CONFESSION & CLARIFICATIONS
On my personal need, and our corporate need for the Holy Spirit...
And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. Ezekiel 36:26-27
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8
I am increasingly thankful for the Good news of Jesus, and increasingly aware of my need for the Holy Spirit to press its reality into my heart & soul. Recently, I’ve been challenged through prayer & the Word on a subtle lack-of-clarity in communicating & living out of our trinitarian distinctiveness.
So a confession... although I would never deny the power of the Spirit, and have openly preached on His gifts & equipping, I have not always sought Him FIRST for direction, discipleship, holiness, and missional strategy. Books, conferences, other churches, experience and hard work have encroached on that first position. So although charismatic, not cessationist, my seat-belt has been on fairly tight. No longer. Jesus relied on the Holy Spirit for life & effectiveness - so shall we. So must we. Explicitly, not just implicitly.
So some clarifications are in order - including Reality’s Mission Statement. Your leadership team / elders met a recently and prayed about explicitly including the Spirit in our stated mission. So the change was made: What used to read:
To bring glory to God through lives transformed by the reality of Jesus.
To bring glory to God through lives transformed by Jesus’ work
and the Spirit’s power
Our pastoral prayer...
May we as the bride & body of Christ, increasingly draw near to Jesus through the power of His Spirit.
May we seek his gifts for equipping us for mission, discipleship & life.
May we pray that He would increasingly do the work that is His to do... making hearts new. Making Jesus real in the hearts of men & women.
And may we not stop seeking a fresh encounter with the Holy Spirit and - in the Living Waters of his presence - find refreshment, renewal, grace, joy, hope and salvation extended to our friends, family & neighbours. That the nations would know his name & salvation...
As we study Romans this season... check out Paul’s intro:
[Jesus] was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead... through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations.. Romans 1:4-5
Holy Spirit, move in power ~ renew our minds & our hearts ~ bring your Light into the dark parts of our world, that we would see men & women saved by grace and rejoice in their true identity.
For the glory of God, through the power of your Spirit, in the mighty name of your Son. amen.
With eager anticipation of the Spirit’s work in our midst...