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The Holy Spirit – Part Four


Join our Pastor Ray as he shares the power of The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit Video

Session 4

Welcome to number 4 of The Holy Spirit sessions

Last week, we had a closer look at some of the gifts that the Holy Spirit brings with Him as He resides in us.

Let’s quickly recap what we discussed:

1. A Gift from God – The Holy Spirit is a gift (singular) from God and He brings along with Him gifts of the Spirit (plural)

2. The Holy Spirit Comes to Live in Us – When the Holy Spirit resides in us, we display the Fruit of the Spirit and receive gifts.

3. God’s Nature – The Holy Spirit is the nature of God abiding in us.

4. God’s Tool Box – The Fruit of the Spirit is only part of the equipment we need; the gifts of the Spirit make up the balance.

5. God the Source – The spirit of God (NOT MAN), is the source of the gifts – the gifts glorify God (NOT MAN).

6. Nine Personal Gifts – The language gifts, Knowing or Revelation Gifts and Doing or Power Gifts, make up the group of personal Gifts.

7. Heavenly Language – Tongues is a heavenly language by the power of Holy Spirit, spoken to God – not Man.

8. Interpretation – Paul commands us to pray for interpretation of the heavenly language, so that all may be edified.

9. Prophecy – Words brought by the power of the Holy Spirit from God to man is called prophecy.

10. Given Freely by God – The gifts are given freely by God to all those who desire them.

In session 3, we said that there were nine gifts, which could be split into three groups of three; the first three we discussed were the ‘Language gifts’.  These consisted of:

1) Diverse tongues,     

2) Interpretation and      

3) Prophecy.

The next group of gifts we are going to look at are the gifts of ‘knowing or revelation’.

WORD OF WISDOM (HOW TO)

Word of wisdom is a gift which involves the imparting of divine inspiration to see, understand and respond to life situations from Gods viewpoint.  In other words, receiving divine understanding and insight, which enables one to deal with a specific situation or circumstance.

A good example of this gift is found in Matt. 22, where the scripture says,“…But Jesus, perceiving their malice, said, “Why are you testing me?…”  By divine revelation, Jesus knew that they sought to trap him, but this divine revelation showed him how to answer them in a way that would not allow them to trap him.  It was also a sign of the spirit abiding in him.

WORD OF KNOWLEDGE (ABOUT)

The Word of knowledge is a supernatural revelation of some detail of the knowledge of God.  It is God imparted information of facts and details which are humanly impossible to know.  It is receiving a portion of the mind of God, about a given life situation, at any one given moment.

A good example of this gift is Jesus speaking to the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4, where He says “ You have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband, this you have said truly” (Vs.18).  Her response was, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet”.  In other words, “God, not man, has revealed this thing to you”.

The gift would be used to reveal a vital piece of information that could help deal with certain life situations.  It could also be used as a testimony of the indwelling Sprit in the life of the one having it, to cause others to turn to the truth (as in the case of Jesus at the Well).

DISCERNING OF SPIRITS

Being able to perceive the spiritual source behind a word, motive, attitude, mood or action of an individual or group, is the gift of discernment. Spiritual sources are either: Heavenly, Human or Demonic.

An example of this gift, which operates in the lives of all spirit filled believers at various times, in Acts, where the Spirit revealed to Peter that Simon was trying to buy the gifts of God with Money. Significantly, Peter also had a word of knowledge here as well, when he said to Simon, “…. for I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and bondage of iniquity…”

Finally, we look at the last group of gifts of ‘Doing or Power’.

HEALINGS

The supernatural ability to minister physical healing to those who are sick, is a gift of healing.  By virtue of the expression ‘gifts of healing’ (plural) in 1 Cor. 12:9, the implication could cover all areas of healing, namely: spiritual, emotional, mental and psychological.

It must be born in mind that this gift is firstly to glorify the name of God as we can see in the scriptures of John, and then for the benefit of the one that has been healed.

WORKING OF MIRACLES

A miracle is a phenomenon that is supernatural – an act contrary to the physical laws of nature.  Miracles defy reason and transcend natural laws. This gift requires God working through individuals to perform the impossible.  An example of miracle working is seen in Acts 13, where Paul is used by God to bring blindness to Elymas in order that Sergius Paulus would come to know the Lord.

FAITH

The ability to believe God for the impossible in a situation beyond the normal, is a gift of Faith.  It is the faith to accomplish specific tasks, face potentially overwhelming circumstances, or to persevere in the face of dangerous situations.  We should read Acts 27 sometime this coming week, to see Paul working in the gift of faith.

To try and give us better understanding of what we have been sharing over the last two weeks, let’s have a look at this diagram:

– The fruit of the Spirit can be seen all together (as one unit) in the green section – showing that all parts of the fruit of the Spirit are within us at the same time.

– The Holy Spirit brings ‘gifts’ (plural) with Him.

– The 9 personal gifts as we have been discussing this week and last week, can be seen in three groups.

– Language gifts – made up of Diverse tongues, Interpretation and Prophecy.

– Knowing or Revelation gifts – made up of word of wisdom, word of knowledge and discerning of spirits

– Doing or Power gifts – made up of Healings, Miracles and Faith.

