Category - Holy Spirit

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My Royal Supply Bag
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Graduation?
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Three Lessons about the Holy Spirit from Two Year Olds

My Royal Supply Bag

Approaching Veteran’s Day, a question popped up from the past on my Facebook: “Would you be willing to fight and/or die to protect those you love?”   Most, including myself, would quickly say “Yes”!

But there is the more difficult question:  “Would you be willing to change for those you love?”

Would you choose to forgive instead of growing bitter?

Would you choose peace over strife?

Would you choose joy instead of sadness?

Would you choose hope over despair?

Would you choose to bless instead of curse or gossip?

Would you choose to be kind instead of being rude?

Would you choose to demonstrate love rather than hate?

I want to say “yes” to change.  But trying harder doesn’t make change possible…. There may be behavior modification for a while, but true change comes only from within – it comes from the heart.

Peace, love, joy, kindness, patience, and forgiveness are only possible when they are flowing out of a relationship with God.  I have access to them through my relationship with the King!

Addy, my five year old granddaughter, was playing in her room with a backpack filled with “stuff”.  Her daddy asked her what the bag was for and her reply was “It’s my royal supply bag.”  Inside the bag was her crown, a beautiful gown, some slippers, a wand, and a sword and various other “princess” necessities.   Her daddy asked her, “Why do you need all this stuff?”   Her reply, “Dad, I’m going to be a Queen one day!”   Addy definitely sets her expectations high!

As followers of THE ONE TRUE KING, our expectations should be HIGH!   Christ gave His life for our ability to have heart change.

We have a royal supply bag with us at all times. John 14:17 tells us that His Spirit dwells within us – His Spirit IS our never-ending supply of His truth, forgiveness, peace, joy, kindness,  and hope.  When we access those royal supplies, His love will be on display in our lives!

Romans 12:2 says “Do not be conformed any longer to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…”    The word “renewing” means a total renovation.   If my mind is going to be renewed resulting in true heart and behavior change,  I MUST renovate my mind with His word!

If I want peace in my home instead of constant strife, I need to meditate on His words of peace and allow His peace to flow out from me.

If I want to experience true forgiveness for others rather than bitterness, I need to remember the  forgiveness He has extended toward me and His forgiveness will be produced in my life.

We all have a royal supply bag that was given to us when we entered into a relationship with Christ.   This royal supply bag was costly………….it cost the Almighty King of the universe, his one and only Son.

  • Put on the garments of praise instead a spirit of despair: Isaiah 61:3
  • Put on His robe of righteousness instead of spirit of shame: Isaiah 61:10
  • Fight your battles with the sword of the Spirit instead of words of hate: II Corinthians 10:3-5
  • Embrace the King as your Abba daddy instead of living with an orphan spirit: Romans 8:16-17
  • Walk in His peace instead of anger: James 1:20
  • Walk in God confidence instead of fear: Romans 8:15 and II Timothy 1:7

We have those “supplies” at our disposal – but we must access them by saying “Yes” to renewing our mind with His Word and allowing Him to change our hearts!

Graduation?

It’s the season of graduation ceremonies up here on Rocky Top.  People are becoming doctors, dentists, lawyers, teachers, high school graduates and even preschool graduates.

Last week I watched the cutest five year old walk down a long aisle wearing a red cap and gown.   The tassel hung to one side of his adorable face and his smile of accomplishment shone for everyone to see.  As this boy’s Nonna, I beamed with pride and waved as he passed me by.

The head of the preschool boasted about the graduates’ many accomplishments: they knew numbers, the alphabet and various others bits of knowledge.    The teachers had observed their ability to use this knowledge and now they were ready to be presented as graduates!

A few days after this momentous occasion, I began to question if I had graduated.  Yes, I hold a high school diploma and even a Bachelor of Science degree from Baylor University.   My teachers and professors observed my proficiency in many different subject matters for me to obtain those diplomas.

But am I graduate of God’s word?   A teacher knows his pupil knows the material when the pupil doesn’t just regurgitate knowledge but when he sees the pupil utilize the information in real life.

I can memorize thousands of verses, attend every Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer, BSF, Precept Bible study, and go to Sunday School or small group every week yet if I do not use the knowledge of God’s word, it’s just information.

Information doesn’t bring transformation,” I heard a preacher say (Jay Smith).   I must realize that God’s word is meant to be experienced and allowed to be poured out of my life by the power of the Holy Spirit.

If I have memorized the fruits of the Holy Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control) but they are not evident in my life, it is time to question my walk with Christ.

A tree will be known by its fruit.

Am I kind even when others are not?

Is love evident in my life even towards those who are unlovable?

“Words and ideology on a page are cheap.  Grace and incarnating the love of Christ isn’t.” (Voskamp).

When my husband is thousands of miles away sharing the Gospel with those who have never heard, does peace reign in my life when the basement pipes leak again?

Am I patient when I have been put on hold for thirty minutes?

Lord, I don’t just want to be filled with head knowledge.  I want to be filled with YOU!

A true leader/a graduate displays knowledge in action……..kindness, peace, love, joy, and thankfulness.  A graduate of the Word of God displays Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit!

It is better to memorize one verse and live it out than to continue to fill my head with knowledge but show no fruit in my life.

Lord, may I always have a teachable spirit and always be a graduate of your Word!

 

Three Lessons about the Holy Spirit from Two Year Olds

In the last few weeks I have been blessed to spend a lot of time with both of my two year old grandchildren. The Lord has really used them to teach me some lessons about the Holy Spirit.

  1. The phrases “I do it” and “I can do it by myself” and the attitude that accompanies them begin very early in life.   Independence and pride may be an American concept that is encouraged.  Yet it is not the way Christ intends for His followers to live life.  Accepting help is hard for me. And yet over and over in God’s word He says things like “apart from Me you can do nothing!” John 15:5 The Holy Spirit is consistently referred to as our Helper in Scripture! And yet, I don’t want help with most things! It is hard to humble myself and ask the Lord for help in everything in life.
  2. Holding a big person’s finger while walking up and downstairs, crossing the street or walking in unfamiliar places is comforting and empowering. So many times, these precious two year olds do realize they need help. They stick out their little chubby hands and say, “Come on, Nonna!” They take my finger as I walk with them or lead them. At this point, my heart usually melts and I am so filled with love for them. I think this joy is what the Heavenly Father experiences when we do ask Him for help. When we just look up and say, “Come on Jesus, I want to walk with You! I want to die to myself and walk in the Spirit! I feel safer and empowered walking with Him! Galatians 5:16 says we are to be “led by the Spirit”! Our Helper is always ready to lead us if we just ask! When I allow the Spirit to lead me instead of wandering off on my own, I experience Kingdom adventure and see His kingdom grow.
  3. Having a security blanket to take to bed just makes life better. Both of my grands have some sort of “security blanket”. It comforts them as they are falling asleep. I love watching them rub the edges of their blanket as they drift off to sleep. I might not have an actual blanket but most nights as I drift off to sleep I need His comfort. I need to know He is in control of this messed up world. I need to be reminded that He will be there for me in every circumstance! Another name for the Holy Spirit is “Comforter”! John 14:16   “I (Jesus) will pray to the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever.”

I am very thankful to Addison and William for teaching me more about Who He is!

My prayer for you today is that you will embrace the Holy Spirit as your Helper. Ask Him to lead you every morning as you arise so that you can experience His Kingdom adventure. I also pray that every night as you lay your head on your pillow that you will know Him as your Comforter in whatever your are facing.

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