The Quest – Day 9

This is the devotional for Wednesday, October 4, 2006 which is the 9th day of The Quest, our 40 Days of Discovery. Our devotional today offers a summary of the material in Chapter 9 of Frank Moore’s great book, The Power To Be Free.

If you were unable to attend Sunday’s service, Week 1 of the Quest, we’d love you have you participate via our Faith Nazarene Church podcast.

Click here to listen to the podcast version of this devotional. Visit http://www.buildyourfaith.net to read the previous days’ devotionals or to subscribe to the “FaithBuilders” podcast.

Day 9 – A Guide from Days Gone By

The Spirit has been guiding our world and people since the beginning of time.

“Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” (Genesis 1:2 NIV)

Without realizing it, many believers think of the Spirit as a relief pitcher. They think that during the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ, the Spirit warmed up and readied himself. As soon as Jesus returned to heaven, the Spirit ran onto the field to assume His presence and ministry in the Church and the world. In other words, He served as a reliever to Jesus’ ministry and became a starter at Pentecost. Nothing could be further from the truth!

The Spirit is the third Person of the Trinity. Anytime you read in the Bible about God working in His world, you can rest assured that Father, Son and Spirit are all somehow involved.

True, we tend to imagine the Father at work in the Old Testament, the Son at work during the Incarnation, and the Spirit at work in the church age. Nevertheless, we must never assume that only one member of the Trinity acts at any given time.

The Spirit has been actively involved in our world since its beginning. His presence permeated the entire Old Testament. These few examples illustrate this:

  1. He worked with other members of the Trinity in creating the world and everything in it. Genesis 1:2 tells us that “the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”
  2. He inspired the writers of Scripture to record the message of God for us. Peter tells us in 2 Peter 1:21, “For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”
  3. He gave people special skills and abilities to accomplish His will. Exodus 31:3-5 tells us that the Spirit of God filled Bezalel with skill, ability and knowledge of a variety of craftsmanships for the building of the Tabernacle, the worship center for the Hebrew people during their trip from Egypt to the Promised Land.
  4. He guided the leaders of Israel in the Old Testament. Numbers 11:25 says, “Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke with [Moses], and he took of the Spirit that was on him and put the Spirit on the seventy elders.”
  5. He spoke through the prophets about a new arrangement that would allow Him to live within human hearts. Isaiah 44:3 says, “I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring.”

These examples only hint at the numerous ways in which the Spirit of God participated with us in our world. Let me challenge you to read through the Old Testament again with an eye for the Spirit’s involvement in its events and messages. You’ll be amazed as you see Him working quietly in the shadows.

The memory verse for this week is John 14:18, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”

Thank you for listening to FaithBuilders podcasts. For more information about our church, visit our website at www.jaxnaz.org.

Build your faith today by remembering the Spirit’s work in our world.

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The Quest – Day 8

This is the devotional for Tuesday, October 3, 2006 which is the 8th day of The Quest, our 40 Days of Discovery. Our devotional today offers a summary of the material in Chapter 8 of Frank Moore’s great book, The Power To Be Free.

If you were unable to attend Sunday’s service, Week 1 of the Quest, we’d love you have you participate via our Faith Nazarene Church podcast.

Click here to listen to the podcast version of this devotional. Visit http://www.buildyourfaith.net to read the previous days’ devotionals or to subscribe to the “FaithBuilders” podcast.

Day 8 – Who is our Guide?

The Spirit is God.

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth.” (John 14:16-17 NIV)

Who is God? Deuteronomy 6:4 clearly teaches, “Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.” The New Testament presents us with discussions of the Father, Son and Spirit. What’s going on here? One God or three?

We must be careful to avoid error in our analysis. Some people incorrectly say the one God goes by the different names of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, as He works in our world. This view resembles a one-actor play where a single individual changes clothes to play the part of several characters. This theory, however, does not fit with Scripture.

All three persons of the Trinity are God. The three names, however, do not speak of three deities, but of a single God. He is one being. It is sometimes helpful in grasping this truth to think of three persons with one essence, nature, or being. But with too much emphasis on the word “three,” we tend to think of three distinct gods. With too much emphasis on the word, “one,” we tend to think of Father becoming Son becoming Spirit. Both extremes are not Biblical and thus equal error.

The Spirit of Christ, then, is a divine Person with whom we interact. He is not an impersonal spiritual force like “The Force” of Hollywood movies. Neither is He a scary ghost or even a friendly one like Casper.

The Spirit is a divine Person with intelligence, will and emotions. He can be affected through such things as grieving, quenching, resisting and blasphemy. He ministers to us as a person: teaching, regenerating, searching, speaking, interceding, commanding, testifying, guiding, illuminating and revealing. We must always be careful to remember that He is fully divine with the Father and the Son. What’s more, He is One with the Father and the Son.

The Spirit’s presence in our lives reminds us that God is near us and in us at all times.

The memory verse for this week is John 14:18, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”

Thank you for visiting FaithBuilders at http://www.buildyourfaith.net. For more information about our church, visit our website at www.jaxnaz.org.

Build your faith today by remembering that the Spirit is God.