Author: Billy Burns

17 Dec Praying in the Spirit Illustrations – Part 1

Beginning with this blog post, I want to share several great, easy-to-do, easy-to-understand object lessons (sermon illustrations for those ministering to adults) that show the importance of daily praying in the Spirit. I will give a brief, skeletal overview and set it up for you to make it an incredibly great teaching tool. This and the following blog posts will also provide an excellent resource for family devotions with your children and grandchildren. The Importance of Praying in Other Tongues Part 1 - Keeping Your Spiritual Battery Fully Charged! When I purchased my first cell phone, I was so excited. (If you still have the original box, show the box.) I couldn't wait to get the cell phone out of the box (show your excitement in opening the box and then discovering the cell phone) to start calling and texting all of my friends. (Pretend to make call after call and send text message after text message.) And, even more importantly, I couldn't wait to start playing all of the cool games on the cell phone. (Pretend to play a game.) Needless to say, I made call after call, sent text after text, and finally played game after game on the cell phone. You already know where I am going with this story. After a few hours of using the cell phone, all of a sudden, it stopped and I couldn't get it to start up again. You've guessed. The battery had run of out power. I soon found out that the cell phone is only able to make the calls and send the text messages and provide the cool games as long as it has power. Simply put, no power, no play! While this cell phone has so many great apps, those apps can't do what they are created to do until the cell phone has power. Fortunately, there is an easy remedy for this problem. The manufacturer knew that the cell phone would constantly need to replenish or charge the battery and so they included this power plug (show phone charger) so that the cell phone could be recharged. Before Jesus left, He told His followers that after He returned back to heaven, God the Father would send a Helper, the Holy Spirit. (John 14:16) One of the many things that would happen upon the Holy Spirit's arrival is that He would deposit heaven's power into our spirit. (Acts 1:8). Jesus knew that as great and wonderful as we are, we couldn't do what we need to do until we have the power to do those things. His coming would enable us to be ("...

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13 Dec Did You Buy the T-shirt in Cowlick, Arizona?

Here is an incredible revelation. If Vickie and I had a limited amount of time to be away from our home to be in Lakeland, Florida with the most incredible kids and grandkids in the whole world (no brag, just fact!!!), we couldn't leave our home in North Richland Hills, Texas and drive west to Cowlick, Arizona and then up to Chicken, Alaska and then east to Embarrass, Minnesota and then further east to Accident, Maryland and then south to Experiment, Georgia and expect to enjoy our limited time with our Florida family. No, a million times no. While visiting these cities might be incredible, I can guarantee you that, knowing that we have kids ready to see their parents and grandkids anxiously waiting for Papa and Nana, Vickie and I would look for the route that would mile by mile get us closer and closer to our desired destination. Really, this is not too much of a revelation. In fact, it is a no-brainer. To get where you want to go, you must aim for the desired destination and don't allow detours to keep you from getting there! I know that many reading this blog desire to see an outpouring of the Holy Spirit in their ministry. And yet, for some, that goal or destination isn't being reached. Let me draw from the opening scenario and offer this suggestion. If you want to see people baptized in the Holy Spirit (your desired destination), lesson by lesson and sermon by sermon needs to move you closer to this outpouring. In other words, there is absolutely no room for detours! I am constantly amazed when a children's pastor calls me and tells me of their desire to see children baptized in the Holy Spirit and yet, when asked about what they are presently teaching, I learn that they are teaching a four-week series on dealing with bullying which will be followed by a three-week series on how to tell the truth. While these are great subjects, they are not moving you closer and closer to seeing the altars filled with boys and girls praying to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. The same holds true for pastors preaching to the adults on Sunday mornings or youth pastors ministering in their youth services. Many are ministering about family relationships and then moving on to a series on agape love and ...

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07 Dec Are You a Spiritual Streaker?

A couple of months ago, the Holy Spirit woke me up around 4 AM and gave me the strangest thought. He brought to mind a story that I wouldn't have thought of (especially in the middle of the night) in a million, billion years, The Emperor's New Clothes. The only other thing that He told me was a scripture, Luke 24:49. Being 4 AM, I didn't spend any time pondering about the childhood tale or the scripture. Surely, those thoughts could wait until a more convenient time. And wait they did. That is, until the Holy Spirit brought them back to my mind a couple of days ago.  For those unfamiliar with Hans Christian Andersen's classic tale, I will condense the story into a few sentences. There was an Emperor who was obsessed with his clothes that was duped by two swindlers that promised to weave cloth of the most beautiful patterns to create a robe for the Emperor that would be invisible to everyone unfit for the job he held or who was very simple in character. Once wearing the new robe, the Emperor paraded through town oblivious of the fact that he was only wearing his underwear. All of those around could readily see that the Emperor wasn't clothed. Upon hearing from his people that there was no invisible robe, the Emperor was upset, for he knew that the people were right. However, he continued the procession walking on in only his underwear.  Before sharing why I believe that the Holy Spirit woke me up at 4 AM, let me share the verse that He brought to my attention. “Listen carefully: I am sending the Promise of My Father [the Holy Spirit] upon you; but you are to remain in the city [of Jerusalem] until you are clothed (fully equipped) with power from on high.” Luke 24:49 (The Amplified Bible) Here is the revelation that I gained ...

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