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POURING OUT LIKE SWEAT
Several years ago, Gatorade had an ad with Michael Jordan where he was covered in orange drops of sweat. The image says clearly that Michael Jordan is so full of Gatorade that it is literally pouring out of him like sweat.
That’s an appropriate image of the Holy Spirit in us. If the Holy Spirit is living inside of you, there’s going to be evidence. Whatever is inside of you is eventually going to come out of you. If you squeeze a grape, you’re going to get grape juice. If you squeeze an apple, you’re going to get apple juice. If you squeeze a prune, you’re going to get prune juice. Whatever is on the inside is eventually going to come out. And if the Spirit is in us, it will come out in our lives.
If a man is filled with anger, than anger controls his life.
If a man is filled with greed, then greed dominates his life.
If a man is filled with lust, then lust governs his life.
If a man is filled with love, then love influences all he does.
And if a man is filled with the Holy Spirit, he is controlled by the Spirit - it is, if you will, "control by consent."
John Williams III
To be God’s property mean that we are owned by God. There is a powerful story about an English missionary whose house was being looted. "An English missionary died in the early part of this century [the 20th century]. Immediately after his death his former neighbors broke into his house and started carrying away his possessions. The English Consul was notified, and since there was no lock on the door of the missionary’s house, he pasted a piece of paper across it and affixed the seal of England on it. The looter did not dare break the seal because the world’s most powerful nation stood behind it". (Billy Graham. The Holy Spirit. Dallas: Word Publishing, 1988, p. 74). To be sealed means that we are God’s property!
Dr. Bill Bright of Campus Crusade for Christ tells this story of a famous oil field called Yates Pool:
During the depression this field was a sheep ranch owned by a man named Yates. Mr. Yates wasn’t able to make enough on his ranching operation to pay the principal and interest on the mortgage, so he was in danger of losing his ranch.
With little money for clothes or food, his family (like many others) had to live on government subsidy.
Day after day, as he grazed his sheep over those rolling West Texas hills, he was no doubt greatly troubled about how he would pay his bills. Then a seismographic crew from an oil company came into the area and told him there might be oil on his land. They asked permission to drill a wildcat well, and he signed a lease contract.
At 1,115 feet they struck a huge oil reserve. The first well came in at 80,000 barrels a day. Many subsequent wells were more than twice as large. In fact, 30 years after the discovery, a government test of one of the wells showed it still had the potential flow of 125,000 barrels of oil a day.
And Mr. Yates owned it all.
The day he purchased the land he had received the oil and mineral rights. Yet, he’d been living on relief.
A multimillionaire living in poverty.
Robert Tuttle says, “The Holy Spirit takes the initiative in the drama of rescue” if we let God go before us in our evangelistic efforts.
Have you heard the story of Charlie Riggs? Over 50 years ago, he came to Christ and was discipled by a young man named Lorne Sanny, who himself was being discipled by Dawson Trotman, founder of the Navigators.
Charlie was willing to grow in Christ, but he was a bit rough around the edges and didn’t seem very promising as a Christian leader. When Lorne wrote to Dawson, he told him that Charlie Riggs was the only man he was working with and he felt discouraged by the prospects. Trotman wrote back and said, “Stay with your man. You never know what God will do with him.” So, Lorne Sanny continued to work with Charlie Riggs.
A few years passed and a young man named Billy Graham came on the scene. In 1952, the Navigators “loaned” Charlie Riggs to the Graham team to handle the follow-up in their early crusades. He planned to return to the Navigators eventually. However, he worked out so well that he stayed with Billy Graham.
In 1957, on the eve of the famous New York City crusade at Madison Square Garden, the crusade director suddenly had to be replaced. Who could they get? The lay chairman suggested Charlie Riggs, but Billy Graham wasn’t sure if he could handle the job. “All he does is pray and quote Scripture.”
