It Is No Time For Timidity! – 2 Timothy 1

From my reading in 2 Timothy 1 in the One Year Bible New Testament.

Life is too short to live in fear.

If God has called you to do something, step forward into it. You have no time to wait. Paul encouraged Timothy to fully embrace his spiritual gifts and engage boldly in the ministry God has given him.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7

The Holy Spirit sets us free from the self-imposed prison of fear.

Timidity and fear keep us from taking the risks that God wants us to take. The greatest adventures of our life come when we are afraid but still step up obey what Jesus is telling us to do. As many have said,

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but stepping up in the face of fear.”

If God has called you to something then he will give you the power, love and self-discipline to do it.

  • Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would give us power to be his witnesses in all the world.
  • The Holy Spirit also fills our hearts with His love, and that love is our motivation for our ministry.
  • One of the fruits of the Spirit is self-control. It takes self-discipline to do the hard work of the ministry faithfully.

Whatever God has for you to do, don’t let fear stop you.

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Don’t Get Drunk, Be Filled With The Spirit – Ephesians 5:17-33

From my reading in Ephesians 5:17-33 in the One Year Bible New Testament.

“Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit,” Ephesians 5:18

The Bible is clear that it is a sin to get drunk.

When you are drunk you lose control of yourself and do things you will regret. It leads to the wasting of your life.

Instead we are instructed to be filled with the Spirit.

When we are filled with alcohol we lose control. When we are filled with the Spirit we have self control. The phrase “Be filled” literally means to  continually be filled. This means that it is not a one time event in the life of a Christian.

The Holy Spirit already lives inside of all Christians, but many are not living in His fullness.

It is possible to quench the Spirit and grieve the Spirit through our sin.

Because of that, many Christians are not filled with the Spirit. Like a kink in a hose, our sin blocks the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives.

Being filled with the Spirit is necessary to live in a way that pleases God.

It is how we grow. It is how we relate to people lovingly. It is how we can effectively share our faith. Being filled with the Spirit is when we see God using us for his purposes.

Are you currently filled with the Spirit or do you have sin that you need to confess?

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How To Know If You Are Walking In The Holy Spirit Or Not – Galatians 5

From my reading in Galatians 5 in the One Year Bible New Testament.

If you are a Christian then you have the Holy Spirit living inside you!

Unfortunately you still have your sinful nature to deal with. There is a battle raging. Here’s how Paul described it.

“So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.” Galatians 5:16–17

We are instructed to let the Holy Spirit guide us and follow the desires that he gives us!

Paul gives us some ways to recognize if we are walking in the spirit or the flesh. Let’s start by looking at the effects of giving in to your sinful nature.

“When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19–21

Whenever you see yourself giving in to lust, anger, envy and the other sins listed you can know that you are not walking in the Holy Spirit.

When we follow the desires of the sinful nature it leads to things that destroy our lives. If you catch yourself doing these things ask God to forgive you and stop! On the other hand when we follow the Holy Spirit we get the totally opposite results.

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” Galatians 5:22–23

The Holy Spirit produces love, joy, peace and these other good qualities.

By Jesus’ power we can say no to our sinful desires and yes to the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives.

“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.” Galatians 5:24–25

Have you recently been walking in the sinful nature or the Holy Spirit?

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How The Spirit Of God Uses The Word Of God To Make Us Like The Son Of God – 2 Corinthians 3

From my reading in 2 Corinthians 3 in the One Year Bible New Testament.

Paul shares a rather deep statement that explain how the Holy Spirit helps Christians become more like Jesus.

But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image. 2 Corinthians 3:16–18

Moses wore a veil to protect the people of Israel from God’s glory reflecting on his face. Paul is using this as an illustration to tell us that we now that Christians are in the new covenant we have access to God’s glory through Christ.

The phrase “the Lord is Spirit” is affirming that the Holy Spirit is God himself. The Spirit offers us freedom from fear, sin, and legalism. We are free to enter God’s presence unhindered.

With the veil taken away, we can see God and his word more clearly.

The phrase “can see and reflect” can be translated in serval ways and has the idea of looking in a mirror and seeing reflection. Some of the commentaries I have read have implied that the mirror is an illusion for God’s word. If follows that as we look deeply into God’s Word the Holy Spirit changes us to become more like Jesus. As Rick Warren has said it in the Purpose Driven Life,

“The Spirit of God uses the Word of God to make us like the Son of God.”

As we reflect on God’s word and see God’s glory we become more and more like him.

