Monday, January 27, 2014

The heart—a den of evil

‘For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.’ Matthew 15:19

Suggested Further Reading: Psalm 58:1–6

Your child will have evil thoughts without your sending him to a diabolical infant school; children who have been brought up in the midst of honesty, will be found guilty of little thefts early enough in life.
False witness, which is one form of lying, is so common, that perhaps to find a tongue which never did bear false witness would be to find a tongue that never spoke.
Is this caused by education or by nature?
It is so common a thing that even when the ear has heard nothing but the most rigid truth, children learn to lie and men commonly do lie and love to tell an evil tale against their fellow men whether it be true or not...bearing false witness with an avidity which is perfectly shocking.
Is this a matter of education, or is it a depraved heart?
Some men will willfully invent a slanderous lie, knowing that they need not take any special care of their offspring, for they may lay it in the street and the first passer-by will take it up and nurse it, and the lie will be carried in triumph round the world; whereas a piece of truth which would have done honour to a good man’s character, will be left to be forgotten till God shall remember it at the day of judgment.
You never need educate any man into sin.
The serpent is scarcely born before it rears itself and begins to hiss.
The young lion may be nurtured in your parlour, but it will develop before long the same thirst for blood as if it were in the forest.
So is it with man; he sins as naturally as the young lion seeks for blood, or the young serpent stores up venom.

For meditation: Adam and Eve were created sinless in God’s image (Genesis 1:275:1); they became sinners and as the result of disobedience Adam’s children were born sinful in his image (Genesis 5:3). Everybody since has sinned as the result of being born a sinner—except for the Son of God who was born in the likeness of sinful flesh i.e. in real, but sinless, flesh. Are you trusting in him alone as the one who was punished in his own flesh for your sin (Romans 8:3)?

fromSpurgeon at the Metropolitan Tabernacle
Sermon no. 732 ~ 27 January (1867)

This devotional really spoke to my heart this morning...almost as a relief...

I was brought up believing that it was my fault that I was such a horrible sinner. I was shamed constantly regarding any slight infraction. However, God's word says that "we all sin and fall short of God's glory" so from birth I was burdened with sin automatically...I did not need to have additional burden of shame placed upon my small shoulders. We all sin because of Adam...we are made new with Jesus. Once I accepted Christ as my Savior he removed the burden of sin and began making me into a "new creation!" The process is gradual but it is constantly moving toward the "new person" Christ wants me to become. God's Word says to seek and I will ask and it will be given to me...I am surrounded by God's protection as I seek refuge in His Son, Jesus Christ!! Because of Christ, I am forgiven and God will not remember my sins any longer!! Though my sins were scarlet...He made me white as snow!! I am the apple of His eye and He holds me in the palm of His hand...the Lord is my portion!! Alleluia, Praise God from whom all blessings flow!! In Jesus name I am thankful!!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Seeking the Lost

Zaccheus was a rich man who was lost. But he knew one thing: he wanted to see who Jesus was, and when he sought Jesus, He found that God was pursuing him. Alistair Begg explains that in the story of Zaccheus we see the essence of Christmas. This Jesus is Immanuel, God with us, and he has come "to save his people from their sins." The story of Christmas is the story of God giving himself to seek and save helpless sinners, and he still calls out today to all who will acknowledge their need.

Listen to God's Voice

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Bless the Lord, O My Soul "10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)" - Matt Redman

Bless the Lord, O my soul, O my soul
Worship His Holy name

Sing like never before, O my soul
I'll worship Your Holy name

The sun comes up
It's a new day dawning

It's time to sing Your song again

Whatever may pass 
and whatever lies before me

Let me be singing 
when the evening comes

Bless the Lord, O my soul, O my soul
Worship His Holy name

Sing like never before, o my soul
I'll worship Your Holy name

You're rich in love and 
You're slow to anger
Your name is great and 
Your heart is kind

For all Your goodness I will keep on singing

10,000 reasons for my heart to find

Bless the Lord, O my soul, O my soul
Worship His Holy name

Sing like never before, O my soul
I'll worship Your Holy name

And on that day
When my strength is failing

The end draws near 
and my time has come

Still my soul will sing Your praise unending

10,000 years and then forevermore, 

Bless the Lord, O my soul, O my soul
Worship His Holy name

Sing like never before, O my soul
I'll worship Your Holy name

~ * ~

Bless the Lord, O my soul, O my soul
Worship His Holy name

Sing like never before, O my soul
I'll worship Your Holy name

Yes, I will worship Your Holy name

Lord, I'll worship Your Holy name

Monday, January 20, 2014

God's Psychiatry by Charles Allen

What a wonderful book!!
I had forgotten about having this book...I found it while looking on my shelf for my small book of God's Promises.

