The Holy Spirit: Hearing His Voice, Pt. 4

We – Mosaic, and followers of Jesus – believe that everybody on the earth can hear the Holy Spirit. If you’re a believer, you can hear Him because He is in you and with you. If you’re not, you can hear His voice because He is constantly wooing you, trying to win your heart, and ceaselessly loving you. We don’t ask the question, “can I hear the Spirit?” but rather, “how do I hear the Spirit?” because He speaks is so many different ways; we see this across the Bible (He speaks like a friend in Exodus 33; in 1 Kings, His voice is a still small whisper, etc).

The Holy Spirit doesn’t seek to you so that you can seem a magician, gain fame and glory, or to avoid personal responsibility in the name of “God said” (a classic example: the break-up due to “God said..”). He doesn’t speak so that we can know the will of God for our lives because (spoiler alert: we already know!). We see in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

…and to God be the glory, for the verse following is a directive for us in order to hear Him: Do not quench the Spirit. His primary interest is not to give you orders; He wants to talk with you and walk with you, to hear your story and what makes you sing and what makes you sad. And why? Why does He speak?

  1. He wants to teach you Truth, Peace, and Courage
    1. John 14:26-27: But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
  2. He wants you to live freely
    1. Galatians 5:16-18: But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
    2. The ‘law’ = the idea that your dos and don’ts define your identity and declare your value. No! That’s not what God says! He speaks freedom over and over again, despite all the things we do and do not do.
  3. He wants you to walk in the manner of His greatness
    1. Colossians 1:9-11: And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy…
    2. We have equated skepticism with intellect.
    3. James 1:5-8:  If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
    4. We have to begin with faith. We can’t expect to hear from the Spirit when we are cloaked in doubt. We hear by faith.

There are parameters to keep in mind:

  1. The Holy Spirit won’t contradict the Bible.
  2. He won’t contradict the Spirit of Jesus.
  3. It will usually be affirmed by church leadership.
  4. It we be reinforced by our church community.
  5. It should bear fruit.

He speaks in so many ways: through the Bible, other people, nature, books, dreams, visions, words, visions, an audible voice…It’s up to us to trust that we can hear Him! He speaks in big picture and he speaks in specifics of the day-to-day. Expect that you can hear Him, and you will.

Biblical References: John 14:26-27; Galatians 5:16-18; Colossians 1:9-11; James 1:5-8

The Holy Spirit: with You and in You, Pt. 3

John 14:15: If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. 

The Holy Spirit is in me for me, and He is with me for others. We are missing out on the gifts and blessings of the Spirit so often when we are asking solely to see miracles for ourselves; let the aim, instead, be seeing the needs of those around us and expecting for the Spirit to move through us. So often, we put up a wall – let’s climb over it! – and stop looking for God to move for our own personal experiences rather than the benefit and salvation of others.

  1. Discover Theology
    1. John 7:38: Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’
    2. You are a Christian if you have heard and believe (can I get an Amen?) and if you are a Christian, you have been sealed with the Holy Spirit. You have a small deposit of Heaven living inside of you, a taste of what’s to come. It’s a belief – and a fact – that we have God within us; what it’s not is a feeling.
    3. We need to apply what we know to be True without making our feelings True.
    4. “It is quite right that you should feel that ‘something terrific’ has happened to you…accept these sensations with thankfulness as birthday cards from God, but remember that they are only greetings, not the real gift. I mean that it is not the sensations that are the real thing. The real thing is the gift of the Holy Spirit which can’t usually be—perhaps not ever—experienced as a sensation or emotion. The sensations are merely the response of your nervous system. Don’t depend on them. Otherwise when they go and you are once more emotionally flat (as youcertainly will be quite soon), you might think that the real thing had gone too. But it won’t. It will be there when you can’t feel it. May even be most operative when you can feel it least.” – C.S. Lewis
  2. Discover Expectancy
    1. Ephesians 3:14-16: For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being…
    2. Expect to be strengthened by the power of God. There is power available to you to be free, to have hope, to be comforted. Do you expect these things?
  3. Discover that God grieves
    1. Ephesians 4:30-32: And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.\
    2. We have the capacity to both delight and to grieve the God of Heaven and Earth.
    3. Grace doesn’t redefine, diminish, or approve of sin. What is does is redeem the sinner.
  4. Discover Hunger
    1. Ephesians 5:18: And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit…
    2. We fill this hunger with so many cheap substitutes (and even good things, too!). But, in order to be filled with the Holy Spirit, we have to make room for Him.

