09/17/2017 Pastor Fred Rivers
Join us for powerful, dynamic services on October 6th, 7th, and 8th. Dr. Charles Carrin, David Rhea, and Pastor Doc Shell will all minister from the power of the Holy Spirit. Childcare will be provided on October 8th only.
In the little church where I grew up, we experienced very little teaching concerning the Holy Spirit. After two decades away from the church, I came back into a setting that recognizes and honors the work and Person of the Holy Spirit.
I have noticed though that we often focus on the Gifts of the Spirit which are clearly articulated in I Corinthians chapter 12. To a somewhat lesser degree, we teach on the Fruit of the Spirit as brought out in Galatians 5 verses 22 & 23. Both of those teachings, the Gifts and the Fruit of the Spirit are biblical, right and proper.
I am sensing though that we are entering into a revival of the Presence of God. In large part, the Holy Spirit is God’s representative agent in the earth. If we seek after and welcome the Presence of the Holy Spirit, He will usher us into the Presence of God and the Gifts and the Fruit of the Spirit will all be close at hand.
Speaking of the Holy Spirit Jesus said in John 14:16, “And I will pray the Father and He shall give you another comforter, that He may abide with you forever”.
If you are a believer, a Christian, recognize the abiding Presence of the Holy Spirit with you. If you are not a believer, simply recognize by faith that Jesus is God’s Son who gave His life for you. Give your life to Him and ask Him to fill your heart with the Presence of His Holy Spirit.
Back in 2011, a very destructive tornado tore through the region where I live. A couple of weeks ago as Hurricane Harvey impacted the Houston area, my mind went back to our local turmoil from that 2011 tornado. Again this week as Irma has made its way north through the Caribbean towards Florida, I have been reminded of the chaos which storms can bring.
As we continue to pray for the victims of the recent hurricanes, I have also been thinking of the spiritual storms which people go through. Medical diagnosis, relational collapses and financial devastation all have the potential to turn people’s lives upside down.
Jesus Himself told us that we would go through storms (Matthew 7:24-27). He also told us how we could overcome in the midst of those storms. He said it is crucial that we stay true to the Bible, especially in difficult times. In the Apostle Paul’s life, we see the power of praise in trying times (Acts 16:25-34). Paul also told us to focus on the ‘good’ even in hard times (Philippians 4:8,9).
Finally, the Bible tells us at all times to love and help one another. We have seen the people of Houston do that very thing in the aftermath of Harvey. Let us learn from those folks in Houston. Let’s take the teachings of Jesus to heart. God works through people. Will you let Him work through you?
Hurricane Harvey has wreaked havoc along America’s gulf coast region. From southeast Texas over into Louisiana the devastation is profound. Thankfully the Bible teaches us that God’s desire is to bring forth His Goodness and His Hope from even the most difficult circumstances (see Romans 8:28).
And we have seen a lot of ongoing goodness in the aftermath of Harvey. As rescue and recovery is just beginning a clear story is emerging of people helping people. Liberals and conservatives as well as the churched and the unchurched are banding together to help their hurting neighbors and fellow countrymen. It’s a beautiful thing when the needs of others cause people to rise above personal differences to make a positive and lasting impact for good.
Our President, Donald Trump, has declared Sunday, Sept. 3 as a National Day of Prayer to lift up all those affected by the storm. Let us with one voice call on the God of Heaven to bring healing and restoration to the people of Texas and Louisiana and all throughout our land! In the Name of Jesus Christ we agree, decree and declare that God’s perfect will be done for all those who are hurting.
In the early 70’s Warner Brothers released a movie entitled Jeremiah Johnson starring Robert Redford. Redford’s character, Jeremiah, left civilization behind to become a mountain man. It’s an intriguing movie filled with the challenges of living an isolated life.
There is another Jeremiah in the Bible who wanted to do much the same thing, except he wanted to run off into the desert to get away from everybody and everything (see Jeremiah 9:2). Thankfully the biblical Jeremiah never checked out on society. He stayed and worked out the issues he had with others and lived a fruitful life.
The moral to this story is that every one of us from time to time will feel the urge to run away from our problems. It may not be to the mountains or to the desert; it may just be an inward retreat where we isolate ourselves from others.
There is a great reward for all those who stay engaged and work through whatever the issues are. Cry out to God. He will help you. Jesus offers you lasting and eternal friendship. He will walk with you through every difficulty. Give Him your cares and He will give you His strength!