November 2017

27 Nov Why Pray in the Spirit?

Several years ago, Vickie and I attended a high school class reunion in my hometown of West Columbia, Texas. If you don't know where West Columbia is, it is exactly three miles west of East Columbia, Texas. It was a great time of reconnecting with former classmates, people that I hadn't seen since our high school graduation. The joy of seeing old friends was only surpassed by the incredible Texas barbecue. I have a couple of distinct memories of the reunion. First, my biggest memory of the night was made when I discovered that the invitation's B.Y.O.B. didn't stand for "Bring Your Own Bible". (Just a joke!) The second memory was made when I walked from table to table to talk to my former classmates. I'll never forget spending time at a table with a guy who was known back in our high school days for his enormous love for beer and marijuana. After a few minutes at his table, I could see that things hadn't changed. It was evident that the beer that he was drinking wasn't his first bottle of the night. After a few minutes of conversation, he asked about the type of work that I do. Here's the funny part of the memory. When I told him that Vickie and I were ministers, he immediately tried to cover his drunken condition and lifestyle by telling me that the bottle in his hand was the first beer that he had consumed in years. It was easy to see that this was one Texas-size lie. Mind you, I hadn't said a single word about his lifestyle or what he was doing and yet just my presence made him uncomfortable. No sermons were preached or Bible verses quoted. It was my presence that caused him to know that things were wrong in his life. I didn't share this story to place me on a pedestal or berate my friend. The story is just a great illustration that shows the importance of recognizing the abiding presence of the One sent to forever live with and in us. (John 14:16). Brother Kenneth E. Hagin said it best ...

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13 Nov The Holy Spirit @ Walmart

I seriously doubt that are too many people in our country that haven't at one time or another seen one of the most famous tag lines in modern tourism marketing "What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas". Believe me when I write that I'm not sharing this tag line to promote Las Vegas or the what happens in Las Vegas mentality. I mention it only because, unbeknownst to many in the church, they have adopted this same mentality. To many, what happens in church, stays in church. Consequently, the world isn't being impacted by their lives. God isn't a fan of this mentality. In fact, He sent the Holy Spirit to combat and destroy this mentality! We see that upon the Holy Spirit's arrival in the upper room on the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit radically impacted the believers and then immediately launched them out into the mission field. The 120 believers left the upper room taking what had happened in their service with them and saw some 3,000 people come into the Kingdom Jesus was definitely not a "what happens in the synagogue stays in the synagogue" Savior. After being baptized in the Spirit (Luke 3:22; 4:1) and launching His ministry, the majority of Jesus' ministry was done outside of the synagogue (church). In reading through the Gospels, we find that only three of Jesus' 37 recorded miracles were done inside of the synagogue. (Luke 4:33-36; Luke 6:6-8; Luke 13:10-13). We never read of Jesus seeing a need and telling the individual to meet Him in the synagogue on the next Sabbath. The Holy Spirit living inside of Jesus was always ready at any time and place to meet any and every need. I've written about the 120 in the upper room and also Jesus' ministry. Now, let me write directly about you. Ready? This may seem too strongly worded, but it is true. If you have the what happens in church stays in church mentality, I will guarantee that you have one frustrated Holy Spirit living on the inside of you. When the last shout is done and the last amen said, the Holy Spirit is ready to walk out of the church with you to impact your Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the uttermost parts of the earth. (Acts 1:8) Put Him on display at Walmart as you're shopping and dodging the falling prices. Allow Him to show that He is with you when you are standing in line at Burger King waiting to get your Whopper. The Holy Spirit living inside of you is always ready at any time and place to meet any and every need. Let's give Him that opportunity this week!...

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06 Nov Do Miracles Still Happen?

While preaching this past Sunday in one of our Holy Spirit Rallies, I shared that the greater works that Jesus promised (John 14:12) are made possible because "I go to my Father". In other words, Jesus' return to heaven and the ensuing sending of the Holy Spirit (John 14:16; 16:7) opened the door to the greater works (Acts 1:8). I also mentioned that churches all across our land have shut this door. Sadly, pastors are standing behind their pulpits preaching that the outpouring of God's Spirit and the days of miracles are long gone. I learned a few days ago of one of these churches located in our area. So, today I visited that churches' website and read on the page listing their core beliefs that believe and teach that the supernatural working of the Holy Spirit was given to certain individuals in the early church for the sole purpose of confirming their ministry. Evidently, they like many other churches believe that the days of the supernatural manifestations of the Holy Spirit was limited to the early church and ended when the last apostle died. Thankfully, I have found the opposite to be true. No where in the Scriptures can I find a single verse that even half way implies that the Holy Spirit withdrew the casting out of demons, the speaking with new tongues, the rendering of poison harmless, and the healing of the sick when the last apostle took their final breath. The door into the miracle-working power of the Holy Spirit is still wide open. To those who question if miracles still happen today, let me close out this blog post by sharing this powerful insight from George Jeffreys ...

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