Friday, April 3, 2009

Life Through the Spirit

Last month was filled with much activity and excitement for our family for sure. There was nothing significant really to make note of, we just had so much going on. Now that a new month has started I am excited to see what God has in store for us each day. I wanted to take the opportunity right quick to share what's been on my heart the last few weeks.

I just started a personal Bible study a couple of weeks ago on the fruit of the Spirit, and it's been very encouraging and spiritually uplifting. The entire study is based around the theme of living life in the Spirit--living beyond yourself. It's amazing to think that God's Spirit has been present since the creation of this world: "Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the water." (Gen. 1:2, emphasis mine!) It gives me chills to think about that! :)

I'm so thankful that God has given us His Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:1-11 lists many ways that the Spirit meets the needs of the church and individual believers. Many different gifts are given which include: the message of wisdom; message of knowledge; faith; gifts of healing; miraculous powers; prophecy; distinguishing between spirits; speaking in different kinds of tongues; and interpretation of tongues. The Holy Spirit manifests itself in us and develops fruit in the lives of believers! "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control." (Galatians 5:22)

One of the things that has been so inspiring and eye-opening to me is the fact that we have so much power living inside of us, as born-again believers in Jesus Christ! The thing is, we can sometimes quench this power. Therefore, we have to be very careful to see and recognize when this is happening, and do something about it! :) The Bible warns us of this in 1 Thessalonians 5:19: "Do not put out the Spirit's fire..." Ephesians 4:30 says, "And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption." It then goes on to list ways in which we can prevent this: "Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another even as God in Christ forgave you." (Eph. 4:31, 32)

What greater encouragement could we receive than to know that the Spirit of the living God is inside each of us!? I just want to encourage all readers to continue living each day for the Lord, allowing His Holy Spirit to comfort, lead and guide you in all truth! Life in the Spirit is definitely exciting! May I never hinder the working of the Holy Spirit in my life. At one point, the study had me write my own paraphrase of 1 John 4:4 which says, "You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world." My paraphrase? "With Christ in you there is always hope and sure victory over evil. We are a new creation, able to overcome. The Lord reigns over all and is greater than the most severe evil. He will overcome. Praise God!"

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