Let’s consider for a few moments how the Holy Spirit leads us. We’re going to look at some episodes in the life of the apostle Paul in the Book of Acts.
Lessons from Acts:
Acts 19:21, Acts 20:22-24
Four factors that help us discern and sort things out:
The Scriptures, the leadings of the Holy Spirit; the wise counsel of Christian friends and family; and the alignment of circumstances.
How do we know the difference between a leading from the Holy Spirit and just our own thoughts or our own ideas or maybe even our own preferences? Paul faced this confusion as we move on in this story (Acts 21:4-16)
So, what do we do when there seems to be contradictory guidance coming from different voices/or from the four factors?
Principle 1: Make sure that you’re clear on what Scripture says in any decision that you’re facing.
Principle 2: Circumstances are helpful in our deliberations, but as we’ve seen, sometimes we can read too much into circumstances or respond inappropriately to our circumstances.
Principle 3: The best counsel when the factors seem to contradict themselves is to slow down.
Sometimes there may not be a clear-cut answer because he’s just giving us the freedom to make a good choice. You make the call.
A key takeaway:
Move away from the mindset of: “God, would you bless what I’m already planning to do?” And move to the mindset of “God, please speak into what you want me to do?”)
The Fellowship of the Holy Spirit 2 Corinthians 13:14
“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ…”
Grace (Grk: “charis”) = unmerited favor.
How has Jesus Christ demonstrated His grace to you?
“…and the love of God…”
Love (Grk: “agape”) = To regard with affection. Wanting and acting toward the ultimate good of those loved.
1 Corinthians 13, John 3:16
In what ways has God shown you His love?
“…and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”
Fellowship (Grk: “koinonia”) = communion, partnership, close association
Who is the Holy Spirit?
John 15:26-16:15, Isaiah 11:2, 2 Corinthians 3:17-18
• Romans 1:4 – Spirit of holiness
• Romans 8:2 – Spirit gives life (only God can bring life)
• Romans 8:15 – Spirit brought about your adoption as a son/daughter of God
• Ephesians 1:17 – Spirit of wisdom and revelation, which helps us to know God.
• Hebrews 10:29 – Spirit of grace
• 1 Peter 1:2 – Spirit does the sanctifying work in our lives.
• 2 Peter 1:21 – The Spirit carried or spoke through the prophets as they penned the Scriptures.
What are some of the most stunning things that the Holy Spirit brings into our lives? In what area of your life do you feel the most need for the Holy Spirit’s presence or help right now?
Week 3 of our “May the Force Be with You – Ministry of the Holy Spirit” focuses on Gifted by the Spirit
Perspective (2 Cor. 1:3-7)
Paul teaches us in these initial verses that we need to gain a new perspective concerning trouble.
Trouble broadens the boundaries of your ministry, both your ministry involvement and ministry influence. (vv. 3-4).
Let’s apply this.
1. I urge you this day to humbly receive God’s comfort and compassion.
2. I urge you to appropriately acknowledge, “I’ve had trouble.”
Why have I your pastor brought some of my challenges to your attention?
(1.) So that you could hear the honest acknowledgement that we all have ___________.
(2.) So I could put out there that there are some things I’ve experienced and I’d be glad to _______ with you if you’re on that same _________.
a. Sharing with others I’ve had this __________.
b. Watch for divine ____________.
c. Let me know your ______________.
d. Consider initiating a ministry that helps bring compassion and comfort to those who are facing a specific form of ___________.
This is week one of our new series “May the Force Be With You” – Ministry of the Holy Spirit.
Filled With the Spirit (Ephesians 5:15-21)
Someone else is coming (John 14:16-17; 16:7).
Being filled with the Spirit has nothing to do with you getting more of the Spirit. It has everything to do with Him getting more of you.
What are the evidences of being filled with the Spirit? It has everything to do with how we’re relating to God and to each other.
(1.) We speak to each other, not about each other (v. 19)
(2.) True heartfelt worship. (v. 19)
(3.) A thankful spirit (v. 20)
(4.) A submissive attitude. (v. 21)
God has high hopes for spirit-filled believers led by Him, not just in their personal lives, but also in their personal ministry to individuals around them. The people God empowers are not perfect _____________, but they are dependent ______________.
Instead of going into this year asking the question that most people will ask – “What should I do about me?” – try asking the question, “What should be done around me?”