There are realities to discover about the Spirit that is in you and with you. Are you willing to make space to allow Him to move?

Biblical references: John 7:38; Ephesians 3:14-16; Ephesians 4:30-32; Ephesians 5:18

The Holy Spirit: with You and in You, Pt. 1

Artboard 1Mosaic, family and and friends alike, we are so excited to start our new series, “The Holy Spirit: with You and in You”. How many of us do not realize that we are meant to be receiving from God on a daily basis? How many of us think that salvation is a one-time transaction? This morning, we are going to be talking about what it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Contrary to what some of us may believe, the Spirit is not a what, nor is He a force (like a power or an element). Rather, He is a “whom”, a relational, intimate being, exemplifying the Father heart of our good God.

John 4:13-15: Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”

Romans 8:11: If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

5 Truths about being filled with the Holy Spirit:

  1. Being filled with the Holy Spirit elicits the following:
    1. creative gifts, leadership gifts, charismatic gifts, wisdom, revelation from God, praise, boldness, grace, faith, power to perform miracles, personal healing, authority, conquering over powers of darkness, and joy
    2. This is the diversity of the manifestation of the Holy Spirit! So often, we think it looks like one expression (we’ve reduced His presence to goosebumps in worship or tears in prayer), but this is far from the Truth.
  2. Being filled with the Holy Spirit is repeatable.
    1. There is 1 initial entrance, yes, but then there are multiple fillings
  3. Being filled with the Holy Spirit does not preclude one from suffering.
    1. He does not promise the absence of pain (on the contrary, he guarantees suffering to all those that follow Him).
    2. The promise is that the Holy Spirit will be with you in that pain.
  4. Being filled with the Holy Spirit often comes at a time of intercession, affliction, or moments when God is calling someone into a particular ministry.
  5. Being filled with the Holy Spirit is always associated with greater:
    1. Revelation
    2. Praise
    3. Proclamation
    4. Life

It is also important to note that being filled with the Holy Spirit is never going to work without a childlike faith. There will be moments in which we have to choose to believe that God lives within us. So, what’s our part to play here?

  1. I must be filled (as believers, it’s our duty and responsibility).
    1. Luke 24:49: And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.
  2. may be filled (as believers, it’s an honor and a privilege).
    1. John 7:37-39: On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
  3. will be filled (or, I am willing to be filled, and further: I am willing to do whatever it takes to be fulfilled). There’s a difference between wishing and willing, ya’ll.
    1. Ephesians 5:18: And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit…
    2. It might require repentance. It might take some “de-cluttering” of the soul.
  4. shall be filled.
    1. This is the faith declaration moment.
    2. Acts 2:38-39: And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”

Biblical references: John 4:13-15; Romans 8:11; Luke 24:49; John 7:37-39; Ephesians 5:18; Acts 2:38-39

Questions:

  1. What truth of the Holy Spirit are you struggling with today?
  2. What “rooms in your house” do you need to invite the Holy Spirit into? What needs to be “decluttered” so that He can enter in?

Message Recap: God at Work, pt. 4

rawpixel-com-274858So far, in our series, led by the incredible Jim Larson, we’ve looked at why and how we work; today, we are looking at another important identifying piece of the puzzle: where we work. As people, indecisiveness is all too rampant in our culture. Let us be the people that decide where we are going to work, and then go do it.

We are in a really unique place in time; only 200 years ago did we first start having the ability to choose our work. What a privilege (and an obligation) to choose where we work! The hard part, of course, is the dizzying effect of the paradox of choice. We are faced with so much opportunity, so many good choices, that we are led often to anxiety, disappointment, and discontent. And, further, we get caught up in the idea that our choices today will dictate our forever. But that’s note the case! Though Martin Luther made a case against career changes, John Calvin and much of the Bible encourage career changes. And, many of it’s characters exemplify the ways in which they glorify God (look at Moses, for example – from sheep herder to political leader!).

Myth 1: Where we work is more important than why we work and how we work.

  1. The Truth is that why we work and how we work is at least as important as where we work.

Myth 2: We will all have a burning bush moment (though, God can, and does, do this for some of us – it’s not a guarantee).

