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Friday: Further Thought ~ Spirit-Empowered Witnessing — 13 Comments

  1. A lot of electrical equipment works with a remote control these days. I can lie back on our lounge and switch my TV on and off, change channels, increase the volume, all with a little black box that I can hold in my hand. (Not that I watch all that much TV. A morning spent in the bush hunting for birds to photograph is much more enjoyable) It is not only TV, but our air conditioner also has a remote as does our DVD player. (The big problem is finding the right controller!) Our car has a remote that I do not even need to get out of my pocket. I just walk up to the car and the door unlocks. I press the start button, and away it goes; no keys required.

    We live in a world where action at a distance is taken for granted and sometimes we may be tempted to think of the Holy Spirit as a prayer-activated remote control. Do we pray that the Holy Spirit will do something for us? Or, should we be praying for the Holy Spirit to do something through us.

    I want to revisit the text that I quoted yesterday:

    "Therefore go and make disciples in all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and then teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you; and be sure of this—that I am with you always, even to the end of the world.” Matt 28:19,20

    Notice that Jesus' command is to get up and do something, followed by the promise that He will always be with us.

    The Holy Spirit is the power cord, not the remote control!

    Amen!(36)
    • Thank you Maurice for your comments. I had not thought of it quite that way but too often we do treat the Holy Spirit like a remote. I was thinking more that prayer is the power cord and the Holy Spirit is the outlet we plug into, though. The power cord is part of the device but the outlet is the external source that gives life. What do you think?

      Amen!(7)
      • I like your extension. There are so many ways to illustrate this relationship. Thank you, Karen.

        Amen!(5)
  2. Yesterday day the question was asked - Why would one want to be transformed? The sad truth is most do not want to be changed, read Gal 5:19-21. My neighbours take out their frustrations by hitting each other but think they are good people because at other times they help the elderly. That is why the first work of the Holy Spirit is to convict people of unacceptable thoughts and deeds, how? The Word of the LORD is a two edged sword revealing how to love one another - the benefits of the LORD's Way of life. Ps 103:1-5
    The LORDS Way does not stop people from hurting us but it does help us to endure to the end, remember Paul's life, Acts 14:22, 2Cor 11:16-33, 1Peter 4:12-13
    The Holy Spirit also convicts of the coming judgment and the new earth where there will be no more sorrow.
    Jesus said: in Me you will have peace but in the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer for I have overcome the world. John 16:33

    Amen!(12)
    • Shirley, I would venture to say that most want to be different than they are, but are content to remain as they are rather than make the extra effort to change. Most know their diet is supplemented by too many "junk foods", or that they need to lose some weight, quit smoking/drinking, exercise more, or be less impatient, control their temper, etc. Why do most recognize these personal needs? John 16:8. The Holy Spirit circles this world like our atmosphere, and is never derelict to His duty to "convict the world of..." everything that stands between every sinner and LIFE. Why? "The LORD our God is ONE LORD", which means the Holy Spirit loves as the Father Loves, and as Jesus Christ Loves (who lived by the Holy Spirit's power, which we may do as well).

      So the Holy Spirit is faithfully convincing the world of its needed change, but many don't know how, or lack the motivation, or give up after failed attempts. This is where Gospel workers will find an audience, even if they don't all follow through, as most won't, yet just "one more" saved from sin will be worth the sacrifice and effort to go to "the uttermost part of the earth" with this Gospel.

      We cannot introduce this Gospel with theological arguments or "superior" truths, but with kindness, courtesy, practical help, and with good answers to relevant questions. If we are saved by grace through faith, we have something to share. If filled with the Holy Spirit, we will know our work and like the 12 year-old Jesus, be about our Father's business.

      Amen!(0)
  3. How does the Holy Spirit equip anyone? Certainly, not against our will. The Holy Spirit, as the 3rd person of the Godhead, will never force submission or do for any what is left for them to do. We are to choose, then act. The Holy Spirit will provide what we cannot provide, but will never enable one who does not fully surrender their own will to the will of God.

    This requires diligent study and fervent prayer to know the will of God, then many choices made in the course of today. Whom do we serve? If self is served even "part-time", we serve self.(This means that we made a decision against the will of God on a matter.) We must be honest with our self.

    Notice how the wick of a lamp must remain immersed and saturated by the oil if it is to give light. So how is this to be understood? In Philippians 2:5-8 we find probably the best practical definition. Also, a right understanding of Matt 5:3-6, because of what follows in Matt 5:7-12, which is the fruit of the Spirit.

    If we are lacking the power of the Holy Spirit, it is due to our choosing, and not the Lord's.

    Amen!(5)
  4. Let not your heart be troubled, ye believe in God...John 14:1-3

    Spirit-Empowered Witnessing

    My brethren, I encouraged all to read or listen to the readings for today from E.G White.

    The Path to Suicide
    Suicide follows a specific pathway; afraid-trouble-fearful-worried-anxious-depress-suicide. In the bible, we have several verses encouraging us not to be
    Afraid Ps 56:3
    Troubled Jh 14:1-3; Prov 3:5-6
    Fearful Ps 23:4; Ps 34:4; Isa 41:10
    Worried Matt 6:25,34; Ps 55:22
    Anxious 1Peter 5:7; Phil 4:6-7. Because all those traits can lead to depression and suicide, Jesus wants us to look to him who has the answer to our problems.
    Who was Depressed in the bible- David, Saul, Elijah. Who committed suicide in the bible- Sampson, Judas. Suicide is a permanent answer to a temporary problem.