One look at the table of contents and I was reminded of why I liked this small pocket size book so well.

The back cover reads like this...
God's Psychiatry shows you how to:
  • Acquire confidence, courage, and a new look at life
  • Banish fear and worry
  • Bring out the best in yourself
  • Generate appreciation from your friends and coworkers
  • Face life with enthusiasm and inward peace
In this powerful book, Charles L. Allen explains the essence of God's psychiatry - the four best-known passages of the Bible: The Twenty-third Psalm, The Ten Commandments, The Lord's Prayer, and The Beatitudes. These "prescriptions" will cure discouragement and doubt and dramatically change your life for the better. 


The Healing of Mind and Soul

Part 1: How to Think of God
      The Twenty-third Psalm

Part 2: God's Rules for Living
        The Ten Commandments

Part 3: How to Talk to God
         The Lord's Prayer

Part 4: The Keys to the Kingdom
         The Beatitudes

excerpt from the first page of 
The Healing of Mind and Soul:

Here is a sample put out by :

The Healing Power of the Twenty-third Psalm

Sunday, January 19, 2014

We must control our tongue in order to live a Godly life.

Matthew 12
34 ...For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. 
35 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things,
      and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. 
36 But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak,
      they will give account of it in the day of judgment.
37 For by your words you will be justified, and 
       by your words you will be condemned.”

Helpful Chart for Self-Evaluation

James 3:2-12 
Why Should I?
How Do I?

James 3:1-12
Developing a Faith that Works 
Part 8 of 15
Student Outline

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Count On It - New Year's Eve Message from Elevation Church

I found my way to this link.... a New Year's Eve worship service at Elevation Church here:

I know, with God....things don't "just so happen" as they say.....I needed the message in this sermon and cried like a baby at God's faithfulness!!!

If you are a believer in Christ, you have a reason to praise. Through our seasons of drought and through our seasons of harvest, we always have a reason to praise. And our reasons goes way beyond simply finding the silver linings and turning our lemons into lemonade. It's much richer and deeper than that. During our New Year's Eve Praise Party, Pastor Steven taught us three reasons we have to be grateful to God, no matter the battles we've faced, beatings we've taken, or how difficult our year may have been.

difficult our year may have been

The Touch of Jesus

What kind of people did Jesus associate with? 
Whom did he consider important enough to touch? 
Here we see many of the people Jesus came to know. 
Some reached out to Him; He reached out to them all. 
Regardless of how great or unknown, rich or poor, 
young or old, sinner or saint - 
Jesus cares equally for all. 

No person is beyond the loving touch of Jesus.

Jesus talked with:

A despised tax collector........................Matthew 9:9
An insane hermit...................................Mark 5:1-15
The Roman governor............................Mark 15:1-15
A young boy............................................Mark 9:17-27
A prominent religious leader...............John 3:1-21
A homemaker.........................................Luke 10:38-42
An expert in the Law.............................Matthew 22:35
A criminal................................................Luke 23:40-43
A synagogue ruler..................................Mark 5:22
Fishermen...............................................Matthew 4:18-20
A king.......................................................Luke 23:7-11
A poor widow..........................................Luke 7:11-17; 21:1-4
A Roman centurion................................Luke 7:1-10
A group of children................................Mark 10:13-16
A prophet.................................................Matthew 3
An adulterous woman............................John 8:1-11
The Jewish high council........................Luke 22:66-71
A sick woman..........................................Mark 5:25-34
A rich man...............................................Mark 10:17-23
A blind beggar.........................................Mark 10:46
Jewish political leaders.........................Mark 12:13
A group of women..................................Luke 8:2-3
The high priest........................................Matthew 26:62-68
An outcast with leprosy..........................Luke 17:11-19
A royal official..........................................John 4:46-53
A young girl..............................................Mark 5:41-42
A traitor.....................................................John 13:1-3, 27
A helpless and paralyzed man................Mark 2:1-12
An angry mob of soldiers & police..........John 18:3-9
A woman from a foreign land.................Mark 7:25-30
A doubting follower..................................John 20:24-29
An enemy who hated him.......................Acts 9:1-9
A Samaritan woman................................John 4:1-26