Let’s recap then on what gifts we’ve heard about this week:

  1. Word of Wisdom (How to act or speak) – receiving divine understanding and insight, which enables us to deal with a specific situation or circumstance, is a word of Wisdom.
  2. Word of Knowledge (Know about a situation) – God imparted information of facts and details which are humanly impossible to know in any circumstance we may face, is a word of Knowledge.
  3. Discerning of Spirits – Being able to perceive the spiritual source behind a spoken word, motive, attitude, mood or action of an individual or group, is the gift of discernment. Spiritual sources are either: Heavenly, Human or Demonic.
  4. Healings – The supernatural ability to minister physical healing to those who are sick, is a gift of healing.
  5. Working of Miracles – God working through individuals to perform the impossible or an act contrary to the physical laws of nature, is the working of miracles.
  6. Faith – The ability to believe God for the impossible in a situation beyond the normal, is a gift of Faith

LET’S PRACTICE….

To close the session, once again, take a few minutes to go around your group, practicing the gifts that we’ve learned about over the last two weeks, as was done before in the previous sessions.

VERY IMOPORTANTLY though – The purpose of this exercise is to help us overcome the ‘fear of man’ (or shyness) – by practicing together. PLEASE – IT IS NOT AN EXERCISE TO FORCE GOD TO ACT BY OUR OWN STRENGTH. Rather simply, the more we practice in front of others, the more confident we will become.

As you pray now – remember:

With the language gifts, we must Firstly, Believe and

Secondly, open our mouths and move our tongues – otherwise absolutely nothing is going to happen!

Thirdly, we must get rid of any unforgiveness or anger in us by praying quietly for the Lord’s help. (remember we said forgiveness is a decision not a feeling!). 

Also, please be sensitive to those who are not comfortable praying out aloud. Don’t force them to pray, but rather allow them to be still and let the Spirit of the Lord, wash over them during this time.

The Lord be with you as you discover new things – In Him!

Thanks so much for spending this time with me – next week in session 5, we’ll look at some more gifts the Holy Spirit brings to us which we’ve grouped as ‘the gifts of Function’.  Until then, Bless you all.

“…time with the Master…” is an on-going series of teachings, about lifestyle in the Church and is published bi-monthly.

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’

button).

The Holy Spirit – Part Three


Join our Pastor Ray as he shares the dynamic power of the Holy Spirit

Session 3

Welcome to Number 3 of The Holy Spirit sessions

Last session, we saw when it is that we receive the Holy Spirit, and we looked at some questions about the Holy Spirit which may have concerned us in the past.

Let’s quickly recap what we said:

  1. When do I receive the holy spirit? – We receive the Holy Spirit during the process of becoming Born Again.
  2. Two examples of receiving the holy spirit – The Samarian men were baptised but had not received the Holy Spirit; Cornelius’s household were born of the Spirit, but not yet baptised.
  3. Two schools of thought – Whether we take hold of the Holy Spirit at the time of being born again or at a later stage, both are scriptural
  4. Why do I need the holy spirit? – We need the Holy Spirit to assist us in our work of building the body of Christ
  5. How does the holy spirit prepare me for service? – Dramatic change comes to our lifestyles as the Holy Spirit takes up residency within us
  6. Why no change in me? – There are people, right in our midst who are experiencing all or some of the Holy Spirit’s power.
  7. How do we know we have the holy spirit indwelling us? – If there has been change in our lives and we hear a ‘still small voice’ teaching and guiding us, then we have the Holy Spirit living in us.

By way of introduction this week, let’s have a look at this scripture in 1 Corinthians

Previously, we talked about receiving the Holy Spirit. We said that the Holy Spirit is a gift from God – a single gift – not gifts (plural). In other words, when He comes to live in us, not only is HE a gift, but He brings GIFTS with Him – and please notice here – HE is a gift (singular) and He brings Gifts (plural) with Him, and those gifts are for us to use.

Once He begins to live in us, two things happen:

  1. We display the fruit of the Spirit in our lives

and

  • The Spirit gives us gifts.

Gal. 5 shows us the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. Notice here that the scripture says “Fruit” of the Spirit – singular – which means all these characteristics are in one! We cannot have one characteristic without the others. As an example, if we were to plant a peach pip, we will not receive an apple tree – no – a peach pip will produce a peach tree with peaches as a fruit. The Holy Spirit is the same – as He resides in us, His fruit automatically comes out. Let’s have a quick look at this diagram to explain (Fig.2). Notice how the ‘Fruit’ of the Spirit is ‘altogether’ (as one unit), in the green band and the ‘gifts’ of the Spirit are separate.

If we read through the scripture of 1 John 4, we will see that, “…God is love…” and as a result, He is all the other fruit of the Spirit; In 2Cor., we see our very beings are the temple of God and that His Spirit lives in us.

It is so important to remember that the fruit of the Spirit is really the nature and character of God being displayed through us.  The scripture of John 15 verses 4-6, explains this clearly and warns us that without God indwelling us, we will not only never please Him, but that the result will be eternal damnation.

As the process of being ‘born of the Spirit’ now takes place, we start to enter the narrow gate as Matthew tells us in chapter 7.  However, to pass through this gate and walk along the narrow road, we need to be suitably equipped – the ‘Fruit’ of the Spirit is only part of this equipment.

The remaining parts of the equipment are the ‘gifts’ of the Holy Spirit.  Notice that this is now ‘gifts’ (plural) as opposed to ‘gift’ (singular) of the Holy Spirit himself.