The layman insisted, Charlie Riggs got the job and the rest is history. The New York campaign became a model for the many crusades that would follow in later years. Billy Graham said, “I didn’t think he could do it. But I had this peace—that Charlie so depended on the Holy Spirit that I knew the Lord could do it through Charlie.”
Charlie Riggs retired after many years of effective service to the Lord. What was his secret? How could a man with little formal training rise to such a high position and hold it for so long?
He says, “I always asked the Lord to put me in over my head . That way, when I had a job to do, either the Lord had to help me or I was sunk.” God was delighted to answer this prayer time after time. He put Charlie Riggs in over his head—and then bailed him out.
So many of us dads play it safe with our families. We pray only for what we think we can handle. Our answers are small because our prayers are small.
Here’s a challenge. Let’s take Charlie Riggs’ prayer as our own: “Lord, put me in over my head.” It’s safer to stay in shallow water where you can always feel the bottom under your feet, but the real challenge is to jump in where the water comes up over your head. What are the challenges we face when we’re in over our heads? Job changes, teenagers, college costs and church schedules to name a few.
How about it, dads? Are you ready for some excitement? I am. Let’s ask God to put us in over our heads. And then, let’s watch God keep us floating just when we think we’re about to sink.
From “On the Father Front,” Vol. 8, No. 2, Summer, 1995
Sermon Central Staff
THE PURPOSE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
N T Wright, the famous New Testament scholar talks about the task of Christians in the world. He says, "Many say, 'Oh yes, the Holy Spirit came in his place to live in us.' Yes, but for what purpose? The Holy Spirit came to empower us to be God's life in the world. We are to do the work of God in the world. We are to be God to the world. And we cannot do that alone. The church is God's redemptive community in the world. Without you, and without you joined with God's other children, God's work will not be done. He will not do it without us. He will not do it for us."
(From a sermon by Rodney Buchanan, The Message of Jesus, 11/16/2009)
GOING NO WHERE FAST
In his book "Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life", the author Charles Swindoll tells a story about the 19th Century agnostic Thomas Huxley (some of you might know that it was Huxley who promoted Darwinism and Humanism in his attacks on Christianity). Huxley was in Dublin and was rushing to catch a train. He climbed aboard one of Dublin’s famous horse drawn taxis and said to the driver -"Hurry, I’m almost late ... drive fast". Off they went at a furious pace and Huxley sat back in his seat and closed his eyes. After a while Huxley opened his eyes and glanced out the window to notice that they were going in the wrong direction. Realizing that he hadn’t told the driver where to take him he called out ‘do you know wher...
Many years ago, a professor from Harvard University was speaking to a class on Columbus Day. He said that there were three profound things about Christopher Columbus’ discovery of America:
First, when he left Spain he didn’t know where he was going.
Second, when he arrived in the New World he didn’t know where he was.
Third, when he returned to Spain he didn’t know where he had been.
A voice from the back of the class added, ¡§Yeah, and he did it all on borrowed money!"
When my mother used to make jam, I would watch her pour wax over the top of the preserves until it was at the brim of the jar. She would then carefully wipe some wax around the rim itself, and place the rubber lined lid on tight. The wax and the vacuum caused by the cooling preserves would seal that jar so tight that it could have sat on a basement shelf for years, and the jam would have been good when finally opened. Sealed, preserved, protected.
In our house, the dust didn’t have time to gather on those jars; but they could have lasted a long time if necessary.
Paul, under the inspiration of this same Holy Spirit of God, has written to us that after listening to the message of truth, the good news of our salvation - HAVING ALSO BELIEVED, we were sealed in Him (Christ) by the Holy Spirit of promise”.
A seal of God’ ownership was placed over our lives, and unlike Pilate’s seal, no power in Heaven or earth can break that seal...a seal that DOES mean a great deal to God. He shut us up tightly. We are set aside for His use...for His eternal fellowship. Preserved, protected until the day of the redemption of our bodies (or glorification).