Friday, January 10, 2014

The Wonderful Spirit-Filled Life by Charles Stanley

The list below was compiled by Brian Rossi of 
Clink on the above pic to go to his website.

By: Charles Stanley

“As ambassadors for Christ, believers have the responsibility of living in such a way that others see Christ in us. As the body of Christ, we are His hands and His feet. We are His mouthpieces. Pardon the cliché, but we are the only Jesus most people will ever know. That being the case, it is no wonder that so many non-Christians want nothing to do with Christ in His church. They know too many Christians!” Page: 4-5

“If the Christian life is simply a matter of doing our best, there was no need for God to send the Holy Spirit to help us.”

“Jesus let it be known, however, that God was looking for more than our best. He was looking for a life-style and attitude that superseded our best, a life-style and attitude that we could never attain through our own efforts.”

“The quality of life Jesus expects from His followers is unattainable apart from outside intervention.” Page: 8

“Learning to recognize the Holy Spirit is the first step in learning to live the Spirit-filled life.” Page: 14

“The Holy Spirit is not as mysterious and illusive as some would have us believe. The Holy Spirit is an integral part of our Christian experience. But because we are so unfamiliar with His way, we miss Him. As long as we miss Him, we certainly can’t follow Him. And, you guessed it, as long as we can’t follow Him, we can’t experience the wonderful Spirit-filled life.”

“To get us thinking in the right direction, I have listed a few tasks the Holy Spirit endeavors to accomplish in your life on a daily basis.”

“The Holy Spirit…”
§  convicts (see John 16:8-11).
§  illuminates (see John 16:12-15).
§  teaches (see John 16:12-15).
§  guides (see Rom. 8:14).
§  assures (see Rom. 8:16).
§  intercedes (see Rom. 8:26).
§  directs (see Acts 20:22).
§  warns (see Acts 20:23). Page: 15

“The Holy Spirit has been sent by the Father to assist you in all the practical matters of Christian living. He is your number one Helper.” Page: 16

The Personality of the Holy Spirit
“The Bible not only refers to the Holy Spirit as a ‘He,’ but it also ascribes to Him all the distinctives of personality. Specifically, the Holy Spirit is described as having (1) knowledge, (2) will, and (3) emotion.”

“The Holy Spirit knows the thoughts of God. And the Holy Spirit imparts knowledge to believers. The Holy Spirit, then, is not simply an impersonal force. He has knowledge, and He has the power to impart knowledge.” Page: 18

“We frequently put our faith in things we don’t understand. Every time I get on a jet I place my life in the hands of people I have never met and at the mercy of machinery I do not understand. That is not to imply that nobody understands it. Simply because I don’t have an explanation for how it works doesn’t mean there isn’t one. In the same way, just because the idea of the Trinity is confusing to us doesn’t mean that it doesn’t make sense. It only means that it doesn’t make sense to us.” Page: 27

“When God looks at you, He sees the Holy Spirit within you. The presence of the Holy Spirit is a spiritual reminder of God’s promise to finish what He has begun in you. It is a sign to the spirit world that you belong to Someone else. And as long as you belong to the Father, the Holy Spirit will be there, living in you, signifying His ownership. When He moved in, He moved in to stay.” Page: 33

“The Spirit-filled life is a life of faith. I had missed the obvious. I had been looking all over for something that was right in front of me. I didn’t need to beg. God wanted it for me more than I wanted it for myself. All I needed to do was believe and move out in faith.” Page: 38

“I had made the Spirit-filled life much more complicated than it really is. Like every other aspect of the Christian life, the Spirit-filled life is a life of faith. I had been approaching it as if it were a formula. But the Spirit-filled life is not a formula; it is a relationship, a relationship with a person—the Holy Spirit.” Page: 41

“When Paul said to be filled with the Spirit, he was not commanding us to sit around passively and wait for something to be poured into us. The Holy Spirit has already been poured in. If you are a believer, you have already been filled with the Holy Spirit the way men and women in Acts were filled. He has taken up permanent residence in your heart. You have all of Him you are ever going to get. The question is, How much of you does He have?”