What is very important for us to know at this point is – that, these gifts are given to benefit the body of Christ – not mankind personally. God gives these gifts in order to show the work He does through His children, while demonstrating His supernatural power. The gifts benefit both believers and unbelievers alike.

REMEMBER: The spirit of God (NOT MAN) is the Source of the gifts, and they are there to equip the body of Christ as well as, to glorify God (NOT MAN).

Let’s look more closely at the gifts….

There are nine personal gifts and these are divided into three groups:

– Language Gifts

– Knowing or Revelation Gifts

And

– Doing or Power Gifts

In this session, we’ll look at the first group of gifts, the ‘language gifts’:

1 –  DIVERSE TONGUES

Romans 8, shows us that this gift comes to us as a means of the Spirit praying within us, either when we do not know how to pray, or when we just simply have no words to express ourselves.  The heavenly language or ‘tongue’ is strange to our ear, and at times, can even sound nonsensical to us.  We don’t understand this language and neither do others in our midst. The Devil also doesn’t understand – God alone understands this language.

It is a language that is therefore spoken to God alone.  It’s important to note here that Pauls says in 1 Cor., this language is never from God to us, but spoken from us to God.  Words spoken from God to us are called prophecy, which we will deal with later.

The heavenly language varies in type, not necessarily being the same from person to person and can be different from one day to another, as witnessed in the book of Acts.

As we are released into the gift of tongues, so we must allow that tongue to flow freely when we pray alone and with others, before God.  As time goes by, the tongue will change in sound and become more mature as we are confident of accepting the gift. 

2 –  INTERPRETATION OF TONGUES

In 1Cor, Paul is very clear about the order of speaking in tongues. He says If anyone speaks in a tongue, they must pray for interpretation as to its meaning. This, so that we and others might be edified.

Interpreting, once we have asked for it, is a matter of faith…. namely, opening one’s mouth and speaking whatever is coming into one’s mind.  Like prophecy, all those listening will discern the interpretation in terms of God’s word.

It should be remembered when interpreting another person’s heavenly language, that the prayer is going from them to God, as the Spirit of God searches their hearts. Because it is a prayer which is going from that person to God – this sometimes helps us, with the interpreting of that tongue.

3 –  PROPHECY

Paul outlines the gift of Prophecy in 1 Cor., – I would like to ask you to please spend time in this scripture during the coming week, as we are restricted by time on this video and can’t go through the whole of it now.

It would be unwise to suggest that in a few minutes, everything pertaining to prophecy could be fully discussed.  In the main, prophecy in our day is for the purpose of edification, exhortation and consolation.  On the prompting of the Holy Spirit, we would open our mouths and speak that which the Spirit brings to us.

Prophecy is a communication from God to man, unlike tongues which are a communication from man to God. Paul confirms this in 1Cor.14.

Prophecy will always be in line with the written word of God and is something that we believers must not treat lightly, but rather we should test (with the word of God).

LET’S REMEMBER….(Here’s a few points to remember…)

– God gives the Holy Spirit freely to those who ask Him (Luke 11:13). 

– God has offered, we must accept. 

– This arrangement applies to all the gifts we have mentioned. 

– We need to become like little children to receive these gifts (Matt. 18:1-6). 

And…

 We need a desire to use the gifts see also 14:31.

LAST POINT…

The gifts are freely given to those who are devout to do the will of the Father.  The physical manner in which they are given is that: God uses our mouths, lips and other body parts to suit His purpose.  

The story of Cornelius and his household in Acts 10 is a beautiful example of this: Firstly, Cornelius was a man whose devotion was expressed by his fear of God, his prayers, and giving to the Jewish people. The result of this situation was that God heard his prayers and saw his works.  The Holy Spirit gave all in his household gifts, and they received them, praying in tongues. What an amazing story.

Let’s recap what we’ve heard this week:

1. A Gift from God – The Holy Spirit is a gift (singular) from God and He brings along with Him gifts of the Spirit (plural)

2. The Holy Spirit Comes to Live In Us – When the Holy Spirit resides in us, we display the Fruit of the Spirit and receive gifts.

3. God’s Nature – The Holy Spirit is the nature of God abiding in us.

4. God’s Tool Box – The Fruit of the Spirit is only part of the equipment we need; the gifts of the Spirit make up the balance.

5. God the Source – The spirit of God (NOT MAN), is the source of the gifts – the gifts glorify God (NOT MAN).

6. Nine Personal Gifts – The language gifts, Knowing or Revelation Gifts and Doing or Power Gifts, make up the group of personal Gifts.

7. Heavenly Language – Tongues is a heavenly language by the power of Holy Spirit, spoken to God – not Man.

8. Interpretation – Paul commands us to pray for interpretation of the heavenly language, so that all may be edified.

9. Prophecy – Words brought by the power of the Holy Spirit from God to man is called prophecy.

10. Given Freely by God – The gifts are given freely by God to all those who desire them.

LET’S PRACTICE….

To close this session, why not take a few minutes to go around your group, practicing the gifts that we’ve just covered.

VERY IMOPORTANTLY though – The purpose of this exercise is to help us overcome the ‘fear of man’ (in other words shyness) – this is done by practicing. The more we practice in front of others, the more confident we will become.

With regard to the language gifts, we must:

Firstly, Believe and

Secondly, open our mouths and move our tongues – otherwise absolutely nothing is going to happen!

