The Acts of The Holy Spirit Through –Riot in Ephesus

Acts 19: 23-41

Sunday, March 24, 2019

At the forefront of this amazing growth is a church that has come to know and appreciate the person and gifts of the Holy Spirit. In societies overborne by poverty, empty political promises, and inner vacancy, within emerging generations there is a search for spiritual wholeness and societal peace. The rise of Christian witness is enabled by a new and revitalized encounter and infilling of the Spirit. Even though Christians are Trinitarian in theology, functionally we have operated on a dual pivot: the Father and the Son. This repositioning of our theology and spiritual practice to a more faithful Trinitarian vision is the basis of what we are witnessing today. This is the first driver.

Underlying everything that Christians are and do is our Bible—the second driver.

Brian C. Stiller, From Jerusalem to Timbuktu, p. 18 (2018)

            People tend to live under an illusion that they will always have time to pray and mediate on the Word. That is one of the Devil’s most successful lies. The Devil knows that if he can keep you out of God’s presence, he will defeat you. Even if you have vast quantities of biblical knowledge, you will only become proud and cleaver at hurting people if you do nor consistently come into God’s presence. Even if you have powerful spiritual gifts, you will only wreak havoc in the church if you not come into his presence on a consistent basis. We will never grow in passion for the Son of God, nor be ultimately profitable for his service, if we do not come into his presence on a consistent basis.

            There is not one biblical hero who did not come in to the presence of God on a regular basis. Follow Joshua’s example and mediate in the Word day and night. Follow Paul’s example and pray continually. Follow Mary’s example and sit at the feet of Jesus. In order to follow their examples, we must learn to set aside a regular time, or we will never come before God on a regular basis. If we do these things on a regular basis, expecting to meet a Person, that Person will not disappoint us.

Jack Deere, Surprised By The Power of The Holy Spirit, p. 198 (1993)

           

With quiet reflection, our desires, fears, beliefs, doubts, and sins are given space to surface, but none of these define us. They may describe a part of our person at a particular moment in time, but only a part, and only for a time. If, however, we fail to make the double movement, then what we discover within us may appear to be definitive: “This is just who I am.” The double movement draws us out of ourselves to a higher good. When we look inside and find abiding sin, the guilt of that sin takes us to the cross, where the One who took that guilt upon himself forgives us. When we look inside and find gratitude for a life we have been taking for granted (because diversions also rob us of our joy, as well as our misery), that gratitude draws us upward to God in thanksgiving. And when we look inside and reveal suppressed anxiety or dread, we can explore the source of that dread, knowing that the God who provides the peace that passes understanding loves us. In contemplation, we know ourselves in relation to God, and as we grow in the knowledge of God, his truth interprets us, granting us deeper knowledge of ourselves. This is the “more solid means of escap[ing misery]” that Pascal hinted at—a God who reveals himself in us so we might know ourselves and in turn know him better.

            Reflection like this requires regular, extended periods of time and attention, which for most of us probably feels impossible. I recommend that we begin with some low-hanging fruit.

            It is this kind of witness that we are called to bear in the world today—a witness that defies secular expectation and explanation, that unsettles our neighbors from their technological/consumerist stupor, and that gambles everything on the existence and goodness of a transcendent (and immanent!) God, whose sacrificial love for us compels us to love in return.

Alan Noble, Disruptive Witness, p. 109, 180 (2018)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Acts of The Holy Spirit Through –Riot in Ephesus

Acts 19: 23-41

Sunday, March 24, 2019

At the forefront of this amazing growth is a church that has come to know and appreciate the person and gifts of the Holy Spirit. In societies overborne by poverty, empty political promises, and inner vacancy, within emerging generations there is a search for spiritual wholeness and societal peace. The rise of Christian witness is enabled by a new and revitalized encounter and infilling of the Spirit. Even though Christians are Trinitarian in theology, functionally we have operated on a dual pivot: the Father and the Son. This repositioning of our theology and spiritual practice to a more faithful Trinitarian vision is the basis of what we are witnessing today. This is the first driver.

Underlying everything that Christians are and do is our Bible—the second driver.

Brian C. Stiller, From Jerusalem to Timbuktu, p. 18 (2018)

            People tend to live under an illusion that they will always have time to pray and mediate on the Word. That is one of the Devil’s most successful lies. The Devil knows that if he can keep you out of God’s presence, he will defeat you. Even if you have vast quantities of biblical knowledge, you will only become proud and cleaver at hurting people if you do nor consistently come into God’s presence. Even if you have powerful spiritual gifts, you will only wreak havoc in the church if you not come into his presence on a consistent basis. We will never grow in passion for the Son of God, nor be ultimately profitable for his service, if we do not come into his presence on a consistent basis.

            There is not one biblical hero who did not come in to the presence of God on a regular basis. Follow Joshua’s example and mediate in the Word day and night. Follow Paul’s example and pray continually. Follow Mary’s example and sit at the feet of Jesus. In order to follow their examples, we must learn to set aside a regular time, or we will never come before God on a regular basis. If we do these things on a regular basis, expecting to meet a Person, that Person will not disappoint us.

Jack Deere, Surprised By The Power of The Holy Spirit, p. 198 (1993)

           

With quiet reflection, our desires, fears, beliefs, doubts, and sins are given space to surface, but none of these define us. They may describe a part of our person at a particular moment in time, but only a part, and only for a time. If, however, we fail to make the double movement, then what we discover within us may appear to be definitive: “This is just who I am.” The double movement draws us out of ourselves to a higher good. When we look inside and find abiding sin, the guilt of that sin takes us to the cross, where the One who took that guilt upon himself forgives us. When we look inside and find gratitude for a life we have been taking for granted (because diversions also rob us of our joy, as well as our misery), that gratitude draws us upward to God in thanksgiving. And when we look inside and reveal suppressed anxiety or dread, we can explore the source of that dread, knowing that the God who provides the peace that passes understanding loves us. In contemplation, we know ourselves in relation to God, and as we grow in the knowledge of God, his truth interprets us, granting us deeper knowledge of ourselves. This is the “more solid means of escap[ing misery]” that Pascal hinted at—a God who reveals himself in us so we might know ourselves and in turn know him better.

            Reflection like this requires regular, extended periods of time and attention, which for most of us probably feels impossible. I recommend that we begin with some low-hanging fruit.

            It is this kind of witness that we are called to bear in the world today—a witness that defies secular expectation and explanation, that unsettles our neighbors from their technological/consumerist stupor, and that gambles everything on the existence and goodness of a transcendent (and immanent!) God, whose sacrificial love for us compels us to love in return.

Alan Noble, Disruptive Witness, p. 109, 180 (2018)