“That is Paul’s point in Ephesians 5:18. He was calling for total surrender to the gentle—yet firm—promptings of the Holy Spirit. To be filled in this fashion is similar to being filled with fear or sorrow. When we are filled with fear or sorrow, the emotion takes such preeminence in our lives that all other thoughts and feelings are pushed into the background.” Page: 46

1. Total dependence
“The Spirit-filled (or Spirit-controlled) life begins with an overwhelming realization that we are absolutely helpless and hopeless apart form the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. Until that one simple truth grips us at the core of our being, we will never experience the full- blown power of the Holy Spirit. Why? Because we will always be out there doing things for God in our strength.”

“Without meaning to, many Christians live independently of the Holy Spirit every day. They never give Him a second thought. He is nothing more than a theological category.” Page: 47-48

“God is an expert at engineering circumstances so that we find ourselves with nowhere to turn but to Him.”

2. Total surrender
“Dependence and surrender go hand in hand. We can’t fully surrender our wills until we are convinced we are in a hopeless situation. As long as we see a way out, we will generally opt for it.”

“In water safety courses a cardinal rule is never to swim out to a drowning man and try to help him as long as he is thrashing about. The correct procedure is to stay just far enough away so that he can’t grab you. Then you wait. And when he finally gives up, you make your move. At that point the one drowning is pliable. He won’t work against you. He will let you help.” Page: 48-49

“The same principle holds true in our relationships with the Holy Spirit. Until we give up, we aren’t really in a position to be helped. We will work against Him rather than with Him. Surrender to His will follows the surrender of our own. When we recognize that we can’t make it, we are like a drowning man surrendering to the aid of his rescuer.”

“The length of time it takes to catch on to this relationship depends on us—not God. The more willing we are to confess our inadequacy, the easier it is for us to fully surrender to His will for our lives.” Page: 49

“Bear fruit. “Notice He did not expect them to produce fruit, just bear it.” Page: 63

“Jesus makes a clear delineation between the vine and the branch. The two are not the same. He is the vine we are the branches. The two are joined but not one. The common denominator in nature is the sap. The sap is the life of the vine and its branches. Cu off the flow of sap to the branch, and it slowly withers and dies.”

“As the branch draws its life from the vine, s we draw life from Christ. To abide in Christ is to draw upon His life. His life is made available through the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. The abiding presence of the Holy Spirit is the life of Christ in us.”

“Jesus Christ dwells n us through the person of the Holy Spirit. To have the Spirit is to have the life of Christ within.” Page: 64

“The life of Christ in you has the potential to produce all kinds of change in your life. ‘Wait,’ you say, ‘I’ve tried to change, and I can’t.’ Exactly! You are not equipped to produce change—only bear it. You new life produces change. You are simply the vehicle through  which it is expressed, as a branch is the vehicle through which the fruit-producing life of the vine is expressed. You are a bearer, no a producer. Branches are totally dependent on the vine for fruit. And we are totally dependent on the Holy Spirit.”

“The Holy Spirit is a change agent.”

“Our part is simply to plug into the new life that indwells us. We are to draw upon His life in us. How? By faith.” Page: 66

“Trying to produce righteousness ourselves is like trying to grow apples on a grapevine. The two just aren’t compatible. They weren’t made for each other. In the same way, our unredeemed, selfish, sinful flesh is not tooled to produce good fruit.” Page: 75

“It’s part of fallen human nature to want to maintain control, to do things ourselves. But when it comes to righteousness—whether for salvation or for living—we must allow God to do the work. Producing righteousness falls outside our job description.”