Thirdly, we must get rid of any unforgiveness or anger in us by praying quietly for the Lord’s help. (remember – Forgiveness is a decision not a feeling!). 

Also, please remember those who are not comfortable praying out aloud. Don’t force them to pray, but rather allow them to be still and let the Spirit of the Lord wash over them during this time.

The Lord be with you as you discover new things – In Him!

Thanks so much for spending this time with me – next in session 4, we’ll look at some more gifts the Holy Spirit brings to us.  Until then, Bless you all.

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others. Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers. Often, when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’ Button.)

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others. Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers. Often, when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’ Button.)

Prayerfully for Others


If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others. Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers. Often, when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’ Button.)

The Apostle Paul tells us that, as believers – born of water and the spirit, we are citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven. Normally a citizen of a certain country will display characteristics of the country from which they come. For instance, as South Africans, if we were to visit Japan we would immediately be seen as different. We would tend to live the lifestyle that we are accustomed to. So, as citizens of the Kingdom of God, should we not then display the characteristics of the Kingdom of heaven while we are here on the earth?

Part of our mission on earth is to represent our real (and permanent) home – the Kingdom of God. We are like small agents, if you like, of the Kingdom. Our ‘head office’ would desire us to represent the Kingdom as best we can all through our day. It really means that we should ‘be about our Father’s business. Yes – we do need to make sure that certain needs are met for our life here, but those efforts should not consume us to the point where we are not able to perform our Kingdom duties.

Continue reading “Prayerfully for Others”

The Holy Spirit – Part Two


Join our Pastor Ray as he shares the dynamic power of The Holy Spirit

Welcome to Number 2 of The Holy Spirit sessions

Last week we were introduced to the Holy Spirit and we saw the following:

  1. Who is the Holy Spirit? – The Holy Spirit is a member of the Godly Trinity
  2. How are we made up? – Human kind is made up of Body, Soul, and Spirit
  3. The Holy Spirit: our promise of help – Jesus said He had to leave the earth in order for the Holy Spirit to come to us
  4. He convicts us of sin and God’s forgiveness – The Holy Spirit will be our teacher
  5. Sight is not enough; we must enter – The Holy Spirit will convince us of our sinful condition and need for change
  6. How does this happen? – We need to have revelation that our old sinful nature has gone and daily be led by the Holy Spirit
  7. He gives us gifts – The Holy Spirit is a gift from God and He himself brings gifts to us – the fruit of the Spirit (singular) and gifts of the spirit (plural)
  8. How many gifts can I have? – We can use as many of the gifts as we desire
  9. What will hinder my use of the gifts? – Unforgiveness, being afraid and unbelief will hinder our use of the gifts

This week, we will go a bit deeper and explore when it is that we receive the Holy Spirit, as well as answer some questions that may have concerned us about the Holy Spirit in the past.

Continue reading “The Holy Spirit – Part Two”

The Holy Spirit – Part One


Join our Pastor Ray as he shares about the dynamic of The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit Video

Session 1

Welcome to The Holy Spirit sessions.

Over the years, there have been many different interpretations of the Holy Spirit. Some of these have been based on a certain individuals understanding and some handed down from organizations doctrines.

For us today, misunderstood interpretations, have sadly resulted in some negativity, confusion and fear when it comes to finding out more about the Holy Spirit.

Please join me over the next few sessions where we will unpack some scripture and prayerfully the Lord will guide us into the simplicity of the Holy Spirit.

In this week’s session we are going to be introduced to the Holy Spirit.

WHO IS THE HOLY SPIRIT?

The Holy Spirit is a member of the Godly Trinity.  First, there is God the Father, then Jesus the Son, and the third member is the Holy Spirit Matt.28:19; 1 John 5:7 KJV.

God created the world, and because of Adam & Eve’s disobedience, Jesus came to earth to restore us, the sons of Adam and Eve, from our sinful condition.  We know by now that this was necessary because our nature just wants to sin all the time, and anyone who sins, spiritually dies Rom 6:23 and can’t get to heaven.

HOW ARE WE MADE UP?

Mankind is made up of three main parts 1 Thes.5:23. Let’s look at this simple diagram:

Our Body – Firstly, we have our physical body – 1 Cor. tells us that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit 1Cor.6:19.

Our Spirit – Then, is the spirit of Man – and Please note here: this is not the Spirit of God. These scriptures clearly confirm… Prov.20 “…the spirit of man is the lamp…” Prov.20:27; Prov.18 “…the spirit of Man can…” Prov.18:14; 1Cor.2 “…except the spirit of man within him…” 1Cor.2:11; and 2Tim  “…be with your spirit…” 2Tim.4:22.

Our Soul – Thirdly, is the soul, the place of our will, emotion and intellect – “…He restores my soul..” says Ps. 23 and Ps. 116:8 “…for you have rescued my soul from death…”. God is able to restore our souls.

THE HOLY SPIRIT – OUR PROMISE OF HELP

When Jesus left the earth, after completing His work here, He promised to send someone to help us in His (physical) absence.  In Acts 1, He promises that we will be “baptized with the Holy Spirit”. He goes on to say that the Holy Spirit will give us the power to be His witnesses (which is another way of saying that we will be duplicates of Him) “to the uttermost parts of the earth” Acts 1:5, 8.

