"If you’ve raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in thickets by the Jordan?" (Jeremiah 12:5). Our journey is intended to be more than simply "stumbling" through the days while the world "wears us out.” We are made to experience the thrill of "running with horses” and to navigate life amongst the "thickets." The RWH blog focuses on both the spiritual race of which Jeremiah speaks, and the physical act of running that I absolutely love. In short, it's where "the miles meet the Message" to provide insight, perspective & encouragement that might enable you & I to successfully run either of the races set before us. May our course be purposeful and may we be passionate in our pursuit of the abundant life He desires for us.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Paul and the Holy Spirit (Acts 28)

The study of Acts is coming to a close here at River Oaks. This past Sunday, Pastor Beaty delivered the message on Acts 28:1-10, and used the setting (the island of Malta) as a jumping off point for Paul’s teaching of the Holy Spirit.

Throughout Paul’s ministry he continually taught on the relationship that believers should have with the Holy Spirit.  In fact, he provided four distinct commands throughout his letters regarding this relationship.  They included:

*  Do not GRIEVE the Spirit (Ephesians 4:30) : Doing what is disobedient to God and against the Spirit.  Starting in verse 25 and reading through chapter 5, the full context of this reference is an excellent passage to better understand what grieves the spirit.

*  Do not QUENCH  the Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:29) : In scripture this is referred to as “pouring water on a fire.” If grieving is to do what should not be done, then quenching is to not to what should be done.  When the Spirit convicts, act.

*  LIVE / WALK by the Spirit (Galatians 5:16) : Paul encourages us to receive the Spirit’s guidance and enabling power.  The verse continues by telling us that by doing this “.....you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” In other words, if we walk in the light, we are much less likely to stumble as in the dark.

*  Be FILLED with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18-21) : Being so under His control that it is recognizable by others. Paul instructs us to accomplish this through, a) reverence - honor, respect and the acknowledgement of God with us, and b) willingness - allowing God to use us whenever, wherever and with whoever.

"Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit" (Ephesians 5:18)

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