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Let God's Spirit!

by Rev Thomas Shanklin

 
Painting is used with permission of Vie De Jesus Mafa (http://www.jesusmafa.com)
Painting is used with permission of Vie De Jesus Mafa (http://www.jesusmafa.com)
Image by: Vie de Jesus Mafa

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On Pentecost Sunday we celebrate the birth of the church, but more importantly, the day we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit and the day the disciples got their "marching orders."

"But you are not in the flesh, you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you. So then, brothers and sisters, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh, -- for if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, "Abba! Father!" It is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and join heirs with Christ."
Romans 8:9-15

How often have you seen heirs argue over an inheritance? The arguments often start years before and when death comes and the time for the reading of the will occurs, families sit divided over their inheritance. The Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32) story tells of the son who squandered his inheritance while the father was still alive and the elder son resented the coming home of the younger because it might affect his inheritance. More importantly, why should the father love this way-ward soul when HE had been more faithful and stayed around. The inheritances that we argue over in this material world.... are they worth dividing our families and friends over?

Paul, in his Letter to the Romans tells us that we have an inheritance that IS worth arguing over. Or at least, lets say, it's an inheritance that is worth paying attention to. When you became a Christian; when you said "I believe that Jesus is the Son of God." ; when you were baptized in the name of the "Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit," YOU received an inheritance right then and there. It is the receiving of the Holy Spirit that dwells within every Christian and which gives each of us shoes made for walking, hearts burning within, fire wanting to tell the story, courage beyond measure to reach out and touch others. It is the Holy Spirit within that makes each of us into Children of God and ministers of the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Paul cautions followers not to receive this inheritance in vain. That is, once you receive it, don't let the world creep in, darkness to enter, don't allow the way others behave and live in the world to over-creep the leading of the Spirit of God in your heart, in your families, in church.

The Holy Spirit is a POWERFUL presence in the lives of believers and the life of a church. Again though, there is a BUT. The Holy Spirit is POWERFUL only if we allow the Holy Spirit to work, lead, empower, inspire, move us.....into God's grace and each of us into our individual ministries. What's your choice? Allow the darkness and evil to fill your heart and blot out Christ's Spirit, or let go and allow God's Spirit to lead you?

Remember Paul writes...

"But you are not in the flesh, you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. for if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, "Abba! Father!" It is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and join heirs with Christ."
Romans 8:9-15

The spirit of Darkness, the world, though it looks like freedom will control your mind and hearts and lead you into slavery of deceit and deception, materialism, and whatever else the world admires. BUT the SPIRIT of the Living God will set you free.... and once free you will witness the marvelous and miraculous works that God can and will do through you and your church.

"Spirit of the Living God, Fall afresh on me. Melt me, mold me, take me, use me. Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on us."

Today... Since wind or breath....is a way of describing the Spirit..

Stop to listen to your breathing once in a while. As you breath... count how many times you breath in a minute.. Then.. Remember during the day... Each exhale remove the spirit of darkness, sin, badness, the world Each inhale, breath in the fresh, clean, new air of life, God's Spirit Let go!!!!! Let God's Spirit....!!

As you are outside, when the wind blows... Remember it is God reminding you of His Spirit presence... And of your being a Child of God.

Rev Shanklin is Conference Secretary of Troy Annual Conference.


 
See Also...
Topic: Christian love Jesus Christ Special Sundays
Geographic Region: World
Source: United Methodist Churches
 
 

Date posted: Jun 11, 2003