Jesus said that it would be best for us that He goes away, because if He didn’t, the comforter (or the Holy Spirit), won’t come…” John 16:7.

He refers to the day when the Holy Spirit comes to us and makes us one with our Lord, when He says in John 16:26 ” …in that day you will ask in My name…” – IN THAT DAY.

HE CONVICTS US OF SIN AND GOD’S FORGIVENESS

We know that Jesus kept His promise and in Acts 2 we see the Holy Spirit did duly come, at first in the form of tongues of fire upon the heads of the Disciples Acts 2:1-4.  There is also something quite meaningful here; the first evidence of the Holy Spirit’s arrival was not only the tongues of the fire on their heads but the fact that the people spoke, “…with other tongues…”.

Please bear this in mind as we continue into future sessions. 

What would be the purpose of Jesus sending the Holy Spirit?  The living bible describes the answer in John 16:8: “…and when He comes He will convince the world of its sin, the availability of God’s goodness and of deliverance from judgment.” (John 16:8).  Verse 13 adds that the Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth Jn.16:13.

SIGHT IS NOT ENOUGH – WE MUST ENTER

As a new Christian, Matt.16 shows us that the first thing that the Holy Spirit did for us, was to convince us of our sinful condition and our need for change Matt.16:17. This is called receiving sight through being ‘born again’ John 3:3.  But we can’t stop here, for sight of a place is only the beginning.  Having seen that place, we must now enter into it John 3:5.

Entry into the Kingdom of God simply means that we understand that our old sinful nature was taken away on the cross with Jesus. We then start seeing the holiness of God and we begin the journey of becoming Holy just like Him.  To become holy, we have to have a complete reconditioning of our minds.

Let’s just recap here:

The Holy Spirit has come to show us our sinful nature and the need to change.                                                

The Holy Spirit shows us the need to be holy as Jesus was holy.

And…

The Holy Spirit begins to help us on this journey.

HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN

You may ask, “How does this all physically happen?”  Quite simple really.  At the point where we begin to see our sinfulness, we’ve become born again – the Holy Spirit has come to live inside us.  Seeing our sinfulness and wanting to be holy, are two of the many things that we now become aware of, as He takes up residence within .  Our minds start to become renewed and new actions follow – day by day. I’d like to encourage us all to read Romans 8 verses 8-17 this coming week, as our time is limited on this video.

The scripture in Gal 5 shows us that as the renewal process begins, we start to display the ‘fruit of the Spirit’ – Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, and Faithfulness Gal 5:22-24. Another way of describing the fruit of the Spirit is what happens to us when the Holy Spirit comes to stay inside us. Let’s have a look at this diagram: (Fig.2).

Notice here that the fruit (and that’s singular – not Fruits), the fruit of the Spirit, are all together as one – in other words we can’t have one without the other. This is shown on the outside green ring of the picture. The gifts He allows us to use, on the other hand, are plural not singular, and maybe used as and when the Lord allows, for His glory and for the benefit of the body of Christ.

HE GIVES US GIFTS

However, the fruit of the spirit is not all we receive. We see from Acts 2 that the Holy Spirit is a gift from God Acts 2:38.  Once He lives in us, as we see in 1 Cor., He himself will give us gifts (and this is plural – not gift). These for the glory of God and helping the body of Christ 1Cor.12:7.  We will speak at length on these gifts in later sessions, but for the moment we will see ourselves in the position of the early Disciples, who when the Spirit came upon them, ‘spoke in other tongues’.

Let’s just repeat : –

The Holy Spirit comes to live in us and this is a gift from God. 

The fruit (which is singular), of His Spirit begins to grow in us

When He lives in us, He too gives us gifts (now plural not singular) (1 Cor.12:1).

HOW MANY GIFTS CAN I HAVE?

How many of these gifts can we have?  Quite simply, as many as we desire!! 

Is there anything that will stop us from using these gifts?  Yes, there certainly are. There are at least three conditions that will hamper our use of the gifts.

WHAT WILL HINDER MY USE OF THE GIFTS?

Firstly, if we have any unforgiveness in our hearts, it needs to be prayed out. Look at John 20: “Then he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you refuse to forgive them, they are unforgiven’ John 20:22-23. We can look at Matt.6:15 and Mark 11:25-26 for further confirmation of this point.

Paul tells us in Eph.4, “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice Eph.4:30-31.

Secondly, is being afraid of making fools of ourselves in front of others when we use the gifts, in other words, fear of man. Although we may not want to hear it – pride prevents us from speaking out. Pro.29 says, “The fear of man brings a snare; But those who put their trust in Jehovah shall be safe” Pro 29:25.

And lastly, unbelief will also hinder our use of the gifts. Hebrews 11 says, “So, you see, it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that there is a God and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him Hebrews 11:6.

OK… let’s recap what we’ve shared this week:

  1. Who is the Holy Spirit? – The Holy Spirit is a member of the Godly trinity
  2. How are we made up? – Human kind is made up of Body, Soul and Spirit
  3. The Holy Spirit : our promise of help – Jesus said He had to leave the earth in order for the Holy Spirit to come to us
  4. He convicts us of sin and God’s forgiveness – The Holy Spirit will be our teacher
  5. Sight is not enough; we must enter – The Holy Spirit will convince us of our sinful condition and need for change
  6. How does this happen? – We need to have revelation that our old sinful nature has gone and daily be led by the Holy Spirit
  7. He gives us gifts – The Holy Spirit is a gift from God and He himself brings gifts to us – fruit of the Spirit (singular) and gifts of the spirit (plural)
  8. How many gifts can I have? – We can use as many of the gifts as we desire
  9. What will hinder my use of the gifts? – Unforgiveness, being afraid and unbelief will hinder our use of the gifts

Next week, we will go a bit deeper and explore WHEN it is that we receive the Holy Spirit, as well as answer some questions that may have concerned us ABOUT the Holy Spirit in the past.