  1. We cannot sit and wait for our calling, God wants us to trust Him and sometimes, make the first move in faith. Even if it’s wrong, it is still a step driving us forward.

Myth 3: We should determine where we work based primarily on our passions.

  1. We should be driven by the following, instead:
    1. The needs of the world
      1. Jeremiah 29:7: But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.
    2. Our giftings
      1. Romans 12:6-8: Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
    3. Our truest desires (not our fleshly desires, but the ones that align with the Spirit)
      1. Jeremiah 17:9: The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?
      2. John 16:24: Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
    4. Compensation
      1. 1 Timothy 5:8: But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
      2. We have to make tradeoffs, and there is almost always a sacrifice.

Myth 4: The best way to hear God is to be standing still.

  1. We have the ability to move forward with God. How do we do it?
    1. Understand the world’s needs
    2. Understand your strengths
    3. Research potential roles
      1. Research what it’s like
      2. Engage with people you know who are in it
    4. Seek community

All of this is critical as we face the question of where we work, and it is critical that we do it all with God.

Biblical references: Jeremiah 29:7; Romans 12:6-8; Jeremiah 17:9; John 16:24; 1 Timothy 5:8

Questions:

  1. How is God transforming how you work?
  2. What is God showing you about why you work?
  3. What is God saying about where you work related to needs, giftings, desires and compensation?

God at Work, Pt. 3

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Talking about work is so important because we spend so much time working. Last week, we looked at the why of work, and today, thanks to our wonderful speaker Jim Larson, we are diving into the how of work.

A myth about work: your manager writes your ultimate performance review.

  1. The sacred/secular divide: the incorrect concept that parts of our world are sacred, and the rest of it is secular. This implies that God cares about some things more than He cares about others, which is absolutely untrue. God is in everything. He is Lord over all. 
  2. Martin Luther: “The idea that the service to God should have only to do with a church altar, singing, reading, sacrifice, and the like is without doubt but the worst trick of the devil. How could the devil have led us more effectively astray than by the narrow conception that service to God takes place only in a church and by the works done therein…The whole world could abound with the services to the Lord, Gottesdienste – not only in churches but also in the home, kitchen, workshop, field.”

The Truth about work: God ultimately writes your performance review.

Colossians 3:17: And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Colossians 3:23: Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men…

  1. Our value is not in our performance. It is in our adoption and sends and daughters of the Kingdom, and it is high and fixed.
  2. That’s not to say, though, that God doesn’t care about our performance. He does! He has invited us to co-labor with Him, and He expects us to do it well.
  3. Being a Christian at work is the same as being a Christian. 

5 ways we can live out this Truth:

  1. Love others, and love them well.
    1. Matthew 22:37-40: And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
    2. Treat people as ends and not as means.
    3. Be a giver and not a taker (givers, on average, perform worse on reviews than takers or “matchers”, but, having a culture of givers actually produces more fruit and increases performance).
  2. Have integrity.
    1. Proverbs 11:3: The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.
    2. Proverbs 28:6: A poor man who oppresses the poor is a beating rain that leaves no food.
  3. Be diligent and seek excellence.
    1. 1 Corinthians 9:24: Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.
    2. Psalm 24:1-2: The earth is the Lord‘s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein, for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers.
      1. Our blessings, our talents, and our time all belong to Him (we often forget that last one!).
  4. Be joyful.
    1. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
    2. We aren’t called to be joyful circumstantially, but always.
    3. There is a clear connection between gratitude and joy (biblically and scientifically).
  5. Rest well.
    1. Genesis 2:1-3: Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.
    2. We must rest well so that we can work well.
    3. God didn’t need rest (He’s God), but He chose to model it for us.
    4. Take an inventory as to what truly refreshes you. (because, honestly, it probably isn’t social media).

What is the one way God is calling you to work like how He would work?

Biblical references: Colossians 3:17; Colossians 3:23; Matthew 22:37-40; Proverbs 11:3; Proverbs 28:6; 1 Corinthians 9:24; Psalm 24:1-2; Genesis 2:1-3

Questions:

  1. What is the one way God is calling you to work like how He would work?
  2. How are you going to have integrity with your work this week?
  3. How are you going to be diligent and seek excellence?
  4. How are you going to be joyful?

