June 8, 2022
When Jesus came to the Earth and selected a few men to follow Him as He ministered to the masses, even those closest to Jesus expected Him to set up an earthly, political kingdom. So, when Jesus began to talk with His disciples about “going away” to a place they could not come, they were understandably confused. They were ready to crown Jesus as King of Jerusalem, not realizing that the crown of thorns placed Jesus’ head at His crucifixion would be the moment He would be crowned as King of Kings. Yet Jesus, full of love and compassion, gently reassured their unsettled hearts by telling them that, though He was going away, He would send another Comforter.
While Jesus was on the Earth, the enemy was seeking to extinguish Jesus’ life and purpose, but Jesus knew that after His death, the enemy would seek the life and purpose of His disciples (John 10:10). Jesus desired to no longer dwell with them, but in them, thereby becoming their defense against the powers of darkness. Jesus instructed His disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the gift the Father had promised, and “they shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now (Acts 1:5).” Fifty days after the resurrection, as they sat in one place in one accord, they heard a sound like a rushing mighty wind. The Holy Spirit filled each one of them and they spoke in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance (Acts 2:1-4).
Though the Scriptures reference both the Holy Ghost and the Holy Spirit, we should be careful to not get caught up in semantics. A ghost or a spirit is the presence of a “departed one”, and while Jesus, in a physical form, is no longer here on the Earth, His Spirit is with us and in us. The Holy Spirit operating in our lives gives us power (Acts 1:8) to defeat Satan and his devices warring against us. We must remember that the Holy Spirit is not an “it” but is the third person of the Godhead functioning with a purpose and personality.
The Bible cautions us on specific ways in which we should treat the Holy Spirit. First, we should never quench or resist the Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19). The Holy Spirit serves as a gauge in our lives often leading us in the way we should go. When we sense His presence and feel His pull, we must be quick to yield to Him. Secondly, we should not grieve the Spirit (Ephesians 4:30). Engaging in sinful activity that is contrary to God’s Word can leave us feeling a deep sense of our wrongdoing. From bitterness to fits of rage, we often immediately feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit telling us that we have done something that isn’t pleasing to Him. While grieving the Holy Spirit is nearly inevitable because of our humanity, remember that when we confess our sins, God is faithful to forgive us and cleanse us of offense (1 John 1:9). Lastly, we must never blaspheme the Holy Spirit (Mark 3:29). This word blaspheme means that, once we know the Holy Spirit and His power, we must never curse, insult, slander, or speak against the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is a wonderful gift to us as believers. Whether you need comfort, power, or direction, He is in you to help you live victoriously! Join us Sundays at 3 pm online or in person at Regeneration Nashville as we worship God in Spirit and truth! Until then, may God bless you, keep you, and make His face shine upon you. Be Regenerated!
Your friend in Christ,
June 1, 2022
When we open our Bibles to page one and begin to read the first few words, we find a startling picture. The green, lush Earth in which we live and are most familiar was empty and covered in water. It had no shape, no purpose, no plan. Darkness consumed every square inch of the surface, drowning all possibility of hope, goodness, and life. It seems that it was the end before the beginning even began. But then the writer gives us the one sentence that changes everything, “the Spirit of God was hovering.” Instantly, death is swallowed up in victory before a word is even spoken. When the Spirit of God is present, life, in its fullness, is bulging at the seams awaiting its invitation to burst onto a limitless canvas. While the darkness and chaos were wreaking their havoc, they could only penetrate the surface but never reach the foundation. 2 Timothy 2:19 reminds us that “God’s firm foundation stands,” and again in 1 Corinthians 3:11, “For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
From the creation story onward, we see that God loves cycles and patterns. From simple experiences like sunrise and sunset to the more complex cycles of the four seasons, we find the saying generally true, “what goes around, comes around.” This idea seems to be carried through even in historical and socioeconomic patterns encountered by each generation. I’ve heard people balk at bringing children into such an unstable and evil world and witnessed many concerned that an apocalypse is nearly at hand, all because they recognize the chaos and evil that cycles around us. However, the truth to which we must cling is that God’s Spirit is hovering over the Earth, and this darkness and turmoil are only surface deep. The foundation has been laid and is impenetrable, Jesus Christ, the Righteous!
Fortunately for us, this is a truth that our enemy and his cohorts never seem to learn. The Gospel writer, Luke, paints a vivid portrait of Jesus, tortured, mocked, and nailed to a wooden cross, drawing His last breath and dying. As the Light of the World seemed to be extinguished by hell and its devices, the sky again turned black, and darkness consumed the Earth. The same chaos and evil that God conquered in Genesis seized its opportunity to overtake the world again, and it seemed as though it had won. But, oh friend, God’s Spirit was hovering. Though they laid Jesus’ lifeless body in a tomb, the Spirit of resurrection life did the miraculous, the impossible, the unthinkable. Jesus rose from the dead, conquering death, hell, and the grave, and the powers of darkness were rendered ineffective! For death was only on the surface, and the foundation which was laid could not be penetrated.
The Apostle Paul reminds us in Romans 8:11, “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” How marvelous to know that the same Spirit that hovered over the waters in Genesis 1 and that raised Jesus from the dead lives in you and me! While we may look at the darkness within the world or even the chaos within our hearts, we must remember that we are not without hope. I feel the Spirit of God hovering today, and I’m filled with anticipation! Resurrection life is on the way, and God is moving in His church and His people!
Join us Sundays at 3 pm online or in person at Regeneration Nashville and come anticipating what God will do! Until then, may God bless you, keep you, and make His face shine upon you. Be Regenerated!
Your friend in Christ,
Pastor Jasmine Brady