Let’s end off this session by praying together in your group if you are in one. Through the sessions on “Let’s Look at Prayer”, hopefully by now we are all used to praying with each other and we’ve begun to hear God sharing His heart with us in the prayer time. Ask the Lord to empty your heart now as you sit and listen for the ‘still small voice’ of the Holy Spirit deep in your heart and share what you hear with the others.

Thanks so much for joining me in this first session. Until next time… the Lord bless you all.

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others. Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers. Often, when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

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Rushing God’s Season


How are you and I feeling about our current circumstances? After this message, why don’t we take a moment out to take stock of what’s really happening in our lives, at this point in time. How much of it would we like to change – if we had the power to do so? And then again, I wonder how successful we would be in making the correct change.

I think of a young child who sees a packet of sweets and just wants to eat them – and eat them now! The child’s desire is for the sweets and that’s all he or she can think of – knowing how good they will taste. The little one doesn’t yet have the capacity to understand that, as they continue eating the sweets without stopping, they will be doing harm to their bodies and very soon will feel sick, because of not knowing when to stop eating. Feeling nauseous and looking back, the idea of eating the sweets won’t be so appealing after all!

This little example is so similar to how God works with us. In a sense, He sees the immaturity in our lives but has the maturity to know the absolute importance of sticking to the life plan, which He has designed for us.

A Basket Of Fruit.

In the book of Amos, God shares with Amos how He has placed before the Israelites, a basket of fruit – not any fruit – but summer fruit. It creates a picture of a lovely selection of beautifully ripe, juicy, sweet fruit. Everything good and all that they needed.

The people asked, “When will the new moon be over, so that we may sell grain, And the Sabbath, that we may open the wheat market, To make the bushel smaller and the shekel bigger, And to cheat with dishonest scales, So as to buy the helpless for money And the needy for a pair of sandals, And that we may sell the refuse of the wheat?”

The Israelites were in a rush to get on with their lives – so focused on their business’s that they didn’t have time to see their ’basket of fruit’, or understand what God was about to bring upon them, should they not keep their focus on Him.

God was giving them their needs (in other words the fruit) – giving them a season of time – but they couldn’t see anything, other than getting back to business. Just like the child with the sweets…

God has planned our current circumstances – every single detail of them. He knows them intimately well, and even though we may not think so, it is like a basket of ‘summer fruit’ for us.

Yes, given the chance, we probably would change things in our current circumstances – why? – because it would make us feel comfortable – for now. How would the actions of those changes impact our lives in the future Kingdom of heaven? Would they draw us closer to God or lead us away from Him?

The Master architect knows exactly what situations our lives need to experience in order to bring us closer to Him.

Let’s not rush this season of time that God has allowed for you and I – after all – it’s only a season – things will change again. Let’s see our current circumstances as the basket of summer fruit God has placed before us – enjoy and appreciate the taste. Have peace, as we trust the Father in our current season – He is allowing it to change us, for the better. Perhaps we can’t see why He’s allowing the season – but we need to trust, that He knows the little child who won’t know when to stop eating the sweets!

If we have a quick look over our lives, we’ll see how God has arranged it into perfect seasons. We probably grumbled at the time we were deep in the midst of them, but look how amazingly they turned out, for the purpose of drawing us closer to Him….

Once again it’s been a joy for me to have spent this time with you. May The Master bless your current season and many more after…. Until next time –  bless you all.

From: “…time with the Master…”

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others. Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers. Often, when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

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Howdy Neighbour


Join Our Pastor Ray in his sharing .

Howdy Neighbour

Jesus told us the two most import commandments are: “…YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.’ and then He said, the second most important one is, `YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ He continued…”There is no other commandment greater than these.” . No command greater than these – said Jesus!

We shared in previous sessions the difference between God’s Love and Human Love. In essence we said that our human love is ‘self-centred’ and Gods Love is ‘selfless’. We said that the two kinds of love cannot mix, and that as humans, operating out of our old sinful natures, we are not capable of loving someone as God would love us.

The answer to this challenge is that our old sinful nature needs to die – as Paul shared in Romans – and then we need to start the process of living out of our new resurrected life, which displays Gods love. We need to remember that this renewal is a daily process, as our thinking becomes renewed by the power of God’s word, revealed to us through the power of His Spirit.

In the parable of the Good Samaritan found in Luke, the lawyer asked Jesus a question that I have heard many times in my own life: “And who is my neighbour?”

Just prior to that question, the scripture says – “But wishing to justify himself”. So the lawyer actually asked the question in an effort to justify his own actions towards others. Are we like the lawyer, asking the Lord questions wishing to justify our actions? 

How many times have we asked the Lord, “Who is my neighbour?” and how many times have we heard this question being asked in our country currently?