“The Spirit-filled life is a life of faith. It started by faith, ad it runs on faith. It is faith from start to finish.”

Faith Defined
“Faith is believing the God will do as He has promised.”

“Our part in the faith process is fairly simple. We are to go about our lives—making decisions, handling crises, raising our families, and so on—as if God is really going to do what He said He would do. That is what it means to walk by faith.” Page: 76

“If you will begin every day with a declaration of victory over the specific giants in your life, you will experience victory. Begin tomorrow morning on your knees. Think through the temptations you will face, the pressure you will feel, and the rejection you are likely to encounter. Item by item, thank God for the victory. Remind Him that at the cross Christ paid the price not only for your sin but for your victory.”

“By doing so, you activate your faith before activating your will to resist on your own. When the temptation or pressure does come, tell the Holy Spirit, ‘Christ has already dealt with this, and I have already claimed His power, so handle it through me. I am simply a branch. Produce Your good fruit through me!’” Page: 80

“To walk by the Spirit is to live with moment-by-moment dependency on and sensitivity to the initial promptings of the Holy Spirit.” Page: 88

“You cannot follow two masters. You will follow either the lead of the Spirit or the desires of the flesh. But you can’t have it both ways. I believe many Christians follow their flesh because they really don’t believe they have any choice. They have lost the same battles so many times that they have given up.”

“You may feel the way you have always felt. You may desire the things you have always desired. But the fact it, you are free. Begin now renewing your mind to this transformational truth, for you will never walk in the Spirit until you are convinced of your freedom.” Page: 90-91

Mind Over Flesh
“There is an important relationship between our thinking and our ability to follow the Spirit. Paul described it this way:”
 “For those who are (walking) according to the flesh set their minds
 on the things of the flesh, but those who are (walking) according
 to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh
 is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.”

“Every sinful act is committed twice: once in our heads and once in our behavior. To win the behavior battle, we must first win the battle that takes place in our minds.” Page: 91

A New Standard
“Look again at the standard by which we are to judge our thoughts.”
§  Is it true?
§  Is it honorable?
§  Is it right?
§  Is it pure?
§  Is it admirable?
§  Is it excellent?
§  Is it praiseworthy?

“When any deceitful, lustful, self-destructive thought pops into our minds, Paul says, ‘Destroy It!’ Recognize it for what it is; call it a lie; refuse to think about it; and reset your mind on what is true. And do it immediately!”

“Once you set this as your standard, you will be amazed at how quickly the Holy Spirit will alert you to those mental intruders.” Page: 93-94

What Does It Look Like?
“We have defined walking in the Spirit as moment-by-moment dependency on and sensitivity to the initial promptings of the Holy Spirit. Granted, the whole thing sounds somewhat subjective. But such is the nature of our relationship with the Spirit. There is, however, an objective standard by which we can measure the vitality of that relationship.”

The Signature of the Spirit
“Fruit sets the abiders apart from the producers. It is not simply one mark of a Spirit-filled life; it is the preeminent mark. When we see fruit in a life, we know without a doubt that the Holy Spirit has the custody over that particular child of God. The person is more than His possession; the person is under His influence.” 

“The closer you get to believers who are truly walking in the Spirit, the better they look. There is nothing plastic about them. You don’t get the impression that they are hiding something. They radiate integrity.” Page: 98-99

“We are not talking about perfection. In fact, you will hear more apologies from the lips of those who walk by the Spirit than any other group of people. They have reconciled themselves to the fact that they are sinners. However, they are aware that they have within them the power to rise above their fleshy appetites and desires.”

“They have their down times. They don’t win every battle. Doubt and and temptation take them out of the race from time to time. But their recovery time is remarkably short. They don’t stay down. And once they are back, it’s as if they actually benefited from the experience. Specifically, their lives will be characterized by the following nine virtues:
§  Love
§  Joy
§  Peace
§  Patience
§  Kindness
§  Goodness
§  Faithfulness
§  Gentleness
§  Self-control
Page: 100-101

CAUTION: Stay clear of any teacher, preacher, or anyone else who encourages you to do something, read something, or say something to harness the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit’s power cannot be harnessed. His power cannot be used to accomplish anything other than the Father’s will. He is not a candy dispenser. He is not a vending machine. He is not a genie waiting for someone to rub His lamp the right way. He is holy God.”

