about my occupation. (Big mistake!)  It wasn't long into the conversation that he commented about my passion for seeing a move of God sweep across our nation. Recently while attending a luncheon, I sat across the table from a beautiful young couple that were children's pastors in a tremendous church. Again, after just a few minutes of talking about the need for churches to allow the Holy Spirit to be Himself, they too commented about my passion. If this was a support group, without shame I would stand up and say, "Hello, I am Billy Burns and I am consumed with a relationship with the Holy Spirit and unrelentingly passionate about passing this love for the Holy Spirit on to the children, youth, and adults in churches around the nation." I so desire that it be said of me what was said of Peter in Acts 5:28, "Behold, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine." I want this passion to be so visible that it spreads to all those around and, before long, individuals and churches and cities will be joining together with me proclaiming "TODAY is the day of the Holy Ghost" and seeing Him demonstrate His presence. There is so much that I could say about the importance of having this kind of relationship with the Holy Spirit. I will limit myself to just sharing that those around you desperately need to see someone that is filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit and is putting their passion on display. That is the only way that you will fill your Jerusalem with your doctrine....

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08 May The Hearing/Obeying Factor

Are you sitting down? Here's a shocker for you. This isn't going to be a lengthy post. In fact, it is probably one of the shortest blog postings that I have ever written. It's just a quick verse followed by an important thought. If you read through this just to say that you've read the blog, you'll be through in less than sixty seconds. But, if you meditate on these 167 words, it might become something that you will practice for a lifetime. Here's the verse ...

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01 May Blind No More!

Can I share something that I have discovered in our travels and ministry in Pentecostal/Charismatic churches across the nation? As I teach on "Why I Pray in the Spirit" in church after church, I am seeing over and over again that many Jesus-loving believers that claim to be Spirit-filled are absolutely clueless about the importance and benefits that come from daily praying in the Spirit. To many, speaking in other tongues as mentioned in the Book of Acts and Paul's letters to the Corinthians is a mystery. While praying in a heavenly prayer language was clearly seen at their initial infilling and was an evidence of the Spirit baptism, once that experience was entered into their spiritual diaries, the gift from heaven became a distant memory. Satan rejoices in this scenario. By minimizing the importance of praying in the Spirit, Satan has blinded (2 Corinthians 4:4) and consistently deceived (John 8:44) today's Church and robbed (John 10:10) believers of the massive supernatural power and ability that can only come by praying in the Spirit. He is comfortable in a the fact that a one-time experience won't bring about irreparable harm to his kingdom. Here is why Vickie and I are traveling around our nation. We are fully aware of Satan's tactics (2 Corinthians 2:11) and know that as Jesus-loving, Bible-believing, Word-quoting believers awaken (1 Corinthians 12:1) to the benefits (1 Corinthians 14:4) that occur when we make a conscious choice to daily connect God's Spirit with our spirit and our mouth, Satan's kingdom will be annihilated. Believers need to know that as we continually pray in the Spirit our spirit is speaking directly to God (1 Corinthians 14:2). Each and every syllable or unknown word that we utter by the Spirit brings about radical change ...

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