Way Truth Life Part 4: The Spirit Of Life
On Sunday 2nd April at our morning service, we continued our series 'Way Truth Life' with the topic 'The Spirit Of Life'. In this blog you will find a summary of the talk and then some questions and reflections for you to think through on your own or to discuss in your small group.
To listen to the talk on-line, please click here.
To download the talk to listen to off line, please click here.
At the start of our service we watched a Youtube clip from Candid Camera called 'Car With No Engine'. You can watch that by clicking here.
During the talk we watched a clip from a Simpsons episode called 'World Peace'. You can watch that by clicking here.
Last week I started looking at the subject of life in all of its fullness, which is what Jesus came to give to us.
About 3 years after I became a Christian I went through a very difficult time. I staggered through my faith and my life knowing that God loved me and forgave me but not experiencing it. It was as if the message of God’s love and forgiveness could not travel from my heads to my heart and as a result I knew all the answers but as I said last week; knowing is not enough you have to do something about it. Ten years of this passed. Then something happened; I decided to make one more concerted effort to get myself sorted. One of the things that I did was to pray every day for God to take away all the things that were standing between us and to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
I began to accept my forgiveness and accepted God’s love and learned to love myself. The Spirt of God changed my heart and my life.
The message moved from my head to my heart. It affected my life in a dramatic way because the Holy Spirit breathes life and power into us.
Have you ever had the experience of going through the motions of being a Christian? Perhaps His love and forgiveness not soaking in to where it needs to change your life or your attitude? Perhaps you go through phases of coming to the church and your heart is not in it. Or it may be that you are feeling battered by life and you don’t see God in it. You are not living in fullness of life.
We are going to look at a time when the followers of Jesus were having a difficult, but exciting time, with miracles happening to them and through them. It was a time when The Holy Spirit breathes life and power into them.
Shortly after the Holy Spirit pours out supernatural power on them they tell everyone who will listen about Jesus. Thousands come to faith.
A matter of days later Peter and John are arrested after healing a beggar.
They and warned off speaking about Jesus again. You can read what the Bible tells us happens next by clicking here.
When they are bruised and battered their first port of call is their friends of faith. Prayer is their first reaction; and what a prayer!
Instead of praying for protection, they pray for boldness and more signs and wonders. This is a prayer rooted in confidence in God
These words they quote come from Psalm 2 They knew the Bible well enough to call upon it in a crisis. They see their circumstances are echoing this Psalm. The Holy Spirit in them is enabling them to call it to mind and see the connection.
The prayer begins; “Sovereign Lord”. This is how they see God.
He is sovereign. Jesus is not a victim and neither are they. God is sovereign in every circumstance. This is fighting talk. Life can sometimes feel like an assault on us. We are battered and bruised but our God is sovereign.
Compared to God we are being assaulted with trivial weapons. The disciples saw this. We need to get a bigger picture of God. The Holy Spirit enables that big picture. This is an exciting prayer isn’t it?
I think we should get into the habit of starting our prayer with the words “sovereign Lord”. This prayer is rooted in the sovereignty of God. They didn’t want protection, they wanted to be bold, brave and they wanted to see more signs and wonders that point to Jesus. We should learn to pray like this.
After this faith filled prayer God turns up again and they are filled again with Holy Spirit power. They get the boldness that they ask for. The Spirit of life comes to renew their confidence to empower them to face obstacles. We are filled with the Spirit for a purpose; to empower us to live out our faith and point others to Jesus. To live a full life.
Are we flagging under the knocks of life or is our trust and faith waning?
The Holy Spirit can breathe new life into us; we just have to keep asking?
When you buy a mobile phone you have to charge it up, but as you use it the power runs down. You have to keep plugging in to recharge. It is the same with the life of the Spirit. One charge isn’t enough. We need to keep plugging in. If we know that we are about to face something that will drain our resources we need to charge up in preparation. It is the Spirit of life who comes to pour life and power for living into us.
I believe that I, we, need more of the Holy Spirit because the Holy Spirit breathes life and power into us.
We need to commit to pursuing God’s Holy Spirit
What difference would it make in our lives, church and community if the Spirit of Life was evident? A full life lived, people healed, signs and wonders.
Questions and Reflections (for you to think about on your own or to discuss in your Life Group)
1 What is it that first strikes you about this passage? Why do you think that is?
2 Read the passage a couple of times. What is it that excites you? What is it that you find difficult or confusing?
3 Do you find it easy or hard to believe that God is sovereign Lord? Why is that?
4 How does the followers prayer compare with your own?
5 Paraphrase the prayer to make it applicable to your situation.
6 Jesus was empowered by the Holy Spirit, so were his followers with amazing results. What do you think needs to change in your life or the life or the church to make our experiences closer to theirs?
7 What do you need to do as a result of what you have heard?
8 What is going to be the thing that you take away from this message?