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Tag Archives: Filled with the Holy Spirit

Progressively Passionate About God

If you ask a liberal college professor their thoughts about Jesus of Nazareth, progressive isn’t a word that you will hear. However, Jesus spent his last three years on earth surrounded by twelve men. Jesus’ ministry is the very definition of progressive: developing gradually; in stages; proceeding step by step. Jesus was the living Word of God, John 1:1-3. His display of love exemplified the fruits of the Spirit well before the apostle Paul wrote Galatians 5:16-25.

[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death, [in the hope], Philippians 3:10.

Shortly after his ascension into heaven, Acts 1:9, the Day of Pentecost added passion to this progressive movement. Rather than condemn and punish wrong action and behavior, grace gave hope to those who didn’t deserve it, Romans 5:8. As the apostles become filled with the Holy Spirit, this progressive passion transformed the first century church, Acts 2:42-47. Poverty was eliminated as Christians saw their neighbors as one big extended family.

For this is the will of God, that you should be consecrated (separated and set apart for pure and holy living): that you should abstain and shrink from all sexual vice, That each one of you should know how to [c]possess (control, manage) his own body in consecration (purity, separated from things profane) and honor, Not [to be used] in the passion of lust like the heathen, who are ignorant of the true God and have no knowledge of His will, 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5.

In a letter to the Church at Corinth, the apostle Paul compares the church to a well oiled machine. This body with many parts recognizes that each member has been given a special gift, trait or personality designed to share with others, 1 Corinthians 12:1-11. As long as these talents are freely offered, passion continues to flow. Unfortunately, the Coronavirus has stunted the growth of many, quenching passion. Nonetheless, if you are willing to develop your faith in a progressive manner, passion will return as believers keep in step with the Holy Spirit, Galatians 5:25.

by Jay Mankus

A Season of Boldness

Boldness is often associated with audacity, bravery, courage, and dauntlessness. This intrepid spirit shows no signs of fear, willing to face whatever barrier, challenge or obstacle that is in their way. While teenagers who possess this trait may be labeled as a rebel for not conforming to the rigid standards in public schools, boldness is appreciated by other adults who are afraid of getting into trouble. In a sense, the bold speak what the meek are scared to verbalize.

The wicked flee when no man pursues them, but the [uncompromisingly] righteous are bold as a lion. When a land transgresses, it has many rulers, but when the ruler is a man of discernment, understanding, and knowledge, its stability will long continue, Proverbs 28:1-2.

King Solomon uses an interesting analogy in the passage above. The bold are compared to a courageous lion who stands up for what is right. As cities and states prepare for a second lock down, some citizens have had enough of cowering in fear. With their businesses and life long dreams on the verge of collapsing, a spirit of boldness is empowering individuals to take a stand. Despite threats of fines and or jail, these people can no longer compromise what they believe to be right and true.

And now, Lord, observe their threats and grant to Your bond servants [full freedom] to declare Your message fearlessly, Acts 4:29.

During the first century, Jesus’ disciples were under attack, prohibited to publicly teach about their resurrected leader. John and Peter were arrested by religious leaders for preaching the resurrection of Christ. The next day Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit as he defended their position in front of magistrates, elders and scribes who assembled in Jerusalem. Upon their release, Peter was energized by the stand they took, encouraging more believers to embrace a season of boldness.

by Jay Mankus

A Spiritual Earthquake

The Weather Channel has a history of programs which illustrate strange weather phenomena.  Shows like It Could Happen Tomorrow are based upon ideal conditions which come together to create the perfect storm.  If this has happened in the past, can the same components result in a spiritual earthquake?

After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly, Acts 4:31.

One of the first accounts of such of an event is recorded by a first century doctor.  It’s not uncommon for individuals to embellish, exaggerate or stretch the truth.  However, this characteristic is unusual for a respected man of medicine.  Although bizarre, a similar encounter occurs in the city of Philippi.  Sure, this region is known for earthquakes, but is it possible for prayer to create a movement of God which imitates this geological event?

About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.  Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose, Acts 16:25-26.

Over the past thirty years, I’ve witnessed my own series of answered prayers, healing and miracles.  Although I’ve never experienced anything like these 2 stories in the Bible, I have sensed God’s presence.  During intense periods of prayer and moving worship services in the past, my heart, soul and mind have been energized by an invisible presence.  If you draw close enough to God, perhaps you too will encounter a spiritual earthquake inspired by the Holy Spirit.

by Jay Mankus

Why Does This Surprise You?

In this age of pessimism, few believe until they experience, see or taste success.  Sure, there will always be individuals with egos, pride or talk a good game, but backing up words is a different story.  Confidence is like night and dark, drastically altering the outcome of a day, performance and productivity.  Therefore, when a new star is born, why does this surprise so many people?

While the man held on to Peter and John, all the people were astonished and came running to them in the place called Solomon’s Colonnade, Acts 3:11.

High profile and professional coaches tend to be annoyed during press conferences after media members are astonished by one of their players accomplishments.  Not privy to all the workouts behind the scenes, athletes in the right system can excel over time.  Thus, whenever an average or middle of the road talent comes out of no where, skeptics automatically think, they must be cheating or taking performance enhancing drugs.  Though this may true for some, aren’t miracles still possible?

When Peter saw this, he said to them: “Fellow Israelites, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? – Acts 3:12

As an apprentice of Jesus for three years, Peter witnessed miracles every day.  Like an ad campaign, the masses flocked to this man wondering, “what will Jesus do next?”  Perhaps this might explain Peter’s reaction to his first public miracle following the Day of Pentecost.  Miffed, Peter turns to the crowd gathering at the Colonnade, “why does this surprise you?”  Filled with the Holy Spirit, Peter tried to remind those in attendance that with God all things are possible.

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you, John 15:7.

Reflecting back to his training as a disciple, Jesus urged his followers to stay connected with God.  Like a power supply, remaining plugged in enables believers to reach new heights.  Therefore, when God answers a prayer, supernaturally provides or does a miracle in your life, don’t be surprised.  Ultimately, greater is He who is in you and than the One who is in the world.  May this blog strengthen your faith and inspire you to trust in the power of the Lord.

by Jay Mankus

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