I had a closer look at the parable to find my answer. However, to make the parable more meaningful to present time in this country, I replaced some characters:

So starting at Luke 10:30-37

Luk 10:30  Jesus replied and said, “A European man was going down from Johannesburg to Durban, and fell among hijackers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead.

Luk 10:31  “And by chance an Ndebele pastor was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.

Luk 10:32  “Likewise a Sotho person also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.

Luk 10:33  “But a Zulu man, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion,

Luk 10:34  and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him into his own pickup, and brought him to an inn and took care of him.

Luk 10:35  “On the next day he took out two Rands and gave them to the innkeeper and said, `Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return I will repay you.’

Luk 10:36  “Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the hijackers’ hands?”

Luk 10:37  And he said, “The one who showed mercy toward him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do the same.”

The key to the parable lies in verses 36 and 37. In verse 36, Jesus asked the lawyer, “…who proved to be a neighbour to the victim?” The lawyer replied, “The one who showed mercy toward him… “

In our South African version of the parable, it was the Zulu man who showed mercy – the Zulu man was being a neighbour to the victim. When we show mercy to anyone, we become a neighbour to them. – it’s not about WHO is MY neighbour – as much as it is about BEING a neighbour to others. I really pray the Lord will show us this truth.

Jesus said “love your neighbour as yourself…” We find it relatively easy to show mercy towards ourselves, but what about those around us. Do we show the same mercy to others as we show ourselves?

In the Lord’s eyes, and through HIS nature, showing mercy to others is unconditional – irrespective of who the person is. Showing mercy from the human perspective (in other words from our old sinful nature) is conditional. In other words, I will have mercy if the person is of a certain culture…or…I’ll show mercy if the person is the same religion as me….or… I’ll have mercy if I perceive them to be a ‘good person’. The character of God shows mercy irrespective…anywhere, anytime, any person.

When next it comes time for us to have mercy on others, lets first think how much mercy we would have for ourselves in that situation, and then apply that same mercy to others, irrespective of who they are.

So…. Let’s spend less time worrying and arguing about WHO our neighbour is and more time focussing on BEING a good neighbour.

Thank you for sharing this time with me – may the Master share much of His heart with you this coming week. Until next time…bless you all.

From: “…time with the Master…”

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others. Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers. Often, when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

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The Power of Debt


Buried for my sins or resurrected for my life?

The Power of Debt

I was having a chat with my son the other day and he asked me, “Dad, if you lived your life over again, would you change anything?”

I had a little chuckle, knowing there would probably be a number of things I would do differently. However, without any doubt, I replied, “I would certainly live my life without debt… all my 45 some years of working life, I had debt of one sort, and I now see how much time and stress I went through to pay it back…on the treadmill of debt payment – day in and day out”.  

Had I not chosen to use debt, I realised things would probably have been a lot more difficult, but one thing is for sure…. I would have had a lot more peace of mind.

The scriptures are very clear when it comes to debt – NO debt – not any kind of debt – except to owe others love. Proverbs says those who borrow become a slave to their lender. Think about this. As we borrow money – or anything else – we have to pay it back. Immediately we complete the borrowing transaction, we put a yolk around our necks and begin the treadmill of repaying. Interest rates can go up and borrowing conditions can change but as slaves, we are powerless to complain.

As people go about their daily lives, some appear not to be concerned about their commitment to repay, while others are deeply troubled and find themselves worrying about the fact that if they lose their jobs, they have no means of meeting their commitment. Worry is borne out of the fear of not being able to repay. Are we one of those who are constantly walking around with a dark cloud of worry over us? More than likely debt is the cause.

The accuser of the brethren, the devil, has a wonderful time with this topic. Fear does not come from the Lord. Fear is a great tool for the accuser. In Ephesians, we see how easy it is for us to “indulge in the desires of the flesh and the mind”. How easy it is for us to fall victim to fearful thoughts. Fearful thoughts cause us to worry. Worry will lead us into depression. Worry will make us physically sick.

How many times have we prayed asking God to bless and prosper us, when we continue walking outside of His principles by making more debt? It simply cannot make sense to God to prosper those who do not obey Him. Would you keep giving money to a compulsive gambler who consistently squandered it?

DEBT FREE = FEAR FREE.

So what can we do to get out of debt? As with any negative situation, we first need to acknowledge that there is a problem. Next we need to ask God to partner with us in order to find a solution. We need a renewal of our thinking. If we continue to do the same things in our life, we will end up with the same results. Different results require different inputs. “Lord please change me”.

With the leading of the Holy Spirit, write down a plan of how you can begin immediately to reduce your debt. Implement the plan and be disciplined to stick to it. This requires us to pay attention to the battle which will be present in our minds – the battle to try and get us to stay with our old way of thinking. However, we see in Romans, that we are no longer slaves to our old way of thinking. Believe this verse by faith and be diligent to “stick to the plan”.

As you make up your mind to commit yourself to this challenge, God is faithful to bless your obedience. Immediately you acknowledge your wrong and commit to getting away from it, His blessings will flow and what may seem an impossible hill to climb, will be complete before you know it!

Fear will no longer be part of your life and you will truly feel the power of the peace of the Lord daily, as you walk in Him.

From: “…time with the Master…”

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others. Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers. Often, when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’ Button.)

Seven Promises in Him


Join Our Pastor Ray as he shares on the Seven Promises

7 Promises ‘In Christ’…

You know one of the most amazing things I find is the way that God talks to us. If we dwell on the fact that He is all powerful and everlasting… then it’s even more incredible that He would take time to talk to you and I.