 “People who are always looking for a way to direct or control the power of the Holy Spirit are confused. The Holy Spirit was sent to control us! He is not available to do our bidding.”

“The power of the Holy Spirit is manifested in a believer’s life through two channels—the gift of the Spirit and the fruit of the Spirit.” Page: 115

“The fruit of the Spirit is the most effective evangelistic tool we have. Nothing is more powerful than a life characterized by love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The most powerful sermon in the world can’t match the power of a fruit-filled life. Why? Because unbelievers are not nearly as impressed with what we believe and preach as they are with how we act, especially under pressure.” Pg: 118

“Consistent victory in my life is never the result of my trying to become more self-controlled. Think about it. How can self be more self-controlled? Can a wild animal tame itself? Would a puppy ever give itself a bath? Of course not. There things run contrary to natural instinct. In the same way, self is never going to deprive self of something desirable.” Page: 120

“Regardless of how far you advance n your personal holiness, you will always need other believers. Not because you are weak. Not because God isn’t sufficient for you. On the contrary, God planned it that way. It is by His design. Walking in the Spirit is not a solo mission. It is not an excuse for you to become detached and isolated from other Christians. A believer who pulls away from the pack to do his or her own ‘spiritual’ thing cannot be walking in the Spirit.”

“You cannot walk in the Spirit apart from functioning in the body of Christ.” Page: 127

“The primary purpose of spiritual gifts is the building up of the body—not the personal gratification of the individual member. Your nose is worthless apart from its service to the body. And the same holds true of any particular spiritual gift. Its worth is determined by its usefulness and availability to the body.” Page: 128

“When we speak of building up the body, we are not talking necessarily about building a bigger body. The gifts were given to aid in developing a healthy body as well. Spiritual gifts are God’s way of administering His grace to others. When we exercise our gifts, we function as the hands and feet of Christ. We are more than representatives. Our gifts allow us to become channels through which the very life and ministry of Christ flow. When we exercise our gifts for the common good, we manifest the person of Christ on the earth.” Page: 129

“If Christians spent as much time pursuing the fruit of the Spirit as they did the gifts of the Spirit, the body of Christ would be much better off.”

“It’s the presence of fruit, not gifts, that demonstrates a believer’s dependency on the Holy Spirit. Everybody gets a gift. Possessing a gift says nothing about a believer’s compliance with the promptings of the Spirit. Exercising a gift is no proof, either. I have exercised my gift for selfish reasons plenty of times.”

Discovering Our Gifts
“Probably the most common question asked in connection with gifts is, ‘How do I find out which ones I have?’ When people ask me that question, I always respond, ‘What do you enjoy most about serving the Lord?’” Page: 136

“Probably the best way to discover your gift is to serve in a variety of ministry situations. When you find the one that suits your gift, you will know it.” Page: 137

“The second piece of advice I would give you in search of your gift is this: concentrate on bearing fruit, and eventually, you will discover your gift. The Holy Spirit wants you to know what your gift is. Follow His lead, and you won’t miss it.”

“Don’t forget. You are a unique blend of talents, skills, and gifts; you are an indispensable member of the body of Christ. You can do what only you can do. So don’t cheat the rest of us. Get out there and get busy! For this, too is a part of the wonderful Spirit-filled life.” 
Secular and Spiritual
“I’m afraid the devil has fooled many of us into believing that there are spiritual versus secular components in our lives. Any division we may perceive between God’s work and our jobs is a false one. When you were saved by grace, God saved all of you. Once the Holy Spirit came to live inside you, you became a spiritual being. Every facet of your physical life is an expression of the spiritual. You are not two people. The Spirit-filled life reaches into every area of life, including your occupation. In fact, except for your home, you job will be the place where the Holy Spirit is needed the most.” Page: 141

“A self-sufficient spirit is not evidence of self-sufficiency. It is evidence of stupidity! There are no self-sufficient people. None of us have control over our entry into this world, the next breath we take while we are here, or our hour of departure. We are dependent in every sense of the word.”