    After the communion service, Judas had left the room to finish his transactions about betraying Jesus. Jesus was with the eleven disciples. Jesus spoke about his soon separation from them. At this point, many became fearful about what will happen and their future.
    'Fear fell upon them. They pressed close about the Saviour. Their Master and Lord, their beloved Teacher and Friend, He was dearer to them than life. To Him, they had looked for help in all their difficulties, for comfort in their sorrows and disappointments. Now He was to leave them, a lonely, dependent company. Dark were the forebodings that filled their hearts.
    But the Saviour's words to them were full of hope. He knew that they were to be assailed by the enemy and that Satan's craft is most successful against those who are depressed by difficulties. Therefore He pointed them away from “the things which are seen,” to “the things which are not seen.” 2 Corinthians 4:18. DA 662

    As we look around us we can see many of our church members, family, and friends falling into one or more of those categories. Many are afraid of the future and what will happen. Would their material things be taken away or will they able to feed their families. Worried about schooling and bills, troubled about getting the COVID virus because it appears like a death sentence.
    We are called by Jesus to read his word and be a witness to them about what Jesus had done for us and can do for them.
    I met a young girl/woman is a similar situation. She suffers from depression. Because of what is going on with the COVID-19, she can't get to see her councillor, she can't get her meds as before. Her other choice was to drink alcohol until she got drunk and pass out. Don't know if she had wanted to commit suicide. She can barely speak English, she also does sign language. I can't speak her native language, nor do sign language. But I remember I had a tract with me with English on one side and her language on the other side. I gave it to her and she was so happy. She even showed me how to download on my phone an app with the translation.

    The author said-'He is there with us, moving upon minds as we perform an act of random kindness'.
    Let us cont to be focus on Christ so Satan cant use us for his glory.

    Amen!(6)
  5. I just finished the suggested reading in Desire of Ages. Wow, I know I have read it before, recently, but as the closing of this weeks lesson, it’s just the perfect ending to the week. I think I highlighted at least half of it. The bottom line that I took away from it is that we get to choose how much the Holy Spirit will work in and through our lives. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly suggest it.

    Amen!(2)
  6. Coming late to class has the benefit of being able to read everyone's post. 🙂 This gives me additional food for thought. I was especially intrigued by the remote control and power cord to explain the invisible 'influence' by the Holy Spirit on our life of witnessing.
    Considering His work being done by 'power cord or remote control', gives the impression that it is a separate, external, coming from the outside influence. I content, that the Holy Spirit is internal, permanently installed and operational as the spiritual entity/being which defines AND forms our new nature.

    To explain: I want to, with due respect, compare Him to a 3-D printer, hoping you are familiar with this device. It produces an object by tracing a template. The object being produced, in all/most aspects, is like the original.

    I see the template being used to establish the 3-D object to be the Holy Spirit; He is the spiritual image of Jesus and we are the 3-D object being made in the image of Him.
    Jesus, in His spiritual form is the the Holy Spirit living in us; He is the spiritual template after which our new 'self' - the new nature - is being formed in us.
    We are the spiritual 3-D object being fashioned after the spiritual templet provided by the Holy Spirit, which is the essence of Christ in us.

    Rom.6:1-23 speaks to this in detail; focusing on those who believe having been 'wiped clean' from sin and now live under a new authority/influence. Nothing of the old nature is contained in this new nature after we have given permission to change the whole person we call 'self'.
    v.4 - 'Therefore, we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life' (the newe nature).
    v.5 - 'For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection'.
    v.11 - 'Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin(the old nature), but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord'.

    2Cor.5:17-21 -
    (17) Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
    (18) AND ALL THINGS (the new things) ARE OF GOD, WHO HAS RECONCILED US TO HIMSELF BY JESUS CHRIST, AND HATH GIVEN TO US THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION.
    (19) - To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the World unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
    (20) - Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.

    All witnessing is done to accomplish a spiritual end! And to this 'end' is our witnessing commissioned - that we, the new, born-again creature, though still being housed in the old body of flesh, engages in 'reconciling the world unto Himself '.

    Amen!(3)
  7. Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death...Ps 23:4

    When you are fearful of the present or the future you hold on to anything that comes by. 'A drowning man catches a straw'.

    I went to the mailbox and found a letter. It was from around my area, a return address, and our names and address written with hand, that showed me someone took the time to write it. Inside was a handwritten letter and a magazine named "Awake". I have not seen that magazine for approx 20 yrs (if my memory serves me right). The writer went on to say about the COVID pandemic and the times we are living in- social unrest. Because of that, many are extremely stressed and looking for some relief from it.
    The "Awake" magazine was about stress, and what to do in these times. She used bible verses and pointed me to the their website to find more encouraging thoughts and a free online bible that is easy to read and is accurate, and it also has videos, and much more, Etc, and stated I am free to get in touch with her. She had not mentioned her religion as yet only the JW website.

    Do we know where our members are since the lock-down? can all be accounted for or are they going after others who can offer them something? Are we as a church or a congregation trying to be effective witnesses in our communities? Are we sharing our magazines and working to save souls who do not know Jesus or are we in a 2-8 months lock down mood? Are we allowing our books to spread like the autumn leaves?

    Amen!(3)
  8. Thanks Robert, I believe that what people do desire is meaning and a purpose for their existence in this life and the hope of living forever in a perfect world of love and harmony.

    Amen!(0)

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