One of the ways He shares His heart with us, is through His word.

Look at this scripture in the book of Ephesians: …and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus…. One of the incredible things here is that the scripture speaks in the past tense – isn’t that amazing…. We have already been raised up into heavenly places with Christ!!!

Have you ever come across the expression “In Christ” or “in Him”?  So… what does “In Christ” or “in Him” mean?   It simply means how we behave as Christians here on Earth.  In other words, the way we walk our Christian path on a daily basis. As we obey God (or His Godly principles), we are walking “In Christ” or “In Him”. The more we walk in His principles – the more we are ‘in Him’.  When we miss the mark with Him in our walk, we are no longer “In Christ” or “In Him”.

I’d like you to do something positive for yourself in the next few days and spend a bit of quiet time on the following encouraging 7 promises:

No Condemnation

“Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”. Are we feeling condemned over any issue? – no need – as we walk in Christ there is no condemnation.

Free from our sinful nature

“…Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death”. There is no longer any need for us to do things the way we do them – we have a new nature – in Christ.

Our new nature is in Christ

“For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive”. Our new nature (which desires to follow God) is in Christ.

Never separated from God

“…nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord”. What a wonderful promise – we are safely in His hands!

No partiality

“… for you are all one in Christ Jesus”. The Lord sees all His children as equal.

We will walk in good works planned by God for us

“…created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them”. We may have many plans but God has already ordained our steps.

His promises to us are guaranteed

“For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes; therefore, also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us”.

Notice here that each of these 7 promises applies if we are ‘in Him’ or ‘In Christ’. Trying to imagine what ‘In Him’ means could be very difficult and complicated for you and I. However, as we’ve shared before, God’s word is never complicated when He opens it up to us, by the power of His Spirit.

God needs to control our walk here on Earth, until Jesus returns. As we walk ‘In Him’ (or according to His principles), He is able to bless us. Let’s see confirmation of this in the Psalms: “How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, But they are like chaff which the wind drives away.

Lastly, if we’re are finding it difficult to stay ‘in Him’ on a daily basis, remember that it’s God’s doing that we find ourselves ‘in Him’ – not any work of our own. We can strive to be good Christians daily, but we will fail at some point, until we learn that it is Christ in us, who gives us the strength to change.

Thanks for this blessed time together – may the Master richly bless your week ahead – until we meet again – blessings

From: “…time with the Master…”

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others. Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers. Often, when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’ Button.)

Insurance or Assurance?


Insurance and Assurance… Psa.139

There are times in all our lives when things are very difficult. The more we focus on these things, it seems the worse they get – know what I mean? If we could take our focus off those situations and dwell on something positive, it would really help. I find looking in God’s word for a few minutes really helps to bring peace to an unsettling time. I had a look at Psalm 139 the other day and was led to personalize the words and then just let them flow over me for a few minutes. Join me as we see together, the depth of what the Lord showed me:

“Lord, You know everything there is to know about me. You perceive every moment of my heart and soul, and you understand my every thought before it enters my mind.

You are so intimately aware of me, Lord. You read my heart like an open book and you know all the words I’m about to speak before I even start a sentence! You know every step I’ll take, before my journey even begins.

You’ve gone into my future to prepare the way, and in kindness you follow behind me, to spare me from the harm of my past. With your hand of love upon my life, you impart a blessing to me.

This is just too wonderful, deep, and incomprehensible! Your understanding of me, brings me wonder and strength. Where could I go from your Spirit? Where could I run and hide from your face?

If I go up to heaven, you’re there! If I go down to the realm of the dead, you’re there too! If I fly with wings into the shining dawn, you’re there! If I fly into the radiant sunset, you’re there waiting!

Wherever I go, your hand will guide me; your strength will empower me. It’s impossible to disappear from you or to ask the darkness to hide me, for your presence is everywhere, bringing light into my night.

There is no such thing as darkness with you. The night, to you, is as bright as the day; there’s no difference between the two.

You formed my innermost being, shaping my delicate inside and my intricate outside, and wove them all together in my mother’s womb. I thank you, God, for making me so mysteriously complex!

Everything you do is marvellously breath taking. It simply amazes me to think about it!

How thoroughly you know me, Lord! You even formed every bone in my body when you created me in the secret place, carefully, skilfully shaping me from nothing into something.

You saw who you created me to be, before I became me! Before I’d ever seen the light of day, the number of days you planned for me, were already recorded in your book.

Every single moment, you are thinking of me! How precious and wonderful to consider that you cherish me constantly in your every thought!

O God, your desires toward me are more than the grains of sand on every shore! When I awake each morning, you’re still with me”.

The Lord’s Word encourages us. Let’s spend more time in the positive place of His word and allow His Spirit to open wonderful pearls for us. In a quiet place – pick the words of a psalm and personalize them – say them aloud to God and you’ll be amazed what He will share with you!

The great I AM, is the great I AM, but yet He is not too great to share His heart with you and I on a personal level. There never has been, nor ever will be, a Father who knows His children, as He knows each one of us. Be encouraged – our Father never leaves our side.

I pray that the Master will share His heart with you this week, as He never has before – be blessed – until next time.

From: “…time with the Master…”

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others. Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers. Often, when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’ Button.)