 

Message Recap: Welcome 2018!

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Matthew 6:22-35: Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?  And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

The core issue here has really nothing to do with the food we drink or the clothes we wear (though our anxiety often manifests in these areas of eating/drinking and shopping); the issue is really our heart posture. The material things, the tight schedule, the busyness – these are not the things Jesus is after. He’s after our hearts. In this passage, Jesus provides the antidote for our anxiety about all of these things (praise, amirite?):

The first dose for curing our anxiety is knowing that our identity is in Jesus (Matthew 6:32: For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all). God is our Heavenly Father, and He knows everything about you (your worries, your dreams, your fears. And he cares about every single one). In the case of earthly adoption, the law states that an adopted child is the same as a child born into the family; an adopted child is seen exactly the same as his or her biological counterpart. It is the same for us in the family of God. When He adopts us into His Kingdom, it is as if we were part of the family starting on day 1 (just like Jesus!). His holy adoption eliminates any separation between us and Him, our Father. Thanks to Jesus Christ, we are now considered related to God.

The second dosage for curing our anxiety is to seek Him (Matthew 6:33: But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you). Jesus doesn’t tell us to stop doing something without also telling us what to start doing. He’s a God of abundance. He wants more for us than to stop being anxious; He wants us to be part of His family. We have this beautiful invitation to seek His invaluable Kingdom (Matthew 13:44-46: The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.) 

The Greek translation of “seek” – as in “seek the Kingdom of God” – means seek in order to find. This happens by meditating, reading, thinking, inquiring, striving after, and aiming for. This is God’s invitation for us! It’s important to remember in our seeking that it’s not about the “to-do list”, or our goals, resolutions. It’s all about the fact that we are seeking after Yahweh, the Living God, with everything we have to give. That’s exactly what he wants of us: our hearts. That’s our invitation; let us take Him up on the offer!

Biblical references: Matthew 6:22-35; Matthew 13:44-46

12 Questions for the New Year:

  1. What is one thing I could do this year to increase my enjoyment of God?
  2. What will my personal times of worship look like this year?
  3. How will I approach reading the Bible this year?
  4. What one thing could I do to improve my prayer life this year?
  5. Whose salvation will I pray for most fervently this year?
  6. What books will I read this year?
  7. Who is the person I want to encourage most this year?
  8. What is the most helpful new way I could strengthen my church this year?
  9. How will I make time in my schedule for these things to actually happen?
  10. What is the single biggest time-waster in my life, and what will I do about it this year?
  11. What changes should I make with my finances this year?
  12. What single things that I plan to do this year will matter most in ten years? In eternity?

Blessed to Bless, Pt. 5

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Are you able to see the greater purposes of your blessings? Rather than make excuses or justify the reasons as to why we own nice things (which, admittedly, we so often do), we should instead exclaim our thanksgivings toward God, and then exalt Him for His goodness. The beautiful things in your life (those cool shoes, that delicious steak, this morning’s sunrise, the got-it-from-ya-mama show-stopping smile) exist for the benefit of others, and for the adoration and blessing of God.

Matthew 2:1-12: Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet: “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’” Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.

This Scripture takes place when Jesus is about 1 or 2 years old (dissimilar to the narration of the standard nativity scene). What makes this so astounding, though, is that these three men – all of whom were kings, magi, and wise men – fell to their knees to worship Jesus as a small child. This speaks so much to their incredible humility.

Psalm 72:10-11: May the kings of Tarshish and of the coastlands render him tribute; may the kings of Sheba and Seba bring gifts! May all kings fall down before him, all nations serve him!

The kings recognize their King. The wise men worship without fear of appearing foolish (and, even today, wise men still seek Him).

Too often, what we see today is power without perspective; what we need in our generation isn’t lack of power or authority, but true leaders with wisdom. No one is without a King – everybody worships something. We need Kings who know they have a King. The world thinks that we are blessed to be blessed. But again, we see that Scripture turns the ideals of the world on their head: we are blessed to bless.

Philippians 2:4-11: Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Biblical references: Matthew 2:1-12; Psalm 72:10-11; Philippians 2:4-11

Questions:

  1. How are you submitting to Jesus as King over your life?
  2. How can you look to the interest of others this week?
  3. Ask God to show you the greater purpose of your blessings.