The Baptism in the Holy Spirit

22 May Praying in the Spirit Illustrations – Part 19

Ready for another tool to use for sharing life-changing, spirit-equipping truths about the numerous benefits that come from praying in the Spirit? Once again, I will give a brief, skeletal overview of the illustration. Then, with the Holy Spirit’s help, you can personalize and modify the illustration to become a powerful teaching tool. The Importance of Praying in Other TonguesPart 19 – Praying in the Spirit is a No-Brainer! "For if I pray in an [unknown] tongue, my spirit [by the Holy Spirit within me] prays, but my mind is unproductive [it bears no fruit and helps nobody]."1 Corinthians 14:14 (Amplified Bible) For this illustration, you will need a Bible, a poster board, marker, baseball, cupcake, and three helpers.Preparation: Have the poster board mounted so that the audience will be able to see the artwork being created. Have the baseball resting on a table. Lastly, place the cupcake on a plate and sitting off to the side. Note: Be creative with your comments about each of the volunteers after they have displayed their talent. There is so much humor that can be interjected into this illustration. Today, I want to showcase the brilliance found in this room by highlighting some amazing, incredible talent. To do this, I need to use three helpers. (Select three people to join you.) For our first helper, I want to challenge you to reveal your artistic abilities. It's quite simple. (Move the helper close to the mounted poster board.) Using this marker, I want to give you a whopping sixty seconds to draw a picture of my beautiful face. Remember to be kind! (Allow the picture to be drawn and then position the artist to the side of the poster board so that the picture can be "appreciated".) Next, I want to use our second volunteer to show off their incredible athletic abilities. Please go over and pick up that baseball and toss it to me. Notice that I said the word "toss". I really don't want to have to make a trip to the emergency room. (Allow the baseball to be tossed to you.) And last, I have saved my favorite display of talent for our third and final helper. Your talent will be showcased as you go over and pick up that cupcake and enjoy eating it. (Allow the helper to pick up and eat the cupcake.)   I will admit that there really wasn't much talent to be seen in the performed tasks. But, pay close attention because we are now going to get to the reason for these three actions. (Turn to the artist.) When you picked up the marker to draw the "beautiful" picture of my face, which hand did you use to draw the picture? (Allow for the answer.) Is this because you are ______-handed? (Turn to the baseball thrower.) When you picked up the baseball, which hand did you use to toss the baseball? (Allow for an answer.) Is this because you are ______-handed? (Turn to the cupcake devourer.) When you picked up the cupcake, which hand did you use to bring the cupcake up to your mouth? (Allow for an answer.) Is this because you are ______-handed? (Ask your helpers to take a bow and then return back to their seats.) Notice that each task was performed by our helpers using what is called their dominant hand. And, you'll notice in each of the three tasks, in using their dominant hand, their other hand wasn't needed to accomplish the task. They could have used their other hand but they wouldn't have accomplished the same results. This other hand wasn't discarded or removed. It was still there, but not used.  Let's look at our scripture. (Open the Bible to read our verse.) In writing this scripture, the apostle Paul is giving us insight for a way to accomplish one of the most incredible things, the ability to supernaturally, powerfully talk to God. Isn't that your desire? Did you notice that I said that it was supernatural praying? As we pray in other tongues, the Holy Spirit connects with our spirit and gives it a supernatural strength (dominance) that enables much to be accomplished. It would easy to call this power-packed praying. It goes beyond what could be accomplished with just using our mind to pray. Speaking of the mind, what about the mind while we pray in other tongues? Just like the "other hand" seen earlier in the tasks of our three helpers, the mind isn't accomplishing anything. It is still there but yielding no results.  If you want to pray strong prayers, the kind that will cause much to happen, it is a no-brainer (no pun intended). Pray in the Spirit! ...

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09 Dec Hold On To Your Socks!

I don't know whether or not this happens to you, but at times, I can read a book and within hours, most of what I've read has escaped my memory. So, some time ago, I took steps to keep this from robbing me of what I've read. First of all, I began to highlight the thoughts and add annotations in the side margins. And then I went one step further. I created an Excel spreadsheet file on my computer and began to enter those quotations for future reference. For those of you who follow my Billy Burns Ministries page on Facebook, you see these quotations each Monday. (www.facebook.com/billyburnsministries) Some four or five months ago, I read a small pamphlet written by Jimmy Swaggart titled The Baptism in the Holy Ghost. Though the booklet was only 29 pages in length, it contained so many powerful nuggets that I couldn't afford to forget, thoughts that I had to enter into my quotations file. This week, I want to share a few of these quotations with you. To use my southern vernacular, I believe that these truths will bless the socks off of you! "Sending a Christian into the world without the Holy Spirit is tantamount to sending a soldier into battle without a weapon. Admittedly, at the moment a person is saved, he becomes a Christian just as a person becomes a soldier the moment he is sworn into the Army. But the inductee is not ready for battle until he has basic training and has been issued his weapons. And the Christian is in the same condition at the time of salvation. If he isn't encouraged to receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, preparing him for the ever continuing battle against Satan, he is being sent out onto a battlefield woefully unprepared." *********************************** "Salvation is God's greatest gift to the world. The Holy Ghost is God's greatest gift to His children, the Church." *********************************** "For the person planning to die within the next few days, there probably aren't any great advantages to receiving the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. But for those who don't plan to leave this vale of problems soon, there are tremendous advantages." *********************************** "Salvation equips us to enter into the presence of God after mortal life is over. The Baptism in the Holy Ghost equips us to live fruitfully (and happily) during those years before we go to be with God." *********************************** "At salvation, life is imparted to someone who is heretofore dead. In the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, power is imparted to the Christian who was previously weak and ineffectual. He is henceforth fitted for service to God." *********************************** "We need power if we are to work effectively against the perverting, destructive conspiracy promoted by the enemy. Anyone hindering the Christian in any way as he enters this battle is tacitly working for Satan, even though he might be appalled at the thought of doing so." ...

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02 Dec The Demystified Holy Spirit

I'm going to try something totally new in this blog post. For the first time in the 12+ year history of writing this blog, I am simply going to give the title, a brief explanation of the subject, the scripture reference, a set of four questions drawn from the scripture reference, and then leave it to the Holy Spirit to use these questions to make Himself known in your life in a fresh, new way. TITLE: The Demystified Holy Spirit BRIEF EXPLANATION OF THE SUBJECT: The 19:2 Déjà vu Epidemic has invaded much of today's Church. The 19:2 refers to a situation found in Acts 19:2 that showed a group of Ephesian believers that were clueless about the Holy Spirit. Some 2,000 years later, it has happened again. Once again, believers all around the world are mystified about the Holy Spirit. Consequently, this lack of understanding is keeping Him from having a relationship with many of today's believers. SCRIPTURE REFERENCE: John 14 - 16 FOUR QUESTIONS: 1. The Holy Spirit showing up on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2) wasn't His idea. From your reading of John 14-16, what/who brought about the Holy Spirit being sent to the Church? 2. In our scripture reference, we read over and over again that Jesus showed that the Holy Spirit is not a mystical, unknowable force or entity. You will notice that Jesus constantly referred to the Holy Spirit using personal pronouns. Count how many times that He used these pronouns. Why would knowing that the Holy Spirit is a Person be important to your relationship with Him? 3. In reading through the passage, I am confident that you noticed that Jesus told us that having a relationship with the Holy Spirit would be to our advantage. The "He  shall ...

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