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Summary: What the Holy Spirit is doing in the life of a growing Christian

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18, August 2002

Dakota Community Church

Acts of God

Introduction:

Have you ever wondered what the Holy Spirit is working at in your life?

Do you wonder about His existence?

Illus.: “The Boy Who Believes in the Holy Spirit Isn’t Here”

A children’s catechism class was learning the Apostles Creed. Each child had been assigned a sentence to repeat. The first one said, “I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth.” The second child said, “I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son…” When he had completed his sentence, there was an embarrassing silence. Finally, one child piped up, “Teacher, the boy who believes in the Holy Spirit isn’t here.”

Isaiah 61:1-11

1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,

2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn,

3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion-- to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.

4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.

5 Aliens will shepherd your flocks; foreigners will work your fields and vineyards.

6 And you will be called priests of the LORD; you will be named ministers of our God. You will feed on the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast.

7 Instead of their shame my people will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace they will rejoice in their inheritance; and so they will inherit a double portion in their land, and everlasting joy will be theirs.

8 "For I, the LORD, love justice; I hate robbery and iniquity. In my faithfulness I will reward them and make an everlasting covenant with them.

9 Their descendants will be known among the nations and their offspring among the peoples. All who see them will acknowledge that they are a people the LORD has blessed."

10 I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

11 For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign LORD will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.

7 Works of the Holy Spirit:

1. Enlightenment.

Isaiah 61:1

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news

- The Holy Spirit works in us to change us into agents of good news in the bad news world.

Mark 16:14-15

14Later Jesus appeared to the eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.

15He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.

2. Encouragement.

Isaiah 61:1

He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted

- We become healing ministers.

- We stop any habits or mannerisms that add to suffering.

In his book, None of These Diseases, Dr. S.I. McMillan says, "Medical science recognizes that emotions such as fear, sorrow, envy, resentment and hatred are responsible for the majority of our sicknesses. Estimates vary from 60 to 100 percent."

One patient was told by his doctor, "If you don’t cut out your resentments, I may have to cut out your intestinal tract."

3. Escape.

Isaiah 61:1

To proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners

- Only the free have the ability to release captives!

In God’s Smuggler, Brother Andrew tells in the first couple of chapters the story of his early life-one section of which dealt with his hell-for-leather days in the Dutch army in Indonesia. While serving in that area, fighting against Sukarno in the late 1940s he bought a young ape, a gibbon, which took to him, and Andy treated him as a pet in the barracks. He hadn’t had the gibbon for many weeks before he noticed that when he touched it in some areas around the waist it seemed to hurt him. So he examined the gibbon more closely and found a raised welt that went around his waist. He carefully laid the animal down on his bed and pulled back the matted hair from this welt until he could see what was causing the problem. He discovered that evidently when the gibbon had been a baby someone had tied a piece of wire around his middle and had never taken it off, as the monkey grew larger the wire became embedded in his flesh. Obviously, it must have caused him a great deal of discomfort. So that evening Andrew began the operation, taking his razor and shaving off all the monkey’s hair in a three-inch-wide swath around his middle. While the other boys in the barracks looked on, he cut ever so gently into the tender flesh until he exposed the wire. The gibbon lay there with the most amazing patience. Even when he obviously was hurting him the gibbon looked up with eyes that seemed to say, "I understand," until at long last he was able to get down to the wire, cut it, and pull it away. Instantly, as soon as the operation was over, the gibbon jumped up, did a cartwheel, danced around his shoulders, and pulled Andy’s hair in joyful glee to the delight of all the boys in the barracks. "After that, my gibbon and I were inseparable. I think I identified with him as strongly as he with me. I think I saw in the wire that had bound him a kind of parallel to the chain of guilt still so tight around myself-and in his release, the thing I too longed for."

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