Posts Tagged 'spirituality'

Pentecost: The Breath of God

Pentecost: The Breath of God Sermon Audio Here

1 Cor. 12:3-13

I recently heard an advertisement for hyperbaric oxygen chamber treatment: sit in a pressurized tank and breathe oxygen. Studies show mixed results… but what about a SPIRITUAL hyperbaric experience?

What Difference Did Pentecost Make?

We Are “Christ-Crafted” ~ 1 Cor. 12:3-6

  • v3 truth is truth, but spiritual truth is from the Spirit about Christ
  • v4 The Spirit gives as HE chooses, not us
  • v5 Lots of ways to serve the Lord; not all the same
  • v6 working=the effect of God’s energizing action in us; our outcomes won’t all look the same, but they’ll be spiritual, and they’ll point to Jesus in us
You Are Carefully Crafted By God; Remember Your Worth!

We Are “Air-Powered” ~ 1 Cor. 12:7-11

  • v7 2 things: EVERYONE is gifted; EVERYONE benefits
  • v8 wisdom: knows just what to say;
    • knowledge: insight from the Spirit down to us (God’s viewpoint)
  • v9 faith: trusting faith (by context, more than just saving faith);
    • gifts of healings: isolated incidents (not “the power to heal”, but the healings themselves)
      NOTE: these gifts are not RESIDENT SUPERPOWERS; more like sunlight reflecting from a mirror; the SPIRIT is at work, and uses US to make that work available;
      CHARISMATA =”the presence of that which is given”
  • v10 miraculous: ENERGEMATA=”the presence of the power that is sent”; WE don’t do miracles; GOD does miracles, and sometimes uses people;
    • prophecy helps us understand: a prophet receives a specific message from the Lord and delivers it;
    • a miracle worker receives a specific ability to do a task from the Lord and does it;
    • distinguishing: God gives the insight if something is HIS or not; varieties of speech (like Pentecost),
    • the ability to understand them tied to the presence of the Spirit, not the person through whom the language happens
  • v11 The Spirit chooses; we don’t (this means the Spirit isn’t some impersonal “force”
You Are Powered By the Spirit; Remember Your Charge!

We Are “Fire-Welded” ~ 1 Cor. 12:12-13

  • v12 Trinitarian nod; cf. Gen 1:1,2; Deut 6:4 God is ONE COMMUNITY; we belong together to God
  • v13 our origins are different, our circumstances are different, but our connection and destination are the same: we are ONE in the Spirit
You Are Connected to Christ; Remember Your Identity!

Blowing Out The Dust Within

The Backell family suffered a tragic, yet completely preventable loss this last week…

a very dusty computer

a very dusty computer

Our living room media server died. It was a slow, lingering, complication-filled battle that led to its demise.
Why am I bringing this up here? Because when I opened up the computer box, I discovered that it was full of dust. Such a simple, small thing… but left unchecked, it choked the life out of our computer. The fix would have been simple – take the computer outside, blow it clean with fresh air, and make sure that all its parts are well-connected.

Are you seeing the correlation between my media server and our spiritual lives yet?

All too often, we let little things, small things, pile up. We think, “oh, that’s not that important, I’ll deal with that later”… and then, before we know it, we’re getting clogged with the little things and we’re unable to breathe.

Please note – I don’t have anyone specifically in mind, but the warning is sound: if we allow little things, small sins, to accumulate in our lives, they cause more and more complications. Those little things can grow to have devastating consequences.

I was reading the Desiring God blog, when I came across this quote:

“We sin because we forget God’s steadfast love and abundant mercy. When we are not ravished by him, we forget the superior pleasures that there are in God and give ourselves to the inferior pleasures of sin. And this is why David says, “Against you God, you only have I sinned.” He goes deep with his confession because he knows repentance is the way back to fellowship with God.” (Rick Gamache, from his sermon “Whiter Than Snow”)

As we wrap up the summer of 2014, please take the time to deal with the simple things, the small things that might be accumulating in your heart. Bring them to God and ask the Spirit to blow fresh air through your life so that you’re renewed and ready for however the Lord calls you.

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. ~ Psalm 51:10-12

Keep Following Jesus,

Pastor Ed

“Scheduled” spirituality?

liturgical calendar Recently, I was sharing with someone about spiritual growth, and they had expressed frustration that they weren’t as connected to God as they felt the should be. I encouraged them to look up Romans 12:1-2. Let me share it here:

“I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, [which is] your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” {NASB}
This brought to mind an interesting conversation with the Wednesday night study group this last week. One comment that particularly stands out in my mind is something like, “You know, as I make my to-do list for the day, I don’t put down spiritual goals on that list. I don’t mark down how many people I’m going to share Christ with…”
That really grabbed my attention! I wonder how many of us *plan* to incorporate specific spiritual activities into our lives? I know, for example, that I have a general weekly schedule; I know when I’ll be spending extra time in study, I know when I plan to write my sermon and prepare for my Sunday School lesson… but how often do I make room for the movement of the Holy Spirit in my everyday life?
It’s certainly given me pause for reflection: I ask that God would use me whenever the Lord saw fit… but are there opportunities that I’m missing because I’m preoccupied with just living my life? Are you?

Random fascinating quotes

I’m going to use a post on my blog to keep track of random quotes that strike my fancy.
Why?
Hmm… I thought I’d just answered that question in the first line…

Here’s the first quote, taken from an article about someone merging an Alfa Romero V-6 engine with a Harley motorcycle frame:

No one knows, and the mystery is part of the appeal — some things are meant to be accepted and marveled at, not understood. Answers just diminish their impact.

Personally, I think the concept that “answers diminish impact” is worth pondering. So… I ponder…


Pastor Ed Backell

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