“To do God’s work God’s way, we must view Him as the ultimate source of all we need.”
Page: 147

“God will use various people and resources to provide for us. But HE is the source. Remembering that is the key to staying dependent. We have a tendency to confuse the gift with the giver. It is easy to get our eyes focused on the provision rather than the provider. When that happens, our loyalty and trust shift as well. We begin seeking things and people rather than God. Without realizing it, we become idolaters.” Page: 148

“When I Do God’s Work God’s Way…” Page: 151
§  I will be convinced that if God doesn’t come through, my project is bound to fail.
§  I will view God as my only source for everything I need.
§  I will look for evidences of God’s supernatural intervention.
§  I will not be stressed out.
§  I will spend more time thanking and praising God than requesting things from Him.

“The baptism of the Spirit signifies that a man or woman has put faith in Christ.”

“Every believer has been baptized by the Holy Spirit. Baptism symbolizes our identification with body of Christ. Billy Graham concurs:  “In my own study of the Scriptures through the years I have become convinced that there is only one baptism with the Holy Spirit in the life of every believer, and that takes place at the moment of conversion.” Page: 157-158

“The confusion stems primarily from the delay in Acts between conversion and the baptism of the Spirit. Some believe that to be the normal patter. So they encourage believers to seek the baptism of the Spirit.”

“The delay was necessary then because the Holy Spirit could not come until Jesus departed.” Page: 158

Shifting into Neutral
“The Holy Spirit speaks to neutral hearts. By that, I don’t mean passive or indifferent hearts. God gave us the ability to dream dreams and make plans. Many of the Old and New Testament leaders were men and women of vision and ambition.”

“By neutral, I mean being consumed with discovering what pleases the Holy Spirit rather than working to convince Him of the wisdom and brilliance of our plans. I’m afraid many of us pray with the goal of talking God into things rather than trying to discover His will. Consequently, we never hear from Him.” Page: 176

“I have never regretted moving in tandem with God’s revealed will for my life. It doesn’t always make sense initially—as you may well know! But it always makes sense eventually. If we are going to fear something, we ought to fear missing His will, not discovering it.”

Barriers to Neutrality
“Why, then do we sometimes feel threatened by the notion of putting aside our agenda and approaching Him from the standpoint of neutrality? Neutrality before God threatens whatever or whoever functions as the central focus of our lives. In other words, until Christ is Lord, the knowledge of His will, will always seem like a threat—because it is a threat. It threatens the thin, the relationship, the plans, the career, or whatever at the moment sits on the throne of our lives. And that is precisely why God demands neutrality. He wants to be Lord!”

“Surrendered men and women who have given over control of their lives to the Savior welcome the Father’s will. They are not afraid of the Spirit’s leading. They are not threatened.” Page: 179

“The Holy Sprit is a wonderful communicator. But He does not speak for the sake of passing along information. He speaks to get a response. And he knows when our agenda has such a large slice of our attention that it is a waste of time to suggest anything to the contrary. When that is the case, He is often silent. He waits for us to become neutral enough to hear and eventually obey.” Page: 179-180

The Peace Principle
“The absence or presence of peace is often the first indication that the Holy Spirit is up to something. (You’ll recall that peace is a fruit, or expression, of the Spirit.)”

“Inner peace is a difficult concept to define, but is easy to identify its absence.” Page: 183

“Look at the context for Paul’s description of peace:” Page: 186
 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication  With thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension,  Shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” –Philippians 4:6-7

“As much as God loves us and wants to keep us out of trouble, He is not going to violate our free will and force us to do the right thing. We will never lose our freedom to make mistakes. 

Therefore, it is that much more important for us to develop moment-by-moment sensitivity to the presence or absence of God’s peace in our lives.” Page: 187

“If you have studied a foreign language, you know the process. You know from experience that the more time you spend with a language, the more familiar it becomes. The same is true in learning to discern the voice of the Holy Spirit. The more you listen and determine to obey, the more familiar you will become with Him; the easier it will become to distinguish His voice from the other voices that vie for your attention.” Page: 188

“The Holy Spirit uses the conscience as a primary avenue of communication. The term conscience appears thirty times in the New Testament.”