The Holy Spirit is the catalyst for spiritual growth. He is the one who allows us to see Jesus clearly and slowly transforms into his image.

The word “change” here in the greek is “metamorphoo” which is where we get the root word metamorphosis. The Metamorphosis a butterfly goes through is a good illustration of how we are changed by God. The literal meaning of the word is “to change the essential form or nature of something.” We are changed into something totally different when the Spirit gets a hold of us!

The Holy Spirit changes us to become more like Jesus.

That is the epic journey that Christians are on in this life. I pray that I will allow the Holy Spirit to continue to transform me and will use me to help others become more like Jesus!

8 Life Changing Truths About Christians In Romans 8:1-21

From my reading in Romans 8:1-21 in the One Year Bible New Testament.

If you are a Christian who is letting the Holy Spirit control your life, then these truths are for you.

1. There’s No Condemnation For You

“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” Rom 8:1

2. You Are Set Free From The Power Of Sin

“And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death” Rom 8:2

3. You Can Experience Life And Peace Through The Holy Spirit

“So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.” Rom 8:6

4. The Same Spirit Who Raised Jesus From The Dead Lives In You

“The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.” Romans 8:11

5. You’re Not Obligated To Follow The Sinful Nature

“Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do.” Rom 8:12

6. You Are An Adopted Child Of God, Not Fearful A Slave.

“So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” Rom 8:15

7. You Are A Heir Of God’s Glory

“And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.” Rom 8:17

8. You Will Experience Freedom From Death And Decay In Heaven.

“The creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay.” Rom 8:21

Which of these truths makes you most excited?

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Discerning God’s Call For Your Life As You Go – Acts 16:1-21

From my reading in Acts 16:1-21 in the One Year New Testament.

Discerning God’s call is something that I am faced with questions about a lot as a college minister.

I believe that the way that God calls each person is different. For many people, I believe that one way to discover your calling to to try several things and see where the Holy Spirit leads you.

Paul and Silas were already called to go as missionaries. They were traveling through Asia and wanted to preach in the areas of Phrygia, Galatia, Mysia, and Bithynia. But they were prevented by the Holy Spirit! Here’s a hint: any time the Holy Spirit doesn’t let you go somewhere, don’t go!

Paul and Silas were not standing still, waiting for God to tell them where to go.

They were actively pursuing God’s mission, and the Holy Spirit was able to guide them as they were going. It has been said,

“It’s easier to steer a moving car than a stationary one.”

Especially for young people, it is helpful to try a variety of things and see where God guides you.

This is one reason I really believe in short term mission trips. You don’t need have to receive a special call to go on short trip; just go!  Who knows if God will give you a heart to go back and plant your life there. God spoke specifically in a vision to Paul calling him to Macedonia,

“During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.” Acts 16:9–10

Paul was actively seeking the place that God wanted him and it was made very clear!

If you are trying to find out what God is calling you to do, pray about it of course, but also try different things and I believe he will guide you!

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What To Say You Don’t Know What To Say – Luke 21:1-19

From my reading in Luke 21:1-19 in the One Year New Testament.

Jesus is in the middle of warning his disciples of the signs of the end times and he shares that they are going to be dragged in front of kings and governors to stand trial because they are his followers. Here’s what he says to do.

“But this will be your opportunity to tell them about me. So don’t worry in advance about how to answer the charges against you, for I will give you the right words and such wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to reply or refute you!” Luke 21:13–15

This is a specific promise to the 12 disciples and I don’t think it applies to everyone all the time.

But I personally believe that the Holy Spirit can give us the words to say when we are telling someone about Jesus, and I have experienced this in my life.

Don’t Worry, Just Open Your Mouth

Personally I have experienced times where someone asked me a question and I felt God gave me the words to say in the moment.

It is almost always something I had already known or read recently but I was able to remember and seemed to be given something that fit the moment exactly.

When I sit across someone at Starbucks or McDonalds to invest in someone many times I don’t have a set “plan.” But as the conversation progresses I can sense the Holy Spirit is guiding our conversation. Sometimes I will think of a specific verse or truth to share.

I believe that having an attitude of dependence upon the Holy Spirit as we meet with people, preach and share the good news is vital to matching the truth of God’s word to people situations.

We won’t be able to do this perfectly, but if this becomes a habit then I believe we will see people growing and taking steps forward in much greater ways.

Next time you encounter a situation where you don’t know what to say…

Ask God to give you the words to say…

Open your mouth…

See what happens!

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