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Archive for August, 2010

The Gift of TonguesThe gift of tongues is one of the most amazing presents God has ever given.  As we learned in yesterday’s message, tongues has value both in a corporate church service and in the personal life of a Christian.

The grace to pray in other languages is a gift available to every believer who has received the baptism in the Holy Spirit, and it has many benefits.

Praying in tongues allows your spirit to pray and by-pass the emotions or misunderstandings of your mind.  It is not a replacement for praying with your intellect and understanding; rather it is a beautiful addition to your prayer life.

The Bible says some pretty amazing things happen when we exercise our prayer language:

1. We pray according to God’s will.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.   And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.  – Romans 8:26-27

2.  We complete the full armor of God.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. – Ephesians 6:18

3. We strengthen our faith.

But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. – Jude 20

Remember, your prayer language isn’t something that is received as much as it is released once you have received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.  I encourage you to continue to pursue a release of this amazing gift in your life.  Allow the grace of God to empower you to engage your spirit in prayer and let your mind take a break!

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1 Corinthians 14:26
What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church.

There are some things in life you just can’t afford to not do.  You can’t afford to not change your oil.  You can’t afford to not brush your teeth.  You can’t afford to not forgive.

The same holds true for the Body of Christ.  1 Corinthians 14 tells us the church cannot afford for believers to not exercise the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  Paul says these things “must be done” for church to be strong.

Healthy churches are made up of healthy people using the gifts God has given them to serve one another.  I believe God has filled your life with gifts, through the grace of the Holy Spirit.  And I believe your gifts play a huge part in the Body of Christ being strong and effective in our city.

Do you know what gifts He’s given you?  Are you using them?

1 Peter 4:10
Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.

 

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In my high school Physics class, we had the chance to take on the legendary assignment to drop an egg from the roof of the school without cracking it.

This project was cool for a variety of reasons, the first being we had permission to get up on the roof of the school.  It was also a project that allowed us to get out from behind the desk and apply what we had learned to a hands-on project.

We came up with some wild and crazy contraptions involving coat hangers, rubber bands, duct tape, electrical tape, scotch tape, athletic tape, and anything else we could raid from the teachers supply closet.  Most of our designs looked great and were built on good theories, but the structures we created just didn’t hold up well to the long drop and sudden stop from the roof.

Much to our chagrin, the most secure design, even after repeated test drops, belonged to the girl who rolled her egg in a pillow and stuffed it into a shoe box.  No amount of bouncing, trouncing, or pouncing could crack that egg.

Physics class may have come and gone, but we all still find ourselves trying to develop contraptions to keep our hearts safe from the pounding this world dishes out.  We try ideas built on great theories or celebrated in the latest books, but we can’t seem protect ourselves from feeling like we are carrying damaged cargo.

There just isn’t a good substitute to being wrapped up tight and tucked inside a safe place.

In John 14:20 Jesus promises:

On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.

I am so thinking Jesus got an a “A” in Physics class!

He knows how to hold the human heart safely and securely.  John 14:20 tells us Jesus has wrapped Himself around us, and God is wrapped around Him, then He placed the Holy Spirit inside of us to further cushion us from the hard jolts of life.  We are wrapped up inside and out in the marvelous grace of God.

All of us were born into a broken world, and we have all experienced the breaking this world has to offer.  But, when we are born again in the grace of God, we are born into a security that holds us steadfast through every long drop or sudden stop that comes our way.

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Attempting to wrap our finite minds around the majesty of an infinite God is a wonderfully noble, if not oftentimes laughable goal.

But, our love for God and His gift of the Holy Bible lead us onward into a continual discovery of His nature and character.

In an attempt to explain the essence of God in the Holy Trinity, one of the most beautiful documents ever to describe God was written in the year 500 A.D.

We know it today as the Athanasian Creed.

But this is the faith: That we worship one God in trinity, and trinity in unity;
Neither confounding the persons; nor dividing the substance.
For there is one person of the Father: another of the Son: another of the Holy Ghost.
But the Godhead of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost is all one: the glory equal, the majesty coeternal.
Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Ghost.
The Father is uncreated: the Son is uncreated: the Holy Ghost is uncreated.
The Father is immeasurable: the Son is immeasurable: the Holy Ghost is immeasurable.
The Father is eternal: the Son is eternal: the Holy Ghost is eternal
And yet there are not three
As also there are not three uncreated: nor three immeasurable: but one uncreated, and one immeasurable.
So likewise the Father is almighty: the Son almighty: and the Holy Ghost almighty,
And yet there are not three almighties: but one almighty.
So the Father is God: the Son is God: and the Holy Ghost is God.
And yet there are not three Gods; but one God.
So the Father is Lord: the Son Lord: and the Holy Ghost Lord.
And yet not three Lords; but one Lord
For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to
acknowledge every Person by himself to be God and Lord
So are we forbidden to say, there are three Gods, or three Lords.
The Father is made of none; neither created; nor begotten.
The Son is of the Father alone: not made; nor created; but begotten.
The Holy Ghost is of the Father and the Son: not made; neither created; nor begotten; but proceeding.
Thus there is one Father, not three Fathers: one Son, not three Sons: one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts.
And in this Trinity none is before or after another: none is greater or less than another.
But the whole three Persons are co-eternal together, and co-equal
So that in all things, as aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.

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