“The conscience is that inner capacity within each of us to discern right from wrong, wise form unwise.” Page: 190

The Conscience and the Holy Spirit
“Once a person becomes a child of God, the conscience takes on new significance. It becomes a divine tool. It functions as a mega-phone in the hands of the Holy Spirit. It becomes the means through which the Holy Spirit reveals the will of God to the mind.”

“God has written, or programmed, His moral code into the heart of every man and woman. We are born with it. When a person’s actions or thought are contrary to that code, the conscience responds by sending a ‘No’ message to the brain. On the other hand, when a person decides to go along with the preprogrammed moral codes, the conscience says, ‘Go.’” Page: 192

Reprogramming the Conscience
“When you became a Christian, a change began to occur in your conscience. The basic moral code that everyone is born with was overhauled or reconditioned. The Spirit of truth took up residency in your heart. Then, whether you were aware of it or not, He immediately set about to complete the programming of your conscience. Whereas before you had a general sense of right and wrong, the Holy Spirit began renewing your mind to more specific and complete truths (see 1 Cor. 2:10-13)”

“You participate in this renewal process every time you read your Bible, attend worship, memorize a verse, or pray. The Holy Spirit uses all this input to reprogram the data base thought which your conscience evaluates every opportunity, thought, invitation, word, and

“As this process continues, your conscience tunes in with the moral code of the Holy Spirit—a code reflecting the moral and ethical standards of God. This process sensitizes you not only to God’s moral standards but to the will of God as well.” Page: 193

“If you want to know what the Holy Spirit thinks about something, read the Bible. You will never be able to accurately identify the peace of God or the voice of God without some understanding of the Word of God.” Page: 204

“When people tell me they don’t understand it, they are really saying ‘I don’t understand the Bible, and I don’t consider it important enough to make any effort to remedy my ignorance.’ Generally speaking, the problem is not education or information; it is motivation.” Page: 206

“The Holy Spirit will never lead you where the Word of God forbids you to go.” Page: 207

“When we feel impressed to do A but the Word of God says to do B, we better do B. No matter how strongly you feel that the Holy Spirit is leading you, remember, the Holy Spirit will never lead you where the Word of God forbids you. Never! There are no exceptions.” Page: 208

“Wisdom fills the gaps between the principles, promises, ad commands of God. Wisdom always takes all three into account and then asks, ‘What is the wise thing for me to do?”

“God has not called us to merely stay on the right side of the line dividing right from wrong. He has called us to walk wisely. There are areas of weakness in your lives that never improve.”
 “He who trusts in his own heart is a fool,  But he who walks wisely will be delivered.” –Proverbs 28:26

A Three-Part Question
“For maximum impact this penetrating question should be asked in three dimensions.”

1. What is the wise thing to do in light of my past experience? Page: 223
“The Holy Spirit always takes our past experiences into account when giving us direction for our lives.”
2. What is the wise thing to do in light of my present situation?
“God loves us and directs our lives according to what is happening around us.”
3. What is the wise thing to do in light of my future plans and dreams?

Be Careful
 “When Paul says ‘Be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise’ (Eph. 5:15), he is instructing each of us to carefully examine everything that comes our way: every opportunity, ever invitation, every date, every relationship, every trip, everything. Why? ‘Because,’ he says, ‘the days are evil.’ We live in an evil age. It’s as if every organization and institution is out to destroy the things we as Christians hold sacred. Almost nothing in our society works to strengthen the family.”

‘To survive, we must be wise! We cannot afford to walk blindly through life just taking things as they come. We must get in the habit of looking as far as we can down the road to anticipate trouble. We must get in the habit of taking evasive action. And most of all, we must stay a safe distance away from the line separating right from wrong.” Page: 228

“John Wesley’s mother explained it to her son like this: ‘Whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures you sense of God, takes off your relish for spiritual things, whatever increases the authority of the body over the mind, that thing is sin to you, however innocent it may seem in itself.” Page: 229